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Clinton Delivers Rebuke to Trump on Orlando Attack; Chilling Accounts from Orlando Attack Survivors; Obama; Orlando Shooter No Direct Links to ISIS. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired June 14, 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] HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Second, we need to build trust in Muslim communities here at home to counter radicalization and this would make it harder. Third, Trump's words will be, in fact, they already are, a recruiting tool for ISIS to help them increase its ranks of people willing to do what we saw in Orlando. And fourth, he's turning Americans against Americans, which is exactly what ISIS wants.
Leaders who have actually fought terrorists know this. General Petraeus said recently that demonizing a religious faith and its adherents will come at a great cost. Not just to our values but our men and women in uniform and our national security.
Commissioner Bill Bratton, of the New York Police Department, said this kind of talk makes his job harder. He has Muslims in his police force, Muslims in the community, and he needs everybody working together against any potential threat.
But Donald won't listen to any of this, experts like General Petraeus or Commissioner Bratton or anybody, because he says he knows more about ISIS than the generals do.
It's almost hard to even think of what to say about that claim.
CLINTON: But in this instance, Donald's words are especially nonsensical because the terrorist who carried out this attack wasn't born in Afghanistan, as Donald Trump said yesterday. He was born in Queens, New York, just like Donald was himself.
CLINTON: So Muslim bans and immigration reforms would not have stopped him. It would not have saved a single life in Orlando.
And those aren't the only two ideas Donald Trump put forward yesterday for how to fight ISIS. Beyond that, he said a lot of false things, including about me. He said I'll abolish the Second Amendment. That's wrong. He said I'll let a flood of refugees into our country without any screening. That's also wrong. These are demonstrably lies. But he feels compelled to tell them because he has to distract us from the fact he has nothing substantive to say for himself.
CLINTON: Now, much of the rest of the speech was not just denigrating the president but the efforts of all the brave servicemembers, law enforcement agents, intelligence officers, diplomats and others who have worked so hard to keep our country safe. Donald says our military is a disaster and the world is laughing at us -- wrong again.
Since 9/11, America has done a great deal at home and abroad to stop terrorists. Thousands of Americans have fought and died. We have worked intensely with our allies about how far our government should go in monitoring threats. We have vastly increased security measures at airports, train stations, power plants and many other places. And the American people, we have all become more vigilant. Even while we have carried on living our lives as normally as possible, and it has been a long and difficult effort, we've had successes. And we've also had failures. But one thing's for sure. The fight against terrorism has never been simple. And we need a commander-in-chief who's up to these challenges, who can grapple with them in all their complexity, someone with real plans and real solutions that actually address the problems we face.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton delivering a blistering, blistering rebuke of Donald Trump, saying what Donald Trump is saying is simply shameful, and she goes in depth. Yesterday, she didn't mention him by name but she applied the criticism. Today, she minced no words, going directly against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Let's bring in our senior national correspondent, Joe Johns, following the Clinton campaign in Pittsburgh, where she just spoke. Also joining us, our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, in Orlando; and CNN politics reporter, M.J. Lee, in New York.
Today, Joe, she didn't mince words going after Donald Trump. She really delivered a strong rebuke of him and making the claim if he's president of the United States, he is dangerous to U.S. national security.
Donald Trump, by the way, just tweeted, and I'll read it to you. He just tweeted, "Thank you to the LGBT community. I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs."
Take us behind the scenes a little bit, Joe. What are you hearing from her campaign staff about her decision to go directly against Donald Trump today? He didn't mince words going after her yesterday.
[13:35:50] JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. I think if you go back to that speech today from Hillary Clinton in this union hall in Pittsburgh, this was about characterizing, it was about labeling, but I think most importantly, it was about defining, defining Donald Trump. He's so famous for the nicknames that he uses. But all the way back to the Bill Clinton administration, what they did during his campaign was to define the opponent.
And when you look at what she did here, it's very interesting. For example, she didn't refer to him as Donald Trump. She's now referring to him by his first name, Donald. And look at the words she uses. Essentially, the campaign has tried to show him as unsteady and erratic. The words you heard, "shameful, disrespectful, unfit and unqualified, conspiracy theories, leader of the bizarre movement, bizarre theories and outright lies." I think this campaign sees and believes they have a clear advantage on the issue of foreign policy against Donald Trump. As you look at the polls, it seems to bear that out. And that's what they hang on today -- Wolf?
