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50 Pounds Of Explosives, 1600 Rounds Of Ammunition Found in Paddock's Vehicle; Paddock Rented Room Around Time Of Earlier Concert; Girlfriend Completely Unaware Of Deadly Plan; Investigators Looking Into Gunman's Background; Local Pastors Helping People Process Tragedy; Three U.S. Troops Killed, Two Wounded In Ambush In Niger; Spanish Government Furious Over Independence Movement; Catalan President Expected To Declare Independence; Spanish Prime Minister Could Invoke Emergency Powers In Catalonia; Trump Meets Shooting Victims, First Responders in Los Vegas; Tillerson Won't Deny Calling President a "Moron"; Senate Intel Committee Looking for "Any" Hint of Collusion; U.K. Prime Minister Speech Fraught with Problems. Aired 1- 2a ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Why authorities are saying there's a possibility the Las Vegas gunman may have had help in carrying out his deadly plan.
VAUSE: The question was direct: did you call the president a moron? Well, the secretary of state dodged, he did not directly deny.
SESAY: And Spain's constitutional crisis. Both Catalan and Spanish officials dig in ahead of what could be a major escalation on Monday.
VAUSE: Hello, we'd like to welcome our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.
VAUSE: Three days after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, investigators know a lot more about how the massacre played out but it seems they're no closer to the "why." The motive behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history remains a mystery. Police have revealed they found 50 pounds of explosives and 1600 rounds ammunition in the gunman's car parking in a hotel lot, and there's evidence that Stephen Paddock planned to survive the attack and escape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, CLARK COUNTY: It's troublesome that this individual was able to move this amount of gear into a hotel room unassisted. It's troublesome for the amount of stuff he had at both residence unassisted. So, there are people that know this individual. There are people that can help us understand this individual.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SESAY: Well, Paddock rented a room at a luxury condo in downtown Las Vegas. Around that time, another concert took place late last month. The FBI have spoken to Paddock's girlfriend who was out of the country at the time of the shooting. The attorney for Marilou Danley says she did not know what Paddock was planning and there is a new video to show you -- shot by counter worker showing the moment police warned people an attack was underway. We must warn you the video is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run! Don't look!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run! Go! Go! Go! Everybody, go! Go! Run! Keep your head down. Go. Keep your head down. Go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, joining us now, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Dr. Judy Hope, and former FBI Special Agent Maureen O'Connell. Thank you, both for coming in. OK, Marilou Danley, Paddock's living girlfriend, she was questioned by the FBI -- I think about five hours on Wednesday. She's also broken her silence since returning to the U.S., issuing a statement, part of it was read out by her lawyer. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW LOMBARD, ATTORNEY FOR MARILOU DANLEY: He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen. A little more than two weeks ago, Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to see my family. Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. Maureen, the bottom line here, do you believe the denial or is that something you'd expect in this part of the investigation?
MAUREEN O'CONNELL, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT, FBI: I would expect her to say something like this, but do I believe her? No. The fact that there was such an uptick in the purchase and acquisition of weaponry tells me definitively that she had to know something was up. Honestly, how many long guns would have to be drag into your house before you realized something had changed? It's what's known as a pre-incident indicator, and there are actually several of them that have been unfolding over the last 72 hours.
VAUSE: OK. We've also heard from Danley's sister in Australia. She also believed that Marilou has some answers in all of this. Here's what s said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [01:05:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of all the people that they have
interviewed or asking questions or still wanted to interview, no one, no one can put the puzzles together. No one, except Marilou. Because Steve is not here to talk anymore, only Marilou can maybe help to solve these investigations and what's behind what on what, and what and why he'd done this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Judy, research shows that mass killers will often express their intentions before the event. The term is leakage. How likely is it that he said something, did something, but Marilou, the live-in girlfriend, just isn't aware that it's relevant to the investigation?
DR. JUDY HOPE, CLINICAL AND FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it's quite likely because, from research that we have of mass murders in the last 50 years, in general, the major theme is that they feel disenfranchised. They feel like they've been attacked, disliked by some segment of the population or even just one individual, and then this grows over time. But it could just seem like somebody who's a little snippy, a little resentful, but at some point, there's always an inciting event.
There's an event that really takes some over the top and they become violent about it. So, I believe this girlfriend really thought about it and thought back to their previous conversations. She may have noticed some of these things but she may have had her own blinders on. There's also another theory that because of the fact his father was defined as psychopathic that he was amongst wanted list --
VAUSE: A bank robber. Yes, most wanted, top 10.
HOPE: Absolutely, and psychopathic traits do run in families; there's a genetic predisposition. And individuals who have psychopathic tendencies don't tend to connect very deeply with other individuals. So, it's possible that their relationship was a bit at arm's length at Paddock's request.
VAUSE: OK. There are questions too about the nature of the relationship between Paddock and Danley. The L.A. Times has reported that they are regulars at the Starbucks in their hometown of Mesquite, and Paddock would often insult her. He came, especially angry apparently when she asked to use his casino card for purchases. The supervisor at that store told the Times he would glare down at her and say, with a mean attitude, you don't need my casino card for this, I'm paying for your drink just like I'm paying for you. Then she would softly say, OK, and step back behind him. He was so rude to her in front of us. Judy, this indicates what, an abusive relationship?
