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INSIDE POLITICS

Trump Tweets on Russia Inquiry; Mueller Tapped for Special Counsel; Rosenstein Appoints Special Counsel; Car Plows into Times Square. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired May 18, 2017 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00] COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: But the way the system works sometimes, and particularly in the mainstream media, they want to prove you guilty before you've actually had anything. And that's what the mainstream media has tried to do to this president is accuse him of things that there's been so evidence of whatsoever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: That part team Trump's response there.

With greater legal risk also comes a very different political environment. Republican leaders are exhausted and annoyed by the daily, if not hourly, White House dramas and missteps. They now are embracing both the new special counsel and more aggressive oversight by congressional investigators.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: They're going to go do their jobs independently and thoroughly, which is what we've called for all along. And so I think it was perfectly appropriate to do that. In the meantime, we're going to keep doing our jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And here's an understatement for you. The White House is edge. The president blames anyone but himself. His advisers now the subject of constant shakeup talk, most of that fueled by the president himself venting to friends and former campaign aides.

A lot to talk about. And with us to share their reporting and their insights, Jackie Kucinich of "The Daily Beast," Perry Bacon of FiveThirtyEight, Olivier Knox of "Yahoo! News," and "Bloomberg's" Margaret Talev.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller begins his work today as special counsel and is already building a team of seasoned federal investigators and prosecutors. President Trump finds that unfair. Quote, "with all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and Obama administration, there was never a special counsel appointed," the president tweeted this morning. In another tweet he went on to say this, quote, "this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history."

What the president calls a "witch hunt," almost all of the rest of Washington calls a welcome development.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL), MINORITY WHIP: This won't be a witch hunt. He's going to follow the facts and the evidence wherever they lead. And I trust that he'll come to the right conclusion, whatever it may be. This president has no one to blame but himself for the mess that he's in. Things that he has done, things he's said, the tweets that he continues to incessantly release have just made his life much more complicated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What do we make, a, of this new day and the new world we are in, especially the president's reaction this morning? A very muted statement last night but then, this morning, lashing out at the special counsel investigation. He's been treated unfairly. Nowhere has he said either in the statement last night or in these tweets, I'm prepared to cooperate, I willfully cooperate, I've told my people to cooperate. Where are we?

PERRY BACON, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: We rarely see bipartisan in Washington. So this is a very striking thing that, first of all, pretty much everybody prays, from Eric Holder to John McCain, prays Mueller specifically and the idea of a special counsel as well. So this is something that Trump really can't oppose because everything -- everybody else supports it.

That said, him lashing out, I was not surprised by it. I assumed the White House staff wrote the press statement from last night versus he has control over Twitter himself. And it does have to do with the fact that this was a self-induced -- if he had not -- the firing of Comey is going to turn out to be one of the biggest things he did wrong and the way he handled it. He ended up firing an FBI director and then having another FBI director in charge of a -- probably a broader -- and with a broader (INAUDIBLE) investigation of Trump. This is a self- inflicted mistake. As Durbin said, he continues to do things like this.

JACKIE KUCINICH, "THE DAILY BEAST": You have to wonder who he spoke to between last night when he had this very measured statement and this morning. Or maybe he just got up and started watching TV.

KING: He watched "Fox and Friends."

KUCINICH: Yes.

KING: It was right after a segment on "Fox and Friends."

KUCINICH: Right.

KING: And if you go to Breitbart, it's the same thing, saying, you know, how dare they now. They didn't do this to Hillary Clinton. They didn't do this to President Obama. So he's at choir practice and they're talking that this is an outrage.

KUCINICH: Right. Right. And it's not like one of his advisers can barge into the residence and say, give me your phone. That's a point --

KING: Right. Well, that's -- I don't mean to interrupt, but that's a critical and important point.

KUCINICH: Right.

KING: Does the president get this? I've got a lot of these gray hairs covering the Bill Clinton White House. And when these things start, nobody knows where they go. An investigation that started into a real estate transaction in western Arkansas, Whitewater, then became about Paula Jones, then ended up at Monica Lewinsky.

Bob Mueller's a serious guy. Everybody in town views him as someone who's going to stay on the path where he started. But, now he's going to ask questions about everything. About possible collusions between Trump campaign associates. About, more importantly, the president's conduct as president. Not just what happened in last year's campaign. But what do those Comey memos say?

