tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 9, 2019 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
and in chinese below it says the gates of freedom will be closed when you give up. so these protesters are now in their tenth consecutive week. it is two months exactly today since these protests began. from the look of it here at the airport and from what we're hearing is going to be happening over the weekend. these protests are not about to end. pamela. >> thanks, ben. that's it for me. newsroom with brooke baldwin starts right now. hi there. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me on this friday afternoon. it has been six days since two more mass shootings in america, the 15th and 16th of this year with more or four meme killed and it is only august. six days of survivors planning surgeries, of families planning funerals and nothing. 18 months since more teenagers were killed in their high
school. nothing. three years since nearly 50 people were killed at a nightclub. nothing. seven years since first graders, first graders were killed inside their classroom. nothing. six days and nothing at the federal level except for a ban on bump stocks has been done to take on this problem. today the president is going on vacation. congress is on vacation. they won't come back to deal with the nation in crisis. mitch mcconnell says we'll talk about it in september. in a month. so in a span of 14 hours, two mass shootings in two american cities and congress wants to wait until september? despite americans demanding change seems nothing ever does when it comes to the work for people who actually work for americans. and now once again, just like yesterday was and seven years ago was, september may be too late. to the white house now where
before departing for the hamptons for a fund-raiser the president admitted the country, quote, needs intelligent background checks, but he didn't offer any specific ideas on taking action in the immediate aftermath of this week's mass shootings. >> on background checks, we have tremendous support for really common sense, sensible, important background checks. i think with a lot of success that we have, i think i have a greater influence now over the senate and over the house. i think we can get something really good done. this isn't a question of nra, republican or democrat. i will tell you i spoke to mitch mcconnell yesterday. he's totally on board. >> cnn's kaitlan collins is live at the white house. what do we know about any further action the president may be considering? >> reporter: well, the president
says that the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is totally on board but he doesn't say exactly with what and we know that despite a radio interview yesterday where mcconnell said the senate would consider some kind of new legislation potentially as you noted when they get back from their vacation, he did say any specific legislation he was going to endorse and his office came out after the president made those remarks and made clear that he has not endorsed any legislation yet on that. so the president says they've got this tremendous support from congressional lawmakers, not just democrats, including republicans, but we should note there are less than a handful of republicans who are on the record supporting any kind of specific legislation related to these background checks. that could change with all the pressure that they're facing, but right now that's not the case. however, today the president also sounded confident that he could change the mind of the gun lobby, the nra, which has changed the president's mind on more restrictive gun measures in the past. today he's sounding hopeful that could be reversed this time around. >> i had a good talk with wayne and i like wayne and, you know,
as you know, they supported me very early, far earlier than anybody thought possible, especially me not being a politician. there's been no president that feels more strongly about the second amendment than i do. however, we need meaningful background checks so that sick people don't get guns. i think in the end, i think in the end wayne and the nra will either be there or maybe will be a little bit more neutral and that would be okay too. >> brooke, that wayne the president is referencing is the nr achieve who based on our reporting in multiple phone call this is week has told the support that his supporters are not going to be in favor of expanding those background checks, making them stricter and in a statement yesterday the nra said they are not in favor of these potential law changes that would infringe on the rights of
law abiding americans who have guns. no new statements from republicans or the nra that says they are going to be on board with these expandsisive backgro checks. >> we also have new details this afternoon into the el paso shooting investigation. sources tell cnn the alleged gunman during interviews with various detectives revealed one of the reasons why he chose el paso to carry out the rampage, driving for nearly 11 hours, more than 600 miles because the suspect told police he thought it would be wrong to commit the attack in his hometown near dallas because he didn't want his family and acquaintances to find out about it. the editor of "the el paso times". your reporting has been incredible. you're live. can you hear me tim? >> yes, i am. how are you, brooke? >> it's been a sad week for
everyone. i know that you've been following the investigation really closely. what do you make of the new detail? >> well, it's really been a crazy week. new developments. i believe that we, you know, we've done a really good job of explaining the motive for the attack and trying to explain how the city has had to deal with this, the hurt that's being felt by people here in el paso. >> but specifically the fact that the shooter told detectives that he didn't want his family and acquaintances to find out it was him, so he drove all the way to where you are to get far from dallas. your thoughts on that? >> well, we've always known that he was an outsider and we knew this wouldn't be coming from our folks. our folks don't have that kind of hate in their hearts. so we've been reporting on that.
