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New Details in Vegas Investigation; Trump Meets Survivors, Heroes in Las Vegas; Tillerson Staying Put; Anti-Abortion Congressman Won't Seek Re-Election; Europe Hits Amazon With $300M Tax Bill. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 5, 2017 - 04:30   ET



[04:31:58] RENE MARSH, CNN ANCHOR: A how paid for in cash with extra security measures for privacy. We have new details about the Las Vegas gunman's years of seclusion. Now the shooting has some Republicans thinking of new gun laws but would they have stopped this attack.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And the secretary of state insisting he's staying put after reports he called the president a moron. Now, one top Republican senator said Tillerson is keeping the country in descending into chaos. Some damning words there.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

MARSH: And I'm Rene Marsh, in for Christine Romans. It is just 32 minutes past the hour.

And after days of painstaking investigation, authorities are starting to piece together a picture of the man behind the Las Vegas massacre. Among the new details, CNN has learned he went out of his way to protect his privacy paying nearly $370,000 in cash for a house in Mesquite, Nevada. Even though the 2,000 square foot home had a commanding hilltop view, he obscured the view with a solid mesh privacy fence that blocked neighbors' view of his home.

BRIGGS: On his real estate application, he said his income came from gambling. He said he gambled about a million dollars a years. Authorities found 19 of the shooter's nearly four dozen guns at that home in Mesquite. Officials now say it is clear the shooter's meticulous plan and the anger that drove developed over some time.


SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: More than 100 investigators have spent the last 72 hours combing through the life of 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood.


MARSH: Well, this morning, officials also say there is evidence the gunman planned to survive the attack and escape, unusual for a mass murderer. Experts say most of them expect to be caught and killed. There is also new video this morning of concertgoers running and police trying to manage the crowd the moment it became apparent they were under attack. We want to warn you, this video may be disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run, go, go, go, everybody go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, run, keep your heads down. Go. Keep your heads down, go. Run, keep your head down.



BRIGGS: I can only imagine.

All right. CNN's Jean Casarez live for us in Vegas this morning. She joins us with the latest on the investigation.

Jean, good morning.


You know, authorities were very blunt last night. They don't believe he acted alone. They believe that there may be other people that were involved or at least had knowledge of what he was doing. But they said with the amount of weapons in the hotel room and the amount of ammunition, and now in the car we're hearing not only 1,600 rounds of ammunition, not only ammonium nitrate but 50 pounds of Tannerite, which is used to create targets that are exploding.

[04:35:15] Additionally, all the weapons in his homes in Mesquite, all the weapons in his home in Northern Nevada. They believe there is more to this than just one man.

We also learned that in addition to the cameras that were on the food cart outside the hallway, in the peep hole of the hotel room, that there was another camera inside the hotel room, a baby monitor camera that was in the family area. None of those cameras were recording but what they were doing was allowing him to see exactly what was happening.

Now, we also, for the first time got a pretty definitive time line here that the shots started at 10:10 p.m. They ended at 10:15. In other words, the shooting went on to 10 minutes.

At 10:17, the first officers went up to the floor. At 10:18 is when the security officer was shot. Three minutes after of the shooting had stopped, at that point, they began to go room to room to clear the rooms, they went into the hallway, and made advances there. They saw the cameras on the food cart. That is what prompted them to wait for SWAT to come. They also

realized shots were not going off and then at 11:20 is when they initially made entry into the room.

We also learned definitely for the first time last night that a week earlier, that this suspect had rented a room at the Ogden Hotel, actually a condominium complex and there was a concert very close to that hotel. Life is Beautiful. Nothing happened. But they have video now from his time at that hotel and trying to put those pieces together.

Finally, the girlfriend. We know a little bit of what she said to the FBI because of her own attorney. He said she said that her boyfriend Stephen actually gave her $100,000, wired it to Philippines for her and her family to have a home. She thought he was going to break up with her. She describes him as a kind, caring, quiet man and it never occurred to her that he would be planning something violent -- Dave.

