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Sheriff: It Took Police 75 Minutes to Enter Hotel Room; Trump Visits Massacre Victims & First Responders; Tillerson Called Trump a "Moron" in July. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think this was all accomplished on his own?
[05:59:27] SHERIFF JOSEPH LOMBARDO, CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA: He had to have some help at some point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The explosives in the vehicle are very disorienting (ph).
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Why did he (ph) acquire that stuff and never use it? Was there a trigger that led him not to pursue building a bomb?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got other weapons he's using as defensive or maybe even as part of his escape plan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything that would indicate this individual's trigger points? We haven't under it yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a ridiculous situation. This shouldn't have happened to any of those people.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the darkest moments, what shines most brightly is the goodness that thrives in the hearts of our people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a hero. I think I just did what anybody would do.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, October 5, 6 a.m. here in New York. Chris is in Washington after the big Nancy Pelosi special last night.
So we begin with new details in the Las Vegas massacre investigation. The sheriff says he believes the killer had to have help, given the level of planning and the arsenal that he amassed. Police now believe the killer planned to escape and had a massive amount of explosives and ammunition waiting in his car.
But, investigators are stumped by the killer's secret life and the mystery of what motivated him to carry out the massacre. Authorities are trying to figure out if something happened last October that led the killer to begin buying 33 guns, Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: There are questions. There's speculation. And then, there is what we know.
We now have new video of the reality of that night. It is better to play it than to describe it. Take a look and a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go. Go. Go. Everybody go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go. Run! Keep your head down. Go!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run, keep your head down. Go!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: What you see may not be as important in our larger conversation than what you hear. That hail of gunfire, the speed, the flood, the fire, that was possible, because this murderer bought a device that is legal, that made those weapons that much faster. Why was he able to do that? To do any of this?
We're also learning more this morning about his deadly intentions. Planning well before the event. He rented a condo across from another music festival in Las Vegas the week before this massacre. It was a larger concert, his initial target? All this as the killer's girlfriend insists she didn't know anything about his meticulous long- range plan.
We have it all covered. Let's begin with CNN's Jean Casarez, live in Las Vegas. There is certainly a tone of skepticism when we discuss the girlfriend, because as you and I know from doing this. It is rare that nobody knew anything if they were close to the killer.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. And authorities released so much information last night, Chris, and they say they are looking at facts. Facts that will lead them to the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hail of bullets sending concertgoers running for their lives in this chilling new video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run. Run, don't walk! Run! Go. Go. Go. Everybody go.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Rapid fire starting and stopping as the minutes go by.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go! Go!
CASAREZ: A traffic systems technician heard directing thousands of frantic people to safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your head down! Run this way!
CASAREZ: As investigators work to find out what triggered this heinous attack, new details continue to emerge about the killer's elaborate plan.
Authorities now looking into what happened last October that led the killer to begin stockpiling 33 firearms within the last year. Police also discovering 50 pounds of explosives and 1,600 rounds of ammunition in the killer's car, parked in the hotel's valet.
SHERIFF JOSEPH LOMBARDO, CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA: Look at the weapon obtaining the different amounts of tannerite available, do you think this was all accomplished on his own? It would be hard for me to believe that.
CASAREZ: Investigators also confirming that the killer rented a room at this condo building in downtown Las Vegas across from a different and much larger music festival the weekend before he opened fire at the Route 91 country music festival.
CASAREZ: Investigators say new evidence suggests the killer planned to escape and had blocked off the stairway near his hotel room. Authorities releasing a more detailed timeline of how the carnage unfolded. The suspect fired the first shots at 10:05 and continued firing for ten minutes, the gunshots stopping at 10:15.
During this time, an unharmed hotel security guard approached the room, where the killer had set up cameras to see any approaching threats. The killer firing more than 200 rounds into the hallway at the security guard, wounding him in the leg. A door riddled with bullet holes.
[06:05:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the hallway contained, the room where the shots were fired.
CASAREZ: Twelve minutes after the shooting began, the first police officers arrived on the 32nd floor, finding a wounded guard and calling for backup before clearing the surrounding hotel rooms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a SWAT officer on his way down the stairwell. Wait for him. CASAREZ: After the SWAT team arrived, the first breach of the hotel
room was made at 11:20, an hour and 15 minutes after the first shots were fired. Police found the killer, who they say took his own life, dead on the floor surrounded by his arsenal and bullet casings.