it's known really quickly after the shooting occurred that's the actions that he was taking. it's a sad confirmation of a really, really tragic story. >> we also wanted to talk to you, you wrote this powerful letter to the president of the united states that was published the day he visited your city. let me read part of it. our people are scared. many of us feel our city is still viewed as a target, but el paso does not lash out in anger even when we are treated unfairly. in el paso we won't look at someone different with prejudice in our hearts. the hate came from an outsider. it did not come from el paso. what effect did the president's visit have on your city. >> i think it had multiple effects. it depends on what your perspective is. i think our community proved
itself, heard those words. yeah, we're going to stand up for ourselves and we're going to speak up and defend el paso, but we're not going to lash out. i'm very, very proud of our community for keeping its cool, but also being very vocal that this is a really, really unfair thing for el paso. it's an unfair thing for the community and for the city's proud history of being a place where outsiders are welcomed, where we get along with each other, where diversity is celebrated, where the border is an opportunity for prosperity. and so i think our community has responded wonderfully. you look at the memorial here, at the scene here, and there's lots of love and gratefully lots of peace. >> you can feel the love. you can feel the love from all the people who stopped by and everyone i've talked to, my colleagues there in el paso, but
i can't let you go without talking about this little baby boy. the photo that the first late tweeted out. for perspective, this little baby, 2 months old, the baby is going to grow up without either of his parents, because his mother and father died shielding him from the gunfire in el paso. the baby had been discharged from the hospital but was actually brought back to meet the president. now, the family says they wanted to share their pain with the president, which they have every right to do, but tim, when you look at the first lady and the president's faces and the smiles and the thumbs up, what did you think? >> you know, i really don't want to get into the politics of this. we're still deeply -- >> is it politics or is it dess decency? >> the united states has had a proud history of the office of
the presidency coming during these kinds of tragic situations. that's really all i want to say about it, brooke. >> you got it. you got it. i won't push you whatsoever. you've been reporting this week. i am so sorry about what happened in your beautiful city. tim, the editor of "the el paso times". obviously this isn't the first time a sitting president has had to deal with the tragedy that resonated across the country and really around the world. here is an example of how past presidents dealt with traumas, such as the oklahoma city bombing, the terror attacks on 9/11, the challenger explosion and the deadly attack on the church in south carolina. >> let us let our own children know we will stand against the forc forces of fear. when there is talk of hatred, let us stand up and talk against it. >> this is a great country because we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth.
>> the crew of the space shuttle challenger honored us with the men comein which they live thei lives. we will never forget them the last time we saw them this morning as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the bonds of earth to touch the face of god. >> amazing grace, how speweet t sound. >> that was powerful. stepping into the role of consoler in chief. it is a necessary part of the job. cnn presidential historian doug brinkley is with me. just going for those moments, republican presidents, democrat presidents. tell me why it's so important to get it right. >> because the american people have a representative and that's their president and the president is supposed so be able to show the grief of the
country. it's their spokes person, their rabbi or minister at that moment. all three of those clips you played, they're memorable, because they healed the country. unfortunately, this week what president trump didn't follow in that tradition instead have politics on his mind. he did tweet swipes in dayton at democrat politicians and then talked about how his crowd size is bigger than beto o'rourke's in el paso, then we saw the thumbs up with a baby who just lost both the parents. it's heart wrenching. the president flunked this week as a counselor pulling the country together in our time of tragedy. >> even white house insiders have said that the trip to dayton and el paso was quoting a debacle. but i think of -- my mind goes to remember when the president was in puerto rico tossing those, what was it, toilet paper rolls out into the crowd and he
was criticized for that. this is a man who has spend, there it was, this is a man who has spent working in television, has been in front of cameras for years. why do you think he hasn't mastered the art of the image? >> he has no real empathy. i think part of his trump brand, the narcissim that made him so strong and powerful and rich just doesn't have the heart and feeling. he's seeing every situation from what's in it for trump instead of being able to naturally feel the pain of a community. he did not help heal dayton or el paso. i'm glad he went. i thought the president needed to go. in that regard he did well. but when he brings in the petty politics and can't take a time out, it continues to divide our country more. that is his strategy, not unite in a sense of national prayer, but continue to pour fire on the cultural war we're in the middle of right now.
