Return to Transcripts main page
THE SITUATION ROOM
Source: Gunman Prepared to Die in Weeks Before Attack; Employer: No Psych Exam for Killer Amid FBI Probe; Details About the Orlando Killer's History; Trump Slams Hillary Clinton on Gun Control and a Possible GOP Delegate Revolt; Putin Clarifies His Opinion of Trump. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired June 17, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Happening now, the killer's secret. The family of the Orlando gunman says they first learned of the shooting when police knocked on their door in the middle of the night. Did anyone else know the killer's deadly plans?
[17:00:15] Warning signs. Troubling incidents involving Omar Mateen dating back to elementary school, but he passed two background screenings to work as a security guard. Were red flags ignored?
"A bright person." Russian President Vladimir Putin weighs in on the U.S. presidential race, praising the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Why is Putin saying he would welcome a Trump presidency?
And stopping Trump. A new push within the GOP to block the billionaire businessman from becoming the party's standard bearer. And now, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, is telling Republicans to follow their conscience. Will the party dump Trump at the Cleveland convention?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Breaking news, we're learning new details tonight about the Orlando gunman, Omar Mateen, including the revelation he spoke on the phone with a friend during the attack.
Also, the security company that employed him now says it did not give him a psychiatric examination, despite FBI investigations into Mateen's possible terror ties and complaints by his co-workers of very odd behavior.
We now know Mateen displayed violent tendencies and made death threats as far back as third grade and was suspended from high school multiple times, totaling 48 days.
Also tonight, sources are telling us there were signs Mateen was preparing to die in the weeks before the attack, putting his affairs in order and making provisions for his wife.
We're also following Russian President Vladimir Putin. He's praising presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump calling him -- and I'm quoting now -- "a bright person." Putin goes on to say he'd welcome a Trump presidency, because Trump wants to restore U.S. relations with Russia.
We're covering all of that and much more this hour with our guests, including Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. And our correspondents and expert analysts, they're also standing by.
First, let's go straight to Orlando. Our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, is on the scene for us. Pamela, you're learning new information. Update us.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. We're learning from our law enforcement sources that Omar Mateen began taking concrete steps in the weeks before the shooting to get his affairs in order to make sure he was -- his family was taken care of.
And he also began spending erratically, and sources tell us that his wife noticed the changes in his behavior but didn't call police.
BROWN (voice-over): Law enforcement sources say weeks before the attack, Omar Mateen made sure his wife had access to his bank account and added her name to important documents like his life insurance policy. He also bought his wife an expensive piece of jewelry.
In the middle of the three-hour massacre on Sunday, Mateen and his wife, Nora Salman, exchanged texts after he asked her if she had seen what was happening. Salman also called her husband multiple times after news broke of the shooting. She has told investigators she did not know his specific plans but was suspicious he wanted to launch an attack.
And tonight, we're getting a clearer picture of the gunman's past. He had a long history of disciplinary problems at the school: 48 days of suspension, some for fighting.
Today, the FBI digging for more people who may have known the gunman, visiting the mosque where he prayed. And this afternoon, FBI director James Comey toured the crime scene. Meanwhile, CNN is learning new details about what happened inside the club.
OFFICER OMAR DELGADO, EATONVILLE POLICE: We pulled, like, three or four people out. With all the chaos, we couldn't see faces, you know. And the few faces that I saw were just covered in blood.
BROWN: Officer Omar Delgado was one of the first officers to arrive.
DELGADO: People's phones were ringing all over the place and to this day I can't hear an iPhone ring, because one was so close to me. Because it kept constantly ringing, constantly ringing. And when I got home I realized, wow, those people aren't going to be able to answer their phones again.
BROWN: Later, Officer Delgado recognized one of the people he saved on TV.
ANGEL COLON, SURVIVOR: I'm looking up and some cops -- I wish I could remember his face and name, because to this day I'm grateful for him.
BROWN: The two were reunited in the hospital Thursday.
DELGADO: I'm one of the ones that helped you get out of harm's way. And I need a big hug.
COLON: Come here, man. I appreciate it.
DELGADO: Looks like you're doing good. I'm so glad you're alive, man.
