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Minnesota Death Linked to UCLA Gunman; Bill Richardson Talks Hillary Clinton, Foreign Policy, Trump; Speculation of Sen. Corey Booker as Clinton's VP Pick; LAPD News Conference on UCLA Murder- Suicide. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired June 2, 2016 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The victim is Professor William Klug, a UCLA engineering professor. The gunman here is a 2013 UCLA PhD graduate named Mainak Sarkar.
As officers were investigating what was found, what Sarkar had on his body, they found a backpack. In that backpack were extra rounds, extra magazines, as well as a very curious note that said "check my cat," something along with that So based on that note, the LAPD went to the Minnesota Police Department, they asked them to check Sarkar's Minnesota residence, and in that residence, they found more ammunition and another note. And this is the note you were talking about. It's a kill list. On that list, according to the LAPD, there were the names of Professor Klug, who was killed, another UCLA professor who is fine, has not been harmed, and then the name of a woman who didn't live at that address, but who somehow must be connected to Sarkar. And in a news conference held just a short time ago, here's what the police in Minnesota said they found when they checked her residence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE BECK, CHIEF, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: What I can tell you that very early this morning, just after midnight, LAPD had called the Brooklyn Park Police Department requesting assistance on a welfare check. They indicated this was related to the UCLA shooting and that the female that lived at this address in Brooklyn Park was on a hit list that they believe was created by the shooter in the UCLA incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: At this point, her identity has not yet been released. All we know is that she was, indeed, killed by gunshot wounds. Police do believe that she was killed before the UCLA incident and that Sarkar then drove from the state of Minnesota here to California and then, Wolf, as you saw 24 hours ago, the shooting then began -- Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Kyung Lah, with the latest for us. Kyung, thanks very much.
And we're also standing by the LAPD about to have another news conference. We'll bring that to you once it happens. You're looking at live pictures coming in from Los Angeles right now.
Also coming up, we're awaiting the arrival of Hillary Clinton for what her aides are describing a major foreign policy speech. We'll talk about the highs and lows, her strengths and weaknesses. The former U.S. ambassador to U.N., Bill Richardson, he's standing by live. Lots to discuss.
We'll be right back.
[13:36:54] BLITZER: You're looking at live pictures right now from San Diego where Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, will give what her campaign is calling a major foreign policy speech in the next hour. Set to begin around 2:30 p.m. eastern, less than an hour from now. You will see it live right here on CNN.
Clinton has arguably the most foreign policy experience of all the presidential contenders, but the question is, will that help her or hurt her.
Let's discuss with my next guest, Bill Richardson, the former Democratic governor of New Mexico, also the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Governor, thanks very much for joining us.
I know you've strongly endorsed Hillary Clinton. You want her to be the next president of the United States. During her four years as secretary of state, what do you believe was her biggest accomplishment?
BILL RICHARDSON, (D), FORMER NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR & FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Well, she had several, Wolf. The fact that, one, her advice on going after bin Laden, that succeeded. Secondly, the Gaza/Israel agreement cease-fire. Thirdly, persuading the international community to put sanctions on Iran, which led to a nuclear deal following that. Restoring our relationship with NATO, with our European allies after many years of neglect and bullying by the United States.
She has a temperament, the knowledge to be president. I mean, we're electing not just a president, we're electing a commander-in-chief. And I think she has the values, the experience and the commitment and, most importantly, the judgment to be an excellent president.
BLITZER: The argument against her from Donald Trump and other critics is the weaknesses, if you will, the collapse of Libya, what was a bad situation with Gadhafi, a much worse situation with ISIS moving in. Right now, for all practical purposes, Libya right now a failed state. It didn't turn out the way she had hoped.
RICHARDSON: That is correct. But tough decisions were made. And I believe the European community, the United States made the right decision to go after Gadhafi. There was a humanitarian disaster there. Americans were being kidnapped. We had to intervene in our judgment. But then it's messy. The alternative has been messy.
On Benghazi, I think the secretary has been cleared of any problems created from that disaster there.