BLITZER: They certainly are.
Stand by, Joe.
Jim Sciutto, we know Donald Trump is going to respond and respond forcefully. He's going to go after her record as secretary of state and make the case that what she did, especially in Libya, for example, in his word, I assume something like disastrous or shameful or whatever, but there's material he will use against her. We should brace for that in the coming hours, right?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. And it's interesting to hear the two supporters that Hillary Clinton mentions specifically in her speech just then regarding this point of whether this helps or hurts the battle against terrorism. She said David Petraeus and Bill Bratton, the commissioner of police in New York and David Petraeus served under George W. Bush, the architecture of the surge in Iraq.
Certainly, not a left-leaning liberal, a military man to back up the point of view, and Bill Bratton, head of the New York Police Department. Really, that city at the forefront of fighting terrorism and the city the victim of the greatest terror attack anyone has known. Cited both as saying this kind of baiting of the religion doesn't make America safer but makes America less safe, gives a victory to the terrorists. Her choosing these two names were telling.
She's looking for really the most substantial supporters of that point of view to counter Donald Trump's argument which frankly has its supporters. I spoken to people in Orlando, who after this attack, they feel unsafe. They feel there needs to be a tougher response. And you can look in citing those two as Hillary Clinton not just her base but to appeal to people in the middle, the people who still need to be won over in this election.
BLITZER: And, M.J., it's clear that Donald Trump is coming under serious criticism, obviously, from Democrats, the president of the United States, the former secretary of state, but also from some Republican leaders as well. Many are extremely uncomfortable with some of his comments yesterday. Update our viewers on that.
M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, Wolf. Trump coming under a lot of criticism from fellow Republicans for what they believe is rhetoric that is un-American, especially when he has spoken about this temporary ban on Muslims. And yesterday, of course, he said he believes there should be a suspension of immigration from countries that have a proven record of terrorism against the United States and its allies.
I was speaking on the phone yesterday with Peter King, a Republican Congressman, and he said that he worries this kind of rhetoric, which he believes is not sophisticated and really doesn't get to how Trump wants to actually deal with this national security threat. This kind of rhetoric will actually hurt the Republican Party and how they view the party and their ability to lead on national security.
And I think seeing Obama and Clinton simultaneously going after Trump in the way they did just a few minutes ago really goes to show that Democrats believe strongly they have a winning case to make on national security. And post-Orlando, the party has a huge opening to make both a policy and a character case against Donald Trump.
[13:40:42] BLITZER: Very strong double-team attack by the president and the Democratic presumptive nominee.
All right, guys, stand by. We have more to assess.
Also, we're getting new details in the Orlando terror attack and the shooter's whereabouts in the days leading up to the attack. What we're learning about that, an update coming up.
And we're also hear very emotional stories from the survivors at the hospital.
Stay with us.
[13:44:55] BLITZER: New information on the survivors of the Orlando terror attack. We learn 27 victims still in the main Orlando hospital where patients were being treated. Six are in intensive care. 16 others are described as being in stable condition.
We're also hearing a chilling account from a survivor, Angel Colon, who was shot three times in the leg as the gunman went on his rampage through the club.
Here is Angel Colon, in his own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGEL COLON, ORLANDO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Sunday morning, early morning, we were just having a great time. We're all there having a drink. It was shortly after 2: 00 we're saying our good-byes. I'm hugging everyone. It was a great night. No drama, just smiles, just laughter. And I was talking to the last girl and out of nowhere, we just hear a big shotgun. We just stop what we're doing and then just keeps going. That happened and we just grabbed each other and started running and unfortunately, shot three times in the leg so I fell down. I tried to get back up.
But everyone started running everywhere. I got trampled over. And I shattered and broke my bones on my left leg, so by this time, I couldn't walk at all. All I could do was just lay down while everyone was running on top of me try to get where they had to be. And all I could hear was the shotgun, one after another and reaming, people yelling for help.
By this time, this man, he goes into the other room and I could hear more shotguns going off. I thought I was a little safe at this time because it's giving everyone time to tackle him down or get him down, but unfortunately, I hear him come back and he's shooting everyone that's already dead on the floor, making sure they're dead. I was able to peek over and I can just see him shooting at everyone. And I can hear the shotguns close and I look over, he shoots the girl next to me. And I'm just there laying down, I'm thinking. I'm next. I'm dead.