BROWN: In the midst of the chaos, there were hundreds of calls to 911.
CHIEF RODERICK WILLIAMS, ORLANDO FIRE: We have a fire station less than 100 meters away from the actual incident. Not only did we get 911 calls, we had actual victims running to the fire station and knocking on the doors, trying to make -- trying to gain access to the fire station. Our personnel was just there 30 minutes prior for a medical call.
[17:05:14] They heard what you call some noises. Banging. Bang, bang. Then they began to hear the knocks from the people trying to get away from the actual gunman.
BROWN: And we have learned that a friend of Omar Mateen called him after the rampage started, because this friend saw the posts on Facebook that he was doing this in the name of ISIS. Apparently, this friend is a medical professional, and the two spoke about medication as this was all going on. Of course, this raises some questions.
But Wolf, we're told that this friend went to the FBI, alerted the FBI of what was going on and said he had nothing to do with it.
Meantime, we're learning that there is surveillance video of the rampage, and right now the FBI is reviewing it -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Pamela Brown in Orlando for us. Thank you.
The gunman's behavior ultimately led his employer to transfer him. But despite multiple red flags, including FBI investigations, he was still working as a security guard.
CNN's Brian Todd is working this part of the story for us.
Brian, there were some very, very disturbing warning signs. Update our viewers on what you've learned.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Many warning signs, Wolf. We're standing just outside the PGA Village community. We are not allowed inside, but our photojournalist, Ned Gross (ph), is going to take you into one of the locations for our story: that security checkpoint right there. Sources telling us tonight that Omar Mateen manned one of those guard houses just hours before his murderous rampage at the Pulse nightclub.
We've spoken to several residents of the PGA Village, and we're also told tonight of a contentious community meeting, where residents here were furious with the security company which hired Omar Mateen.
TODD (voice-over): Midafternoon Saturday, just hours before his murderous rampage at Pulse nightclub, Omar Mateen manned these checkpoints at this gated Florida community. What residents of the upscale PGA Village didn't know was that there was a killer in their guardhouse.
NICOLE RODRIGUEZ, REPORTER FAMILIAR WITH PGA VILLAGE: The residents of PGA Village are outraged that Mr. Mateen had gone under the radar for so long without being detected by G4S.
TODD: Nicole Rodriguez is a reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers who's very familiar with PGA Village. Rodriguez attended a contentious community meeting Wednesday night, when residents grilled Drew Levine, a top official of G4S, the security firm which hired Mateen as a guard.
RODRIGUEZ: Residents wanted to know when the G4S security contract with PGA Village will be up. They have concerns that G4S might not be providing adequate security for residents.
TODD: One resident said, if Mateen had snapped any time while guarding PGA Village, he could have gone door-to-door killing people there. State Representative Larry Lee lives in PGA Village near a gate which he has been told that Mateen guarded.
LARRY LEE JR., STATE REPRESENTATIVE OF FLORIDA: Many of them are very afraid, but I think not just in our development. I think that this is a wake-up call to anyone in America. You know, just because a guy is a security guard, you don't know.
TODD: Mateen was screened when G4S hired him in 2007, just months after being fired by the Florida Department of Corrections. The company says that background check included psychological testing for, quote, "mental disorders."
Another background check was conducted by G4S in 2013, but a company official tells CNN in that check Mateen was not given psychological screening. At that time, Mateen was transferred out of a security guard job at a local courthouse after making inflammatory remarks about terrorism.
A G4S spokesperson said Mateen himself claimed he was harassed by co- workers at the courthouse.
The place he was transferred to? PGA Village.
LEE: If such incidents happened at a prior location, that our homeowner's association should know about it.
TODD: Do you think the residents of the homeowners' association were properly informed of anything about this man?
LEE: I can't say.
TODD: Now, we've tried to find out if G4S contacted the PGA Village Homeowners' Association to tell them about Omar Mateen's past problems. We've tried that with G4S. So far, no word back from the security firm. We called the PGA Village Homeowners' Association to ask them. A staffer there said they had no comment and hung up on us -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Brian, thanks very much. Brian Todd reporting from the scene over there.
