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President Trump Is Turning That Tragedy Into A Political Excuse To Lash Out At The Fbi, President Has Plans This Week To Have Some Sort Of Listening Session With Students And Teachers, Students Of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School In Florida Are Demanding Change Following Last Week's Shooting Massacre That Claims 17 Lives. Aired 7- 8p ET
Aired February 18, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: I want to bring in Sara Murray with more on this breaking news.
Sara, what is involved in this plea deal?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't appear that they have struck a deal, according to the "L.A. Times." we were reporting at the end of last week, they were finalizing this plea deal and Gates was poised to cooperate.
Now according to the "L.A. Times" as part of this agreement, Gates will testify against Manafort. That was his co-defendant in the case. And they were facing financial charges that were unrelated to the Presidential campaign and both of them have pleaded not guilty. Now according to the "L.A. Times," Gates can serve about 18 months in prison. That is very different than the risk he will take and he decided to go to trial. If he has gone to trial and been found guilty he was potentially facing upwards of ten years in prison. This is someone who is under a lot of financial pressure. He has a young family. He has four young children. And so, obviously, he is moving forward to try and strike this deal.
Now, if you are Paul Manafort, the co-defendant in this criminal case, obviously this is worrisome news for you that your former business partner is willing to testify against you. It also puts additional pressure on Manafort to cooperate with the special counsel in his probe. And we don't have a great idea, Ana, where that probe is going to be going.
Getting Gates' cooperation could just be a building block for Robert Mueller. Either to bring potential charges against President Donald Trump or another Trump associate. The White House has down played any potential plea deal essentially saying we think this has to do with their own finances, their own business, nothing to do with the campaign or the transition.
CABRERA: And yet, Gates was with the Trump team longer than Manafort. What was his role exactly?
MURRAY: That's right. So even after Paul Manafort was ousted from the campaign, Rick Gates kind of managed to stick around. And after the campaign ended he remained in President Trump's orbit. He worked on the inaugural committee. They helped raise money. They helped plan the inauguration. And then after that he went and worked for a nonprofit that was supporting Donald Trump and he actually had to leave that position because of his ties to Paul Manafort. So it is very unclear whether the special counsel could be building to something bigger than Paul Manafort or something different that is not on our radar yet.
CABRERA: All right. Sara Murray, thank you in Washington.
I want to bring in our panel now to help us understand what this could mean for this investigation, for the President. Joining us former U.S. district attorney Michael Moore and CNN national security analyst and former senior adviser to the national security adviser under President Obama, Samantha Vinograd.
So Michael, what does it seem like Mueller is trying to do here? Is this a way to nail Manafort or is this a way to put pressure on Manafort to flip on someone bigger?
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Yes. This is sort of classic federal prosecutor style and it's a big deal. This news is a big deal tonight. And I promise you, it's a big deal in the White House.
If you think a minute about just a typical drug case, and you go after the street level dealer and you get him to flip and he turns on the supplier and they flip and they turn on the porter and they flip and turn over on the distributor and finally somebody works their way up to the kingpin, that's really what you are seeing here.
What you see in here is Trump is at the top of the chain or someone close to him at the top of the chain. And you are watching Bob Mueller work his way from the bottom to the top. And so he will put pressure now on Gates. Gates didn't have the means it move forward with the defense in the case and probably didn't want it spend a number of years in jail especially since he has four children. And that he will move in on Manafort. And Manafort has to be sitting there thinking, am I now going to take a risk and go to trial and basically bite the bullet and sacrifice myself for somebody who has no loyalty or am I going to go ahead now that I've got another cooperating witness to testify against me, that being Gates, and move on up?
Remember too, we don't know what Flynn's testimony. And yet we are seeing Mueller put these pieces together. And that is just classic prosecutor style. I have said from the beginning, follow the money in the case. This is a money case. And that's what Gates is going to talk about. That's what Manafort is going to talk about. That's the one thing that this President holds more dear than anything else and that's money. Follow the money.
