Return to Transcripts main page


Emotional Las Vegas Sheriff Updates Massacre Timeline; Interior Secretary Zinke's Flag Raising Eyebrows; Zinke Under Investigation for Travel; Weinstein Scandal Changing the Way People Talk about Sexual Harassment after 4th Rape Accusation. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired October 13, 2017 - 15:30   ET



[15:33:16] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Moments ago, in Las Vegas, a clearly emotional and also defensive sheriff updating the investigation into the shooting massacre and what's been a changing timeline for a few days. He told reporters he is not attempting to hide anything.


JOE LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's important that you continue to listen to me. And 9:59 is important. It wasn't inaccurate when I provided it to you. The circumstances associated with it is inaccurate. OK?

There is no conspiracy between the FBI, between LVMPD and MGM. Nobody is attempting to hide anything reference this investigation. The dynamics and the size of this investigation requires us to go through voluminous amounts of information in order to draw an accurate picture. My attempt, like I stated earlier, is to give you information as I know it, unverified, to calm the public, not to establish a legal case. Everybody understand that? No questions, sir.


KEILAR: I want to bring in CNN correspondent, Scott McLean.

You have been covering this story for some time in Las Vegas, Scott. What was your reaction it this press conference and just the tone from the sheriff?

[15:34:44] SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, I think a lot of people were struck by just how defensive the sheriff was over this investigation, saying he was offended, frankly, by any suggestion of incompetence. But the reality is there have been contradictions and changes to the official timeline. Originally, police had said Jesus Compos, the security guard at Mandalay Bay, who was first to spot trouble, was shot by the suspect after he had already fired on the crowd. And earlier this week, the sheriff said that he was actually shot a clear six minutes before the suspect ever started firing at the crowd. The sheriff said that was a minute change, but it made a very significant difference to the timeline here. Today, he is revising it again after MGM, owner of Mandalay Bay, came

out last night saying they believe that Campos was shot within a minute of the suspect firing on the crowd. Today, the sheriff agreed with MGM, saying that 9:59 number is not when Campos was shot, but when he tried to get on the 32nd floor where this was all taking place. He couldn't get on the floor because the suspect had barricaded the door from the stairwell, so he had to go up to a different floor and come down a different way. So there's been big changes here, Brianna, and the sheriff warned, again, that even what he told reporters today may still change in the future.

KEILAR: Yes. He did warn that today.

Scott McLean, thank you so much for that report.

Next, he is already under scrutiny for his travel habits, so why is the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke making headlines for a flag? It is raised when he walks into work and taken down when he leaves. We'll have the story behind Secretary Zinke and his flag, next.


[15:40:32] KEILAR: All federal buildings fly American flags, but over the Department of Interior, the U.S. flag has a little bit of company. A special flag made just for the Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke. And it is raising a few eyebrows in Washington.

Here to explain is Rene Marsh, our CNN aviation and government regulations correspondent.

So tell us about this flag, Rene, and specifically when this flag is flown.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS CORRESPONDENT: So, I can tell you, Brianna, it is a military ritual. I spoke with people at Interior Department who have been working there for a pretty long time, and they say they don't actually recall ever seeing this happen at the agency before.

Now, according to "Washington Post," which first reported this, a security staffer actually takes an elevator to the seventh floor of the Interior Department and then climbs the stairs to the top of the building to the roof to raise a special flag whenever the Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, enters the building. And when Zinke goes home or travels, the flag, which is blue, a blue banner and also has the agency's seal with seven white stars, it comes down when he is not there. And when Zinke also isn't around, the same sort of ritual happens for his deputy secretary, but using a totally different flag.

A spokeswoman for Zinke told the paper he is a former Navy SEAL commander and says that this is a Navy flag-flying tradition. That spokeswoman said it is a major, and I'm quoting, "a major sign of transparency."

But again, Brianna, this is just another interesting tidbit, associated with Zinke. If you remember, he actually arrived at work at the Interior Department on horseback.

KEILAR: On a horse, yes.