HOPE: Absolutely. This is somebody who has the power in the relationship; he has the upper hand. We know that financially he has the upper hand in this relationship. It would seem that emotionally he is, too, and he actually lets her know exactly what her position is. And so, for her, she may have seen this as, in some ways, someone who's taking of her and that's what she was focused on more so than the emotional abuse. VAUSE: So, for more, given that relationship, possibly an abusive
relationship, does that impact how she remembers things, her perception of their relationship, what she's willing to say to investigators?
O'CONNELL: It does because when you're an abused woman or an abused person, even a child, you're on the defensive all the time. And when you're on the defensive, you're not able to make good solid offensive decisions. So, that could definitely impact the overall scenario. However, I don't think that these markers -- all these markers could've been missed, and I'm not saying that this could've been prevented because I doubt that seriously. But the amount of planning -- the amount of planning that went into this attack is just insurmountable.
VAUSE: Well, with that in mind, we now know when Paddock purchased most of his firearms. This is the senior ATF officer involved in the case. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL SNYDER, SPECIAL AGENT, ATF CHICAGO: From October 2016 to September 28th, 2017, he purchased 33 firearms. Majority of them, rifles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That didn't set off a red flag anywhere in the ATF.
SNYDER: We wouldn't get notified of the purchases of the rifles. We would only get notified if there was a multiple sale, which would be two or more handguns in an individual purchase.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is there no notification if someone is buying multiple rifles?
SNYDER: There's no federal law requiring that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. So, the key to this, it seems October, Maureen. There could be some kind of trigger event in October, which you know started the purchasing of the guns?
O'CONNELL: Obviously, something happened because he had been acquiring weapons since the early '80s, and in a one-year period he more than doubled his arsenal. Something happened, and there was some sort of a trigger.
HOPE: And this is somebody who was premeditated, coolheaded. This is not somebody who was emotional about it. Absolutely, it's very calculating, it seemed like it was his preoccupation for the better part of a year. He may have been researching ways to keep tabs on police. And in general mass murderers, they kind of know that at the end this isn't going to go well. Most of them actually do intend to take their own lives or they expect to be caught by police and their whole plan is to take as many people down with them as they can. O'CONNELL: One thing in talking to some Navy SEALs this morning, one
thing I don't think he counted on was how loud those rounds are in an enclosed environment. If you're shooting with ear protection on out in the desert, and I don't know if they found ear protection in the hotel room but I didn't see any --
[01:10:08] VAUSE: Well, they found gloves but no word on the ear protection.
O'CONNELL: Right. But those rounds are deafening. And when he -- shooting all those rounds, and the heat that those weapons gave off, it would entirely change what he would consider to be a normal situation.
VAUSE: Very quickly, the Vegas Sheriff Lombardo talked about how difficult it is to piece together the last ten years of Paddock's life. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOMBARDO: More than 100 investigators have spent the last 72 hours combing through the life of 64-year-old Stephen Paddock to produce the profile of someone I will call disturbed and dangerous. What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Maureen, what does he mean by a secret life?
O'CONNELL: He means a secret life because by all accounts, everyone we talked to, says he was such a nice person, he was giving, he helped everyone, and obviously, that isn't who he was. I mean, we have definitive proof that he was the absolute opposite of that. So, he had to be living some type of a secret life. His brother says he doesn't know about all these weapons that he purchased, which I doubt, by the way. His girlfriend says, she doesn't know either or she didn't see that it was any type of a problem. But there's no way on Earth that a person could commit the type of horrendous, horrific crimes that he did and still be a nice guy.
VAUSE: Judy, 30 seconds, though, what -- how typical is this in this case?
HOPE: This is actually very typical for mass murders. Most of them do not have a severe mental illness history, nor do they even have any kind of radar with the police oftentimes beforehand. And so, I think in some ways this was trying to find a needle in a haystack. Now, post-mortem, we're thinking about these issues and we do find these common theme risk factors. And one of the main ones, I think, for him is that he's always trying to up the ante. There's something too in attraction risk that allows somebody like this to be able to be so coolheaded and taking the lives of so many.
VAUSE: OK. Judy and Maureen, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
O'CONNELL: Thank you.
SESAY: Well, local pastors in Las Vegas are playing a big role in the way people are processing the tragedy. Pastors Tim Matthias and Derek Neider are here with me now. Thanks to both of you for being with us. Pastor Derek, let me start with you. What went through your mind when you first heard the news that a mass shooting had taken place there in Las Vegas, in your own backyard, so to speak?
DEREK NEIDER, PASTOR, LAS VEGAS: Yes, it was shocking, to say the least. I came home late on Sunday night. And my son's friend had called and said that she was bunkered down at the concert. And so, you know, we got on the phone right away, the metro, to try to sort out what was happening. I'll tell you, just minute by minute it got worse and worse, way more than any of us could've ever imagined it would ever be.