Let's get some more of the breaking news. Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is joining us. He's a reserve member of the U.S. Air Force. He served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still on active duty in the reserves.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: Yes.
BLITZER: So you're still in the U.S. Air Force. Let's talk about -- this is shocking. There were so many warning signs out there. The FBI had investigated him twice, including once for almost an entire year, and there were -- there was not enough evidence that there was something really wrong. You must be outraged.
KINZINGER: Yes, it's outrageous, but it's a question that we have to answer as Americans. I mean, you think about the fact that, you know, the FBI investigated. They said there's not enough evidence for us to convict him of a crime at this point, so they took him off of the no- fly list, and they took him off of their radar.
Now, we need to have a discussion about what more tools the FBI ought to have, more resources, more leverage. But let's keep in mind: we had, you know, an issue with bulk collection of data after 9/11. And when we get a period of peace, people that are civil libertarians, you know that are rightfully concerned with our liberties, begin to question the need for these tools.
So if we give law enforcement, the FBI what they need, for instance, if somebody is under FBI investigation twice, maybe that leads to a larger red flag and the inability to purchase weapons, we have to be ready for people when this is quiet again to say, well, this is government overreach.
BLITZER: He worked for the security firm, G4S, for nine years. And he worked, as we just saw Brian Todd's report, on the same day he went to that nightclub and killed 49 people and injured 53.
KINZINGER: Yes. I don't know enough about this firm, but I had been assuming... BLITZER: They had U.S. government contracts.
KINZINGER: And I had been assuming up until, frankly, your show that he had been through a mental background check, that he had been through these screenings. I mean, any time you work in this kind of position, you need to be able to...
BLITZER: He did go through a background check when he was first -- first hired, and he was hired, though, after he was let go by a local county court, if you will, because of some problems that were evident.
KINZINGER: I think when somebody makes statements sympathetic to terroristic causes, even if the FBI goes, investigates, and they say, "I was just trying to be tough. I was trying to show off, basically, in front of my friends because I felt like they were discriminating against me because I was Muslim," that should somehow -- and look, I don't have the answer of how to get to the endpoint of that, but something like that should lead to, at the end of the day, somebody not being able to work in a security firm or as a law enforcement officer or something in that kind of position.
He had gone through hours and hours of gun training, hours and hours of things like that. At some point, that ought to trigger something. And that's a larger conversation that I think we have to have.
BLITZER: In the community, in that PGA community that we just saw, he was apparently unarmed, which is at least semi-reassuring.
KINZINGER: Right. Right.
BLITZER: Here's what worries me, and I assume it worries you. Are there a lot of others, or at least some other individuals out there right now, similar to this guy?
KINZINGER: Well, you think about it, in a country with millions of people, you're going to have people with mental health problems, people that kind of want to go make it big, you know, their opportunity or something. And that's what the big concern is. You get copycat crimes. You get folks that see this as their opportunity. This is a huge concern.
And so this is where I think we have to have discussions, both -- this was a terrorist attack. I want to make that very clear. So we have to defeat terrorism overseas. That's going to be important, because he would not have had an Islamic State to swear allegiance to without the Islamic State. We also have to continue to intercept the plots that are coming in and the Internet traffic that are radicalizing people that feel this way. This is a big, big issue and something that we're going to have to tackle head-on.
BLITZER: Speaking of terrorism overseas, the connection here, you know John McCain, the senator, yesterday he said President Obama was directly responsible for Orlando. He later clarified to say his policies -- President Obama's policies were responsible for what eventually happened in Orlando. What was your reaction when you heard that? KINZINGER: Look, John McCain is a great guy, and he's been a
fantastic senator; and no doubt he's been critical of President Obama and the policies that led to ISIS, as I have, too. I mean, leaving Iraq left space there. I think the failure to intervene in Syria earlier allowed an area for ISIS to incubate.
Obviously, I don't believe John McCain thinks in his heart that Obama's responsible for Orlando.
And by the way, it's important to say my prayers go out to LGBT, the Hispanic community, the folks in Orlando in Florida.
