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ISIS Radio Says Supporters Carried Out California Attack; New Details Emerging About 14 Killed in Terror Attack. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired December 5, 2015 - 06:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We are always so grateful for your company. Thank you for being with us. I'm Christi Paul in Atlanta.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you in San Bernardino, California. This morning, we are following several new developments here in San Bernardino.

Just moments ago, ISIS' official radio station broadcasted the California attack was carried out by its, quote, "supporters" and they are, this is also a quote, "praying to God to accept them as martyrs."

Also, we have you in pictures of Tashfeen Malik, one of the two attackers. Officials say she posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS on Facebook during the shooting rampage with her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook. That was under a different name.

Now the FBI has searched their apartment, along with regular items like clocks and baby toys they found. I was in that apartment yesterday.

There were also pipe bombs discovered by FBI agents, more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition, guns as well. Authorities say the home this morning was a place where they carefully planned this shooting, extensive planning, some officials saying.

The killers tried to destroy digital finger prints as they are calling them, smashing cell phones, removing the hard drive from at least one laptop.

Of course, we know, 14 people were killed in this attack and CNN is covering every angle of this story as only CNN can. We are going to start with Polo Sandoval live in Redlands, California, right in front of the condo that this couple shared with their mother and their 6- month-old daughter. What is the latest on the investigation this morning, Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That potential ISIS link, Victor, obviously a very significant development here and that's very important. If authorities are able to actually confirm that, then that would make Wednesday's shooting perhaps the deadliest attack on U.S. soil linked to a terrorist group overseas since 9/11.

Then you hear from the family of Syed Farook who say that people should not rush to judgment. They still want undeniable proof from the feds that their loved one was radicalized. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL (voice-over): San Bernardino on edge, overnight police evacuated a UPS facility and called in the bomb squad to investigate a package addressed to the home of Syed Farook. It turned out to be safe posing no threat.

This comes as the FBI announces that the mass shooting is now being investigated as an act of terrorism.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: We are spending a tremendous amount of time, as you might imagine, over the last 48 hours trying to understand the motives of these killers and trying to understand every detail of their lives.

SANDOVAL: Another recent revelation about Tashfeen Malik, the female shooter in the Wednesday massacre that left 14 dead and 21 wounded, she posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook while the shooting was happening.

The mass shooting may have been inspired by ISIS but the terror group apparently did not direct or ordered the attack. It may be a case of self-radicalization, a possibility that left family members baffled.

SAIRA KHAN, SISTER OF SYED RIZWAN FAROOK: I asked myself if I had called him that morning or the night before and asked him how he was doing, what he was up to. If I had any inclination, maybe I could have stopped it.

SANDOVAL: Meanwhile, police are downplaying the possibly that Farook appeared angry when he left the luncheon at the Inland Regional Center, only to return heavily armed with his wife.

CHIEF JARROD BURGUAN, SAN BERNARDINO POLICE: We had initial information from a witness or some witnesses that left the party and provided information that it appeared that he left upset or under some form of duress. There is also indication from other people that he was there. There was nothing out of the ordinary and suddenly he was gone.


[06:05:08]SANDOVAL: Back out live in Redlands, California, Victor. A few things have changed since you left here yesterday. You see that particle board back up in the doorway, also in the windows since we got a first look inside Farook's home.

But I have to say, you look upstairs, you are able to see through the window of a room that is still lit, the ceiling fan still slowly rotating, and also a computer there in view. No telling what federal investigators were able to pull from that computer when they were here a few days ago.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Polo, going inside that apartment, it looks as if someone left that home in a hurry. We know that Farook's mother was there with that 6-month-old granddaughter. We got a look inside the home. We will take viewers inside in a moment. I wonder if you look through this list now of the items seized be I the FBI. What have you seen on that list?

SANDOVAL: What's interesting, you get to notice they're going to rebuild their digital foot prints. We heard about the cell phones that were found nearby that had been smashed and the hard drive damaged as well.

Obviously, that is some of the crucial evidence that was recovered. I have to say, much of that was actually put on a plane on Thursday, headed to Quantico, Virginia, so that the FBI can actually take a closer look at it.

Federal authorities trying to expedite the process here so I think out of that long list of evidence that was removed from the apartment, perhaps important evidence, digital one, hard drives, computers, and of course, online conversations that may have been recorded.