>> there is reporting that the trump campaign officials actually think that seeing these democrat candidates, a few have come out and called him a white supremacist, they actually think it will help him win in 2020. that it's alienating people who think they're going too far. what do you think? >> well, you saw joe biden carefully not just say white supremacists. the democrats have to do a lot of things. they're going to have to prove they can make a better economy, make your life better. i do think trump is in trouble with these policies on children. if all the democrats are going to do is take commercials in showing kids in cages and then the little crying in mississippi due to the i.c.e. raid and the dead girl on the rio grand, his rhetoric is by anybody's estimation inflaming the country. the idea that he's going to be able to use charlottesville as a weaning strategy which is the white supremacy strategy, i'm dubious about that.
in the end it's all about the center and donald trump barely won in pennsylvania, ohio, michigan and wisconsin. he's got to perform better there. i don't see how being a racist or behaving in a racist way is a winning strategy. but it does help him with his base. do it does mobilize money and it keeps him together as a fist of the alternative right. >> doug brinkley, thank you very much. appreciate you and another case of america on edge. panic in a missouri walmart when an armed man walks through the store. what we've learned about who he is and what he was doing. plus walmart will not stop selling guns, but is pulling something else. and two more open positions in crucial roles in the government with top officials in charge of national intelligence out the
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a cart. customers obviously panicked. the store manager pulled the fire alarm. a witness described what happened next. >> a siren goes off for like a second and they say suspected fire, possible fire, exit immediately. there's an employee standing there. i was, like -- i looked at him. he's, like i don't know. a lady was screaming get out, get out. >> there were a lot of people hiding outside behind these barriers and businesses. it was pretty chaotic for a couple minutes. >> omar jimenez is following this. no shots fired, so who is this guy and what was he doing? >> at this point police have identified him as a 20-year-old. his background still unclear at this point, but you touched on the main piece of good news. shots fired and no one injured in this. what they are trying to piece together at this point in the investigation is what motivated
him to do this. we know when he walked into this walmart according to police, he was filming himself on his cell phone. for what purpose we still do not know and then pushing a shopping cart through the store. again, as you mentioned earlier, that was what prompted the manager to pull the fire alarm and for people to evacuate as quickly as possible. in the process of all of that, this man tried to casually stroll out of the store where he was confronted by an off-duty firefighter who was also wielding a weapon and detained that -- this man until police arrived just a few minutes later. here's how police described their arrival to the scene about three minutes later. >> he walked in here heavily armed with body armor in military fatigues and caused a great amount of panic inside the store. he certainly had the capability and the potential to harm people. he was compliant with us.
but his intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business here. in fact, he's lucky he's alive still to be honest. >> and let's remember what he looked like when he came in. he was wearing that almost military like style clothing. he was armed with that assault rifle as well. it is important to note that missouri is an open carry state, but it is illegal to carry a weapon with lethal capacity when it is being done in a threatening matter. i think at least it is safe to say a lot of people felt at least a little bit threatened as they evacuated this store on that front. while we know the man's identity at this point, police say they hope to be able to release more information about him once charges are officially filed. they told us they arrested him for making terrorist threats in the first degree. >> the police officer saying this guy is lucky to be alive. thank you, omar.
