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Mueller Charges 13 Russians with Interfering in 2016 Election; Clapper: Trump Indifference to Meddling a Peril to Country; Grieving Families & Friends Say Final Goodbyes; Group Chat Reveals Shooting Obsessed with Race, Violence; Steve Hall, Dianne Gallagher, Rose Flores. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired February 17, 2018 - 13:00   ET



[13:00:48] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Hello. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We began with major developments in the Russia investigation. Today, White House national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, saying evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election is now indisputable.


H.R. MCMASTER, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.


WHITFIELD: This, after the special counsel indicted 13 Russians and charged them with attempting to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The 37-page indictment describes an unprecedented campaign by Russia to support Trump, disparage Hillary Clinton, and communicate with, quote, "unwitting people" tied to the Trump campaign.


ROD ROSENSTEIN, U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.


WHITFIELD: The intelligence community pouring cold water on the president's claims the investigation is a hoax or witch-hunt.

Let's bring in CNN's Boris Sanchez, in West Palm Beach, Florida, traveling with the president.

Boris, what are you hearing?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Fred. Yes, yesterday, we saw the first full-throated admission without any caveats from President Trump that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Previously, as you know, Fred, the president had said the Russia investigation was a hoax, that was being perpetrated by Democrats and by his political opponents. At most, the president, at one point, said it could have been Russia but it also could have been China or a 400-pound person sitting on their bed.

Yesterday, for the first time, the president admitted that Russia interfered in the election, first, in a tweet, and then in a statement from the White House. Here's that tweet from the president now. He writes, quote, "Russia started their anti-U.S. campaign in 2014, long before I announced I would run for president. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did no wrong. No collusion."

A note on that in just a moment.

But here's the White House's statement. They write, quote, "We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord and rancor to be successful. It's time we stopped the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and farfetched theories which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors like Russia and do nothing to protect the principles off our institutions. We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections."

Two notes there. First, on that tweet where he says there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, that's not exactly what this indictment states. If you listen very closely to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, he said that in this indictment, there were no Americans that wittingly cooperated with the Russians. But he did say that the special counsel's investigation continues. So there's no clear indication that there won't be more indictments in the future.

And, secondly, aside from calling Russia a bad actor, there's really no condemnation of what Russia did in the 2016 election. And, further, no exact outline from the administration of how they're going to pursue any kind of sanctions or attempt to prevent Russia from interfering in future elections, including the midterm elections in 2018, which are just a few months away, Fred.

One last note. We should tell you, the president is here in Mar-a- Lago for the long weekend. And he's not golfing today, something he typically does when he is here in Palm Beach. In part, out of respect for the victims and families of those affected by the shooting Wednesday at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. The president skipping the golf course today. We'll see if we hear from him perhaps later tonight or, as he often does, tweeting early Sunday morn during the political talk shows -- Fred?

WHITFIELD: Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.

All right, let's delve a little deeper into these Russian indictments. Joining me to help explain what it's all about, CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz.

Shimon, how significant is this indictment? How much of a prelude is it to what potentially could be to come?

[13:05:07] SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: It certainly gives us our first window into the intelligence, into the information that the FBI and our intelligence community, intelligence community had really gathered, you know, for the investigators in this case. It's also the first time that they get to display exactly what they were working with here in trying to determine who was behind the interference. Such stunning evidence, such details about what they had learned, how they infiltrated this operation. You know, and what we saw yesterday was that the Department of Justice, which is trying to hold Russia responsible for what it did in the election, especially, as Boris there said, when you have a White House that really hasn't offered any kind of a solution, hasn't really offered anything to deter Russia from doing this in the future.

Now, in the indictment, we'll get to that now, is there were 13 people and three companies indicted. All Russian nationals. You know, the person who was running this operation was a Russian tycoon with ties to Vladimir Putin. He's known as Vladimir Putin's chef. He spent over $1 million a month to run this operation, which stole the identities of Americans and created false personas online. They operated social media pages designed to attract U.S. support. And then, according to the indictment, the meddling, this appears to have started as early as 2014. And then, by mid-2016, their online efforts really went to support Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton. The indictment also says that the people who were involved in this operation communicated with unwitting people associated with the Trump campaign.