BLACKWELL: All right, Polo Sandoval there for us in Redlands. Well get to all that right now. Where does the investigation go from here? With me now, CNN law enforcement analyst, Art Roderick, and CNN military analyst, retired Lt. Colonel Rick Francona.

I want to start with you, Colonel. Let's start with this message from ISIS overnight on this radio calling them supporters, praying for their martyrdom.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Right. Supporters, not fighters, they're making the distinction between those that carried out the attacks in Paris, those who were actually fighters of the organization, and these are supporters.

It looks like this is a little opportunistic on the part of ISIS. They are grabbing on what they see as an opportunity to spread their message. It's good for their social media messaging operation. But you know, I'm not reading a whole lot into that particular message.

BLACKWELL: So this is consistent with the assumption that this is self-radicalization, that they weren't directly tied to ISIS.

FRANCONA: I think everything we are seeing looks to be that way.

BLACKWELL: OK, let's go now to this UPS facility where there was this driver who was, I mean, thank God for him paying enough attention to the names and addresses here that he thought this could be a red flag. He went back to the UPS facility. It turned out that package was safe? What do you glean from the package?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Kudos to the driver picking that information up, that's fantastic. The package could have been delivered late. It might have been ready to show up a couple days ago. It would be interesting to find out what exactly was in that package. I know it was rendered safe at the facility, but it would be good to find out exactly what they had ordered there.

BLACKWELL: Go ahead. FRANCONA: We're trying to figure out if anybody else is involved. All this is going to become important. That's another piece of evidence. As Polo was saying, this digital signature that the FBI is going to come, these cell phones, I think were particularly --

RODERICK: Critical.

FRANCONA: Anything that they can glean from these computers because the network, who talked to who, and is there more involved? When I see these cell phones, I see somebody to support these people.

BLACKWELL: To get all that information out of these cell phones and everything taken from the house.

RODERICK: That's the key part, in every single criminal case that we do, any fugitive that we're looking for, any crime that's committed. You always want to find the devices that they are using to communicate with supporters or other people.

So these cell phones, hard drives, anything that they're using for communication is key to this case. It's going to take, I think they'll be able find out relatively quickly if they're able to get, you know, how destroyed the phones are. How is the hard drive messed up?

I think they will find out fairly quickly if they are able to extract information off. It might be a little longer to get the information, but I think once they figure out, you know, how badly damaged they are.

FRANCONA: And the cell phones are kind of an interesting facet to this right now. We're going through this NSA surveillance debate in Congress and they've changed the laws and is it going to hamper their ability to go and find out who was talking to who and is there a network and who were they talking to?

BLACKWELL: We will continue this conversation, of course, throughout the morning. Colonel Francona, Art Roderick, thank you so much. I especially want to get to, if this is self-radicalization, why so many cell phones?

[06:10:05]There were half dozen of them pulled from the home and they smashed these relatively new ones. Were they trying to hide connections?

Let's talk now about the female shooter, Tashfeen malik, wasn't the first female to pledge allegiance to the terrorist group. We've seen a couple women in this past year do so publicly.

Our Brian Todd looks at the increasing number of ISIS sympathizers in the U.S. and the role that women play and their ranks.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 27-year-old female attacker was born in Pakistan and later traveled to Saudi Arabia at least twice, according to a Saudi official. She met Syed Rizwan Farook there. She traveled to the United States on a fiancee visa. Farook family lawyers say she was a typical housewife but traditional, often wearing a burqa.

DAVID CHESLEY, FAROOK FAMILY ATTORNEY: She did maintain certain traditions from what I understand in terms of fasting and prayer five times a day. She chose not to drive voluntarily.

TODD: In online dating profiles thought to be his, Farook expressed his desire for a girl who wears a hijab and said he enjoyed target practice in his backyard. The FBI asked directly if it was Tashfeen Malik who influenced Syed Rizwan Farook.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know the answer whether she influenced him or not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I very much believe that it's impossible that she influenced him when we look at the Islamic State, we tend to read her through the men around her, whether it's a boyfriend, a husband or a cousin, you know, that is a reason for her support for the Islamic State or any other political movement and with this case, we are being forced to reexamine that.

TODD: The couple wouldn't be the first Bonnie and Clyde inspired by terrorists. The widow of Paris supermarket gunman was according to his former lawyer the more radical one in the couple.

She is believed to be with ISIS in Syria as is Sally Jones the widow of top ISIS operative, Janeed Hussein, believed to have inspired the only ISIS instigated attacks so far on American soil, the foiled attempt in May to shoot up a Prophet Mohammed cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas. Jones is now believed to be a key recruiter for ISIS.

