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EARLY START

Las Vegas Concert Massacre; Gunman's Girlfriend Back in U.S.; President Trump's Visit to Puerto Rico. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 4, 2017 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: We know Facebook admits selling 3,000 ads to Russian troll farms. It was not clear which U.S. regions they targeted.

[04:30:01] Now we know some ads were aimed at the battleground states of Wisconsin and Michigan. Trump won both of those by less than 1 percent. They were key to his victory. The White House could not be reached for comment about this Facebook story.

The Russian ads targeted key demographics with divisive topics like promoting gun rights or anti-Muslim messages. The goal here was to amplify political discord during the presidential campaign. Facebook says 10 million users saw those Russia backed ads. The ad buy was just $100,000, proving how effective Russian meddling can be with minimal investment.

Congressional committees are currently investigating Russian interference online during the election.

Thirty minutes past the hour. EARLY START continues right now.

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ROMANS: New information this morning about the Las Vegas gunman. How he installed cameras to watch police, how he manipulated his guns to make them even more dangerous and while you were sleeping, the killer's girlfriend back in the country, landing at LAX. Wait until you hear what her sisters are saying this morning. Remarkable.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans in New York.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Dave Briggs in Las Vegas. Thirty-one minutes past the hour, 48 hours after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. modern history.

This morning, new details about Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock. His enormous cache of weapons, his extensive planning. His girlfriend now back in the United States and in a new interview, Marilou Danley's sisters claim the gunman sent her out of the country -- sent her out of the country before the attack. More on that in a moment.

We're also getting our first look at newly released police body cam video capturing the chaos as this attack unfolded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (GUNFIRE)

POLICE OFFICER: Go that way, go that way. Go that way.

Hey, they're shooting right at us, guys. Everybody, stay down. Stay down.

Where is it at?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North of the Mandalay Bay. It's come out of the window.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Police officials say the gunman appears to have fired on and off for between nine and 11 minutes after the first 911 call. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says the shooter had cameras set up inside and outside his hotel room at the Mandalay, one inside, two in the hall. Cameras he may have been using to spot police and security approaching his room. Officials say they don't think the shooter was broadcasting that video over the Internet.

Even with the new details the shooter's motive really remains the mystery here. The death toll from the attack has been revised downward by one. Officials now confirm 58 victims from the shooting. The number of injured, at least 527 remains the same.

Today, President Trump flies here to see for himself how this city is responding to the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. He's expected to arrive at 9:30 a.m. local time, 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Two stops expected at this point, one at a hospital where he'll meet with survivors as well as medical professionals, also expected to visit with law enforcement officials as well, including some heroes, some of those that saved lives at this shooting just over 48 hours ago.

Meanwhile, the gunman's girlfriend once again considered a person of interest by authorities. Marilou Danley who was located in the Philippines after and as the massacre unfolded back on American soil at this hour. Her plane arrived at LAX late last night.

CNN's Jean Casarez is here with us. She has been following the story.

And that is where all eyes are, one of the few people that can speak to the mindset of this shooter.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She was accompanied by FBI agents. Homeland security have also been apprised.

Our own Nic Robertson asked an immigration official there in Manila, did she come on voluntarily, on her own accord? The response was, I can't confirm or deny that. So, we don't know the inner workings of this, but we do know she's back in the United States, a Philippine Airlines jetliner landing at LAX a little after 7:00 p.m. last night.

Now, Las Vegas municipal police authorities do want to interview her, of course, along with the FBI. But they may go to Los Angeles. She may not come here to Las Vegas for some time. So, we'll have to see how this develops but, obviously, they want in close in time to be able to talk to her.

And I'm sure the FBI has questioned her in the Philippines. So, there's a working knowledge probably from her in regard to all of this.

And the fact is, she didn't stay in the Philippines because we don't know when she left the mainland but she was in Tokyo. And then she went to the Philippines, and then she went to Hong Kong and then she went back to the Philippines, and now she's here.

[04:35:05] Also, $100,000 was wired by the perpetrator to the Philippines.

Now, Channel 7 in Australia --

BRIGGS: Yes.

