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Investigators Question Killer's Brother in Vegas; Bannon Expands List of Senate GOP Targets for 2018; Harvey Weinstein Fired from Company He Co-Founded; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired October 9, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:31:35] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The Las Vegas killer bragged at times that he would gamble as much as a million dollars a day. Just some of the revealing new details contained in a deposition obtained by CNN from a 2013 lawsuit filed by the shooter.
Investigators are continuing to dig for clues about a possible motive to the massacre. The FBI went back to his Mesquite, Nevada, home for a second time yesterday to search it, and along the Vegas Strip, the trademark marquees dimmed last night to honor the victims and the survivors.
Let's go to Las Vegas. That's where we find our Scott McLean with more on the investigation, as we remember all of those victims that were honored last night, rightly so.
Are investigators getting any closer here?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, there is still that big question of why, and that is what investigators are digging into. The "Las Vegas Review Journal" is now reporting that the suspect's brother Eric Paddock is now in Las Vegas speaking to investigators, interviewed by them for about four hours after he stepped off the plane in Las Vegas at McCarran Airport. He also told the "Review Journal" that he is here to help investigators, to give them an idea of his brother's mindset, and to make sure that they don't chase down any bad leads.
The other big piece of news that we're getting, Poppy, is an exclusive obtained by CNN's Kyung Lah. A first look into the suspect's mind in his own words. This was from a deposition back in 2013 over a civil suit filed by Stephen Paddock, the suspect, against the Cosmopolitan Hotel for a slip and fall that he had. And in it he describes being the world's biggest video poker player. He said he would wager up to $1 million a day, he would play all night, he says, and sleep all day.
He would also stay primarily at Las Vegas hotel casinos and those, he said, were commed, about 95 percent of the time. He also in it described what he typically wore, which was black sweatpants and flip flops most of the time.
We also know that he had a doctor on retainer, according to this deposition. That doctor prescribed him, he says, Valium, for anxiousness. He was also asked several times in that deposition about his mental health and whether he had a history of mental health issues in his family and he repeatedly said no.
And Poppy, if you're wondering about the outcome of that civil lawsuit, an independent arbitrator eventually sided with the hotel in that case.
HARLOW: Scott McLean in Las Vegas, with the latest reporting, we appreciate it. Thank you.
Let's go through what we know this Monday on this. Law enforcement analyst James Gagliano is with us. He's a retired FBI special agent.
Thank you for being here. Let's go through what Scott reported bit by bit. First of all, the fact that he said, acknowledged in this deposition he was taking Valium, a lot of Americans take Valium, but it does have these side effects, right, of aggression, of rage, et cetera.
How does that change, do you believe, questions that investigators are now asking of his girlfriend, for example?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So we know that he was on a prescription drug and as you pointed out, Poppy, I mean, that's not -- I mean, many Americans are on that, but it does have those side effects and drugs impact people in different ways. So we don't know if this wasn't something that led to the triggering here.
I also think it's interesting the contradiction in terms that -- of what if we paint this picture of him going forward, you read it's a flat two dimensional medium, the transcripts, but you read the deposition and the arrogance and the condensation and smugness to the lawyer's questions when he answered them.
[10:35:12] And then you contrast that with what his girlfriend said about what a kind and gentle soul he is. We see parts where he's a high roller but he walks around in sweatpants and flip flops. A very confounding subject, no doubt.
HARLOW: What about the note? We spoke about this last week when you were on with us. There was a note found in his hotel room with some numbers on it. They didn't know what the numbers meant. Now investigators tell CNN they do, they believe that these were numbers calculating the trajectory, the distance of the bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel down to the concert.
You even had some of the first responders weighing in on "60 Minutes" last night talking about this. What does that tell you?
GAGLIANO: Again, Poppy, it goes to the point I've been making all week which is here's -- it's so confusing that you somebody with, from what we know, unless he was a mercenary overseas had zero military experience and yet I served as an infantry officer in the Tenth Mountain Division and the calculations that he was making were the calculations that a fire support officer would be making and supplying to me saying here's how we're going to employ indirect fire. It was physics, it was properties of matter and energy, and I've long
maintained this week that he set that layer up on the 322nd floor to employ plunging fire, which is you use the direct weapon, the rifles, and you actually shoot indirect fire. You're shooting it up and down into the crowd in a parabolic type of art and it just again goes to the point that he used military tactics and strategy.
HARLOW: But again, even if we get all these answers, it does not -- does not bring these 58 people back. You've still got people hospitalized in critical condition. They are the names that we will always remember.
James Gagliano, thank you for your insight. We'll stay on this.
