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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Head: Sheriff: Gunman Planned To Escape After Mass Shooting; Paddock Rented A Las Vegas Room During Another Festival; Danley: "I Knew Shooter As "Kind, Caring, Quiet Man"; Heroes Band Together To Save Lives During Shooting; White House: Trump Open To Talks On Banning Gun "Bump Stocks"; Spanish Court Suspends Catalan Parliament Session; Country Music Industry Responds. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones sitting
in for Hala Gorani this evening in London.
He did everything possible to try to escape after this horrific attack, but instead left behind a note and turned his gun on himself as police closed
in. Those are some of the new details we are learning about the shooter. He murdered 58 people at a music festival in Las Vegas.
CNN's Jean Casarez brings us the latest developments plus disturbing new video from the scene.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hail of bullets sending concertgoers running for their lives in this chilling new video. Rapid
fire starting and stopping as the minutes go by. A traffic systems technician heard directing thousands of frantic people to safety.
As investigators work to find out what triggered this heinous attack, new details continue to emerge about the killer's elaborate plan. Authorities
now looking into what happened last October that led the killer to begin stockpiling 33 firearms within the last year.
Police also discovering 50 pounds of explosives and 1,600 rounds of ammunition in the killer's car parked in the hotel's valet.
SHERIFF JOSEPH LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: We looked at the weapon containing different amounts of (inaudible) available. Do you think
this was all accomplished on his own? It would be hard for me to believe that.
CASAREZ: Investigators also confirming that the killer rented a room at this condo building in downtown Las Vegas across from a different and much
larger music festival the weekend before he opened fire at the Route 91 Country Music Festival.
Investigators say new evidence suggests the killer planned to escape and he blocked off the stairway near his hotel room. Authorities releasing a more
detailed timeline of how the carnage unfolded.
The suspect fired the first shot at 10:05 and continued firing for 10 minutes. The gunshots stopping at 10:15. During this time, an unarmed
hotel security guard approached the room where the killer had set up cameras to see any approaching threats.
The killer firing more than 200 rounds into the hallway at the security guard wounding him in the leg. A door riddled with bullet holes. Twelve
minutes after the shooting began, the first police officers arrived on the 32nd floor finding a wounded guard and calling for backup before clearing
the surrounding hotel rooms.
After the SWAT team arrived the first breach of the hotel room was made at 11:20, an hour and 15 minutes after the first shots were fired. Police
found the killer who they say took his own life dead on the floor surrounded by his arsenal and bullet casings.
The shooter's girlfriend, Marilou Danley breaking her silence after being interviewed by the FBI. Her lawyer read a statement on her behalf.
MATT LOMBARD, MARILOU DANLEY'S LAWYER: He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be
warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.
JONES: Well, yet, another development in this story, Chicago police are investigating a report that the shooter may have considered a target in
that city weeks earlier. They say someone named Stephen Paddocks was at the hotel room overlooking a Lollapalooza Music Festival back in August.
They have not confirmed it was the same Stephen Paddock and say the person never actually checked into the hotel. We do know that a week before the
massacre in Las Vegas, the shooter rented a room in a condo building elsewhere in that city during the Life is Beautiful Festival.
[15:05:02] Let's get the very latest now from Las Vegas. Dan Simon joins us live from there. Dan, we've heard about his meticulous planning, his
plotting, his suicide attempts or otherwise, and the fact that there are still, of course, questions over what motivated Stephen Paddock in this
crime. What pictures emerging, though, of Stephen Paddock's world?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello, Hannah. At this point, it's fair to say that authorities are having a difficult time ascertaining a
motive. They've talked about the shooter's so-called secret life.
He did not use social media. Apparently had very few friends. So, determining why he committed this mass atrocity, it is proving to be
difficult. They are also questioning whether or not he may have had help.
They are saying that, of course, because he had this meticulous plan in place, he must have help. That's what the sheriff is saying, but
determining why he did this, we are not so sure.
They are also saying that he may have had some kind of escape plan, but they are not revealing any details about that. We can tell you that some
shots were fired at an aviation fuel tank.
We should point out that the Las Vegas International Airport is essentially right next door to the music venue. So, was he trying to create some kind
of explosion and therefore, was there some kind of diversionary tactic that he had in mind to escape? We still so much we don't know -- Hannah.
JONES: And what about this event that may have triggered his stockpiling of weapons? The fact that he seemed to start accumulating this arsenal in
what, October last year?
SIMON: That's exactly right. October of 2016, he embarked on, I guess, what you can describe as a shopping spree, a shopping binge to begin
acquiring more weapons. Thirty three weapons purchased in the last 12 months alone.
So it raises the question, was there something going on in his life that made him buy all these weapons, that made him hash out this plan? Because
you listen to experts and they say it's clear that he must been formulating this plan for some time.