more on the heat that walmart has really been feeling this week. stores are pulling violent video game displays, but they won't stop selling the video games themselves or the guns in the store. so is this the thoughtful and deliberate response that the ceo promised? and up next, two people in charge of america's intelligence are gone. hear what the latest news on their departure and what they told the president in a handwritten note. [ dogs barking ] what about him? let's do it. [ sniffing ]
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a monster shakeup happening in the u.s. intelligence agency. the country's top two intelligence officials are leaving. we are learning today the number two official is departing out of quote/unquote respect and patriotism but not preference. the words of sue gordon written by hand to the president when she officially resigned as deputy director of national intelligence. she is now leaving next week with her boss dni dan coats. the top democrat on the house intelligence committee adam schiff says the loss of both of them is, quote, devastating. the president said he's not in a rush to fill their spots because he has such confidence in the man just named to be the acting director of intelligence, joseph mcgwire. >> maguire is acting right now. sue did a great job. i like sue gordon very much. >> maguire joins a dozen others
as quote/unquote acting members, a temporary designation. let me play this first. just a week ago sue gordon said this about president trump. >> the president is actually a really great motivator of change in intelligence. this is a man who wants to dig. he wants to take action. >> two sources tell cnn gordon wu wasn't viewed as a trump loyalist. what do you think of that? >> it's not a question of being a loyalist. it's a question of staying out of the public and not disagreeing with the president. what he wants is a yes man in that job. it's very important for him because that -- the dni takes care of national intelligence estimates. for instance, if the russians were to go after us, our elections in 2020, he wants a
dni that will not make -- will not go public with this and won't spill the facts on this. he basically wants somebody that defers to authority and admirable maguire is the one to do it. >> the yes man, you mentioned russian meddling. we heard from robert mueller that russia is meddling as he speaks. talk to me about the significance of the sensitivity of this job and why you need somebody who maybe isn't just loyal. >> well, what trump does, he believes that the intelligence committee is part of the deep state. that they're against him. he doesn't like the intelligence community, anybody in it. maguire is not coming from that. he's coming from the military. he will do what the president tells him to and he'll stay out of public. all those factors were very important i'm sure in the
choice. he would prefer radcliff, but there was no way he was going to get through the senate, so this is his best second choice. i think he is a yes man. >> i want to ask you also, bob, today president trump talked about north korea being upset over military exercise by the u.s. and south korea. here he was. >> well, he wasn't happy with the test, the war games, the war games on the other side with the united states. as you know, i've never liked it either. i've never liked it. i've never been a fan. you know why? i don't like paying for it. we should be reimbursed for it. i told that to south korea. i don't like it either, but i said do this, because this is a big test. this was a turnover of various areas to south korea. i like that. because that's what should happen. >> what do you think? >> well, kim jong-un has no intention as we talked about over and over giving up his missiles or his nuclear bombs.
but what this president needs going into 2020 making it look like we're getting sort of an agreement. that was one of the conditions in north korea that we gave up joint exercises with south korea. our military was totally against that. we have to prepare for war there all the time. so what he's trying to do is sweep these problems under the carpet. make them go away until he gets to the election. >> not to mention the u.s. has been working side by side with iraq and the republic of korea for years in that part of the world. >> of course. >> thank you very much. as the nra warns the president not to support background checks, an nra member says she has had enough and will join me live. plus news in on the el paso suspect. a report says he told police he was targeting, quote, mexicans. we'll go right back to el paso next. my insurance rates are probably gonna double.
