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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Trump Falsely Claims Millions Voted Illegally; Ohio State Attack. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired November 28, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Terror in Columbus.
THE LEAD starts right now.
Armed with a butcher's knife, a lone attacker sparks panic at the Ohio State University, nine injured, one critically. The man killed by police, but now authorities are investigating if this was an act of terrorism.
No evidence and no explanation. President-elect Donald Trump tweeting what state officials say just isn't true, that there were millions of fraudulent votes in California, New Hampshire and Virginia. Where is our new president getting this falsehood?
Plus, his name is everywhere, on buildings and golf courses and posh properties dotting the globe, but now the CEO is president-elect and Donald Trump has even admitted that he has -- quote -- a little conflict of interest" with one NATO ally over a hotel. THE LEAD's new series examining potential conflicts of interest like that one begins today.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
TAPPER: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We are going to start with some breaking news in the national lead today. We're waiting for a news conference to begin at any moment with new details on that horrific rampage at the Ohio State University in Columbus.
A federal law enforcement source now telling CNN the attacker was 18 years old, of Somali descent and a legal permanent U.S. resident. Law enforcement is investigating whether terror was the motive.
This all began when police say the man drove his car into a crowd on campus and then got out and started slashing people with a large butcher knife. A campus police officer prevented this from becoming much worse, quickly responding, shooting and killing the attacker.
In the end, nine victims were rushed to the hospital, some stabbed, others hurt by the car.
CNN's Pamela Brown joins me now live from Columbus, Ohio.
Pamela, police are not shy about calling this a deliberate, planned incident. What are you learning about the attacker?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We're still piecing together what we know, but as you point out, officials tell us he was a teenager, 18 years old of Somali descent, a legal permanent resident of the United States.
His ties here to the Ohio State University still unclear, and at this point right now investigators are still trying to figure out why he drove on campus and unleashed chaos and fear right behind me this morning.
BROWN (voice-over): Around 9:52 a.m., chaos erupts in the heart of the campus near buildings for the science and engineering programs. A car jumps a curb, plowing into pedestrians. Then the male driver jumps out and continues to attack with a knife, slashing people.
CRAIG STONE, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY POLICE CHIEF: He exited the vehicle and used a butcher knife to start cutting pedestrians.
Our officer was on scene in less than a minute and he ended the situation in less than a minute. He engaged the suspect and he eliminated the threat. The suspect is DOA.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's like 40 cop cars. Everyone is very frantic and all the SWAT teams are getting together and cops are still pulling up.
BROWN: A text message from the university goes out to all students telling them to shelter in place because there is an active shooter on campus. A tweet from the university's emergency management department told students to run, hide, fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did hear like three or four things that would sound like gunshots and then we would heard silence come. So, we assumed they were gunshots.
BROWN: Students barricade their classroom doors in an effort to keep the attacker at bay. One class piled up chairs at the door as law enforcement arrived on scene to try and contain the situation as quickly as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have quite a few military men in our class who actually are all standing by the doors keeping us safe.
TAPPER: Let's go live now to Columbus, Ohio, where the university news conference is getting under way on the attack.
Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
DR. MICHAEL DRAKE, PRESIDENT, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: They did that. They got to secure places and then forces from a variety of local law enforcement from our campus community, from our city and from the state joined -- the FBI -- joined together on campus to sweep the campus to make sure there was no further threat.
And then approximately 90 minutes later, the buildings were released.
I have here with me the people who were directly on the scene and they will speak in a moment. I just want to say that first we had a chance to speak with the officer who was the first responder and to thank him for following his training in being able to neutralize the circumstances within roughly one minute.
And also I was able to visit three of the people who are injured who are here in the hospital to let them know how much we are praying and supporting them in coming to a complete and speedy recovery. The ones who are here in the hospital were in good spirits.
