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Killer May Have Been Casing Other Locations; Trump: 'Calm Before the Storm' after Military Meeting; Hurricane Watches Issues for Gulf Coast. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired October 6, 2017 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone by the same name as the shooter rented a hotel room overlooking Chicago's Grant Park in August.

[05:59:41] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "The New York Times" reports authorities are analyzing a note the shooter left in the hotel room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day it becomes more confusing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That moment in time is frozen. There's no amount of bullets that can take away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He lived life like it was the last.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a really great guy a lot of people are never going to get to know.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know what this represents. Could be the calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could be nothing. Could be something.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: When he should be calming the storm, he's predicting one.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is your NEW DAY. It is Friday, October 6, 6 a.m. here in New York. It has been a long week.


CUOMO: Alisyn is taking the day, and I am lucky enough to have the formidable Poppy Harlow.

HARLOW: I think you get that description after your past few days, my friend.

CUOMO: No, no, no. You can take me any day of the week. It's good to have you here. HARLOW: Good to be here.

CUOMO: Thank you so much.

Let's start with the Vegas investigation. Authorities are analyzing the murderer's computers and a note left in his hotel suite that was reportedly a series of numbers. So far, no major clues about motivation. We have learned that the killer may have been casing other locations before Sunday's massacre.

HARLOW: We've also learned that the killer tried but failed to buy tracer ammunition at a gun show in just the past few weeks. That would have allowed him to see what he was shooting more accurately.

Meantime, thousands of people turned out last night for a candlelight vigil honoring the fallen Las Vegas off-duty Vegas police officer. We now know the identities also of all 58 of the innocent victims killed in the senseless attack. We have it all covered this morning.

Let's begin with our Jean Casarez, who is in Las Vegas.

Good morning, Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. You are so right. Law enforcement continues to not say anything about motive. A law enforcement source does tell CNN that it is not believed his gambling habits had anything to do with the shooting.

Meanwhile, harrowing video now released from the scene as the shooting is going on. We do warn you: this may be disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's the guy with the gunshots?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He needs to go to the hospital now. He has a through and through in his arm, and he has a shell (ph) in his arm.


CASAREZ (voice-over): Civilians racing to save the wounded in this heart-wrenching video minutes after the attack.

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


CASAREZ: Raymond Page risking his own life to get the injured medical help, loading them into his truck, and driving them to safety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got five wounded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gunshot wound to the chest here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone help me, please. Please.

CASAREZ: CNN now learning the killer recently attempted to buy tracer ammunition at a gun show in the Phoenix area but was not successful. The ammo, which is legal and looks like this, would have allowed him to be more accurate when shooting in the dark.

But five days after the massacre, investigators finding few clues to understand why he did this. "The New York Times" reporting that police did find this note in his hotel room that contained numbers that still being analyzed.

Authorities are also looking into whether the killer was casing other large events. In August, a person with the killer's name reserved a room at Chicago's Blackstone Hotel during the Lollapalooza music festival, but the person never checked in, according to the organization with knowledge of hotel records.

This after police confirmed that days before the massacre the killer rented a room at this downtown Las Vegas condo complex overlooking another much larger music festival.

And we're learning just how far the killer's gunshots traveled. Vegas International Airport confirming that two rounds struck this 43,000- barrel jet fuel tank, which is roughly 1,100 feet from the concert site. And even farther from the killer's location on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort.

Thousands gathering to honor off-duty police officer Charleston Hartfield, an 11-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Police and soldiers accompanying his widow and children as the nation mourns the 58 victims.


CASAREZ: Law enforcement also not saying anything about forensic examination of his electronics devices, cell phones, computers, from the hotel room, his homes, his vehicles. And Poppy and John, with him gone, that may be the only thing that truly tells us his state of mind.

CUOMO: All right, Jean. Thank you very much. Great reporting all week long.

Let's bring in our panel: CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano and CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd.

So, Phil, the confounding nature of not knowing, do you think that's about what hasn't been released and that if they have all of his digital fingerprints and stuff, they may know a lot more, and it's actually not as confounding as it is from the outside and according to the sheriff?

[06:05:00] PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I'm -- I'm going to say we're seeing maybe 5 percent of the story. I don't think that's an exaggeration. You look at what Jean was just saying and we saw from the sheriff and

the FBI special agent in charge in the field the other day, the sheriff spoke the other day. The FBI didn't speak.

The FBI is responsible for all this forensics. I want to see your laptop. I want to see your phone. Something people don't often talk about: I want to see Google searches. When did he start searching things like how, potentially, to use the explosive material he had?

