Return to Transcripts main page

THE SITUATION ROOM

Interview With Idaho Senator James Risch; Florida Mass Shooting Investigation; Trump and Hillary Respond to Florida Terror; FBI: Focus on Killer's Electronics in Hunt for Terror Ties; Trump, Clinton Give Dueling Speeches on Orlando Terror; Trump Renews Call for Ban on Muslims Entering U.S.; Mayor: 48 of the 49 People Killed Now Identified. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired June 13, 2016 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:05]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news: act of terror, chilling new details from inside the deadliest shooting in modern American history, the FBI revealing more about the hours-long standoff and the killer's 911 calls during the attack. Did he send mixed signals about his allegiance to terrorists?

Warning signs. The American-born gunman was questioned three times by the FBI. How did a man described as angry and violent fall off the radar when he was planning an unprecedented massacre?

Dueling visions. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton respond to the terror in Orlando. He's renewing his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants. She's urging a ban on assault weapons. The choice between them starker than ever as the stakes grow higher.

And remembering the victims. Dozens of people gunned down during a night out, we will look at their lives, their final acts of compassion and their courage.

We want to welcome viewers in the United States and around the world. I am Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

We are following breaking news this hour, the deadliest terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11. As investigators search for new clues, the FBI now says it is highly confident the gunman that slaughtered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando was radicalized at least in part on the Internet.

The FBI director says Omar Mateen spoke three times with 911 dispatchers during the attack, pledging his allegiance to ISIS and other terror groups. But he also says there's no indication this was a plot directed by extremists overseas.

Tonight, we are learning more about past investigations of Mateen by the FBI and his employer, the weapons he purchased and the body armor he attempted to buy. The killer shot dead during a final gun battle with police, authorities now say he tried to escape from the Pulse nightclub through a hole that was punched in the wall to pull hostages to safety.

And, tonight, we are also learning that at least 29 of the 53 people remain in the hospital. Relatives are sharing gut-wrenching stories about messages from the victims during the attack, one man texting his mother, "I love you," telling her he was going to die. He did.

Senator James Risch is standing by to tell us what he is learning as top member of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees. And our correspondents and analysts, they are digging for new information at the scene of the attack and other key locations.

Up first, let's go to our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown. She is in Orlando.

Pamela, what are you learning?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Director Comey of the FBI says it is clear that this gunman was radicalized in part online.

And investigators do not believe this was just a split-second decision. They know that he tried to buy body armor just in the last few weeks. Investigators want to know if he was also scoping out other targets during that time frame in the weeks leading up to this mass shooting.

The rapid gunfire captured by a 25-year-old female victim who was later killed.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I'm at the club.

BROWN (voice-over): New video posted by a victim inside the nightclub the moment the shooter opened fire.

Today, FBI Director James Comey says it is clear 29-year-old Omar Mateen was radicalized, but which terrorist group he was acting on behalf of remains a source of confusion to investigators, after the gunman made reference to both ISIS and ISIS enemy al-Nusra Front in 911 calls during the shoot-out, even referencing American Abu-Salha, who was fighting with al-Nusra Front in Syria when he blew himself up.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: There were three different calls. He called, and he hung up. He called again, and spoke briefly with the dispatcher, and then he hung up. And then the dispatcher called him back again and they spoke briefly. So there were three total calls. There are strong indications of radicalization by this killer and a potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations.

BROWN: Authorities continue to sift through every aspect of the shooter's life, looking for any connections he may have had to terror groups.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At this stage, we see no clear evidence that he was directed externally, and, also, at this stage, there's no direct evidence that he was part of a larger plot.

BROWN: Just after 20:00 a.m. Sunday morning, as Pulse nightclub readies for closing, the shooter sprays a barrage of bullets into a crowd of more than 300 people. Witnesses believe the initial gunfire is part of the music.

[18:05:03]

CHRISTOPHER HANSEN, WITNESS: Just the boom, boom of bullets. And you think it's part of a song. And when you looked -- I looked behind me, and I noticed that it wasn't just a song, that there was bodies falling down. The guy next to me was shot. And that's when I dropped.

And I made sure that I had to crawl my way out.

LUIS BURBANO, WITNESS: What we thought was gunshots as part of the music, four shots, bop, bop, bop, bop, but for some reason it was different.