CASAREZ: -- is reporting that her sister is saying that she was sent to Australia to be -- to the Philippines to be away from the United States. Why? We don't know. But that it was an intentional act of Stephen Paddock to get her out of this country, and that is the local Australian Channel 7 saying they've spoken to her sister.

BRIGGS: A lot of questions. Some new photos also being released of the crime scene leaked.

CASAREZ: That's right. And early yesterday, authorities here in Las Vegas, they didn't want to confirm or deny it was the crime scene but late in the later press conference, they did confirm that it is the inside of that hotel room. You see the guns just randomly placed around the room. They did confirm that is the body of Stephen Paddock and you can see all of the weapons. You can see magazines that are neatly stacked apparently not used, but you can see the randomness of all the other guns just around the room and this is the aftermath shortly after this all ended.

BRIGGS: Even one photo we will not show you on air that we've seen online directly of the face of the shooter.

CASAREZ: And we do want to say, "The Daily Mail" published these.

BRIGGS: They did indeed.

CASAREZ: They are the ones. And the Las Vegas Municipal Police Department not happy about that.

BRIGGS: Jean, thanks.

And we're learning 47 guns found from Stephen Paddock, four different states where he purchased them. Among the dozens that belonged to the shooter, well, the ATF says 12 of the guns in the shooter's hotel room alone had what are called bump-fire stocks or bump stocks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT: What are the modifications associated with the weaponry? I can't give you an answer on whether any of them are automatic or not, but we are aware of a device called a bump stock, and that enables an individual to speed up the discharge of ammunition.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Thank you.

On semiautomatic weapons, the trigger has to be pulled each time a round is fired. On automatic weapons, the trigger can be pulled and held once to fire multiple rounds. It's reported that you can fire hundreds of rounds per minute with these devices.

Automatic weapon sales are banned in the U.S. There is a loophole, though, if they're federally registered and made prior to 1986. It is possible to buy these bump stocks that do convert semiautomatic weapons to fire like automatic weapons.

Gun reform advocates seizing on this latest revelation about the Las Vegas attack. California Senator Dianne Feinstein tweeting, quote, I'm looking at ways to proceed with legislation to ban bump fire stocks and close this loophole for good, doing nothing in the wake of this tragedy is not an option. She tried that legislation in 2013 after the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary where 20 kids and more than six faculty and staff were shot and killed.

John Thune, third ranking Republican in the Senate from South Dakota, very much a gun state, told NBC News, quote, that is something I think we'll look at regarding those devices that fully automated weapons.

I went in search of a bump slide stock or whatever you want to call them here in the Las Vegas area. There are gun shops all around the strip. I visited two that confirmed to me they did sell weapons to Stephen Paddock. That is Discount Firearms and Ammo and the New Frontier Armory.

Both said, no, we do not sell those stocks. We think they're silly. We think they're gimmicky. They are not something that our customers request.

I also called more than a dozen shops. All of them before I even got that sentence of my mouth were very quick to say, no, we do not sell them although one said prior to yesterday, they sold them through their Website.

There really is no reason for them, Christine. Some even say they're just for entertainment. They reduce accuracy. This seems like a very easy loophole for legislators to close.

ROMANS: But you mentioned Sandy Hook. One would have thought there was action after 6 and 7-year-olds were gunned down and killed. I mean, that was horrific and nothing happened. BRIGGS: Well, you bring that up, and a lot of people were calling for

background checks in the wake of Sandy Hook, too, but Stephen Paddock passed all of these FBI background checks.

I spoke with gun shop owners that spoke directly to him and saw nothing out of the ordinary.

ROMANS: All right. Dave, thanks for that.

You know, the Las Vegas shooting likely to make hotels and other properties on the Vegas Strip rethink their security procedures, but experts who spoke to CNN say really there's little that can be done to prevent the kind of massacre we saw this week.

CNN's Scott McLean spoke with security experts in Las Vegas. He's live at McCarran Airport right now.

[04:40:02] What are they telling you, authorities, security experts?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christine.

So, first off, we know that many Las Vegas casinos, they'll be ramping up their plainclothes security efforts in the wake of this tragedy. Many hotels may be following suit but the reality is, there just may not be that much that they can do to prevent something like this happening in the future. That is according to the sheriff here in Las Vegas. It's also according to a security expert I spoke to today, a guy with more than 20 years at the FBI. Seven years of experience as the head of security for the Venetian Resort here in Las Vegas, a massive hotel resort complex that has some pretty complicated security arrangements as well.