You know, Fred, this really was a stunning, stunning announcement yesterday. Such detail, such information that we normally do not get from an investigation, especially at such a high level which involves national security. These kinds of details normally is not something the FBI would release even in indictment. But it appears, at least at this point, that they have felt comfortable enough, that they have gathered enough intelligence and they had no concerns that the intelligence would in any way harm our national security or other issues. But really, you know, we got a really good window into how a good FBI counterintelligence investigation works.

WHITFIELD: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much.

Let's discuss this now, these indictments, with my panel. Joining me, Steve Hall, who is a CNN national security analyst and a retired CIA chief of Russia operations. Also with me is David Rohde, who is a CNN global affairs analyst and the online news director for the "New Yorker."

Good to see both of you.


WHITFIELD: All right so, David, let me begin with you. The president's own national security adviser now says the indictments are evidence that Russia meddling is indisputable. But the president is sticking with the mantra of no collusion. What does that mean to you? DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: You know, that Trump won't

budge on this issue. I want to know when, you know, was Donald Trump told all this information? Steve may be able to answer this better than I can in terms of, is this the kind of detail intelligence information that is regularly presented to the president? He was briefed about, you know, the intelligence community's findings before he became president, you know, in early --


WHITFIELD: And warned by the Obama administration, you know, look out.

ROHDE: Because I would -- I mean, I would suggest that every American read this indictment. It's astonishing, the sophistication that went into this effort. And, you know, anyone who reads this would be startled. So how long has Donald Trump known this information and continued calling the presides liars, calling intelligence officials liars, trashing the FBI, when this narrative -- I believe he must have known it.

WHITFIELD: Steve, what do you think? Do you think this is enlightening these indictments to the president and his intel community or did they already know this?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it's almost impossible to imagine a situation where the president and the senior members of his administration were not aware of what was going on. Now, you know, did they know all of the names of the people that were involved in this particular troll farm in St. Petersburg? Perhaps not. Were they aware of all the, you know, USC, the charging codes that were used to indict these people? Probably not. Really, that's not important. I think the intelligence community was saying, you know, over a year ago that this was happening. And so, yes, it's -- he must have known about that. And yet nevertheless continued to say no, it's a hoax.

WHITFIELD: I wander if for the indictments this really gave McMaster cover to say out loud, yes, because the rest of the intel community has been saying this for a long time that Russia was meddling.

HALL: Would have been embarrassing otherwise, right?

[13:10:07] WHITFIELD: Yes. I would think. So far, the president has yet to even punish Russia for any kind of penalty for this kind of meddling, even show an interest in getting to the bottom, you know, of any kind of potential interference.

Last night, former national security adviser, James Clapper, told Anderson Cooper he believes the president's lack of response is troubling at the least.


JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Singular indifference to this is really a peril to the country and to me that transcends whether there was collusion or not, all that, that is significant, sure if that is proven to be the case. But what's a greater danger to the country is the lack of response to this. Punish the Russians. We don't have a whole of government approach to defending ourselves against further such attacks. And the Russians are going to keep coming at us.


WHITFIELD: So, David, really, that is more of what you were saying. There really is no outrage. We haven't seen, felt, heard any kind of outrage really coming from the president.

ROHDE: No, and this is sort of a wake-up call, you know, for all of us. You know, it was the Russians this time. It can be, you know, North Korea next or Iran. And this is the reality of social media and people can pose and be whatever they want. This is a great political opportunity for the president if he -- you know, Scott Jennings in the last segment talked about, you know, a special commission. He can show real leadership here. He can defuse criticism. You know, let's see if he does it. I don't think he will. It just doesn't make sense to me politically why he doesn't show leadership right now.

WHITFIELD: So, Steve, this kind of outing, you know, of the Russian operation, does that in any way or is there any hope that in anyway makes an impact on trying to defuse, you know, their power leading up to the 2018? Defusing the potential influence leading into the midterm elections this fall?

