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Orlando Shooter's Wife Tells Investigators Conflicting Stories; New Polls Show Trump in Serious Trouble; Trump Renews Calls for Surveillance of Mosques; Body of Toddler Snatched by Gator Recovered. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 15, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: A flight attendant on Facebook said on a recent flight, there was a mother of one of the victims, 20- years-old. Luis Omar Ocasio Capo. She was making a journey to her dead grandson alone, but she wasn't alone for long.
The flight attendants passed around paper and everyone on the plane wrote condolences of page after page of sorrow condolences. At the end of the flight, one by one, strangers told her they were sorry, they touched her hand, and they hugged her and cried with her.
It took a while according to the flight attendant, but no one complained that it was taking so long to leave the aircraft. That is what happened on a flight to Orlando.
That does it for us. We'll be here tomorrow as well. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. The breaking news that we're learning more now about the shooter, and there is a new video of the Orlando nightclub killer who was part of the documentary.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon, live in Orlando.
Mateen's wife telling investigators conflicting stories of what she knew about her husband's plan to commit terror. A grand jury will consider evidence and decide if she'll face criminal prosecution.
Noor Salman denies knowing about the attack. But sources say that she was with Mateen, on at least one occasion to buy ammunition. All of this is rich fodder of course on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we aren't smart, and we have to go and we have to maybe check respectfully the mosques, and we have to check other places.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not one of Donald Trump's reckless ideas would have saved a single life in Orlando.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: We are going to get into all of that tonight, and the other
tragedy here in Orlando, the horror at Walt Disney World, the body of a toddler attacked and killed by an alligator. The body is recovered tonight.
Could this tragedy have been prevented? We'll discuss that.
But I want begin with the investigation into the Orlando nightclub massacre. Joining me now is CNN correspondents Pamela Brown and Brian Todd.
Good evening to both of you. Pamela, I'm going to start with. A lot of news in the investigation tonight so let's start it with the news about Omar Mateen's wife, what do we know?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, she so is under intense scrutiny, Don. We know that the investigators have been speaking with her for a couple of days and several interviews.
And initially, she claimed to investigators that she didn't have any inkling of what her husband might be up on the day of the attack. And she has since made contradictory statements according to our law enforcement sources now she's saying that she had a suspicion that he might lodge an attack, and perhaps it would be at the Pulse Nightclub.
And she claims that she tried to talk him out of it on the day of the attack. Now the problem of course is that she didn't call police, so that is something that the investigators are looking at. And she claims that she didn't know anything specific about his plans.
And so, what is also capturing investigator's attention is the fact that on at least one occasion, she went with him to buy ammunition, and we also have learned that she went to Pulse Nightclub with him in early June.
And so, all of these things are things that investigators are looking at, no conclusion has been reach, of course no charges have been filed, but as I say, she is under intense scrutiny. Don?
LEMON: Yes. Is there any more about his movements leading up to the attack, what are your sources telling you?
BROWN: Well, we've learned that they've actually been able to pull some data from his phone that is helping officials piece together a timeline of what he was doing in the hours leading up to the attack, and they've also been able to use data from service providers as well.
We know, Don, that he actually called a friend when he was inside of that nightclub, and he called a friend here in Florida to say good- bye, and so, that friend of course is a very important person in this investigation. The FBI has been interviewing that person, and wants to learn more about what this friend may have known, of course.
LEMON: So, an indication that others may have known about the attack besides the wife possibly, is that what you're saying? BROWN: Well, right. I mean, right now they have not ruled out by any
means that no one else knew about this attack in advance. I think at this point, the thinking of the law enforcement is that this is a lone wolf and he acted alone.
But whether or not someone knew and didn't come forward to authorities is a different story. We know that, you know, he was seemingly going more radicalize in the couple of weeks prior to the shooting looking at more Jihadist propaganda, was he talking about that to people.
And my sources me, Don, that for months, of not years, that was talking about doing violent act, this is coming from him part what the wife told investigators, also with other people told the investigators that this is someone who they believe would be capable of violence.
And so, it raises the question of why didn't they come forward, as one source called him a boiling kettle, he was just looking for any excuse to be violent, Don.
[03:05:03] LEMON: I also found fascinating that there is a new video, I'm not sure. I think you've seen it of Mateen speaking in a documentary about the BP oil spill it's called the big fix. Listen to this and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OMAR MATEEN, ORLANDO SHOOTER: No one gives a (muted). No one gets in here, like everybody is just getting out to get paid. They'll like hoping for more oil to come out and more people to complain so they'll have the jobs.
Because once people get laid off here, it's going to suck for them. They want more disaster to happen, because that's where the money- making is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It's all about the money, right?