The shooter's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, breaking her silence after being interviewed by the FBI. Her lawyer read a statement on her behalf.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen."
CASAREZ: Authorities are saying the girlfriend is cooperating. She is not a suspect, and she is not in custody. Now, we're learning a lot more about the killer. Also, that he is being described as a wealthy gambler. He allegedly told a real-estate agent that he had gambled about $1 million each year.
CAMEROTA: Yes. High-stakes gambler, I mean, that's an interesting tidbit. No idea is that led to any of this massacre. Thank you very much for all the new information. There's so many new threads. Let's try to sort through it.
Joining us now is CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano and an FBI former special agent who worked for more than 20 years with the FBI. It was once the head of security for the Venetian resort hotel, casino, David. Great to see both of you.
David, I want to start with you. Let me start with the FBI investigators trying to piece together all of these threads.
And I just want to get your response to what the sheriff's theory is. The fact that this guy had 50 pounds of explosives, he'd amassed 47 guns. He had 1,600 rounds of ammo in his car. Do you believe, as the sheriff said, at some point he had to have help?
DAVID SHEPHERD, HEAD OF SECURITY FOR VENETIAN HOTEL: Well, they're looking to see if he had help. Look at different ways the relationship to how many people are in a room. Who's eating the food, fingerprints on the inside, who's getting in the camera. We're getting all kinds of different activities concerning that.
CAMEROTA: OK. James, let's look at the timeline. Because it's interesting, and it's different than what we had originally thought.
So, at 10:05, the first shots are fired. At 10:12, officers are already on the scene. They're trying to figure out exactly what floor it's coming from.
At 10:15, the last shots are fired, right? So that comports with what we had heard from all the eyewitnesses and ear witnesses, as they called themselves on the ground. They all said it was at least 10 hellish minutes. The first officers arrive on the 32nd floor at 10:17. OK? So there's
no more shots. They fired -- and then this is interesting, Jim. The first breach, you know, we had heard -- we had heard from that body cam on the cop the "Breach, breach, breach." That wasn't until 11:20. OK? So an hour and 15 minutes after those first shots are fired.
So what do you see when you look into this timeline?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Alisyn, let's unpack that a little bit. And I served on the FBI's hostage rescue team, as well as I ran the SWAT team for the FBI's New York office.
So I understand the time frame here and how this worked, and here's how we can break this down.
The average active shooter situation generally is resolved, meaning there's an interdiction or police are on the scene, within three to ten minutes. So this is just outside of that range. About 12 minutes before the first security guard.
And remember. There was a heterogenous unit here. It was -- it was police officers, sheriff deputies, people kind of responding during the confusion and the chaos.
We also have to keep in mind there were a lot of erroneous reports. There was a shooter on another floor. There were shooters in other buildings. And that led to the confusion in the chaos here. It was a very volatile and uncertain, complex situation.
I truly believe, having looked at this thing and gone down the timeline, that the security guard and the police officers that arrived on the 32nd floor, in that 12-minute window, that's what caused the gunman to get distracted and started to -- concerned him that maybe there might be an entry. You asked about the hour and 15 minutes it essentially took for the explosive breach.
Well, once the gunman stopped shooting, we moved from an active shooter situation into a barricaded subject situation. Those are vastly different things.
The first one requires a hasty assault. We've got to get there, interdict the gunman, stop any of the killing.
The second phase, moving into a deliberate assault, which is what the Las Vegas Sheriff's Department executed with the aid of an explosive breach, they knew they had the subject pinned in. They knew there was no egress for him outside the hotel room, and the shooting had stopped.
I think they handled it perfectly. When they made entry, I believe this guy all along wanted to kill himself. The sheriff had alluded to the fact that he thought there were some plans in place. Maybe the guy had a disguise inside or had some other -- there was some other evidence recovered that indicated that he thought maybe that he was going to survive this.
But once the police were outside, and he knew the gig was up. That's when I think I think he took his life.
CAMEROTA: I mean, of course they had to clear the hotel. This is a crowded hotel. They had to get people out of the other rooms on the floor. They were busy doing that, because maybe he had explosives, and it turns out he did have explosives.
And so David, all of that leads us to the girlfriend. This is his long-term girlfriend. She was in the Philippines. Obviously, investigators are trying to figure out if she saw any signs. Here's what her attorney said about what she did or did not know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LOMBARD, ATTORNEY FOR MARILOU DANLEY: "I was grateful. But honestly, I was worried that first the unexpected trip home, and then the money, was a way of breaking up with me. It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Obviously, he's reading her words there, her statement. That he -- that she was sent to the Philippines. She thought, that, she says, that the shooter was breaking up with her, but apparently, he was getting her out of the way. What do you think about what the girlfriend could, what evidence or little hint she might know?
SHEPHERD: She can help a lot. She can look at what he's done in the past, what he is passionate about, what he gets angry about. If he goes -- has violent outrages at any time. If he has any political issues, does he have any other type things. You can bring a lot back into it. What does he do all the time? When did he start collecting the weapons? Why does he collect the weapons? Who does he practice with? Where does he train concerning the weapons?
Each of those sections goes back into she could answer that better than anybody. She's been with him for years.
CAMEROTA: And so, I mean this is what police are telling us, what investigators are telling us, Jim, is that he started collecting the weapons in October. And obviously, you know, they're trying to figure out if there was an event, what the trigger was for him to begin amassing this arsenal. Go ahead.
GAGLIANO: Absolutely, Alisyn. There was erratic behavior all along, eccentricity. And sometimes you look at the interviews that have been conducted with his family members, as well as now the interviews that the FBI's conducting with the girlfriend, and you know, nobody better than the girlfriend has an intimate relationship with him and can provide some keys here.
The fact that he started amassing this arsenal about a month -- I'm sorry, about a year ago, back in October 2016, I believe the police say now they recovered 47 weapons, 33 of them in a one-year span. He bought them across four states, I believe, Texas, California, Utah and Nevada. Yes, that sets a pattern. And that pattern is what was the purpose in this year for that massive
arsenal collection? Now, was it a grievance? Something that happened right around that one-year ago mark, that basically set him off on this path? Because a lot of planning went into this execution.
There was military precision from a guy that everybody says has no law enforcement background in the sense of military planning or strategy or combat experience. And yet in the last year, amassed all these weapons, ammunition, tannerite. Imodium nitrate.
And then something was the trigger event. Could it have been the announcement of this concert, which was last February, or could it have been a bad night at the craps table?
Police are piecing that all together. And having run, tons of criminal investigations. I understand the -- you know, the release of the information right now is slow and ponderous, but I believe that the police are going to be coming very close to finding a motive.
CAMEROTA: Look, there was another concert that was at the end of September. It was called the "Life is Beautiful" concert. He had rented a condo around that concert venue at that time, September 22 through 25 so that obviously, another piece of this very mystifying puzzle.
David, James, thank you both very much.
Let's get to Chris in Washington.
CUOMO: All right. So President Trump went to Vegas. He met with the victims. He praised first responders, but he didn't promise to do anything about this plague of mass murders? And what about this rift with the secretary of state that spilled into the public with a bizarre pressure Wednesday?
CNN's Joe Johns is live at the White House with more on these. These are two separate but really bizarre threads going on.
That's true, Chris, but if there is a thread running through all of this, it may be about healing. The president flying out to Las Vegas to try to help the country heal from an enormous tragedy, and the president's hand-picked secretary of state whose frustration and unease with this administration has been well-documented, went on the record, pledging his loyalty to the president and denying that he's got one foot out the door.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain.
JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump paying an emotional visit to survivors and medical workers in Las Vegas Wednesday, praising first responders while avoiding any talk of gun control.
TRUMP: Americans defied death and hatred with love and with courage. JOHNS: The White House press secretary posting this video of a
survivor shot in the leg, standing to greet the president and first lady. President Trump thrust into consoling victims of another tragedy as his administration tried to dispel new reports of infighting in the White House.
NBC News reporting Tuesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the president a moron after a Pentagon meeting back in July. Tillerson blasting the report during a hastily-called press conference while the president was flying to Las Vegas but side-stepping the question when asked directly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron? And if not, where do you think these reports are...
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that.
JOHNS: The secretary of state also reaffirming his loyalty to the president, keeping praise on Mr. Trump during remarks that at times appeared designed for an audience of one.
TILLERSON: He's smart. He loves this country. He puts Americans and America first.
JOHNS: The president publicly dismissing the report and affirming his support for Tillerson.
TRUMP: Total confidence in Rex. I have total confidence.
JOHNS: But two sources tell CNN the president already knew that Tillerson had called him a moron but is wary of another high-profile departure from this administration. The simmering tensions between Tillerson and Trump on display after Trump undercut Tillerson's diplomatic message on North Korea this past weekend.
Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker offering this stinging assessment of the president.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos.
JOHNS: So, what's on the president's schedule today? He's expected to receive his daily intelligence briefing this morning. Then this evening is expected to meet with senior military leaders. Also on the president's schedule, a meeting with Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who's well-known as a big opponent of the Iran nuclear deal.
Chris, back to you. CUOMO: All right, Joe. Certainly a lot on the president's plate. And coming up in the next hour, we're going to talk with the president's counselor, Kellyanne Conway. What is her take on these big issues? What is the position of the White House when it comes to guns and violence -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. So President Trump did not focus on empathy in Puerto Rico. What was his tone in Las Vegas? Look at that next.
[06:21:57] CUOMO: President Trump where we are in Washington, D.C., today, following back-to-back trips dealing with very different tragedies. Went to Puerto Rico and then to Las Vegas.
The President's fraying relationship with the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, made public yesterday. This bizarre press conference where the secretary of state came out to basically said, "I like the president. I want to stay here, and I'm not going to talk about whether or not I called him a moron."
Let's bring in our panel: CNN political analysts David Gregory and Karoun Demirjian. It's great to have you both here. Great to see you. You, I can't see you enough.
So first, let's deal with a tough week for the president to have to deal with this scale of crisis in two such different manifestations. How do you think he dealt with Puerto Rico? We talked about. Now Las Vegas. It was different there, because he was much more scripted. But in terms of tone and tact, what did you think?
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, he has not faced the same -- as a point a of comparison, it went a lot better than Puerto Rico. I mean, Puerto Rico, he's come under scathing criticism for both the tweets leading up to that point and then also for, you know, his conduct of throwing paper towels and being a little too jovial in the circumstances and being more obsessed about the administration's response.
In Las Vegas he tried to turn things a little bit towards the victims. He invited people to the White House, you know, saying we'll be here for you. But it was still latitude more than commitment to do something. And he even directly said, "We're not talking about gun control right now." And that's the legislative being of where Washington can get involved, but there's not the appetite to do it right now.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Also, this being the kind of moral center. You know, I think the president did that well, as a president, any president in his position to do, to be comforting, especially with first responders, to victims' family members.
It means a great deal when the president of the United States, no matter who that is, shows up and is empathetic.
But I agree with Karoun that the idea that you want to be able to step back and be the moral center of the country and say this is a crisis. There is an epidemic at work where we see these kind of rampages over and over again. We cannot let that continue.
And as the head of our government and the most important leader in the country, in our government, we've got to harness our resources and our thinking to try to meet this challenge. And he hasn't -- he's not there yet. Maybe he'll get there. We haven't seen that yet. And I think the contrast of Puerto Rico is -- just shows how thin-skinned he is. That if he's under fire from -- from, you know, criticism from local officials then he lashes out in the way he did.
DEMIRJIAN: The interesting thing here, too, is how careful he's being on the gun control issue.
DEMIRJIAN: Because there are Republicans in Congress who are not seeing, "Let's get gun control." But they're saying, we're willing to talk about this specific issue. I think that the existence of bump stocks is something that even a lot of gun control -- gun enthusiasts in Congress were not aware of.
And it's a shocking enough and limited enough thing that a lot of Republicans are willing to have that conversation. So to have the president not try to start a national conversation and not address that means that he's actually being more careful. Which is not what you want to see.
CUOMO: And let's talk about why. I mean, one of the reasons I was happy to have you guys here, is you're so thoughtful about the larger implications of things. One, this is a unique time to talk about gun violence for two reasons.
[06:25:09] One, there's a window of opportunity for Republicans. Bump stocks were passed through the ATF in 2010. We know who was president then. Was this a White House initiative? Of course it wasn't. But it doesn't matter.