OLIVIER KNOX, "YAHOO! NEWS": Look at the Mueller order. Look at the order creating this position and look at -- there's a small phrase tucked in there about how he's looking into the Russian meddling in the election. He's looking into -- you know, we know he's looking into Michael Flynn too, he's the former national security adviser. There's a little phrase in there, tucked in there that says, and basically any other matters that arise. That's, I think, the biggest danger point for this White House where aides increasingly look like it's day ten after their rations ran out on the life boat. And that little phrase there, that's what happened to the Clinton -- in the Clinton era. You remember when basically Ken Starr just got more and more and more authority. Well, we're kind of -- they've got to be watching that and worrying.

MARGARET TALEV, "BLOOMBERG POLITICS": And this week does mark what seems to be the real turning point, which is the turning point in the space between the rest of the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

KING: Right.

TALEV: We're seeing in Congress now what began as a subtle shift in rhetoric. It's becoming a more deliberate shift in rhetoric. Senators, even House members and House leadership now either making jokes about this or using critical language like "downward spiral" or "drama" to describe it. And the decision to go with a special counsel has given congressional Republicans the space to do this because they no longer feel like they need to defend President Trump's and Jeff Session's ability to conduct for this -- for a criminal investigation to be ongoing now. The criminal investigation is now going to happen through the special counsel and it gives the Republicans the space to not even have to play in that air space anymore.

[12:05:32] KING: Right. And as this happened, again, from experience, what it does to a White House, what it does to a White House, even if, the end, if Bob Mueller issues a report, whether it's six months or two years from now saying I found no misconduct, what it does is -- so he looks at a Comey memo. The president pulled Comey aside at the end of this meeting. Well, who knew about that? So then you have to interview Jeff Sessions and you have to interview Mike Pence. Is it true that the president asked you to leave the room so that he could have time alone with Jim Comey? Was Keith Schiller (ph), the security guard, sitting out in the hallway? What does he know about that? What about the president's secretary? What does she know about that? Talk to the nobodies. And I don't mean it the way it sounds. The Clinton administration who had to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees when they started getting called before grand juries and called into FBI interviews to confirm the tick tock and basic events of the movements. This can drain you.

BACON: This is now totally out of their control, is what you're laying out here. It's like, you know, I think Jennifer Palmieri worked for Clinton and was Hillary's communication director, was making this point exactly, is, once a special counsel's there, they can ask for anything. Everyone at the White House has to talk to them. Everyone has to get a lawyer potentially. You're now in a different situation.

And before, you know, when Richard Burr and Nunes were running committees, that is -- they're Republicans. Their job -- they are -- they had in mind that the party is in mind (ph) with them. Now you have Mueller is very unpredictable in the same way on some level Comey was. He's not going to be looking to please Donald Trump or anybody else. So you get something that's completely out of their control now and you don't know where it's going to lead and it could lead to potentially the end of the presidency.

KUCINICH: And if I could quickly add to what Margaret was saying, I think the Republicans I spoke to today, they're between doom and optimism. There's like do-optimism between -- with Republicans on both sides. Because while this does give them breathing room, this does lift the cloud a little bit and let them talk about tax reform, like Paul Ryan was trying to do. They know that this impending doom could be looming with this investigation and it's not because of the uncertainty, because of the wide breadth of this, they know anything could be around the corner.

KING: And it's a Republican president.

KUCINICH: He's a Republican president.

KING: And it's their -- no matter how much separation they try to get, which you're dead right about, this week has been about, OK, you know, we're not getting hung out to dry here.

BACON: Right.

KING: But no matter how much separation you try to get, he's a Republican president and you're the Republican Party.

KNOX: And not to give him the optimoom (ph) -- but we have a really early test of what's going to happen, which is that Michael Flynn's lawyer has now told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he's not going to comply with their support.

KUCINICH: Yes.

KING: Right.

KNOX: How does Mueller react? How does the Senate react? If the Senate goes ahead with, you know, trying to force -- force the issue, how does Jeff Sessions respond? Is he -- is he still recused? Because you would have to enforce --

KING: Right.

KNOX: He'd be the enforcer on anything with Flynn. So we have an early test in the -- in the first hours of this special counsel-ship.