I think we can give John McCain a pass on this one, because I know him, and I'll tell you: this is a man that wants to do the right thing, that's passionate about what he believes. And I don't think he really meant to say that Obama was responsible for Florida.
BLITZER: Yes. And he clarified that later, saying the policies which he -- he had set on many occasions the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011 was a blunder. That was a policy, though, that the Bush administration put forward. That was the timeline established by the previous president.
KINZINGER: Yes. And we can get into that. I mean, at the end of the day, I think the Bush administration understood that he had to leave it to the next president to determine the further policy in Iraq and assume that there would be a status of forces agreement coming after 2011.
In fact, the Obama administration tried, I think half-heartedly, to negotiate that. But there's no doubt in hindsight, I believe, whether you agree or disagree with going into Iraq, there's no doubt in hindsight that we should have left a residual force, because we have one there now under way worse circumstances.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by, because we're getting some more information. I need you to get reaction, because I know you have some good insight on what's going on.
Let's take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[17:19:17] BLITZER: U.S. Congress is expected to start voting as early as Monday and Tuesday on a series of gun control measures, with lawmakers under a lot of pressure right now to take action in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
But right now it looks unlikely if any of this proposed legislation is going to pass. We're back with the Republican congressman, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
I don't know if you saw the article that retired General Stanley McChrystal wrote in "The New York Times," saying that it's time that homes should not be a war zone, that the United States needs some gun control measures to eliminate military-style semi-assault weapons out there. Do you agree with General McChrystal?
KINZINGER: No. I mean, look, I think he makes the point in there that felons and domestic abusers should not be getting guns. I agree with that. And -- and some of the problem you have with that is, in this person-to-person sales. But in that case, you have both the purchaser and the seller actually committing a felony by selling that gun.
BLITZER: But how does this seller at a gun show, who can legally sell his personal weapon to anyone, how does that individual know if it's a felon or a terrorist or anyone else? There's no background checks that are required.
KINZINGER: Yes, and so at the end of the day, so Illinois, for instance, has a requirement that, if you sell a gun, first off, you have to have an F-O-I-D card, a FOID card, which is like 5 bucks, but that's your background check. You have to have a FOID card present to do that.
Any dealer at a gun show is required to do a background check to anybody they're selling to. If we want to have a good discussion in Congress, this is a place to have it, on how do we ensure that the people that aren't supposed to be getting guns don't get guns, while at the same time, you know...
BLITZER: You want to eliminate what some call that loophole. You want to eliminate -- you want to make sure that, let's say, a terrorist from Belgium comes to the United States legally. Anybody can come to the United States, no -- visa waiver program. And has said, "You know what? You go to a gun show, don't buy from a registered dealer, but just go to a private individual. They've got a lot of guns out there. Pay cash, take that gun and go kill Americans." That's possible right now, isn't it?
KINZINGER: Well, I think it's important to say how do we...
BLITZER: That's possible -- that's possible right now?
KINZINGER: It may be. But there's not -- first off, we suspended the visa waiver program in the omnibus bill, so that's important to know that any terrorists coming out...
BLITZER: But it's not -- it hasn't really been suspended. People from France or Britain or Belgium, they can still come over without a visa.
KINZINGER: But I think -- there's not going to be a terrorist here from Belgium going to a gun show...
BLITZER: But how do you know that? How do you know that?
KINZINGER: ... and find an individual. To the extent that...
BLITZER: How do you know that? How do you know that?
KINZINGER: I think to the extent that we can fix that, we ought to have that conversation. What we have to be careful of, people call it a gun show loophole, because it sounds like there's this vast gun show...
BLITZER: It's not really a loophole. It's legislation that's been passed, saying that private individuals can sell their weapons to anyone they want, and there's no background checks necessary.
KINZINGER: Well, it's saying -- yes, for instance, if my dad sells me his gun, he doesn't have to go get a background check...
BLITZER: But if your dad goes to a gun show, he can sell that gun to anyone who just shows up and says, "I want to buy that gun."
KINZINGER: Yes, but he shouldn't. He can't.
BLITZER: He doesn't have to -- a private individual can sell it to anyone without a background check.
KINZINGER: Well, and that's a point. That's where we have to have this conversation.