MATEEN: All about the money, exactly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Pamela, what do you know about this and what do you make of it?
BROWN: Yes, you know, it's a fascinating window into the gunman several years ago just listening to him talk there is quite eerie. I can tell you the law enforcement is aware of this that the company that actually shot this documentary of the BP oil spill was brought to their attention that he was in it.
And immediately this company called law enforcement and notified them. And of course, law enforcement had to in its possession. And this is just another piece of the puzzle for law enforcement to look at and another layer. There are so many elements that the law enforcement is considering in this investigation, and this is one of them. LEMON: Yes. So, Pamela, you mentioned that he called a friend, and he
also made a phone call to a local TV station while the attack was underway, and he spoke to Matthew Gentili. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW GENTILI, NEWS 13 PRODUCER: Forty five when I had just received the phone call of someone claiming to be the Orlando shooter. I answered the phone as I always do in News 13, "This is Matt. And on the other end I heard, "Do you know about $e shooting?" And I said, "yes, I'm getting the information, I'm receiving some calls right now," and he cut me off, and he said, "I'm the shooter."
And I didn't know what to say, it was, you know, alarming to say the least. He sounded really calm on the phone. And he started saying that he did for the Islamic state, and he did it for ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Interesting. What more do you know about this, Pamela?
BROWN: So, that's a -- yes. So, we know the FBI has interviewed that TV producer in addition to this friend that he call and said good-bye to. And it just shows you, Don, that this gunman wanted notoriety and he wanted people to know what he was doing.
What I think is interesting to law enforcement is that, he keeps making this claims that he did this in the name of ISIS, but what I'm being told is that, you know, the two weeks before the shooting, he was looking at a lot of propaganda from various terrorist groups, and not just ISIS, but ISIS' enemies, Hezbollah and Al-Nusra front.
So, he was looking at tons of propaganda. But before that I'm told that he didn't look at that much, that he wasn't, you know, immersing in Jihadist propaganda. So the question is, was he really just doing this to commit an act of Jihad or are there other influences at play? That's something that the investigators are looking hard at tonight.
LEMON: All right, Pamela, I want you to stand by. I want to bring in Brian Todd. And, Brian, there is new information about Mateen's contact with gay dating web sites, what can you tell us about that?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, what we're told by law enforcement sources is that Omar Mateen befriended several transgender women on a gay chat room, in a gay chat room. The sources are telling at that it's not quite clear what the content of his interactions with these people was, but it's part of this rolling mosaic of Omar Mateen's activity online especially in the gay community, he was prolific.
We are getting a picture more and more each day of just how much he corresponded with the gay community online. He was constantly making overtures and trying to find out more about the community about their events, about where they gathered.
As far as his communications with the transgender women, some of them have been interviewed by investigators and they told the investigators, according to our sources that the nature of his communications was really just to maybe pique his curiosity about their lifestyle.
But the question that what remains tonight is, was he doing all this because he was genuinely interested in the gay lifestyle or was he doing it to scope them out for a possible attack, that's a huge question tonight.
LEMON: It seems he was fascinated in some way, good or bad, by the members of the LGBT community.
LEMON: And of course, that all played out during the shooting, you know, when he killed those people. You spoke to several people today who communicated with him?
TODD: That's right.
LEMON: What did they tell you?
TODD: There is a lot of activity on these gay apps. It's constant and he was a big part of it. I talked to a man named Cord Cedeno who said that Mateen approached him several times on the app called a Grindr. And he said that he -- usually a very short and abrupt to her saying, hey, and he was just saying hey to him.
And this guy, Cord Cedeno would just ignore him, because he just didn't know anything about him, he finally blocked Mateen from approaching him, but he did recognize him from the pictures and from the messages.
He also said though, that he saw Mateen at the Pulse Nightclub on at least one occasion. And I asked him what it was like on those circumstances. We have a clip to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:10:00] CORD CEDENO, APPROACHED BY OMAR MATEEN ON GRINDR APP: He seemed like a loner, and he was just very quiet at the club. He was just -- I've seen him at the bar on maybe once just getting a drink.
TODD: Do you have any indications, do you believe that Mateen had a physical relationship with another guy?
CEDENO: I mean, I don't think he had a relationship, but I think that he continually tried to hook up with men. He was openly gay on the dating apps, I mean, he would tell people that he was married.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Kind of a growing mosaic that we're getting, Don, of how this man may have actually been leading kind of a double life, he was married, he had a child. But on the one hand, he did a lot of activity on gay apps, chat rooms online apps. There was Facebook activity, he was all over the place online in the gay community.