KING: And even today we're having a test. Over the next several days we're going to have a test of whether the president gets this. His personal attorney, Michael Cohn, is in town today. People have been unwilling to say exactly why. But I'm told there's an effort around the president to get him to hire an outside private counsel, to get somebody smart. The Clinton's had David Kendall (ph). Bill Clinton and then Hillary Clinton had David Kendall. In her case, to deal with the whole e-mail investigation and all that. And, again, that's not -- that doesn't say you did anything wrong. It just says that there's a very serious investigation underway and you need to be careful about everything you say, everything you put in writing and everything you tweet in this case and whether you decide to cooperate or not cooperate and fight back.

And here's the issue. "The Wall Street Journal" puts it this way. "While the decision will provide some short-term political relief, not least for Mr. Rosenstein," he's the deputy attorney general --

BACON: Yes, good for him.

KING: Who finally decided, I can't, I'm boxed into a corner. And we'll get more into that a little bit later, "it also opens up years of political risk, years of political risk to the Trump administration with no guarantee that the public will end up with any better understanding of what really happened." This is a snowball and it's at the very top of a very long hill.

BACON: I think we'll know more --

KING: (INAUDIBLE) --

BACON: I disagree with the fact. I think we'll know more about what happened afterward. I think if Mueller investigates, he has a whole team. I think we're going to learn -- like the Ken Starr memo where you think about it, have a lot of detail. So I don't -- I think we're going to learn more, but I think potentially you have months -- it's hard to imagine this ends before the 2018 election. So you get this whole cloud with the whole party while they're trying to keep Senate seats. What does it mean? Like, we don't know. Can health care reform pass this environment? Maybe. Can tax reform pass? Maybe. But the members now have a lot of incentive to not really follow White House edicts very much. That makes it hard to govern if you're the president.

KING: Yes, they're hoping we'll pass stuff and he'll sign it.

BACON: And he'll sign it.

KING: (INAUDIBLE) the accomplishments and maybe they'll -- maybe the White House will be less involved in the details, which most people on Capitol Hill will be grateful with, if there would be -- I just mean that that's --

BACON: That's just how they feel.

KING: They'd rather just do the work themselves. But we're in an environment now, look at the cover of "Time" magazine, if we can put it up. Whether it's fair or unfair, this is the political environment we live in, this White House lives in, a picture there of the Kremlin essentially consuming the White House. Now, the story inside is about Russian use of social media to meddle in U.S. political discussions. The happiest person in the world this week has to be Vladimir Putin, who is in the middle of watching all this play out here in the United States.

[12:10:13] Let's -- we're going to talk more about the politics and the tick tock of this as we go forward, but let's talk a little bit about Bob Mueller. The former FBI director was considered so credible they allowed him to stay past the ten year term. They passed a law so he could stay a couple of extra years. He took a job right after 9/11, nominated by George W. Bush. He was on the job, I'm sorry, for one week before 9/11. He had just taken the job. Former U.S. attorney in San Francisco and in Boston. President Obama, as I noted, extended his tenure. Has been an assistant attorney general. He's a decorated Marine Corps veteran. I don't know anybody in this town who thinks that when Donald Trump tweets that Bob Mueller's going to quake.

BACON: That's exactly right.

KUCINICH: No.

TALEV: But his background is really interesting. His sort of tenure with the Justice Department in some form or another dates back to the Reagan era, through bipartisan administrations. But he's got this interesting history of an alliance with Jim Comey.

KUCINICH: I was going to say (INAUDIBLE) --

TALEV: Back a decade ago when it -- when it came to --

KING: Standing up to the Bush White House.

TALEV: Well, that's exactly right, when it came to standing up to the Bush White House on the interrogations policy. And also the firm with which he was affiliated and has now stepped down. This is like an only in Washington thing, right. Also has ties to Paul Manafort and to Jared Kushner, if I'm not mistaken.

KING: Right. TALEV: So -- but he is -- to the extent you can be above reproach in this town, he's sort of one of that special category of people who -- who Republicans feel OK about, and Democrats feel OK about, and is like a pro and a grownup and he's in his 70s. He's not trying to build a career. (INAUDIBLE) --

KING: Not trying to build a career, but this will be an exclamation point --

TALEV: But certainly trying to preserve that (ph).