And what I'm guessing at the end of the day you will see that Gates becomes sort of the Trump card if you pardon the pun that knocks the house of cards down. CABRERA: So Samantha, you have worked in the White House. You
understand the loyalty for the office. Those three people, we have Flynn, Papadopoulos and now Gates. What do you make of it?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, FORMER SENIOR ADVISE TO NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think that what we are see is that process is working. And I actually think that all of the reporting from Friday with the indictments that came down and this potential charge as well or this potential flip, is sending a message around the world that despite President's Trump's repeated attacks on the investigation, on the department of justice, Bob Mueller is doing his job as just discussed. He is talking to witnesses. He is trying to get more people to talk and get more information. And that sends a really clear signal that U.S. legal system is functioning. And that our democratic institutions even though under attack by countries like Russia are functioning.
CABRERA: And Michael, there are people that have gotten a deal, obviously, but who wouldn't be able to get a deal?
[19:05:03] MOORE: Well, once you get to a certain place there is no reason for a prosecutor to cut a deal. I mean, ultimately, they are working their way up and they realize again that the lower-level people have information on the high-level people. Let's take somebody high up in the administration.
There is really no reason for them to cut Jared Kushner a deal unless he is going to turn on Trump. So once you get to a certain place, there is no reason to give a deal. I have read the indictment. It is a significant thing. It is very well played out. I have heard Trump crowing about the idea that somehow this vindicates him. That's just nonsense. And indictment is a document that sets out the facts and allegations relative to the people who are charged in it. And that is what it did.
CABRERA: You are talking about the indictment that came on Friday that was presented against the 13 Russians.
MOORE: That's exactly right. That is in no way and should be in no way seen as any kind of vindication or proof that there was no collusion. This is simply Mueller getting the grand jury to indict these 13 Russians telling what they did. Talking about the depth of their involvement. Talking about the details they had in place. Trips they took. It was interesting they came to Atlanta. But my guess is Bob Mueller is going to tell us before too long why the Russians visited here.
But it is a very detailed and very laid out indictment. What it tells us though is that he is continuing to work, continuing to get more people and he puts pressure on various folks and various defendants out there to talk about people higher up the line. Remember, and I said this in the last section, we haven't heard from Flynn. That is going to be a big deal on what he has to say.
CABRERA: Samantha, do you get the impression that these are all sort of in their own columns, these different indictments, these plea deals, or at some point do they all come together?
VINOGRAD: I think that they will. I think that Bob Mueller is pursuing different aspects of this investigation whether related to financial transactions. Whether related undisclosed or misreported meetings with foreign entities or foreign individuals which we know that for example general Flynn lied about. So I think that I it will all coalesce. In the interim as is just referenced, we have so much miss information coming from President Trump's twitter feed. So he said there is no collusion. That's just false. We don't know if there is. We dent know if there wasn't.
An so at this point, while all these different pieces coalesce, I think the important thing here is to keep our eye on what's true and what's not. And we're at a point today after the President's twitter storm where the most information coming our way isn't actually from Russian trolls but it is actually from President Trump.
CABRERA: I want to read one of his sweets today. He writes if it was the goal of Russia to have disruption and chaos within the U.S. then with all of the committee hearings, investigations and party hatred this have succeed beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses in Moscow. Get smart, America.
Sam, does the President seem concern had at all about what Russia actually did.
VINOGRAD: I don't know if he realizes that he is their biggest tool right now. The Russians have no special love for Donald Trump. The Russians have no special love for Donald Trump. They prefer him as candidate because they felt his election would help them achieve their goals of dividing the country. A tweet just like that proves their point. Makes the case that he is easily manipulated. It makes the case that he is divisions and makes Putin's job a whole lot easier.
CABRERA: Go ahead, Michael. Last word.