LEMON: If someone is one of those apps it's not because they're trying to scope out a place to, it's because they are usually trying to hook up.
TODD: That's right.
LEMON: Right, to meet people.
TODD: That's where -- exactly. And that he seemed, according to the people we talked to like Cord Cedeno, he had a genuine interest in meeting people online.
TODD: But part of it also was -- we talked to a club owner who said he friend -- he tried to friend him on Facebook.
TODD: And he said, this club owner said, I put all of club's schedules and events on Facebook and he thinks that he was trying to friend him on Facebook to find out when he would have big events at this club, when there would be big gatherings.
LEMON: Yes. That's a different story. If you want t meet people, you know, you go on Facebook.
LEMON: And you meet people, or in Instagram. But if you want to hook up, if you don't believe me, go Google Grindr or any of these apps and you'll see, headless torsos, other body parts.
LEMON: That's what it is.
LEMON: And he was immersed in these apps?
TODD: And he was very active on those apps. Yes.
LEMON: Thank you, Brian Todd.
LEMON: I really appreciate that. Orlando is a city in mourning tonight, of course, grieving for 49 innocent young people.
And tomorrow, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are going to visit this wounded city to meet with families and the victims and as the White House says, to stand in solidarity with the Orlando community, and with the community -- gay community around the world.
Yet, there are so many questions that remain unanswered here about why the killer felt the need to inflict such deadly harm.
I want to bring in Stefan Comvalius, an acquaintance of the gunman. You heard me talking to Brian Todd. We talked about his, you know, strange behavior and how he was meeting people online, and he became fascinated with people. How did you know him, what was he like?
STEFAN COMVALIUS, ACQUAINTANCE OF ORLANDO GUNMAN: Well, I frequented a gym, Gold's gym in Port St. Lucie, same as he was, and on a number of occasions, you know, I engaged everybody in our conversation in m my immediate vicinity, and he sometimes one of those people and...
LEMON: What kind of conversations did he engage, was it about political or did he ever talk saying radical in any way?
COMVALIUS: It was more about bashing women or saying derogatory things or vulgar things about women that were coming by.
LEMON: What did he say?
COMVALIUS: One of the things he said was talking about moose knuckle, look at those -- yes, and he called it a moose knuckle.
LEMON: That's disgusting.
COMVALIUS: Yes, absolutely.
LEMON: And so, did he ever try to -- and -- you said you though he was overcompensating for something?
COMVALIUS: Yes. I mean, I don't want to spread any disinformation but I personally, and then also the people that I trained with thought that he might have been gay. I mean.
LEMON: Why so?
COMVALIUS: Just, you know, there's a -- he would try really hard when the girls would come around, or if we were all in a group talking, he would puff up his chest and, you know, do things of that nature, and sometimes in, you know, in circles, so guys were always working out, you know, we kind of call it how we see it basically.
LEMON: Yes. Because you don't need to do all of that unless you kind of are overcompensating.
COMVALIUS: Exactly. Overcompensating.
LEMON: Yes. So, did -- what about being a Muslim? Did he talk about being a Muslim or was he devout or did he show any sort of religious tendencies?
COMVALIUS: No. He just -- no. He never really say anything about religion at it all, but it's more about the town that we lived in. And how there is nothing going on and things of that nature is about it.
LEMON: People are saying that he was angry and then that, as you say, may have been struggling with sexuality, but angry yet homophobic, and then did he make any off-color remarks? Because you go to the gym, you're going to see a gay man, right?
LEMON: Did he ever do anything like that in your presence that you know of?
COMVALIUS: No. I've never seen anything like that...
LEMON: He didn't show that sort of behavior. But what about -- what about anger?
COMVALIUS: Anger, yes. He would -- he had that thousand yard stare after he was getting, you know, doing a set, he would, you know, I mean, we all do, we all stare in the mirror when we're, you know, in the middle of a set or something, but with him, it was a little extreme, a little strange.
LEMON: Yes. I spoke to his ex-wife last night and she said that he had issues when it, you know, comes to anger or violence. Did you ever see him get upset about anyone or with anything?
COMVALIUS: I mean, I've seen him slam weights around, I've seen him, you know, we have -- you know, there is a very small corridor between the barbell or, yes, the dumbbell rack and the benches.
[22:15:07] And somebody happened, and this is just one instance, I remember specifically of a guy trying to walk through, and the guy was like, "excuse me," and he just stood there like with the chest puffed out, and he wasn't giving him any room. So, I mean, that was just more of an aggressive nature.
LEMON: Just odd, yes. Is there anything, looking back, about his behavior that, you know, now that you're looking back that may have been an indication that he might do something no one would think that he would do something, you know, this terrible, but especially do something to the LGBT community or just commit an act of violence?