SESAY: Yes, no doubt about that. And Pastor Tim, if I can bring you in. I understand you actually got the news of the shooting from Pastor Derek and then you spent some time, basically, in prayer in search of guidance for what to do next. Explain to our viewers what decision you came to in terms of how best to respond to this tragedy.
TIM MATTHIAS, PASTOR, LAS VEGAS: Yes. I got a phone call or actually a text from Pastor Derek, and we just started to pray and think through and bounce ideas off of one another. And eventually, we just got to the point where we said let's meet up at the church and let's go down and make ourselves available to avail ourselves to whatever God was going to lead us to, and whatever help we could be. So, we just made ourselves available.
SESAY: So, you made yourselves available, and in my understanding, Pastor Derek, is that you've been working closely with first responders, you've been visiting hospitals delivering essential items. Tell us about that experience and what it's been like.
NEIDER: Yes. You know, honestly, it's really been minute by minute for us, and we've wanted to be led and directed by God, and we want to be a help. You know, the -- there's been an absolute amazing outpouring, people think of Vegas as just tourist destination but there's a big community of people here -- two million people live in the city. And you know, to watch the people gather together and really come through in this moment. But, you know, for us it is -- we've obviously had a heart for the victims that are in the hospitals, and so mobilized immediately to get people to go in and to pray. We were over early Monday morning, 2:00 a.m. in the morning at Thomas and Mack to distribute water to people who are displaced from the hotels.
We've had a big heart for our first responders, metro, firefighters, paramedics, and then also nurses and doctors in the hospitals. And you know, we've been kind of strategically targeting the hospitals and just supplying support. You know, I was in the hospital yesterday at Desert Springs, and the nurses were just -- they're overwhelmed right now. You know, these people are working 24/7, and they're pouring their hearts out. And it's a privilege, it's really an honor for us to be able to come alongside and pray for them because when we pray we believe God does the work, and God can take this tragedy and bring hope through it. So, it's -- you know, to see them pouring their hearts out really compels the church. Like, right now is the time for the church in this valley, which is what's happened to unite and to be a support to those people who are so hard.
[01:15:23] SESAY: So, Pastor Tim, you know, there is so much pain, there's so much suffering. There are people there in Vegas directly affected and people all around the world trying to make sense of this, trying to process how this could happen. How people out for a good time could be mown down by someone 32 floors up in a hotel nearby, what are you saying to people as you are there to support them, what do you say to people trying to make sense of how such an act could happen?
MATTHIAS: Well, there really is no making sense of it. The only thing that I can say about the person doing this or that did this, is that there was an absence of God in his life. It was an act of pure evil. It was nothing more than that, and to make more sense out of it is impossible. And so, we basically do a lot of listening, and that's I think what people need when they're grieving, is somebody to actually listen to them first.
SESAY: And Pastor Derek, you want to weigh in there?
NEIDER: Yes, I agree. You know, we've -- I was present just a few weeks after 9/11. We've been involved in relief work after Katrina, I was just in Houston about a week and a half ago, helping people suffering there. And you know, when people ask me why, I can't answer that. You know, it's really impossible to answer the question why. But what we do know is God is able to bring hope in the midst of the difficulty and darkness. And so, we direct people to the answer and we believe Jesus Christ is the answer. So, like Tim said, you know, we've come along and we're a presence, we listen to people, we support people in prayer, and then we share with them what we've believed to be the message of hope -- and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is such a great privilege to share in times like this.
SESAY: And talk to me about the community, and, you know, to say this is something happened in your own backyard. Talk to me about your sense of what this means for the community at this moment and going forward, and that question is to both of you, Pastor Tim.
MATTHIAS: It's been tremendous to see how this community has come together. You know, people don't think about Las Vegas as being -- having a sense of community. They just picture what you see down here on the strip, they think of casinos, they think of Hollywood, and stars, and buffets. But they don't see the fact that there are neighborhoods, there are schools, there are parks, there are youth sports, and the community has banded together. You saw the lines for the blood bank, you know, it was three hours long, and then it was eight hours long, and people continue to line up. The giving has been precedented. It's been amazing to see how the community comes together.
SESAY: And Pastor Derek, last word to you.
NEIDER: Yes. We were at UMC today. We took a barbecue. We barbecued chicken and made chicken Caesar Salads for everybody. And I'm telling you, the place is packed with water and food and all sorts of stuff. And there's a real strong here, and it's awesome to see the people in the city of Las Vegas band together and unite in a time where we're just so desperately need to support each other, and we're thankful for people all around the world; just an outpouring of support that we're really grateful for.
SESAY: Well, there's an outpouring of love and thoughts and prayers for everyone directly affected, and for all of you that are out there supporting those injured and in pain. So, we thank you for what you're doing and wish you the very best of luck in the days ahead. Thank you.
NEIDER: Thank you so much. Thank you.
MATTHIAS: Thank you very much. God bless you.
VAUSE: Well, when we come back. Catalonia could be just days away from declaring independence from Spain, and the insults that are flying between leaders on all sides of this amid fears this conflict may have passed the point of no return.