I'm going to overlay that over things like weapons purchases. Now we're seeing he looked at different venues. He made reservations at hotels. What I'm talking you is the guys on the inside have all this. They have theories already. It's just they haven't come to closure.

We're sitting here thinking it's weird that we don't have a motive yet. They've got some ideas already.

HARLOW: Reports this morning, Jean, that there was some -- there was some sort of note in his room. That's what the sheriff said to "The New York Times." But it had numbers on it. We don't know what kind of numbers, how many. And he made clear this is not a suicide note; this is not a manifesto. So...

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Poppy, I guarantee you that note is already in the hands of an FBI cryptologist, and they're going through it right now. The interesting thing about this is the more that we seem to be learning, it feels like the less we know. I agree with Phil on this. I believe that the FBI's position on this, and we heard Special Agent Jared Roush speak the other day. And it was very -- he was very caged and he was very careful and articulate how he explained things, did not give too much out.

The key to this is going to be the girlfriend. She had an intimate relationship with him. I know more information is now coming out about his erratic behavior. You've somebody on two opposite ends of the same continuum. Just -- a man of methodology, a man that had considerable military experience in the sense of -- nothing by being in the military but actually trying to purchase tracer rounds, the way that he set up the lair. It's confounding.

And then the erratic behavior on the other end.

CUOMO: But how do you know nothing? Again, I don't want to falsely accuse anybody, of course. But how do you know nothing about what was in this man's head if you live with him, unless he has this double life theory. But there is no proof out there of a double life that has come out because of the nature of the meticulous planning and the time.

Is it capable -- if someone who's not a complete sociopath capable of hiding all that stuff from the people who are near him or does she have willful blindness?

MUDD: Look, she knows something. There's no way you can live with somebody and know something. But when you say that, people draw the conclusion that you're suggesting she's complicit. There's a middle ground. She knows something that's materially relevant?

For example, initially, you look at the attack on the strip, someone who's a gambler. One of the conclusions you might draw is this guy had some money issues. He had some issues with the casinos. He thought they ripped him off. You look at the timeline of his financial records. Then he talked to her. Talk to us about your finances. We didn't really have any problem with finances. There never was an issue. We always had at least, whatever, 100K in the bank. Even that negative.

This was never an issue, starts maybe to take something off the table. So it's not necessarily she knew what was in his head. She can offer clues even in the negative that help you clarify the...

CUOMO: A weird sensitivity. I mean, he sent her away.

HARLOW: Yes. For weeks. Then wired her 100 grand.

CUOMO: Which shows some modicum of concern.

HARLOW: She did, to correct your point. She did, James, say she thought that he was breaking up with her, this was his way of breaking up with her: send her away, send her 100 grand.

But this is also a guy that bought 33 guns in the last year. And you're living with someone. I mean, I know what it's like to live with someone. You know what's going on. What else are they going to be prodding her for? I mean, they'll probably have her take a polygraph, right?

GAGLIANO: I think that's the next step. She's been fully cooperative from what we can see right now. She came back on her own volition. We didn't have to send agents overseas. We would have certainly contacted her over there and tried to speak to her. They didn't have to wait to find something that they could possibly charge her with and then work through the extradition process.

CUOMO: Well, she had -- they have to hope -- just let people know, James. They're banking on her being cooperative. Because if they put on a move on her, and they don't have any substance behind it, then they lose their only lead. So they have to play nice with somebody until they have something.

GAGLIANO: Right. And they can't compel her to take a polygraph. That is -- it's useless in court. But it is a voluntary thing. It is useless in court. It can't stand up in court.

HARLOW: And it is voluntary for her to take it now.

GAGLIANO: Because remember, Poppy, what it does is it takes a look at the physiological changes in your body when you have a conscience. Sociopaths and psychopaths don't, so they can beat them. That's why they're not admissible in court. In this instance, her lawyer could come forward and say she's willing to go on the box. And then they could ask for questions and they could determine whether or not she's being truthful. CUOMO: Have you ever been on one of those?

[06:10:00] MUDD: I can't tell you how many times. There's one aspect of these that you've got to remember. People say why don't you just lie? How do you get through it.

There are some people who will go in there and get so nervous that they start speaking, even if the polygraph isn't picking something up.

So back at the agency, you're not just worried about people who are spies. My career was at the CIA. You're worried about people coming in, especially new employees who are child abusers, shoplifters. You put somebody on a polygraph, and they get nervous. They're going to start saying, "They're going to figure it out. So I'm going to front that I shoplifted two months ago." It's -- it's the psychological effect that this can be significant.