MOORE: I just going to say real quick, you talk about the different parts of the investigation. Remember that an octopus has many legs but they are all connected to one head. And that's what we see in here. This is the case where there these little parts of the investigation, these little cases after and these defendants, they are all going to tie back into one place. And I think that's where Bob Mueller is headed.
CABRERA: So you think there are more shoes to drop?
CABRERA: Michael Moore and Samantha Vinograd, thank you very much.
MOORE: Thank you. Good to see you.
CABRERA: Good to see you as well. And I hope it is a great week ahead.
President Trump attacking the FBI in another tweet today, he is using the shooting deaths of 17 children and their teachers as part of that. Critics, including classmates of those who died, are calling it a new low.
You are live at the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go away.
[19:13:09] CABRERA: Now to President Trump's bewildering response to a deadly senseless tragedy. I'm talking about the massacre of 17 high school students and faculty last week in south Florida. Today, same day as the heart breaking funerals for some of those teenage victims, President Trump took attention away from them. He flipped it on to himself.
He tweeted this. Very sad that the FBI missed all the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are sending or spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud.
The President actually declaring that the FBI wasn't able to stop the killing in Florida because they were preoccupied with him. It was just one of the flurry of tweets the President sent out in early morning hours. Most of them about the Russia investigation, destroy the narrative, referencing Hillary Clinton and his predecessor, President Obama.
CNN correspondent Boris Sanchez is in West Palm Beach, not far from president's resort, Mar-a-Lago.
Boris, the President's startling comments about the FBI in that horrific deadly shooting are sparkling a lot of angry responses from students, young people who lost friends and teachers in that massacre. Listen to what they are telling the President this weekend.
I quote "my friends were brutally murdered and you have the nerve to make this about Russia? I cannot believe this."
Another one, 17 of my classmates and friends are gone and you have the audacity to make this about Russia? Have a damn heart. You could keep all of your fake and meaningless thoughts and prayers.
And this, you are the President of the United States and you have the audacity to put this on Russia as an excuse?
Boris, any comments from White House officials about this?
[19:15:02] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: None yet, Ana. I asked specifically about those tweets. No response from the White House press team so far. We can tell that you they did reveal a bit of an interesting tidbit on the President's schedule this week. On Wednesday he is set to host a listening session for students and teachers who talk about campus safety in light of the shooting last Wednesday.
However, it is unclear at this point if the President is actually going to be meeting with survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior high school in Parkland, Florida, just some 40 miles from where he is spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago. We can set the scene now with a bit of information, some context of what the President was doing right before this tweet storm was unleashed.
Sources have told CNN that the President decided not to golf Saturday and Sunday, as he typically does when he is here in Palm Beach, out of he showing of respect for the victims and their families. However, that means the President is staying indoors watching cable news and clearly his frustrations are boiling over.
A source telling my colleague CNN's Kevin Liptak, that President went to dinner last night with his sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., and that they encouraged him to be tougher font bi in light of that information that the FBI missed a tip about the shooter in the Parkland high school shooting. The President obviously doing that in that tweet that you mentioned. And then going much further in other tweets attacking Democrats, the media, even undercutting his own national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. The President obviously trying to take the narrative in his own direction.
And we do have a bit of breaking news to share with you. We told you yesterday that House speaker Paul Ryan was going to be visiting the President here at Mar-a-Lago to talk about a legislative agenda. A short time ago, we got a read-out from the White House of that meeting. Apparently they discussed immigration reform. The benefits the American people are seeing, the tax reform legislation passed at the end of last year and they also talked about the shooting in Parkland. They called it a tragedy. But there's no indication that they discussed putting any sort of gun control on the legislative agenda. Something as you noted, many of the students at Parkland have been calling for very passionately and articulately, Ana.
CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, West Palm Beach with the President. Thank you.
Let's talk more about all this. With us, CNN political commentator and former Ted Cruz communications director Alice Stewart and CNN political commentator and former congressman and former senior advisor to the Trump campaign, Jack Kingston.
