Return to Transcripts main page
Sheriff: Las Vegas Killer 'Had to Have Help'; Killer's Girlfriend Says She Didn't Know About Attack Plans; Russian-Linked Ads Targeted a Wide Range of States; Interview with Rep. Adam Schiff. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was doing everything possible to figure out how he could escape.
[07:00:19] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sheriff saying that there were some 200 rounds.
He saw the fire in the hallway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A staggering number.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He finds it inconceivable that something like this could have been planned for so long and that he was unassisted.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: The answers about those explosives will help us on a couple of questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He set up a military-style ambush. We're going to get more leads on that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just the scariest experience of my life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being the hero that he is, he laid his body across her to protect her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a war zone. To every hero we helped, a grateful nation thanks you.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY.
The Las Vegas sheriff now beliefs the mass murderer had to have help at some point. Why?
Given the level of meticulous planning and the arsenal that he amassed. Police believe the killer planned to escape and had a massive amount of explosives and ammunition in his car.
But at this point, the only help he may have needed was the law that allowed him to gather close to three dozen deadly weapons in a year and the means to make them fire something like machine guns. As for motive, investigators now have the girlfriend, and her initial
denials are only fueling more questions.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, Chris, we're also seeing new video of the frantic moments that sent thousands of concertgoers running for their lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go! Everybody go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go. Run, keep your head down. Go. Keep your head down. Go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run. Keep your head down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: The gunfire sounds like something out of a war zone, with hundreds of rounds raining down on the crowds of terrified people who were trapped, basically, in that outdoor venue.
We're also learning that the killer rented a condo across from a different music festival Las Vegas the week before this. Was that concert his initial target?
We have it all covered for you, so let's begin with CNN's Jean Casarez. She has been live for us in Las Vegas since this happened.
Jean, what's the latest?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities say they want to learn this man's intent. They say they have multiple leads all over the country and around the world. They are asking the country to have patience.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down!
CASAREZ (voice-over): A hail of bullets sending concertgoers running for their lives in this chilling new video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run. Run, don't walk! Run! Don't walk! Go. Go. Go. Everybody go.
CASAREZ: 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.
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: We have the hallway contained, the room where the shots were fired.
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.
MATT LOMBARD, MARILOU DANLEY'S LAWYER: "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: Law enforcement is saying the girlfriend is cooperating, she is not a suspect. She is not in custody.
And we're learning more about the killer, that he was a wealthy gambler, and he allegedly told a real-estate agent that he gambled about $1 million every year -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right. Jean, thank you very much.
Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano. James, let's start with what doesn't seem to make sense here. Two big things. The first one, the girlfriend.
I had no idea. He never said anything. I knew nothing. I never saw this coming. In your experience, those closest to someone who decides to do something this terrible, don't they almost always have to know something?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Chris, on its face, it appears to defy credulity, but I have seen cases over the years of a lone wolf that had a separate life, that actually led a double life. So is it inconceivable? No. It's not inconceivable. You look at the massive arms that he'd amassed and the erratic nature, especially the 33 weapons purchases just in the last year alone.
And you think something, some kind of signal would have gone up, but again, as I've said before, sometimes these subjects like this, after a horrific event like this, you go back and you disassemble their life, and you realize and understand they led two completely different lives.
So I don't think it's inconceivable at this point that maybe she didn't know anything about it.
CUOMO: The sheriff saying, "I have to believe that he had help." Why? I mean, he could have just done this with the assistance of the law. That's what allowed him to get the weapons. That's what allowed him to buy the bump stock and create a rain of fire that helped effectuate his plan.
What do you see that suggests someone had to be helping?
GAGLIANO: Well, with no national registry for the purchases of rifles. Remember, the rules for purchasing rifles in this country, long weapons, are different than pistols. And the reason, the argument is, you know, pistols -- pistols are more concealable; they're more portable. People get them for self-defense. Rifles are basically used for sporting or hunting.
So there was no database that would have been collected. So that he purchased the weapons, as has been said, across four different states from a number of different gun stores. No red flag went up. I was a little surprised, Chris -- you and I kind of touched on this
yesterday. I was a little surprised with the information that came from the sheriff, because normally, if you kind of juxtapose that with the FBI's response, which is very guarded. We follow the evidence. You release things in bits and pieces, as you understand the public has a right to know. And you certainly want the public's assistance.
But the sheriff essentially speculating didn't seem to confirm that they had any hard facts or that they had any evidence thus far that there was an accomplice, but the sheriff's speculation was he believes, I think, at this juncture there had to be somebody that had to help the subject.
CUOMO: Now, often in these situations, rationality winds up becoming very subjective. So the sheriff says, "We think he wanted to escape. We found the stuff in his car. He had more stuff in his House." So maybe that's what the premise is for that feeling.
But, when you look at how he sealed himself in that room and he had the cameras, what do you think is likely? Do you think he saw an exit here? Or do you think that this was yet another example of this bizarre thing we keep seeing in our country where someone decides they want to end their own life by taking others' lives first?
GAGLIANO: Sure, Chris. If you look across the spectrum of mass casualty shootings going as far back as in 1966, you know, University of Texas clock tower shooting, Charles Whitman. In this situation, I mean, what was his egress route going to be? How was he going to get out? He was at 320 feet. So it's inconceivable that he would have had a portable reserve parachute. Parachutes don't open below 500 feet. That wasn't a route.
I think the sheriff might have been -- and this is just conjecture on my part -- might have been referring to either a disguise. Maybe he had a security guard uniform, or a hotel employee uniform in place.
And maybe we could look toward the tannerite. You know, that's a binary compound. It's got ammonium nitrate in it. It's -- it's not combustible by heat, but it is by direct impact. Maybe he was planning on setting some of those off as a diversion in trying to get out in the chaos.
Pure speculation right now, but the sheriff did confirm for a fact. He said, yes, there were plans in place for him to escape. Which again, he's a 64-year-old man which goes outside of the normal bracketing of the age of these kind of mass casualty shooters. And having an escape route.
Most of these mass casualty situations we've seen, Chris, it's either a suicide, which was this case, or a suicide by cop.
CUOMO: Well, we keep saying it. And it keeps being true on different levels. We have never seen anything like this.
James, thank you for helping us understand this a little bit better this morning. Appreciate it. Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. University Medical Center in Las Vegas took in more than 100 patients in the minutes after the massacre. Yesterday, President Trump and the first lady met with some of the heroes and the survivors there, so let's bring in the director of the trauma unit at University Medical Center, Dr. John Fildes and Nurse Barbara Brummel.
Nice to see both of you this morning. Thank so much for taking time to talk to us.
So Doctor File, let me start with you. Tell us about the president's visit. What did he see there and what did he do?
DR. JOHN FILDES, DIRECTOR OF TRAUMA UNIT, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: The president came to visit the wounded. He spent about 10 minutes with each of them and their families. He was very positive and upbeat. The first lady was very sympathetic and empathetic, and he really raised the spirits of the patients and the staff.
CAMEROTA: How would you describe that? I mean, what was he -- what was he doing? I read from your CEO of the hospital that the president -- that he overheard a lot of laughing coming from some patients' rooms. So how would you describe the president's kind of tone and bedside manner there?
FILDES: Well, he engaged them in conversations about music, the purpose of their visit here, the connections between the family members and visitors. It was a very kind of ordinary matter-of-fact discussion, kind of dwelled upon the positives. And it was just a -- like a regular guy talking to another guy.
CAMEROTA: Nurse Brummel, I know that you crossed paths with the first lady, tell us about your interaction and conversation.
BARBARA BRUMMEL, NURSE, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Yes. It was, of course, a very thrilling event to -- to meet both of them.
I had a short conversation with the first lady, and it was mostly about -- I said, you know, "I'm mother of three and a grandmother of two" and how much we admired her, and -- you know, and things like this happen, as a mother, the first thing you think of is your children. And she juggles so much, being a wife, and a mother and now the first lady.
And she responded to me, you know, "Being a mother is still the most important job that we do." And so it was just a very sweet personal conversation.
CAMEROTA: That's really nice. Thanks for sharing that with us. H
And how was her interaction with patients? Did you see her interacting with some of the survivors?
BRUMMEL: Yes. And she was the same, very -- she as very sweet and gracious, and you could just tell they're both very heartfelt. You could tell they had ties here to Las Vegas. And that Las Vegas was very important to them. They were very compassionate, and they really did lift the spirits of not only the patients but the entire hospital. And the community. Them being here was just an inspiration, and we have so many heroes of hope here that it was just an incredible visit and time for everyone.
CAMEROTA: You're so right. I mean, we don't talk that much about the president ties to Las Vegas but of course, he's had a hotel and casino there for a long time, or at least a hotel.
So, doctor, tell me how many patients are you still treating and how many of them are in critical condition this morning?
FILDES: Well, we have less than ten in the ICU right now. And we've got less than 20 in the -- on the floor services. We've been able to discharge a significant number of patients yesterday, and we have plans to discharge more patients today.
CAMEROTA: I mean, look, that's the good news, obviously. Of the 489 people who were injured in this hideous massacre, I mean, the numbers are just so stunning, 489; but 317 have been released now from the hospital.
But, of course you are still treating the most grievously wounded. And so the people in critical condition, what do you think? I mean, are we going to lose more people?
[07:15:07] FILDES: It's hard to say. The people that are here in critical condition but stable, we're predicting a good outcome; but there are critically injured patients in other hospitals here in town. Those hospitals are doing a fantastic job.
CAMEROTA: Yes, of course, you're all doing a fantastic job. Thank you so much for coming on and giving us all of this information. We know how early it is and how hard you've been working. Dr. Fildes, Nurse Brummel, thank you both very much.
BRUMMEL: Thank you.
FILDES: You're welcome.
BRUMMEL: Thank you so much.
CAMEROTA: Let's get back to Chris in Washington, D.C.
CUOMO: All right. New info on another story. CNN has learned Russian-bought Facebook ads focused on swing states key to President Trump's election win. How did they know whom to target? We get the latest on the investigation with the ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee. Next.
CUOMO: Important time for leadership. You have the Russia investigation. You have what just happened in Las Vegas and a larger conversation about how do we stop this from happening again? [07:20:04] So on Russia, the Senate Intel Committee is saying that there's still a lot of work to do on the issue of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. That it's a still open part of their investigation.
This comes as CNN has learned Russian-linked ads bought on Facebook targeted a wide range of states but included two key swing states, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee.
Congressman, always a pleasure. Thank you for taking the opportunity.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Pleasure.
CUOMO: So they targeted Wisconsin and Michigan. People who followed the election, their eyes pop open. How did they know? Did they need to have help to target places like that?
SCHIFF: This is the critical question. And I have to say at this point we still don't know the answer. Is this something that merely sophisticated watchers of TV, either here or from the Kremlin, could figure out? Or did they need the data analytics of the campaign? And that will depend on just how in detail was the target? Did it go beyond battle states, which are widely known?
I have to say also that a lot of what they did is very consistent with the intelligence community assessment in that they had two goals. They wanted to sow discord in the United States. They wanted to turn an American against another American. So you saw ads in places like Ferguson and you saw ads around Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Obviously, you know, those were less designed to tip the election one way or the other.
But you had others that seem to be targeted. And I will say that a lot less attention is paid to the ads on Twitter. RT, the Russia propaganda arm, advertised on Twitter now -- almost the entire set of ads I've seen, and I'm told it's a representative sample, those were all anti-Clinton ads. So on that platform, there was a very clear choice.
CUOMO: All right. So two quick follow-ups. The first one is, what do you do about it? How do you stop, how do you filter or do you monitor political ads in a way that doesn't chill free speech and that allows a private entity to do that? Because you guys aren't going to be able to do it on the government level. This is Twitter, this is Facebook, this is social media entrepreneurs.
SCHIFF: You know, we're going to have to have a much stronger partnership where, when the intelligence community identifies troll farms, Russian troll farms like the one here, they share that information with the social media companies so they can identify those accounts and they can take them down.
But also, the social media companies are going to have to do a far better job. They're going to have to devote more resources and personnel. They're going to have to take another look at their algorithms to see, are these just aggravating divisions within U.S. society?
CUOMO: That's how they make their money. They make their money by inclusion (ph).
SCHIFF: That's true. So some of this is going to be against their economic interests, but they're going to have to be good corporate citizens. And we in Congress are going to have to do our oversight to make sure their policies are in the public interest.
But, you know, one subset of this is going to be very tough. And that's involving RT, this Russia media arm. Are they a journalistic organization or are they just propaganda for the Kremlin? Well, they're both. They are a Kremlin-funded effort to get the Russian point of view out.
But at a minimum, we need disclosure. You need to know, I think, whether it's me buying an ad or the Russians. They ought to have a disclosure online, just as we do when people advertise on your show.
CUOMO: I mean, the money part is easy. I know that Klobuchar and Warner, two Democratic senators have put forth a proposal that if you buy an ad over 10 grand, we should know who you are. You certainly do that on the TV side. Why wouldn't you do it on the digital side. That's one decision, but the subjective decision, whether it's RT or something less obvious. That's going to get tough. It's going to get subjective, and you're going to have private people who, with Twitter and Facebook, we've seen they knew about these accounts before you guys started banging on your door. They didn't come forward. Why?
I'm not implicating them in the efforts, but their business interests is in inclusion, not in being selective and exclusion.
Let me ask you another question. With more time, the basic criticism looms larger. You haven't found anything yet. There is no proof of collusion. There's nothing anybody can point to. This has taken too long. If it was so obvious, if it were so egregious, you should have known by now.
SCHIFF: Well, no one's saying this was obvious. Obviously, there was a deep interest in the Russians in keeping their work hidden. But you can't say there's no evidence of collusion.
We've seen even in the public realm, I think, very graphic evidence that the Trump campaign was willing to collude with the Russians. We've seen e-mails in black and white from the top level of the Trump campaign. Indeed the president's own son, when he is offered dirt on Hillary Clinton by the Russians as what they described as the Russian government's effort to help elect Donald Trump, he says, "We love it. And by the way, the best timing is late summer," which is in fact, when they started dumping the dirt on Hillary Clinton.
So you can't say even in the public realm, let alone what we're looking at, that there's no evidence. Now, is there proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Are we ready to announce a conclusion? We're not there yet.
[07:25:00] CUOMO: It's also not your purview, right? I mean, that's criminal standard. That's Mueller. You guys would be looking at political action. I guess you'd put that under the category of high crimes and misdemeanors which is not a legal standard. Collusion is not a legal principle.
But you're right. Ultimately, it comes out to what you can prove, so we look forward to that, because everybody wants this to yield something that can be discussed, accounted for and then acted upon.
Other topic. All right? Russia trying to destroy our political society. This man in Vegas trying to destroy us every bit as much. The president, the Republicans, say it's insensitive to talk about gun control now, that that's politicized in the event. There are many in this society, including many of the people who were victimized, who do not agree.
What is your position in terms of what could be done that would have stopped this crime?
SCHIFF: Well, and interestingly, tragically, there's an overlap in issues, in that one of the things the Russians have chosen to exploit of our divisions are our divisions over the Second Amendment, over guns. Those were some of the ads that they targeted.
Well, look, we had this debate, frankly, in my office. We were planning to introduce a bill, which where we're going to go ahead and introduce this week that would essentially repeal the gun industry's immunity from liability. The gun industry is unique. In all of American commerce, it's the only industry that has a statute, a congressionally created immunity that says they're not liable in circumstances where every other product, every other industry might be if they're negligent.
CUOMO: Is that fair? Or is it -- OK, the last part you said. If they are negligent, because the counter argument is they would be the only industry that you're allowed to sue when their weapons didn't malfunction. There was no problem in terms of their product. You just don't like how it was used and when you want to sue the person who made it, that would be unique exposure, as well.
SCHIFF: They're not unique at all in the sense that -- look, let's take alcohol, for example. It's perfectly legal to sell alcohol. It is not legal to be negligent in who you sell it to and to turn a blind eye when kids come in to buy alcohol in your store. That is not permissible. That is not legal.
CUOMO: That's the store. That's not Jack Daniels.
SCHIFF: No, that's right. Now, Jack Daniels is selling to a store they know is basically selling to kids. We don't want to immunize the manufacturer when they know a dealer that they're...
CUOMO: If you can show that. SCHIFF: You have to show that. And you should be able to -- have to show that with the gun industry, too. But they don't get a pass to act negligently. And now, in answer to your question, though, we thought, well, maybe we should hold off this week in introducing this. But if we held off every week where there's a shooting, we would never introduce gun legislation.
We shouldn't -- it shouldn't be any more taboo, frankly, than they are when a terrorist attack occurs and we ask what do we do to stop terrorism? There are people dying every day from gun violence. We need to deal with it.
And -- and there's a fallacy that, if one particular bill won't stop one particular incident, well, then there's no point in having any gun legislation, because there's no cure-all.
But the fact is that there are several things that would stop a lot of these attacks, or make them less lethal. You know, background checks will prevent some, and have prevented many from getting guns that don't -- don't deserve to have them or would be a danger with them. Getting rid of the bump stocks would prevent maybe not prevent the shooting. Make it a hell of a lot less lethal.
CUOMO: Certainly -- certainly, in this case. Very often they say, well, a law wouldn't have fixed what happened here. That's sometimes true. Not here in terms of the lethality. The only reason that we're listening to this unique hail of gunfire is because of that bump stock. He wouldn't have been able to generate that kind of speed otherwise.
Congressman, we look forward to your proposition on how to help situations like what we just saw in Vegas be less likely, and we'll be following the Russia investigation, as well. Thank you for taking the opportunity to be on the show.
SCHIFF: You bet. Thank you.
CUOMO: Alisyn, to you.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris.
The ATF says the Las Vegas killer bought 33 guns in the last year alone. Why didn't that raise any red flags? All of that is next.