SESAY: And later this hour, the prime minister's speech, it didn't go quite as she planned. The details on Theresa May's very bad day. You're watching NEWSROOM L.A.
[01:21:32] VAUSE: Well, three members of a U.S. specials ops teams have been killed, two others wounded in an ambush in Niger. They were patrolling with local forces when the attack took place.
SESAY: The U.S. military has kept a small in Niger to advice the country's troops as they battle two terror groups: Boko Haram, which is affiliated with ISIS; and al-Qaeda's North African branch.
VAUSE: Catalonia is expected to formally declare independence on Monday deepening Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
SESAY: Well, tensions grew especially higher Wednesday after Catalonia's leader lashed out at the King of Spain and accused him of ignoring the voices of millions of people. Erin McLaughlin has more from Barcelona.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is quickly becoming a war of words between the Catalan government, the Spanish monarchy, and the Spanish government. It all began last night with a rare address from King Felipe VI, in which he accused the Catalan government of disloyalty, calling their referendum illegal. Now, the Catalan government responding this evening in a televised address of their own. We heard from Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, in which he called out the King of Spain. Take a listen to what he had to say. CARLES PUIGDEMONT, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA (through translator): The
king has adopted the point of view and policies of the Rajoy government, which have proved catastrophic for Catalonia. And he deliberately ignores the millions of Catalans who don't think like him. He ignores deliberately the Catalans, who have been victims of police violence that have shocked the world. The king has missed an opportunity yesterday to talk to all citizens.
MCLAUGHLIN: That was followed up by a statement from the Spanish government hitting back, saying in part: "The Spanish government strongly rejects the accusations made by the president of Catalonia against the head of state King Felipe VI. These accusations show that Mr. Puigdemont not only is against the law but also outside of reality." This is the closest we've seen to any sort of dialogue between these parties. Really illustrates the emotions as the crisis continues, there's no solution in sight. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Barcelona.
VAUSE: Dominic Thomas is with us here now, he's Professor at UCLA and an expert on European Affairs. Professor, good to see you. OK, so, the leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, he also had a -- the prospect or maybe the conciliatory tone of negotiations with the Spanish government to try to and find some kind of a settlement to this crisis, what do you say?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PUIGDEMONT: We need mediation. We have received many proposals, and we will receive more. All of them know that I'm always ready to initiate dialogue a mediation. We will repeat this many times. We need dialogue. We need an agreement. This is part of our culture. This conflict needs to be resolved in a political way, not with race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. Is this a genuine offer or is this just so he can make the claim later on, hey, I tried everything to negotiate this peacefully.
DOMINIC THOMAS, PROFESSOR AT UCLA AND EXPERT ON EUROPEAN AFFAIRS: I think it's hard to -- hard to assume that that's real, you know, where he's going. I mean, he ultimately has wanted this referendum. The Spanish government has been absolutely unambiguous in terms of their opposition and in terms of underlying the unconstitutionality of this. And so, I'm not quite sure what negotiations would look like. Clearly, the two sides need to be able to talk because the things are escalating at a frightening pace and the bands at the weekend were very problematic.
[01:25:07] VAUSE: But those talks aren't happening because of preconditions. Madrid says they won't talk while independence -- they don't want to talk about independence. Catalonia says they'll only talk while independence is on the table. THOMAS: It's on the table and they tried to, you know, actually for,
you know, a number of years now have been talking about holding this; their promise when they won the elections in 2015 in Catalonia was that -- was that they would hold a referendum and they're coming through on that. So, what you have now is a standoff between them and the Spanish government, which the king of Spain has now decided he's going to intercede, which is a very unusual turn.
VAUSE: And a big deal, right?
THOMAS: A very big deal. Because this is actually a constitutional monarchy that's like the UK. It has differences, but you do not imagine or could not conceive of the queen of England stepping and intervening --
VAUSE: In Brexit, for example, which she's (INAUDIBLE).
THOMAS: Brexit holds. Right. And actually, it might be a good thing if she did. I mean, that are the way things are going.
VAUSE: Well, The Spanish governments want, it would do whatever it takes, and that could mean invoking Article 155 of the Constitution, imposing direct rule over Catalonia: it would give the authority over the police, schools, hospitals, pretty much everything. And legally, the Catalonian government could do nothing, at least legally. And the pro-independence movement in Catalonia hasn't linked to either. They almost seem trapped now by the results of that referendum.
THOMAS: Right. They're trapped. Now, the government is trapped, because, obviously, what happened at the weekend, and then sort of the escalating violence and so on has actually helped, I would argue, the folks pushing for the referendum because the sympathy in the area for communities that have been fighting for this has gone up -- which has put the government in a very awkward position, and, in fact, fuel that sentiment in Catalonia that the government is oppressive, bureaucratic and preventing them from living their lives in a freeway.
VAUSE: And one of the reasons why Spain is so concerned about this, Catalonia is a very wealthy prosperous part of the country, what, 20 percent of GDP?
THOMAS: I don't have the exact figure, but, I mean, for the 7.5 million people, it accounts for at least, you know, a substantial portion of the overall wealth of the country.