Of course, we talked about other venues possibly being targeted. The most direct evidence is that he targeted another event in Las Vegas just the
week prior. He rented a condo not too far away from here.
It overlooked another music festival, The Life is Beautiful Music Festival. Why he may have passed on that and decided to target the country music
festival? Again, another question that's still being raised.
JONES: All right. Dan, really appreciate it. Dan Simon there for us in Vegas.
One person who can potentially answer some of those questions is, of course, the shooter's girlfriend. She says she knew him as a kind, caring,
quiet man and never suspected he was planning such horrific violence. Marilou Danley also said through her attorney that she is cooperating fully
with the FBI.
We are joined now by CNN legal analyst, Laura Coates. She is a former U.S. prosecutor. Laura, great to have you on the program.
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.
JONES: Marilou Danley is not as suspect. She is just a person of interest as we understand it. Legally, then how long can she be held for
COATES: Well, she could be questioned for quite some time and the distinction between being a person of interest and an official suspect,
normally, it's a matter of whether or not she's been read her Miranda Rights, whether she is able to leave.
Can she get counsel present with her? Is she being interrogated? That's all going to be a very important in figuring out how the FBI is conducting
its investigation, which right now is in a very preliminary state.
But what we do know is they are trying to seek answers about things that maybe only she could know. What was that trigger point that happened last
October? Does he know anyone else who may have assisted?
Did she know anything about the planned attack or had any interest or had any assistance that was given to him? If that's what they're trying to
figure out, she would change as being a person of interest to in fact a suspect.
JONES: She said she is cooperating fully with the FBI at the moment. How much rights -- how many rights does she have as far as disclosing details
of her own private life, her personal life? Does she have to give full disclosure with no rights just going to stay silent?
COATES: Well, she does have rights. So, if she in fact in police custody, which we all know she's in custody. She's being questioned, but she's not
actually being held against her free will is what custody would mean in the United States.
She is certainly being interrogated, but the two have to exist for you to be able to have all the different rights attachment, for example, in
Miranda, right to counsel, right to remain silent knowing that your words can be used against you in a court of law.
All those things are warnings that are given. Right now, she deftly has an attorney. She's exercised that right to do so and she's involuntarily
cooperating. She even came back to the United States and she is an Australian citizen and may not have to actually come back.
And so, all those made (inaudible) to her benefit is showing that she's somebody who is trying to cooperate and doesn't know anything. You know
her lawyer's statement focused precisely on that very issue, what she knew, when she knew it, and if she had any information in trying to thwart the
This is her trying to be proactive against what the court of public opinion and maybe a court of law will find that she's actually been in assisting of
this particular crime.
[15:10:08] We don't know that yet, but certainly she does have rights. They will be exercised and they are being exercised through her counsel
JONES: And there's paper trail as well of this money chain at least $100,000 we know that he wired to the Philippines to her. I mean, is she
sort of guilty by association or an accomplice just by association then with this man?
COATES: Well, in the court of public opinion, there's certainly seems to be a convenience aspect here that raises one's eyebrows (inaudible) being
out of the country at the time, having the money wired and told to use it to buy herself a home for herself and her family.
Sounds as if you do not have an intention to return or the person that bought the ticket and provided the money wired did not intend for you to
return to the United States. That certainly raises eyebrows.
There's got be more for the investigation and what they are trying to do right now is probably manage it with kid gloves essentially say tell us all
that you know, maybe even things you don't realize you know about his behavior, his conduct, a motivation, did anybody help him?
Now here's that where change course all of a sudden and indicate that she knew something about the stockpile, was aware that there was a motive
behind it, and was aware of an activity that could have been prevented.
While you have a very, very different approach by law enforcement and her rights will be undermined in a great respect.
JONES: Now President Trump has been tweeting about his visit to Las Vegas where he met survivors and heroes from Sunday's massacre. He writes, "So
wonderful to be in Las Vegas yesterday and meet with people from police to doctors to the victims themselves."
The more we find out, of course, about Sunday's horrific events, the more tales of heroism we start to hear. CNN's Scott McLean has some of those
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Moments after the first shots were fired, Taylor Barr was bleeding and ducking for cover. Hit in
the arm, she recalls panic, not pain.
TAYLOR BARR, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: All the adrenaline and confusion so I don't remember feeling it that much.
MCLEAN: Her dad, Chris, used his belt to stop the bleeding and used his body to shield his daughter from the next round of bullets. The act of
courage captured in this cell phone video posted on Facebook.
BARR: I love him. He's such a -- he's my hero. He didn't even care. You know, like, he was just trying to keep us safe.
MCLEAN: Minutes later, Taylor, her dad, and step mom scrambled to a nearby parking lot and were rushed to the hospital in the back of a pick-up truck
driven by complete strangers.
