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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Romney Fails to Secure Utah GOP Nomination and Will Face Primary; Police: Naked Man Kills 3, Several Injured at Waffle House; Romney Not Ready to Back Trump's Re-Election; Washington Post: White House Doubts North Korea's Plan to Halt Nuclear Tests. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired April 22, 2018 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:00] KEITH HALL, DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: What will cause a fiscal crisis. You know, it really depends upon the country, it depends upon the situation.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Now, President Trump says Republicans now want to make the individual tax cuts permanent. They were scheduled to conspire at the end of 2025. Speaker Ryan says the House will vote on that this summer.
Now, it's important to say ballooning deficits are not exclusive to a single party or president but, remember, the next time Republicans brag about the tax cut or Democrats begrudgingly justify huge spending increases, remember, everything comes at a cost. The next hour starts right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLACKWELL: All right. Now, to the breaking news out of Antioch, Tennessee. This is suburban Nashville. Three people are dead and several others injured after a shooting at a waffle house.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Police tweeted this. A gunman opened fire at 3:25 a.m. A patron wrestled away the gunman's rifle. He was nude and fled on foot. He's a white man with short hair.
BLACKWELL: There was another shooting nearby the police are saying now is related to that shooting at the waffle house.
Our affiliate reporter there at WTVS, Sophie Nielsen-Kolding is at the scene with details for us.
SOPHIE NIELSEN-KOLDING, REPORTER: Police have called out their SWAT team and their helicopter to help search for this man because they're not sure if he has another gun on him. You can see, the waffle house behind me where this happened on Murfreesboro, before 3:30 this morning. The man went and started shooting, and we do know that a customer, someone who was at this waffle house, actually wrestled that gun away from him but not before he had shot seven people, three dead, four people hurt this morning. So, that rifle was left behind at the restaurant before he walked out.
Police specifically told us that it was it an AR-15. He left, walked away from the scene. Police say that he was naked and he is a white man with short hair. So, there was a helicopter up above us right now. Actually, I'm not sure if you can hear it, but they are still searching for this man.
We are working to get another update from police. We have seen the police tweeting and we hope that the public information officer, if he gives us an update we will let you know as soon as he does that, and give you all of that information.
BLACKWELL: All right. Sophie, thank you. And we know that the SWAT teams and helicopters have been called in to help with the search. As soon as we get more, we will bring that to you.
PAUL: New this morning. This isn't really a trick question. It's pretty straightforward. Will you support Donald Trump in the 2020 election?
BLACKWELL: Yes. So, there is another high profile Republican this morning who is dodging that question. This time it's Mitt Romney telling CNN, quote, I will make that decision down the road. He is joining dozens of House and Senate Republicans who appear reluctant to back the president's re-election bid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't even thought about that election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be a completely different world by 2020.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a long way off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's far too early to make a judgment of that type.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk about what might happen in that time I think is premature.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: We have no idea who is going to run, or the president runs again or not, I think is very questionable, candidly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why wouldn't he?
CORKER: I don't know. Why would he?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond is with us live here.
So, Jeremy, look, we know that the president and Romney, they've had a dicey relationship. That isn't a surprise. So, why is this? JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, certainly the case.
Mitt Romney, you know, the latest Republican to join these folks in saying they are not sure if they want to support the president in 2020. It's a reflection of the president's current political standing, his approval ratings he is facing and the number of scrutiny and suspicion he is facing over Robert Mueller's probe, for example. But it is also a reflection, of course, of the tumultuous relationship between the president and Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP: I don't think mitt needs lots of money but he'll do what is necessary. We need somebody great as a president. I think he'll be a great president.
MITT ROMNEY: Being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight.
TRUMP: I have a lot of friends. No, I have a lot of friends. By the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them! Did he choke?
ROMNEY: Here's what I know: Donald Trump is a phony. A fraud.
TRUMP: The last election should have been won, except Romney choked like a dog! He choked! He went -- I can't breathe! I can't breathe, he said!