VAUSE: Right. OK. So, that's the problem for Spain. Is there a wider problem here? Could this push for independence by Catalonia, could there be contagion? Could it spread to the rest of Europe?
THOMAS: Well, Brexit was a pretty big deal. So, now we're starting to look at sort of local moves and referenda and so on and so forth. What's been very -- what's most striking about this is actually the unwillingness of the European Union at this particular moment to step in, arguing that it's a Spanish domestic issue, whereas the European Union has been very involved in the U.K. in talking about the future of the E.U. nationals and with Brexit. It important to remember that the Spanish prime minister, himself a Christian Democrat, center right, is very close to Angela Merkel's party, the CDU.
And EPP, the European People's Party, who were the folks that backed Jean-Claude Juncker, the E.U. President of the Commission and for his position in 2014, said they're keeping their hands out of this. The issue of the political violence and the police violence that took place at the weekend is, of course, a problem because Catalonians are part of a national minority, and under the E.U. charter of fundamental rights, of course, they are protected. And so, the E.U., I think, needs to intervene, and that the E.U. is, of course, concerned about this kind of micro nationalist movements and so on, and trying to focus on E.U. unity, not E.U. fracturing, and this is a great concern.
VAUSE: Catalonians did say the E.U. has a bit of a credibility problem right now, by not speaking out against all the violence with almost a thousand of people wounded and hurt over the weekend.
VAUSE: Dominic, as always, good to see you. Thank you.
THOMAS: Thank you.
SESAY: Quick break on NEWSROOM L.A. The president of the United States travels to Las Vegas; what he told first responders and some of the survivors of Sunday night's massacre.
[01:28:48] VAUSE: Also, the simmering tension between the secretary of state and the U.S. president, and when asked, Rex Tillerson did not directly deny reports that he called his boss a moron.
[01:31:34] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Vause. Thanks for staying with us.
We'll check the headlines now.
VAUSE: Investigators are still trying to piece together why Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of Las Vegas concert. Police found 50 pounds of explosives and 1600 rounds of ammunition in his parked car. His girlfriend says that she had no idea he was planning a bomb attack.
SESAY: President Trump traveled to Las Vegas Wednesday to meet with some of the shooting survivors and first responders.
VAUSE: And back in Washington, he tweeted his appreciation. "On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to all the first responders, who saved countless lives in Las Vegas on Sunday night."
Here's Jim Acosta with more on the president's visit.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a city in desperate need of comfort, the president and first lady toured the hospital where survivors of the mass shooting in Las Vegas are clinging to life and searching for answers.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we ask God to ease their suffering and to speed their healing. We pray for the recovery of the injured and those injured officers who so bravely threw themselves into danger when duty called.
ACOSTA: The president praised the medical staff that treated the wounded --
TRUMP: The doctors, the nurses, all of the people at the hospital have done a job that's indescribable.
ACOSTA: -- and offered his own diagnosis of the killer.
TRUMP: I can tell you, it's a very sick man. He was a very demented person.
ACOSTA: One topic the presidents not taking on his visit, gun control.
TRUMP: We're not going to talk about that today. We won't talk about it.
ACOSTA: The White House is steering clear of the issue, sending out these talking points to its surrogates. "Let's gather the facts before we make sweeping policy arguments for curtailing the Second Amendment," the talking points read. "Let's be clear, new laws won't stop a mad man committed to harming innocent people." And the talking points asked, "Did he have radical ties," despite the fact that investigators say they believe the gunman acted alone.
The president doesn't always wait for the facts to come in. During the campaign, then-Candidate Trump called for temporary ban on Muslims coming into the U.S. --
UNIDENTIFIED NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Graphic shootout here.
ACOSTA: -- after mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando.
Advocates for more gun control say the time to confront the issue is now.
SEN. JOHN LEWIS, (D), GEORGIA: How my more must die? 100? 1,000? 10,000? A million? What is your blood price? How many more must die?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now is the time to come together, be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone. We must never stop fighting. Fight, fight, fight.
ACOSTA: The president's trip to Las Vegas was much more controlled than his visit to Puerto Rico --
ACOSTA: -- where Mr. Trump tossed rolls of paper towels to storm victims and joked the hurricane damage there would be costly.
TRUMP: I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little bit out of whack.
ACOSTA: On this day, the president appeared to strike the right tone, meeting with the first responders who rushed into the line of fire.
TRUMP: But you showed the world, and the world is watching, and you showed what professionalism is all about.
[01:35:15] VAUSE: Well, joining us now, Democratic strategist, Matthew Littman, and CNN political commentator and Trump supporter, John Phillips.
Good to see you both.
VAUSE: At a CNN town hall, with House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, one of the questions she received came from Bob Patterson. His wife was shot and killed in Las Vegas on Sunday night. This is the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB PATTERSON, WIFE KILLED IN LAS VEGAS: There was Sandy Hook, Florida, San Bernardino. How many more lives have to be taken before something is done? Congressman -- Congresswoman Pelosi, as a leader on Capitol Hill, what are you going to do to stop this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, John, I'm going to put that question to you because, essentially, this is an issue for Republicans. What do you say to the man who lost his wife? What are Republicans prepared to do now?
JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I wish you would have shown her answer, which was background checks. And background checks would not have worked in this particular case. This guy had no criminal rap sheet at all. In addition, Hillary Clinton put a tweet out that said that we need to ban silencers, or go after silencers. The guy --
THOMAS: -- did not he a silencer on his gun. The fact of the matter is, is that I have not seen any prescription so far or suggestion so far that would have prevented this attack from happening.
VAUSE: That wasn't the question. What are Republicans prepared to do? Republican are responsible as well.
THOMAS: But it was in the context specifically of this attack -
VAUSE: No. He mentioned Sandy Hook. He mentioned San Bernardino. He mentioned Orlando a well. It's a question about the gun to this issue, this event rather. What are Republicans prepared to do? Because you keep saying, what's the answer? I don't know.
THOMAS: You tell me what the answer would be --
VAUSE: No. Republicans control the --
THOMAS: I'm telling you, I don't know --
VAUSE: -- the Senate and the White House.
THOMAS: -- legislatively what could have been done.
MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I'll tell you something that could have been done. Why should a person be able to buy 50 guns? I mean --
VAUSE: 33 in one year
LITTMAN: Why is a person buying all those arounds of ammunition? There has to be a way to prevent people from doing this. It perfectly legal for somebody to do that right now.
SESAY: So, Matt, how hard are Democrats willing to fight for this, bearing in mind mid-terms are around the corner?
LITTMAN: I think the Democrats are going to fight hard for it. The majority of the country wants some type of reasonable gun control legislation. Even fighting hard for the Democrats who aren't in the majority. And even though the majority of the country wants some type of gun control legislation, it's probably not going to happen, any real legislation, for a long time, at least not until Democrats are in power. In this country, the majority does not rule. The House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans. It's mostly controlled by southern Republicans. They do not want gun control. And as long as they're in power, there's not going to be effective gun control in this country.
THOMAS: When you're talking about gun deaths, you're talking specifically, if you look at the numbers, about three different kinds of deaths. You're talking about number one, suicides.
VAUSE: Which is the main.
THOMAS: Number two, you're talking about gang violence. And number three, you're talking about domestic violence. If you want to go after those gun deaths, if you want to reduce those deaths, those unnecessary deaths, then the prescription is something other than gun control.
LITTMAN: That is not true.
LITTMAN: In every country --
LITTMAN: Listen, every country, they have issues of domestic violence. They have issues of gangs. That's not unique to the United States. The thing that's unique to the United States is that everybody can get a gun, as many guns --
THOMAS: But the point is the violence going to happen regardless. If you want to kill yourself, whether you do it with guns or whether you do it--
LITTMAN: That's not true. The United States has -- these killings, 500 people. Sandy Hook, first-grade kids. These are unique to the United States. They keep happening over and over again. They're not going to stop happening as long as these guns are --
VAUSE: If it's a mental health issue, John, then why did the Republicans quietly roll back an Obama-era guideline from the Social Security Administration to advise anybody who's a recipient, who has mentally challenged issues or mental health issues that they immediately go on a background check?
VAUSE: Back on February 28th.
THOMAS: Look, if I were in charge, I'd bring back the nut house and I'd institutionalize a lot of these people. This guy has a pilot's license. OK? This guy had to pass a very strenuous mental health test.
SESAY: I guess -- we have a lot to discuss. But I'll say this again, which I brought up with John Thomas yesterday, why is the issue of gun control, common sense gun control in this country seen as a zero-sum game? Nobody's saying that people can't keep their guns. People are saying they want control. But why do Republicans frame it as we want to take away all your guns? That's not what people are calling for.
THOMAS: To me, it's an issue of enforcement. The state of California right now, the state legislature just passed laws that would allow people convicted of gun crimes to be let out of prison early. That, to me, is completely insane. Once you have someone who's broken the law with a gun and has proven that they cannot enjoy that responsibility and keep the rest of us safe, then why are we so lax to throw them out of prison? I don't understand that. I mean, I think if you have limited laws and you enforce them, but you enforce them severely and strictly, then you're going someplace.
[01:40:13] LITTMAN: Can I answer this question, though?
VAUSE: We're going to move on.
LITTMAN: The NRA has control over the Republicans in Congress, but they also have a fanatical following. And those people vote on gun issues. Specifically, I'm a Democrat. I vote on a bunch of issues. I'm not a one-issue voter. But on that gun issue, they have a very specific following. Those people are fanatical, and that's why those Republicans are afraid to go against them.
A few hours after leaving Las Vegas, the president tweeted a video montage of his time with survivors and first responders. Here's a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK, Matt, big thumbs up in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
LITTMAN: And they did that to music.
VAUSE: Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the USA." LITTMAN: I mean, Donald is just a weird guy. I don't know what to
say. That is so strange to put that out today after all of that. I can guarantee he wasn't putting that out after his reception in Puerto Rico.