BLITZER: You want to have background checks?
KINZINGER: I think people that should not be buying guns should not be allowed to buy guns. I think that's very obvious. But what we want to be careful of is that you're not adding too much cumbersome, for instance, if my dad wants to sell me a gun or whatever.
But I think at the end of the day, everybody agrees. People that shouldn't be buying guns, shouldn't be buying guns.
BLITZER: So there's room for new legislation that you would consider?
KINZINGER: I think there's room for real discussion on this. For instance, if you're on the terrorist watch list, for instance. You know, some people like Ted Kennedy have been put on there before. But does that trigger -- it should trigger -- it does trigger notification to the FBI.
Now, the FBI maybe ought to have the ability, then, to go to a judge through due process and say, "We want to suspend this sale longer than three days while we have an opportunity to see if this person should be buying a gun."
BLITZER: We've got to leave it there, unfortunately. Congressman, thanks, as usual, for coming in.
KINZINGER: You bet. Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Good luck.
Coming up, Donald Trump vowing to protect the Second Amendment, but is he veering somewhat from the GOP stance on gun control in the wake of the Orlando shooting?
Plus, why Russian President Vladimir Putin is now speaking out and praising Donald Trump.
[17:27:44] BLITZER: We're learning new and very troubling details about missed signals leading up to the Orlando massacre.
Two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation now say that, in the weeks leading up to the attack, the gunman acted like someone who was preparing to die.
Also, the security company where he worked now confirming he never received a follow-up psychological exam, even though he had been investigated for months and months by the FBI.
Joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lisa Van Susteren; CNN national security commentator Mike Rogers, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; our justice correspondent, Evan Perez; and CNN senior law enforcement analyst, former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes.
Evan, we're now told today that FBI agents spent, what, hours, at least an hour at the mosque where he prayed, talking to individuals over there, interviewing individuals. Do you know what they discovered?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they were talking to some of the representatives at the mosque, Wolf, and they wanted to know who had contact with this man, Omar Mateen.
The question that keeps coming back is that we know that Mateen worshipped at this -- at this mosque. He was a regular there. He also -- also a regular there was Moner Abu-Salha, who you might remember was a Palestinian-American young man who traveled to Syria, came back without the FBI knowing, and then went back to Syria, blew himself up in a suicide bombing.
There's -- there's definitely an interest for the FBI to take another look at whether or not there are more ties, whether there's other people that might be related to these two men.
BLITZER: Were these two individuals -- the suicide bomber who went to Syria and Mateen -- did they know each other? Did they know each other well?
PEREZ: They did. They did. And the FBI did take a look at this back in 2014 after Abu Salha blew himself up in Syria. They took a look at it. They determined that there was not much of a tie between these two men, but it's worth another look is what the FBI has decided.
BLITZER: He did go, apparently Mateen, as you know, Tom, to a gun store. He wanted to buy heavy armor, bulk ammunition. They didn't have it. And he left. They later called the FBI to say, you know...
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, they didn't. They didn't.
BLITZER: Well, the FBI...
FUENTES: There's been false reporting.
BLITZER: What are you hearing?
BLITZER: What I've heard from justice officials and other executives today is that there was a gun shop in the area that called the FBI and said, "There's four suspicious guys in here trying to look at police equipment and guns and other things for sale."
[17:30:03] The FBI went -- immediately responded and went to all of the gun shops in the area and they did locate these four people who turned out to be police officers from a Middle Eastern country.
In the process of making the rounds to all of the gun shops, they go to this gun shop and are told, oh, yes, by the way, a couple of weeks ago a guy was in here trying to buy body armor and ammunition and we didn't sell it to him, and he left. Well, it turns out, they don't sell that kind of body armor in the first place. There's a little misinformation from the gun shop owner about that. He wasn't a hero denying the sale. They don't sell it.
Secondly, they tell the FBI, we don't have a license plate, we don't have a description, it's just a clean-cut male that was in here.
PEREZ: No surveillance video.
FUENTES: And -- they have surveillance video at that shop but they didn't think it was important enough to save it and they overrode it in the subsequent weeks to the visits. So that gun shop owner did not call the FBI. The FBI actually dropped in on him in the course of investigating the other individuals.