He says that -- this expert says sure, there were security cameras in the hotel, but they're looking for things that are out of the ordinary. So, if Stephen Paddock wasn't caught on these cameras doing something odd, he wasn't flagged.

Yes, he had a lot of suitcases. He had a lot of bags. But as this expert points out, a lot of people have a lot of bags, especially if you're in town for a trade show, maybe you have a lot of equipment. That may not have raised red flags.

But the reality is there were hotel staff inside Paddock's room prior to this shooting. They said they didn't think anything amiss. Why is that? Well, we asked the expert. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCLEAN: Hotel staff in the case of this suspect actually was in the room prior to the shooting. They didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Are they generally trained to look for things like that?

DAVID SHEPHERD, SECURITY EXPERT: A lot of the staffs are trained. Actually, UNLV Institute of Security Studies created videos for maids, housekeepers, front desk people, valet people concerning what to look for, suspicious activity, things like that. MCLEAN: And what types of things? Can you give the example?

SHEPHERD: Things that open that should not be, and should not be -- you know, not the normal clothing type thing, anything that looks peculiar.

MCLEAN: Are you surprised they didn't notice anything amiss in this case?

SHEPHERD: If you have everything in a bag, if you have everything in a bag, if you have nothing exposed to start with, if you have everything unpacked -- excuse me, packed up, you're not going to notice anything like that. They don't go through the bags of anybody now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLEAN: Now, if you're expecting widespread long-term changes to security, the security setup at hotels, don't hold your breath. The expert says, look, there have been shootings at shopping malls in this country and you simply don't see metal detectors, x-ray machines for bags at the entrance. So, he says that it is unlikely for hotels would be able to take the measures to install that kind of security in the lobbies of these buildings in light of this.

It's just unlikely and it's unfeasible unless, of course, the public absolutely demands that hotels do it, Dave.

BRIGGS: Right. We're also hearing from "The New York Times' that there was a "do not disturb" sign on Stephen Paddock's door throughout his entire stay here at the Mandalay Bay but that is nothing unusual either. You see that all the time here in Vegas because people carry such odd hours. They just figure it's easier not to have their room cleaned at all and they only go in those rooms under very unusual circumstances and with security.

Scott, thank you.

As we continue here in Las Vegas, all the signs show the Las Vegas gunman planned his attack meticulously, yet still no reason as to why. Could his girlfriend hold the answers now that she's back in the United States?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:47:59] ROMANS: New evidence this morning of meticulous planning by the Las Vegas gunman. He set up cameras inside his hotel suite and also in the hallway, and there are new questions this morning about how to keep big venues safe.

I want to bring in CNN law enforcement analyst, Jonathan Wackrow. He's a former Secret Service agent who served during the Obama administration.

Good morning.

When you look at the details, sir, that are emerging about this event, how could it be prevented or is this just not preventable?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Listen, I mean, I think this is the struggle right now. In the wake of this tragedy, you know, everyone is looking for one, the motive of the shooter and, two, how can we prevent this from happening again?

Unfortunately, there's no simple clear answer to either one of those. You know, for the motive, what we're going to probably see is over time as more and more comes out about the shooter, we're going to see little bits and pieces of pre-attack behavior that were -- that were present, combined that's going to start painting a different picture.

But how do you prevent this type of attack? Listen, the venue itself and the security program at the venue was -- did everything correct. I mean, they had perimeters set up, they had bag checks. They had airport style magnetometers, metal detector screening. They had first aid on site. They had an appropriate level of security.

So, from that standpoint, they did everything right. Again, you know, trying to predict this type of vulnerability is very difficult. Outside of, you know, what I used to do with the Secret Service. So again, it's, you know, something that has to be looked at, but it's more about how do you respond to an incident that could occur that's outside the norm.

ROMANS: You know, a sniper sort of cowardly behind the glass at 32 stories high, that's a new method. I mean, that is sort of a game changer. We talked to law enforcement the past two days and everything from Times Square to, you know, parades in Chicago, to events in Seattle and big cities on the West Coast, they're saying we have to rethink kind of the possibilities, the worst case scenarios here.