HALL: That's a really difficult call, Fred. Here's why. When you're using a lot of the espionage tools that are available to the Russians and, make no mistake, although there was an oligarch who was in charge of funding this and setting up the office space and getting people, I would be shocked in the Russian Intelligence Service weren't staffing and involved as well. But when you got access to that kind of espionage tool box, it's bad when your adversary, in this case, from the Russian perspective, the United States was able to identify this. But you're working clandestinely. You're working behind the scenes. So there's no real reason that the Russians can't continue to use a lot of the same tools as we get into this next election cycle in the next presidential cycle. They'll have to be a little more careful because now we're aware of it.

WHITFIELD: Clearly, they're masterful of blending in. That's what that indictment underscores.

HALL: Sure.

WHITFIELD: So to David, these Russians, these Russian nationals indicted, they're not going to be prosecuted in the U.S. So what really was this about, revealing this indictment, making it so public like it was done yesterday?

ROHDE: I'm not a legal expert but I do think Mueller and Rosenstein were laying out the case that there was a crime committed here. This is a base, you know, level you need that there is a crime, a conspiracy if you are going to, you know, towards collusion. There is no evidence in this indictment or that has come out publicly of collusion by the Trump campaign. But now you have an underlying conspiracy that they could be linked to. And I think it's a public service. Again, I would urge every viewer that read this indictment to just let Americans know what happened.

WHITFIELD: All right, 37 pages. Hey, the weekend is a perfect opportunity in which people can do that, take the time to read it, because it's important to know what's going on in this country, right?

All right, Steve Hall, David Rohde, thank you to both of you. Appreciate it.

Newly uncovered group text messages reveal the Florida school shooter was obsessed with race and guns. This, as the FBI makes a stunning admission conceding it missed a major warning sign. Details next.


[13:18:34] WHITFIELD: Live pictures right now of an anti-gun rally in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. People of all ages have turned out to protest gun violence after 17 people were lost just 30 minutes north of Parkland, Florida, this week. And we'll continue to monitor that rally taking place right there.

All right, right now, five people injured in the deadly Florida school massacre are still in the hospital, and one of them is in critical condition. The funerals have started for the 17 victims as families and friends say their final good-byes. One memorial service is expected to start in just a few hours.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher joins us live now from Parkland, Florida.

Tell us about this weekend's service.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, we began these funerals yesterday with two. Today, it's going to be a memorial service for 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver. His friends called him Juaq because some of them had a hard time saying his first name. He emigrated here from Venezuela with his family about 14 years ago. Just about a year ago almost to the day he became a U.S. citizen. He posted about it on his Instagram, how happy and proud he was. His friends are going to be memorializing him, talking about him, remembering him this afternoon in a couple of hours. It's a private ceremony tomorrow, Fred.

The teacher, Scott Beagle, that geography teacher who his students credit with saving lives, he opens the door when the gunman came through, and when he tried to close it, according to students, that is when, unfortunately, he was killed.

Another one of the so many stories of heroism we have heard over the past few days of the people inside that school when the shooter decided to come in there. And we're beginning again to sort of lay them to rest and, hopefully, this community can then decide what comes next.

[13:20:28] WHITFIELD: And then, Dianne, what can you tell us about the president and first lady's choice to visit victims in the hospital last night?

GALLAGHER: So it was actually right here. We're at Broward Health North. There are two hospitals that have patients that were injured in that shooting. And the good news is that the number goes down almost every single day. Just five remain in the hospital, one in critical condition here at Broward North. And that is one of the patients that the president and first lady visited. Some of these photos posted by his social media manager. You can see him there with Maddy Willford. She's on the basketball team. She was shot multiple times. The president talked about here being shot in the chest, the lungs, and her sort of battling multiple surgeries. We spoke with doctors here who talked about just all of the -- just the short notice, talking a 15-minute window, coming in here in that time.

The president and first lady praising those doctors, first responders and sheriffs, deputies and police officers who responded to that shooting when he visited the sheriff's office a little later after the hospital here. He remarked on how quickly they all responded and what a good job they were able to do that day.