ROMNEY: I've had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump. The discussions I've had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. I enjoyed it very, very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: So, this has been a love/hate and now love again relationship between Romney and the president. But Mitt Romney, despite getting the president's endorsement most recently for his Utah Republican Senate primary bid, he failed to clench the 60 percent of delegate votes that he needed yesterday to actually clench that nomination outright. Instead, he is going to be facing a primary challenge going up in June against another Republican in Utah for that Senate seat.
There are a lot of local issues, particularly about the nominating system at play here as far as why Mitt Romney wasn't able to clench that vote outright. But still, it is very interesting to see Mitt Romney now with the president's endorsement and despite his past criticisms of the president, not able to clench that nomination outright. He will -- he is, however, expected to clench that nomination eventually. He is certainly still the favorite.
BLACKWELL: All right. Jeremy, stay with us. I want to continue this conversation and bring in CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, and deputy managing editor at "The Weekly Standard", Kelly Jane Torrance.
Brian and Kelly, good morning to you. BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
KELLY JANE TORRANCE, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So, Kelly, let me start with you. Is this a case of Mitt Romney is both too close to and too far from the president, especially in of all states, Utah?
TORRANCE: Yes, Utah is seen probably the least amount of support for President Donald Trump in a red state. And I have to say, I mean, Romney is echoing what a lot of GOP lawmakers and others are saying lately but he does look a little bit opportunistic with this. I mean, the guy had very strong words against President Trump during the election, during the primary and then as soon as Trump was elected changed his tune and reportedly was under consideration as Trump's secretary of state. And it looks like he's just, you know, supporting Trump when it suits him and when it suits his career.
And I think that's one thing that he's going to have to worry about in Utah. He wasn't a shoo-in for this race and a lot of people see him as a carpet bagger. He has only recently moved to Utah and changed his voter registration there just within the last few years. So, I think he has a few things that are all related to the fact that he looks a bit like an opportunist in many ways.
BLACKWELL: Let's put up the results of the 2012 primary here. And, Brian, let me come to you. Now, there is obviously the element of the drum beat that goes through the primary season and potentially inevitability. But Look at these numbers, 93 percent Mitt Romney won the GOP primary in 2012, and he comes in second to a two term state senator when asked why voters latched on to his message, his answer was, I don't know. I don't know. It's just my message.
What happened to Mitt Romney?
STELTER: It's good to see a raucous night of voting in Utah, you know? We are seeing the process play out and now we will have an actual primary in the state. I think this is one of the situations where all of the politics is upside down, so, as a result, the question of whether the president will run for re-election and whether his party will support him is an open question.
Normally, we wouldn't be having this conversation, of course. But it seems to me the parlor game of American politics how long do you think the president will last? Meaning 2020, 2024, his supporters say, or sometimes before 2020? It actually makes analyzing the upcoming elections a lot harder, whether it's the midterms or the presidential. You know, we are still 88 weeks from the Iowa caucuses but nobody really knows what is going to happen in those 88 weeks now and then.
BLACKWELL: Finally, button this up for me, Jeremy. You don't see -- maybe you do -- a scenario in which Donald Trump goes and rallies or campaigns for Mitt Romney in this primary season or moving forward?
DIAMOND: Anything is possible, I would say, Victor. I mean, listen, we've seen --
BLACKWELL: I mean, that would be full circle, right? Donald Trump campaigning for Mitt Romney after all we have seen?
DIAMOND: No, it definitely would be. But given the relationship that we have seen between the two men the last several years, you know, going from fully supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 campaign to bashing him during the 2016 campaign with the return fire from Mitt Romney calling him a phony and a fraud and then considering him for secretary of state. I mean, I don't know that it would be completely out of the question to see him campaigning there. The question is whether Mitt Romney would want it.
I mean, certainly, it has helped him to get a little bit of a boost from the president but this is also a state where 21 percent of voters in 2016 voted for Evan McMullin who, you know, ran this independent third-party campaign specifically on the premise of opposing Donald Trump. So, Utah, you know, deep red state but still a state where there is a serious anti-Trump --
BLACKWELL: Speaking of 2020, Brian, let me come to you. And Brad Thor, a conservative author made news this weekend by Republican primary moving forward the next cycle.