Ahead for us, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon expands his mission to take down establishment Republicans. Who he has added to his list next?
[10:41:15] HARLOW: Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is on a very clear mission, redefine the Republican Party by booting out the establishment lawmakers. We saw it happened in Alabama and the Republican primary when his candidate took down President Trump's own pick.
Now Bannon's list of GOP senators is growing. In fact one source tells CNN nobody is safe in 2018. No one apparently aside from Ted Cruz if you ask Breitbart.
With us now the man who knows the mind of Steve Bannon, Josh Green, CNN political analyst and author of "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency."
Nice to have you here this morning. So you read what Breitbart says which they say the only safe Republican up for re-election is Ted Cruz. CNN's reporting says no one is safe. Is Bannon winning on this?
JOSHUA GREEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we're not going to know whether he's winning until next spring and that is when a lot of these insurgent candidates that he's trying to recruit will run against incumbent Republicans in most of the Senate races. According to Breitbart and according to our reporting at Bloomberg, everybody except Ted Cruz, Bannon is trying to find a challenger for.
I would say, though, that the early indications are that there really is a lot of sentiment in the grassroots of the party for what Steve Bannon is trying to do and we saw that two weeks ago in Alabama where Roy Moore, the Bannon-endorsed candidate, beat Luther Strange, the incumbent Republican senator who then endorsed by President Trump.
HARLOW: What's interesting, though, is that well two things, the polling shows that the president among Republicans is more popular than establishment leadership, right, in Congress. We know that. McConnell, Ryan, you name it. GREEN: Yes.
HARLOW: We also know that the president has not been effective at getting big legislation through, legislation he promised, right. He hasn't been effective on repealing and replacing Obamacare, he hasn't been affected on border wall funding.
So why are we seeing people like Roy Moore in Alabama, if that's not an anomaly? Why aren't we seeing people that are still following Steve Bannon and believing in this.
GREEN: Well, because I think, Bannon, with backing from President Trump, has laid the blame for those legislative failures rightly or wrongly on Republican congressional leadership.
GREEN: And so if you look at polls of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's approval rating he's somewhere down in the teens where Trump himself is quite popular with Republicans, despite his failures. And so Bannon is I think very cleverly pitching these candidates as, you know, a slate that is going to take on Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership, hold their feet to the fire.
And, in fact, Bannon apparently is requiring that these candidates give a kind of loyalty oath that if they are elected they will vow to vote against Mitch McConnell as majority leader. So this could down the road even imperil McConnell's ability to hold on to his job inside the Republican caucus.
HARLOW: But what do you think Steve Bannon is thinking right now, reading the president's tweets he called Chuck Schumer up over the past few days and wants to make a deal with him on health care?
GREEN: I think it's probably something that would annoy Bannon. I mean, certainly that is not the direction in which he's trying to take the party. On the other hand I think Bannon is shrewd enough to know that just because Trump is talking with Bannon and Pelosi, doesn't mean that he's actually going to do anything to move in their direction.
And the clearest example of this is the deal, you know, a few weeks ago, Trump sat down and struck a deal with Pelosi and Schumer, to fund the government for an additional three months, and at that same meeting Schumer had said they essentially had come to terms on an agreement to legalize the Dreamers. Well, today the White House has come out with or given an indication of what is going to be in its side of the deal, the demands that it's going to make, and it is down the line hardline immigration positions that are never going to fly with Democrats.
[10:45:08] I think what Bannon knows is despite Trump's public flirtation with Democrats, there probably isn't a deal to be made there and Bannon and his candidates can pull the Republican Party and Trump to the right then eventually they'll succeed in Bannon's goal of taking over the Republican Party. HARLOW: What do you make of this "Washington Post" reporting over the
weekend that the RNC right now, which is very much the establishment, but also funds the president's, you know, re-election, et cetera, the RNC right now is on track to raise more small dollar contributions than any time before in the past decade. On top of that it has doubled the amount of money it has brought in over the -- over this year so far than the DNC.
We're talking about these $200 or less small donations, a lot like what we saw helped Bernie Sanders a lot on the other side. What does that speak to? Does that speak well for the president? For Bannon? For their mission?
GREEN: I think it speaks --
HARLOW: Or does this mean more of the same?
GREEN: I think it speaks well for the president. If you look at what those donors are responding to, essentially they are small dollar pitches saying support President Trump against this, you know, myriad of enemies from Democrats and the media to what have you and that message clearly is resonating with small dollar donors.
