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New Developments in Las Vegas Shooting Investigation; Las Vegas Shooter Had Escape Plan and Explosives in Car; Las Vegas Shooter's Girlfriend Coopering with FBI Investigators; Trump Criticized for Words on Puerto Rico Trip; Remembering Victims of the Las Vegas Shooting. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:47] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We have more on the breaking news. We just learned that someone with the same name as the Las Vegas shooter reserved a room in a hotel overlooking the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago back in August. The hotel says the person never checked into the room and they are not sure if the person who reserved the room was, in fact, the Las Vegas shooter or someone with the same name. We are continuing to check that out.
Right now, I want to talk about the new developments with Nevada's Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison.
Lieutenant Governor, thanks so much for joining us.
First of all, what's your reaction to the breaking news about the possibility that this mass murderer was actually casing out other music festivals not only in Las Vegas, but other cities for possible attack.
MARK HUTCHISON, (R), NEVADA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Wolf, as I heard the reports of that situation, it has been very troubling to me just as somebody who lives here. I'm a native Las Vegan. Born and raised here and raised six children here. My children go to those kinds of events. My youngest daughter is 18 years old. She attends events like this locally. It's very concerning, very troubling. And I'm sure as the investigation will continue to get more information, but it goes to show we have to understand as much as we can about this individual and what his intentions are. We are working on that very hard.
BLITZER: Lieutenant Governor, it has been four days since the shooting, the horrendous shooting. Are you hopeful a motive will be found or should families start to prepare for the possibility that there may never be a clear answer?
HUTCHISON: Wolf, you are right. This is an investigation that continues to look for a motive. I have great confidence in Sheriff Lombardo, our sheriff here. Great confidence in our investigators. And the FBI is doing a terrific job. This is an investigation into an unprecedented event. It will take a while. They will follow-up on many, many leads and it take some time. We have to have patients. We all want answers as quickly as we get. Everything that can be humanly possible will be done to advance the investigations being done.
BLITZER: Here's another very, very alarming development. Police say they found 50 pounds of explosives in the gunman's car. They say there is evidence he had a plan to escape. I know you are well briefed on all of this. Do investigators believe he may have been planning not only to escape, but a second attack?
HUTCHISON: Well, that's what investigators are looking at now. As we continue to see the developments of this investigation, that leads to other avenues of investigation and other things that have to be tracked down. And there is a lot of troubling events that transpired before this terrible tragedy in Las Vegas. We're tracking them all down. That's part of the investigation that's ongoing.
BLITZER: The sheriff, Joseph Lombardo, and we have all gotten to know him, he said it's hard to believe the gunman didn't have help. Do you think the shooter could have carried out this mass attack by himself?
HUTCHISON: I think Joe Lombardo knows what he's talking about. He is privy to all the information and the full investigation. I join with the sheriff in saying it's difficult to believe that this madman, this depraved individual acted alone. There is a lot of planning that has gone into this that's being discovered and needs to be discovered, and it would be difficult to imagine he did all this by himself.
BLITZER: Yes. A lot of people are coming to that conclusion.
The lieutenant governor of Nevada, Mark Huchison. Lieutenant Governor, thanks for joining us. Good luck to you and all the folks in Las Vegas, especially the survivors and the family members. Our hearts go out to all of them.
HUTCHISON: Wolf, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to tell the American people we are grateful for their support and comfort. God bless them all. Thank you.
BLITZER: You not only have the support of the American people, but are being seen by our viewers in the United States and around the world. The out pouring of support for everyone has been enormous. Good luck with this investigation.
[13:35:09] HUTCHISON: It's been heartwarming and we are so grateful. From all over the world -- this city that is accustomed to taking care of people and our visitors and hosting everybody, is being comforted by everyone across the world. Thank you very much and God bless you all.
BLITZER: All of us who have been to Las Vegas, it's a special place.
Meanwhile, police say that Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter, is cooperating with FBI investigators. Danley was visiting family in the Philippines at the time of the shooting. She says her boyfriend, the mass murderer, surprised her with the last- minute plane ticket, and wired her $100,000 while she was there, supposedly to purchase a home for herself and her family. She didn't see the ticket or the wire transfer, according to her lawyer, as signs her boyfriend was planning mass murder. Instead, she claims, she thought the gunman was trying to break up with her.
I want to bring in our CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates.
Laura, thanks very much for joining us.