Look, foreign policy decisions are tough. You have to go into the situation room. The world isn't perfect. ISIS has been growing. But ultimately, President Obama made the final decisions. And I think in the long run, they were the correct decisions. But there is always controversy and conflict in any tough foreign policy decision.
Donald Trump doesn't have the --
BLITZER: Governor, sorry to interrupt you, but even President Obama says a major blunder was not preparing for what happens in Libya after Gadhafi was removed. How much responsibility, how much blame does she get for that failure?
[13:40:08] RICHARDSON: Well, you can't blame one entity and one person. This was a collective decision. This was NATO, the European community, this was Arab countries, this was the United States. It was an imperfect situation. But to continue Gadhafi there, there would have been more humanitarian disasters. There would have been I believe some foreign policy decisions that we later would regret had we not taken the steps. Yes, the alternatives, the rebel groups, no question there is instability there, problems there. But right now, the United Nations, the international community is trying to fix those problems. It may take some time. But in the end, you have to make those tough decisions and, in the end, I believe they were the correct decisions. Controversial. It will take more time for the situation to stabilize.
BLITZER: The argument also against her is that the entire Middle East region, whether in Syria or Iraq, North Africa, Libya, for example, what's going on elsewhere in the region, the whole Arab Spring has become obviously a disaster for all practical purposes. And there is a lot of blame on her as the U.S. secretary of state. How much of that blame is credible, how much of that blame is realistic?
RICHARDSON: Well, I don't think the blame is credible. First of all, she has said on the Syrian issue she's favoring a no-fly zone. I think there may have been some foreign policy differences. She wanted a little bit more of a muscular policy when we dealt with Assad, with Russia. But I think it you look at the record, she has gone head to head with Russia, with China when it comes to nuclear weapons and climate change. On ISIS, she has been aggressive. She's united the European Union and Arab countries. I think she's made some very tough decisions, as I mentioned on bin Laden, on this relationship in the Middle East, Gaza and Israel and the cease-fire there. Being secretary of state in these times, an explosive Arab Spring Middle East, it's tough.
But look at the contrast. Look what Trump wants to do. He wants to give Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan nuclear weapons. He wants to talk to the North Korean leader. I know you know the area well. But he wants to spurn the prime minister of Great Britain. I mean, he doesn't have the temperament, the knowledge, the judgment to be commander-in-chief. And it's very plain, the contrast.
BLITZER: This will be a huge debate coming up. And we're getting a preview when Hillary Clinton delivers a speech about 45 minutes or so from now. We'll have live coverage.
Governor, thanks very much to joining us.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
BLITZER: We're also awaiting the start of another news conference in Los Angeles. The LAPD about to provide more details on the UCLA shooting yesterday. We'll have live coverage once it begins.
We'll be right back.
[13:47:03] BLITZER: Take a look at this. We're showing you live pictures out of San Diego where Hillary Clinton is getting ready to deliver what her aides describe as a major for policy speech. Her goal, to try to paint Donald Trump as someone who is not qualified to be president of the United States, but more than that, is also too dangerous to be president of the United States. Today's impending attacks follow a string of accusations flowing out there on the campaign trail on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud. He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U.
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Hillary is not a talented person. In fact, she's a person with absolutely no natural talent. You look at that foundation. It's pure theft and pure crookedness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's talk more about all of this, what we're expecting to hear. Joining us now, our CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston; CNN's Phil Mattingly is covering the campaign; and "USA Today" Washington bureau chief, Susan Page.
Thanks very much for joining us.
Mark, why is Hillary Clinton delivering a major for policy peach only a few days before the final Super Tuesday primaries, including in California?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Two reasons. One is she is conveying the idea that she is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and by going after Donald Trump, she's not attacking Bernie Sanders. There is a lot of talk about Hillary Clinton not alienating the Sanders supporters by focusing all of her attention on Donald Trump and not Bernie Sanders, she can do that. Also, she thinks and her campaign thinks that foreign policy is really an Achilles' heel for Donald Trump. Given her experience, not only in the United States Senate but as secretary of state, she feels that she can convey that she is more equipped and qualified to be the commander-in-chief specifically on issues of foreign policy.