[07:10:07] STELTER: Yes, I think this is really interesting, you know? We're going to hear about a lot of, you know, nontraditional candidates the next two years and probably on the Democratic side and apparently on the Republican side as well. Brad Thor is a famous author of spy thrillers. He was a big Trump skeptic a couple of years ago. He reluctantly came into the fold. But now, he says he is willing to primary the president if others don't. In fact, by the end of the day, yesterday, on Twitter, he was saying that's it, I'm going to do it, I'm going to run.
Well see how serious he is about this. But his message, speaking with "The Daily Caller", tweeting, et cetera, speaking with right wing outlet, is that he does believe the president needs to be primaried. He expects other challenges as well.
But one of the tweets from Thor he said imagine how much America could establish with a mentally president unburdened by scandal who understood how government works. So, those are pretty strong words from a well-known conservative saying the president is unfit for office and needs to be challenged.
I think we're going to see a lot of other challenges on the right, but this is one that already like I said, 88 weeks before the Iowa caucuses is putting his hand in the air and saying he'll do it.
BLACKWELL: Kelly, look at this from the perspective of -- I mean, Donald Trump running had nearly 100 percent, if not 100 percent, name recognition. Brad Thor does not have that. What is the plausibility of a conservative author like Mr. Thor coming in and being a real contender when the president has been running for re-election from the first day of his administration? TORRANCE: Yes. Victor, I think he does have some problems. Now, he
does have more name recognition than your average politician. He is a very well-known author. "The New York Times" best seller, he's got a lot of fans. And it's funny. You know, I think this came as a surprise to people but he's got to have been thinking about this for a while. I found this Q&A with him, with his publisher and they are asked him what figure -- what historical figure do you most identify with? He said Ronald Reagan.
So, I have a feeling this has been on his mind for a while and he is sort of taking the opportunity. I have to say in the Q&A, they asked him, what do you like to do when you're not writing? He said working out and shooting. So, not your typical political hobbies there.
I think he has been a very strong critic of Donald Trump and a lot of people like him for that. I will say, though, he does have some baggage and one those is his view of Islam. He has a very, very hard stand against Islam. He's actually said that ISIS, al Qaeda, that's the true Islam, and I think a lot of people are going to be upset when they go digging and find some of those old interviews that he's given.
BLACKWELL: Well, we should also remember, President Trump told Anderson Cooper that Islam hates us so he was elected and is now, at least the front-runner, not if you ask some of the Republicans on Hill, they haven't backed the president yet.
Let me talk about quickly EPA Director Scott Pruitt. This report out in "The New York Times" this morning long write, but the heart of it is that Pruitt purchased a house in 2003 from a retiring lobbyist for a shell company that was registered to a business partner who now works for the EPA. And CNN, Jeremy, also has confirmed that Mr. Pruitt did meet with a lobbyist connected with the sweetheart condo deal in D.C. where he was staying in a room for $50 a night.
Does any of this suggest that his tenure there at the EPA is short?
DIAMOND: Well, it is becoming difficult to imagine a cabinet member like this in any other administration still being on the job despite the flurry of scandals and, you know, allegations of unethical behavior that Scott Pruitt has faced and this not only shows that he has faced these issues currently in his current position but a track record of it going back to his days as a state senator in Oklahoma. But despite all of this, what we have seen from the president is, you know, reluctance really to dismiss Scott Pruitt at all or really to put him on ice. The president and Scott Pruitt have met several times since these stories have come out and the president has come out of that completely backing his EPA administrator.
A big reason why is because he is accomplishing a lot of his goals on his agenda. You know, the deregulation front has been huge at EPA and Scott Pruitt, of course, has been very much a force behind that. So, as of now, there is no indication that the president, that anything is actually going to change his mind or his view about his EPA administrator despite the continuation of the stories we have seen.
BLACKWELL: All right. Jeremy Diamond, Brian Stelter, Kelly Jane Torrance, thank you all.
TORRANCE: Thank you. Good morning.
BLACKWELL: All right. Today on "STATE OF THE UNION," counselor for the president, Kellyanne Conway, and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker join Jake Tapper. That's at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.