I note that a couple of the people are having more work done, and I think that Dr. Thomas can give you updates on that. But our thoughts and prayers are with them, and we are pleased that no one was more seriously injured and look for them all to recover completely shortly.
Let me -- by the way, and give you to Monica Moll, who is our director of public safety.
MONICA MOLL, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: To just give you a brief timeline of events this morning, that we had at 9:52 the officer involved called out that a car had hit about seven to eight pedestrians. This happened at 9:52. He called on the radio into the dispatch center.
Again, just a few seconds later, at 9:52, the officer called out a call that indicated officer in trouble, that there was a man with a knife. At 9:53, that same officer called out that there were shots fired and that he had one person down.
And that is when the officer engaged the suspect. And so the suspect drove his vehicle into a group of pedestrians. There were some injuries that resulted from that. The suspect then got out of his vehicle with a knife and began cutting individuals in the area.
And the officer engaged the suspect and fired shots and used deadly force to stop the threat.
The threat to safety was ended at that time. Several other law enforcement agencies responded in addition to OSU P.D. and began to surround the area. We also followed up on other possibilities and other leads that were going on.
The Lane Avenue parking garage, there was a rumor that there might have been another potential threat there. That was thoroughly searched and that turned out not to be true.
We would like to share with you today the officer's name who we all owe a debt of gratitude to. He did a fabulous job today. He is a 28- year-old officer named Alan Horujko. He has been with OSU P.D. since January of 2015, so not quite two years.
And the suspect's name, we can confirm that the suspect was an OSU student named Abdul Razak Ali Artan. We do not have any information on the moment on motive. The investigation is ongoing in that regard.
Some information or updates about the patients?
DRAKE: I also want to say to several people who are joining me on stage -- I'm not going to mention everyone, but I wanted to say that support we have received from the city -- and the city is represented here by Mayor Andy Ginther -- support from the state and our Governor Kasich is with us.
And also our representative from Congress, Joyce Beatty, is here this afternoon. So just wanted to mention those people and then have maybe Andy come and give us an update on the status of our patients.
ANDREW THOMAS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, OSU WEXNER MEDICAL CENTER: Thank you. Good afternoon.
My name is Andrew Thomas. I'm chief medical officer here at the OSU Wexner Medical Center.
A brief update on the individuals involved in this situation that were both brought here, as well as to two other hospitals in the city. We had we have had six total individuals that have either been brought here by EMS or have come in on their own.
Earlier today, that number was five. Since our press conference earlier today, we have had one additional victim who was hit by the car who came in with some musculoskeletal injuries and is currently being assessed downstairs
Beyond that, there were two stab victims, two other victims of having been hit by the car, and then one other victim with some lacerations that we are working on.
There are two patients that were taken to Riverside Methodist Hospital just north of campus. Both of those individuals were struck by the car. One has orthopedic injury, and the other actually has a minor neurologic injury with a skull fracture, is being observed, but is awake and talking and appears to be stable, from what I'm told by my colleagues there.
There are two individuals that were taken to Grant that I mentioned earlier today with lacerations, and then one additional patient that has shown up at Grant Hospital who was a victim of being hit by the car, who had an orthopedic injury and has since been discharged from their emergency department.
And with that, I will turn things back over to... (CROSSTALK)
DRAKE: I think maybe Chief Stone has some more specific information about the incident.
STONE: Thanks, president Drake.
We have a very elaborate camera system on the campus. And we went back and checked video and were able to pick up the vehicle, suspect vehicle, entering the campus on Kenny Road and Woody Hayes Drive.
And we were able to backtrack and follow that vehicle all the way to the crime scene. So, we actually have the vehicle on Woodruff. And we also have the vehicle on 19th before the incident occurred.
So, I just want to thank all of our officers for the fine job that they do, also our communications people. And by tracking this vehicle down, we could tell that the suspect was in the car by himself.
And also I appreciate the response by the city, the county, the state and our federal partners who are assisting us in this ongoing situation. Thank you.