BRIGGS: One certainly has to wonder if she knew about the 47 weapons he had accumulated. We shall see as we move forward.

Jean, thank you.

MARSH: And this issue, discussion on Capitol Hill, some Republican lawmakers are signaling a willingness to consider a ban on bump stocks. That's the device used by of Las Vegas shooter that enables a semiautomatic weapon to fire as rapidly as a fully automatic. You're looking at video there.

John Cornyn, of Texas, the number two Senate Republican, he says he owns a lot of guns and finds it, quote, odd that bump stocks can be used legally.

BRIGGS: It's also what a lot of gun shop owners told me in the Las Vegas area over the last two days.

Cornyn calling for hearings and he is not alone. Several other Republicans agree to look at banning the devices since automatic weapons are already illegally. Most of them admitting they had no idea bump stocks were legal to begin with.

MARSH: All right. Well, we want to bring in Matthew Horace, a former executive with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He joins us live now on Skype.

Thanks for joining us this morning, Matt. I guess the first yes people are wondering if automatic rifles are illegal, why are bump stocks not?

MATTHEW HORACE, FORMER ATF EXECUTIVE: Well, Rene, that's a good question. Unfortunately, it's one of those loopholes just like we used to see regarding the ammunition clips and why people could have clips that accommodated a 100-round magazine. I think our lawmakers will have to go back to the table and make hard decisions.

BRIGGS: Are there several devices, are there several other ways from what I understand that you can automate a weapon? Would banning these devices help the problem?

HORACE: No, and that's a very good question. And the answer to that question is no, because at the end of the day, there are a number of different devices, there are many ways that people have found to convert semiautomatic weapons to fully automatic firing capacity. And there are a lot of things out there on the mark that gun enthusiasts that might otherwise want to use a weapon like this can do so.

MARSH: So, Matt, I know you spent time working with the ATF. I'm curious, you know, during your time there and knowing that this device existed, is it something internally within the agency that people believe has no place to be sold to just regular folks? Did they want -- did you want to see it banned?

HORACE: No, I got to tell you, most of us, our jobs are to enforce the laws that Congress enacts. So, our personal opinions really don't come into play.

[04:40:02] We get involved with people's -- the illegal -- the people who possess illegal firearms. So, you know, it's one of those things that it's not a problem until it's a problem. And now, it is, and now, people are looking at it.

I hope this is not another case just like Newtown, Connecticut, where people stop talking about it two and three weeks from now.

BRIGGS: Yes, no question. There has been a run on bump stocks in stores around the country. Most of the owners in Vegas told me they had no interest in ever selling them. I want to ask you about the accumulation of the weapons, 33 that Paddock had accumulated in just the last 12 months. Should there be some mechanism in place, some procedure that tells the ATF this isn't normal, this is an accumulation of an arsenal and a quick period of time we need to go check this out?

HORACE: Well, there are mechanisms in place for us, multiple sales forms and programs where we monitor. Often time people who purchase pistols and handguns, but that does not apply to rifles. As you know, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, that hunt and do collect rifles and long guns at a very high. I've been in homes where there have been 100, 200, 300 guns at a time.

So, we don't want to impede people's constitutional rights to collect their own firearms.

MARSH: Matt, can you explain to us what is the reasoning behind, you know, notification for multiple handguns being purchased but no notification for multiple rifles being purchased by an individual?

HORACE: I think it really has a lot to do with the intent and why people possess and purchase handguns versus rifles. Rifles are seen as hunting instruments, and that's always been the case.

The state's laws come into play. So, in many states, there are prohibitions against how many handguns you can purchase in a day, a week or a month. So, in those states, a person may not be able to accumulate 33 guns in a year, because there's only a certain amount you can buy per day, week or month. There's never been a prohibition on rifle purchases.