PAUL: Well, according to "The Washington Post", the White House is privately skeptical of North Korea's plans to halt their nuclear program. There's concern Pyongyang maybe making a play for the U.S. to help ease sanctions on Pyongyang.
[07:15:03] BLACKWELL: Plus, chemical weapons experts have finally collected samples from Douma there in Syria, the site of a suspected gas attack. We will have the very latest, next.
BLACKWELL: All right. A developing situation in Afghanistan this morning we have for you. A number of people who were killed during this suicide bomb attack on a voting registration center in Kabul is now 31. Another 54 people have been hurt. This video you're watching just came in minutes ago.
ISIS has now claimed responsibility. They say they carried out this attack.
According to "The Washington Post", the White House is privately doubting North Korea's plan to stop all nuclear testing ahead of the summit with the U.S., now despite Trump calling it a good move and progress in a tweet.
PAUL: Officials worry that this could be a move by Kim Jong-un's regime to bring the U.S. to the negotiating table, ease sanctions on Pyongyang and then violate the agreement.
[07:20:07] And they believe that because it's something that has happened in the past.
Chemical weapons experts have finally collected samples from Douma, Syria, the site of that suspected gas attack. I want to show you here, they had to wait days to gain access to this area, leading to concerns that any chemistry that might have been used could have disintegrated.
BLACKWELL: Well, the U.S. and allies believe chlorine and sarin gas were dropped there, killing dozens of people, and they blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the attack. But both Syria and its ally, Russia, deny a chemical attack took place.
CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kiley is following all of this from Moscow.
Sam, there has been, obviously, back and forth between the Trump administration about possibly imposing further sanctions on Russia after the attacks. Where do we stand there? SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESOPNDENT: Well, first of
all, on sanctions, as we know, we go being a week ago, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said new sanctions should being imposed on Russia, Donald Trump didn't impose them the following Monday, some suggestion that there was a rout between him and others in the National Security Council. And on Friday, there was a meeting between Steve Mnuchin and his opposite number in the Russian administration on the fringes of the IMF also talking about sanctions. Those, though, focused on existing sanctions.
For now, it seems that sanctions, more sanctions are on the back burner but they are something that troubles Russia in a way that criticism over the alleged use of chemical weapons and their alliance with the Damascus regime really doesn't.
BLACKWELL: And the significance now of these inspectors getting to Douma, collecting the evidence, the U.S. and U.K. say they already believe and have evidence that these were gas attacks. Tell us now about what we're learning about these new investigations.
KILEY: Well, the samples have been collected on Saturday. They are being redistributed or will be transported to Europe and tested in laboratories where proof positive or otherwise of what chemicals were used should be forthcoming over the next week or so.
Now, the Russians have already indicated that they probably wouldn't accept those results. Equally, the west has alleged that they believe Russia has been trying to sanitize the environment where these attacks allegedly took place. We understand from chemical weapons experts, though, that no amount of attempt to sanitizing can really cover it up. If the weapons were used will show up in the traces of the sample taken.
BLACKWELL: All right. We'll stand by for those reports. Sam Kiley, thank you.
PAUL: So, next, maybe the best of frenemies? Maybe not? Mitt Romney seems to repay the president for endorsing his Utah bid by refusing to say whether he is going to back him for reelection in 2020 election. Our partisan panel Maria Cardona and Ben Ferguson have a lot to say about that, and the rest of today's big political headlines. Do stay close.
PAUL: It's always good to know you're out there on a Sunday morning. Good morning, I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Sunday to you.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney did not win the Utah Republican Party's nomination at the GOP state convention. He's considered a favorite to win the seat to replace retiring Orrin Hatch, Romney will now have to compete in June's primary. Romney also could not commit to supporting President Trump and his re-election bid saying he will make that decision down the road. Meanwhile, Democratic momentum is building after House Democratic
challengers pushed Republicans in fund-raising quarters last night, the first quarter this year I should say, making it another headache for the GOP heading into the midterms and talk about that DNC lawsuit, too, with CNN political commentators Ben Ferguson and Maria Cardona.