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breaking news from el paso. "the washington post" is reporting that the suspect told police he was targeting mexicans. let's go straight to el paso. ed, tell me more of what you know. this is coming out of an arrest affidavit? >> yes. it was one of the initial and early court documents filed in this case. in this document it kind of alludes to much of what we already know in a picture that has been painted in our
reporting over the last few days, but this arrest warrant affidavit explicitly states that the gunman, 21-year-old patrick crusius had confessed he came here to kill, quote, mexicans and he was arrested not far from where we're standing up the road and he was approached by officers and he got out of his car raising his hands declaring i'm the shooter. these are new details emerging in these court documents. we have reported throughout the week from el paso police officials that the look in the gunman's eyes was stone cold, nothing short of evil is the way it was described to us in our earlier reporting this week. this really captures the intensity of that moment in the initial moments after this attack here at this walmart in el paso. >> ed, thank you. again for us in el paso, texas. mixed signals out of congress on
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walmart is announcing it is temporarily removing advertising displays for violent video games following the recent mass shootings. not guns or the violent video games themselves. they're still to be sold. the ceo of walmart which is one of the largest gun retailers issued a statement vowing a, quote, thought ful and deliberae response to the shootings. besides the el paso shooting saturday and the mississippi shooting on tuesday, a random search turns up more walmart
shootings than we have to mention. eight injured at walmart in pennsylvania after shooting in check outlines. man accused of randomly killing three people at walmart captured. teens involved in walmart shooting identified. two men arrested in great falls for walmart shooting. just from last year, a 7-year-old killed in texas walmart shooting. it should be said obviously walmart isn't alone in these sorts of shootings, but it is one of the world's largest gun and ammunition retailers, so is the temporary removal of violent video ghame displays. i want to bring in alice who has written the new opinion piece called nra member, enough is enough, something has to change. erica lamb is here. she is the former communication director for gun safety.
ladies, thank you. before we get to walmart, you're a mexican american from el paso. you just reacted viscerally to the news that the gun suspect in el paso targeted mexicans. what did you just say to me? >> i am mexican american and my heart breaks continuously to hear such hate and vitriol. but what i want to say about el paso and the 915 is that it is so strong. it is so diverse and beautiful and it's a bi-national community and this was an outsider who came in and attacked us. i know this community is what america should be more like, not less like. so this community will be strong and we will survive and we will stand up for ourselves. >> so what about the news about walmart yanking the violent video game displays. >> i happen to work for another brand.
i work for comedy central and my mission is to use our content in entertainment to drive our audience towards change. i've been really proud this week to work with a show that was on yesterday that's about latino representation. even beyond this. that we should not think of latinos as just drug dealers and rapists and the shooting in el paso really gave him and us as comedy central an opportunity to say enough is enough. >> what about walmart? >> you know, i think that all of us, companies and individuals, and political leaders, need to take action to end this crisis of gun violence that we're all in. >> okay. to you, my friend, because you are a card carrying member of the nra. you just said something about this changed something in you. why? >> it's enough is enough. it gets to the point to where you have seen this time after
time after time and you have to say when are we going to do something to put an end to this? look, yes, i am an nra member. i support second amendment rights. i support the right to bear arms. i i think anyone who wants to own a gun should have a gun. if you pass the proper background check. >> are you in favor of that? >> i'm in favor of background checks, but we do need to make sure that we are using precautions, because we can't just look at universal background check as the end all and be all. universal background checks are not universal. criminals that want a gun will get a gun. we have to make sure when we're talking about this legislation that we protect the second amendment rights while we're working to protect americans. look, what i do think, we will see some change this time. the president has been having communications with republicans and democrats as well as the nra. the red flag laws i believe is a good first step. we can't talk about comprehensive measures when we have real short-term solutions
right in front of our face. the red flag laws would allow police and family members to seek protections from the court and prevent people from owning guns that are a threat to themselves or others, that have a mental illness. that's a good first step. the background checks are good as well, but we need to make sure we're not infringing on second amendment rights of law abiding citizens. >> i heard you say enough is enough and you're not burning your nra card but you would support background checks as long as it of course didn't infringe upon the second amendment rights of americans. what about banning the sale on assault rifles? would you support that? >> here's what we need -- >> the majority of americans do. >> they do. six in ten support that and nine in ten support background checks. the majority of americans do want to see change. the key is not to take all guns out of the hands of some people, not some guns out of the hands
of all people. that is the critical component, making sure people that want to own guns that are law abiding citizens do have access to them. with these the a.r. 15 is classified as an assault weapon. those are the most popular rifles out there. many americans use them for their protection. we need to make sure we protect the rights for those that want to have them that pass the clearances can have them. so that is one i think is the steepest hurdle to climb right now. there are more short-term fixes that are doable. >> so here -- this is someone, erica, who you need on your side. >> absolutely. i'm so happy. alice and i have been talking about how this is not a part of an issue. this is a humanitarian issue. >> it's mighty political. >> the bullet doesn't ask you for your party designation before it hits. this is one of those moments where we're coming together to see, we have to do something. we have to disarm hate.