I want you both to listen to a powerful moment in Florida today. This is Linda Shulman. Her son, Scott, was a geography teacher at Stoneman Douglas High School and he was killed on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Two-and-a-half weeks ago I was cleaning out a closet and came across this blue lunch box. This blue plastic box with the name Scott on it has been known as Scott's stationary box since Scott was seven, the very first summer Scott went to camp to Camp Starlight. The camp rule was, a letter had to be written home five days a week and you can bet this was not to Scott's liking.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: The same day this mother stood at a podium, with her dead son's blue lunch box. The President said this -- very sad that FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There's no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us proud.
Jack Kingston, is that appropriate?
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it raises a point we can talk about the method in which the communication was conveyed. But here is what we do know, Ana, that I think is extremely serious. The FBI had two tips about this. One in September and then one as recently as the 5th of January. That plus 20 calls to the local sheriff's office including one from a bondsman in Mississippi who said the guy has described himself as a want to school shooter. And you have to ask, after the three tips that the FBI had previously, Ft. Hood massacre, the Orlando massacre, and the Boston marathon massacre, each of those they had tips ahead of time. You would think that now the FBI would be ultra careful on anything like this. And I know they get a lot of crazy calls and we all understand that. But that is just given. We just - our hope that after those three previous shootings and missing those warnings, that on this one, I think -- where were they?
CABRERA: But did you read the back half of that tweet, Jack? Because the FBI has admitted it dropped the ball. It didn't follow protocol. But the back half of the tweet that is angering students of this massacre where he makes the turn and says, it's the FBI's fault because they were investigating my campaign and Russia.
[19:20:05] KINGSTON: I think the President was not the only one to raise that question. I saw that. I was reading through twitter yesterday. And in fact, it even --.
CABRERA: But he is the President of the United States. And he is making it about him.
KINGSTON: He is not making it about him. He is making it about the FBI and their priorities. Maybe there was too much of the distraction. Not just there on Russian investigation but maybe some of the other pursuits that the FBI has. We do know that these school shootings, I think some like - well, not school shootings only, but these massacres, have always happened at soft targets where people are unarmed and it is in a gun free area. And the FBI should be ultra sensitive and hooked in with local law enforcement to say, what are we going to do to stop this because there are a lot of crazy people in the world. We know there is a lot of violence in video games, social media, antagonism, bullies, we know there is a lot of isolated kids that is fed by the Hollywood violence and glorification of it in movies. We have got to work together. And I think a lot of the topics frankly should be on the table as we as the nation address this.
CABRERA: Alice, are you OK with the President's tweet? ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I'm OK with the first half of
the tweet. Like you said, I think the President said a very strong tone when he spoke to the nation in the aftermath of this offering prayers and sympathies for victims. But he also would be better served helping victims by not just staying off the golf course but staying off twitter and making false equivalencies between what FBI is doing with Russia and their failure with the response to the school shooting.
I agree with everything Jack said. They had a tip come in. They had several tips on this particular person. They did not follow protocol. They did not send a person to the Miami field office. They should have followed up.
Here is where the focus needs to be. As governor Rick Scott said after the FBI apologized for this. An apology is not enough. We need to have directors step down. We need a full-fledged investigation. I'm pleased to see senator Rubio is also calling for an investigation into the failures of the FBI. Jeff Sessions is going the same. That is what the President needs to focus on. What did the FBI do wrong in this case? How can we make sure it doesn't happen again and keep the focus on making sure we can avoid another such senseless tragedy and not comparing this to the problems that he is facing with regard to the Russian investigation.
CABRERA: Jack, when a Muslim carries out an attack, the President immediately tell the nation exactly what it is going to do, strengthen vetting, and the diversity lottery, he calls for a Muslim ban for example when he was a candidate. But after the massacre in las Vegas, he gave no. specific. In his response after Parkland, he didn't even use the word "gun." Why?