KING: This will be an exclamation point. Probably the last big public act of his career, one would think. And so that -- he's a dead serious guy, anyone who knows him, but the issue is, he's not someone who's going to be cowed by the political pressure here.

KUCINICH: Well, right. And you throw -- you throw over Jim Comey and it's almost like a boomerang. You get back his mentor.

KING: Right.

KUCINICH: And so this is someone who, as Margaret said, he was the one documenting what happened during the Bush administration, during that whole thing with Alberto Gonzales, and the --

TALEV: (INAUDIBLE).

KUCINICH: Yes, Andy Card.

KING: Yes. Right.

KUCINICH: So this is someone who's very no nonsense and, as you said, unimpeachable. So --

KING: And someone who knows if the issue becomes the Jim Comey memos, do you find them credible, someone who knows the FBI protocols, who knows how to keep them, knows how you're supposed to share them contemporaneously with a few people so they know they're real and legitimate, talk in the moment. So the bottom line is this is not a good day. We don't know where it ends, but it does not begin in a good way for the Trump White House.

Everybody sit tight.

Up next, the president calls it a witch hunt, but if he's mad, there's suddenly a special prosecutor, well, you might say he has only one person to blame.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:17:02] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KING: Welcome back. We have some breaking news for you.

A car vehicle apparently crashing. Several people hurt in Times Square. A car apparently hitting pedestrians as it sped through Times Square. We're showing you some pictures here from our affiliates in New York. Just trying to get a sense of the scene here.

Witnesses say a car plowed into what is always, if you've ever been to Times Square, crowded with pedestrians. Also think about the time of day. It is lunchtime in Times Square. In addition to the tourists, you would have New Yorkers out on the street. We're seeing the pictures here of a heavy police response.

Witnesses saying the car plowed into a crowd of pedestrians there. Different reports say there are injuries. Again, we're going to keep an eye on this. We'll try to get some information from the NYPD and get back to you with more details as soon as possible. Again, witnesses saying, though, a car plowed in and you see the crowd in the street there. Emergency responders in the street. That's a grim scene. We'll try to get more information about the injuries, whether it's any worse than that, from the New York City Police and we'll bring you the latest as soon as we can. It's a terrible scene there in the middle of the day in Times Square.

Back to politics now until we get more information.

When word broke yesterday that a special prosecutor was being named, the president's allies at Breitbart vented their immediate displeasure. Look at this headline, "Knives Out: GOP Establishment Makes Its Move." Now, it's fair to label the man who made the decision, the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, as establishment. But knives out? Yes, Rosenstein had reason to be mad at the White House. It initially tried to pin the decision to fire James Comey just on him. But the president also painted Rosenstein into a bit of a corner with a number of steps that raised big question. One, was admitting the Russian investigation was on his mind when he fired James Comey. Another was allowing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to play a lead role in the firing and then in interviewing new FBI candidates. Sessions, you might remember, promised to recuse himself from anything relating to the Russia investigation. And the last straw, word the president pushed Comey to pledge his loyalty and then to shut down a big slice of the Russia investigation.

So Rosenstein says he was left with little choice. Trump allies see this as payback. And that is the political dynamic as this goes forward where if you, again, the president was watching "Fox and Friends" this morning and tweet out, why not a special counsel for Obama, why not a special counsel for Hillary Clinton. Breitbart calling this Rosenstein's revenge essentially. The guy's known as a straight shooter. He was sort of -- at first he was initially -- they put all of this on him, the president's staff did, until the president went out and told Lester Holt, no, this was me. I was thinking of doing it even before the inauguration. Certainly Russia was on my mind. What's the dynamic for Rod Rosenstein now, who's the number two at the Justice Department, and who I have to assume is not held entirely in high regard by the president at the moment.

KUCINICH: I think --

TALEV: I think -- yes, I mean Rod Rosenstein, speaking of people who have legacies to protect, had his own bipartisan legacy to protect. He had just been confirmed by the Senate almost unanimously. I think maybe six Democrats, you know, held back, right? So for him this is also about getting it right. The one question that I'm really curious about and I don't know the answer to, I don't have a clear picture about it yet, is when the new nominee for FBI director is named and President Trump had hoped in theory to do this before leaving tomorrow for Saudi Arabia. I don't know if that's still going to be possible. What is that person's jurisdiction and breath now going to be and how will they function and inter -- sort of interplay? What's the interplay between them and now this primary role of the special counsel?