we've had enough of these events where people are targeted because of their identity, because of their religion, because of their race, because of who they love. pulse, charleston, el paso where we have to disarm hate. and also in the everyday gun violence that we see. more than 100 people are killed every day. alice has identified some places where gun owners and card-carrying nra members agree it's not about being anti-gun. it's about being anti-gun violent. >> it's not about gun control. it's about crime control and gun violence control and putting it into that. and republicans and democrats are on the same page. they need to just get out of their little burrows and have this conversation and get it done. >> if this could be a microcosm of what we could see in washington. >> and the political rhetoric and how it emboldens hate. end hate and disarm the haters.
>> read alice's opinion piece. go to cnn.com. ladies, thank you both very, very much. right now anger over a white house photo op. what we have learned about this photograph of the president and the first lady posing and smiling with a baby who lost both of his parents to the mass shooting in el paso. plus we are hearing from more children who were left alone without their parents as the president defends those massive i.c.e. raids in mississippi. we'll be right back. you're turning onto the street
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first responders going beyond the call of duty when the first shots were fired in dayton, ohio. they train for unthinkable situations, but this one hit close to home. i talked to the dayton fire department earlier this week who responded within minutes. >> we got shots fired. we got multiple people down. we need multiple medics. >> it's what they're trained to do. respond to emergencies and save lives. >> obviously fires, fire alarms, medical emergencies, car wrecks, things of that nature. >> when the men and women of the dayton fire department went to sleep at their station saturday night, none of them could have imagined the call they were about to receive. >> active shooter incident. engine 4, engine 8, fire 14, medic 11, medic 13, medic 14, medic 16. >> i was here in bed. woke up with the initial call
and headed out the door. >> cnn getting the exclusive opportunity to speak with the men and women of station 11, the closest station to the oregon district. >> i thought it had to have been something really bad. when i looked down at the computer and i saw that it said mass sas ycasualty, i thought i a mistake. i didn't think something like that could happen here. >> just to be clear, the cops are heroes. they did an outstanding job of neutralizing the threat. the crews that have boots on the ground that were in there doing what they did, they did an outstanding job. >> landis's team falling back on its training. firefighters, paramedics and emts jumping in action to start the triage process and get victims to nearby trauma centers as quickly as possible. >> when we got on scene we were part of the initial search and
triage team to find victims, patients, and treat them accordingly. >> you fall back on your training. we got the information that we had and then had to develop a plan which is exactly what we had trained for. we trained with the surrounding departments on these type of situations so we were prepared for it and we put that plan into place and it worked very well. >> nine lives lost. dozens more injured. these first responders doing everything in their power to save lives. >> obviously we all wish we could have done more than we did, but i'm happy with -- i think it was the best outcome we could have hoped for. >> a horrible situation that hit these men and women very close to home. >> tragic outcome, but we saved a lot of lives that night. >> how proud are you? >> extremely. we've talked about that and i told them i'm as proud of everybody there. everybody hit their marks. the training that's been conducted over the last several
years in preparation for events like this, it all paid off. the guys did extremely well. they did just like they were trained to do. i'm very proud. very proud. >> the dayton fire department going beyond the call of duty. i just wanted to say a massive thank you to the men and women at dayton fire for having us out this week and for everything you do every day. thank you. this is cnn breaking news. >> we continue on, top of the hour. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. we have breaking news in the el paso mat shooting investigation. "the washington post" is now reporting that the alleged gunman told police his intended target was, quote, mexicans, and confessed to police that he was the shooter.