DRAKE: I think that's the information, if there is a question or two.
QUESTION: Are you convinced right now that he was acting alone and not in concert with anyone else?
DRAKE: Well, I will let the law enforcement answer that.
STONE: This is an ongoing investigation. I can tell you today that we can prove to you that the suspect was by himself in the vehicle and committed this act by himself today.
It's an ongoing investigation to determine motive and if anybody else was involved in this act.
MOLL: The suspect's name, first name is spelled A as in Adam, B as in Boy, D as in Dog, U as in union, L as in Lincoln.
Abdul Razak, that's R as in Robert, A as in Adam, Z as in zebra, A as in Adam, K. Ali is the next name, A as in Adam, L as in Lincoln, I as in Ida.
And then the final name is Artan, A as in Adam, R as in Robert, T as in Tom, A as in Adam, N as in Norah. Abdul Razak Ali Artan.
STONE: We can tell you the suspect is an OSU student. QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)
MOLL: Ongoing investigation.
DRAKE: And let me also take this. I appreciate that.
Let me just ask for a moment. We have the governor and the mayor here, just if you would like to say just a word here, and also Congresswoman Beatty, so just...
QUESTION: Governor, what do you have to say to the people of Ohio?
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Well, look, this morning, I talked to Dr. Drake, obviously.
I want to thank our first-responders, who did a remarkable job. When you think about this timeline, I think from, was it 9:52 to 9:54, it shows how much practice, how much training, how much expertise, and how much coordination has existed with campus police, the Columbus police, the FBI, the SRT, which is our special unit at the Highway Patrol, the county sheriff.
I mean, there was amazing coordination. And the speed at which these folks were able to come together, think about what this incident, what this tragedy could have meant, a man with a butcher knife and who knows what else. I don't know what else he may have.
Think about driving a car into a bunch of people. Think if you were standing out there, what -- the terrible stuff you would see. And, fortunately, from what I'm understanding from both doctors here, that they expect a full recovery.
So, when you think about the students, when you think about the parents, many of whom were, of course, texting and Snapchatting their kids, you know, it is remarkable what these first-responders did.
I mean, there will be a lesson all across America on all the campuses across America about what you do when things like this happen. And as Dr. Drake mentioned, these tabletop exercises are not to be taken lightly. It's the same way we feel about our high schools, our K-12 schools, all of which need to be taken more seriously by everybody in the field.
You know, the other thing I would tell you is, I thought about this early this morning and actually have a god-daughter who goes to school here, who got off the plane, heard the situation and came to my home.
She, I believe, has now returned to campus. This is where I started. I mean, this is where I wandered as an 18-year-old into the president's office. It was a time when I walked in -- before we even had the stands out there, Dr. Drake, I remember walking into the Horseshoe and standing at the 50-yard line and looking around at this unbelievable place.
You know, I served as an orientation leader. My first big GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: It was the time when I walked in, before
we even had the stands out there, Dr. Drake, I remember walking into the horseshoe and standing at the 50-yard line and looking around at this unbelievable place.
[16:15:10] You know, I served as an orientation leader. My first big meeting in politics came through Novice Fawcett, the oval. There is just nothing like the oval. There is nothing like Norton Hall. This is just an incredible and magnificent place.
So, when I heard that this morning, of course, I right away the stab wounds that perhaps the gunfire, he frankly took a piece out of everybody here at our beautiful Ohio University that this could have happened here. But we are a strong, tough, resilient community. And when we think about -- as we like to say now, the Ohio State University, it's not just the students that go to school here that count, it's whoever touched this place who will think and be affected by what happened today, and we're all going to be extremely, extremely grateful that we're going to have full recovery.
And there are going to be a lot of questions about who, why, how, when, all this. You know, I think we have to respect law enforcement and their ability to do their job. The FBI is assisting with local and the campus police. The Columbus police are the lead investigators. We're helping at the highway patrol with any of the things that need to be investigated, but the FBI also has a partnership. They've not taken over this investigation. They have great respect for the work of the campus police and the Columbus Police Department.