SESAY: John, why does this president seem to have trouble with escaping from moments where he's called to show empathy unscathed? Why is it always -- why is it always some kind of hangover, leftover from these moments? I mean, you'd think consoler-in-chief is a big part of his job.
THOMAS: I don't think he has any trouble at all. Those people were thrilled to see him in Las Vegas.
LITTMAN: You don't think Donald Trump has a problem consoling people?
THOMAS: Not at all. And I think he puts these videos out because he communicates directly with the American people. Because whenever the news media talks about it, they're snarky.
VAUSE: Well, it was all about him, if you look at the video. But anyway.
The secretary of state held a news conference on Wednesday, and it's not every day you hear a question like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Did you address the main headline of this story, that you called the president a moron, and if not, where do you think these reports are --
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. I mean, this is what I don't understand about Washington. Again, I'm not from this place. But the places I come from, we don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The bigger picture here, apparently, reports Tillerson's deeply unhappy. He had to meet with the vice president who convinced him to stay on and not resign. And somewhere along the line, Tillerson called Trump a moron.
Matt, if Tillerson was fired or quit, would anyone actually know this? How much longer is it before he goes? Because, clearly, he can't stay.
LITTMAN: There are a couple of things here. First of all, how many people in the Trump administration has offered a letter of resignation to Trump? I feel like every cabinet member has come in at some point and said, I'll resign, and Trump says, no, no, no, please don't resign. The reason why Tillerson wasn't fired today or didn't quite today was because Tom Price just left. So they can't just have everybody leave every single week. But there's been an incredible amount of turnover in this administration, number one. Number two, he didn't just call him a moron. He called him an F-ing moron. We are not allowed to say F-ing, on the show.
LITTMAN: And number three, Tillerson's doing a pretty bad job. He's not even filling all of the roles. Donald Trump, he goes to North Korea, Donald Trump tells him not to waste his time by tweet. He's been basically castrated in this job.
SESAY: John, you have to admit, did you ever think you'd live to see the day where they're holding a press conference to push back against reports he called the president a moron?
THOMAS: I think it was taken out of context. Trump said, you think I have enough hairspray?
VAUSE: You came prepared. Brutal op-ed in the "Washington Post" a few days ago. It was entitled "Donald Trump's dog." Here's part of it: "When Rex speaks, Rex thinks he speaks for the USA. See Donald. Donald owns Rex. Rex is Donald's dog. Donald is loud. Donald is big. Donald is bigger than Rex. Donald is mean to Rex. When Rex speaks Donald tweets. Donald tweets like bird. Tweet Donald, tweet. Donald's tweets hurt Rex. Donald says, bad Rex, do not speak Rex. Rex, you do not speak for the USA."
It just goes on and on and on. Fascinating read.
John, for a guy who, two years ago, was ranked the 20th most powerful person by "Forbes" in the world, all of this stuff has got to be incredibly difficult for him to deal with.
THOMAS: Yes. I hear that Dana Millbank is a comedy legend in France.
Look, there's always palace intrigue. These are big egos. These are politicians. They're always going to be bumping heads. The people of the news media don't like Trump. They don't like his cabinet. They don't like his appointees. So they're going to --
LITTMAN: You know who else doesn't like Trump's cabinet? Trump.
LITTMAN: A lot of these people are leaving. The turnover in this administration is by far greater than in the Obama administration. There' no comparison.
THOMAS: How about Clinton in the early years?
LITTMAN: Yes, even Clinton in the early years did not have the same type of turnover Trump had. Not nearly to this extent. By the way, when we talk about Tillerson saying Trump is the moron, do you have quotes from Bob Corker, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who said basically, if it wasn't for Tillerson --
SESAY: Yes. And Kelly.
LITTMAN: There would be complete chaos. This is the Republican leader of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
SESAY: A good day for you, then.
THOMAS: A good day?
[01:45:14] SESAY: I mean, if Corker says something like that -- I'm being -- it's not a good day, is my point, to have people in your own party coming out --
THOMAS: Corker's on his way out. Who cares?
LITTMAN: The reason why Corker feels free to say what he wants --
VAUSE: What are the implications around the world when the secretary of state of the United States of America believes that the president of the United States of America is a moron?
THOMAS: He's denying that.
VAUSE: He didn't deny it.
VAUSE: He did not directly deny it.
LITTMAN: Watch it again. He definitely didn't deny it. I don't think Tillerson -- listen, I work in Washington a lot, and I talk to people in the administration. I talk to people who work with Donald Trump. And I'll tell you that's not a unique point of view.
John and Matthew --
SESAY: John Thomas is stumped tonight.
VAUSE: -- good to see you both.
SESAY: All right. Quick break here. It may have fallen from the top spot in the headlines but the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election is still going strong. There are new details we need to tell but next on NEWSROOM L.A.
SESAY: Twitter and Facebook with take part in a public congressional hearing on Russia's use of social media in the 2016 U.S. election that's scheduled for the 1st of November. Google has also been invited.
VAUSE: The Senate Intelligence Committee says it still cannot rule out possible collusion between the Trump team and Russian officials. On Wednesday, the committee chairmen had an update on their investigation saying there's evidence the Russians used hacking, cyber espionage and social media, including thousands of Facebook ads, to influence last year's vote.