[12:20:29] KUCINICH: And does this take a little bit of the pressure off of them is the other question because this person -- considering it would be someone who would be appointed by Trump, there was that -- that overarching question of how independent could this person possibly be, depending on who it is, of course. So does this -- dos the fact that there is a special counsel now help that person get through a little easier? But you do also have Rod Rosenstein speaking to senators today on The Hill.

KING: Right.

KUCINICH: So perhaps this will give him a little bit more to talk about than just trying to justify that letter that was sent that was the initial impetus, not but -- that the president said wasn't for firing Comey.

KING: And it's going to be fascinating to hear what comes out of that.

KUCINICH: Right.

KING: A closed meeting. Supposedly a private meeting. But senators on Capitol Hill. Word general leaks from those things.

I just want to -- maybe this isn't fair, maybe it is, but consider the irony of in the campaign one of the -- one of the reasons Trump supporters and then the president himself said, you cannot elect Hillary Clinton, because if you do, the e-mail investigation will be ongoing. She will constantly be under investigation. She will -- listen to the candidate Trump here -- be unable to get anything done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Hillary is elected, she would be under protracted criminal investigation and probably a criminal trial, I will say. So we'd have a criminal trial for a sitting president.

The investigation will last for years. The trial would probably start. Nothing will get done. Our country will continue to suffer. She's unfit and unqualified to be the president of the United States. And her election would mire our government and our country in a constitutional crisis that we cannot afford.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And so I can -- it's just the surreal nature of -- that this was one of his big themes in the campaign and here we are with people asking the same questions of, how long will this cloud be over the Trump White House.

KNOX: And this was back when he didn't think he was going to win either, you know? This is an interesting -- I'd completely forgotten about that speech. But, at the time, he was just trying -- doing as much damage to Hillary as possible but they didn't -- they thought they had at most a 20 percent chance of winning. So that's a very interesting -- a very interesting moment.

Back to the Breitbart thing and the knives being out, aside from the fact that the knives need to come out for editors who let the knives being out be a trop in journalism.

BACON: Well said (INAUDIBLE).

KNOX: There is a -- there's a deep whispering (ph) of grievance among Trump voters who actually do see the media and Democrats and established Republicans all out for this president. All -- they read everything as an attack on its legitimacy. Certainly at the White House they view even mild criticisms as an attack on his legitimacy. So it's not surprising to see that. There's an undercurrent of -- I've been seeing this from some of my Trump supporting fans on FaceBook of, this is a soft coup against this president. So that's not going anywhere. That reservoir of agreements, they're going to be tapping that through this entire process.

KING: And the president keeps tapping it because he understands the political position he's in and he needs to keep the base and his support out there in the conservative media.

I want to halt the conversation just a second because I want to go back to the developing situation in Times Square. CNN's Alison Kosik has some of the details.

We know, Alison, that a vehicle has struck some pedestrians in Times Square. What do we know about the scope of the injuries?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, we are just learning that 13 people have been hit by this car that suddenly just drove into pedestrians right in the heart of Times Square. It's an interesting part of the day because the call came in around 11:50 to the FDNY about this red Honda plowing into people. And it's right in the middle of lunchtime, right in a prime part of New York City in Times Square. And it's a beautiful day in New York City today. It's going to be 90 degrees. We haven't seen warm weather it a long time. So we see a lot of people outside.

So you see crowds gathering there. Streets are blocked off. Once again, 13 people injured according to New York City officials from this red Honda.

John.

KING: Alison, stand by for us. I want to bring into the conversation Patsy Sciutto. She is a witness

to this accident in Times Square. She also happens to be the sister of CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto.

Patsy, just tell me where you are, where you were when this happened and what you saw.

PATSY SCIUTTO, WITNESS (via telephone): Sure. Happy to.

So I'm standing on 45th and 8th Avenue. I was in my building. I work at 3 Times Square, where the incident took place. I was on my way out to meet someone for lunch. An announcement came over the intercom saying the building is in lockdown because there has been an incident outside. I was able to exit through the side door after some discussion with our security officers and I was told that there had been some fatalities and others injured due to an unknown speeding car that drove away. So I did not see anything other than all of the commotion in Times Square. Several policemen, several pedestrians, and all of the ambulance removing the individuals that were impacted by the incident.