So, we're not going to rush to try to figure things out. I know that's your job. And frankly, it's our job to say let the investigation take its due course, and at the end of the day, we will find out what happened. We may never totally find out why this person did what they did or why they snapped. We don't -- we may never find out but we're going to have a lot more information.
I think I would be joined by Dr. Drake in saying, right now, we have to have patience. The campus will reopen. The campus is calm. People are getting their confidence back and Ohio State will be stronger having come through this, and we will have learned lot. And I can promise you, from the president of our university to the people that run security here, they will even up their game beyond what is really just an unbelievable, amazing, outstanding and heroic performance on the part of our first responders.
REP. JOYCE BEATTY (D), OHIO: Thank you. I'm Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, and let me just say all my remarks are what the governor just said.
Like my colleagues here, I had the opportunity to talk with President Drake and to his governmental staff team earlier this morning. I would be remiss if I did not thank the medical team and also the multi-agency police force.
But let me also add to that, the alert system. What was so incredibly unique and life saving was the alert system that student got that message and they acted appropriately. Those things don't just happen. Let's not take that lightly.
To this administration, I say thank you for planning and being prepared. That's what happens you have with something as awful as this. The students did not overreact. They called one another. I got calls from students.
And like the governor, all the places that we saw on TV were very fresh in my mind from spending four years here recently as senior vice president, going in that garage, going by those buildings. So, I say thank you to you, President Drake, to you, Andy Thomas, to you, Eric Atkins (ph), and certainly to our police chief and to the mayor and all of your fine officers. I'm so proud that I can stand here with Chief Jacobs and say thank you for your leadership, and to you also, Dr. Retchin (ph). Thank you.
ANDREW GINTHER, MAYOR OF COLUMBUS, OHIO: Andy Ginther, mayor of the city of Columbus.
Today is one of those days you're grateful for good training and great people across the board. President Drake and I had the opportunity to meet with the outstanding young law enforcement officer earlier this afternoon, and some of the victims here the OSU Medical Center.
[16:20:02] We want to give thanks for our outstanding men and women who continue to take on some of the biggest challenges in our communities and law enforcement. It's never been a more dangerous or complicated and challenging time to be a police officer. And we had a dynamic, well-thrown professional today saved the lives of many our residents and students, and to the outstanding professionals here in hospitals throughout our city and the first responders. That when difficult, challenging strategies take place in our communities, they're raising and running right into the heart of the danger. And so, we say thank you to them.
You know, Columbus is a very special place and Ohio State is a major reason why we are so special. And so, I ask the people of Columbus to continue to lift up those involved in their thoughts and prayers, their victims, their families for the collective community. This is a diverse, welcoming and warm community where we welcome people from all over the world. And that is what makes us so special.
And so, I ask for everyone to continue to lean in, to pray for one another, to look out for one another, and make sure that we continue to focus on what brings us together as opposed to what divides us.
MICHAEL DRAKE, OHIO STATE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I think we have time for a couple questions.
DRAKE: That's right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. There were six now total here at Ohio State, two at Riverside and three at Grant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The officer's name is Alan Horujko. Alan is common spelling. A-L-A-N. Horujko is -- H as in Henry. O as an ocean. R as in Robert. U as in union. J as in Japan. K as in Kimmie. And O as ocean.
REPORTER: How long has he been working with you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since January 11th of 2015. He's an officer, police officer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's interviews to be had. We'll talk to anybody he might have associated with, find out what they knew, waiting on a search warrant to go in and search the property.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time, I have video of the suspect coming on one campus and coming to the scene. I have not looked at that video yet. Still being investigated.
REPORTER: Were any weapons found?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The case is still being investigated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the information we can share at this time with regards to the suspect that he was an OSU student.