KINGSTON: That we as a society we like quick answers in politics. And I know, I was an elected office for 30 years. But my reaction is here is my three-point plan. i think in a case like these tragedies, it is very difficult to put our hands around it. but i wanted to, you know, point out one thing that is very interesting to me. in these discussions, we always leave out Hollywood. And I give everybody listening to this show a little assignment.
Go watch an old movie that's called "3,000 miles from Graceland." It star Kevin Costner and Kirk Douglas, two great Hollywood icon stars. And in there, they are all bad guys in the movie, by the way, they had this assault rifle battle inside a casino in Los Angeles. It is put to music an in slow motion. And to say that that doesn't seep into the mind of some twisted sad isolated 19-year-old and those type things don't have an influence, it would be ridiculous for us as a society to say oh, this is all about the NRA.
And so, for those who are saying well, the President is trying to make it about him and Russia, I would disagree with that. I could see why they would say that. But I would also say aren't there others who are trying to make this all about the NRA rather than, say, let's look at this whole situation as a society. Mental illness is --
CABRERA: Sure. But Jack, I'm sorry. You're going off on a tangent right now. What do the Hollywood movies have to do with the President's response to this horrible tragedy?
KINGSTON: The President flew down to Florida and I have to say, Ana, I don't know everything that he has said and done, but I think he has been there with the victims. He has talked to them. He has been very on hands about it. And you know, I don't think it is just, OK, what do you do in the first 48 hours. It is what do you do in the next week and then months that follow. And what can we do as a society. And I think that is where we need to side, you know, where is the President going? Where is the leadership in Washington in general? And does this give us an excuse, finally, to work together on a bipartisan fashion for a solution.
CABRERA: That's good question.
Alice, a moment ago we heard how students at this very high school are responding. To the President's tweet. By 2020 some of them will be able to vote. Should the GOP be worried?
[19:25:10] KINGSTON: I think that --
KINGSTON: Excuse me.
STEWART: I don't think it is so much just certainly the GOP because I think there's a lot more to consider here, Ana. I think that it's important for us to continue to offer our prayers and sympathies to these victims and begin this conversation on what we do moving forward.
You mentioned las Vegas, We did have a conversation after that about addressing bump stocks and how these are not necessary pieces to add it any kind of weapon. That conversation has since died. But moving forward we need to address all factors. We need to look at mental illness. We need to look at how FBI agents respond to these types of tips. We need look at background checks. We need to look at many factors that go into this. Not just taking guns away from law-abiding citizens and not just looking at ways we can restrict gun ownership in this country which is critical to these people but all the factors and that is a much broader conversation that the President can certainly say in the first few days.
CABRERA: But it isn't just black and white. Alice, real quick. You know, I spoke to a Republican donor in Florida earlier who said he is not going to donate another dime to your party if gun laws aren't taken seriously. He wants a ban on AR-15s or assault style rifles. He said he is a gun owner. He has his own conceal carry. What do you say to him?
KINGSTON: Ana, it is interesting that peer review data shows that two thirds of the people who have reviewed the studies about concealed weapons have found that it does effectively reduce violence. If the football coach for example add concealed weapon it may have stopped right there. I think that talking about gun control and in an emotional way, we always go there. But we should look at it statistically and look at the studies that are there. And again these are gun-free zones to begin with.
CABRERA: Jack, are you aware when you talk about looking at studies that there aren't that many studies out there? That there is a law that prevents the CDC from investigating, from studying, from collecting data on gun violence.
KINGSTON: Actually the CDC was calling gun control a disease and that's the biggest problem with it. I dealt very closely with the CDC on that issue when ways chairman of the committee that was on them. But 16.4 million people own a concealed weapon permit right now. That's a huge data source that we can study. The CDC isn't the only group doing a study. Bureau of fire arms used to called alcohol and tobacco. There are a lot of studies out there in gun control. But let me say this --
CABRERA: But how many human services secretary that was selected by the President just said there's not enough information how the there. We need to study this issue.
