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New Threads in Vegas Massacre Investigation; NRA Says It Favors Regulating Bump Stocks; President Trump: "Calm Before the Storm"; Altuve Hits 3 HRs in Astros' Playoff Opener. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 6, 2017 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:02] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, chilling new clues in the Las Vegas investigation as authorities are still trying to determine some kind of motive behind this massacre.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And President Trump's ominous warning.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Maybe it's the calm before the storm.

REPORTER: What's the storm?

TRUMP: Could be the calm before the storm.


ROMANS: That cryptic message comes as the Trump administration prepares to decertify the Iran nuclear deal.

Imagine, he's standing there talking about the calm before the storm surrounded by military leaders. It's the venue here that is so important.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Frightening tease of a new episode. I'm Dave Briggs. It's Friday, October 6th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East, 2:00 a.m. in Las Vegas.

And that's where we begin, with the investigation. He left no manifesto, no evidence of his motive. But investigators are now discovering disturbing clues behind Stephen Paddock's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

One law enforcement official telling CNN this chilling detail that the shooter tried to buy tracer ammunition at an Arizona gun show in recent weeks.

ROMANS: Tracer rounds, like those you see here, they're completely legal. They have a coating or a charge that burns brightly when fired. And they could have allowed the gunman to target his deadly fire more accurately. The official says the shooter bought other ammo with the gun show but

could not obtain tracer rounds. There are new details about the note left in the gunman's room at the Mandalay Bay. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo telling the "New York Times" the note contains numbers that were being analyzed for their relevance and it was not a manifesto or a suicide note.

BRIGGS: And it now appears the gunman was not just targeting people, as he fired from a 32nd floor from Mandalay Bay. A large fuel tank in nearby McCarran International Airport was hit by two bullets. One round penetrated the tank but officials say there's, quote, almost zero likelihood a bullet could trigger a fire of explosion in jet fuel, which is not highly flammable.

ROMANS: And there's new information that may shed light on how the shooter was casing his targets. In August, someone named Stephen Paddock reserved a room at Chicago's Blackstone Hotel, with a view of the city's Lollapalooza Music Festival. That person never checked in and it was not immediately clear whether it was the same man who killed 58 and injured hundreds in Las Vegas.

There's new video of the moments following the attack, as Good Samaritans jumped into action to help transport several victims to the hospital. We want to warn you, this video may be disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's the guy with the double shots?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) to the hospital now. It went through in his arm and he has a shot --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in the truck. Get in the truck.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in the truck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not right this second. Hang on a second. What's that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is important. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got a driver for this thing?



BRIGGS: That's another glimpse of the utter chaos that took place there.

Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow. He's a former Secret Service agent who served in the Obama administration.

Good morning to you, sir.

All right. A lot of new stories coming out.


BRIGGS: Still no sense of a motive. What's the most significant new reporting that you've learned in this investigation where we stand?

WACKROW: Well, I mean, it -- there's nothing new and significant that's shocking. Let me just say this from Monday to today, what we've seen is this evolving picture of the shooter. You know, by the fact that he was trying to look for tracer rounds or acquire tracer rounds, again, starts going to the level of detail that was taking place in his mind around this attack.

You know, tracer rounds assist somebody in a low light situation, gaining better accuracy towards their target. So, again, as we see as more and more of these individual facts come together, they start painting a very dangerous picture of this individual.

ROMANS: Sure. A picture I think of sort of grandiosity. You know, imagine what the images would have been like for those people in the crowd if you had seen these bullets coming. You know, it would have been just that much more dramatic.

We know that he may, someone named Stephen Paddock reserved a room just overlooking Grant Park at the time of the Lollapalooza Festival. I mean, that's pretty scary. And rented a --

BRIGGS: Hundred thousand people visited the Lollapalooza.

ROMANS: Yes. Including, he rented a condo room, you know? And in front of another Las Vegas venue, in it front of another music venue. This is very well-thought out here.

BRIGGS: Yes, absolutely. This is a level of detail in pre-attack planning that I haven't seen before or, you know, studied.

[05:05:07] But this individual, again, has been very methodical in the way he thought about this attack, from the different weapons platforms that he was utilizing, to the ammunition, the location of his different attack points.

Just think about the suite itself. He had two fighting positions within that location. He had, you know, what's been reported as an escape plan. He was thinking he was going to leave those battle positions and go to another location. Again, there's a -- there is a level of fidelity in his planning that a lot of people, as it evolves is taking people by surprise.

ROMANS: But here's a 64-year-old at the time of the shooting and his subsequent suicide, who had essentially not a friend on the planet, no digital footprint. So, as we move forward, what's the most important thing investigators will be focusing on?

WACKROW: So, listen, it's -- this is all about an information grab right now. At face value, what people are saying throughout the week was quiet individual, kept to himself, really nice guy. Talk to his -- heard statements from his brother earlier in the week. He wasn't a gun guy.