BLITZER: We're also learning at least a lot more about his behavior, what, in elementary school he was disciplined 31 times, he missed 48 days of high school because of disciplinary problems, threats he was making to other kids, teachers, whatever. There's a long history there that clearly should have been evident to people.
DR. LISE VAN SUSTEREN, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, it was probably evident to people at the time. They were throwing him out of the school. What it should have been evident to was the people who hired him as a security guard. I mean, it's axiomatic that if you're entrusting someone with other people's lives, that you've got to have somebody that you can depend on. If you look at his history, did any kind of cursory examination of it, you would have seen quite quickly that this was a guy with a very blemished record.
BLITZER: You know, Mike Rogers, the FBI says, and I think they're right, they don't have the resources to completely monitor all of these suspected individuals out there because it takes a lot of human beings to watch someone who is under suspicion.
MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Now if you do an FBI surveillance, that is a massive undertaking by the sheer number of agents if you're going to do a great job. As a matter of fact, most bigger divisions have special units that only do surveillance on major cases. Other than that, it's catches catch can of agents who try to put together on a smaller case to go do this work. So it is really time intensive and it drains resources.
If you think about what the FBI did right after 9/11, they moved a lot of agents away from organized crime, away from violent crime squads, and they moved them into the terrorism field and it was a little fast. It was a little bit cumbersome in the beginning. It has filtered out. So now what we're going to have to do, versus throwing a whole bunch of money at this in a hurry, is figure out what you want the FBI to do and how you want to allocate those resources inside.
I would not get the FBI out of doing criminal cases. I think that is one of the main stays of the bureau and it keeps them connected in communities but we're going to have to clearly have more resources for running leads just like this.
BLITZER: You're a former FBI agent, you're a former assistant director, Tom, of the FBI. What does the FBI need to do now? Because you have to work under the assumption there are other individuals out there right now walking around who may be plotting a similar kind of terror attack.
FUENTES: That's true. And I can add another comment that senior executives at the FBI and members of Congress have not said out loud that the sequestration issue that happened a couple of years ago, that's taken years for them to recover from.
BLITZER: They cut back funding.
FUENTES: They cut back funding. They had to stop hiring. That meant stop the background. When they are doing background investigations, especially on individuals that were born in Iran or Afghanistan or Iraq or Syria, that can take two, three years to try to get somebody through the process to be hired as an agent or as an analyst. Those operations stopped completely and you can't just turn a light switch and turn it back on. They have taken years to recover from that simple thing.
So every time these guys talk about shutting down the government, they ought to think of what it does to agencies like the FBI.
BLITZER: It's a good point indeed.
All right, everyone, stand by. There's more information coming in. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[17:38:33] BLITZER: We're back with our experts. We're discussing today's new developments in the Orlando massacre investigation.
Tom, there were FBI investigations going on, on two separate occasions for months and months but this security company, G4S, where he worked, they didn't engage in another psychological test after the FBI was involved at all in these investigations. It's pretty shocking to a lot of us, but I'm curious about your thoughts.
FUENTES: Well, that's true. But, you know, you have a situation where even if you do a background exam, a person the next week could get radicalized and you wouldn't know about it. You don't know -- you know, it's not something that's going to continue forever as far as knowing a guy's background. But the investigations, you know, a lot of what's come out recently from the wife and others, is that he really just started in the last couple of weeks going over the line with getting the weaponry, trying to get the body armor, the ammunition.
He bought the two guns the week of the attack and so back in 2013, when the FBI has a whole squad working on this guy for 10 months, it just -- he hadn't radicalized yet. There wasn't even an ISIS at that time.
BLITZER: But he had told his friends, Lise, that he supported the Islamic State. At one point he supported Hezbollah, another time al- Nusra. After 9/11, supposedly his friend said he was celebrating. Yes, great. That was great news. I mean, there's a long history there of talk.
VAN SUSTEREN: Right. But there's -- of course. And there's the FBI and law enforcement on one side but on the other is giving this guy a gun who has a long history of poor impulse control, who obviously is provocative. He's been thrown out of school multiple times. He doesn't get along with people.