BROWN: An off-duty police officer working at the front entrance of the club engages in a gun battle, firing several rounds at the shooter. Additional officers respond and get into another firefight with the gunman, forcing him to retreat to the bathroom, where officials say he held several hostages.

At 5:00 a.m., a SWAT team using an explosion and an armored vehicle to break through the wall of a different bathroom, rescuing dozens more people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a breach. That was a breach.

BROWN: The gunman emerged from the same hole in the wall, firing on officers with a handgun and a long gun. He is killed in the battle.

HANSEN: All I saw was cops coming in, people rushing out and you could just hear the bullets, the guns just going off. That's all you heard was bang, bang, bang.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And we have learned that investigators have already ran down more than 100 leads and the investigation is still very active at this hour. Wolf, they want to rule out that the gunman had any help. So, they're interviewing everyone they can who may have even interacted with him, particularly in the last few weeks -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Pamela, thanks very much, Pamela Brown in Orlando.

CNN is digging deeper into the Orlando killer's past, including connection to an American suicide bomber who attended the same mosque as he did.

Let's go to our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin. He's on the scene for us as well. You have new information, Drew. What are you learning?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: They not only attended the same tiny mosque not 10 minutes from where I am standing, but at the time, the FBI did interview them. That was in 2014.

But, Wolf, we are learning that this Orlando shooting suspect was on local law enforcement's radar nearly a decade ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN (voice-over): In 2007, the shooter here in the back row wearing a baseball cap was attending Indian River State College Law Enforcement Academy when something went wrong.

After a day on gun range training, a barbecue was held and according to this fellow student, the shooter took one look at the food being barbecued and said he couldn't eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of the guys said, oh, it's because -- it's probably a religious thing. And so I said, what are you, a Muslim? And he says yes. And I said OK. And we just left it at that. He didn't seem mad. He turned around and walked away and didn't talk to anybody, and kind of sat by himself.

GRIFFIN: According to this fellow student who doesn't want us to use his name, it was the first time anyone knew the shooter was Muslim. A day later, he says the shooter failed to show up for class. Instead, he says, administrators came into class and chastised the class for teasing someone about his religion.

The next time he actually saw the Orlando shooter was in the parking lot of the law enforcement academy days later, when he says the shooter was met by administrators even before he could get out of his car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His car comes in the parking lot and like they rush his car. We didn't see him or hear from him after that incident, so we have no idea what happened.

GRIFFIN: Details of what happened next haven't been confirmed by the school, but a former administrator says the suspect was removed from the course and fellow students tell CNN they were told he was expelled.

At the same time, CNN has learned the shooter was fired from his job at the Florida State Department of Corrections. What took place that would cause the suspect to be expelled from school and fired from his job at the same time? School officials refuse to say, referring CNN to the FBI.

One thing we do know, before the shooter left or was kicked out of the school, he received extensive training in firearms for a month, learning in the classroom and on a firing range how to shoot.

Instead of becoming a police officer, the Orlando shooter got a security guard license, which allowed him to carry a weapon. He worked for security at various private and public buildings, including the St. Lucie County Courthouse, where the FBI confirmed in 2013 he suddenly became target of a Homeland Security investigation.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: He made some statements that were inflammatory and contradictory that concerned his co-workers about terrorism. He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child, so that he could martyr himself. After 10 months of investigation, we closed the preliminary investigation.

GRIFFIN: Two months, later as CNN first reported, the FBI found another concern, a connection between the shooter and an American suicide bomber who had blown himself up in Syria, Moner Abu-Salha.

[18:10:00]

Both attended this same small mosque in Fort Pierce, Florida, just 10 minutes from the shooter's home. Once again, the FBI investigated, once again found nothing to keep the investigation open.

At the local mosque, a shocked Imam Rahman told CNN he has known the shooter since 2003 and can't believe a fellow worshiper would do this.

SYED SHAFEEQ RAHMAN, IMAM: We never expected this, because he went to the police academy. And then he became a security guard. So, we thought he had all kind of clearances from the authorities.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN: Wolf, while these two men, one a suicide bomber in Syria, one a shooter in Orlando, did attend this same tiny mosque, a spokesman says he has no reason to believe that the two knew each other or even met each other at that mosque, only that they most likely prayed together -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Drew Griffin, excellent reporting for us. Thank you very much, Drew, for that.