That painted one persona. There's a different persona that's out there of this individual who law enforcement needs to get information on. You know, whether it's around, you know, different type of circles, the gambling circle or gun clubs or something else.

There is something else that is going to be developed by law enforcement through a very systematic investigative process that will actually start shaping this. Again, everyone's searching for a motive. I would love to have a motive now to bring closure to the victims, but, you know, absent that, this is going to take a little bit of time to develop it.

ROMANS: I think that the shadow of the FBI most wanted father is a big role here, too, you know? Somebody who the FBI described 50 years ago as a psychopath, four years ago as a psychopath, you know, you just have no idea how that might have affected the upbringing or thinking of him. But, you're right, we're just told many questions. It's unbelievable.

All right. Jonathan Wackrow, thank you so much. We'll talk to you in a few minutes. Thank you, sir.

WACKROW: Thank you.

ROMANS: We have breaking news. The Nobel Peace Prize has just been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The anti-nuke group is a coalition of non governmental organizations from more than a hundred countries. We'll have more on today's big Nobel honor, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. We'll have more in just a few minutes. Just announced.

BRIGGS: Yes. So interesting. The naming of that Nobel Prize in this context.


BRIGGS: President Trump preparing to decertify the Iran nuclear deal. He says Iran does not lived up to the spirit of the deal. This as the president warns of a calm before the storm in front of military --


REPORTER: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out.


[05:12:16] ROMANS: President Trump plans to decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week. Once the president announces the move, Congress has 60 days to figure out a way forward.

Sources also tell CNN national security adviser H.R. McMaster is not sold on the idea. And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is working behind the scenes with Congress to head of a possible international crisis as the October 15th certification deadline for the deal draws closer.

I want to go live to Washington to bring in Chris Deaton, deputy online editor of "The Weekly Standard".

It's Friday morning. So great to have you here, Chris, because we have so much to talk about.

BRIGGS: Where this guy been?




CHRIS DEATON, DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Watching too much baseball, watching too much baseball.

ROMANS: Oh, there you go. You know what? That's an improvement. Exactly.

Let's talk about Iran here. What is the president suggesting about Iran? It doesn't look as though the key as some would say grownups around him are necessarily on the same page.

DEATON: Yes. So, a couple of things here. A quick "Weekly Standard" plug, I would encourage people to check out our new cover story from editor in chief Steve Hayes and our White House reporter, Mike Warner, senior writer, who have been covering this issue very closely. Brand new issue out about the theory issue today.

And part of the deal, guys, is that Donald Trump used the Iran issue as a political imperative. I mean, we've seen a lot of things the president has acted on subsequent to campaign season as a fulfillment of promises. I think you can to a certain extent put this in a similar bucket. It's like you said what comes when it's you know, comes to the actual policy details of this, that's where it gets kind of messy.

I mean, you have Rex Tillerson, you have James Mattis, you have H.R. McMaster around him kind of wondering whether or not this is the best idea to move forward. You kick it to Congress, but what does it do with our standing with our European allies. It's a big question surrounding this and that has yet to be seen.

ROMANS: Well, what does it say about America's ability to stand by its agreement it makes with its allies?

DEATON: Right.

ROMANS: You look at this deal or you look at Paris climate deal, you know, I mean, is America worth its word? That's what the ultimate question is in my view.


BRIGGS: Boy, a lot of implications there. So, we will read that Steve Hayes piece. He knows his stuff.

All right. But we've got to ask you about the president's next reality show tease in front of military leaders last night. Listen to what he said.


TRUMP: You guys know what this represents?

REPORTER: Tell us, sir.

TRUMP: I don't know, maybe it's the calm before the storm.

REPORTER: What's the storm?

TRUMP: Could be the calm before the storm.

REPORTER: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out.


ROMANS: I file this under you never can take it literally. That's what I personally found. What about you?

DEATON: Yes, I assume he was not referring to the salad and bread sticks in the first course. It's a very strange thing sometimes.

I think this president is a noted riffer.

[05:15:00] I think we have to remember that sometimes. The camera gets put in front of his face and he's just a person who talks. He is 95 percent of the time if not more speaking off-the-cuff.

He has his military advisers around him. It's obviously a tumultuous time around the world. You have stuff with Iran around the corner here.

You have, you know, Rex Tillerson going out talking about negotiations with North Korea, the president shutting that down. A lot of things going on internationally. So, the president availing himself with the opportunity to, I don't know, make a joke, riff about something.

But I do think, Christine, you're right, sometimes the president just says things. I'm not sure we can say they're anything about apropos of nothing necessarily.

BRIGGS: Look, look --

ROMANS: This is where Dave says words matter, words matter, words matter.

BRIGGS: A week ago, he stared at reporters and said we have the votes on Graham/Cassidy and he did not and no one called it a lie. Yesterday, he says he wants the Senate to investigate fake news. Do words matter?

DEATON: This is a terrific point that you bring up here. Recall something from the campaign. I believe one of Trump's advisers at the time, Barry Bennett, was participating in a TV panel with Dan Senor, the former Romney adviser, and he mentioned the comment, you know, Barry, sometimes words matter.