So this wasn't them who did this. This was Obama who did that. They could fix it that way. That gives them a little bit of political shield that they don't usually have.
But then there was the point you were making, David. Moral agency. How do you go to a place and not talk about something that is fundamental to why it happened except because you're afraid of the politics? That's a tough line to walk for anybody, let alone this administration, how they're doing so far.
GREGORY: I think this is hard, because Americans have gotten to a place where politically, there's so much fatigue around even approaching the question of gun rights in the country, for lots of reasons. Out of frustration, out of a sense that more stringent measures don't actually do anything to prevent these kinds of massacres.
But I do think that, just as in our own families, I said to my 12- year-olds last night. I said, "I want you to know that it's not OK that we react to this and say, 'Oh, well, yes, this just kind of happened and we move on, because we've heard about it happening so often.'"
No. We have to be outraged. We have to be crippled in some way by it to get ourselves to a place of saying, "Let's work backward from the fact that this happens way too often.
What can we do and what can the government do? What should it do and how do you build a campaign toward that, and perhaps then gun measures are a piece of that? I mean, I would love to see the president start in that place.
DEMIRJIAN: But there is a reticence, we're all sitting on the East Coast, right? There is in a reticence in other parts of the country of having the connection made where you're saying there is a problem here. This is happening too often. There is an obvious place of it that is a link, which is the gun, right?
DEMIRJIAN: That is not something that everybody agrees on as a baseline starting point. Even though it seems very obvious, even though we in the past administration were having that line delivered. This -- that is not fundamental.
GREGORY: But I would say, if you go back to the rampage in Colorado several years ago. I thought he did -- Hickenlooper did a good job dealing with mental health and other things, and then they really stumbled when they got to actual gun restrictions. But that was a slow...
CUOMO: Well, mental health is a component that we haven't seen evidence of here yet. And when it does come. Look, unfortunately, I've been an unwilling student of the formula that seems to go into these massacres more often than not. And that's a neglected piece.
You got guys like Tim Murphy who are working on that in Congress. We don't see it here yet. That's something that has to be taken on, as well. This is about his ability to easily modify weapons to make them so fast firing that he was able to achieve...
GREGORY: That's right.
CUOMO: So. We'll see where he goes on it. He has shown no real ambition there, so far. We'll see where it goes.
GREGORY: But there is potential. Ideologically with him, there's potential. Because we know where he's been.
CUOMO: There's no question about it.
DEMIRJIAN: I think Speaker Ryan did mention the mental -- the mental health thing.
CUOMO: He did, but I mean -- we don't know where that sits with this right now. Because we don't want to just throw it on as a blanket, because it becomes an excuse. When you say this was a demented sick man with wires crossed, he's no doubt evil.
Let's figure out what that mental component is before we explain away what he did and ignore how he was able to do it.
So, Tillerson. Another situation that is tough to ignore. This is another bizarre event in this administration. We have never seen a press conference like that from a secretary of state before. And, you know, let's just play a little bit of it to remind what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron and if not, where do you think -- I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. I mean, this is what I don't understand about Washington. Again, I'm not from this place, but the places I come from, we don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense.
TILLERSON: Now, rule No. 1, when David Gregory said that I liked like salami from the White House, and I asked him about it, he said, "Yes, I did, and here's why."
Rule No. 1, if you want to tamp down controversy when somebody asks you if if you said something, you don't say, "I am not going to deal with that, because it's basically an admission."
So that's his first problem here. He didn't clear up what was supposedly the motivation for his coming out there. But David, how is this playing right now? How real is this rift and the potential implications for the stability around this president?
GREGORY: Salami, by the way, a great reference. Look, I think a couple of things to point out. We know how dysfunctional in the White House has been and is now.
CUOMO: Bob Corker, Republican senator, saying Tillerson, Mattis and Kelly are the men who keep us from chaos.
GREGORY: Right. And I think we see what the president has done publicly to Tillerson. I have no doubt that, you know, we've all worked at organizations where this is just the beginning, right? They're trying to make nice about differences. I'm sure it's much worse than even we're hearing. Him calling him a moron, perhaps worse.
What's really concerning and what Corker is saying is that if Tillerson does leave, maybe he leaves by the end of the year, that we have real problems in our national security.