Joining us now, Senator James Risch. He's a leading member of Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee. He's a Republican of Idaho.

Senator Risch, thanks very much for joining us.

SEN. JAMES RISCH (R), IDAHO: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: What can you share with us? What are you learning about this terrorist?

RISCH: Well, first of all, I think it is important to say that all of us, our hearts and prayers go out to the families. You can't help but be shocked by these things, even though we deal with it on a regular basis.

Every time it happens, it is a new shock. Your reporting has been excellent on this. The FBI has been very forthcoming in the information that they're putting out to the public, things that in other investigations, as you know, have become classified for some period of time, but they're doing very good about putting it out right now.

From a personal standpoint, what I see here is that makes this a little different than the ones you and I have talked about in the past, the California incident, the Texas incident.

BLITZER: Fort Hood or San Bernardino.

(CROSSTALK)

RISCH: And the Boston situation, this seems to be a convergence of more than one motive.

They always argue, is this a terrorist act or nonterrorist act? In this case, they have debating, is it a terrorist act or was it a hate crime? It doesn't have to be one motive. It can be a combination of them.

And I think there's at least three in play here. Obviously, those two, plus he has obviously had some severe mental difficulties in the past, as described by an ex-wife. I think you have all three of these coming together. Which one was the one that was the greatest motive? I don't think anyone will ever know.

BLITZER: Why did he pick a gay nightclub?

RISCH: Well, I don't know. One would assume, as we sit here and talk, that if he was committed to the Islamic cause, and he says he was, not one particular group -- he named several and seemed to be a little confused about that -- although all of their core beliefs are very similar, if not identical, as far as what they want.

But at the heart of it all is a radical interpretation of Sharia law. And of course that would prompt him, one would think, to perhaps target a gay nightclub.

BLITZER: Did he case that nightclub? Had he been there before?

RISCH: I have seen mixed reports on that. I have not been briefed on a determination of that. So, I can't answer that question.

I have seen mixed reports on it. It is not unusual in this kind of situation for perpetrators to actually case the place that they're going to do this, and for that matter frequently we have found in the past, as you know, from the materials we found after the fact, that they have cased several clubs.

Probably picked the softest target or the one that appealed to them the most, and that's probably what happened here.

BLITZER: Did he have any help, any specific help? Did anyone else even know about what he was planning on doing?

RISCH: Right now, there's no specific information leading one to that conclusion.

Having said that, the FBI and the other agencies that are investigating this will leave no stone unturned. They will interview everyone who was even merely a distant acquaintance of his to determine anything he may have said, anything he may have did, and any interaction between them.

So, that question will be answered. But right now, there's no obvious connection to anyone else.

BLITZER: What about his trips to Saudi Arabia? Do you know who paid for those trips?

RISCH: I do not. The Saudi Arabia trips probably were religious trips to Mecca and then, as you know, he also had this trip to the UAE.

BLITZER: What was he doing in the United Arab Emirates?

RISCH: I don't know that either. But I can tell you that those facts, hour by hour, day by day, they will reconstruct that.

BLITZER: When do you believe, based on all of the information you have, he was so radicalized that he decided to go ahead and kill all these people, buy these weapons, and go into that nightclub and kill all those Americans?

RISCH: Well, all there is, is circumstantial evidence in that regard.

But, obviously, the point where he went in recently and bought firearms, that would indicate to one that that is probably a turning point where he was actually making overt steps toward doing what he actually did.

[18:15:10]

BLITZER: All right, Senator, stand by. We have more to discuss.

We're getting some more information coming in from our folks on the ground.

We will take a quick break. Much more with Senator Risch right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We are back with Senator James Risch. He's a top member of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees. We're talking about the breaking news in the Orlando terror attack.

President Obama now calling it homegrown extremism, and the FBI saying the killer was self-radicalized.

There seems to be a pattern here, a disturbing pattern. Before the Boston massacre, Boston Marathon massacres, the perpetrators were interviewed, cleared by the FBI, same with the San Bernardino terrorists, same with Major Nidal Hasan, the killer at Fort Hood, Texas.

[18:20:08]

Now this is the fourth incident in Orlando. The seems to be a very disturbing pattern here. Why?

RISCH: Well, I think, first of all, you used the word cleared. I wouldn't agree with that.