And in this case, he purchased these guns lawfully. That's the information we have. And whether it took 12 months or 24 months or 36 months, any lawful citizen could purchase firearms and accumulate dozens if not hundreds of guns over a course of time.

BRIGGS: OK. Matthew Horace, former ATF agent, we appreciate you being with us this morning. Thank you.

HORACE: Thank you.

MARSH: And President Trump visiting Las Vegas, along with the first lady, paying his respects to the victim and emergency personnel alike. After returning to the White House last night, the president tweeted: On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to all of the first responders, heroes who saved countless lives in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

Well, CNN's Jim Acosta traveled with the president and he has more from Las Vegas.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Rene, the president and first lady are back in Washington after meeting with some of the survivors of the Las Vegas massacre in a more subdued and more scripted trip here to Las Vegas that he's had in recent days. The president toured the trauma center where many of the wounded were treated and also praised the first responders for their bravery during the shooting. Here's what he had to say.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I saw today is an incredible tribute to professionalism and what they have done is incredible. The bravery. Some were very, very badly wounded, and they were badly wounded because they refused to leave. They wanted to help others because they saw people going down all over.

ACOSTA: One topic the president did not take on during his visit to Las Vegas: gun control. The president told reporters he did not want to address that issue here -- David and Rene.


BRIGGS: All right. Jim, thanks.

Ahead, we're told he called the president a moron. How did Secretary of State Rex Tillerson try to smooth things out and how did the president respond?



[04: 47:51] TRUMP: I'm very honored by his comments. It was fake news. It was a totally phony story. Thank you very much.

It was made up -- it was made up by NBC. They just made it up.

Thank you all. Thank you.

REPORTER: Do you have confidence in him?

TRUMP: Total confidence in Rex.


BRIGGS: Was it made up? President Trump reaffirming his commitment to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after NBC reported that Tillerson called Trump a moron. And Vice President Pence had to convince Tillerson to stay on the job. CNN has now confirmed Tillerson's comment.

At a hastily arranged news conference Wednesday, Tillerson said any report that he considered quitting is wrong. But he would not answer so clearly what he said about the president.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: There's never been a consideration in my mind to leave. I serve at the appointment of the president, and I'm here for as long as the president feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives.

REPORTER: Could you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron? And if not, where do you think these reports --

TILLERSON: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. I mean, this is -- 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 in a kind of petty nonsense.


MARSH: All right. Well, he didn't deny the comment. Well, the White House source also confirms that CNN President Trump knew about Tillerson's moron comment before Wednesday. Privately, the president is not pleased the story went public but is not planning to ask for Tillerson's resignation. The White House has little appetite for another high profile departure. Tillerson met with White House chief of staff John Kelly. The meeting was scheduled after that NBC report, forcing Kelly to skip the president's visit to Vegas.

And the number two official at the FBI says the government should have predicted Russian interference in U.S. elections. Andrew McCabe says Russia has been sowing chaos in American social and political systems for decades. He says the government should have been prepared for Russia using the Internet to meddle in the election.


ANDREW MCCABE, FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: I think that in some ways, we were surprised by the activity.

[04:50:04] But in other ways, we should not have been. We sort of should have seen this coming. The fact is that Russians have been targeting us with everything they have over the last 50 years, and in unremitting way.


BRIGGS: On the Russian investigate, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr says his committee has yet to find any hint of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Burr says his panel still has more work to do and has not reached conclusions.

MARSH: And Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner says that the committee has conducted more than 100 interviews and reviewed more than 100,000 pages of documents. Burr says he wants the committee to make the findings public before the 2018 election.

BRIGGS: Let's hope that is the case.


BRIGGS: All right. On the business front, Europe cracking down on the U.S. tech company. The CNN Money Stream is next.