In a sobering new support on ISIS sympathizers inside the U.S., Lorenzo Bedino of George Washington University says many of those supporters are women who are adept at social media.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jona mean bribe, paradise. You see women are more prolific than men. They tend to write more, to post a lot of things. They tend to have a lot of accounts.


TODD: Those accounts, Bedino says, are used for propaganda and for the recruitment of other women. But it's not clear right now who might have radicalized Tashfeen Malik. A source close to the Saudi government tells CNN she was not on any Saudi watch list or under suspicion by the Saudis of any extremist activities. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

BLACKWELL: All right, this morning we've talked a bit about what was taken by the FBI agents out of the home of Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik.

But next, I will take you inside that condo in Redlands, California. It is by far the most bizarre day that I've had in a very long time going inside this home. We will take you inside to show you what we have found.

Plus, the U.S. is now running out of bombs to drop on ISIS, a report on what's behind the shortage.

Also, a chilling eye witness account of the San Bernardino massacre. Anderson Cooper sits down with two of the survivors. This is a CNN exclusive.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was at the back table near the exterior door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you were on a break at the current time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was at the tables getting coffee and taking out the goodies that were sitting there and it was at that point if time, you know, when we all heard the gunfire right outside the door and all turned to look at the door to watch him come in.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Is there anything else you want to say about what happened from then on in terms of in those moments?


BLACKWELL: And of course, we are also remembering the victims of this horrific tragedy throughout the morning.



BLACKWELL: A lot of the investigation into the San Bernardino rampage was focused on this condo. It's the home of the terror suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. They left it cluttered with everything from the baby toys there.

We saw signs of faith on the walls and then they went in and massacred 14 innocent people. I was there when the landlord allowed reporters inside. Watch.


BLACKWELL (voice-over): As the door was pried opened, a dramatic scene as a crush of reporters and camera crews were allowed inside the townhouse rented by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. The couple's landlord invites the media to look inside the home with no objection from the FBI.

DAVID BOWDICH, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI LOS ANGELES OFFICE: We executed a search warrant on that apartment. Last night we turned that over, back to the residents. Once the residents have the apartment, we're not in it anymore, we don't control it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did you get notice to come back in here? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last night about 8:00, 9:00. This is unreal.

BLACKWELL: Around the apartment, signs of life, familiar to families everywhere. Clutter in the kitchen, toys belonging to the couple's 6- month-old daughter scattered on the floor. It's here in the couple's bedroom closet where you find a sign of the intense investigation that took place as CNN's Stephanie Elam discovered during a tour of the home.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Up here you see where they smashed up into the ceiling to take a look what was up there. It appears based on the debris on the ground, that there was an effort to get up there and make sure that they checked every crevice of this back bedroom.

BLACKWELL: Personal identification and other documents belonging to Farook's mother were left scattered on the bed. Evidence of the couple's devout faith are also seen throughout the apartment, a prayer rug on the wall, various books on the subject of Islam, even prayer beads left on the edge of the bed.

In a corner, the crib belonging to their 6-month-old baby girl left with her grandmother on the day of the shooting.


[06:20:08]BLACKWELL: We have with us CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson to talk about this. Joey, first, good to have you this morning. We know that the raid was late Wednesday and then on Thursday evening, the owner says that he got a call from law enforcement saying they've released this condo back to him about 24 to maybe 30 hours. Do you think it was released too soon?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I really don't, Victor and good morning to you. I know it's a lot earlier where you are in California. The purpose of any search done by the FBI, of course, is to search for information, is to identify that information that they're looking for.

They then catalogue it and they evaluate it. If the FBI went in and you heard the indication was that they were satisfied that they retrieved what was meaningful, appropriate and necessary, they've done that.

The other thing is in terms of searching and cataloguing, Victor, the media being in there, I mean, what other identification of evidence do you need in terms of preservation of it?

So the fact that there were cameras and everything else in there, you know, I would argue, could even enhance the investigation and ensure that the information they are looking for is preserved.

Remember, this is not a "who done it" scene. You are not trampling on DNA or other physical evidence that's necessary. This is information the FBI is using to piece together the motivation for how and why this would have occurred. BLACKWELL: It may not be a "who done it" investigation, but it could turn into a who helped them investigation. We had law enforcement analysts on, Harry Houck and Jonathan Gilliam, who were on, they had a reaction to seeing all of us in there.