BLITZER: And he tweeted about Hillary Clinton, Susan, "Crooked Hillary Clinton, who I would love to call Lying Hillary, is getting ready to totally misrepresent my foreign policy positions.
It's going to be intriguing, interesting to see how much of this major foreign policy speech she's delivering is really going to focus in on Trump.
SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, USA TODAY: And when you look at this campaign, the general election, which in fact has started, you see both of these candidates focusing on the shortcomings of the other person rather than making kind of their own positive address on what they would do as president. Hillary Clinton, to some degree, has done that, she's unveiled a lot of policies. But it seems like the primary goal of each is showing the other one is less acceptable than they are.
BLITZER: So this will be a big issue.
Phil, let's talk about the speculation involving the New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, that he might be considered as a possible vice presidential running mate by Hillary Clinton. That was fueled on Wednesday when Booker introduced Hillary Clinton at an event and he went on the attack against Donald Trump. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[13:50:10] SEN. COREY BOOKER, (D), NEW JERSEY: The issues that we hear Donald Trump talking about are so contrary to who we are as a nation. They are an affront and an insult to our higher angels and our best selves.
We have past presidents, Abraham Lincoln standing up and saying "With malice towards none and charity towards all," and we have Donald Trump preaching hate and charity, not as much as I said I would give, but hey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Shortly after that, this happened, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What do you think of Cory Booker?
BOOKER: First of all, I'm already a V.P., a vegan pal. OK?
CLINTON: Yeah, we have to work on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, Phil. What do you think? A tryout for Cory Booker? What is your analysis?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cory Booker, always with the solid and quick retort. There's no question, anybody in the Democratic Party looking at a short list of talented younger Democratic politicians to consider for vice president have Cory Booker on the list.
I think there's a roadblock, and this extends to a number of potential choices, and that's that he is a Senator from a state with a Republican governor. And if Chris Christie is the one having to choose the next Republican -- or Senator from the state of New Jersey, with the Senate very much so up for grabs in November, I think that would give Democrats a pause. Booker's record, he had a book that looked campaign ready, if you will. If you look at just his engagement on social media, his ability to apply kind of Democratic policies, Democratic issues that he cares about, and extend them out to a broader populous, he is somebody that, no question about it, he will be involved in the campaign, and would probably be on anybody's short list.
I think, though, looking at the dynamics at play here, particularly when it comes to the Senate, Cory Booker might be looked at more as an effective surrogate, as you heard there, than somebody to join Hillary Clinton on the ticket.
BLITZER: Mark Preston, your quick analysis on this other tweet that Donald Trump put out on Trump University, intriguing. He says, "After the litigation is disposed of and the case won, I have instructed my execs to open Trump U. So much interest in it. I will be president." Katrina Pierson, his national campaign spokeswoman, told me they're going to go and reopen that university. Trump University afterwards.
Stand by for a moment, Mark.
I'm told the news conference, the LAPD news conference just started. I want to listen in on the murder-suicide yesterday.
BECK: Based on information that they recovered from the homicide scene with the authorities in Minneapolis, follow-up investigations were done to Sarkar's residence in St. Paul, Minneapolis, where additional located which led local authorities to a nearby town where a female was located in a residence with a gunshot wound causing her death. We believe Sarkar to be the suspect at that time in that homicide and are working with Minnesota authorities to close that case.
We believe that Sarkar came to the L.A. area very recently within the last couple of days. He traveled from Minnesota in a 2003 gray Nissan Sentra. License plate is displayed here, 720 KTW. We are still looking for that vehicle. We believe the vehicle is unoccupied and we don't believe there's outstanding suspects. But we believe that the vehicle may contain evidence which will help us to establish motive and put some pieces together in this case. The case is ongoing.