KINGSTON: I would respectfully disagree.
CABRERA: I will let you finish your thought, Jack and I got to go.
KINGSTON: I would say there's a lot of studies and we need to look at all of them. And I want to say as a guy supporting the second amendment, I'm not afraid of it. Let's put it on the table. Let's put also the gratuitous violence out of video games, and Hollywood and the isolation from social media and mental illness. Put it on the table and let's see how to do with it.
CABRERA: We got to look at the culture, no doubt about it.
Thank you so much. Jack Kingston, Alice Stewart. Really appreciate it guys.
KINGSTON: Thank you.
CABRERA: After the Florida school shooting, outrage calls for someone to step up and do something, to stop the carnage committed with assault rifles.
Up next, we talked to a nationally prominent democratic governor and ask who in his party is willing to stick out their necks on this issue?
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:33:10] CABRERA: Welcome back.
When you trace the ugly memory of mass shootings in the United States, for many it starts in Colorado and Columbine. That day of violence ushered in a new awful reality played out on networks like CNN where our lives are interrupted on a routine basis now like they were on Wednesday by deranged shooters with a history of mental illness in Parkland this shooter killed 17. Many of them high schoolers.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper is joining us now.
Governor Hickenlooper, I hate to talk to you on these terms, but this is an important issue. And I want to first just get your response to the President's response. He tweeted this last night. Very sad that FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud.
The President is politicizing the deaths of these students and tying it to the Russia investigation. What do you make of that?
GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: Well, the President has become somewhat of a master of diversion and is clearly just trying to you know divert attention away from issues of guns and the lack of people's in Congress but Republicans all over the country won't go near sensible gun regulation. And that kind of -- I think this time it is not going to work.
CABRERA: We have seen student from this high school, Stoneman Douglas, speak up and try to rattle some sense into our nation's leaders, to send a message even directly to the President, do something. Does this feel different to you this time?
HICKENLOOPER: Yes, it is. I mean, we are the only country on earth that has frequent school shootings, right, mass shootings in our schools. I mean, it has become a form of terrorism where we are terrorizing ourselves or allowing ourselves to be terrorized. We can't go to a place of worship without feeling safe. Places that come together, nightclubs or restaurants. I mean, they are not safe.
There is -- any place where we come and create community, we are now, you know, at risk. And we are terrorizing a whole generation of kids because they are not sure their school is not going to be next. Think about what that is doing to their education, they are learning, how they learn to get along with each other. It is a -- I mean, for the President to try to distractor divert attention is the worst based politics, the worst.
[19:35:49] CABRERA: Where is the person, though, the Democrat, who is capturing this emotion that you speak of and anger we are seeing from students on the issue of guns. Where is the person who says it like it is, even if it means you become the number one target of the NRA?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, I think there are going to be plenty of Democrats. I think the better question is, where are the Republicans?
CABRERA: But who is the Democrats? I don't even see the Democrat who is fulling putting their neck out there?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, we put our necks out. We did a universal background checks in Colorado. Purple state back in 2014. And, you know, the conservatives went crazy. And yet when I went and talked to individual Republicans, I couldn't find one business leader, one civic leader, who was against universal background checks. And yet in our general assembly I couldn't get one Republican to vote along with us to just to require universal background checks. We looked at half of the background checks we were doing. In that previous year, in 2012, we have 38 people convicted of homicide tried to buy a gun and we stopped them, 133 people convicted of sexual assault, we tried to stop them or we did stop them, 1300 people convicted of felony assault where someone usually goes to the hospital. They work. And I couldn't find a single Republican out in the community who was against it and yet somehow the Republican party made a deal with the devil that they were going to stand united against anything even the most common sense background checks.