They called it a one of the largest screw-ups they've seen by letting reporters in because we don't know yet if there were others who helped them build those bombs, who taught them how to do that, and because they didn't see any dusting for fingerprints on the walls, maybe that has been lost?

JACKSON: I mean, I would take a contrary view. Look, we can all agree to disagree in terms of what happened. As far as I understand the bombs were made in the garage. There was no access given to that particular area.

In addition to that, the media is not going to be relying on the apartment itself. They will be relying on digital foot prints that are out there. They are interviewing people in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

So, you know, the purpose in terms of the apartment again is to preserve evidence. The FBI was in there. They were satisfied that they got everything that was meaningful and appropriate to the investigation outside of that home.

And I don't know that a dusting up a fingerprint a lot of people go in and out of apartments every single day, Victor, every day. Just because you get a print doesn't mean that it's meaningful.

So I think the other thing that the FBI is doing are doing to this investigation are going to be very helpful in terms of interviewing people who they were associated with, interviewing family members, interviewing friends, doing other things.

And of course, evaluating the cell phones that were found by the area, computer records, Facebook, Instagram, anything like that. So the media has a first amendment right to let the public know what is going on. The media did that.

You can criticize, you can argue, but if the FBI released it, it was appropriate for the media to be there.

JACKSON: And they certainly released it. We heard that from the FBI spokesperson yesterday. Joey Jackson, thank you so much.

JACKSON: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Christi, I'm going to send it back to you in Atlanta. Of course, I'm going to have much more from San Bernardino throughout the morning including more discussion of this arsenal found in the shooter's garage. We'll talk about that in just a moment -- Christi.

PAUL: Victor, thank you so much. Appreciate it. As he said, we will have so much more for you on the shooting massacre in San Bernardino as the morning continues.

Also ahead, analyzing how this latest shooting is affecting politics and the GOP. The war on ISIS, what is behind the U.S. running low on bombs to drop on a terror group in Syria? That report for you ahead as well. Stay close.



PAUL: We are so glad to have you with us this morning. We have so much for you from San Bernardino on the California shooting rampage. But we do have some other headlines so you are in the know this morning.


Our coverage of the shooting massacre in San Bernardino continues in a moment. Victor Blackwell live with the latest developments as we look at these victims.

That is who is really on the hearts and the minds of people here in this country. You will hear from two survivors who hid under tables during this massacre. It is a CNN exclusive and we have that for you next. Stay tuned.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back to "NEW DAY." This morning, ISIS radio says that its supporters, that's what they're calling them, carried out the California attack. We also have new picture of the female shooter Tashfeen Malik. Officials say she posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS on Facebook while she and her husband Syed Rezwan Farook killed 14 people on Thursday. I'll show you now, a new video of the evacuations at a UPS facility in San Bernardino. This happened after a driver discovered a package addressed to one of the two killers. The shooting has placed this usually quiet community of San Bernardino on high alert. We will talk about that in a moment. But the massacre has shaken this community. 14 people killed in this attack. 21 others injured, we know. In exclusive interview, two survivors told CNN's Anderson Cooper about the terrifying experience that day. Listen.


TRUDY RAYMUNDO, SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING WITNESS: I was at the back table. That was near the exterior door.

CORWIN PORTER, SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING WITNESS: Because we were on break at the current time.

RAYMUNDO: It came through, so I mean I was at the table getting coffee and checking out that the goodies that were sitting there and it was at that point in time, you know, when we all heard the gunfire right outside the door and all turned to look at the door to watch him come in. ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Is there anything you want to say about

what happened from then on? In terms of in those moments?

RAYMUNDO: I mean I think just instinct kicks in. Adrenaline kicks in. You know, I - they're such an amazing staff, you know. I was under the table with some staff, and we just kind of held on to each other.

COOPER: So, there were tables that you can try to hide on them?

RAYMUNDO: The tables with the food, yes.


As soon as we saw him come in, we ...

PORTER: And the rest of staff had tables, too. Some more less exposed, more exposed than others. Immediately, I saw - that was before I went under my table, people going under their table throughout the room.

RAYMUNDO: Try to find safety.

COOPER: Did you have a sense of how long it went on for? You know, oftentimes people kind of lose this sense of time in something like this.

RAYMUNDO: Realistically, no. I mean it just - it seemed like it was forever. It seemed like it went on forever.

PORTER: Yeah, it seemed like the shooting just went on forever.