COMVALIUS: Yes. This is a little personal about me. A few years ago, I was shot. And I was in the process of rehabilitating myself at the gym, I was boxing with the Police Athletic League, Port St. Lucie and, you know, I was rehabbing myself.
I ended up telling him a story about, you know, what happened to me that I got shot, and he got really intense and he was like, oh, man, if anybody shot me, I would frigging kill them, I'll kill their family and kids and all dog, everybody has got to die if somebody shot me, and it was really intense. And he was young, you know, and I just didn't expect him to come like that.
LEMON: How are you doing?
COMVALIUS: I'm fine.
LEMON: You all right?
LEMON: Thank you, Stefan.
COMVALIUS: Thank you.
LEMON: I appreciate you coming on.
COMVALIUS: All right.
LEMON: Thank you so much. Don't go anywhere.
Up next, Donald Trump renews his call for a surveillance of mosques and appears, it appears to change his position on one key issue. We'll talk about that.
[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: I want you to take a look at tomorrow's edition of the Boston Globe, an opinion piece under the headline "Make it stop. Make it stop." That's the Boston Globe tomorrow.
Events here in Orlando amplifying the differences between the two candidates between president, and with his reaction to the massacre here, Donald Trump is doubling down one of his more controversial policy proposals.
Here is CNN's Sara Murray.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Tonight, Donald Trump is renewing his call to increase surveillance on mosques.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We aren't vigilant and we aren't smart, and we have to go and we have to maybe check respectfully the mosques, and we have to check other places. Because this is a problem that if we don't solve it, it's go going to eat our country alive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: As he continues to slam President Obama's response to the Orlando massacre.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He gives a speech yesterday, a long speech that at the end of it nobody knew what the hell he was talking about.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MURRAY: And Trump still floating the idea that the president is
sympathetic to Islamic extremists, tweeting an unsubstantiated Breitbart article claiming the Obama administration once supported ISIS. Trump taking aim at Hillary Clinton as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Hillary is a rank amateur, she's been doing it forever, and she still doesn't get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: While Clinton unleashes on Trump, saying his proposals would do nothing to prevent future attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: A ban on Muslims would not have stopped this attack. Neither would a wall. I don't know how one builds a wall to keep the internet out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: But in a new twist today, Trump also appears open to considering new gun control measures and tweeting, "I will be meeting with the NRA who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list or the no-fly list to buy guns."
The NRA says it welcomes the meeting, but its position hasn't changed saying it's up to the FBI to investigate anyone on the watch list who tries to buy a gun.
Trump's latest suggestion comes as many republicans have distanced themselves from the presumptive nominee, while he struggles to find his political footing in the aftermath of Orlando.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have to have our republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself, I'll do very well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Today, he appeared to suggest yet again, that the tragedy will only send his poll numbers climbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Take a look at the poll numbers from right after this horrendous, and the horrible, and something we have to stop fast attacks. Take a look over the last couple of days, because I'll tell you, people are tired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: The new polls show Trump in serious trouble. A staggering 70 percent of Americans view Trump unfavorably in a new ABC/Washington Post poll compared to 55 percent who say the same about Clinton. And a Bloomberg found 55 percent of likely voters would never consider voting for Trump. While 43 percent said the same about Clinton.
Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.
LEMON: All right, Sara. You know what, it's a long night on the Senate floor, look at these live pictures for at least for democrats in the 11th hour of a filibuster calling for gun control legislation.
Again, these are live pictures, they are vowing to filibuster for as long as they can.
So, let's discuss this and other issues. I want to bring in now CNN political commentator, Kayleigh McEnany who is a trump supporter, Matt Lewis, he's a senior contributor to the Daily Caller, and also Bob Beckel who is also our contributor here on CNN.
Good evening to all of you, men. It's going to be a long night for democrats, right? So, Matt, you first. You said that you were struck at how in the aftermath of Orlando that Donald Trump pivoted to the gun issue.
I want to show a new CBS poll it's out tonight, the majority of the Americans, 51 percent disapproved of Trump's response. They're split on how Hillary Clinton handles it. So, do you think Trump is focusing on the wrong thing? What do you think of this poll and his reaction?
MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Well, I think that what made this different is that if it's about radical Islamist terrorism, that always help Trump, this is been also about the gay issue, it's also been about guns.
And here you have Donald Trump, you know, another example of how he is really not more to conservative philosophy and I think not winning himself any friends with conservatives and republicans.
You know, this watch list sounds like a very reasonable common sense thing, but in fact, it's the federal government unilaterally deciding to take away somebody's constitutional rights.