(on camera): What do you want to say to these people?
BARR: Thank you for saving my life. If it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't be here right now.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Robert Aguilar was at the concert with his girlfriend, Rosa, when he was shot in the spine above his right hip.
ROBERT AGUILAR, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: You could hear the bullets whizzing by. I just told her to stay down and I kind of had my head turned
just thinking that the next one will hit us again.
MCLEAN: Doctors said they feared he would never walk again, but against all odds, he took his first steps on Wednesday.
AGUILAR: I wasn't going to accept that for an answer, accept not being able to walk again.
MCLEAN: Upon hearing gunfire, Jamie Jackson dove for cover ending up next to Addison Short.
JAMIE JACKSON, SAVED ADDISON SHORT'S LIFE DURING SHOOTING: Her foot just kind of ended up in front of me and I saw her boot was soaked through with
blood so I was like, I'm going to take this off. So, when I pulled the boot off that's when the blood -- like screaming for someone to give me a
belt. There was a guy about two over we were ducking, he threw me the belt and I just held it.
MCLEAN: He carried Addison to safety before leaving her with an off-duty police officer. He didn't know her name or if she was still alive until
his mother-in-law saw her interview on Anderson Cooper, Monday night.
ADDISON SHORT, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: If the guy that helped me is watching, I really just want to tell him how grateful I am for basically
saving my life.
MCLEAN: Yesterday, Jamie and his wife, Jennifer, were reunited with the young woman.
SHORT: You have no idea how much I appreciate you guys.
MCLEAN: Jonathan Smith ran towards those in trouble as shots rang out. Likely saving the lives of dozens before being shot in the neck.
JONATHAN SMITH, INJURED IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: I'm not a hero. I'm far from a hero. I think I just deal with anybody would do.
MCLEAN: An off-duty San Diego officer found Smith bringing him to safety.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It's -- it was a scary moment for both of us, but I just remember holding his hand telling him this is the time to fight.
You've made it this far.
SMITH: I kept telling him I don't want to die. He kept saying you're not going to die. I got you.
JONES: Scott McLean with that incredible report of people who have endured such terror and yet they are, of course, the lucky ones. Many Americans
are fed up with the senseless loss of life from yet another mass shooting and they are demanding stricter gun control.
[15:15:02] Well, today, we may have seen the first signs of any movements on this controversial topic. The country's most powerful gun law lobby
said it supports additional regulations on bump stocks, devices that allow semiautomatic weapons to function like fully automatic ones.
Now this demonstration gives you an idea of the absolute carnage they can inflict. The shooter in Las Vegas used these bump stocks and gun control
advocates want them banned outright.
Here's what the White House said just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We know that both -- members of both parties in multiple organizations are planning to take a look at
bump stocks and related devices. We certainly welcome that. We'd like to be part of that conversation and we would like to see a clear understanding
of the facts.
We'd like to seek input from the victim's families, from law enforcement, from policymakers, and we are expecting hearings and other important fact-
finding efforts on that and we want to be part of that discussion. We are certainly open to that moving forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: This comment just made in the last hour. We'll be talking much more about President Trump and gun control ahead in the show so stay tuned
Now the standoff between Spain and Catalonia shows no signs of ending. Here is just some of the potential flashpoints. Spain's highest court has
suspended a meeting of Catalonia's regional parliaments that was planned for Monday.
The Catalan president was expected to declare independence during that session, but the mayor of Barcelona says such a declaration by just one
side would only make things worse.
Meanwhile, the head of the Catalan police will appear before the high court in Madrid on Friday. He is charged with sedition over Sunday's
Erin McLaughlin is following all of these developments for us in Barcelona. Erin, there is a war of words going on between the two sides at the moment,
but in practice, he's actually losing on the battlefield. Is this starting to backfire for the Catalan government?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hannah, I think it could be argued that things are backfiring on everyone pretty much at this point.
You mentioned that high-court ruling adding a new layer of uncertainty and new element of pressure from Madrid.
That was in relation to a special session of the Catalan parliament, which was expected for Monday during that session, they are expected to present
the official referendum results.
They were also expected to take questions from members of parliament. After that, that's when we expected the declaration of independence. Then
today, this high-court ruling suspending that session.
Just in the last hour or so, we've heard from the president of parliament saying that the Catalan government is assessing their options in terms of
what to do next. We know that the Catalan government ignored the high- court ruling that the referendum was illegal.
They went ahead with that anyway. So, it remains to be seen how this would play out going forward, but if they do declare independence next week,
Hannah, a whole element of uncertainty into the situation.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy giving a series of interviews earlier today in which he said that all options in that case are on the table,
which would include invoking Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would allow him to exert emergency powers over this region. That's really,
Hannah, seen as the last resort.
JONES: Yes, Erin, just standby for us for a second because, of course, (inaudible) with politics a lot of this will come down to money and the
economy as well, and declaring independence could be costly for both Spain and the region of Catalonia.
One of the country's biggest banks, Sabadell, has announced that it is moving its legal entity away from Catalonia. It says it's a business not a
political decision. Caixa Bank is also reportedly considering relocating.
The Spanish economy minister says that the referendum has indeed been harmful. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS DE GUINDOS, SPANISH ECONOMY MINISTER (through translator): Evidently, this is generating uncertainty that is paralyzing all investment projects
in Catalonia. I'm convinced right now not one international or national investor will take part in a new investment project in Catalonia. This is
evident until it is cleared out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: OK, we were speaking Erin McLaughlin in Barcelona for us, but as you can see it now comes down largely to money and whether the Catalans
will indeed declare their independence on Monday. May all come down to whether all of the banks pull out of that region making it all an economic
situation of chaos basically.
Erin McLaughlin was reporting there from Barcelona for us. Stay with us here on the program. You're watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Still to come, some country music singers think it's time the genre changed its tune on gun control. We'll talk to a writer who grew up around country
music and makes her living covering it today.
JONES: Welcome back. I want to return now to our top story and the outpouring of grief in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.
JONES: That's the song "Dear Hate" by the country singer, Maren Morris, released earlier this week to raise money for the victims of the Las Vegas
shooting. In it, Morris sings about love conquering all, a sentiment matched by many tributes that have poured in from the country music
But some are calling for more concrete action to prevent another massacre taking place. One of them, a guitarist who had played at the festival
which came under attack on Sunday, Caleb Keeter, tweeted, "He had supported the Second Amendment his whole life, but this incident had changed his
He said, quote, "I cannot express how wrong I was." He said members of his crew had firearms with them, but they were useless. That's a quote from
Well, gun ownership has been closely associated with country music culture since the genre began and so it may seem an unlikely place for the debate
about gun control to be reignited.
I'm joined now by someone who think it's time the country industry changed its tune on guns, author and a writer, Courtney E. Smith is live from
Dallas for us. Courtney, thank you so much for joining us on the program.
We have yet another massacre taking place in the United States. Is there now an appetite for change amongst the country music community, change in
the law on guns?
COURTNEY E. SMITH, WEEKEND EDITOR, "REFINERY 29": It is a mix bag at this point, for some people there is and for some people there is not. This is
the same debate that happens after every shooting. This time to me it's particularly interesting because country music is so intertwined with gun
culture and the Americans Second Amendments and hoping some new minds will change with this instance.
JONES: I just want to play, Courtney, our viewers a bit of a country music, just to give them an idea of the types of lyrics that we hear
sometimes and how intertwined country and guns can be for some people. Take a listen to this.
JONES: It's pretty clear there in those lyrics, but for those who missed it, it said, don't let them take away your God, guns, and freedom.
Courtney, I'm wondering can one exist without the other? Can you have country music and a thriving country music industry and community without
SMITH: Well, absolutely. I think it's more without such unregulated use of guns that's the issue and country music, something called the murder
ballad, has been a huge part of the genre.
[15:25:08] came over with Irish and Scottish folk songs, has been around since 1500, I think is the earliest date of them we know and their song is
about killing people essentially. And telling those stories are still going be important in country music and modern versions of them exist all
That this idea that your right to a gun should be utterly unregulated and should have as many guns you want, carry them with you, concealed on your
person or open in public is a bit much a bit too far.
JONES: Yes. Many people are now saying that the onus is on Congress and representatives to show some courage in trying to bring about some kind of
change in the law or bring some sort of gun control in.
I supposed for representatives on Capitol Hill, they'll be wondering, would they still have public support, largely in many cases from the country
music community, if they sacrifice the private funding that many of them have received from the NRA, for example?
SMITH: Well, in the wake of this event, I and a lot of other writers have done some breaking down by the numbers of the country music audience and
the Country Music Association, which is one of the biggest and most prestigious in America estimates that about one-third of Americans listen
to country music and consume it.
The "Boston Globe" did a fantastic piece on this as well and they broke down that something like one third of that audience who listen to country
actually own guns. So, we are talking about a pretty small part of the audience.
They really are the (inaudible) rather than the majority and not nearly that many people. It's something like 78 percent of Americans want a
stronger gun control. So, I don't think -- I think we are giving a lot of (inaudible) challenge to a small part of the country audience right now
rather than what the majority actually wants.
JONES: Yes. But Courtney, I guess, for an international audience as well, which is what we are talking to right now in this conversation. Many
people just simply won't understand the significance of the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
And this fear that presumably prevails in the U.S. at the moment that if you start to erode any part of that constitutional right, you work for the
Pandora's box for it just to be taken away altogether eventually.
SMITH: Well, that's a very (inaudible) fear because that's Pandora's Box, we built them several times in the past. First of all, the Fourth
Amendment has been eroded significantly since 9/11.
We don't have nearly as much right to privacy as we did before that incident. So, we decided to give up a little bit of our privacy to protect
ourselves from international terrorist incidents.
These are domestic terrorist incidents. Statistically they are much more likely to kills us than international terrorists. It's time to start
thinking about commonsense ways that you can have a gun, but regulate the gun industry and gun ownership.
JONES: And finally, how confident are you that something will change?
SMITH: Well, I think it's going to be incremental and kind of dealing more and more heartened everyday just before this segment, a big announcement
went out that the NRA is willing to dial back certain aspects of, you know, add-ons to guns and Congress is willing to discuss it.
I think as far as country music artists go at this point, a lot of people need to look at their associations to places like the NRA. Are you
supporting institutions like this and why? Is it really necessary?
And what is the message you are sending to your bands? Is it this rustic idea of culture that isn't truly what country music is anymore or can we
stand together and agree most people (inaudible) this.
JONES: Courtney E. Smith, it's great to have you on the program. Thank you for spending the time with us this evening.
Now coming up on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, natural disasters appalling gun violence (inaudible) problems. It all adds up to a very challenging week
for the U.S. president. We'll be looking at how he's handled it so far.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN HOST, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW: US President Donald Trump is back at the White House after two tough days, responding two very
different tragedies - a natural disaster and a horrific mass shooting.
His responses have been criticized. There are reports his administration is in turmoil and he's lashing out at the media via Twitter again. Joe
Johns has more on the president's challenging week.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump paying an emotional visit to survivors and medical workers in Las
Vegas Wednesday, praising first responders while avoiding any talk of gun control.
TRUMP: Americans defied death and hatred with love and with courage.
JOHNS: The White House press secretary posting this video of a survivor shot in the leg, standing to greet the president and first lady.
President Trump thrust into consoling victims of another tragedy as his administration tried to dispel new reports of infighting in the White
"NBC News" reporting Tuesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the president a moron after a Pentagon meeting back in July. Tillerson
blasting the report during a hastily-called press conference, while the president was flying to Las Vegas but side-stepping the question when asked
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron? And if not, where do you think these
reports are -?
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that.
JOHNS: The secretary of state also reaffirming his loyalty to the president, keeping praise on Mr. Trump during remarks that at times
appeared designed for an audience of one.
TILLERSON: He's smart. He loves this country. He puts Americans and America first.
JOHNS: The president publicly dismissing the report and affirming his support for Tillerson.
TRUMP: Total confidence in Rex. I have total confidence.
JOHNS: But two sources tell CNN the president already knew that Tillerson had called him a moron, but is wary of another high-profile departure from
his administration. The simmering tensions between Tillerson and Trump on display after Trump undercut Tillerson's diplomatic message on North Korea
this past weekend.
Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker offering this stinging assessment of the president.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country
JONES: OK. Let's get some perspective on everything that's going on and how Mr. Trump is, of course, handling it. "Washington Post" senior editor
Marc Fisher joins me for that along with CNN political analyst and "Wall Street Journal" White House reporter Michael Bender. Gentlemen, thanks so
much for joining us on the program.
Marc, let's start with you first. We often hear Americans in particular talking about the optics for how something is going at the moment. It's
been a difficult, challenging week for the president. We know that. How does this optics then look for his first October week in the White House?
MARC FISHER, "WASHINGTON POST" SENIOR EDITOR: Well, it's been a rather chaotic week between the shootings in Las Vegas and the visit to Puerto
In both cases, the president was called upon to express empathy, to show that he was on the side of people who had been victims of terrible
incidents. In both cases, he's ended up talking about himself, about how well things were going, and there were a lot of people even within the
White House who are concerned that the president likes to see everything as the bully and wonderful at moments when people are looking for a more
perhaps somber form of solace coming from the president.
[15:35:09] In addition, you had the confusion with the secretary of state. And, clearly, there's been a lot of bad blood between Tillerson and Trump
and it came to a head this week.
JONES: Yes. Michael, I mean, obviously, when we're talking about Puerto Rico, the focus has been on debt. And the president was more than happy to
talk about that.
When we're talking about Las Vegas, though, the focus on the narrative has been about gun control. He's less happy to discuss that at the moment.
How much are President Trump's hands tied by the gun lobby, the NRA?
MICHAEL BENDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST AND "WALL STREET JOURNAL" WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, I think the gun lobby is very, very important to President
Trump. The NRA endorsed Trump very early in the presidential campaign, earlier than they had almost any other presidential candidate.
Trump was the first sitting president to go and address the NRA conference earlier this year in a long, long time. They are very close and symbiotic
on this issue.
There is - as your previous guest mentioned, there has been a little bit of movement here related to some of the hardware that the shooter apparently
used. And the White House signaled today that they are open to discussing a ban on that on the hardware.
And the White House's statement, to your point, came just minutes after the NRA put out a statement saying that they would encourage a review from the
federal government to look at ways that can restrict use of the so-called bump stocks.
JONES: Yes, exactly. Just to explain to our viewers, these bump stocks - this is what Paul Ryan as well, the House Speaker, he's been talking about
as well. We heard from the White House press secretary.
So, bump stocks, this is this way of turning semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic ones, which is what the gunmen in Las Vegas had used.
Let's just hear what Paul Ryan did have to say about this. It gives us an idea of where Congress is going in their thoughts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I didn't know what they were until this week. And I'm an avid sportsman. So, I think that quickly coming up to
speed with what this is.
Fully automatic weapons have been bad for a long time. Apparently, this allows you to take a semiautomatic, turn it into a fully automatic. So,
clearly, that's something we need to look into.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Yes, OK. So, that was Paul Ryan there explaining what exactly these bump stocks are. Marc, is there an appetite then for gun-control
measures across Congress? Is this something that we haven't seen before?
FISHER: No, I don't think there is any change in the attitude toward guns or gun-control. What we have here is a chance for Republicans and now the
- being given permission now by the NRA to take a stand against this very small device that is not made by major gun manufacturers and, therefore,
not made by the primary supporters of the NRA.
And then band that. It will have no impact whatsoever on the availability of guns, the availability of the kinds of guns that were used in this
episode in Las Vegas, except for that bit of - that small device that converts it, as you say, to fully automatic.
So, with very little pain for the industry, they could give this away and be seen as reacting to the Vegas situation in a productive, constructive
FISHER: But you'll note that yesterday, you had lots of Republicans on the Hill saying, well, they were willing to just look at this. And now, just
in the last minutes, after the NRA said, OK, let's go ahead and ban this and have more regulation, now all of a sudden you're getting much tougher
statements, now that those Republicans have been given permission by the NRA to take that step.
JONES: Mike, do you agree with that? This is just like a token gesture from the NRA, just give a little bit (INAUDIBLE 3:45) of what's always been
the status quo.
BENDER: Yes. I think to a degree. It could be played from Speaker Ryan, him saying that he didn't know what this device is or was. I don't think
anyone knew what this device was. I know that it wasn't - it caught the administration by surprise.
And from what I understand, even at the highest levels of the NRA, weren't aware of what a bump stock was. So, the idea of getting rid of something
that isn't that prevalent isn't a big step forward.
And as Speaker Ryan said, the idea that - fully automatic weapons, they aren't completely banned, like he said, but they are largely banned. And
so, this would - is not necessarily creating a new gun-control restriction.
JONES: OK. We have to also talk about this administration, which is apparently, reportedly in something of turmoil at the moment. Rex
Tillerson, the secretary of state and his future, he is sort of partially denied or someone has on his behalf, that he ever called the president a
And what is Rex Tillerson's future looking like at the moment, Marc? Does he even want to stay in this position?
FISHER: Well, it's not clear. He himself said, actually, in his first interview after taking office as secretary of state that he had to be
talked into taking the job in the first place by his wife. This was not something he wanted. He didn't think of doing it long-term. And so, it's
unclear that he really has any desire to do it beyond this year, even before you get into the personality conflicts, where he finds himself
working for a president who he doesn't respect intellectually, and they are very much at odds over how to run the State Department, how to run a
The president and the people around him believe that Tillerson is far too traditional and unwilling to be as disruptive as the president and his
former strategist Steve Bannon wanted American foreign policy to become.
So, that's a basic difference in terms of outlook, in addition to which they don't get along as far as messaging and how to go about telling
America's story around the world. So, this does not seem like a marriage destined to last terribly long.
JONES: Exactly. And one person who is hoping that it will last longer there was Bob Corker, the senator, who's been very outspoken.
He's spoken to our Manu Raju this evening, today. And has said that he stands by his comments that he made yesterday when he said every word was
exactly appropriate. His comments were basically saying that it is Tillerson, Mattis and Kelly, who are the three people in the administration
at the moment for keeping America from descending into chaos at the moment.
Mike, what do you think? Is this a guy who is on the way out of Capitol Hill, so you can say what he thinks, but realistically, are there other GOP
members were thinking the same thing, they're just too afraid to say it.
BENDER: Well, maybe. The folks up on Capitol Hill are not necessarily known for their displays of courage day in and day out. But, yes, Bob
Corker has said similar things like this before. He announced his retirement and, in part, announced that retirement saying that he would be
free to express more clearly and freely what he thought about the sort of the state of things in Washington.
Bob Corker also comes from a very traditional Republican point of view when it comes to foreign policy and international affairs, and one that
Tillerson certainly, Mattis and Kelly also abide by.
And whether we would be descending into chaos without them, I'm not sure I know the - I don't know the answer to that. But I think it's that is -
also, a prevalent view within the White House too, I believe.
JONES: OK. Marc, final words for you on this. Can Donald Trump about the fire someone else?
FISHER: Well, in Donald Trump's world, firing people is always the way to move any blame or any trouble off himself and on to someone else. So, it's
always an option for him. And he's not terribly concerned about how that looks.
Obviously, there are a lot of people around him who believe that stability is what the White House needs at this phase. But if you look back over the
course of Donald Trump's life and career, you'll see that he will always jettison people if that's what it takes to keep himself at the center.
JONES: All right. Great to have your perspectives, gentlemen. Michael Bender and Marc Fisher, thank you so much for joining us on the program.
Now, still to come tonight, killed in an ambush in the heart of Africa. We have the latest on the three US and five Nigerien forces killed.
[15:45:45] JONES: You may not have even realized US troops were stationed in Niger before today's reports that three Green Berets were killed there.
A US official tells CNN that as many as 50 fighters, like the affiliates of ISIS ambushed them in the West African country.
Five Nigerien soldiers were also killed and another two US soldiers were wounded.
Niger is not the most well-known flashpoints in the war on terror, but the US military has been providing assistance to local groups in their fight
against Boko Haram and a branch of Al Qaeda.
Well, let's get the latest now from New York. Our national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is standing by for us there. Jim, what exactly
happened in this ambush and why were US forces there in the first place?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, first, what happened, this was a team of Green Berets. They typically operate in small
teams. They're called ODA detachments. Twelve soldiers, they were coming out, the best information now, of a base, ambushed by some 50 fighters.
This was a joint operation with Niger forces. The US has been there for some time. As you mentioned, there are a number of Islamic groups that are
quite active in Africa. It is believed that this one had an ISIS tie.
But you also have Boko Haram. You have AQIM as it's known, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. And, in fact, it is membership and activity of these kind
of jihad groups in Africa that are arguably growing the most rapidly, more so than in Europe, more so than in the Middle East by some measures.
So, the US has been putting forces there. They've had a presence sometime in Somalia, as you know without Al-Shabaab, but also in Niger, across the
border in Chad. There's a joint base there because of this growing threat from these Islamic groups.
JONES: And, Jim, another story that's just been coming in to us this evening is news on the Iran deal, Iran nuclear deal and that President
Trump is planning to decertify it. What does that mean? What do we know so far?
SCIUTTO: Well, let's say what it is and what it's not. So, for one, the US is not withdrawing from the deal with this decision if the president
goes through with this next week. We're told that he's going to give a speech next week perhaps on October 12, saying that the deal is not in US
national security interest.
So, what he does, he decertifies. That, in effect, punts it to Congress. It is up to the US Congress to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on
Iran. And at this point, the president is not going to recommend that step. And Congress could, in fact, reimpose those sanctions. They could
go ahead and, therefore, in effect, the deal stays in place.
But that does not mean - I should say this and I've been speaking to a number of European diplomats from countries who were involved in these
negotiations because, remember, this is not just a deal between Iran and the US. It's a deal between Iran and the permanent five members of the UN
Security Council. So, China Russia, you have France, the UK. They are all involved.
And I spoke to a European diplomat who said the following to me. All the evidence to date is that Iran is in compliance with the terms of what's
known as the JCPOA. The JCPOA is hard-fought international agreement that is vital to our security and that of our allies. So, that's a European
diplomat in effect disagreeing with US president.
But I should also note, it's not just European diplomats who are disagreeing with the president, his own Defense Secretary James Mattis said
earlier this week, one, that he believes Iran is in compliance and, two, that he believes the Iran deal is in US national security interest.
So, quite a division within the US government and within the Trump administration.
JONES: Yes. A division definitely in the executive level. When it gets passed along to Congress then, this is, I guess, another time that you are
seeing the commander-in-chief and to Congress' entree of things to do. How is it likely to go in Congress?
SCIUTTO: It's frankly hard to say because there are a lot of Republicans in Congress who don't think too highly of the Iran agreement. That said,
that there are Republicans who may not love it, but agree with, for instance, the defense secretary that as much as we hate it, at least by the
terms of the deal, Iran is in compliance with those terms of the deal.
So, it's going to be a tough vote for them because they are also, I imagine, loath to vote yes on the deal, right, because that's something
that politically, when they go home to their primaries in 2018 and 2020, might be - they would certainly be attacked by some in their own party.
[15:50:03] JONES: All right. Jim Sciutto, appreciate it. Thanks so much for updating us on these two stories.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
JONES: Now, Iraqi forces say they have taken over the city center of Hawija, one of the last major ISIS strongholds in the country. It is
unclear how much of the city remains under the control of the terror group. Tens of thousands of people have been fleeing the fighting which began more
than two weeks ago.
Over the last few years, Britain has been rocked by a massive sex abuse scandal with public figures and entertainers accused, and some convicted,
But now, police say that if this man former Prime Minister Edward Heath were alive, he would have been questioned over allegations of sex abuse,
including the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy.
It comes in the findings of a report after a two-year investigation. The report stresses, and we should stress as well, that the findings do not
prove nor disprove guilt. None of the allegations relate to Heath's time prime minister. And he was indeed prime minister between 1970 and 1974.
Coming up on the program. The US president takes to Twitter to take on one of his favorite targets, the media. We'll get more on this story from our
Brian Stelter at the White House just after this break.
JONES: We've heard Donald Trump do it so many times before, blast news stories he doesn't like as fake. Well, now the US president is taking his
war on the media to a whole new level.
He's upset about reports of a rift with the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, berating the media with some blistering tweets.
Today, Mr. Trump suggested that US lawmakers should get involved. He tweeted, "Why isn't the Senate Intelligence Committee looking into the fake
news networks in our country to see why so much of our news is just made up. Fake."
Of course, that the same committee that is investigating the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia.
Well, let's bring in CNN senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, who is at the White House. Brian, I know you've just been at the White House
briefing earlier on. You've written that this is a new low, though, from this president in his attacks on the media. Yet, it's been quite a
sustained, constant, continuous kind of attack. So, why is this new and why is this so low?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: When the going gets tough for President Trump, the news gets fake. In his mind, he deems stories he
doesn't like fake news. When he thinks he's not getting enough positive attention, he lashes out at the media.
But I think this is different now because he's referring to the idea of investigating the editorial processes of news organizations.
Now, to be clear, I don't think this is going to happen. I think he was venting via Twitter. Certainly, congressional committees are not going to
take him up on the idea to go investigating the creation of CNN coverage or NBC or other major networks.
For one thing, we don't make up stories the way the president is claiming. Stories are not made up. Sources are not fictitious. Stories are not
invented. So, the premise is faulty.
But I do think it's noteworthy that Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this here at the briefing today, so was Sen. Burr on Capitol Hill. Our
Manu Raju caught up with Burr and here's what Burr had to say about what Trump tweeted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I think that the intelligence committee is in the process of developing the facts surrounding Russian
meddling. If in fact we find that news organizations have not covered it factually, I think you'll see that in our reports.
[15:55:02] MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, you'll include investigating news organizations as part of -
BURR: No, not investigating news organizations. Holding them accountable for what they say with no sources to substantiate (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: And that is absolutely fair. That's normal. That is within the bounds of how the relationship between the press and the presidency and the
Congress normally operates.
What President Trump was suggesting on Twitter in one of those typical Twitter bombs that he throws was something much different. It would
provoke First Amendment challenges, it would provoke legal challenges.
Like I said, I think he's just venting on Twitter. But it's newsworthy when the president of the United States vents, when he blows off steam
because it shows once again that he wants to divert attention from the ongoing Russia investigations.
JONES: Yes. Brian, another thing he tweeted was in reference to the "NBC News" story about what Tillerson may or may not have said about him. He
said no verification from me.
Do you think this president understands that in democracies, the leader, the despotic leader or otherwise, simply doesn't need to verify the news in
order to make it acceptable?
STELTER: You said it better than I could.
I think deep down inside, he does understand how the news media works, the function of the fourth estate. After all, he used the tabloids to great
effect in the 80s to make a name for himself. He used NBC's "Apprentice" in the 2000s in order to become a worldwide reality TV star.
He knows how the news world and the entertainment world works. But he, at times, when it's convenient for him, chooses to try to tear down and
delegitimize the press.
It's actually one of the few consistent themes of the Trump presidency. And yet, here we are, nine months into the Trump presidency, and it doesn't
seem to be working for him. Except among his base, he doesn't seem to have been able to tear down the press or to delegitimize the press in the eyes
of most Americans.
So, he will continue to tweet saying fake news. (INAUDIBLE) use that slur. But I actually think most viewers, most viewers of this program, most
Americans, most folks watching all around the world, they see right through it.
JONES: Yes. Maybe people who read Twitter as well. Maybe they see right through it as well. Brian, always great to get your perspective. Thank
you so much.
STELTER: Thanks. Thanks a lot. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you so much. "Quest Means Business" is coming up next.