And Bennett was exasperated. He said, oh, this words matter stuff, this is ridiculous. And Senor had a big brimming smile that just burst out across his face. I think sometime you have to look at President Trump and his team through that prism.

I mean, the president again, he just says things, and it is an avalanche of things for which you have to hold him, the administration sometimes to account. It's something that's being talked about a lot not to use the president's own terminology but something that's being talked about a lot in the media nowadays by people who do this particular job and this trade. So, it's an unprecedented thing, an avalanche of stuff that I don't think we've ever seen before.

ROMANS: Yes, and "The Washington Post" has a running list of the things the president has said specifically that are false. I think it's more than 1,000 now or something.

BRIGGS: We are over 1,100.

ROMANS: Eleven hundred false statements.

So, the president's calling for an investigation of you, Chris, of you, Dave, and of me, but what about the, you know, the veracity coming from the White House, put in by the White House? It's another story altogether.

Let's talk about Harvey Weinstein if we can, please, the front of "The Post". Ashley Judd, others accused mogul of sex harassment.

He's a noted Democratic supporter and Democratic donor and the RNC saying he should -- people -- Democrats who receive money from him should give it back. Saying this, quote: During three decades worth of sexual harassment allegations, Harvey Weinstein lined the pocket of Democrats to the tune of three quarters of a million dollars, if Democrats and the DNC truly stand up for women like they say they do, then returning this dirty money should be a no-brainer, says, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC.

Is this going to be a political fight, do you think? DEATON: It depends on how quickly Democrats act. I think we've

already seen a few. I think Marty Heinrich in New Mexico, Senator Pat Leahy, a couple of others who've already taken action to reimburse, I guess, to a certain those donations. So, I think it's all a matter of timing and how speedily they act.

BRIGGS: All right. Chris Deaton from the "Weekly Standard", a big fan of Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros who we'll be talking about in the next segment.

The Astros drawing first flood in the American League Division series against the Red Sox. Altuve, all five-foot-six of him, three home runs.

Coy Wire has the remarkable accomplishments next in the "Bleacher Report".


[05:22:52] BRIGGS: One day after drawing some intense criticism for sexist remarks made to a female reporter, Panther's quarterback Cam Newton apologizes, sort of.

ROMANS: Coy Wire has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Coy.

BRIGGS: Hey, man.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris.

Dave, I like the new haircut. I'm jealous.

BRIGGS: I like you, buddy. Thank you.


WIRE: Cam Newton, guys, took to social media late last night. He wanted to apologize for saying it was funny to hear a female reporter ask about pass rounds. Listen.


CAM NEWTON, PANTHERS QUARTERBACK: After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women. And to be honest, that was not my intention, and if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you. And to the young people who see this, I hope that you learn something from this as well. Don't be like me. Be better than me.


WIRE: He also went on to say he has two young daughters who he teaches they can grow up to be anything. Earlier in the day, Newton lost a sponsorship agreement with Dannon Yogurt who said his behavior towards the female reporter was sexist and disparaging to all women. Touching moment as Tampa Bay hosted New England for Thursday night football when the entire stadium shined their cell phone lights in a moment of silence for the brightest city on earth, honoring the lives lost in the Las Vegas shooting.

Tom Brady led his Patriots to victory, making history along the way. He tied NFL legends Bret Favre and Peyton Manning for most season wins by a quarterback. It was a rough night for Bucs kicker Nick Folk. His team's 19-14 loss.

It wasn't just that he missed three field goals in the game, it was this moment, being consoled by a priest twitter. Broadcaster Tony Romo said that's the priest talking to you, that's confession.

Good things come in small packages. Just ask the Houston Astros.

[05:25:01] Jose Altuve, the shortest player in Major League Baseball, he's just five-foot-six, playing like 10 feet tall. He launched three home runs in yesterday's 8-2 playoff win against the Red Sox. He became just the 10th player to homer three times in a post season game. Babe Ruth did it twice. Altuve said he feels the same size as everyone else when he crosses that white line.

More playoff action later tonight in our sister channel TBS. Cubs and Nationals get it started at 7:30 Eastern, followed by the Diamondbacks and Dodgers at 10:30.

Christine, I don't know if they can repeat, but I'm rooting for your Chicago Cubs to get it done again this season. Can't wait to watch them play.

ROMANS: You know, I don't have time to watch all that baseball, especially if it's (INAUDIBLE). So I just keep asking Dave, how are my Cubs doing? He's like my personal sports Google.

BRIGGS: Best team in the league to second half. Nobody wants to face the Cubs.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Coy. Nice to see you.

BRIGGS: Coy, you're the man. Thank you.

WIRE: You're welcome.

BRIGGS: All right. Investigators in Las Vegas are looking at disturbing new details behind Sunday's mass shooting. Authorities are attempting to decipher a note left behind by the gunman. We'll have the latest, next. Can I kick it?