HARLOW: All right. We're still watching. But again, only 5 percent, as you said, out there.

MUDD: Yes.

HARLOW: Thank you guys very much. We appreciate it.

Meantime, President Trump raising more than just a few eyebrows with an encrypted and, frankly, baffling message during a photo-op with military leaders last night. The president talked about, quote, "the calm before the storm." And he kept saying it. But when a journalist asked him what he meant, he refused to clarify it.

This comes as officials tell CNN the president plans to decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week.

A lot to get to. Let's go to Joe Johns at the White House with more. Good morning.


These are ambiguous sounding remarks, seemingly impromptu, certainly confusing.

The president said this in the cabinet room before a dinner with top U.S. military leaders. And without clarifying, he left the world speculating on what he meant.


JOHNS (voice-over): Minutes after a meeting with top military leaders, President Trump raising eyebrows with these cryptic words.

TRUMP: You guys know what this represents? Maybe it's the calm before the storm. Could be the calm before the storm.

JOHNS: When pressed by reporters, the president refused to clarify.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President? TRUMP: We have the world's great military people in this room, I will

tell you that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out.

JOHNS: The White House also declining to elaborate on what storm the president was referring to, but his administration is currently confronting a range of urgent foreign policy matters including Iran, North Korea, ISIS, and Niger where three U.S. Green Berets were killed this week. Two senior officials tell CNN that the president is planning to decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week.

TRUMP: They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement.

JOHNS: Going against the advice of his top national security advisers, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe it's in our national security interests at the present time to remain in the JPCOA?


JOHNS: The decision would kick the matter to Congress which would then have 60 days to determine a path forward. Early Thursday, the president publicly admonishing his generals about the time it takes the Pentagon to provide him with military options with this stunning rebuke.

TRUMP: Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options when needed at a much faster pace. I know that government bureaucracy is slow, but I am depending on you to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy.

JOHNS: On top of the president's cryptic comments last night, the president also tweeted, weighing in on the hotly contested Virginia governor's race that's now entering the final stretch. The president bashing the Democrat, supporting the Republican, and using immigration as the issue. It reads "Northam" -- Ralph Northam -- "is running for governor of Virginia, is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs and sanctuary cities. Vote Ed Gillespie."

Back to you.

CUOMO: All right. Joe, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

So we have breaking news. Hurricane watches now issued for parts of the Gulf Coast. Yes, it is happening again. There is Tropical Storm Nate, and it's churning toward the region. The storm has already taken 20 lives in Central America. The question is, how does it strengthen, where does it go?

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the latest forecast models. What do you see, my friend? CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hurricane watch is right centered over New Orleans, all the way from almost Biloxi, all the way over to about Grand Isle, Louisiana. This weather is brought to you by Humana. Humana, start with healthy.

Here's the storm right now down around Nicaragua and Honduras. That seems like a pretty far distance. But in fact, this storm is really moving quickly. By the time tomorrow night rolls around, this is on shore very close to the southern border of Louisiana, maybe as far east as Biloxi, maybe as far west as Grand Isle as a hurricane. That's why hurricane watches are already posted.

From there it moves fast. This is not a Harvey. This isn't going to sit there and rain. This is moving quickly, probably 30, 40 miles per hour, Poppy.

HARLOW: Chad Myers, you're going to be on it for us all weekend. We'll keep everyone posted. Thank you very much.

[06:15:00] What prompted President Trump's baffling and, frankly, unexplained warning about a calm before the storm? Is he preparing to take military action? If so, what is the target? We'll discuss next.


CUOMO: So file this under the category of "what was the president talking about" in this off-the-cuff weird message last night. He said this dinner, this meeting of all these military was the calm before the storm. What does that mean? He wouldn't clarify. Listen.


TRUMP: You guys know what this represents? Maybe it's the calm before the storm. Could be the calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On ISIS? What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: We have the world's greatest military people in this room, I will tell you you. And we're going to have a great evening. Thank you all for coming. Thank you.

[06:20:08] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out.


CUOMO: He should have used the Paulo Coelho code, where they do this -- the whisper to the warriors, "You cannot weather the storm."

The warrior answers back, "I am the storm." That's what he should have said.

Let's discuss with CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr and CNN military analyst Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. Let's start on the reporting side. Barbara Starr, the storm, what does that mean to the Pentagon? This

was supposed to be a cordial meeting.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, the answer is we don't know. The real question, of course, is did any of those commanders in the room know? And we don't know the answer to that. But who are these guys?