SESAY: Let's go straight to Moscow. That's where our Jill Dougherty is standing by.
Jill, more details emerging about Russia's use of social media and those Russia-linked ads to influence the 2016 election. Have we heard anything from Moscow in response?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Not specifically, Isha. And honestly, I don't think you're going to hear very much from the Kremlin because every time this issue comes up -- and remember, we've been going over this in the United States with numerous hearings and investigations for quite some time. And when it's raised with the Kremlin, and we've talked with Russia officials very recently about this, essentially what they say is, this is laughable, that -- that is the word they use, ludicrous, laughable, this could never have happened. And besides, they add, how could this happen with the world's biggest democracy. That often is issued in quotes. They're not going to engage on any of the specifics. They continue to say they did not interfere.
And I think what's disturbing about all of this is it was kind of a hardening of the feeling here that this relationship really is locked in the bottom, locked on the bottom. There's been -- you know, remember all of this recent back and forth, tit for tat it's called, on embassies, consulates, visas, personnel, locking buildings, et cetera. And it really looks as if that's, I think, what they're concluding is going to be for the foreseeable future. When you listen to that statement by Warner and Burr yesterday, essentially, what they're saying is, we're not finished yet, we have a ways to go. And the Russians are drawing their own conclusions. This is going to take a long time.
[01:50:35] SESAY: Also said is that Russia's still actively looking for ways to meddle in U.S. elections in the future. That's basically what they said. They gave a warning to be on the lookout as elections come down the pike. I guess the question I have, and I'm sure others do also, is given the blowback Moscow has faced for allegedly being involved in the 2016 elections, why would Vladimir Putin go down that road again? What would he gain by engaging in such actions in the future? Can you read this for us? DOUGHERTY: It's complicated because what they use is a variety of
methods. Social media. There's organized hacking. There is taking information and spreading it. Let's say that information that has been hacked, and weaponizing it. There are numerous ways they can it. So you can say maybe the Kremlin, maybe directly, let's say, their military or security services, hacking or interference, might diminish. Let's just say that. But there's a whole other world of social media and other ways of injecting information into this space that can be done, and it's not always directly done by the Kremlin. It's done by people, young hackers who were hired by the Kremlin, indirectly hired. It's a very confused world. To say you can stop it like that is almost impossible.
SESAY: Jill Dougherty, joining us from Moscow. Always appreciate it. Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, up next here on NEWSROOM L.A.," the British prime minister and her terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
SESAY: British Prime Minister Theresa May has struggled through Brexit battles and a bruising election in recent months. But her speech to Conservative Party leaders Wednesday was a chance to get back on track.
VAUSE: It was a chance. Instead, it was an unmitigated disaster which could mark the end of her political career.
Here's Max Foster with the details.
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: With her job as prime minister under pressure and the government still reeling from a bruising election campaign, Theresa May came prepared with a mea culpa.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility. I led the campaign. And I am sorry.
FOSTER: And a heavy dose of self-deprecation.
MAY: And I don't mind being called things like the Ice Maiden.
FOSTER: Her speech was meant to be a turning point, silencing her critics and resetting the government's agenda. But it was soon upstaged by an intruder in a breach of security. The man was able to reach the Prime minister's lectern, handing her a P-45 unemployment notice.
[01:55:11] FOSTER: While he was being led out of the Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister May tried to go back on message.
MAY: I was about to talk about somebody I'd like to give a P-45 to, and that's Jeremy Corbyn.
FOSTER: But soon, it was her voice that gave way.
MAY: Our economy is back on track.
MAY: Why we will --
MAY: Excuse me.
FOSTER: Led by the U.K. cabinet, the crowd rose to its feet to give her time to recover.
MAY: Thank you.
FOSTER: The chancellor handing the prime minister a throat lozenge.
MAY: I hope you noticed that, ladies and gentlemen. The chancellor giving something away free.
FOSTER: Despite several rounds of talks in Brussels, there's a growing sense of frustration at the slow pace of resolving differences between the two sides.
MAY: I believe it is profoundly in all our interests for negotiations to succeed. But I know some are worried whether we are prepared in the event that they do not. It is our responsibility as a government to prepare for every eventuality. And let me reassure everyone in this hall, that is exactly we are doing.
FOSTER: And a reassurance, too, she wants E.U. citizens already living in the U.K. to stay.
MAY: That we value the contribution you make to the life of our country. You are welcome here. FOSTER: In politics, though, imagery can be everything. Nearly an
hour into her speech, the sign behind her head began falling apart, one letter at a time.
For a prime minister with her back up against the wall, some might see it as a metaphor for her leadership.
Max Foster, CNN, Manchester.
SESAY: It's what you call a rough day.
VAUSE: At the end of the day, we're another day older.
OK. You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay.
Be sure joins us on Twitter, @CNNNEWSROOMLA, for highlights and clips from our shows. John will be checking it for you.
We'll be back with more news right after this.
[02:00:09] VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.
SESAY: Ahead this hour --