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Killer May Have Been Casing Other Locations; Trump: 'Calm Before the Storm' after Military Meeting; Hurricane Watches Issued for Gulf Coast; Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Ban Bump Stocks. Aired 7- 7:30a ET

Aired October 6, 2017 - 07:00   ET


TRUMP: Maybe it's the calm before the storm.

[07:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be nothing. It could be something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Alisyn is off. And that means I have Poppy Harlow joining me. Thank you for being with me.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to this chair. You've been all around the world in the past few weeks.

CUOMO: It is -- four cities in five days. But we need the frequent flyer miles. It's good to get the kids on vacation. Five days after the Vegas massacre, and investigators still don't know what drove a man to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. And it's not for a lack of trying.

We have never seen anything or anyone like this. Authorities are analyzing the killer's computers. There is a note, we now know, that he left in his hotel suite. But reportedly, it was just a series of numbers. So far no major clues about motivation at least that they've been made public, Poppy.

HARLOW: Right. And the killer might have been casing other locations in other cities before the Las Vegas massacre on Sunday. CNN has also learned that he tried but failed to buy tracer ammunition at a gun show a few weeks ago. That would have allowed him to see better what he was shooting at.

Meantime, thousands of people turning out last night for a candlelight vigil, honoring the fallen off-duty Las Vegas police officer Charleston Hartfield.

We now know the identities of all 58 victims killed in this senseless attack. We have it all covered. Let's begin this hour with our Jean Casarez in Las Vegas.

Good morning, Jean.


As you're saying, law enforcement is not saying anything about motive, why this killer did what he did. The FBI tells CNN they have hundreds of people working on the investigation at this point.

Meanwhile, harrowing video now released from the scene as the bullets were coming. We want to warn you this may be very disturbing.


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


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 leg.


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 -- gunshot wound to the chest here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone help me, please. Please.

CASAREZ: CNN now learning that 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 are 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.


CASAREZ: 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: We are not hearing anything about forensic investigation and analysis of electronic devices. Cell phones, computers in the hotel room, in his homes, in his vehicles. And Poppy and John [SIC], that is an extremely important part of this case, and it does take time.

CUOMO: All right. Jean--


CUOMO: -- thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Joining us now to discuss, CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano and CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd.

James, let's start with you this time. Now that we have this new layer of information and more unknowns, what stands out to you?

[07:05:05] JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Again, we go back to the piece that no prior military training that we know of, and yet somehow put together a plan with military precision.

The newest news is that he attempted to go to a gun show and purchase tracer rounds. Now, for some reason he was denied, and we don't know exactly--

CUOMO: Which you need because?

GAGLIANO: Tracer rounds work like this. They help improve accuracy this way, Chris. Generally, they're in a 4:1 ratio. So for every four regular cartridges, there's one tracer round which is equipped with some type of pyrotechnic on it so it burns. It could be a little bit of phosphorous.

HARLOW: We're looking at it. Yes.

GAGLIANO: At night, if you look at what's on the screen now, at night that's going to help you not have to use your mechanical sights. Or in the case of this murderer, he had eight points on this. We had eight points, and being equipped with the tracers would allow him to sit atop of his weapon like this and just spray the plunging fire down into the crowd.

HARLOW: All right. A few other things we know, Phil Mudd. One, that two of those shots reached a fuel tank all the way at McCarron Airport. All the way, you know, further than the concert at the airport. And didn't blow up or anything. They hit it. Whether it was meant to or not, we don't know.

And that he left a note in his room, a note with numbers that the sheriff says is not a manifesto, is not a suicide note. Any insight those two things give us?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM: He has an operational plan we're not aware of. If you look at other characteristics, he looked at other locations. You're talking about Chicago, Illinois. We see now potentially a separate target at the airport. We know he was a meticulous--

HARLOW: Just a note, by the way. Sorry to interrupt, but this is--

CUOMO: What is it?

HARLOW: This is not a close up, but they found a note, highlighted there.


MUDD: If you look at his background, a meticulous guy in terms of how his family talks about how he was playing the numbers on the slots, meticulous in terms of planning this operation. So let's put those two together quickly.

Meticulous guy. He's looking at potentially multiple targets. I think the note relates to an operational plan. A guy who wanted to write down, like you write down your laundry list. "This is everything I'm thinking about. This is how I'm going to execute is it." I suspect we're going to realize, as the feds say and as the cops say, this is not a manifesto. It's not a suicide note. It's a guy who's very fastidious, saying, "I better chart this out. This is important."

CUOMO: So the "how" is important, because it can lead you to an accomplice or where he got help or no help. OK.

But there's still the biggest piece missing. What would motivate somebody to do something so evil and certainly not spur of the moment. Certainly not having snapped. And we don't have any proof of any type of untreated mental illness. So where does that leave you?

GAGLIANO: Well, we know that there was terror created by what he did. Chris, authorities have been careful not to classify this as terrorism. Because again, we have the violence and the intimidation. We just don't have the defined or gleaned political motive or social motive here. I think, as we start to build this out, there's two things that we're

looking at. Phil can certainly speak to this. We're looking at two different angles for intelligence gathering in this. We're looking at human intelligence. That's going to be concertgoers, people that were at the hotel. And obviously--

CUOMO: Danley.

GAGLIANO: Absolutely.

CUOMO: His girlfriend.

GAGLIANO: It is critical. And the other one is signal intelligence. They're still going and building out. You're going to have a very good picture of the three days that he stayed at the hotel. And we're going to go further on beyond that.

We're going to have cameras that are going to capture his movements. We're going to know -- and I believe the police obviously know this now -- how he got the guns into the hotel room. And now we know that he's been to some other places that we consider possible casing of another crime.


GAGLIANO: Now, one of two things could happen. He could have gone to Lollapalooza and wanted to do this and gotten cold feet or changed his mind, or it could have just been a dry run for what he ultimately did in Vegas.

HARLOW: His girlfriend, Marilou Danley, the only person, frankly, we know that had contact with him. He apparently didn't have any friends, wasn't that close to his family. She came back of her own volition from the Philippines. She's been talking to authorities.

What now? I mean, what are you -- if you're in that room where they're questioning here, or having her take a polygraph, what are you asking her at this point? Because everything she has said is, "I had no idea. This was not the man I knew."

MUDD: The first thing I want to do is to determine whether she's being truthful. In that sense, and this should have been done already, I want to box her. That is, I want to ask her questions, given the large volume I know about her relationship with him--

CUOMO: Explain what boxing somebody is.

MUDD: What I mean is I want to look at what I know already. I know her communications. I've gotten cell phones and e-mail addresses for the subject. I know whether whether she's talking to him. I've looked at the house already. I have some information about her life. She doesn't know exactly what I know.

I'm going to go in with some questions where I know the answer and she doesn't know the answer. I want to see if she tells the truth. Simple example. Did she communicate with him after she went overseas?

Now, presumably, she knows the feds know that. If she's really not thinking through this, she's saying, "I didn't -- I didn't talk to him. I thought he was going to break up." And you know via cell phone collection there's actually three calls during that period. I've got a problem. Even without knowing what she knows, I know she's not truthful.

Once I get truth, I can move on to ask questions, like did you have financial issues? Did he have ever talk about frustrations? I don't necessarily think she knew about the event, but she knows about the mindset.

[07:10:13] HARLOW: I mean, this is a guy who bought 33 guns in the last year. So they lived together.

CUOMO: The layers of we've never seen it before. You know, now it's been so far beyond the manner -- the number of lives he stole. And that's why we want answers so badly. We'll stay on it.

Gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

President Trump has many today wondering once again, why did he say that? The president said "the calm before the storm" after a meeting with military leaders. It comes as officials tell CNN President Trump is prepared to decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week.

CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House with more. Once again, he's got a lot of people in the media scrambling to go figure out where his head's at.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Chris, that's absolutely right. These were impromptu remarks, confusing at the same time. The president said this during an unscheduled photo spray in which journalists were ushered in to record what he said, then ushered right out just before the president sat down to dinner with his top military leaders and their spouses, leaving the world to wonder what he meant.


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

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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 JCPOA?


JOHNS: The decision would kick the matter to Congress which would then have 60 days to determine a path forward. Earlier 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, Mr. Trump also tweeted, weighing in on the hotly contested Virginia governor's race, reporting the Republican blasting the Democrat using immigration as the issue. Here's the tweet: "Ralph Northam, who's running for governor of Virginia is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs and sanctuary cities. Vote Ed Gillespie."

Poppy, back to you.

HARLOW: Joe Johns at the White House, thank you.

Breaking news. Hurricane watches issued for parts of the Gulf Coast ahead of Tropical Storm Nate. The storm already deadly, killing at least 20 people so far in Central America. Let's go to our meteorologist, Chad Myers. He has the latest forecast.

So this thing's going through the Gulf. Warm water. What happens when it hits land?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It very well may be a hurricane. And that's why the hurricane watches are up absolutely. Even with storm surge watches, as well. Taking a similar path, not hitting Florida. Taking a similar path to

landfall like Katrina but not with the power that Katrina had, certainly. The storm right there, 45 miles per hour. It is still very warm. The water now over there, somewhere in the 86, 87-degree range.

So that is hot. Then it stays in the Gulf of Mexico. And by tomorrow night it's already on land. So this is a very, very quick mover. It moves to the north and to the northeast from there. Maybe even bringing down power lines for Mississippi, Alabama, and into Georgia. So that is something not out of the question here.

This is where the watches, and the warnings are at least for right now. We're seeing the watches right on the Gulf Coast. That pink area, that's the hurricane watch. And here comes the storm. There is the cone. It's a Category 1 storm, possibly 80 miles per hour. It could be bigger than that, because the water is so warm it's just not going to be in the water very long, because it's moving so fast -- Chris.

[07:15:02] CUOMO: I guess that's our best hope, right, is the speed of the storm. That whatever it does, it moves over the area quickly enough that it doesn't overwhelm, take any lives, do any real damage.

All right, Chad. We'll keep an eye on it. Thank you very much, my friend.

MYERS: You're welcome.

CUOMO: All right. Taking action after the Las Vegas massacre. Two lawmakers on opposite sides of the aisle are proposing legislation to help prevent another killer from using bump stocks. They join us next.


CUOMO: Fifty-eight lives stolen, hundreds and hundreds forever changed by one evil man with a plan and a ton of weapons, including a legal device that made them fire almost like machine guns. So what do we do? Many are saying it's insensitive to discuss what to do. But that is craven political B.S.

Here's the good news. A bipartisan group of lawmakers are calling for change. Two congressmen are introducing a piece of legislation that would ban these bump stocks, again the device that that Vegas murderer used to turn a semiautomatic firearm into something approximating automatic fire.

Joining us now the lawmakers behind this bipartisan push, Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo and Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton.

Gentlemen, thank you for being with us today. Thank you for doing something. Carlos, what are you doing and why?

REP. CARLOS CURBELO (D), FLORIDA: Chris, we identified, and Seth Moulton and I have teamed up on these issues in the past. But here we identified something that is a clear and flagrant circumvention of existing law.

Most Americans and most members of Congress agree with existing law. Since 1986, automatic weapons are illegal in this country. Yet these devices allow people to turn semiautomatic weapons, legal weapons into illegal weapons that obviously can be used for massacres like the one we saw in Las Vegas this past weekend. So we think that we can really bring Republicans and Democrats finally to reach some consensus in favor of sensible gun policy.

CUOMO: The NRA says, Seth, have the ATF do it. This was their reckoning in 2010 during the Obama administration. It didn't start as a piece of legislation. It's a guideline. Let them do it. Don't make it a law. What do you think of that?

REP. SETH MOULTON (R), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, the problem is that the ATF ruled that under the law as passed, these devices are legal. They were doing their regulatory job of interpreting existing law. And if that's their interpretation, then obviously, we need to change the law.

CUOMO: So that's why it has to be legal, all right. So then--

MOULTON: That's right.

CUOMO: All right. So then we take something that is good but could also be seen as a good start, Carlos. That it's not enough. It's something, but you have a broader discussion about this guy being able to stockpile 33 weapons, the kinds of weapons, the kinds of review, the lack of coordination among the people who are doing the background checks because he was in different states, in different venues. How do you address that? Should you address that?

CURBELO: Well, that's a fair point. And I think a lot of people are going to call for more, Chris. But I don't want to diminish what we're doing.

For decades, compromise between Republicans and Democrats on this issue has been elusive. We have gotten absolutely nothing. This might be a small but, I think, a very important step towards moving to a more rational conversation about sensible gun policy in this country.

Last Congress, Seth Moulton and I also introduced legislation having to do with individuals who are under FBI investigation for ties to terrorism and their ability to obtain these types of -- any type of weapon.

CUOMO: Right.

CURBELO: So sure, we can talk about other things. But I think for now, we should keep the focus on this point where there seems to be a growing bipartisan consensus.

I can tell you yesterday, my office was flooded with calls from Republican lawmakers, colleagues here, not even knowing the details of our bill yet, but very interested in getting on board. So I don't want to lose that momentum. I think if we can get something done, it will be something to celebrate.

CUOMO: It's such an interesting dynamic. You know, I mean, Congress couldn't even get through. As you're referring to, people on the no- fly list, you couldn't put in a role that they can't get guns while they're on the no-fly list. They couldn't even agree on that.

But it is interesting that you want to seize on timing when some say the timing is the precise obstacle, Seth: this argument, which in full disclosure, I think is absurd. But I'll get your take on it. That, well, you want to be sensitive to the victims, and so you don't talk about guns right now, because that's insensitive. What do you make of that?

MOULTON: Look, Chris, first of all, my heart goes out to the victims. I mean, I've served in Iraq. I've seen the effects of gun violence firsthand. It's terrible. And I can't imagine what these families must be going through right now.

But this is a time for action. This is a time when we've got to act to keep our communities safe and to prevent these things from happening in the future as much as we possibly can.

And what Carlos and I are talking about is common-sense -- common- sense reforms. They're supported by the vast majority of Americans. And it's critical that they are bipartisan. I think that's one thing we've learned from this effort. The bill that we had in the last Congress was also bipartisan, but we didn't have the momentum behind it to get it passed. I think today we have that bipartisan momentum, and so it's time to act.

CUOMO: All right. While I have you two, and, look, we'll cover it all the way through. I know that when these moments tend to leave the spotlight, the energy isn't there for coverage. That will not happen. When you put it out there, we'll cover it every step along the way and see what happens with it.

I want to get your take on something else. Let me play a piece of sound for both of you from the president.


[07:25:00] TRUMP: You guys know what this represents? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Maybe it's the calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the storm?

TRUMP: Could be the calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm is it, Mr. President?

TRUMP: We have the world's great military people in this room, I will tell you that. Thank you all for coming. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Congressman Curbelo, what storm? You think he's talking about Tropical Storm Nate? What's he talking about there, do you think?

CURBELO: I'll be very honest with you, Chris. If you could summarize quickly what he said, because I couldn't hear the audio very well here.

CUOMO: He said, "This could" -- he said, "What you're looking at could be the calm before the storm" as he was sitting with his full senior military panel there at their yearly meeting.

CURBELO: OK. I have seen that.

CUOMO: And he was asked, "What storm?"

And he said, "You'll find out."

CURBELO: I really don't know. Perhaps it has something to do with North Korea, with something else. I hope the White House will come out and clarify that today, because obviously, if any kind of storm is coming, whether it's Hurricane Nate or another foreign policy kind of storm, members of Congress should know, and I think the American people should know.

CUOMO: I mean, look, obviously, I'm being sarcastic when I say Tropical Storm Nate.

Seth, is this OK when he says something like that? Should it just be dismissed as a joke, a rhetorical flourish by an entertainer? What should -- how should we take it?

MOULTON: No, it's not OK, Chris. Because the problem is that we ought to be able to trust our commander in chief. And we don't know. I mean, maybe this is like the time he threatened an armada was headed towards North Korea. And shortly thereafter, we found out it was headed in the opposite direction.

Or maybe he's talking about doing something more serious and potentially more reckless. But we've got to be able to trust our commander in chief. And I think Americans realize that we just can't right now. And that's why we have no idea what he's talking about.

CUOMO: All right, gentlemen, thank you for your take on that. We'll be watching your measure every step of the way. A good weekend to you both. Thank you for announcing this on NEW DAY.

CURBELO: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Poppy.

MOULTON: Thank you, Chris.

[07:30:00] HARLOW: Ahead for us, a family that is suffering unimaginable pain after the attack in Las Vegas. Their loving mother remains in critical condition. And the children met with President Trump this week. They will join us live.