Good morning to you.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Victor.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: Ben, let's start with Mitt Romney.
BLACKWELL: He came in close, right? He's within a half point here, 49 and some change to 50 and change behind this two-term State Senator Mike Kennedy. But let's put up the 2012 numbers. I want to say again a drum beat of inevitability for a nominee but 93 percent in Utah in 2012 in the primary.
What happened to Mitt Romney? Is this a rejection of Romney or the president?
FERGUSON: I think it's definitely a rejection of Romney more than the president because Mitt Romney has always been his own man. The only time he got close to the president when he thought he might have the job of becoming the secretary of state and they started warming up to one another. But you know what he really feels about the president when he was asked the question about would he endorse the president, he said it's too early for me to tell.
So, I think this is Mitt Romney as a bad candidate. You also have a grassroots candidate on the ground there who has done a really good job. I like primaries. I think you should have to prove yourself. Just because you ran for president or just because you have a big name or just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you should automatic get through a general election.
So, I'm glad that this happened and it will probably make Mitt Romney a better candidate.
[07:30:02] He's going to have to work harder for this and not take it for granted. And again, if he loses this primary, I wouldn't be surprised honestly because when you have grassroots support on the ground for another candidate, things like this happen.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Maria?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I kind of agree with Ben. I do think that primaries are good. This is going to be good for the state of Utah. I know that there are some issues with Mitt Romney and some of the voters in Utah, thinking that he might be a carpet bagger and so, I think that this will make Mitt Romney work harder and, in fact, I think he is doing just that. There is an issue with also the process of a GOP nomination in Utah
that, as I understand it, and Mitt Romney went around the state and got like 52,000 signatures and some folks that are actually for the Utah caucuses didn't like that process, so they went against him. But also from what I hear in terms of the grassroots support that Mitt Romney has in Utah, it is actually quite broad and quite deep.
So, I do think he'll end up being the nominee and I think he's being his own man in terms of going against the president will help him of all of the red states, Utah is one of the ones that least support for the president. And I think going into the midterm election where we do anticipate a huge blue wave, I don't think it will hit Utah. But I do think it speaks volumes about the unpopularity of the president nationwide and especially in a state like Utah.
FERGUSON: I think --
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the decision that so many have spoken with Republicans, both Senate and House, who are reluctant to endorse the president's reelection bid and you can add Mitt Romney's name to that list now. Ben, why the reluctance?
FERGUSON: I think it's arrogance and a dumb move. I really do. And I think it's going to end up hurting those candidates because the bottom line, he is the president of the United States of America and there are some RINOs and some Republicans, and a lot of Republicans that are in trouble and in trouble because they didn't do what they said they were going to do.
BLACKWELL: John Cornyn is a RINO?
FERGUSON: Well, again, let me say this, you look at what their leadership is, and their leadership job is to go in and do what they said they were going to do, which was to repeal and replace Obamacare, they did not do it. Their job was to funding the border wall and they did not do it.
They also said that they were going to lower our deficit, they didn't do it. The deficit has gone up in this last spending bill was an embarrassment. Many conservatives like myself said if some of these guys get voted out, they deserved it. They deserve to get voted out. And there's also an arrogance factor.
I'm my own man, I'm independent, I'm not going to support the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump because I don't agree with him on things. I think it's a dumb political move for them, I think it's an arrogant move, and I hope it comes back to bite them in the butt, yes.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you to follow then, do you endorse the president's re-election?
FERGUSON: Absolutely, I do.
BLACKWELL: OK. FERGUSON: And if something changes between now and the beginning -- you know, between now and Election Day, you can always re-evaluate this but a lot of this comes down to --
BLACKWELL: Now, you're hedging.
FERGUSON: -- one of the reasons why Donald Trump won. He won because of the establishment and so many conservative voters out there that hated Bob Corkers of the world and look how many Republicans are dropping not running for re-election. Bob Corker is a great example. He would not win his re-election bid in Tennessee because of that arrogant factor many of them have.
BLACKWELL: All right. I've got to move on to next topic. Maria, I'm coming to you with this. I know you want to weigh in on this reluctance to endorse, but I've got to ask you about the DNC lawsuit filed against the Trump campaign, and several Russians, people associated with the campaign, and WikiLeaks.
Is this really the best use of resources heading into the midterm? I mean, what happened to the better deal plan that Democrats were saying they were going to run on? Now, they've got this lawsuit from the DNC they are pushing.
CARDONA: I actually think it's a really good move. And, look, the Democrats can walk and chew gum at the same time. We have proven that because we have proven we can win elections. Look at Alabama. Look at the 40 seats at the state legislature level we have flipped from red to blue?
Look at the blue wave that we are focusing on in November. Look at the 25,000 women candidates who are running, which is historic. Look at why Republicans are reluctant to endorse this president because a lot of them are running in swing districts that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won with less than 10 percent. They are scared because they know that this president is running on, you know, historic and popularity.
But this suit also does a couple of things, Victor. It is a civil suit, so it has nothing to do with criminal probe that Mueller is focusing on. It actually does allow for Democrats to be fighting back.
This is personal for them. It is also patriotic, because we have an occupant of the Oval Office who doesn't care about the Russian meddling and doesn't care that we were hacked and to use John McCain's words that Russia perpetrated an act of war.
BLACKWELL: All right.
CARDONA: If he is not going to protect our democracy and our Constitution and our institutions, Democrats will.
[07:35:03] BLACKWELL: Ben, you got 30 seconds and then I got to get to the breaking news. FERGUSON: I mean this so sincerely to Maria and all the Democrats. I
think it's a great idea. Thank you so much for this gift. I mean, the only thing left in this is what's next?
CARDONA: You're welcome.
FERGUSON: You're not going to invite the president to your birthday party? I mean, how childish can you get?
There are investigations all over the place and you're basically saying that's not enough, we are going to sue somebody because we don't like the fact that he won a free and fair election, and all I can say is, this completely marginalizes your talking points going into the midterms. I love it, so I agree with you. It's a great idea. Thank you so much for doing it.
CARDONA: It actually adds. It adds to the Democrats' message.
BLACKWELL: All right. Ben Ferguson --
CARDONA: We care about the Russia election and Republicans don't.
BLACKWELL: -- Maria Cardona, thank you both.
CARDONA: Thank you.
FERGUSON: Thanks, Victor.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we have breaking news this hour. There is a manhunt right now looking for a man who is wearing just a green jacket or was wearing a green jacket and walked into a Nashville waffle house about 3:30 this morning and shot three people dead. Several more are injured.
We have more details now. We will bring those to you on the other side of the break. Do stay close.
[07:40:33] BLACKWELL: More now on the breaking news out of the Nashville area. Three people are dead, several others injured after that shooting at a waffle house. This is specifically in Antioch.
The gunman is believed to be naked. He ran off after the shooting, police say. As they investigate the incident, police say they are looking for this man, 29-year-old Travis Reinking. He's from Morton, Illinois.
PAUL: We have an affiliate reporting there who spoke to the PIO Don Aaron just a moment ago. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON AARON, NASHVILLE POLICE: Let me go through what's happened here. At 3:25 this morning, the police department received a call of an active shooter at the Waffle House. When officers responded, they found two individuals who had been fatally wounded outside the restaurant and a third person deceased inside. There were other persons also hurt. At least six persons, including the deceived, were shot.
According to witnesses, the person of interest in this matter, a Travis Reinking, arrived in his pickup truck. He got out. Persons were outside the restaurant talking. He shot them.
He then went inside the restaurant, more shots were fired and one of the patrons was hit. Another patron who had tried to flee the gunfire saw that Reinking was apparently struggling or looking at his rifle. At that point, the patron rushed him and able to toss the weapon across the counter. Reinking left the restaurant and last seen walking southbound on Murfreesboro pike. He was nude.
When he came into the store, he was wearing a green jacket. He shed the jacket a short distance from the restaurant and there have been reports here in the past few minutes of seeing a person nude in this area, in this immediate Antioch area. The last report was in a wooded area near an apartment complex.