Nothing changed from the time they took the reports, other than they interviewed the person, and very skilled interrogators go through this with the people and then make a determination as to whether or not they rise to the top of their triage in order to keep an eye on them.

BLITZER: They clearly didn't, even though there were disturbing singles there.

RISCH: They did not.

If this was China or if it was Russia, these people would have never left the interview room. They have gone to jail. And they would still be in jail today. In America, you have to have some concrete evidence in order to hold people.

And simply thoughts, simply sympathies, as abhorrent as it is, with radical Islamic terrorism is not enough to hold people. The minute they take any overt act or give any assistance, they wind up in jail. And, as you know, there were a lot of them that were caught last year, and were jailed and they're still in jail today.

BLITZER: In dueling speeches today, Hillary Clinton calling for a ban on assault-type weapons, Donald Trump calling for a ban on Muslim immigrants coming to the United States. Who is right?

RISCH: Well, I think I would take it a third way. And that is, we continue on the Intelligence Committee to look at in a very granular fashion how the FBI is looking at these, how Homeland Security, how the local people looking at it, and what we can do better in each situation to better identify someone who is exhibiting the...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: But if you're under investigation by the FBI, there's surveillance, there's a history there, should you be able to go into a store and by an AR-15?

RISCH: That's being debated, as you know.

BLITZER: What do you think?

RISCH: Well, I think that, first of all, if you are going to take away someone's constitutional right, which it is a constitutional right to buy a gun. A lot of people in this country don't accept that, but it is under the Second Amendment your right to buy a gun.

If you are going to take that away from someone, be it a veteran, be it someone who a doctor says has a mental disease...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: But someone who is suspected...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: ... for terrorism, loyalty to ISIS, should that person be allowed to go buy this kind of weapon?

RISCH: If indeed there's a due process in place where the person can defend themselves, then I think that there can be a process whereby you can stop from purchasing a firearm.

But you can't just put someone on a list and say, there they are, they can't buy a firearm. This is a constitutional right in America.

BLITZER: So, here's the question. In light of events that happened, and what we now know, do you want to reconsider your position on allowing people on a suspected terror watch list, for example, to be able to go out and buy an AR-15?

RISCH: If they're simply on a list, Wolf, that will never, ever pass constitutional muster.

You must give a person who is put on a list due process to get themselves off the list. We have learned that with the no-fly list and a number of others. When you have a -- and this rises to the level of a constitutional...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Should someone be banned from flying, put on a no-fly list, but that same individual be allowed to buy a weapon?

RISCH: Well, it depends on what the facts were that put them on the no-fly list.

Being put on a no-fly list is not denying someone a constitutional right. Not being able to possess or purchase a weapon is a denial of a constitutional right. In America, we view these things very differently than they do in other countries. And like I said, had all of these people been interviewed by the KGB or whoever it is in Russia, they would be in jail today.

BLITZER: We have got to learn some lessons from this, because 49 people were killed, more than 50 were injured.

RISCH: No question.

BLITZER: And looking back, obviously, we're all smarter with hindsight. There are important lessons to learn from this incident.

RISCH: No question about that.

BLITZER: Senator Risch, thanks for coming in. RISCH: Thank you.

BLITZER: Just ahead, we're going to get a live update from Orlando on the terror investigation that is unfolding right now, and whether the FBI did in fact drop the ball.

Plus, Donald Trump making some stunning insinuations about President Obama as he lays out a very different response from Hillary Clinton to this terror attack.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:29:02]

BLITZER: Tonight, the FBI says it is hunting for anyone who may have been involved in a terror attack in Orlando. Investigators are focusing in on the killer's electronics and online footprint, looking for possible clues.

The FBI director says so far there's no evidence that the massacre at the gay nightclub in Orlando was directed from outside the United States.

Let's get an update on the investigation.

Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is in Orlando tonight.

Jim, what are you learning?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, one of the focuses now is, was there anyone else involved who may have supported him?

This is something that they do after attacks like this. We saw this in Paris. We saw it in San Bernardino. That's a key line of inquiry right now, and no one is off the list, in effect, as they investigate that.

They're also looking at his foreign travel to see if, during his foreign travel, we know included two trips to Saudi Arabia, but also a visit to the UAE, whether he had contact with anyone there that was tied to terror.

Again, no evidence of that yet, but that's a line of inquiry, and that is going to depend in great -- to a great extent on help from their partners in Saudi Arabia as they investigate those visits. Those are two of the main focuses right now, Wolf.