The fact that police say she is cooperating, her lawyer said she is cooperating. Does that mean, first of all, she is no longer seen as a person of interest?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely not. She is cooperating because she probably has no other choice. You want to cooperate with the FBI at this point, because looming over her head are accusations and suggestions that she aided and abetted or helped plan to try help plan a conspiracy, or tried to obstruct afterwards. A lot of things keep people's eyebrows raised. The money transfer that happened and the convenience of being out of town. And the stockpiling of the arsenal this man was able to obtain and maintain makes a lot of people think to themselves, there must have been a suggestion or a hint of impending attack of some kind. You can't help but make a comparison between this woman, Marilou, and the widow of the Pulse shooter. She, right now, is awaiting trial behind bars for obstruction and aiding and abetting.
BLITZER: Can someone be charged with a crime for knowing about an attack and not reporting it even though they were not directly involved in the attack?
COATES: Yes. That's where the conspiracy laws, aiding and abetting and obstruction, are after the fact. The reason for that is we want to encourage people, more than encourage, but prevent and deter you from not doing this. We want to you come forward and try to thwart an attack. Even if you were initially involved in the conspiracy, with the planning, and you have that change of heart, the FBI and police want to be able to have people change their minds and try to stop it. In this case, the fact that she may have been involved or known and did not act to thwart it in some way may have her on the hook. It's very, very premature to make those judgments. The FBI is trying to look at as much information as possible and capitalize on that cooperation.
BLITZER: During the Q&A, the interviews with FBI, if she is lying, that's a federal crime.
COATES: Absolutely. Absolutely.
BLITZER: You can go to jail for that.
Laura Coates, thank you --
COATES: Thank you.
BLITZER: -- for that. Puerto Rico, meanwhile, still reeling from the hurricane. Many still
without power, water, and food. As the president's words during his trip are criticized. Many say he didn't see the real damage. A Homeland Security official standing by to join us live.
Plus, the White House briefing. You see live pictures from the West Wing. Moments away from now as the president continues to criticize reports that his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, called him a moron. Stand by.
[13:43:06] BLITZER: We will have much more on the Las Vegas investigation. We're standing by for more on the breaking news. I want to get to that.
But there's other important news we're following, including in Puerto Rico. Less than 10 percent of Puerto Rico has electricity as the island struggles to recovery from Hurricane Maria. President Trump visited earlier in the week. The trip came under criticism. The mayor of San Juan calling some his actions and words insulting.
Christopher Krebs is a senior official from the Department of Homeland Security.
Christopher, thanks very much for joining us.
Update on where things stand with Puerto Rico. Less than 10 percent have electricity and power.
CHRISTOPHER KREBS, SENIOR OFFICIAL, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I'm thinking about three or four different infrastructures sectors, power, water, hospitals, and retail fuel distribution. You are right. In terms of the power grid, we are looking at about 10 percent off line. That's coming up on a daily basis. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is down there working with the power authority.
BLITZER: When do you think it will be restored to 90 percent?
KREBS: 90 percent? It's tough to say.
BLITZER: Weeks or months?
BLITZER: Probably be months. Don't think it's week. It'll be months. In a couple of weeks, you'll see that 10 percent will bump up 10 to 15 percent.
BLITZER: What worries people, worries me, the public schools are closed in much of the island right now. These kids, from kindergarten from high school, are not going to school.
KREBS: Yes. There's two sides of this. Getting the grid back up. You have the central business district, the port of San Juan, 15 of the hospitals and the airport are all on grid power. In the meantime, we have other critical facilities. Talking about hospitals, 15 hospitals on the grid. The remaining 50 are on generator power. We're prioritizing fuel delivery and ensuring they have the commodities they need. Schools, we'll start moving down their prioritization to ensure the other critical facilities get the generators they need as well as the fuel supplies and other commodities. There is another part of this, too. Retail. Life is slowly but surely returning back to normal.
[13:45:08] BLITZER: In San Juan for sure.
KREBS: A little in San Juan, but the other major cities and towns on the island.
A great story that is not being told is communications. 88 percent of the cell sites are down. They took a huge hit, however AT&T and Sprint and all the carriers who work close with them, they are back on the island with temporary capabilities. They have seven cellular on wheels capabilities. They're bringing in eight more. They are blanketed and processing nine million calls a day. You are seeing little signs of normalcy starting to return.