KEILAR: No, he certainly has some panache, right? He is also looked at, right, because of his travel?

MARSH: Right. So on the serious side, Zinke has mixed official business with political activity and visits home. And it is raising questions about the appropriateness of the trips and whether any ethics rules or, for that matter, federal laws have been violated. Zinke's travel is now under scrutiny and under investigation, we should add, by both the Office of Special Council as well as Interior Department's inspector general.

So we have been looking through his schedule, which we now have detailed accounts of his day-to-day and some of the meetings that he took, and we saw one entry where it says, just weeks after he officially became Interior secretary, he traveled on March 30th to the U.S. Virgin Islands for official business. He attended a series of meetings with government officials there, but also attended a Republican Party fundraiser. Tickets were anywhere between $75 to $5,000. And then, in May, he tacked on a political event to multiday trip in Alaska.

So what a lot of these watch dogs are asking is, you know, is he using official business to subsidize these sorts of political activities. The question is, we don't know if there is any wrongdoing at this point. But it is certainly something that is under investigation -- Brianna?

KEILAR: All right, we know you will keep digging on that.

Rene Marsh, thank you so much.

[15:43:55] Next, the rapid downfall of Harvey Weinstein. Another accuser coming forward saying she was raped by the Hollywood mogul. Are the legal walls closing him in? Also, how the scandal is changing the conversation when it comes to sexual harassment in America?


KEILAR: The accusations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mega producer, Harvey Weinstein, keep piling up. The latest is actress, Rose McGowan. She's now the fourth woman to come forward and publicly accuse Weinstein of rape. "The New York Times" earlier reported that McGowan was one of several women who had reached financial settlements with Weinstein, basically to keep quiet. But few are keeping quiet now about how he behaved.

I want to bring in Hadas Gold, CNN's politics, media and business reporter.

Hadas, this has been explosive. But I think a lot of people also look at this and they say, you know, Hollywood's had this gross reputation for quote unquote casting couch behavior but it seems like now maybe something is kind of changed with that. How is this scandal changing the way people are talking about sexual harassment?

HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA & BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, of course. And it is this scandal, and also the scandals we have seen in the past few years, for example, with Roger Ailes and with others. What is changing is women coming forward and not being afraid to tell their stories and not afraid to stand up. And I really think what the key is, with the Harvey Weinstein story, with the Roger Ailes stories, is that you have powerful women, women with deep pockets and their own reputations who came forward and said, yes, that happened to me as well. Then you see the avalanche coming. Women know they are not alone, not the only ones that this happened to.

A lot of times in these situations, the women were early in their careers, in their early 20s, trying to break in as actresses, they didn't have the money. And, often times, the settlement would not keep them from being ostracized in the community, but it would also give them some money to help them out.

What we're seeing now, these powerful women are coming forward. But these companies are finding these things are hurting their bottom lines. I think that's really important here. The Weinstein Company, reporting was just out this morning from the "Wall Street Journal," it might even be dissolving now because of this.

[15:50:38] KEILAR: You know, you make that point, and I think that lends some credibility that you have women, certainly, who are well- known, they're seen as credible, they have some power. But compared to Harvey Weinstein, especially back in the day, as you note, they didn't. So we're seeing this avalanche now. But it's just -- it's so interesting that it really takes this, right? Even when you're looking at people who you think, oh, man, they're so accomplished.

So what happens if there is a situation where you don't necessarily have this critical mass, like we've seen with Harvey Weinstein or like we've seen in the alleged crimes Bill Cosby committed?

GOLD: I do think that we are seeing a cultural shift. It's not massive quite yet, because as we've seen, it does take these powerful women, these well-known people and a group of them to come forward, but there is a cultural shift where this is just not the way business is done in Hollywood or the way business is done in the media. We are seeing a change across the board. Just recently, Amazon suspended an executive for making inappropriate comments to another producer, alleged improper comments. And what we're seeing is some sort of change. It's not clear yet if an unknown woman would come forward with an allegation towards another high-powered executive, whether we would see the same sort of avalanche, but we're starting to see people are believing these women more and more, and not just accepting it as the status quo.