[18:30:01] BLITZER: They're watching both of those visits, looking closely at both of those visits, one for eight days, one for about ten days. I don't know how long he stayed in the United Arab Emirates.

What about payment? Do we have any idea he paid for those trips over there. Did he have enough money himself? SCIUTTO: We don't know what the financial trail is. It was employed

prior to that time, so it is very possible that he paid for it himself, and there's no evidence that he had financial support from overseas terror groups, including, as we said earlier, no evidence that he had contact with the group such as ISIS, whether communication by phone, or e-mail, text, et cetera. They have not turned up that kind of link to overseas terrorist organizations.

The focus now is on him being a self-radicalized terrorist, which the president referenced, taking advantage of the many things on the web that encourage these kind of people to act. Easy to do, and it is one way that ISIS has consistently been able to expand and show its power, not just coordinating attacks like Paris but directing supporters to act on their own.

BLITZER: All right. Jim Sciutto, stand by. I know you're working your sources, getting more information. We'll get back to you.

I want to bring in our experts, our justice correspondent, Evan Perez, is with me here; CNN terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank, joining us in London; our CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd, former CIA counterterrorism official. He's in Orlando. And Shadi Hamid, one of Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Policy analysts, he's joining us, as well.

Evan, first to you. What are you learning about this individual, this terrorist, what else he may be looking around for in Orlando besides this gay nightclub?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, one of the things the FBI is interested in, Wolf, is whether or not -- whether or not he was looking at the location, how much time was spent planning for this attack. It's clear that this was a well-orchestrated, well-planned attack. The question is how long he was planning it, what other places did he go.

There was a visit that he and his family made in April to one of the Walt Disney theme parks in the area. Now, it's not clear whether that's significant or not. It may just have been a family holiday. It may have been an opportunity for him to look around. We don't know. The FBI is still very much investigating. They want to know very much where he went when he was on that trip.

BLITZER: They're also investigating whether or not he was casing this gay nightclub, if he had been there earlier just to size it up.

PEREZ: Right, exactly. Or if he had considered other locations. I mean, one of the big questions here is he lives two hours away in Fort Pierce, ends up in Orlando. Why didn't he go to a place closer to where he lived?

BLITZER: Good question.

Phil Mudd, there are a lot of missed opportunities -- there were, at least, some missed opportunities to stop this terrorist from taking lives. He was investigated by the FBI twice in 2013, 2014. He was turned down from buying body armor. A lot of that should have raised flags, especially when he bought that AR-15 and that pistol. Did someone drop the ball?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I don't think they dropped the ball, but I think this raises questions that go beyond the investigative nature of what the FBI was doing.

And let me give you two steps. The first is simple question. When the FBI closes an investigation, that file still exists in the digital world. In other words, there's still a file somewhere out there in the FBI. If someone then applies for a weapon, should we have a law that says the FBI should reopen a case or should be allowed to reopen a case because they get a tip-off from that weapons purchase.

The second issue, Wolf, is more significant. And that is you had a senator on before, saying every human's -- every American's right is to own a weapon. I agree with that. But Americans also have the right to travel. We restrict travel when we see evidence short of crime that someone is involved in terror. There's going to be a question, I think, over time about whether someone under suspicion acquires a weapon, should the FBI, maybe working with the Department of Justice, be authorized not only to withdraw future purchases, but to take somebody's weapons away? I think we've got a long way to go on that conversation.

BLITZER: Certainly do. Paul, the FBI director, James Comey, he confirmed that this terrorist and an American suicide bomber, this Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, they knew each other from the mosque. They went to the same mosque. Here's the question: was Abu-Salha acting as a recruiter?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Wolf, there's a very short answer, and the answer is yes.

We know from his own account, Abu-Salha's own account, that he released a video in which he spoke about how he was trying to recruit people in the United States to go and fight jihad in Syria. According to U.S. officials, he was trying to recruit from his own friendship circle in Florida.

And of course, the FBI director just earlier today said that the Orlando shooter was part of that friendship circle, was a casual acquaintance.

[18:35:07] But then, of course, in the final moments of this shooter's life, he actually mentions this -- the Florida shooter again. And so perhaps more than a passing acquaintance, Wolf.