WHITFIELD: All right, Dianne Gallagher, thank you.

We continue to learn new disturbing details about the shooter. "The Palm Beach Post" is reporting some trouble at home after the shooter's mother died. It says, last November, he moved in with a close family friend. The two got into a fight after the shooter brought home a gun. The article says his benefactor gave him an ultimatum, you or the gun. And that he chose the gun and left. This is just one of the countless red flags that we've been hearing about.

CNN's Rosa Flores joining us live from Parkland, Florida. And she has CNN exclusive reporting on the shooter's online activity, which also is very disturbing.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, CNN obtained exclusive access into that disturbing world that the suspect functioned in. It was our colleague, "Paul Murphy, was allowed inside an Instagram chat room, where the suspect and five others talked about violence and shared pictures of weapons and body armor. And they also made comments that were very racist. Things like, I hate black people because they're black. The suspect also made comments saying he hated Jews because they were going to destroy the world. And that he hated gays and that gays, quote, "He wanted to shoot them in the back of the head." He said, quote, I think I'm going to kill people. Quote, my real mom was a Jew and I am glad I never met her.

They also spoke about getting weapons and about those weapons. In one conversation, one of the individuals tells the suspect he can buy an accessory that would make his A.R.-15 automatic. From law enforcement sources, we know that the gun that was used in this massacre was not an automatic weapon, so he didn't and was not using that accessory in this shooting. But they go on to talk about the body armor. The suspect says in this chat room that he got paid $330 on that particular day he was going to go online to buy body armor. That he got a $30 discount and free shipping in that body armor, and getting that body armor. So, Fred, this is just a sliver, a portion of the conversations that

he was a part of. And now we know, of course, that someone that was close to him called the FBI, that FBI tip fell through the cracks. Didn't get investigated. And wonder, was it somebody in the chat room? Was it somebody who was close to him? Was it who was worried based on the conversations that the suspect was having in his circle -- Fred?

[13:24:28] WHITFIELD: So sad. All right, Rosa Flores, thank you so much.

Again, we're watching live pictures of an anti-gun rally in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. People of all ages turning out to protest gun violence after 17 lost their lives at that Parkland Florida high school this week.


WHITFIELD: Thirteen Russians are now facing indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They're charged with attempting to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The indictment describes an unprecedented campaign by Russia to support Donald Trump, disparage Hillary Clinton, and communicate with, quote, "unwitting people" tied to the Trump campaign.

After the indictments were announced, the White House released a statement by President Trump, saying, quote, "We cannot allow those seeking to sow confuse, discord and rancor to be successful. It's time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories which only serves further the agenda of bad actors like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions. We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections."

[13:30:10] I want to talk this over with our political panel now. Lauren Fox is a congressional reporter for CNN Politics. And Brian Karem is with Sentinel Newspapers and is a CNN political analyst.

Good to see you both.


WHITFIELD: Brian, The White House is calling for an end to outlandish theories and partisan attacks. This, after the indictments help establish the meddling from Russia, which would sow discord. So what does the president mean by his statement?

KAREM: Well, hopefully, he means something decent. I take him at face value, OK. At the very least, all these people are really missing the point on the president's side of the aisled on and the Democratic side of the aisle. Doesn't really matter whether he is a witting actor in this. If he was an unwitting actor, then he was a rube and he was a puppet. Russia moved on our elections, got involved in our elections, and backed Donald Trump. And according to that indictment, spent as much as $1.25 million a month. Hundreds of people were involved. Hundreds of thousands of people were involved. They proved to be better at grassroots organizing than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as far as that goes.