The police department special response team, officers from a variety of components of the police department, as well as our helicopter, is up now trying to find him.
REPORTER: So, in total, six or seven victims?
AARON: A total of eight persons were injured. At least six of them shot. Of those persons who were shot, four were fatal. One person who was critical injured who was taken from here to Vanderbilt has since died.
REPORTER: OK. So four people dead. There was another scene at Murfreesboro Pike near Lavergne Couchville Pike. Is that related to this? And, if so, how?
AARON: I know that there was a witness in the restaurant who fled the property and went down to a convenience market south of here. That may be what you're speaking of. That was -- a witness went there and made a report and it took a minute or two to make sure that she wasn't talking about a separate incident but she wasn't. She was a witness to this.
REPORTER: And also, the metro police tweet you put out with Reinking and his picture. It said that he was a person of interest. Is he now a suspect?
AARON: The truck that is in the parking lot comes back to him. The physical description provided by witnesses is very close to his photograph. No warrants have been issued. But I think it's safe to say a person of interest or suspect in this matter would be synonymous.
REPORTER: Do you know anything about him? Has he been arrested before in this area?
AARON: We are efforting to learn more about him. His driver's license comes back to Morton, Illinois. We have been in touch with authorities in Illinois. They have certain information about him that we are assimilating now.
REPORTER: Do you know anything about the victims who died? Were they all customers or anyone who worked there?
AARON: I don't have victim information at this particular time.
REPORTER: Any police officer report?
REPORTER: OK. Thank you so much. Is there anything else that you'd like to add?
AARON: Just individuals in this area need to know that this Travis Reinking is at large and we are doing everything we can to find him. There have been reports of a nude man walking, first of all, on Murfreesboro Road south and now more recently in a wooded area. Keep your doors locked. Keep your eyes open. If you see this individual, if you see a nude guy walking around this morning, call the police department immediately. That person is, more than likely, the suspect in this.
[07:45:01] REPORTER: And do you believe he is armed?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: All right. And again, thank you for all of that from our affiliate reporter there. Again, four people now dead as police look for the suspect. They are asking anyone with information.
If you see anything, call this number, 615-862-8600. This person of interest, this possible suspect.
We are back in a moment.
PAUL: There's a new movie out. It takes on a tough topic from a new perspective. I want to show you part of the trailer here for "And Then I go".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's what keep noticing. Adrian acts like he's under constant pressure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's your book.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In my locker?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What good is it doing in there? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have noticed a shift in behavior this year.
Was there any kind of traumatic event?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get off him.
[07:50:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got older.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: The director of "And Then I Go" is Vincent Grashaw. He is with us now.
And thank you so much. We appreciate you being here, Vincent.
I understand that you had some trepidations in terms of shooting this movie because it is very polarizing. But now that it's done, how do you feel about it? What is the takeaway?
VINCENT GRASHAW, DIRECTOR, "AND THEN I GO": Well, I mean, yes, anytime you tackle this kind of subject matter. For me, I was nervous because -- you know, where -- I'm tackling something that is a hot button right now. And, you know, not so much the political aspect of it, you know, because this movie really doesn't take a stance on that, it really dove into the emotions of kids at that awkward age.
And for me, though, there are victims. And so, I wanted to be cognizant of that and walking a tight rope. But I felt like if we showed the compassion that the book did and stayed true to that we were going to be OK because that is how I was moved.
PAUL: The book Jim Shepard's 2004 novel, "Project X", I should point out, is what this is based on. You're right. And you do say, this isn't about the politics of it. It's about the school shooting itself. It's about the friendships and relationships that kids have and the emotional mindset of these kids.
What did you learn about we as adults and what we might be missing? What is the disconnect between us and our teens?
GRASHAW: Well, I think the scary reality is that the stuff a lot of these kids go through that turn to violence is a lot -- the behavior what they go through that leave them there is entirely more relatable than we want to think about. I think, you know, there is very sort of group of things that you see it is easy to point at whether mental illness or gun control. I mean, I think, as adults, we also kind of forget that time in our life when it was really awkward and our emotions were just elevated to levels, you kind of forget that about.
