Return to Transcripts main page
Three U.S. Troops Killed in Niger Ambush; Senate Intel Head: We're Still Looking for "Hint" of Collusion; Incredible Stories of Survival in Las Vegas. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:00] DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm sure it's much worse than even we're hearing, in calling him a moron perhaps worst. What's really concerning and what Corker is saying is if Tillerson does leave, then maybe he leaves by the end the year, that we have real problems in our national security.
I was thinking this morning about all the relationships the president has that are really in bad shape. Speaker Ryan I think holds his tongue trying to get tax reform. You got the problems with McConnell and on and on down the line. We just add Tillerson to it.
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, look, it's probably Tillerson himself has been called a moron by his -- he was a CEO of a company, right? It's not the first person who's called his boss a name and he's not the only person in D.C. who has used that word or worse, to describe the president in this realm of foreign policy, especially because when things become public like the North Korea spat over Twitter, you're undermining your own administration, and that's problematic.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But just a quick note to self, when you want to tamp something down, deny it if you didn't say it.
GREGORY: Don't say we're not going to get into it.
CUOMO: And then it really puts a lot of the fuel to the fire that he speculation was wrong.
GREGORY: But you got to like Tillerson for doing that, actually.
CUOMO: I guess on some level, on some level. At least he took it on somewhat.
Karoun, David, thank you very much.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Chris. Three members of the U.S. Special Operations Force have been killed in an ambush in northern Africa. We have details on the attack, next.
[06:35:32] CUOMO: All right. We are following breaking news. President Trump has been briefed on an ambush that wound up killing
three members of the U.S. Special Forces. The place is called Niger, all right? Here it is on your map. It's in Africa, along with five local soldiers also taken out. Two others were wounded.
Why were the U.S. forces there? They were part of this advice and counsel of local troops for their own battle against this terrorist conflict that's going on there. You have ISIS affiliated Boko Haram, and the North African branch of al Qaeda. The latter has maintained the presence along Niger's border with Mali.
There is no claim of responsibility yet. But it is another reflection, Alisyn, of the idea of just being advisers. That makes it OK.
They are not. Our men and women when their boots on the ground, they are at risk and it is often a lethal risk.
CAMEROTA: Yes, absolutely, it's dangerous and that, of course, is the tragic reminder. Meanwhile, there's a new storm churning in the Caribbean. It is forecast to hit the Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast.
What are you seeing, Chad?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Alisyn, tropical depression number 16 will likely become Nate.
This weather is brought to you by Tempur-Pedic. Tempur-Pedic sleep is power.
Now, the storm will go over Nicaragua and Honduras. And we know what happens when storms go over land. They tear themselves up.
But then, back over water to the south of Cancun and once it gets to the Gulf of Mexico, there's no missing the U.S. It's going to go one way or the other. Now, the models, red American model or blue, European model, all very get close to New Orleans.
But watch the cone, because it could be all the way from the Florida Panhandle, almost all the way to western Louisiana, still, three and a half days away. Landfall somewhere around late Saturday night into Sunday morning -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right, Chad. Keep an eye on that for all of us. Thank you very much.
So, the Senate Intelligence Committee confirming, again, that Russians interfered in the 2016 election. But do they have evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign? All the new developments, next.
[06:41:49] CUOMO: All right. There is news on the Russian investigation. The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee says there's, quote, more work to do to figure out what whether the Trump campaign did or did not collude with the Russians.
CNN's Manu Raju is live in Washington with more.
Manu, what do we know?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. There's a lot more that the investigators need to sift through, including the key question about whether there was any collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign during the elections. I put the question directly to Senator Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the committee, and I asked him if he believes President Trump's contention this is all just a hoax.
He said it's still an open question whether there was any collusion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC), CHAIRMAN, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss initial findings, because we haven't any. We've got a tremendous amount of documents to go through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Indeed they do. Witnesses also to interview, as well, including roughly two dozen this month alone. But some they're having issues with including Christopher Steel, that British agent that put together that dossier that included some allegation of potential Trump connections with the Russians. Richard Burr expressing frustration that he has not agreed to sit down with them.
Also, though, both Richard Burr and Mark Warner said they trust the results they came up back an early assessment, saying it was Russia at the direction of Vladimir Putin that wanted to tamper with this election to help President Trump become president, and Chris, both Warner and Burr warned starkly that perhaps not just this year's elections but also the midterm elections could be impacted by Russian meddling, actively Russian meddling measures, but this investigation, Alisyn, may not end this year.