REPORTER: How old?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Late 20s? (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I know that for most of the individuals. So, here at the Wexner Medical Center, there was one who was a faculty member. There was -- there were two individuals who were undergraduate students, one individual who was an undergraduate student, and I do not know the affiliation of the last individual who arrived.
I believe two of the individuals at Ohio Health Hospitals were undergrad students and two were graduate students, and I do not know the affiliation of the third person who arrived at Grant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, I apologize. One of them was -- who is here at the medical center is also a staff member of the university. [16:25:02] In our traffic and parking department, which is separate from the police department but does similar functions with just traffic and parking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe that was a separate incident, and we're actually fortunate that didn't happen. It helped the officer be in the right place at the right time as he was able to see this whole thing happen and take immediate action.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That needs to be confirmed, but we believe he was born in '98. But we're looking to confirm that information.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he had cleared that call and then this happened right before his eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an ongoing investigation. We really haven't said information.
DRAKE: I'm pleased to say that I was able to see three of the people who were injured, and the injuries were not life-threatening. Actually, all three patients were alert and in good spirits, actually joking a bit in some cases. So, I think that they were -- the combination of sort of shock relief to have something awful like this that you witnessed, and then realize, oh, my goodness, you're actually hurt but then to be grateful the injury wasn't more serious.
So, I was able to do that, and actually one of the victims who were one of our students. Her mother was here having arrived, so I was able to talk to her mother who was much calmer having arrived than she had been hearing there had been an injury. But this was a student who was injured and waited an hour and a half until the building was cleared bringing herself here.
So, it's just nice to see they weren't hurt more. I'm in the hospital on a more regular basis and see people, and it's nice to see patients who are at least relieved enough to be smiling, and I was pleased to say that.
DRAKE: Well, I'd say, first, that students and staff and their families that are faculty member who is -- our senior faculty member, all were -- had resiliency to know that things happen, unfortunately, like this, and what's most important after that is that we're able to respond appropriately. And so, I felt very good about that community spirit. Also, the student who waited to come was comforted by her classmates,
by other students, during the time we were holding the campus on lockdown. Luckily, she wasn't injured so seriously she felt like she needed an ambulance at that time, but she thanked them. One of the other students who came in was brought in by one of the people who had a laceration. They didn't know each other but she just helped to bring him here to the hospital and just wanted to be with him to give him support.
So, our community comes together nicely. As we mentioned to you earlier, we have, every year, at least, we do an extensive tabletop exercise with senior staff, and we orient students on what to do in case there's an awful circumstance like this, and it was good to see that people responded to us. We wish that they would, and as I said, we're thankful that injuries were not more severe. I wish this has never happened, but the injury is not more severe. The only one who suffered serious injuries was the assailant.
DRAKE: You know, we have sent out several messages electronically, and luckily in this day and age, people tend to be nicely connected. So, the student before who I spoke to was actually on her phone with her mother for over an hour before she got -- her mother lived a couple of hours away and drove in the whole time.
But they were able to be in conversation, and we have certainly encouraged all of the people who were victims to be able to contact their family members and for all family members and students to be able to let each other know that they were safe. I think that's been happening throughout the afternoon. We sent another message about this a couple of -- an half hour or so ago to again, reassure people that the situation was stable, but we wanted them to be in touch with their families.
And we have the hotline for parents to call. I don't know that number. I know the message we sent out. But if you can't reach your student, a place to call in and be able to get information.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time for one more.
REPORTER: Can you say the suspect was from the United States?
DRAKE: You know, I know nothing more about the suspect than you. This is fresh and we'll learn more about as the day goes on.
DRAKE: Again, I heard that this was his first semester with us, but allow us to continue to look at those records to make sure we learn anything. I heard that this was his first semester.
DRAKE: You know, we all know when things like this happens that we have a tendency sometimes for people to put people together and create other kinds of theories. We don't know anything that would link this to any community (ph) certainly. I don't have any evidence that will say that's the case.