BLITZER: You know, Shadi, it's interesting. Earlier this morning on CNN, Hillary Clinton went further than -- in the past day, she's willing to talk about radical jihadists, radical Islamists, Islamism. She did in her speech; she talked about radical jihadists. How does this play, as far as recruitment is concerned, because you know, the president of the United States, he refuses to use the word "extremist Muslims" or "radical Islamists"? SHADI HAMID, ANALYST, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY: So

I think that it's remarkable to me that after such a horrific attack, Trump is making this a debate about what particular combination of words to use to describe what happened. And I think Hillary had to respond; she didn't have a choice. And but that doesn't mean that this is actually relevant. I think it's actually a distraction, what kind of -- what particular phrasing we use.

And if anything, I feel that Trump has gone quite a bit further than Hillary. I mean, Hillary said radical Islamism, radical jihadism. Trump today in his national security speech, he used the phrase "radical Islam" over and over. And I think words do have meaning. And I think that's a stand in for anti-Muslim bigotry. It makes this about a religion, a whole group of people.

And he's very particular about using "Islam," not even "Islamism" or "Islamic terrorism." And we have to be very careful here, because what ISIS wants is to create a divide, a clash of civilizations between Muslims living in the West and their non-Muslim fellow citizens. We have to be very careful not to fall into that trap, and I worry that we are.

BLITZER: You know, Phil -- that's an excellent point, Shadi -- but Phil, I heard something that surprised me today in Hillary Clinton's speech, when she specifically said U.S. friends -- the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis -- they must stop funding these terrorist groups, and she specifically named those three countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. That was surprising to me. What about to you?

MUDD: It doesn't surprise me that she thinks it. It surprises me that she talked about this. This has been an issue going back to after 9/11. That is, we knew funding for al Qaeda, the origins of this whole movement back at 9/11, came a lot from Gulf countries. That is countries like United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Today, we're talking about ISIS funding that comes from those same countries. So the issue is not just that there's a concern about money coming from those countries, about cooperation with those governments, not to stop funding from the government but to stop private citizens from supporting the groups. I think that's hugely significant.

BLITZER: Yes. We all know the money comes from those countries. What was surprising to me was that Hillary Clinton publicly branded them as sponsors or funders of these international terror groups. That was surprising to me, but she did that in her speech.

Guys, stand by. Just ahead, we're going to get much more on the terror investigation in Orlando and how it's actually influencing the presidential race. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton calling for two very different kinds of bans. How will the voters respond?

And the lives lost. We'll also take a closer look at the victims of this, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:43:09] BLITZER: Tonight, the terror in Orlando is driving home the very stark contrast between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in how they would try to protect Americans as commander in chief. Both presumptive presidential nominees laying out their visions today with some new twists.

Our CNN political reporter, Sara Murray, has more on these dueling speeches. Sara, update our viewers.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Wolf.

You really did see the differing approaches between the two candidates as they set up how they would handle national security in the general election and as president.

We saw Hillary Clinton with a much more subdued, somber tone, really sort of trying to dive into the policy details on these issues. But for Trump, it was all about tone, all about seeming as tough as possible on national security and once again reiterating a policy position that many in his own party don't even agree with, a call to ban Muslims, at least temporarily, from entering the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY (voice-over): In the wake of the Orlando massacre, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are putting their commander in chief credentials on display...

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We are heading into a general election that could be the most consequential of our lifetimes. But today is not a day for politics.

MURRAY: ... and adopting starkly different tones.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She's in total denial. Hillary supports policies that bring the threat of radical Islam into America and allow it to grow overseas.

MURRAY: Clinton taking a more somber approach and laying out a plan to guard against terrorists who act alone....

CLINTON: As president, I will make identifying and stopping lone wolves a top priority.

MURRAY: ... while also promising tighter gun control.

CLINTON: I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets.

MURRAY: And in a CNN interview, calling for the return of the assault weapons ban, first signed into law by her husband.

CLINTON (via phone): We did have an assault weapons ban for ten years, and I think it should be reinstated.

[18:45:02] MURRAY: All as Trump is railing against his political opponent, casting himself as tough on terror.

TRUMP: I refuse to be politically correct. The days of deadly ignorance will end.

MURRAY: Though the Orlando shooter was an American citizen born in New York, Trump misreading his speech appeared to say otherwise.

TRUMP: The killer whose name I will not use or ever say was born in Afghan of Afghan parents.