So I don't know how, but by the glory of God, he shoots towards my head but it hits my hand and then he shoots me again and it hits the side of my hip. I had no reaction. I was just prepared to stay there laying down so he won't know that I'm alive. And he's just doing this for another 5 or 10 minutes. Just shooting all over the place.
By this time, he goes up to the front and I think that's when he's battling against the cops and shotguns going all over the place and I'm looking up and some cops which I wish I could remember his face or his name. Until this day, I'm grateful for him. He makes sure I'm alive and he grabs my hand and said, this is the way out. I said, please carry me. I'm in pain right now. I couldn't walk or anything.
So he starts to drag me out across the street to Wendy's and I'm grateful for him. But the floor is covered in glass. I'm just getting cut, my behind, my back, my legs. And I don't feel pain, but I just feel all this blood on me from myself, from other people. And he just drops me off across the street and I look over and there's just bodies everywhere. We're all in pain. We were able to get to the ambulance. They brought us over here, and the way that you guys have taken care of us in this hospital is amazing. If it wasn't for you guys, I definitely would not be here. Every morning, in the middle of the night, every night, you guys are always there, and I will love you guys forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Angel Colon.
I think I speak for all viewers in the United States and around the world, we will love you forever as well, and thank God you survived.
We also heard from two other people who survived the shooting.
Here's what they had to say just moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [13:49:58] UNIDENTIFIED ORLANDO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I dialed 911 while continuing and sometime went by. And kind of quiet down a little bit. I finally heard the police arrive. I heard police yelling. Drop it. Hands up. And -- but I don't know what was going on. So, eventually, kind of quieted down some more. I was bleeding. My friend, Jeff, was bleeding a lot. I was in -- on the ground in a pool of blood. I wasn't sure whose it was but I felt like it was my friend Jeff's because he was hit rig around here. I can see a bullet hole right here. He was sweating. Just looked overall really weak and in bad condition.
And my thought process was, you know, do we stay here and wait for the shooter to come back or do we try to leave? So I tried maneuvering so I can exit underneath the stall but them people, you know, they were like, no, stay here. Don't go anywhere because you'll get killed. So I stayed there for a little while longer. But everything just kind of quieted down and all I heard was police chatter on the radio from the distance. I didn't hear anymore gun fire. So at that point, I decided to little by little drag myself underneath the stall to exit the handicap stall where we were.
Once I got out of there, there I saw that there was a body in front of the door on the opposite side. I didn't see anyone else around. So I couldn't walk so I had to drag myself out of bathroom toward the bar area where I was initially, and until I actually saw like the face of a police officer. So when I finally saw an officer, I had my cell phone and waving the light to see me. And at that point, the officers instructed me to lift my hands, drop whatever I had in my hands and they instructed me to drag myself toward them.
UNIDENTIFIED ORLANDO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: He said, "hey, you," to someone on the floor inside the bathroom. And shot them, shot another person, and then shot another person who happened to be directly behind me, who I'm told through the eyes of tiara shields me with their body to make sure that I wasn't hit. I don't know who that person is. I don't know the name of that person. But if they're somewhere watching, thank you. Thank you for saving my life, literally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Very powerful words from survivors at the hospital.
Meanwhile, investigators believe the terrorist gunman, Omar Mateen, conducted surveillance on at least two locations leading up to the massacre. Officials say Mateen visited the Pulse nightclub and a Disney shopping and entertainment complex in early June. Also, a club performer said Mateen came to Pulse about twice a month going as far back to three years.
President Obama travels to Orlando on Thursday to pay his respects to the families of the victims. The president met with the national security team earlier this morning at the White House. He say there's no indication, at least not yet, that ISIS directly forced or directed the Orlando attack. But the gunman was inspired, the president says, by terrorist propaganda out there on the Internet. Our CNN national security analyst, Peter Bergen, with me; and also
joining us is Mubin Shaikh, who is a former extremist who later became a counterterrorism operative, and is author of "Undercover Jihadi."
Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.
I'm anxious to get your thoughts on this specific individual. Why do you think he was radicalized the way he did and decided to kill all these people at a gay nightclub?
MUBIN SHAIKH, FORMER COUNTERTERRORISM OPERATIVE & AUTHOR: You know, it's -- his identity conflicts are becoming obvious. I mean, we know from -- since 9/11, actually, he made statements supporting the attacks, some people were, of course, disturbed by that. He'd bee expressing this kind of ideologically based beliefs for a long time.