KEILAR: Yes, it's really fascinating that maybe we are at this sea change on the issue or maybe an inflection point on the issue when it comes to sexual harassment and what behavior is unacceptable.

Hadas Gold, thank you. Really appreciate it.

GOLD: Thank you.

KEILAR: Still ahead, President Trump is taking steps to dismantle two of President Obama's signature achievement, Obamacare and the Iran deal. We're going to speak live to a Senator about where Congress takes it from here.


[15:56:26] KEILAR: So just moments ago, we saw the sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department getting very emotional when he was speaking about fellow officers who were so heroic during the massacre in Las Vegas. Some of them are still recovering from their severe injuries. He says one of them even asked to come back to work today despite having a broken leg.

The heroes also include firefighters. Twelve off-duty firefighters were shot during the rampage, some while they were helping victims.

Stephanie Elam has the story of two firefighters who were at the concert enjoying the music with their wives when bullets started flying. It's what's they did next that goes "Beyond the Call of Duty."



TRAVIS HOLDERMAN, FIRE ENGINEER, CLARK COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: Jason Aldean stopped playing, ran off stage, and that's really when it hit us.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Off-duty Clark County fire engineer, Travis Holderman, is enjoying the end of the three-day country music festival on the Vegas Strip with his wife, Hailey (ph), when he thinks he hears fireworks.


JESSE GOMES, FIREFIGHTER, CLARK COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: It was nonstop popping sounds, gunfire.

ELAM: Jesse Gomez, another off-duty firefighter, is also there with his wife, Debbie.

Both firefighters usher their wives to safety.

DEBBIE GOMEZ, WIFE OF JESSE GOMEZ: I was in hysterics, absolute hysterics. Just screaming, like, why did he go back? Why did he go back?

ELAM: In an instant, Jesse and Travis transitioned from concertgoers to first responders.

GOMEZ: There was a lady on the ground and she was bleeding all over from the head and face. We just picked her up and we carried her to the other side, me and a couple of strangles.

ELAM: As bullets continue to fly, the concert venue is chaotic.

GOMEZ: People on the ground. People hurt. People running around. People deceased and other people lying with them.

ELAM: Travis uses his belt to make a tourniquet for a man shot in the leg and carries him to the medical tent.

TRAVIS: Three shots skipped out five or 10 feet in front of my feet across the pavement.

ELAM: With a makeshift team, Jesse continues to pull people to safety.


GOMEZ: I might have carried, like physically carried six to 10.

ELAM: Of the several people Travis rescues, the most concerning is a woman shot in the lower back.

HOLDERMAN: Her feeling in her legs were really touch and go at times.

ELAM (on camera): Was she by herself?

HOLDERMAN: At this time, yes.

ELAM (voice-over): That young woman is Riley Golgart (ph). Holderman rides with her to the hospital. He gets updates on her progress, like when she stands for the first time.

HOLDERMAN: I cry about every single time I say this, but it's not because I'm sad, it's because I'm so, so proud of her for being that strong.

HAILEY (ph) HOLDERMAN, WIFE OF TRAVIS HOLDERMAN: Some people were heroes and some people needed a hero, and that's OK.

ELAM: Two men acting with such humanity in the face of utter depravity, as 58 lives were lost and hundreds were injured in the 1, October massacre.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Las Vegas, Nevada.


KEILAR: And as we learned today, 45 people still in the hospital, some of them in critical condition, but with a fighting chance because of so many first responders like those firefighters there in Stephanie Elam's report.

And "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thanks, Brianna.

If you're one of the people who failed to take Candidate Donald Trump literally, I present to you today.

"The Lead" starts right now.

Breaking news. President Trump taking a combative turn in U.S. policy against Iran, threatening to walk away from the nuclear deal that President Obama negotiated, just as he promised he would do before he got elected.

Even fewer Puerto Ricans have power today --