[22:25:00] There is no due process involve, there is no way to get yourself off of the list if you are erroneously put on it. FBI director Comey actually says that it could be harmful, because it could botch the operations that they're running if somebody is denied a purchase.
It could sort of tip off the terrorists and mess up what the FBI do, and there is a lot of bad reasons here. And if you are a conservative who sort of hoping that Donald Trump is going to be your guy, here he is coming out on the wrong side of the Second Amendment. I don't know that you're going to have a lot of reasons to give him money if you care deeply about this issue.
LEMON: Kayleigh, just respond to that. KAYLEIGH MCENANY, POLITICAL PROSPECT EDITOR: Well, Matt makes some
very good points. It's certainly true that the list is over inclusive. But I think two things need to happen here. One, we need to make it more difficult to be put on the list, and only, you know, include those who are truly a terrorist threat, but, two, I think it is just common sense.
Now we want to make it harder for people who are being investigated for terror connections by the FBI to get a weapon, if it makes it harder, that is a good thing. But look, Donald Trump did not make this a centerpiece issue of his speech.
In fact, guns, he's talked about for all probably 15 seconds, he is hitting the nail in the that this is about Islamic terrorism, it's not about guns, we can talk about guns, we can pass this bill, we can take that off of the table, but I can promise. And Donald Trump, I know believes this, too, this will not stop the next terrorist attack. We will only stop that by doing things like mosque surveillance or the temporary ban on Muslim immigration until we figure out what's going on.
LEMON: Kayleigh, I watched his entire speech today and also speeches that he's made recently, and he talked about the gun issue. He said "I'm going to save the Second Amendment," and he says that "Hillary Clinton is trying to take your rights away," he spoken about it for more than 15 seconds after this.
MCENANY: But in the first speech after this attack, the almost the entirety of the speech, 99 percent of it was about Islamic terrorism, that is the central focus, he is talking about guns. You're right, he talked more about it today, than he did in the aftermath of the attack, but he focuses Islamic terrorism.
LEMON: So, Bob, let's talk about this. Senator Chris Murphy, you know, the democrats are filibustering now, but the democrat Senator Chris Murphy once representing the congressional district where Sandy Hook is, he launched a surprise filibuster today on gun control.
He wants to close the terror gap, and expand background check. I mean, can the laws actually change right now, do you think this will make a difference?
BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, every time something, nothing as quite as outrageous as happened like this. But when you have a massive tragedy like this Sandy Hook, they try, they make every effort they possibly can. The President of the United States has tried every time.
And the NRA is that strong, or at least the perception is there that strong that they're able to knock it down. I mean, there is absolutely no reason, you got the same gun that you could purchase legally being used at several of these terrorist attacks.
But going back to Trump, and I could not script a worse response to a tragedy than he gave day after day, and the least of which was, you don't need to congratulate me for my position on Muslims. I mean, this is a time when you go to healing, you don't try to get
partisan and you don't talk about polls. I don't know what the guy thinks, honestly, I man, he has a thin ear when it comes to something like this.
LEMON: So, does it, I mean, is he saying, listen, maybe I have foresight on this because I'm trying to tell you that this is going to happen and here it is again. Do you think it just don't go there, Bob?
BECKEL: I would -- why go there? First of all, there is nothing foresight that he had, that he said that would have altered this situation with this particular fellow who happens to be a Muslim, and so, it just doesn't make any sense.
LEWIS: You can use the surrogates for this. I mean, Trump shouldn't be tooting his own horn, have somebody else. I mean, let, you know, let somebody a friendly media figure or a surrogate talk about how Trump was right. And I do think the story, as I mentioned it's about several things.
But I think the dominant part of the story is about radical Islamism, and that the threat that it tell. So, in a way, Trump, you know, sort of snatched defeat from the jaws of victory here.
BECKEL: And what was it that he said, Matt, that was precedent here? I mean, what exactly did the...
LEWIS: Well, I think that Donald Trump...
ENANY: Well, this is...
LEWIS: Go ahead. Go ahead.
LEMON: Let Matt answer, and then Kayleigh, I'll let you.
LEWIS: I won't let her since, you know, I'm in the business of defending Donald Trump, so.
LEMON: OK. Go ahead, Kayleigh.
LEWIS: That's a good role, so.
MCENANY: Well, the temporary ban on Muslim immigrant -- the temporary ban on Muslim immigration, for instance, that would have stopped Tashfeen Malik from getting in this country, who with her husband in San Bernardino killed 14 American, it would have stopped the Boston bombers from getting here on political asylum.