But the sad part of it is we're still looking at it -- the president is right in that regards. The rancor has got to end. But he was the recipient of what occurred. So he's got to own that. He's got to say yes, OK, fine, own that part of it. And move forward. Otherwise, if you don't get this, then the people who supported Donald Trump, if he was a witting actor, that's obstruction of justice, perhaps treasonous. If not, he was a rube and a puppet, and you were played. Until we come to that understanding and move forward, you're going to continue with the rancor in this country and you're going to continue with the partisanship. The simple fact of the matter is neither Democrats nor Republicans at this point that I've seen on either side of the aisle want to drop that because the Democrats want to press on the point that the Republicans were the beneficiaries of this and the Republicans don't want to admit that they were the beneficiaries of this action. And that's -- it's scary action. It's -- that indictment, that 37-page indictment, Fred, is chilling in what it points out.

WHITFIELD: It is chilling for anyone who reads it.


WHITFIELD: One has to wonder if the president has read it, you know, Lauren because, you know, he does kind of borrow certain words and phraseology in his statement that are very in sync with the indictments. However, the president seems to be talking about something else. He's talking about partisan rancor and he's talking about protecting the integrity of our democracy and that's exactly what, you know, is being said by these indictments which are attacking the integrity of our democracy which is our elections. So does the president have a different understanding of what's taking place here or is he just simply trying to adhere to what he sees as a different path of truth?

LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if we take a step back, we have to remember that the president for a long time resisted any allegations that Russia meddled in the election. He thought if Americans believed Russia meddled in the election, Americans would believe his election was illegitimate. We heard yesterday, while Russians did meddling in the election, and that's what the indictment alleged, what's troubling is the president was saying, look, this did not have anything to do with the outcome of the election, and that's also what the indictment alleged. This particular indictment didn't say --


FOX: -- that this changed the outcome of the election and that is the important thing --


WHITFIELD: Rosenstein said that. He underscored that.

KAREM: Yes. FOX: Absolutely. And it's important for the president.

KAREM: And when McMaster came forward and said, look, this is incontrovertible proof the Russians meddling in our election --


WHITFIELD: That's a really nice cue, Brian, let's hear McMaster say that himself.



H.R. MCMASTER, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.



KAREM: Now that's frightening. That's very frightening.

WHITFIELD: Which part is frightening?

KAREM: The frightening part is that we had to wait that long to get that admission when it was out there all along. The fact that someone in the president's inner circle finally admits that. And chilling in the fact that it points out how we've, again, been played. And we have to wake up to the fact that our enemies are determining the outcome of our elections.

And it also is chilling because it shows just how soft and vulnerable the American electorate is to outside influence, particularly through social media manipulation and the purchasing of ads and people getting involved -- if someone says, I agree with you, let me help you, maybe want to question motives at some point in time, particularly when money's involved. And if you're spending $1.25 million a month, maybe you might want to ask a question or two.

[13:35:07] WHITFIELD: All right. Brian and Lauren, we'll have to leave it right there.

This has been a very difficult week not just south Florida but really the nation as it still grapples with this horrible massacre taking place at the high school, 17 killed.

Let's listen to students with very powerful voices at this rally in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, right now.

EMMA GONZALEZ, STUDENT: But because, just as David said, we are going to be the last mass shooting.

(CHEERING) GONZALEZ: Just like that, we are going to change the law. That's going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook and it's going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, and, most importantly, the students. The students --


GONZALEZ: The students who are dead, the students still in the hospital, the students who are now suffering from PTSD, the students who had panic attacks during the vigil because the helicopters who wouldn't leave us alone hovering over the school 24 hours a day.

There's been one tweet that I would like to call attention to. "So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed. Even expelled for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities again and again."

We did. Time and time again. Since he was in middle school. It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter.

Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn't know this kid! OK, we did. We know that they're claiming that there are mental health issues. And I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue. He wouldn't have harmed that many students with a knife.


GONZALEZ: How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the shooter's fault?


GONZALEZ: The fault of the people who let him buy the guns in the first place. Those at the gun shows, the people who encouraged him to buy accessories for his guns to make them fully automatic, the people who didn't take them away from him when they knew he expressed homicidal tendencies.

And I am not talking about the FBI. I'm talking about the people that he lived with. I'm talking about the neighbors who saw him outside holding guns.


GONZALEZ: If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association.


GONZALEZ: You want to know something?


GONZALEZ: It doesn't matter because I already know.