What's interesting, though, is this sets up, it seems to me, a confrontation between the RNC, which is really the cradle of the Republican establishment, and Steve Bannon, and his group of insurgent candidates, who are specifically running against that very establishment. So it's not clear how this is going to shake out to me, whether Republicans supportive of Trump side with the RNC and Trump or whether they side with Steve Bannon and these insurgents who claim that they are carrying Trump's banner forward against establishment figures like Mitch McConnell who they say are not sufficiently loyal to the president.
HARLOW: Joshua Green, thank you very much. We appreciate the insight.
GREEN: Thank you.
HARLOW: Ahead for us, two more A-list actresses speaking out this morning against Harvey Weinstein. The mega producer fired from his own company because of his own actions, because of sexual harassment, next.
[10:51:39] HARLOW: Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is out fired from the company he co-founded because of his own behavior, decades of sexual harassments and payoffs. This morning some A-listers are weighing in, Meryl Streep, who once compared Weinstein to Old Testament God, calls it a disgrace, says she is appalled. Jessica Chastain asked, what about the men? Why aren't they speaking out? Some have. Let's talk about whether more will.
Joining us now, Nischelle Turner, "Entertainment Tonight" host, CNN contributor, up early for us in Los Angeles. I appreciate it, my friend. You say Hollywood hypocrisy run amuck
NISCHELLE TURNER, HOST, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: Well, I do think that Hollywood has a problem here and it's just very simple because Hollywood, especially lately, has definitely been in the political game, where we've seen all sorts of A-listers speaking out about what they believe as injustice or justice in the world and the state of the world and how we're living right now but when it comes to something like this that is right in its own backyard we haven't really heard the bullhorn here.
We've heard whispers, we've heard -- we definitely have heard from some folks. You just talked about Meryl Streep, who put a statement out today. We've heard from the Judd Apatows, the Brie Larsons, the Jessica Chastains, those folks have definitely spoken out about this but really those loud cries of what is going on here, we certainly haven't heard. And I think that's where the hypocrisy comes in. I think that's where you see the criticism of Hollywood and in this case rightfully so.
HARLOW: Why, Nischelle? Why not cry out? I mean, there just are no two sides here. There's right, there's wrong.
TURNER: The bottom line --
HARLOW: There's morality, there's -- but he's out of the company.
HARLOW: I mean, his own board including his brother booted him out of the company. So he doesn't hold that power anymore, does he?
TURNER: Well, no. But this is all very new as well. And you're right, there is right and wrong but there's also green. And I think that a lot of people feel like speaking out against someone like Harvey Weinstein, who is a titan in the business, could definitely damage their career and, you know, I don't think necessarily coming out and saying what he did is disgusting is what's so fearful, but I guess I'm talking more about maybe people who have had experiences with him or been affected by him and when we saw Ashley Judd put her name to it.
TURNER: We saw Rose McGowan then over the weekend a woman that I know, Lauren Savan, who's a television reporter.
TURNER: Talked about it as well. And we saw other women start do this, it harkens back to the situation at FOX News once Gretchen Carlson stood up, spoke out and was very brave telling her story, she paved the way for other women to step up and say, listen, this happened to me as well.
TURNER: So I do think that we're going to see more, we're going to see this widespread, but I'm with you on the fact that there needs to be more of a public condemnation from Hollywood about this because to also say, you know, I don't think everybody knew, but to -- but now for the company to fire him and say well, more things have come out, and we know that this went back decades for people to say we absolutely knew nothing, is naive at best.
HARLOW: What about the men? What about the men? First of all, the board of Miramar is all men, three of those board members are out.
HARLOW: But four remaining booted him out said they had no inclination, never knew, never knew about any of those settlements. Hmm. Where are the men? Where are the male voices?
TURNER: It's a good question. I'm not on that board. I'm not in their heads so if that's what they said that's, you know, what they said.
[10:55:08] But that's a good question. What about the men? When we were having the conversation about the wage gap in Hollywood, we heard a lot of A-list actresses say, men need to step up and speak out and lean in on this, too, because it's --
TURNER: Things are not going to change unless we hear from them. When that happened we heard the Bradley Coopers of the world, the Ashton Kutchers of the world stand out and speak out about this. So that needs to happen here, too. Will it? I don't know. We heard Judd Apatow but there needs to be more male voices saying this is wrong, this is not good, the culture is off. Because Hollywood does have a problem. Stories of the casting couch are as the day is long.
HARLOW: I hope you come back on the show later this week with a number of men who are speaking out.
TURNER: Let's do that.
HARLOW: Do the interviews firsthand.
HARLOW: Nischelle Turner, thank you, my friend. We appreciate it.
Ahead, fighting with his own party following the escalating feud between the Republican president and the Republican senator.