Look, Donald Trump is speaking to the TV cameras. But those commanders, it is very important, I think, to understand who they are. These are guys who do -- they are the storm. But you're never going to hear them talk about it.

These are some of the most calm, understated, U.S. military commanders you are ever going to find. General Joe Votel, head of Central Command, oversees the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. That's a guy who's made two parachute jumps into combat under fire. You're never going to hear him talk about it.

General Tony Thomas, head of Special Operations command, he's overseeing operations involving Delta Force, SEAL Team 6. Never going to hear him talk about it.

General Milly, General Scarparielli (ph), two army generals in that room who have been -- commanded troops in combat in Afghanistan. I've been with him in Afghanistan. My eyeballs were rotating. These are two of the calmest guys you're ever going to find. You know, I think the question is what do they think about what the president had to say?

HARLOW: Yes. I mean, General Hertling, you have been in the room briefing four stars as they're going to dinners like this. And your take is that the president, frankly, treated this like reality television.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, Barbara's got it right, Poppy. Let me -- let me set the context, too. This is a yearly conference. It's called the senior leaders conference or the combat and commanders conference. Every one of those four stars in the room are either a service chief, as Barbara just said, or they're commanding forces in an area of the world that are prepared for war for contingency operations.

They are very calm, guys. They come together once a year in Washington to discuss things -- anything from contingency plans to personnel, to budget, to forced deployments. You know, it's just a couple of day meeting, where they talk about all these things. And in the middle, they have dinner with the president.

So for him to say something like this, I think, again, it's part of his reality show aura that, "Hey, I'm just going to throw something at the press."

And remember, the press wasn't supposed to be taking pictures at this meeting. They were told a couple of minutes beforehand. So he just threw this out there. But I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in a calm before the storm or that anything unusual is going to -- anything more unusual is going to happen that hasn't been happening already in the next few days because of that -- that statement.

CUOMO: So let's keep our eye on the ball, Barbara. You know, you had General Mattis before Senate hearings saying that he didn't think the Iran deal should be backed away from.

And then right after that, the president seems to undermine him, saying that I wanted plans faster. And he seemed to blame his entire military leadership for not giving him enough options. How did that reverberate through the leadership and the Pentagon?

STARR: Yes, you know, the president made another very odd comment in public in front of TV cameras that he wanted to see military options faster than he's getting them. And of course...

HARLOW: We can play it, Barbara.

STARR: Sure. Go ahead. Yes. Let's do that.


TRUMP: Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options when needed at a much faster pace. I know that government bureaucracy is slow, but I am depending on you to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy.


CUOMO: It's a good point, Poppy. Tell him what you were saying.

HARLOW: He's reading it. So it's not off the cuff. So who wrote it?

STARR: Well, I don't know. But I've got to tell you...

HARLOW: Come on, Barbara.

HARLOW: But, you know, if the president -- a clean sheet of paper here. He has just -- there's just no way around it. He has just basically trashed his entire military command staff. One, this is a guy who says he has the best commanders out there, the best generals out there. OK. He's just criticized every one of them in public, starting with General Joe Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who is his senior military adviser. I'm not getting things fast enough from you. He's saying that in public.

OK. But my question is this. You have told the world that you have the best generals, but you've just told the enemy where the vulnerability is that you don't get options fast enough. When enemies listen to that, they know you're not getting options fast enough. What have you just risked? That's my question.

[06:25:05] CUOMO: Look, legit question, I think. But what do you think, General? Is this journalist hand-wringing or is this the kind of thing that usually presidents don't say? Is it somewhat subversive? HERTLING: It's not said in public. But I'll tell you, Chris, I was involved as a brand-new one-star when President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld told all of his generals the same thing in a private meeting. He wanted faster contingency plans. He wanted more options.

And you talk to chairmans of the joint chiefs, they will tell you every president says they want more options. And sometimes the civilian arm of our government does not understand the requirements for contingency planning and what goes into the complexities of getting forces on the ground, getting them resupplied, and having the demands that you have on a worldwide basis.

So, yes, this is something that a president normally says. It's not normally said in front of a camera, and it has nothing to do with government bureaucracy. It has to do with things like the readiness of the force, force deployment issues, contingency plans within theaters.

As a combatant commander in Europe, I had multiple contingency plans that I had to execute. They were all very hard. And you can't do a whole lot with them once you've got them on the books except to adjust to the situation.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much, guys. Appreciate the perspective on this.

So another big story. Special Counsel Bob Mueller's team met with the former British spy behind that controversial dossier about Russian collusion. How significant is the development? Well, that's in the details, and we have them next.