BECKEL: It would not have stopped this. It would not stop this of what we're talking about. MCENANY: It would have -- it would have -- n. But it would have stopped other attacks from happening. And not only that, I do want to mention quickly. I mentioned this earlier, with regards to the gun ban, yes, let's make it harder for terrorists to get guns. But look at Paris, the last four terrorists attacks in Paris happened with guns that are illegal under French law.
[22:30:02] So, we can ban guns, we could take guns away entirely. Attacks will still happen. He has been practicing and focusing on Islamic terrorism. He's been probably the only candidate to make that the centerpiece of his candidacy from the very the beginning. He had absolutely been pressing on that.
And the shootings that we have covered recently that have happened recently have been homegrown terror, and not from people who came to this country.
LEMON: Yes. But the shootings that we -- the shootings that we have recently, that have happened recently have been homegrown terror. They were not from people who came to the center or immigrant.
MCENANY: Sure, but, Don....
LEMON: So, it would not have stopped.
MCENANY: Don, you're right. But look, the mosque surveillance, perhaps that would have stopped it, because this shooter was under investigation with the FBI in 2014, because of his connection to someone in his mosque, and they said it was a causal connection to the first American suicide bomber.
So, maybe if we would have been surveilling his mosque...
MCENANY: ... perhaps we would have discovered that, to discover his radicalization.
LEMON: All right. I'm going to let you, guys, respond. We'll take a break and we'll be right back with our conversation. Don't go anywhere.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, we're back here in Orlando where a grand jury will hear evidence that could lead to charges against the wife of the nightclub killer.
And I'm talking with Kayleigh McEnany, with Matt Lewis, and Bob Beckel as well. So, let's talk about the gay issue. Who's better for gay people. Because Donald Trump brought that up today. I want to get your take, Matt, on this.
In the wake of this Orlando massacre, Donald Trump is casting himself as a better friend to gay Americans than Hillary Clinton. Here's what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Ask the gays what they think and what they do and not only in Saudi Arabia, in many of these countries with the gay community, just ask and then you tell me who is your friend, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Matt, Twitter has been going crazy over that remark, they go crazy over everything, but it ask the gays, a lot of people are making fun of it.
LEMON: Do you think that the gays as he said, that's a quote, as he says will take -- will take him seriously and he'll be a better LGBT -- to the LGBT community?
LEWIS: Well, I don't -- I don't know about that, but I do think it's interesting it's anecdotally speaking a lot of gay republicans that I know like Trump a lot more than they ever liked Mitt Romney.
And look, fundamentally it comes down this. I mean, if your identity is very tied to your sexual orientation, and if you're an LGBT leader, an activist, I think you're probably going to vote for Hillary Clinton.
But if instead of your sexual orientation being the defining thing about you, if you're a concerned -- if you are also a small business owner, a taxpayer, and somebody who's, you know, on the PTA, and somebody who's concerned about, I don't know, getting blown-up in a nightclub about a radical Islamist, then I think maybe you might consider Donald Trump.
So, I think that he might actually do a little bit better among this cohort than we might normally think that he would do, just, you know, based on he's talking about the gays.
LEMON: Well, Bob, I think that Matt may have a point here, I know lots of gay people, and there are gay people who said that they will actually, they actually would consider Donald Trump, some of his rhetoric they are concerned about that he doesn't, you know, he never seems to back off, but they don't think he's a bad candidate.
The human rights campaign blasted Trump while, you know, the president of other organizations are saying, you know what, he is not such a bad thing. What do you think?
BECKEL: Well, first of all, let's keep in mind that Trump's politics is based where he is learning politics and play politics in New York City, which is heavily, heavily muscled by the gay movement rightfully so. And so, Trump is, he would almost instinctively being a New Yorker would not come out to say anything negative about gays. I don't think for a minute that by saying this that he is going to get
more gay votes away from Hillary Clinton. That's where the issue here. Donald Trump has no place to go if he can't pull votes that are already out there for somebody else, he's got to change the perception.
And he is not going to change the perceptions in the gay community, the Latino community, the black community, the women's community, he's not going to do it. Which is why I continue to say unequivocally he cannot win.
LEMON: Do you agree with that, Kayleigh McEnany? The LGBT community, Kayleigh is made up of a lot of different groups and minorities there, gay Muslims, gay Mexicans, and on and on, so on. So, why should they support a candidate like Donald Trump?
MCENANY: Well, I mean, you're definitely right to point out that within each of these communities, Hispanic, Muslims, the gay community, it's made up of people who think differently, and I think it's a mistake a lot of times in identity politics who assume that a community is going to go one way or the other.
But I think what Donald Trump is pointing out is really important. Hillary Clinton's candidacy is riddled with hypocrisy. The most egregious of which really is that she's accepting 25 to $30 million from countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, and some of those countries where if you are a gay person in those country, the penalties for that is death.
LEMON: Are you talking about the Clinton campaign?
MCENANY: How can you be for the gay community -- the Clinton Foundation.
LEMON: The Clinton -- you're talking about the Clinton global initiative, right.
MCENANY: Yes, absolutely. And if you are in your heart of hearts are for gay Americans and for gay issues and promoting these issues, how are in the world are you accepting money from countries where the penalty for being gay is death. I think it's egregious and it's one of the biggest hypocrisy and Donald Trump is right to highlight it.
BECKEL: Wait a minute, wait a minute. He took that money with projects for hunger, for children, and it had nothing to do with gays, come on. It wasn't Hillary Clinton; it was the initiative that took the money.
MCENANY: You take a stand, and you do not take money from...
LEMON: And also, I heard him say that today, Kayleigh, and -- go ahead, finish your thought.
MCENANY: I was just going to say, you take a stand when you are taking money, which by the way the Clinton Foundation, you know, 10 to 20 percent of it actually goes to charity. That's another conversation for another day. But if you want to take a stand for these issues, you don't take money from leaders who are killing people who profess to be gay or in the LGBT.
[22:40:03] that's just a basic principle I think anyone should live by who supports the gay community.
LEMON: All right. That's the last word on that. Thank you very much. Up next, two additional perspectives on which candidate would be better for the LGBT community, for LGBT Americans.
LEMON: Our breaking news tonight. Donald Trump renews his call for the surveillance of mosques which brings me to an editorial in today's New York Times. And it reads in part, "While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear, it is evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred towards gays and lesbians."
"Hate crimes don't happen in a vacuum, they occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where are scapegoated for political gain. Tragically, this is the state of American politics driven too often by republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit not extinguish."
Let's talk about that and more now, David Brock, the author of "Killing the Messenger," and Chris Barron as well, conservative strategist. Good evening to both of you. Thank you very much. Some conservatives are really upset about that editorial, Chris. You have been a fierce critic of Donald Trump during the primaries, what made you change your mind?
[22:45:04] CHRIS BARRON, CONSERVATIVE STRATEGIST: Well, one, elections are about choices, in this situation between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. One of them is going to be the next President of the United States, and without a doubt for me, and I think for many LGBT Americans, this choice is an easier, one, and it's Donald Trump.
Particularly in light of what happened on Sunday. I know that the left likes to talk about this, it's a little political sleight of hand here, this wasn't just a hate crime, this was an act of war. Fifty LGBT Americans were slaughtered by a man driven by a radical ideology, this is not a hate crime. This is not about politics, this is about life or death.
LEMON: What do you make of that editorial, though? Do you think that -- you know, because there are a lot of people coming out now saying, you know, t I'm in support of gay people, and you know, this should never happened when they have never said anything positive or have never been on the side of, you know, same-sex marriage, what do you think of that editorial?
BARRON: Well, I mean, I think the editorial is crap. And I think at the end of the day, Donald Trump has been a friend of the gay community long before Hillary Clinton was. Long before it was politically expedient to be for gay rights, Donald Trump put his money where his mouth was.
The fact is, that he had clubs that offered domestic partner benefits, his businesses has excellent records when it comes to non- discrimination policies. Hillary Clinton is a Johnny come lately to gay rights because it's a political winner for her now, and that's the reality.
LEMON: OK. All right. I want to bring in David. And David, first I want you to listen what Donald Trump said today, and then I will get your take. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Why would we admit people who support violent hatred? Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she continues to support immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country and who suppress women, gays, and anyone else who doesn't share their views or values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, David, he also tweeted this, "I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people who will threaten your freedom and beliefs." What's your reaction?
DAVID BROCK, "KILLING THE MESSENGER" AUTHOR: Well, look, I mean, I think the reality is that most gay people are going to be support the candidate who wants to bring us together and not rip us apart.
And I think it's really sickening that as the country is mourning what happened in Orlando that Donald Trump is out there somehow in a weird pandering for gay support saying what he said today, the reality is that this is somebody who is an open racist, who is a sexist, I can't imagine gays supporting that kind of bigotry.
And then on the issues on our own rights. Donald Trump has said that he would put judges on the Supreme Court that would reverse marriage equality, that he would rescind President Obama's executive orders. When he goes to right with the Evangelical groups, he talks about, quote, "religious liberty," which is code for legal discrimination, so Donald Trump has nothing to offer gay people, I don't believe.
LEMON: So, what the -- he said that Hillary Clinton was a Johnny come lately when it comes to gay rights. Is he accurate about that? She did evolve on the issue after the president evolved on the issue, David?
BROCK: Absolutely he's not...
LEMON: About marriage.
BROCK: The reality there is that, I mean, when Secretary Clinton was on the world stage, she took the world stage and said gay rights are human rights, and she fought as Secretary of State against the regimes that do discriminate and tolerate or encourage violence against gays.
And, you know, it came up in your last segment about the Clinton Foundation, the reality there is that, you know, in one day, because of what the Clinton Foundation has done in cutting the costs of AIDS drugs in Africa, the Clinton Foundation, the Clintons have done more for gay people than Donald Trump has done in his entire life.
LEMON: Yes. I'll give you the last word, Chris, but quickly. I'm running out of time, do you think that Donald Trump will get a significant portion of the gay vote?
BARRON: I do. Because at the end of the day, Hillary Clinton -- it's hilarious talking about pandering. Donald Trump is talking about protecting gay people's lives. That's not political pandering, that's doing what a leader, a commander should do, and I think Donald Trump will get a significant number of LGBT votes in November.
LEMON: I think this is a very important discussion that we are having here as David and as you know, Chris, gay people are not a Monolithic group, I have discussions about this, about republicans and democrats and issue. So, and I think it's great for the world to see that.
Thank you so much. I appreciate both of you coming on tonight.
BARRON: Thank you.
LEMON: And coming up, less than 30 miles from where I am right now, another heart wrenching story. A family's Disney vacation ends in tragedy when a 2-year-old boy is attacked and killed by an alligator. Can you believe that?
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: More breaking news tonight, in fact, heartbreaking news. Not far from where I am right now, authorities found the body of a 2-year- old boy who was taken by an alligator at a Disney resort.
I want to bring in now Jeff Corwin, he's a wildlife expert and the host of ABC's Ocean Mysteries. Jeff, I'm anxious to get your perspective on this, your expertise. This story is really shocking to so many people, but as an expert, are you surprised at what happened here and why?
JEFF CORWIN, ANIMAL WILDLIFE EXPERT: I'm incredibly shocked, Don. When I think of Disney, I think safety to the level of sterility. They make safety this spatiality, so this is quite shocking. They have a team of wildlife experts that are on call that specialize in preventing situations like this.
You know, this is Florida. This is gator country. It is a body of fresh water, Don, this is a very good chance that there is an alligator in there.
Now keep in mind that the Disney property, itself, the park only makes up a very small portion of that, the park is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine habitat ideal for alligators. And whether we believe it or not, they are constantly moving back and forth, even in a manmade lagoon.
But Disney tries to keep up on that, but clearly, this animal got in there and wreaked absolute havoc and led him to just this incredible catastrophe.
[22:55:03] LEMON: yes. I mean, and you have a personal story here, because you said you got a phone call from your wife?
CORWIN: Yes, my wife had been seeing a lot of the hits that I've been doing with you guys today, and she said, "do you remember where we were two years ago right at this time, and we were staying at the Grand Floridian," and she said, "your little girls were playing on that beach."
And I had to remind my wife that this is so tragic and I can't how a family survives this despite the valiant efforts of the parents to save their child, they were unable to, and it was dispatched by this creature.
This is a very rare event, Don. Disney has been operating this park for 40 years, hundreds of millions of people. It's never happened it before. Florida, in last 70 years, only a few dozen times have we had tragedies like this.
Alligators do not naturally prey on human beings, it's usually something else that causes this, oftentimes it's when people become too, Don. They become too comfortable, maybe they are feeding the alligator that animal lose its natural sense of fear and calamity ensues. In this case, it is such an anomaly.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, our time is short, just quickly, if can you tell me, what should parents do? Could that dad have done anything? Was jumping in that water the right thing? What's the right advice here?
CORWIN: That dad did what any dad would do. He was heroic, his fight instinct kicked in and he fought and he fought, and unfortunately it didn't work out. The gator's mouth is one massive abductor muscle thousands of pounds per pressure, it's hard to even small animals it's hard to open it.
This is its element, Don. They've been living in this environment 60 million years practically unchanged, we were in its world. And unfortunately, this is what happened. It's just an absolute tragedy.
I think the father did what he did the best he could, but people need to remember that when everybody around a body of water, you need to keep your eyes out, you need to be thinking about safety, especially in places where you know that animals like this could exist.
LEMON: Thank you. Jeff Corwin, thank you so much. We appreciate it. CORWIN: All right, Don.
LEMON: And just ahead from Orlando, remembering the victims. I'm going to the man who lost one friend in the massacre, while another friend fights for his life.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)