Both Burr and Warner saying it could carry on into next year and who knows? Possibly even beyond.
CAMEROTA: Oh, boy. We heard them say they're moving with alacrity and their goal to have it wrapped up sooner than that. But it is slow-going, Manu. You're so right.
All right. Thank you very much for all that reporting.
Let's discuss with CNN political analyst, David Gregory, and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.
So, Phil, when the chairman and the vice chairman of the Senate Intel Committee announced they were going to have this press conference that got all of our attention, surely there must be a bombshell they're going to announce that they're going to call this press conference.
To my reporter's ear, it sounded like a status report. To your investigative ear, what did you hear them just divulge yesterday?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM: Well, I mean, I respect both these guys, I wanted to throw my shoe at the TV.
MUDD: There's a simple reason here. Look, who can investigate this with great investigative capability, including the forensic capability to look at things like financial transactions and emails? That's the FBI and the special counsel, Robert Mueller. He also has the authority, obviously, to go to the Department of Justice and say, hey, we got something here that might merit legal action.
Who should be looking at whether there's cooperation with Facebook to identify these ads? Whether we need legal cover to create that cooperation? That typically would be with the Department of Homeland Security. How election officials can be warned of any information showing up during an election in 2020? And the big question, whether the federal government has the capability of tell American people live you're getting worked? That's Congress.
Congress now is talking about collusion. I think that's Robert Mueller's inbox. How much did they talk about what the effort is to guarantee we don't have an adversarial relationship with Facebook, and instead a cooperation that allows us to warn people next time around. I don't get it.
CAMEROTA: Well, David Gregory, it's not just Facebook. They did talk about Google. They are trying to have all of these big companies, Google, Twitter, Facebook, help. The obviously, some have been woefully late.
But, you know, then, it was Senator Burr that did sound this alarm about upcoming elections. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURR: What I will confirm is that the Russian intelligence service is determined, clever, and I recommend that every campaign and every election official take this very seriously as we move into this November's election and as we move into preparation for the 2018 election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: What did you hear yesterday, David?
GREGORY: Well, it's -- to Phil's point, what I didn't hear -- that warning is what really stood out for me, the idea that the Russians are still at it. They worked successfully. They're going to keep working. So, it's a critically important question, whether there was any cooperation with the Trump campaign to help them target some of that advertising, to help the Russians do what they were doing, but they're not going to stop.
So, what is the federal government doing, Congress doing to work on a national level, on a federal level, to help states out so we don't have other elections poisoned by this?
We saw what happened in France, recently in Germany. The French were able to ameliorate the situation somewhat with their own vigilance. How are Americans going to do that in local, state, and other federal elections as we get toward 2018?
And this to me is part of, just part of the disservice that this administration has done to the country, to the presidency, to our electoral system, by calling this a hoax, by not taking this Russian threat seriously, it has not created enough momentum for the government to really get strong about the fact that Russia wants to continue to interfere in our elections.
We're going to allow ourselves to be so divided, that we're not going to pay attention to a threat that has not gone away. That to me is ludicrous.
CAMEROTA: Phil, what about what Manu just reported? And that is that Christopher Steel, he's the MI6, former British intel officer, who was the author of the salacious dossier, that they haven't been able to talk to him? Can't they compel him to come and speak to them?
MUDD: Heck no. And if I were him, I do the same thing. He wants to be 1,000 miles away from this.
What is the advantage for him, a former intelligence officer who makes his living in private consultations with people who want information from countries like Russia? What's in his --
CAMEROTA: Getting to the truth, helping the U.S. figure out what happened?
MUDD: Heck, no.
MUDD: Let me get on a plane to Washington and get hammered for days by a partisan Congress that wants to drag me into a debate not only about whether the dossier was correct, but Democrats want to drag me in one direction, Republicans on another. I'm going on vacation to Africa because I don't want anything to do with that hearing. I'd do the same thing.
CAMEROTA: And he doesn't ever have to go speak to Congress.
MUDD: He shouldn't have to go. How do you compel a foreign citizen to show in front of Congress?
MUDD: No, no way. I'm not showing up and they're not going to subpoena him to show up.
CAMEROTA: All right. On that note, David Gregory, Phil Mudd, thank you both very much for all the insights.