But along with that, he was also gay. And I think he couldn't deal with that, reconcile the two identities and went off and decided he was going to destroy one identity by shooting all those people in Orlando.
BLITZER: Well, we have not 100 percent confirmed, Peter, he was gay although there are reports out there that he was frequenting gay websites and went to the club for about three years.
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: We just don't know. He could have been doing careful preparation for a long time.
[13:55:] BLITZER: Very long time, presumably. But in the whole notion of Islam, the ISIS version, if you will, of Islam, and gays, is an interpretation and that they hate the gays.
BERGEN: Indeed. Of course, the Taliban, as well. They would bury people under rocks. They throw them off buildings, similar to ISIS. Certainly, for Islamist militants, it's not allowed.
BLITZER: Mubin, the attitude toward gays by these ISIS extremists, the terrorists if you will, you have studied this closely. Update the viewers on your thoughts.
SHAIKH: Well, of course, it's easier for -- I mean, for somebody who's trying to say he's doing it for ISIS. Again, I mean, this guy was extremely confused. Other reports were indicating he was supporting Hezbollah and then it was al Nusra and then ISIS, and all three at war with each other.
But on the homosexuality front, of course, in that part of the world, Muslim or Christian, even, they absolutely do not have any kind of sympathy or tolerance or even basic humanity for homosexuals. And when you take it -- that's just the generals. That's not even extremists. Then when you get to the extremist side, it is much worse. The idea you should execute homosexuals. Many countries imprison them. And in the case of ISIS, throw them off of buildings and kill them in other creative ways.
BLITZER: When you were a jihadist, did you believe that? SHAIKH: I hated gays, yes. Absolutely. I, you know, I bought into
the line. I was always, yeah, anti-gay, anti-gay. And one day actually I was having a conversation with somebody about how it was, you know, wrong and bad and, you know, we should not accept it in society and western society and at the end of it, he told me, he said, you know I'm gay, right? It actually completely changed my perspective. This guy is like normal just like I am. And that's the message I think Muslims and Christians and everyone else need to understand.
BLITZER: When's does it say to you, Peter, at one point, he expressed support of al Qaeda, al Nusra, Hezbollah, ISIS? Sort of groups at war sometimes with each other.
BERGEN: Yeah. We saw this also in the San Bernardino case, Wolf, the perpetrator husband was interested in al Shabaab and then ISIS. And ISIS didn't exist until 2014, so this guy was radicalized before 2014 and had interests in other groups, anti-Western groups before he was identifying with ISIS.
BLITZER: Mubin, will this terrorist attack in Orlando inspire other radicals out there to engage in this kind of terror attack, copycats, if you will? What's going to be the impact on social media by ISIS, for example?
SHAIKH: Yeah. The impact is already being felt. I mean, all of us who are watching, you know, since, of course, that man gave the threat of making Ramadan a month of pain for the nonbelievers. You know, people are acting out. And it's showing people that response, of course. The response, that's why it's important the way we respond because if ISIS sees the chaos that ensues, the decision in society that comes from it, it will empower other people to say, hey look, this is exactly what ISIS wants to achieve. It's being achieved. So I might as well go and do it because I know the public, the divisive narrative is a cycle of it and I'll achieve my objective.
BLITZER: How should the U.S. respond, Mubin?
SHAIKH: You know, I don't want to get political. I mean, I'm Canadian and I have no business commenting and I'm not going to comment politically. But the comments that your president made, Candidate Clinton made, look, it makes sense. I said this a couple of days ago, saying radical Islamic Jihadism is a not a counterterrorism abracadabra. It's not going to make them disappear. It's not going to make allies want to work with us.
Again, coming from the security and intelligence perspective, you don't want to alienate the communities. Without human intelligence, you won't get the intelligence you need to thwart further plots. Sting operations, I'm a fan of sting operations. I think you need more of this. We have seen many plots that have been interdicted and prevented. We would have been reading about many headlines had those plots moved to action. So I think that's an enforcement side. But at the same time, understanding, look, you have to work with the communities. You just can't avoid that.
BLITZER: Mubin Shaikh, thanks very much.
Peter Bergen, thanks to you, as well.
That's it for me. I'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "The Situation Room."
Our special coverage continues right now.