MURRAY: As he renewed his call to ban Muslims from the U.S.

TRUMP: I would use this power to protect the American people. When I'm elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there's a proven history of terrorism against the United States.

MURRAY: Insisting an influx of Syrian refugees presents a danger to the country.

TRUMP: We have to stop people coming in from Syria, we are taking them in by the thousands.

MURRAY: In fact, less than 4,000 Syrians have been admitted this year.

President Obama has called for resettling 10,000 by the end of September. After all his tough talk, Trump is banking on cooperation from Muslim communities.

TRUMP: The Muslim communities, so important to me, they have to work with us. They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad.

MURRAY: As Clinton argues, Trump's approach will only alienate Muslim allies.

CLINTON: Inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, and threatening to ban the family and friends of Muslim Americans, as well as millions of Muslim business people and tourists from entering our country hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror.

MURRAY: Today, the presumptive nominee negated one of the loudest criticisms.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton for months and despite so many attacks repeatedly refused to even say the words radical Islam.

MURRAY: Intentionally using those words.

CLINTON: Whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing, I'm happy to say either.

MURRAY: As Trump embraces questionable semantics of his own, appearing to suggest President Obama sympathizes with Muslim extremists who launch terrorist attacks.

TRUMP: We're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or has got something else in mind.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY: Now, that last suggestion there by Donald Trump, the idea that President Obama knows more than he's letting on or for some reason isn't fighting back as hard as he would be otherwise against Islamic terrorists, that's something that's been getting a lot of attention today. One of the news outlets that seized on that comment was "The Washington Post", and apparently, Donald Trump did not appreciate that kind of scrutiny.

After an event put a statement on social media and e-mailed to reporters saying he was going to revoke the press credentials from "The Washington Post." This is part of a trend we're seeing from this campaign where they pull media outlets credentials, they blacklist media outlets when they don't like their coverage -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Sara, thanks very much. Sara Murray reporting for us.

Let's bring in our chief political correspondent Dana Bash, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger, and our CNN senior legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin.

Your reaction, Gloria, to the decision by Trump to revoke press credentials for "The Washington Post."

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It kind of leaves me scratching my head. I mean, as Sara was saying, this is something that the campaign has done in the past, they didn't like a headline on this piece. I think --

BLITZER: In "The Washington Post".

BORGER: On "The Washington Post." story. I think the question is that Trump in that interview was really unclear. I mean, the question to me is, what was Trump trying to say there about President Obama?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's actually pretty clear what he was saying about Obama.

BORGER: He was insinuating the president has another agenda.

TOOBIN: Right, that he is not a real American, that he's not a loyal American.

And let's remember why Donald Trump is famous as a politician in the first place, because he spent months claiming that falsely that President Obama was not born in the United States. The whole birther story is how he became a politician and this statement is simply an extension of that suggesting that the president is not a real American.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He did tweet that's not what he meant, but didn't tweet out what he did mean.

(LAUGHTER)

TOOBIN: OK.

A lot of people are reading a lot into the words among other things he said referring to the president and he doesn't get it or he gets it better than anyone understands.

BORGER: What does that mean?

TOOBIN: That's the insinuation that he is not really fully on the level, that he is not, his agenda is not a real American agenda.

I don't think he is claiming as some have said that President Obama had advanced knowledge of this attack. It's not that crazy. But it is certainly a claim that President Obama is not on the level, that he's not a real American, which is something that Donald Trump has claimed for years. And as far as I'm aware, has never retracted it, even in the face of overwhelming proof.

[18:50:02] BLITZER: What does it say, Dana, that we're even having this conversation?

BASH: You just took the words out of my mouth, Wolf. The fact that we're having this conversation, and maybe not the broader conversation about this pretty intense speech that Donald Trump gave today, very nativist. I mean, it's all about the fact that never mind the fact that this killer was born in New York, not Afghan, as he said. He was the son of --

BLITZER: His parents were from --

BASH: Afghanistan, immigrants from Afghanistan. But he was born in New York.

Aside from that, the whole thrust of it was all about immigration. We got to keep people out and not just the refugees, but people from countries where terrorism, you know, could be -- or is a big problem. I mean, that was the entire focus of the speech, in a way that -- I would just say, in a lot of way that remember, back in the beginning of the primaries, a lot of Republican leaders said this is the exact wrong thing to do.