I think there are plenty of Democrats that are -- I'm angry. I mean, I will jump up and down if you want me to. But it is so frustrating that we can't sit down and have a rational discussion, negotiating out of some compromises. And I mean, why are we doing state by state universal background checks, right? Why are we getting rid of bump stocks? There is no earthly reason. A bump stock allows people to evade the existing law that is against automatic weapons.
CABRERA: Right. Which was involved in the Las Vegas shooting.
But it is not just Republicans. Because you look at what happened in 2013 after Sandy Hook, 15 Democrats voted against Diane Feinstein's assault weapons ban proposal.
HICKENLOOPER: Yes. Again, I can't explain that. I can't understand that. I know that in states, I think that is probably where we are going to start making the change now. And state by state, one state at a time, we are going to have to address -- we start with the basic stuff like universal background checks. But then we begin looking at the whole issue and why is it we are terrorized. Why is it that kids feel unsafe going to school? You know, how do we reclaim security, you know, within our own communities?
CABRERA: That's a really tough question to answer right now.
Governor Hickenlooper, thanks for coming on and sharing your thoughts and ideas.
HICKENLOOPER: Thank you.
CABRERA: There are new developments in the Florida high school shooting. New video showing the gunman just minutes after the massacre and new details about his troubled past.
Stay with us. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:43:10] CABRERA: In Florida, a new day of funerals and new information about the gunman who killed 17 during a high school massacre. This surveillance video released to CNN appears to show the school shooter walking to McDonald's not long after opening fire on his former classmates, teacher, coach. The authorities tell us the shooter first stopped at Walmart to buy a
drink after the shooting and then he walked to McDonald's where he sat for a while. The video is from the building next to that McDonald's.
I want to bring in CNN correspondent Martin Savidge who is there in Florida for us.
Martin, what are you learning about this shooter? And what was happening in his life leading up to the massacre?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And the aftermath of this, Ana, so many people are saying how could they miss what appear to be obvious signs of problems in this young man's life. Let me give you three examples.
First of all, that video you just showed. That is allegedly 30 minutes after he has carried out or suspected of carrying out this horrific murder inside of the school. There is nothing in the video, where you see him walking there alone, to suggest he has done anything of the sort. In fact, he looks like he doesn't really care if anybody sees him. And he is in a very public place.
So then let's talk about a second piece of information that CNN obtained. And that is from the department of children and families. It is a child welfare group here in the state. They became aware of Nickola Cruz in 2016, in September of that year when he posted a very disturbing video of snapchat and showed him cutting his arms and talking about getting a gun. It was so troubling investigators went to his home and talked to his mother who was still alive then, talked to him and talked to mental health experts who were caring for the young man. Afterwards their assessment was that he was a low-risk of doing any harm either to himself or anyone else. That's just 18 months before the attack.
And then there is the (INAUDIBLE) family. This is the family that Nikolas Cruz was living with right up to the day of the attack. They took him in after his mother died last November. They said he was quirky. That he was odd. But they also say that he was polite and he appeared to be getting better. And they said they had very strict rules. They knew he had guns. But they required that those guns be locked up in a gun vault and that they had the key. It turns out apparently there was more than one key.
So three quick examples of how both the video, how state investigators and how even the family with whom he was living issued no one saw tragedy looming -- Ana.
[19:45:38] CABRERA: Martin Savidge, hindsight, 20/20. Always, thank you.
The survivors of the Parkland shooting will be joining CNN this Wednesday night for a special town hall. It is Wednesday at 9:00 eastern only here on CNN.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:05:22] CABRERA: Tonight, new episodes of the original series, "the radical story of Patty Hearst." Now this series looks for transformation from a rich young woman to the bank robbing member of a terrorist group. Listen as a member of this group that kidnapped Hearst back in 1974, giving his take on how well she fit in as a bank robber.