One of the pieces of evidence that I discussed today was that in the search of Sarkar's residence in Minneapolis, a list was located that had Professor Klug's name on it, another UCLA professor's name on it, and the name of the female victim, later located in the nearby town. That list is described as a "kill list." That was the wording that was put on it. And that was what led us to the residence in the nearby town.
And with that, I'll answer questions.
One at a time, I'll answer them.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- Ashley Hastings?
BECK: No, I will not confirm the names of either the young lady that was killed in Minneapolis or the name of the professor who survived who is named on the kill list. That is not my investigation, In Minneapolis. I don't know if they've made proper notification of family. So I'll not confirm or further elaborate on the identity of that suspect.
[13:55:16] BECK: One at a time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have -- Minneapolis killing -- (INAUDIBLE)
BECK: Within the last couple of days we believe.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So presumably, did she get shot and he drives out here?
BECK: That's what we believe.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He lived in Minneapolis?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Any reason to believe he committed other crimes driving across the
BECK: We are looking at that. There is no immediate evidence to suggest that but a reason to find the car to see where that will lead us. Robbery Homicide Division is working with the states between here and there to see if there is a trail. But there is nothing that leads us to believe that at this point.
Kate? You had a question?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He lived in Minneapolis and she lived in a suburb of Minneapolis?
BECK: So, she lived in -- he lived in St. Paul. She lived in an adjoining city.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief, is there any indication that the professor that was killed contact anybody, authorities, LAPD, UCLA police, colleagues, anybody on campus to say, hey, this guy is a loose cannon and I'm fearful?
BECK: Dave, we don't know that at this point. I will say that in the social media that I have reviewed and I haven't heard anything different from the detectives, contained no death threats. There were some, you know, harsh language and certainly nothing that would be considered homicidal. You know? I know this individual had, or Sarkar, our suspect, had issues with his professors that were known to them. But I don't think that is a cause for somebody to believe that they're going to be a homicide target.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: There's nothing that he could have done and didn't meet the threshold to have some kind of protection from somebody?
BECK: The stuff we have seen would not meet that kind of threshold but that doesn't mean there isn't something we won't discover later but it didn't appear he would know anything like that pardon me?
BECK: Pardon me?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What was in the note at the UCLA shootings?
BECK: It was the address that we followed up to in St. Paul. It requested that whoever found the note check on the cat that resided there. And then it also had some verbiage relative to the surviving professor.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief, can you say what the -- I was going to ask you that same question but the threats that were made -- (INAUDIBLE) -- but the comments online about the professor, do you have any indication that UCLA was aware of those and taking any sort of action?
BECK: I don't know that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have -- (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- relationship the woman in Minnesota and the suspect?
BECK: You know, I can't do that because I think it would -- too quickly lead to the identity. This is very much an agency outside Los Angeles Police Department's investigation. I don't know where they stand notification of next of kin. And I don't know where they stand with the other pieces of investigation. They need to do so. I don't want to compromise that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A family member?
BECK: I can't -- I won't characterize.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief, any other professor named? I know you can't give a name. Was that professor on campus? And any indication he intended to kill who he killed and then go after the second professor?
BECK: Well, we believe, detectives believe, and I support their belief, that he went there to kill two faculty from UCLA. He was only able to locate one. The second member was off campus according to information we have at the time he arrived. So, you know, and I didn't mention this, but I'll mention it now. He was heavily armed, Sarkar was. Two semiautomatic pistols, one he used for the homicide and the other was in his backpack. He had multiple magazines of ammunition and multiple loose rounds of ammunition. He was certainly prepared to engage multiple victims with the ordinance he had at his disposal.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE). And if so, what is their reaction been of -- (INAUDIBLE).
BECK: We certainly have talked to that professor on multiple occasions now. Made sure, A, to make sure he was safe. B, to make sure he was notified. You know? I won't -- I will characterize his response as the fact that he knew this Sarkar had issues with them. I don't think he thought it would rise to the level of homicide but had issues with him. And I would assume by his reaction that he may have even known that there were issues over this property right thing.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
BECK: Two different --