Up next, we have incredible stories of survival from the Las Vegas massacre. Strangers coming to each other's aid and saving each other's life.
[06:52:53] CUOMO: The president apparently awake this morning and tweeting about his visit to Las Vegas where he met survivors. He met first responders and other heroes from Sunday's massacre.
He's tweeting this morning: So wonderful to be in Las Vegas yesterday and meet with people from police to doctors and victims themselves who I will never forget.
Let's go to CNN's Scott McLean. He's live in Las Vegas. And he some of these stories that matter most, the people who survived, the people who helped, the people who showed the opposite in humanity from the murderer that tried to kill as many of them as possible.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
Of the nearly 500 people who were injured and ended up in a hospital, most have been discharged to go home. That is the good news. But there are still some people fighting for their lives. Here at the University Medical Center, the main trauma center in Las Vegas, there are still six people in critical condition.
Yesterday, I met 22-year-old Taylor Barr. She has a long way to go to recovery but she knows she's one of the lucky ones.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Moments after the first shots were fired, Taylor Barr was bleeding and ducking for cover. Hit in the arm, she recalls panic not pain.
TAYLOR BARR, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: All the adrenaline and confusion. So I don't remember feeling it that much.
MCLEAN: Her dad, Chris, used his belt to stop the pleading and used his body to shield his daughter from the next round of bullets. The act of courage captured in a cell phone video posted on Facebook.
BARR: I love him: he's such a -- he's my hero. Like he was just trying to keep us safe.
MCLEAN: Minutes later, Taylor, her dad and step mom scrambled to a nearby parking lot and were rushed to the hospital in the back of a pickup truck driven by complete strangers.
(on camera): What do you want to say to these people?
BARR: Thank you for saving my life. If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't be here right now.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Robert Aguilar was at the concert with his girlfriend Rosa when he was shot in the spine above his right hip.
ROBERT AGUILAR, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: You can hear the bullets whizzing by.
[06:55:0] And I just told them to stay down, stay down, stay down. And I just kind of have my head turned, just thinking the next one's going to hit us again.
MCLEAN: Doctors said they feared he would never walk again. But against all odds, he took his first steps on Wednesday.
AGUILAR: I wasn't going to accept that for an answer, accepting not being able to walk again.
MCLEAN: Upon hearing a gunfire, Jamie Jackson dove for cover, ending up next to Addison Short.
JAMIE JACKSON, SAVED ADDISON SHORT'S LIFE DURING LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: And her foot ended up right in front of me and I just saw her boot was soaked through with blood, so I was like I'm going to take this off. When I pulled the boot off, that's when the blood -- I was like screaming for someone to give me a belt. There was a guy about two over. He threw me the belt and I just held.
MCLEAN: He carried Addison to safety before leaving her with an off- duty officer. He didn't know her name or if she was still alive until his mother-in-law saw her interview on Anderson Cooper Monday night.
ADDISON SHORT, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTIGN: It's the guy that helped me is watching, I really want to tell him how grateful I am for basically saving my life.
MCLEAN: Yesterday, Jamie and his wife Jennifer were reunited with the young woman.
SHORT: You have no idea how I appreciate you guys.
MCLEAN: Jonathan Smith ran towards those in trouble as shots rang out, likely saving the lives of dozens before being shot in the neck.
JONATHAN SMITH, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: I'm not a hero. I'm far from a hero. I think I just did what anybody would do.
MCLEAN: An off-duty San Diego officer found Smith, bringing him to safety.
TOM MCGRATH, SAN DIEGO OFFICER: It was a scary moment for both of us, but I just remember holding hands with Tom. You know, this is a time to fight, you know? You made it this far.
SMITH: I kept telling him, I don't want to die, I don't want to die. He kept saying, you're not going to die. I got you.
MCLEAN: We hear all of the stories of bravery, but the harsh reality of what comes next to these people really cannot be understated. In the case of Taylor Barr, she still has limited movement, limited feeling in her left hand. She works with her hands for a living, she has a small business doing nails and she likely won't have the use of one of those hands for at least a year.
So, not only have she going to have a hefty hospital tab after all of this, but also, she'll likely be out of work. So, while this story will eventually fade from the headlines for all of us, many of these people will be forced to live with the impact of what happened for a long time to come, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: You are so right. I mean, everyone's lives are forever changed, even those who survived.
Thank you so much for the reporting from Vegas there.
So, did the Las Vegas killer have help? New details in the investigation, next.