BLITZER: It was interesting that the president noted that Puerto Rico has a debt and they defaulted on a lot of loans to begin with. They said they have to get rid of the debt. And the budget director pointed out, don't take the president's words, comments word for word. Is there a mixed message from the administration about what to do with that huge debt that the Puerto Ricans have?
KREBS: The debt issue is something we will have to keep in mind. My primary focus is ensuring what we can do in the meantime, life-saving and key services restoration. I'm not worried about the budget and the debt.
BLITZER: Interesting on the lifesaving. Originally, 16 dead, and now it's gone up and doubled to 35 or 36 dead. Is that number, do you believe, unfortunately, going to continue to rise?
KREBS: Again, that's not my area of expertise. We are focused as a top priority on the hospitals, hospitals and dialysis center. We are getting generators, and they got them, and the 50 generators. They're prioritized for fuel. They are getting the commodities, the medicine, the water and the food. They are getting what they need as well. The dialysis centers, they're getting what they need. In terms of where we're going next, there's also retail, big box, grocery, Walmart, gasoline. There's progress.
BLITZER: It will take a long time.
KREBS: Just like Florida and Texas, we will be in Puerto Rico for a year.
BLITZER: It seems worse in Puerto Rico.
KREBS: Every disaster is different. Every disaster is different. Nate will be a different story than Maria. They're all different.
BLITZER: Nate is out there. Hope it doesn't come here.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Christopher Krebs, with the Department of Homeland Security.
KREBS: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you very much.
There are disturbing details emerging in the Las Vegas investigation, including evidence that the gunman had an escape plan and had 50 pounds of explosives in his car. Much more on the breaking news after this.
[13:52:02] BLITZER: The Las Vegas massacre claimed the lives of 58 people from all walks of life. Victims include mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and a police employee, just to name a few.
We're also learning new details about many of them.
BLITZER (voice-over): A nurse who died protecting his wife, a special-ed teacher, a combat veteran, just a few of the 58 men and women who were killed in Sunday's shooting.
BLITZER: Among the dead, Angie Gomez, a cheerleader who was involved in choir and studying to become a nurse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had a boyfriend of four years who loved her so, so much. Their relationship is just something straight out of the movies.
BLITZER: Lisa Patterson, a mother of three, who was active in her church, coached in a Los Angeles softball league and was devoted to her family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She cared for so many people. She was so enthusiastic. She was literally the best mom and she was my best friend.
BLITZER: There was Ronda Laroque (ph), a Massachusetts mom who loved country music. Her mother described her as the glue to the family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): She was the one that did all the family events and family gatherings. She was the hostess with the mostest.
BLITZER: Another victim of Sunday's attack was Neysa Tonks, a single mom of three boys, Cadin, Braxton ad Grayson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She lived life like it was her last day. She didn't care what anyone else thinks. BLITZER: Fifty-six-year-old John Phippen, a father of six, remembered
for loving his family fiercely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tragic loss. This is a really great guy that unfortunately a lot of people are never going to get to know.
BLITZER: He died shielding a woman from gunfire.
Jenny Parks was a California kindergarten teacher.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had that spirit of loving and kindness. She didn't think bad of people.
BLITZER: She's described as a hands-on mother of two.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was always involved with her children's academics and any sports.
BLITZER: Jordan McIlldo (ph), a mechanic from Canada. He died in the arms of a stranger who refused to leave his side.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't want him to be there alone. There was another guy that was by us. His wife had been shot and killed. The mother of his three kids. He never left her side. And I didn't want Jordan to not have somebody with him.
BLITZER: Sandra Casey taught special-ed for a California middle school. Known for her sense of humor and passion for her work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lost a person today who will not be replaced. She's in the hearts forever.
[13:55:06] BLITZER: 29-year-old Sonny Melton died as he lived, a hero.
HEATHER MELTON, WIFE OF SONNY MELTON: He was the most selfless person that I've ever met and even until his last breath he proved that.
BLITZER: The registered nurse and newlywed from Tennessee died protecting his wife.
MELTON: He just grabbed me from behind and we started running in kind of a duck position. And I felt him get shot in the back. He saved me before even this incident. He taught me what real love was.
BLITZER: Christopher Roybal was a U.S. Navy veteran. His mom said told the "New York Daily News" that she got him home safe from Afghanistan and never thought she'd have to worry about losing him again. Adding, "I was so proud to be his mom, he made me feel so happy."