BILL HARRIS, FORMER SLA MEMBER: We kidnapped a freak. People freeze in certain situations. But this Hearst is not the kind of person that freezes ever. I think she was spectacular, and I think it was obvious. It was obvious (INAUDIBLE). Everybody had a side arm, and her that performing admirably in a bank robbery gets her the gun that was originally the side arm of the security guard at the (INAUDIBLE) bank. Now she has a side arm as well.
Patricia was 100 percent equal member in the cell. She had the same responsibilities we did. We were not making her do anything against her will.
At that point, it was against her will to go home.
CABRERA: Wow. I sat down with CNN's chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin who is the executive producer of this series, and he wrote a book in Patty Hearst' kidnapping. I asked him about that bank robbery that marked a profound turn in this kidnapping saga.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It was not just that she was involved in a bank robbery. She was a rich kid who has seem to switched sides. And this was a moment in America where Richard Nixon is President, though, not for long, Watergate was in the process of bringing him down, when the silent majority was getting angry at these rich kids who were turning against the system. So she went from being an extremely sympathetic figure to someone who was very unpopular, and that colored a lot of the coverage and the story after she was in that bank robbery. And, you know, her comrades, you know, in the liberation army,, they picked that bank in the sunset section of San Francisco because it had a security camera.
CABRERA: The wanted to make a statement.
TOOBIN: They wanted -- and they put Patty in a place in the bank where they knew she would be photographed because they wanted to show the world that she had switched sides.
CABRERA: Do you think that changed the trajectory of the case legally?
TOOBIN: Oh, yes. I mean, it -- she was now going to be a defendant because she was involved in a bank robbery. And you know, before that, she had been perceived exclusively as a victim, but, so it changed the story completely.
CABRERA: That was also a major moment for media.
TOOBIN: Well, the bank robbery is in May, in San Francisco. In June, the group flees to Los Angeles and the LAPD surrounds the house where they think Patty and the group is in, and what follows is a major moment in media history because the mini cam has just been invented. You know, the ability to take a camera to a breaking news event and cover it, which we, of course, all take for granted now.
CABRERA: You are right. That is like an everyday occurrence here.
TOOBIN: This was the first time it happened, so there was a shootout, this incredible shootout in south central Los Angeles, thousands of rounds of ammunition go into this little house. Ultimately, the house bursts in flames. The world thinks Patty Hearst was in there. In fact, she's not. She's elsewhere, but six of her comrades in the liberation army are essentially killed on live television. And it becomes really a signal moment in the history of the news media where people realize that they can watch news happen as it's unfolding.
CABRERA: Sort of this window into the world that just didn't exist before, watching it in real-time, the beginning of reality TV/news media in the same intersection.
TOOBIN: Absolutely. And one of the great things my colleagues did in this documentary is they went and got a lot of this archived footage, and you can see what it was like, much many black and white, as it unfolds.
CABRERA: How fascinating. Now after the shootout, Patty and the remaining SLA members are on the run, and they were on the run for a year and a half. And we are talking about such high profile perpetrators, how did they manage to stay hidden, stay away?
TOOBIN: Well in part, has to do with the fact they were so small and isolated. Just, you know, just a handful of people who did not associate with other groups, but this is also a story about law enforcement incompetence. You know, the FBI in these days, you know, was a couple thousand men in crew cuts and black oxford shoes. They did not have any contacts in this world, and they had -- they were consulting psychics, that's how desperate they were. And the fact the FBI could not find her was a huge embarrassment at the time, and it should have been an embarrassment because these were some of the best known people in the wonderful, and they managed to elude capture for a year and a half.
[19:55:22] CABRERA: Amazing. Jeffrey Toobin, we look forward to tonight's new episodes as well. Thank you.
Don't miss it, brand new episodes of the series, "the radical life of Patty Hearst" starts at 9:00 eastern here on CNN. And in just a few moments, an encore episode to get you up to speed on this Patty Hearst story.
I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for spending participant of your weekend with me. Hope you have a great week. Good night.