So, I think the disconnect comes, you know, as an adult, we go, you know what, in five years, don't worry about this, you will be fine this is the time to get it.
In a way, I feel like that could invalidate their feelings. You know, their reality is their reality right then. And I think that it's important to kind of just sit back and look at that. PAUL: Yes, and take them seriously and let them know that we hear
them, right, and try to help them through it. But back in the day, many of us -- there are a lot of adults who know what that is like to some degree, and they didn't have a volatile consequence to that. There wasn't the violence that we're seeing now.
And it's not always about bullying. It's about mental illness in some cases, as well. There are so many things that encompasses certainly.
PAUL: I want to read or listen with you here to a teen who was a shooter at his former high school in Florida. Let's listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SKY BOUCHE, ADMITTED SHOOTER: I've got a sawed off shotgun. I put it in a guitar case. I also had a tactical vest filled with shotgun slug rounds.
REPORTER: Handcuffed and shackled inside Marion County's jail, he claims he has been treated for mental health before but wanted more serious attention paid to his problems now, saying taking lives wasn't part of his plan.
BOUCHE: Now, I'm really scared. I want to be put away so I can't hurt anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: He wants to be put away so he doesn't hurt anybody else. What did shooting this movie teach you about how -- what kids are dealing with now is leading to such violent consequences? Why this is their choice?
GRASHAW: I think -- you know, it's such a complicated thing. There is no single answer to it. I think that in some cases there are kids like him.
I mean, our film tackles before a tragedy. You know, we typically see what happens afterward. So, you know, tackling before for me it didn't make sense to sort of classify a kid that does this as a monster or he is evil, just so we can close the book and move on. It was more diving into that early stage, where this develops, where a kid develops into that, because, you know, I'm sure there are some cases that they are mentally unstable.
And, you know -- but I do think there are elements of that the kids are surrounded by that lead them there. So, I don't know. I feel like a lot of it has to do with everyone doing their part and even then, there's going to be moments like this that happen. And that's just the scary reality behind it.
[07:55:00] PAUL: And everyone doing their part means what to you, Vincent? GRASHAW: Well, for me, it's like you have access to guns in parents'
homes that are an issue. And so, it's about being a responsible parent and locking them up and having them stored and no, there's no access to it. Kids themselves in school -- I remember seeing a lot of bullying. It's not so much that you need to step up and fight, but whether you need to be there for somebody or tell somebody or speak up about it, I think there is an element of that. I think --
PAUL: They have to know that they are hurt at the end of the day, right? We need -- as adults, we need to hear these kids and we need to listen to them when they're in their moment. I'm so sorry, Vincent, that we have run out of time. But thank you so much for talking us through this.
GRASHAW: You can talk about this subject forever.
PAUL: I know, I know, we appreciate your insight. We appreciate your movie. Thank you.
We'll be right back.
COREY DOBYNS, LICENSED MESSAGE THERAPIST: Foam rolling is a tool essentially. So, it's a piece of foam that you use for stretching, self-massage.
KATE EDWARDS, PHYSICAL THERAPIST, ORTHOPEDIC SPECIALIST: You are essentially using your body weight on a foam roller to decrease the tension in the muscle and also get rid of those knots and trigger points.
UNIDENTIIED FEMALE: So, you're going to do some scissor kicks.
EDWARDS: There have been several studies that show foam rolling is good for increasing range of motion, increasing blood flow to the area, improving and maintaining tissue health.
AMY WIDENER, REALTOR: I do it whenever I feel some tightness, whether that's in my neck or in my back or in my hamstrings.
DOBYNS: You have hip joint up to the lateral side.
When you're rolling around, you're looking for these spots that trigger a little discomfort and then you mash on them.
EDWARDS: You probably spend 20 to 30 seconds per body part. People can do it too much if they're on there for like 20 minutes. You don't want the damage the muscle tissue or the connected issue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not an activity that feels wonderful on your body. It's kind of intense. I find that after you are done and you spend a little bit of time on the sore spots, it's amazing the release that you get. (END VIDEOTAPE)
PAUL: "INSIDE POLITICS" starts now.