RAYMUNDO: And all I can think of was, why doesn't he stop? Why does he keep shooting?

COOPER: Did either of them say anything?

PORTER: I never heard anything spoken. First thing, the door flew open immediately, the shots started being fired.


BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Anderson for that. You know, I don't know if you had a chance to read this yet, but "The New York Times" is demanding an into the gun epidemic in America. Printing a front page editorial. Their first in 95 years. And here's part of it. "It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency." "The Time's" wants an end to the sale of fully legal, semiautomatic weapons like these, the weapons used in Wednesday's attack.

Let's continue this conversation. Of course, as we learned more about the San Bernardino attack, the headlines screamed about a cache of bullets and bombs, the stockpile of arms. The shooters had so many weapons there. This arsenal found. But for some gun owners in the U.S., Farook's stockpile isn't out of the ordinary. We talk about it with Art Roderick, CNN law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the U.S. Marshals.

Let me ask you. 5200 rounds counted from those four sheets of items seized from the home. Unusual?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Not at all. I have executed search warrants in other residences where we've come across 20, 30 weapons, 20 to 30,000 rounds of ammunition. So this batch of weapons and ammunition that they found is not unusual. And I think this is the whole part of their scheme to stay under the radar. If they were buying bulk ammo and, you know, thousands of rounds a month, then probably they would have showed up on the radar somewhere. But I think this is all a part of their scheme to stay under the radar.

BLACKWELL: You know, we've heard from President Obama on down. If you see something, say something. But there is no clarity on what people should be looking for. One of the scariest things about this, is that these people were not on the radar of the FBI or any law enforcement. What should have stand out? And what are people looking for?

RODERICK: Well, this is the scary part of this. I mean I think part of the plan was to stay under the radar and not be obvious as to what they were planning or what they were trying to do. And if that's the case, then we've entered a whole new avenue of what we are looking at from terrorist attack. I mean they weren't online. They weren't espousing jihad. They weren't out there talking and trying to convert people. They were literally under the radar. We've heard witnesses talk about how they were just a normal family. How they, you know, saw them playing with their baby. Which is completely against what happened just a couple of days ago. So, if this is the plan that they are staying under the radar. They did a pretty good job of doing that.

BLACKWELL: And maybe a path for other people who have these nefarious goals as well. Art Roderick, we are going to continue the conversation throughout the morning. Thanks so much for being with us.


BLACKWELL: And as we discuss this element of safety and the weapons, we'll talk about what law enforcement is doing in response to some of the things that we're seeing across the country, effect on politics and GOP as well. Lots of topics. Lots of avenues as we continue our coverage here from San Bernardino, California.



BLACKWELL: New details emerging about the 14 people killed in this week's massacre in San Bernardino. Like victims, Robert Adams, first, married his teenage sweetheart, cherished his one-year old daughter and was going to take her to Disneyland next week. Also, Bennetta Betbadal, the mother of three who moved from Iran to escape religious persecution. CNN's Jake Tapper has their stories.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were cherished family members, best friends, parents - 14 people between the ages of 26 and 60 who spent their final day celebrating together, kissing their loved ones good-bye in the morning, never believing they wouldn't come home.

RYAN REYES, BOYFRIEND KILLED IN SHOOTING: The thought that was running through my mind which is like, no, no, no, no. This isn't true.

TAPPER: Ryan Reyes drove his boyfriend Daniel Kaufman to the regional center Wednesday as he did most mornings. Kaufman ran a coffee shop there. Where he trained disabled employees. Kaufman was taking a break on a bench outside, when he was killed.

RYAN REYES, BOYFRIEND KILLED IN SHOOTING: He meant the world to me. He meant the absolute world to me. Yes, sorry.

TAPPER: Many of the victims were parents, leaving behind at least 18 children whose worlds are now changed forever.

JOLENE BETBADAL, MOTHER KILLED IN SHOOTING: Overall, she was like an amazing person. Like she was so nice. Like she always like supported me in everything I did.

TAPPER: Bennetta Bedbadal had three children. Her family and friends say she came to America from Iran at age 18 to escape religious extremism.

KEN PAULSON, FAMILY FRIEND: We just find it just sadly ironic and horrible that a woman that came to this country under these circumstance would find herself gunned down by religious extremists.

TAPPER: Michael Wetzel leaves behind six children and his wife Renee. A friend speaking for the family told CNN how Renee learned of his murder.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the last group of survivors came. And he wasn't in it. They told her that if he was an American he was gone.