BLITZER: Does this help or hurt Donald Trump, politically speaking?

BORGER: That's always the question we ask, right? Does this help or hurt? And in the past, it's always helped. But that was with the Republican-based electorate.

Now, you have to look at it in the context of a general election. And the answer is, we don't know. I mean, building on what Dana said, he took the ban on Muslims, the temporary ban on Muslims, which he then said was a suggestion. And today went back and broadened it, and essentially said that it would extend to whole regions of the world. Because --

BLITZER: Where terrorism is prevalent. BORGER: Because obviously, you can't ban people based on their

religion from coming into this country, Republicans have said that. So what he did was say today that he would suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States.

And so, the question is, how will independent voters react to that? How will those persuadable voters, and I don't know how many there are, how will those persuadable voters react to that, given the fact we have just seen an act of terror of enormous proportion inside this country?

TOOBIN: Well, if we could also just talk about how he could possibly do this, even if he wanted to? Where there is terror -- there is terror in Egypt, there is terror in Saudi Arabia, there is terror all throughout the Middle East. Is he going to stop all plane flights from those regions? You know, those are important allies of this country for better or worse. They are business partners of this country. I mean --

BASH: And just remember, the person who -- the person who -- as far as we know now, the person who committed this act of horror, the massacre, probably was radicalized on the Internet. I mean, not necessarily because --

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: What the president of the United States said today.

BASH: Exactly.

BLITZER: All right, guys. Stand by, we're getting new details coming in right now. New details about some of the 49 people killed in this -- the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:57:22] BLITZER: The breaking news tonight, all about one of the 49 people killed in the nightclub massacre have now been identified, according to the Orlando mayor.

CNN's Jake Tapper has more now on the victims.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Saturday night was going to be a night of friendship and fun for pulse clientele, such as 34-year-old Edward Sotomayor Jr. And 25-year-old Amanda Alvear capturing these moments on social media, not knowing those posts would be their last. They are just two of the 49 victims killed in the terrorist rampage.

For survivors, horrifying recollections remain all too vivid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People running, glasses getting dropped and people were passing me, like -- I'm getting covered in blood from other people.

CHRISTOPHER HANSEN, WITNESS: It went with the beat almost until you heard too many shots. It was just like, bang, bang, bang!

LUIS BURBANO, WITNESS: There were about 20 to 30 people trying to push themselves through a small cabinet-looking door.

TAPPER: Luis Burbano escaped with his friend never looking back at the murderer coming towards them.

BURBANO: I didn't want to look back. Why to look at them that would be the last thing I see on my face, and last memory I have. That's not something I wanted to remember.

TAPPER: Club-goers hid from the terrorist in restrooms and dressing rooms, huddling together, hoping to survive.

MINA JUSTICE, SON KILLED IN TERROR ATTACK: He said he was going to die and he loved me. That's the last thing I heard.

TAPPER: Just after 2:00 a.m., Mina Justice received these texts from her son, Eddie. "Mommy, I love you. In club they shooting. Trapped in the bathroom." "Calling them now," she wrote back. Then messages from Eddie kept coming. He has us. And he's in here with us. And then -- I'm going to die.

Eddie's mother spoke to news crews as she waited outside for her son.

JUSTICE: I think something happened. I do.

TAPPER: Eddie Justice did not make it out alive. The murdered range in age from 19 to 50 -- retail workers, accountants, bartenders, journalists, students. Bright futures extinguished in a hate-filled terrorist attack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMAL: You stole a lot of people away from their families.

TAPPER: Some club-goers were lucky, shot but safe because of the fast work of others.

JOSH MCGILL, WITNESS: On the way to the hospital, the officer had him lie on top of me and I had to bear-hug him.

TAPPER: Nursing student Josh McGill helped a man with multiple gunshot wounds outside the club, telling him what he needed to hear to stay calm.

MCGILL: I promise you, God has got this, you'll be okay. And I was mainly scared. I was like, God, please, don't let him break my promise.

TAPPER: As of now, that man is alive. And the promise to overcome lives on as well.

ANDY MOSS, WITNESS: We're standing up and we're fighting. That's all we can do. All we can do is fight.

TAPPER: Jake Tapper, CNN,

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Our deepest condolences.

CNN's breaking news coverage of the Orlando terror attack continues right now with "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT."