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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
President Trump visits devastated Puerto Rico; President Trump to meet governor of US Virgin Islands; LA tragedy reignites bitter gun control debate; Spain in crisis after Catalonia crackdown; Rock legend Tom Petty dies at 66; New pictures of Las Vegas shooter. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 3, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are following two breaking stories this hour. The
investigation into the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history and also this hour, Donald Trump's first visit to survey the damage from one of the
worst hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico.
Let's start with Las Vegas this hour, police are trying to make sense of the senseless all of we to be honest and figure out why a retired
accountant would turn a high-rise hotel room into a sniper's nest firing into the crowd below.
Fifty nine people at last count were murdered. More than 500 wounded during an outdoor music festival on Sunday night. Today, President Trump
declined to label it domestic terrorism and said now is not the time to talk about gun control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We have a tragedy -- and what happened in Las Vegas is in many ways a miracle. The police
department has done (inaudible) and we'll be talking about (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: What happened in Las Vegas is in many ways a miracle says the president. Mr. Trump, as I mentioned, is in Puerto Rico right now phrasing
the U.S. government's relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.
He and First Lady Melania Trump are meeting with local officials and storm victims today. You see recent footage of their visit to Puerto Rico. Now
most of the island still has no power.
Many residents still lack basic services and utilities, but Mr. Trump says Puerto Ricans should be very proud of the recovery efforts even as he
appeared to joke about the high cost of them.
We'll take you live to San Juan ahead, but first we want to get to the big development in the investigation of the Las Vegas massacre. A big part of
that investigation is focusing on the gunman's hotel room.
This newly released video goes inside the shooter's suite. It was filmed by guests who stayed there back in 2016. Dan Simon is following this and
other developments and he joins me now live from Las Vegas.
What is the latest? I understand that a source has told CNN that the gunman wired US$100,000 to the Philippines. Do we know why and to whom?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We just learned that information, Hala. We don't know exactly what that wire transfer was for, but yes, we can confirm
that at some point the shooter did wire a hundred thousand dollars over to the Philippines, who recipient was for that cash. We don't know and we
don't know what its purpose was.
We can tell you that the shooter's girlfriend reportedly did have some ties to the Philippines and at one point it had been reported that she was
actually there. We subsequently learned that she has been in Tokyo.
And at some point, will come back to Las Vegas and one would think she would be talking to investigators, but the precisely what that money was
for, Hala, we don't know.
GORANI: And this girlfriend, have authorities spoken to her? They know for sure she's in Tokyo?
SIMON: All they have said is that they did make contact with her. They made some preliminary contact with her. They said they need to talk with
her further, but they did clarify yesterday during a news conference that she is in fact in Tokyo.
GORANI: And now she was living with the shooter, right? And we know that the police recovered dozens of weapons and firearms and even explosives
materials either in the home or in the hotel room of the gunman. Are they still saying she was unaware of anything that he was planning?
SIMON: They haven't said anything what she may have known and honestly, we don't know what she has told investigators at this point. What they have
said is that she was in no way involved with the shooting itself because she was out of the country.
But what she has to say, of course, is going to be interesting because you're right this is a person who assembled an incredible amount of
firearms. You are talking about 23 weapons that were found inside the hotel room itself and then at least another 19 guns that were found in the
home at the Sheraton Mesquite.
GORANI: And we know we know that authorities recovered devices, computers, perhaps cell phones, do we know if they found any information that is
relevant to the investigation on those devices?
SIMON: We don't know what they found on the devices. Of course, that's how people communicate these days on their electronic devices. You would
want to look at social media accounts. You'd want to look through the hard drive to see if by any information can be gathered.
The fact that they did pick up some of those electronic devices hopefully will yield some clues as to what ultimately may have motivated the shooter
because at this point, there is no clear motive here.
[15:05:04] You're talking about a shooter that had no criminal history according to his brother. He had no ties to any political groups, no ties
to any religious groups, those are the things you immediately look for.
GORANI: All right. Dan Simon in Las Vegas, thanks very much.
I want to bring you some new video just coming into CNN of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, visiting devastated Puerto Rico. We
understand this was filmed at an aid distribution center located inside the chapel called The Cavalry Chapel in Puerto Rico.
All right. Let's listen in.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: -- saving lives, 16 lives, that's a lot, but compare that to the thousands of people that died in other hurricanes and frankly, we
are nearly as severe. I just have such respect for FEMA and for all of the people who got here early and what they've been to do. Governor, you may
want to say something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are grateful for the president. We are grateful for the efforts that the federal government has embarked. You know, this is
FEMA. We have all the way from mayors to FEMA, the DoD, General Buchanan is here with us as well. We couldn't have this if we didn't have those
But of course, we recognize and the president recognizes that we still need to do a lot more, but we know that we are going to do it together. This is
a commitment by the president and the first lady being here shows a commitment to being here for the long haul, helping us get the emergency
out, stability and then rebuilding Puerto Rico (inaudible).
PRESIDENT TRUMP: (Inaudible) would you like to say something?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. This is, you know -- one of the things that you may heard in the mainland is not happening actually here. People
in FEMA (inaudible) and the Marines so we've been (inaudible) in less than 10 days (inaudible).
So, it's not by the Navy, Army, (inaudible). They are rescuing more than 800 (inaudible) people. It's the first time in history that Puerto Rico
got direct communication (inaudible) to deal with this.
We never before and we are in the (inaudible) and we are used to that (inaudible) but never like this one. This is a (inaudible) one. This is
devastating, but thanks for all the help and all (inaudible).
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. Honestly, it was devastated before the hurricanes even hit, and then the hurricanes hit and they wiped them out.
We are getting a lot of generators that have been already brought to the island. Most of the hospitals are open or at least partially open, but
most of them now are open.
And again, the job that's been done here is really nothing sort of miracle. It's been incredible and I appreciate virtually this is the mayor from this
very important area and Mr. Mayor, I appreciate your efforts too and I appreciate what you had to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you on behalf of my people (inaudible) and on behalf of the 3.5 U.S. citizens over here. Your people are doing the right
stuff for us. We, the mayors, (inaudible). That's my experience over here (inaudible) and they are helping thousands and thousands of people. So,
thank you, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.
GORANI: President Trump there in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico earlier. He was filmed throwing paper towels at people gathered in a distribution center
inside of a chapel. You just heard him there with Puerto Rican officials including the mayor of Guaynabo saying that the job that's been done here
is nothing short of a miracle.
The president said 16 lives were lost, but that is not as high a number as other hurricanes, the president added. You saw him flank there to his left
by Puerto Rican officials and to his right by Melania Trump, the first lady, who traveled with the president to Puerto Rico. We'll have more from
the devastated U.S. territory in a moment.
Let's return to Las Vegas. Many people around the world, in fact some of you watching our show tonight are asking why. Why in a country like the
United States are mass shooting allowed to continue and why despite the deaths of innocent people even children at times do politicians do thing to
change gun laws?
Why is it that in Washington where regardless of who is in power politicians have been incapable or unwilling to pass meaningful gun-control
[15:10:09] Well, the fact is many in power will not take a stand on gun control because of the National Rifle Association. The NRA has a powerful
political arm that pours millions of dollars into campaigns every year and has more than 5 million members.
Let's talk more about this issue. Our White House reporter, Stephen Collinson joins me now. So, these questions, these why questions that I
enumerated for our viewers, people are dumbfounded because I think look in Australia, they had Port Arthur.
In Great Britain, they had done blames Scotland, every time one of those massacres happen, meaningful gun-control legislation was passed. In fact,
gun amnesties were instituted where people would voluntarily give up their firearms. Why not in America?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: That is the question asked after every one of these massacres and I know from the outside it
seems absolutely insane the way America handles its gun laws. The first reason is the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution.
And that means that if you had some kind of mass rounding up of firearms, 300 million, by the way, in the United States, that would probably be
illegal and unconstitutional. Now that doesn't mean you can't do less far- reaching gun reform, for instance, banning assault rifles as the case for a period from the 1990s to the start of the century, more background checks.
But the problem is you mention the power of the National Rifle Association that has the power to make and break Republicans in primary races. It can
attack vulnerable Democrats in conservative states.
But the fundamental fact of this is there is not sufficient support to get law passed through the Congress. There is no appetite --
GORANI: Yes. But ordinary voters are in favor of background checks. Ordinary voters are in favor of keeping guns away from people with mental
illnesses. Why is it that politicians are not reflecting the will of their constituents and reflecting the will instead have a powerful lobbying
COLLINSON: Well, there are two reasons to that issue. The first is structural, to get something through the Senate, you have to have 60 votes.
After the Newtown massacre of those schoolchildren in 2012, they managed to get a majority 54 votes for expanded background checks, but they couldn't
get 60 votes.
One of the reasons for that is the way the U.S. political system is set up. The Senate, for example, you can have a big state like New York and
California, huge popular states, liberal states where many people want to have gun reform.
They had two votes each in the Senate exactly the same as, for example, Wyoming, which has two votes. In Arkansas which has two votes which are
far fewer people, but there are rural areas where people are against gun control.
So, the system is set up to sort of order against swift reforms. That's one of the reasons. The other reason is that the NRA and Republican gun
rights activists have been successful in making the case that background checks, for example, or confiscating assault weapons, that is a slippery
slope to Democrats like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama wanted to come and take away your guns. This is a cultural --
GORANI: Well, that's a narrative that's been successfully spread certainly probably for political reasons more than because anyone truly believes
Barack Obama was going to confiscate anyone's gun.
Stephen Collinson, thanks so much for joining us. The NRA gives our next guest an A rating when it comes to stance on gun laws. Congressman Trent
Franks is an Arizona Republican and he joins me live from Capitol Hill.
Thanks, sir, for being with us. So, you saw the devastation in Las Vegas and you saw the mass murder essentially of 58 people, more than 500
injured. Why still do you believe there shouldn't be stricter gun control legislation?
REPRESENTATIVE TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: Well, first of all, I mean, I think that this horrifying tragedy is almost beyond description for all of
us. I don't have anybody that was personally involved that I know of, but I know that this got to be a crushing thing for so very many.
And I think that the real issue here is what drove this lunatic to do this because, you know, none of us would say that the policeman shouldn't have
guns and so consequently logically, it's not the guns it is, whose hands they are in that is the issue.
GORANI: Well, police are law enforcement. They are not private citizens. We trust police officers with guns because we trust they are there to
protect us. These are private citizens with access to military grade assault rifles. Why not pass a law --
FRANKS: Well, these are also private citizens --
GORANI: Right, but these are assault rifles and in this particular case whether they were modified or not, they were bought legally, why? I guess,
people around the world are dumbfounded. They see this massacre. It happened in Australia, a massacre that lead to greater restrictions on gun
[15:15:04] It happened in Scotland, same thing in this country. Why not America? Why --
FRANKS: I would just first say that the machine-gun that he was using oftentimes the media tries to conflate semiautomatic and automatic weapons
together and I think it confuses it. But this man used a fully automatic - -
GORANI: I'm not confused by the difference. I'm just saying it was a modified semi-automatic.
FRANKS: I'm suggesting to you that the gun that he used was illegal. Are you thinking we should change that policy?
GORANI: Yes, no, but I mean, he bought the semi-automatic gun legally, but I guess the question is, if you see a massacre like this, and for instance,
we know that in February the president signed a measure that nixed the regulation aimed at keeping guns away from certainly mentally ill people.
The NRA has pushed for people on the no-fly list could still be given access to firearms. Why not restrict to even people with mental illnesses
access to firearms? Why would that be --
FRANKS: Well, I think that this particular situation if we can point to a mental illness that was the issue there, I think that becomes a proper
focus of the debate. But we don't know really what cause this here now.
And I would say to you, when you look at terrorists, they are starting to use trucks and vehicles more and more all the time and I don't think we are
going to have people saying it's the trucks and vehicles.
It's the motivation. It's the ideologies, the mindset that does this. That is the problem. And if we focus on something else then we really
don't solve the problem, and merely just to let the bad guy use some other type of weapon.
GORANI: But trucks and vehicles are not designed to kill people. They are designed to go from Point A to Point B. Guns are designed to kill people.
That's their aim.
FRANKS: Well, that's not the only aim, My Lady, the guns -- if it weren't for guns, none of us would be free. So, the reality is I know sometimes
people beat up on the NRA, but the only reason the NRA has any power in this country at all is because there are millions of Americans that
believed in the Second Amendment, believe in their ability and their right to defend and protect themselves.
And that has been a recipe for freedom for a very long time and I wonder what would happen if we were like some of the past countries where they
rounded up the guns and confiscated all the guns and then the despites could take over and millions of people die.
I would just suggest to you that some of us want very, very much to protect all innocent people. That is the main motivation that we are here in this
office and if I thought --
GORANI: And Sir, because you are bringing it up, the countries that rounded up the guns like Australia saw their firearms -- death and suicide
by firearm rates plummet so did they in Great Britain, 32 deaths a year and they are in the single digits. They are not exactly run by death squads in
FRANKS: I would you just suggest to you that they also rounded up the guns in Nazi Germany and we have a pretty good example of what happened there.
If the people had been armed, the Crystal Night would have been a very different event.
GORANI: That is an extremely controversial and frankly unique take on (inaudible). I have heard that before, but thanks for your take on that.
But look, I gave you the statistics. I mean, in Great Britain and Australia and Japan and France, the country list to go on and on.
If it isn't stricter access to gun control, what does explain the very low murder rate by firearms in those countries? What else could explain it?
FRANKS: Well, I think there a lot of dynamics in this country that create some of these things. I mean, if you look at what's really killing people
across the world, it's the ideology of jihad.
And ideology here I think is playing some role and time will tell what drove this sorry evil lunatic to do what he did, but I would bet you that
we'll eventually be able to ascertain what it was.
And again, it won't be the gun's fault because a gun could have intervened. A gun could in the right hands of the right person potentially could have
save lives. Guns protect people. Guns kill people. Guns do a lot of things.
But they're about two and a half times as many people whose lives are saved by guns as whose lives are taken by them. So, that's an easy call for me.
GORANI: The ideology of jihad has killed way fewer people in America than ordinary firearms. Well, let me ask you about this abortion bill that
you're introducing at 4 p.m., which is I really thank you for joining us. I know you have to go ahead.
You've tried a few times before. This is a bill that would outlaw abortion past 20 weeks, I believe, in the pregnancy of a woman. Opponents say, as
you know, I'm sure, for instance, the physicians for reproductive health, the Journal of American Medical Association say this is debunked.
That the 20-week that a fetus feels pain after 20 weeks is not correct. On what science do you rely --
FRANKS: I can tell you that, you know, the reason this bill would protect unborn children beginning at the sixth month of pregnancy, the first -- the
beginning of the sixth month and we named it Micah's Law because there is a little guy here that was born at 20 weeks.
He's now five years old and he's actually outpacing his kindergarten peers in his class and to suggest that that baby, that little boy couldn't feel
pain when he was born is just ludicrous.
[15:20:12] And people know that, people aren't buying this left-wing nonsense is somehow these little babies don't feel pain, they do. All
credible medical experts know that they do and say that.
There's not any argument about a baby beginning at the sixth month of pregnancy feeling pain. In fact, there's a new study showing that
somewhere close to two thirds of them could now potentially survive.
So, the reality is that we've been really good cheer and in the final analysis no matter what the gotchas or what ifs are, this bill is a sincere
effort to protect babies and their mothers beginning at the sixth month of pregnancy from this horrifying, torturous, process of extremely late term
abortion. It's something the American people support.
GORANI: All right. Representative Trent Franks of Arizona, thanks so much for joining us.
FRANKS: And thank you, My Lady. Thank you so much.
GORANI: We appreciate it. We have just heard the Republican perspective on gun control. Up next, a Democratic lawmaker's take, he says he's had
enough of empty words followed by inaction so why not act? We'll be right back.
GORANI: Survivors of the Las Vegas massacre describing an absolutely horrific scene as people all around them fell to the ground, struck by
bullets raining down from above. At least 59 people were killed at a country music festival Sunday night, more than 500 others were wounded.
The gunman fired on the crowd from a nearby hotel room after smashing out the window. This was a highly premeditated act. This new video shows the
crime scene at the hotel. Authorities say the shooter killed himself as police closed in. They found 23 weapons inside his room and another 19
guns at his home.
Our next guest is among those calling for a ban on assault weapons saying thoughts and prayers are not enough to keep us safe. Ro Khanna is a
Democratic congressman from California Silicon Valley. Thanks for being with us.
So why -- let me -- I mean, obviously, you know around the world what people keep asking after every one of these massacres, why is there an
unwillingness on Capitol Hill to draft and get meaningful gun control laws passed, why?
REPRESENTATIVE RO KHANNA (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, it defies common sense. I mean, people are asking what need the civilians have to have military like
weaponry. It just makes no sense and that's why here in America we are six times the homicide rate with these kind weapons than Canada, 16 times that
And my hope is that regardless of politics, we are going to come together now and do something to say you shouldn't have civilians having military
[15:25:04] GORANI: I mean, it's not going to happen after Newtown, it was said that, you know, finally this is it. This is what's going to get
politicians to act. You know, after Orlando and now after this. And I just interviewed Congressman Trent Franks, who essentially said gun control
is not the answer.
KHANNA: Well, I think that the debate has become so politicized, but there are common sense things, which we can all, my hope is agreeing on, which is
background checks. There's no reason that every American can't have a background check.
There's no reason that ordinary Americans need military like weapons. You can respect people's traditions, their hunting, their being sportsmen and
women. You can respect the Second Amendment and you can agree that we need to prevent people having 23 weapons that can fire with semiautomatic
capacity with these high magazine clips. And we just need to keep making - -
GORANI: Would it help in this case because the shooter bought the weapons from a gun store and passed the background check and as you know, all the
legislative efforts to close the loophole on background at gun shows and on internet sales has failed.
Is it the NRA not just spending on campaigns, but also spending outside of simply funding a politician campaign on attack ads, all sorts of outside
spending that equal for the NRA every single year $62 million? This is one of the richest and most powerful lobbying groups. Does it come down to the
KHANNA: Well, certainly, (inaudible) it's more than that. Look, we defeated on a special interest in the health care debate. There were
millions, billions of dollars at stake in healthcare, but what happened is ordinary Americans went out, mobilized, went to town halls, met their
members of Congress, shared their stories.
The same kind of passion that we saw the defeat of the Trumpcare and then healthcare is the type of passion we need to see in this country around gun
safety legislation. If we have that kind of mobilization, hundreds of people coming to the capital, going to town halls not relenting.
Then I think you would get a legislation so the only thing that's going to change something is a mobilized citizenry and we saw that work in the
GORANI: Right. But the citizenry is fed a steady diet of some media outlets that keep saying that any attempt to restrict access to guns is big
government trying to completely demolish the Second Amendment that's a narrative that's done very well.
And then you also have as I mentioned the NRA and its ads, that is also an extremely powerful media tool. So how do you maintain any level of
optimism that things will change?
KHANNA: Well, the optimism I have is even talking to other members across aisle. People realize that this is something that we can't tolerate in
this country and when you have a commonsense argument, which is you tell people, look, we respect the Second Amendment.
No one is going to take away the lawful use of guns for sports or for hunting or for tradition to pass down to families. No one is demonizing
gunowners, but we can all agree that there is no reason that civilians should have military like weaponry where they can slaughter 50, 60, a
hundred Americans that that's just defies common sense.
Our founders would never have ever dreamed of something like that and if we continue to make the argument I believe overtime America does the right
thing. Often, it's a hard struggle, it seems like an uphill battle, and some of our greatest pieces of legislation have required years and years of
But in the end of citizens stay active and if we stay passionate we are going to get it done, and I think healthcare was an example of that kind of
GORANI: All right. Well, thanks for your take, Ro Khanna, a representative from California. Really appreciate your time on CNN this
Up next, President Trump is in Puerto Rico right now this hour. He is expected to meet the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. We are following
his movement and we'll be live on the island next.
And we'll look at the debate over the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We hear a lot about the Second Amendment. What does it
actually say. We'll be right back.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW: It's been nearly two weeks since Hurricane Maria smashed into Puerto Rico, paralyzing the country and
creating a staggering humanitarian crisis.
Now, President Trump is there. In the last hour, he was inside a chapel, handing out supplies to people there. In fact, he's actually throwing
supplies to people there. Those are kitchen towels or paper towers he's throwing into the crowd.
Well, he is trying to portray his response to the disaster as a tremendous success. He's been meeting members of the public and held a sort of rather
awkward roundtable with officials, including the Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz. That is the same mayor he accused of poor leadership on
Mr. Trump had this to say about the death toll in Puerto Rico.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every death is a horror. But if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the
tremendous - hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally
overbearing, nobody's ever seen anything like this - now, what is your death count as of this moment? 17?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sixteen certified.
TRUMP: Sixteen people, certified. Sixteen people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all your people, all of our people working
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's go live to San Juan. Boris Sanchez is there. So, the president said earlier that the job that has been done here is nothing
short of a miracle in Puerto Rico. What are people telling you on the ground? Would they qualify the job as miraculous?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm not sure they would use that word, at least the federal response. We've seen a lot of Puerto Ricans in
desperate need, whether standing in long lines at grocery stores or gas stations.
Keep in mind, only about 7 percent of the island actually has electricity right now. More than anything, what we've heard from residents here is
that neighbors are helping neighbors. They've come together to offer assistance to those who needed, whether by pitching in with their own money
or offering them shelter and aid inside their homes for those who, for example, lost their roofs.
The reception to the president so far has been not exactly warm. You could say that some of his comments have been awkward.
Keep in mind, just a few days ago, when he sent out tweets saying that they want everything done for them, those were not well received here on the
island. However, you get the sense that Puerto Ricans here welcoming of any helping hand to get them through this crisis, Hala.
GORANI: And what about - obviously, we're still talking about emergency response needs here, water, paper towel, I mean, all those things you need
to live day to day.
[15:35:06] But when will the island, when will the structures that have been damaged or destroyed be inhabitable again because presumably you still
have thousands of people with no permanent place to live?
SANCHEZ: That is a difficult question to answer. To give you an example, we heard this figure, that 7 percent that I alluded to before as far as
where the electricity grid is, they told us that in about a month, a quarter of Puerto Rico will have power. Some will be without power for up
to 10 months. So, it is a long, gradual process.
I was actually in a town called Ponce two days ago with an older couple. They had been together 31 years and a tree went straight into their living
room. They right now are staying with a neighbor.
And they registered with FEMA shortly after the storm. They told me that up until when I visited them, they had received not a single visit or call
from whether a federal or local official to check on their well-being. They told me that no one had visited their neighborhood and they had
receive no aid whatsoever.
So, while there is some recovery here in San Juan, for example, in other parts of the island, it is uneven at best.
Another one of our crews was actually following a FEMA group that went down even further southwest into the island. And I was told that, when they
arrived, as people were coming out into the streets to try to wave them down and get aid, they actually didn't have enough food for all the people
that showed up.
So, it is still in the very early stages of recovery in Puerto Rico, even though we're almost two weeks removed from Hurricane Maria hitting the
GORANI: Thank you so much, Boris Sanchez in Puerto Rico. We've been following President Trump in Puerto Rico, but it wasn't just that territory
that felt Maria's wrath. This is St. Croix on the US Virgin Islands.
Take a look. Decimated. You see the damage. President Trump is expected to meet the governor of these islands in the next few minutes. Ivan Watson
is on St. Croix and he joins me live. What did you see today, Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the governor of these islands here, the US Virgin Islands, is flying from
St. Croix to a US Navy amphibious assault ship called the USS Kearsarge, which we filmed on last week. That served as a sea base for some of the
military recovery efforts across the islands.
And the governor, at a press conference last night here, he said that one of the things he's going to bring up with President Trump is his concern
about something called the Blue Roof Program, and that's run by the Army Corps of Engineers, and it's designed to try to put temporary blue tarps
over some of the thousands and thousands of homes that were damaged, that saw their roofs USS ripped off in both Hurricanes Irma and in Hurricanes
The governor lamented that, in eight days of this program, only 47 roofs had been temporarily repaired with this program. And he said that he was
going to bring it up and try to get President Trump to streamline the contracting process to help with this.
I spoke with a woman named Carmen here who spent Hurricane Maria hiding, cowering under a table in her house when Maria's winds ripped the roof off
and she spent hours there with her grandson cowering from the winds.
And she says no federal official has come to visit her in nearly two weeks since then. So, that's one concern there.
This is a much smaller population on the Virgin Islands than on Puerto Rico, only about 100,000 people. And the people want to make sure that
they are not forgotten.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The approach to St. Croix reveals a storm-tossed island still littered with
The airport, an improvised operation with a military presence. Outside, civilians wait to be evacuated, joining the thousands now fleeing to the US
mainland aboard what the authorities call mercy flights and mercy ships.
Among them, 19-year-old Taylor Thomson, her 11-year-old brother Alex, and their dog Whisky.
TAYLOR THOMSON, HOPING TO EVACUATE: Because everything is destroyed - homes, cars, businesses. That's absolutely terrible because you can't get
ahold of people you know.
I haven't talked to my friends since the storm passed. I have no idea if they're OK, if their house is standing. So, you just don't know anything.
But it's awful.
WATSON: Hurricane Maria's devastating winds left a path of destruction, uprooting trees, ripping down power lines, and according to federal
officials, damaging more than 2,000 structures.
Everywhere you look, people are cleaning up, including Dan Zebroski and his son's friend Tyler, who are also hoping to make a little money collecting
[15:40:01] DAN ZEBROSKI, ST. CROIX RESIDENT: Look at this, this is history. This is hurricane season's history. Nothing like this has ever
WATSON (on camera): The US Virgin Islands have long been an American tropical paradise, but now two back to back monster storms have devastated
the tourism industry, which makes up the backbone of the island's economy.
(voice-over): The cruise ship currently docked here provides temporary housing for disaster relief workers, instead of tourists. Curfew sets in
at 6:00 p.m., an effort to stop looting that erupted after the storm.
YVETTE ROSS EDWARDS, ATTORNEY: Yes, this was blown up and a piece of it cracked off, kind of a symbol as to where my office is now.
WATSON: Attorney Yvette Ross Edwards shows me her office, soaked by rain after the storm damaged the building's roof.
(on camera): Realistically, how long would it be before you can get back to work?
ROSS EDWARDS: I am looking at not until January. That's how long I'm looking.
WATSON (voice-over): Until then, she and her employees have to live without salaries, and yet the island still is not out of the danger zone.
EDWARDS: And unfortunately, we're just getting past the middle of the hurricane season. So, we have almost two more months to go, and that's the
sad part of it.
WATSON: Let's hope nature gives this battered corner of paradise some time to recover.
WATSON: And, Hala, nature's power is actually terrifying if you take a look here. Those hills in the distance used to be green. They're
completely denuded. This beach behind me used to be a pristine sandy beach and all of the sand was washed away.
When it comes to something like schools, the governor says potentially St. Croix is weeks away from schools being able to reopen. So, you can just
imagine the disruption that is for the population here.
GORANI: All right. Ivan Watson in St. Croix, thanks very much.
The debate over gun control in the US is always intense and always emotional, especially after horrific mass shootings like the one in Las
And it's often centered around the intent of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which reads, "a well-regulated militia being necessary to the
security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
That is the wording. That's how long it is. Let's take a closer look at that and the arguments surrounding it. Larry Sabato joins us via Skype
from Charlottesville, Virginia. He's the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia and the author of "The Kennedy Half-
So, Larry, let's first start because this confounds people abroad, the Second Amendment. They think, did the Founding Fathers really intend for
every American to have access to any kind of firearm, including military grade weaponry? What was the intent really of the Founding Fathers in
drafting that amendment?
LARRY SABATO, ROBERT KENT GOOCH PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Of course, this has been debated for well over 200 years. And
the Supreme Court has reached differing decisions at different times.
You just read the amendment. And notice, it talked about people belonging to a well-regulated militia. In those days, the army was from the
citizenry. There was a standing army, at least outside periods of intense war.
I think there's an argument to be made, Hala, that, in fact, the founders wanted Americans to have access to guns, but they say keep and bear arms.
Well, you can't bear a bazooka. You can't bear a tank. You can't bear some of the things that a surprising number of Americans have tried to buy
or, in fact, have bought.
GORANI: But you can bear a semi-automatic assault rifle quite easily. People have committed mass murder with those weapons. They're legal.
People with no legal criminal backgrounds will pass background checks and buy them legally.
Why is there no appetite in America do you think after a massacre like the one we saw in Las Vegas, to pass meaningful gun control legislation?
SABATO: There actually is a great appetite. In fact, up to 80 percent of the American population favors additional gun controls, be it background
checks or the banning of automatic and semiautomatic weapons.
The people favor lots of things. You're asking why isn't it passed. And the answer is, because while the vast majority favor gun control, they
don't vote on the basis of gun control.
Guess who votes on the basis of gun control? The 2 percent who belong to the National Rifle Association and they want no gun control at all.
GORANI: Yes. But then, that means politicians are responding to the pressure of lobbying groups like the NRA and are not the reflection of the
desire or the will of their constituents. Is that fair to say?
SABATO: I think that's very fair to say and there's a major difference between the parties. Republicans are strongly opposed to gun control. At
least 95 percent of them who are in elective office, whereas Democrats are strongly in favor.
[15:45:12] However, you have to note that Barack Obama and the Democrats had everything - the presidency, the House of Representatives, the United
States Senate for two years and they didn't pass gun control either.
GORANI: Why not? Why not?
SABATO: Because there were some Democrats representing conservative constituencies in the South and West who worried that they would be
defeated on that basis.
You know what, Hala? They were defeated on the basis of Obamacare. They all lost anyway.
GORANI: Well, they were worried why, that if they voted in favor of stricter gun control that they'd be defeated because they would be seen
going against gun holders' rights, against the Second Amendment because that narrative has worked very well for those who are opposed to any kind
of restriction to firearms?
SABATO: That's absolutely correct. And it isn't just the votes. It's the fact that the National Rifle Association in this country is extremely
powerful and very wealthy.
And if you're on their bad list, you're going to get hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars, maybe even tens of millions spent against you on the
gun issue alone.
GORANI: Let me show just one and then we have to go unfortunately, but just one - to give our viewers a bit of historical perspective. Because
you think after all of these massacre that the attitudes of the American public to gun control would have changed in the opposite direction as they
have in the last 25 years.
This is data from Gallup. The pale blue line shows the percentage of people who want stricter gun laws. In the past few years, that figure has
trended slightly upward. It's now about 50 percent. But you can also see that, in the early 90s, almost 80 percent of Americans thought gun laws
should be stricter.
So, in the space of one generation, Larry, we've gone from 80 percent to about half of Americans wanting stricter gun laws. What's going on?
SABATO: Well, what's going on is we're in a conservative era. There's no question about it. I think, though, if you ask about specific gun-control
measures, you'll find that there are still many of those measures that are very popular.
The truth is that while you have Republicans in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, the chances of gun control, even if the public
wants it, is around zero, somewhere around zero.
GORANI: All right. Around zero. Thanks very much, Larry Sabato. As always, a pleasure having you on. Thanks for your perspective.
Coming up, the other news we're following, including protesters in Barcelona send a message to the Spanish government. The streets will
always be ours. We'll have more on the aftermath of Sunday's police crackdown in Catalonia.
GORANI: Tens of thousands of furious demonstrators took to the streets of Barcelona today to protest the violent police crackdown during Sunday's
banned independence referendum in Catalonia. It is Spain's biggest political crisis in years.
[15:50:09] And now, the nation's king is getting involved. He just made a statement. Let's ask CNN's Isa Soares who joins us live from Barcelona for
more on that.
So, the king of Spain is speaking to his subjects about what's going on in California and is saying what?
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he definitely didn't hold back and he didn't mince his words, Hala.
He called the authorities here in Catalonia, told them they were of inadmissible disloyalty, that the irresponsible authorities are
He also called on the union of Catalonia and the importance of the union for Spain because of the impact that might have in the whole of Spain's
Take a listen to some of his few words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FELIPE VI, KING OF SPAIN (through translator): Catalan society is fragmented and confronted by a challenge. These authorities have really
underestimated the feelings of solidarity, which unite all Spaniards.
And with this irresponsible behavior, it has put into risk the economic fabric of Spain. In fact, all this is a culmination of an unacceptable
challenge to the legal institutions of Catalonia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: He also said that the referendum was illegal. And, really, throughout this whole speech, although he did call for unity, Hala, there
was no mention of the 800-plus people who are injured here in Catalonia, there was no mention of even the word dialogue or coming to the negotiating
It was very much very tough words from King Felipe and a very hard slap on the hands - on the wrists, I should say, to the Catalan authorities.
GORANI: And was it surprising that his tone was so, obviously, direct - if you're from Catalonia and feel the independence referendum was legitimate
you would say your king is being harsh. Was that a surprise?
SOARES Very much so. Catalans were surprised. There were many people who I spoke to who were expecting at least a call for unity or to mention some
of those who were injured on Sunday. And that didn't happen.
And to be honest, as he was speaking, all I could hear was ooh and aahs. Catalans basically are splitting feathers.
Having said that, you can make the argument, you can understand where he's coming from. What Catalans, the majority - some Catalans want, I should
say, is really a republic. They don't want to be part of the monarchy.
In fact, that was the question of that referendum that the Spanish government says is illegal and unconstitutional.
But it was interesting that he didn't call for dialogue. After all, like he said, this is a crisis that is rocking Spain, has destabilized Spain.
And there was no mentioning of both parties, from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy or the President Puigdemont to come to the table and negotiate, which
we are now day three and that still hasn't happened, Hala.
So, I don't think that this will help the situation anymore. If anything, it might just antagonize Catalans even further.
GORANI: All right. Isa Soares reporting live from Barcelona. Thanks very much.
Rock fans around the world are remembering the legend Tom Petty.
GORANI: Well, it was hits like this, "Free Fallin'", "American Girl," and "I Won't Back Down" that catapulted him and his band, Tom Petty and the
Heartbreakers, to worldwide fame.
Sadly, the singer went into cardiac arrest at his California home yesterday. He later died at the hospital. He was surrounded by loved
He and his band, the Heartbreakers, had been on tour just last week. Tom Petty was only 66. Rest in peace. We'll be right back.
[15:56:04] GORANI: Back to our top story. Here are new pictures into CNN. They show Stephen Paddock, the man who carried out the worst mass shooting
in modern US history. This is a picture of him, obviously, having a meal. They were taken in the Philippines, we believe, in 2013.
The other people around the table have been blurred for, obviously, their privacy and Stephen Paddock is at the end of that table there eating.
Brendon O'Neal was on stage with the band in Las Vegas Sunday night when the attack unfolded. He told CNN about those few moments when he was
running for his life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENDON O'NEAL, PHOTOGRAPHER AND SHOOTING SURVIVOR: We tried to run towards the parking lot again. This girl is laying on the ground. Her
friend is, like, hysterical. She's like, she's shot. She's shot in the head. My buddy and I stopped and we were like, oh, my god.
And so, my buddy and a couple other people lift her up and bring her to that police vehicle that we were just at taking cover and put her there.
God, I don't know if she made it, man. She was completely not there. At the time, it was so heavy. And then we put her there. And then just more
- just bullets, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. So loud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: One of the survivors. I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you same time, same place tomorrow. "Quest Means Business" is next.