GONZALEZ: $30 million.


GONZALEZ: And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the United States in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump? If you don't prevent any of this from coming -- from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up, and the number they are worth will go down. We will be worthless to you.

To every politician taking donations from the NRA, shame on you.



GONZALEZ: If your money was as threatened as us, would you first thought be, how is this going to reflect on my campaign? Which should I choose? Or would you choose us, and if you answered us, will you act like it for once? You know what would be a good way to act like it? I have an example how not to act like it. In February of 2017, one year ago, President Trump repealed an Obama-era regulation that would have made it easier to link the sale of firearms to people with certain mental illnesses.


GONZALEZ: From the interactions that I had had with the shooter before the shooting and the information that I currently know about him, I don't really know if he was mentally ill. But I wrote this before I heard what Delaney said. Delaney said he was diagnosed. I don't need a psychologist and I don't need to be a psychologist to know repealing that regulation was a really dumb idea.


[13:40:55] GONZALEZ: Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, was the sole sponsor on this bill that stops the FBI from performing background checks on people adjudicated to be mentally ill. And now he's stating for the record, well, it's a shame that the FBI isn't doing background checks on these mentally ill people. Well, duh, you took that opportunity away last year!


GONZALEZ: The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and our parents to call B.S. Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers nowadays saying all we are is self-involved and trend obsessed, and they hush us into submissions when our message doesn't reach the ears of the nation, we are prepared to call B.S. Politicians --


GONZALEZ: Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA, telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this, we call B.S.


GONZALEZ: They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call B.S.


GONZALEZ: They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call B.S.


GONZALEZ: They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call B.S.


GONZALEZ: No, they say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call B.S.


GONZALEZ: That us kids don't know what we're talking about, that we're too young to understand how the government works. We call B.S.


GONZALEZ: If you've preregistered to vote, contact your local Congress people --


WHITFIELD: All right, very powerful messaging coming from that young lady, Emma Gonzalez, a student at Douglas High School. And she is fired up there and has also fired up the crowd.

She's underscoring that students are ready to take action, take the lead in some sort of change, that another school shooting does not happen again. She even went as far as challenging politicians against accepting any more money from the National Rifle Association, including the president of the United States. She even talked about if she had an opportunity to talk with the president directly, that she would happily tell him that he should stop receiving money from the NRA.

And now we're also hearing from other students, family members, so many people impacted by the shooting deaths of 17 at the hands of a student who was once expelled from that school. We'll continue to monitor the remarks there out of Ft. Lauderdale. Again, this taking place only about 30 to 40 minutes away from where

the president is at Mar-a-Lago this weekend.

We'll be right back.


[13:48:30] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. We want to take you back to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where a lot of people turned out to anti-gun rally. Students are talking. Now teachers are talking. Let's listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED TEACHER: Who should be able to buy a A.R.-15? No one. All right. Especially not an 18-year-old.


UNIDENTIFIED TEACHER: I just wanted to conclude, never again. I will work the rest of my life to try to make sure that this never again happens to anyone else, because it never should.

Thank you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you.

Martha, thank you so much.

OK. Before we hear from federal, state and county official, I want to bring up two people who have been -- who are Parkland representatives who have been at Stillman (ph), Commissioner Stacy Kagan (ph) and Commissioner Grace Solomon.


GRACE SOLOMON, PARKLAND CITY REPRESENTATIVE: Hello. We are here standing united with Coral Springs Commissioner Dan Daley.


SOLOMON: Yesterday, morning, we attended the funerals of Alyssa Alhadeff. An hour after the funeral, we attended the funeral of Meadow Pollack. And after we leave here today, we are going to another funeral. And the next day, there's three more. And the day after that, there's more. And every day for the rest of this week, we will be spending our time at funerals and wakes instead of celebrations.

[13:50:17] This morning, I spent my time on the phone with the good friend of mine, Jen Mantalto. And I met Jen, because she recruited me before my child was a kindergartener. And she said, come join me at the PTA at Park Trails Elementary, because we can make a difference for our kids. We can be there for our kids.