[12:25:28] KING: As we watch the pictures coming in now, we see a large number of police vehicles and first responders on the scene. You see some fire personnel there. Emergency medical personnel. A lot of police uniforms. Can you tell us, just from what you saw, was there any way to kind of, you know, a, the scope of the response and, b, any way to characterize how many people, whether it's down in the street or receiving medical attention?

SCIUTTO: It would be difficult for me to answer that entirely accurately because I had -- I exited the side door and wasn't able to get close to the incident other than when I was in the elevator bank towards the side door I saw several people outside. Several people sitting in our lobby clearly, clearly disturbed by the incident. There may have been people that were related to the folks involved. Not entirely sure. The response was very rapid. I mean from the announcement through to hundreds of policemen and ambulance on the scene was literally moments.

KING: And, Patsy, for viewers who might not be familiar with this, I know there's a small police substation right there in the center of Times Square actually. They sit there right in the middle of the street where you often see some of the performers and the demonstrators if you're walking through Times Square. Just help someone who may not be familiar. You mentioned, it's the lunch hour. You mentioned it's a beautiful morning and a beautiful day and more people -- even more people than normal. But it's always a crowded scene in Times Square at lunchtime. Help people put that into context.

SCIUTTO: Absolutely. Happy to. And, again, our office is right there in Times Square, right in the heart of it. And as it is a beautiful day in New York City, it was packed with tourists, packed with people like myself who work in the area, and performers as well. The streets were cleared very, very quickly, but there were still hundreds of people looking at the scene where the cops were basically shoeing everybody away. You could not get near the scene. Very rapidly, within two to three minutes, they had pushed everybody aside. You could not crossover 7th Avenue, which is normally the hub of the Times Square area. Does that help?

KING: And, Patsy, stand by for us, if you can.

Alison Kosik I believe is still on the scene.

Alison, just obviously I'm watching these pictures on a monitor that shows an overwhelming response. And it looks like a little bit of confusion in the streets, which would be expected. But tell us what you're seeing and what -- if you're hearing new information about the number of injuries. And Patsy said she had heard someone say there was a fatality. We have not officially confirmed that as yet, right?

KOSIK: Yes, we have not confirmed that. And the 13 patients that were injured, we're not -- we -- we're not -- we're not confirming if those were actually hit by the car, but we are confirming that there are 13 patients injured in this Times Square accident. We don't know yet where the driver is, if the driver has been pulled out of the car or not. We are not sure about that.

But as you can see, we are seeing a huge reaction from police blocking off streets trying to assess what happened here. Once again, as Patsy said, you know, this is happening right in the middle of lunch hour, right in the middle of a beautiful day. New York City is one of those cities where people walk everywhere. And pedestrians, you know, even when we cross the street, we think no one's going to -- no one's going to -- someone's going to stop if you're crossing the street. You know, obviously, in this situation, that may not have happened. We don't know what the driver's intentions were here and what happened behind the wheel.

John.

KING: And, Alison, as the police respond, I assume it's impossible to get somebody to try to get more information. But in terms of the scope of this, is it more police cars than ambulances? Is it a mix?

KOSIK: It's hard to tell right now. You know, we do have, obviously, ambulances arriving on the scene, taking those injured to hospitals. We do have a crew heading to the scene, of course. When you have a scene like this, a lot of streets are blocked off. That crew as well being blocked as well, but making its way to the scene to assess what really happened here, John.

KING: And just to recap for anyone just joining us, the best information we have is that a car going through Times Square -- do we know anything about its speed of travel or its rate of travel -- but struck a number of pedestrians? Is that the best we have right now?

KOSIK: Yes. Our number right now is 13 and we do not know how fast this vehicle was going. And what the scene really was at the time. As you see there, an aerial of all the fire trucks there on the scene. Kind of -- the car there is in the lower left -- you see it's a red Honda there. It looks like it's mangled. And then you see the crowd to the right, you know, being kept away. And you see -- you see the street, you know, empty, which is really an unusual thing to see in Times Square, the heart of Broadway, the heart of restaurants and shops and where tourists go, especially on a beautiful New York City day.

John.

[12:30:09] KING: Right, and blocking off that part of the city as they respond. It will cause additional domino effect, if you will.