[17:40:03] What we do in our business is we say the past is prologue. If he came into my office and was asking if he should be -- this company want to know if he should be hired as a security guard, I would say, tell me a little bit about your early years. How did school go? And you'd know immediately this is not a guy that's stable.
PEREZ: And we know the security company removed him from one position that he was at because the sheriff's office had some concern about him.
BLITZER: For the courthouse.
PEREZ: At the courthouse. He worked for the -- in the St. Lucie County courthouse. They removed him from that position and -- but still allowed him to continue working there. He continued to have a security guard -- an armed security guard license from the state of Florida. He continued to have a concealed weapons permit. So these are things that now in retrospect perhaps weren't a good idea.
BLITZER: I assume they're all doing a complete post-mortem now. Lessons learned, find out where mistakes may have been made, right?
ROGERS: Well, absolutely. And they're going to go back to these investigations. We know they're going to go back and look at the 10- month investigation, not necessarily to find something wrong, but to find out, was there something we may have missed that we could use in investigations going forward. And I think Lise can attest to, these are very helpful for developing profiles of where somebody might go wrong. So all of these cases will need that forensic look back so that you can look at that information, and somebody as a profiler can look at it and say, boy, if they hit these three or four or five or -- traits, then this is somebody we're going to have to give extra scrutiny to.
BLITZER: Right. CNN Original Series, "DECLASSIFIED" begins this Sunday night 10:00 p.m. on CNN. Tell us about that.
ROGERS: It's -- the first episode is exciting. It's the first woman spy who went to Moscow. Imagine a young lady going to Moscow to take on the KGB. They recruited a foreign diplomat and her job was to make sure they didn't get caught and exchanged information on nuclear technology. Really exciting.
All the intrigue that you might see in a fiction movie but it's real life told with the -- through the voices of the people who lived it.
BLITZER: Yes, and I've seen this episode. It's a woman who worked for the CIA as a clandestine, covert operative, signed -- sent over to work at the U.S. embassy in Moscow but she handles a Russian official who was helping the CIA.
ROGERS: Absolutely. They're given nuclear -- as a matter of fact, the information of which she was able to get many believe averted a nuclear confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. So one young lady, the first woman in Moscow, had a tremendous impact and you get the bird's eye view, you get to see it through her eyes, and live all the intrigue with her.
PEREZ: She changed the perception of what women could do in spy craft. I mean, the --
BLITZER: She did an amazing job and she tells this story in her own words. And I would recommend it.
ROGERS: Really powerful story.
BLITZER: All right, guys, thanks very much. Mike Rogers, thanks for helping put all this together.
Remember, Sunday night 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Mike Rogers, "DECLASSIFIED." These are true stories of America's most covert missions pulled from classified information. You've never heard until now.
Watch "DECLASSIFIED" Sunday night 10:00 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.
Coming up, breaking news in the presidential race. Donald Trump now responding to the new push to try to deny him the presidential nomination in next month's Republican convention.
And Vladimir Putin is now weighing in on Donald Trump as well. You're going to hear what he just told CNN's Fareed Zakaria.
[17:48:08] BLITZER: We continue following the developments in the Orlando massacre investigation but there's breaking news in the presidential race as well.
Donald Trump just responded to the growing revolt among Republicans who once again are talking about trying to dump him from the ticket.
Our national correspondent Jason Carroll is in Houston where Trump will hold a rally later this evening.
So, Jason, what is Trump saying about this upcoming delegate revolt?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this delegate revolt has to do with these GOP delegates whose voices are getting louder, Wolf, trying to stop Trump in any way they can at the convention. Trump weighing in this afternoon saying any such attempts to try and stop him would be illegal.
CARROLL (voice-over): A defiant Donald Trump attacking President Obama's response to the Orlando shooting.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And to a large extent, he's blaming guns and --
TRUMP: and I'm going to save your Second Amendment, folks. I'm going to save your Second Amendment.
CARROLL: As President Obama argues the answer to the massacre should not be more guns.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies commonsense.
CARROLL: Those positions reflecting a striking divide between Republicans and Democrats on how they interpret the Orlando shooting. A Gallup poll shows 79 percent of Republicans describe the massacre as an act of Islamic terrorism while 60 percent of Democrats see it as incident of domestic gun violence.
Trump says he wants to meet with the NRA to discuss barring people on the terror watch list and no fly list from buying guns. But the presumptive GOP nominee is using his support for the Second Amendment to go after Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish the Second Amendment, remember that. Now --
[17:50:06] TRUMP: More sophisticated than that, but the end result will be she will abolish the Second Amendment.
CARROLL: Clinton does back tougher gun laws, but she is not in favor of doing away with the Second Amendment.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: 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.
CARROLL: All this as a number of GOP lawmakers unnerved by Trump's rhetoric are keeping their distance. House Speaker Paul Ryan telling Republicans they should feel free to follow their conscience.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that's contrary to their conscience. Of course I wouldn't do that. But I feel as a responsibility institutionally as the speaker of the House that I should not be leaving some chasm in the middle of our party.
CARROLL: Yet the divide within the party appears to be growing with the convention now just a month away.
ALEX CONANT, FORMER MARCO RUBIO COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He is a sinking island. His poll numbers are underwater. His poll numbers continue to go down compared to Hillary Clinton. And it is about to get a lot worse.
CARROLL: CNN has learned that some Republicans are in fact looking into ways to block Trump's nomination in Cleveland, including changing the rules to free delegates bound to Trump to vote for whomever they want. It was the subject of a call Thursday night first reported by "The Washington Post." One participant on the call, former Cruz supporter, Steve Lonegan, told CNN today, "These delegates have a moral obligation to nominate a candidate who best represents the values of the Republican Party."
As those talks continue to swirl, Trump saying he's prepared to run with or without the full backing of the party.
TRUMP: We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself.
CARROLL: And RNC chairman Reince Priebus has been privately trying to find out, Wolf, if there's smoke where there's fire. In other words, trying to reach out to state leaders to see just how strong this anti- Trump movement might be. But again, as Trump has been saying any attempt, he says, to try to do this would not only be illegal, but he also says would disenfranchise the millions of voters who support him, voters like these who have come out for this rally today here in Houston -- Wolf. BLITZER: Millions and millions of voters did in fact support him
during the Republican primaries. All right, Jason, thanks very much.
Also today, Vladimir Putin clarified his opinion of Donald Trump. The Russian president spoke with CNN's Fareed Zakaria at an International Economic Forum in Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Let me ask you, Mr. President, about another democracy that is having a very different kind of drama.
You've made some comments about the American Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump. You called him brilliant, outstanding, talented. These comments were reported around the world. I was wondering what in him led you to that judgment and do you still hold that judgment?
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
PRES. VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (Through Translator): You personally are very famous in our country. You're not only famous as a journalist in one of the biggest TV stations, but as an intellectual.
Why do you always change the meaning of what I said? Because at the moment you speak as a journalist, not as an analyst. Why are you juggling with what I said?
I only said that he was a bright person. Isn't he bright? He is. He's -- I did not say anything else about him, but there's one thing that I paid attention to and that I definitely welcome is that Mr. Trump said he is ready to restore full fledged Russian-American relations. What can be bad about it? Don't you welcome it? We all welcome it.
ZAKARIA: Just to be clear, Mr. President, I -- the word brilliant was in the Interfax translation. I realized that other translations might may it's bright, but I used the official Interfax translation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And be sure to watch the entire interview with Vladimir Putin on "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS." That's this Sunday morning 10:00 a.m. Eastern and Pacific.
Breaking news next, the security company that employed the Orlando gunman now says he was not given a psychiatric exam amid FBI investigations and complaints from his coworkers.
[17:55:02] And more warning signs. We have details of how he was apparently preparing to die in the weeks before the attack.
BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news, the killer's mosque. We'll tell you what FBI agents were looking for during their visit to the Florida Islamic Center. Did they get any new insight about the motive for the Orlando attack.
No psych exam. The company where the shooter worked as a security guard now acknowledging a surprising gap in his background check. New details tonight about the warning signs that were missed.