[04:55:22] BRIGGS: Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy has announced he will not seek reelection at the end of his term. His decision came after reports Tuesday that the antiabortion Republican urged a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion. Murphy released a statement saying he decided against seeking reelection after talking with his family and staff. He says he'll take time in the coming weeks to get help as he and his family work to their personal difficulties.

MARSH: All right. As this is news that people in the south just don't really want to hear.

BRIGGS: No, they don't.

MARSH: But a new tropical system taking aim at the Gulf Coast.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the very latest for us this morning.

Good morning, Derek.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Dave and Rene.

We are monitoring yet another tropical disturbance across the Caribbean, this time it's just off the coast of Nicaragua and it's showing signs that it could strengthen into a hurricane late in the weekend and impact the United States. More on that in just one second. Thirty-five-mile-per-hour sustained winds. There's the cluster of

showers and storms. We have tropical storm warnings across Honduras and Nicaragua, with hurricane watches across the Yucatan peninsula, including Cancun.

Where does it head from here? Well, there are varying computer models that we are monitoring very closely, but one thing we know for sure is there's a lot of warm water between Nicaragua and the Gulf Coast. So, that means conditions are ripe for development and strengthening of the storm. If it does develop, it becomes Tropical Storm or Hurricane Nate. Certainly going to monitor this closely especially across the Gulf Coast states.

Elsewhere we have an area of low pressure moving across southern Florida, unaffiliated with our current tropical system near Nicaragua, it still will bring a flood threat to southeastern parts of Florida.

Here's a look at your daytime highs for the day, 83 for the Big Apple.

Back to you.


BRIGGS: Derek, thanks.

Let's get a check on CNN "Money Stream" this morning. Global stocks mixed this morning but the winning streak continues on Wall Street. For the third day in a row, the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P500 all hit record highs. Leading the charge in it, retailers like Amazon and Netflix, both rose about 3 percent. Right now, U.S. futures are higher.

The Trump administration keeping an Obama era rule that prevents U.S. businesses from moving abroad for tax reasons, at least for now. It was part of a review of tax rules, the final months of the Obama administration.

This rule discourages tax inversion. That's when American companies move their headquarters to a low tax country reducing their U.S. tax burden. The Treasury Department plans to keep it but says that future tax reform will likely make it obsolete.

Speaking of taxes, overseas, Europe is cracking down on U.S. tech companies, targeting Amazon and Apple for back taxes. First, the E.U. is ordering Amazon to pay nearly $300 million. It claims Luxembourg gave Amazon illegal tax benefits for year. Amazon denies this.

At the same time, the E.U. is pushing Ireland to collect Apple's tax bill and says Ireland gave Apple illegal tax aid, ordering Apple to pay $15 billion in unpaid taxes.

EARLY START continues right to you with the latest from the Las Vegas shooting investigation.


MARSH: Well, a house paid for in cash and extra measures for privacy. New details this morning about the Las Vegas gunman's years of seclusion. Now, the shooting has some Republicans thinking of new gun laws, but would they have stopped this attack?

BRIGGS: And the secretary of state insisting he'll stay after reports he called the president a moron. Now, one Republican senator says its Tillerson keeping the country from descending into chaos.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

MARSH: And I'm Rene Marsh, in for Christine Romans. It's Thursday, October 5. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East, 2:00 a.m. in Las Vegas.

And after days of painstaking investigation, authorities are starting to piece together a picture of the man behind the Las Vegas massacre. Among the new details, CNN has learned Stephen Paddock went out of his way to protect his privacy, paying nearly $370,000 in cash for a house in Mesquite, Nevada. Even though the 2,000 square foot home had a commanding hilltop view, he obscured it with a solid mesh privacy fence that blocked neighbors' view of his home.

BRIGGS: On his real estate application, he said his income came from gambling. He's been gambling about a million dollars a year. Authorities found 19 of the shooter' nearly four dozen guns of that home in Mesquite. Officials now it is clear the shooter's meticulous plan and anger that drove it developed over some time.