She was at those schools every day, elementary, middle and high school. On February 13th, she volunteered in the office at Stoneman Douglas High School. On February 14th, she was supposed to be attending a meeting in the late afternoon. Her daughter, Gina Mantalto, was one of the victims.

I am angry. We are angry.


SOLOMON: This is not political. This isn't about winning or losing a vote. But it is about protecting our children.


SOLOMON: This is about protecting our teachers.


SOLOMON: This is about protecting the paras and the staff and the administrators who work every day in those schools.


SOLOMON: This is about protecting our kids from fear. I'm tired of speaking to my child about how he can deal with his fear about going to school, which should be a safe place.


SOLOMON: We must unite. Our voices must be heard.


SOLOMON: We are a lot of smart people, and there is a lot of smart people out here, and we can find a common ground to make a difference, because as we gather together, there are 17 voices that are never going to be heard again. We must. We have to. We must be their voice.


SOLOMON: The PTA moms has set up a Facebook page, Families First, Politics Second.


SOLOMON: It is a non-partisan movement to keep our schools safe and effect change. We are going to Tallahassee and we want you to the join us in Tallahassee, because the only way they will listen to us is if we show up. We march. We must show up.

(CHEERING) SOLOMON: Let's stand together, Families First, Politics Second. Enough is enough.


SOLOMON: Now, here's Parkland Vice Mayor Stacy Kagan.

STACY KAGAN, PARKLAND VICE MAYOR: We have had too many national tragedies across our country. And it is time for this to stop.


KAGAN: February 14th, 2018 at 2:35 p.m. has changed our city and our community and our country forever. This city of Parkland and this city of Coral Spring, we are going to be united as one, because our children come from both of those communities.

My daughter graduated from Douglas in 2007, and that was her home. This is our children's home. This is supposed to be a safe haven for our children to go and have an education.

We have to remember what our teachers did to save the lives of so many children in those six minutes.


KAGAN: SOLOMON: They grabbed those kids. They locked those doors. They stayed in closets. They kept them calm. Thank your teachers. Talk to your kids. Spread the word, this can never happen again. We need safety in our schools. We need unity. We need to fight together and make this stop.

I am now going to the hand the microphone over to the Dan Daley, who is one of our commissioners in Coral Spring. And he is a graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School.

We stand strong together. Keep our schools safe.


[13:55:19] WHITFIELD: All right. Pleas that are powerful, passionate and very painful. We are hearing from elected officials, teachers, parents and students at this anti-gun rally. And we will continue to monitor it out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Still so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM right after this.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a smart moment, there's isn't much you can't control. But if you want to see how much water you use before your bill arrives, there aren't a lot of options.

(on camera): I have no idea how much water I use on a daily basis. I mean, most people don't, correct.


CRANE (voice-over): Tech start-ups are innovating new ways to help homeowners.

WATERS: So this tells you today's total water usage for your home compared to your seven-day average. It's interesting to know your overall budget, but you want to know how you're doing versus your neighbors or --

CRANE (on camera): Right. You are telling me I use X gallons of water a day. I had no idea is that is more or less.

WATERS: Right. Or it that is good or bad.

CRANE: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water a day. But to cut back, you need to know where you are wasting the water.

(on camera): How does the buoy know that it was the sink running and not the toilet or the shower?

WATERS: We use the machine learning and we gather information about w water flow along a single point if your house along the water main and we send the information on water flows via Wi-Fi on the back end.

CRANE: Buoy isn't the only device available to track your water use.

This thin device installs on your water main and monitors your water pressure. If a catastrophe happens while you are away, you can shut it off with your phone. While leaks can cost hundreds of dollars in damages and fees, these systems are not cheap.

Buoy and Fin will set you back over $800. That's not including insulation.

But people looking to limit their environmental footprint, devices like these can play an important role in preserving a precious resource.



[13:59:56] WHITFIELD: Hello, again. Thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Right now, we are watching an anti-gun rally in Ft. Lauderdale. And survivors, teachers, parents, elected officials are there. They have very passionate, strong messages. Let's listen in.