[04:50:12] WACKROW: Well, you know, for years, Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies have been talking about active shooter situations and what do you do? They boiled it down to the three actions -- run, hide and fight, right? But I think we've heard that. I have spoken about that extensively.

However, this situation actually changes that, because run, hide, fight was also based off of a horizontal plane.

ROMANS: Right.

WACKROW: The shooter is at equal height to you. Now, we're talking about elevated shooting positions. We just saw the devastation that that can -- that that can cause.

So, now, law enforcement and DHS collectively are going to have to come up with a different type of teaching mechanism to have people respond. At the end of the day, this is about situational awareness for an individual. In the event that something does happen, what is your action going to be in a shooting situation, a medical situation or a relocation situation?

That's a personal safety ethos that everyone has to start thinking about. Unfortunately the world that we live in, as we see, dictates that.

ROMANS: I don't know how I would have reacted honestly if I were in that crowd. When I've listened to so many of these survivors and friends of victims and they talk about, you know, someone jumping on top of them or they talk about hiding under, you know, bleachers or -- I really don't know how I would have reacted and I can honestly say of those 22,000 people, a lot of people reacted in different ways.

But, Jonathan, it was indiscriminate. That killer was vomiting bullets with no precision into as one newspaper called it, a kill box. I'm not sure -- I'm not sure what the appropriate reaction should have been. What would you have done?

WACKROW: Well, listen, there's, you know, every situation is going to be different. Your actions are going to be situationally dependent to that moment.

But the key is, Christine, is to have some sort of plan.

ROMANS: Right.

WACKROW: Have some sort of course of action that you're going to instantaneously react.

Listen, sometimes standing still is not the best thing, but you need to be thinking about what your next movement is going to be. I'm going to try to run and get as far away as possible from the shooter. However, you know, in this instance, what we saw at the -- in the infancy of the situation was that people didn't understand where the shooter was coming from. People were looking around, again, on a horizontal plane. They weren't necessarily looking up.

So, once -- once they side identify where the threat was coming from, people did disperse and did the right thing.

ROMANS: Terrifying.

WACKROW: But again, it's having this mindset and a will to survive no matter what the circumstances are.

ROMANS: It's sad that we have to think about that, too, you know, whether it's a car mowing you down, all of the different things that dominate the headlines.

Jonathan Wackrow, thank you so much for joining us this morning, CNN law enforcement analyst. Nice to see you.

Dave?

WACKROW: Thank you very much.

BRIGGS: Christine, the president wheels up for here in Las Vegas just over three hours from now. He's hoping for a smoother trip than his stop in Puerto Rico where he suggested it was not a quote, real catastrophe. We'll explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:58:18] ROMANS: President Trump wheels up for Vegas in less than three hours, a day after his visit to Puerto Rico where the death toll there jumped from 34 to 16.

Now, the president was briefed by local and federal officials. He stayed in a relatively affluent San Juan neighborhood. He handed out emergency supplies at a church, at one point tossing rolls of paper towels into the crowd. The president made headlines when he told hurricane victims they were a drain on the federal budget and he made a bizarre comparison to another natural disaster.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico and that's fine, we've saved a lot of lives. If you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, what is your death count as of this moment, 17?

GOV. RICARDO ROSELLO (D), PUERTO RICO: Sixteen, certified.

TRUMP: Sixteen people, certified. Sixteen people versus in the thousands, you can be very proud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Of course, the death toll is now 34. There are grave concerns about people who need dialysis and insulin who have not had those important medications for days now. Those remarks led the San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz to call Trump miscommunicator-in-chief.

Of course, the two have a tense history. The president tweeted about her poor leadership after Cruz criticized the federal response.

The president also raising the idea of wiping out Puerto Rico's debt. He tells FOX News, quote: We're going to work something out. We have to look at their whole debt structure. The White House releasing no further details.

All right. Just about the top of the hour. EARLY START continues right now.

(MUSIC)

ROMANS: Brand new information about the Las Vegas gunman, how he planted cameras to watch police, how he altered his guns to fire so many shots.