TAPPER: Robert Adams always wanted to be a dad. He and his wife welcomed a little girl just 20 months ago. On a fundraising page set up for his family a friend posted "he was 100 percent in daddy land." His family says he cherished every moment with his daughter. 27-year old Sierra Clayborn and Yvette Velasco were cherished daughters as well. Yvette was an intelligent, motivated and beautiful young woman, her family said in a statement. On Facebook, Sierra's sister wrote, "My heart is broken. I am completely devastated." The family of the youngest victim is, too. Aurora Godoy was just 26. She leaves behind a husband and a two-year-old son. This community and the families of all the victims will need tremendous strength to move forward. A trait many learned from their loved ones. JOLENE BETBADAL: I'm doing okay. Because what else can I do? I have

to stay strong.

TAPPER: Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: The rippling impact of Wednesday's attack. Ahead, we are going to have more on the investigation here in San Bernardino, California and now stretching around the world, also political reaction to the tragedy.

Next, we'll look at gun violence and the safety element of this story in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I'm going to be more careful. And, you know, try to be careful about seeing people, strange people. Because it's something that happens really frequently now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not going to change the way that I live my life day-to-day. Just looking around a little bit more. I have no desire to buy any kind of firearm. But I do think that it should be more difficult for people to obtain assault weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As far as changing my holiday plans? There is no reason.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I might not want to go to a big political rally.


PAUL: Obviously, that is just some of the people that we talked to. And the conversations they're having all over the country about how safe they feel after the latest mass shootings. And you know, candidates have something to say, too.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to be more careful. And, you know, try to be careful about seeing people.


PAUL: All right. That what we do have sound from some of the candidates. And we'll get to that in a minute, but I want to bring Errol Louis into the conversation here, CNN political commentator with us. Errol. Thank you so much for being with us. I want to read something to you. Victor was just talking about this "New York Times" op-ed on the front page today. And I want to read another excerpt from it. It says "The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe. But who plays a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms. Really, taking a hit at the leadership in our country. Whether that be from Obama's administration, itself, to folks in Congress.

And I'm wondering, what does that do? How does that affect the establishment candidates, including Hillary Clinton who are linked with the president?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. Well, it mean, Christi, I think what it means among other things, is that people have to decide whether or not a front page editorial in the "New York Times" means anything to them. The reality is, we know that there are conservative candidates out there who will take an attack or condemnation from the "New York Times" and turn it into a fundraising appeal. That they could not care less about what the "New York Times" has to say about them.

I think, though, the underline political reality is that there is a very strong and almost overwhelming sentiment in the country for some kind of sensible gun control. I mean I'm talking about measures like the one that just failed in Congress, which is to deny guns to people who are on the terrorist watch list. You would think it was low hanging fruit. Easy to pass, completely reasonable. But it did not. And so, if the "New York Times" and other proponents of gun control want to go in the direction of talking about a dysfunctional Congress. I think that starts to resonate more with people. Not so much the particulars of the Second Amendment debate. Because that has been run round and round and round, but it's something as simple as. I mean, Christi, one of my favorites is, you can get a gun license. You can own a gun if you are legally blind in some jurisdictions. If we can't close those kind of loopholes, I think the general public says, well, wait a minute, why are we paying you guys, if you can't fix something as simple as no guns for people on the terrorist watch list, no guns for people who are legally blind.

PAUL: OK, so broadening the conversation here, as you talk about who the people are that we elect. I want to play some sound here from Donald Trump. Because the latest CNN/ORC poll shows him at 36 percent now. He has gained almost 10 percentage points just since October and here's just some of what he has said that has caught a lot of attention.


DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.


TRUMP: There should be a lot of systems, beyond the database. We should have a lot of systems. And today you can do it. But right now, we have to have a border. We have to have strength. We have to have a wall. And we cannot let what's happening to this country happen.


TRUMP: Oh, I would certainly implement that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you put - to go to mosques and (INAUDIBLE)?

TRUMP: Different places. You sign them up at different. But it's all about management.

They're using of a shield. But we're fighting a very politically correct war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But we see that happening in ...

TRUMP: But the other thing is with the terrorists. You have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. But they say they don't care. You have to take out their families.



PAUL: So, Errol. Here's the thing, taking out their families, that goes - that violates the Geneva Convention, the thought of a database for Muslim Americans is illegal. How is his rhetoric resonating with so many people