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President Trashes GOP Senator Bob Corker In Tweets; GOP Senator Calls W.H. "Adult Day Care" After Trump Attacks; Trump: I Told Pence To Leave NFL Game If Players Kneel; More Than 6 Million Under Flash Flood Watch In Southeast; Source: Gunman Left Behind Calculations For Targeting Crowd; Authorities Returning Personal Items To Victims; Singer Jason Aldean Honors Shooting Victims On SNL. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired October 8, 2017 - 15:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: This morning the President of the United States firing off three-pointed tweets trashing one of the highest ranking Republican senators, Bob Corker of Tennessee.

President Trump firing off the first volley this morning saying, "Senator Bob Corker begged me to endorse him for reelection in Tennessee. I said no and he dropped out, said he could not win without my endorsement. He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said no thanks. He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran deal. Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda. Didn't have the guts to run."

And then Corker firing back this way via tweet. "It's a shame the White House has become an adult daycare center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

CNN's Ryan Nobles is following all of this and more. He joins us live from the White House. So Ryan, this is ugly.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORREPONDENT: Right. And it's also important to take a step back and remind ourselves that this isn't normal. You have a sitting United States senator and a President of the United States going on social media and accusing each other of being liars.

And this really stems back from earlier in the week when Bob Corker announced that he was going to not seek reelection and then he was asked in the capital about some of the President's closest advisers like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and James Mattis, the Defense Secretary, and this is how Corker responded.


SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos and I support them very much.


NOBLES: So essentially the implication there that if those individuals weren't in the administration that chaos would ensue as a result of the President's actions. And obviously, the President did not take kindly to that that's why he went on social media this morning and said that Corker came to him and begged him for an endorsement for his reelection bid. And when the President said that he couldn't do it, that that's when he decided not to run for reelection.

And Corker's office today is forcefully pushing back on this narrative by the White House. The Chief of Staff for Bob Corker, Todd Womack, said in a statement today, "The President called Senator Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him to reconsider his decision not to seek reelection and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times."

So again, this is Bob Corker and his office calling the President a liar this morning. Both sides seem to have a completely different version of this story. And Fred, it comes at a time where the President is in desperate need of every Republican vote in the United States Senate and right now he is basically in a social media war with another member of his Republican team.

WHITFIELD: And Ryan, it's a real mess too because it also underscores the contrast that was back in 2015 when then Donald Trump actually called Corker a great friend of mine, someone respected by everyone. And that friendship apparently is water under the bridge now.

NOBLES: Yes. I mean, Fred, just a couple of weeks ago Bob Corker tweeted that he agreed with Donald Trump and he retweeted a tweet from the President that talked about his leadership.

You know for the most part, Bob Corker will not necessarily fully embracing the President. He's been an ally of his. He's looked for opportunities to defend him. He supported his foreign policy moves. He's avoided a lot of the harsh criticism that some other members of the Republican Party have. You know, he seriously considered the role of Secretary of State in this administration.

So this about-face that really began over the August recess when he told reporters in his home state of Tennessee that the President needed to work on some of the ways, his composure, and the way that he handled himself in the White House, but still stopped short of saying that he was doing a bad job. That is what really where he started to see some leaks in this relationship. The fact that he's gotten to this level, though, is something I don't think anyone expected.

WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Nobles at the White House, thanks so much.

All right, nobody indeed had expected this, but let's talk more about this. Joining us now, Maria Cardona, a CNN Political Contributor and Democratic Strategist, Scott Jennings, also a CNN Contributor and former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. Good to see both of you.


WHITFIELD: All right, so Scott, you first. How does anybody explain this?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's hard to explain except that the President does seem to have an interest in picking fights with people who have really been mostly supportive of his agenda. He picked fights with people in his administration. He picked fights with people in the Senate and the net sum of this is going to put the Republican agenda in peril.

[15:05:07] So if you're a Republican who has supported Republicans and you want the agenda to pass, this is what you're worried about today. We failed on health care reform. Tax reform hangs in the balance.

The Corker vote is critical, especially when you consider that Collins, Murkowski, Rand Paul, John McCain are already sort of on the fence or teetering on no. So right now I don't know how to explain it, but I do know how to worry about it, which is why I think a lot of Republicans are doing that.

WHITFIELD: Well, let see. Later that, I mean, this cannot be strategy. This really is just a reflection of a thin skin on the President's behalf, Scott.

JENNINGS: Yes. The President -- sorry, I lost you there for just one second. The President does have -- you know, he does not like to be called out. Obviously, he had his issue with Tillerson this week. He's had issues with other people in and out of the administration and he doesn't like to be questioned on this personal back and forth items. And so I'm worried about how this is going to affect his ability to get things done.

Bottom line is most Republicans want the President to succeed in getting his agenda. Most Republicans want the U.S. Senate to get the agenda items that they promised done, but these interpersonal fights just -- they don't help. And we don't have a margin for losing both in the Senate. They only have 52 and obviously losing more than two of them put the agenda in the tank. So that's real issue for the Republican Party.

WHITFIELD: So Maria, I mean, it is a potentially big problem within the GOP because this is only -- this is yet one more example as to why many in the Republican leadership might say, I don't know if I want to roll back any more agendas by the President because, you know, what does one have to gain potentially?


WHITFIELD: I mean, he seems to turn on people, publicly.

CARDONA: Absolutely. And I think what the President is doing is proving finally to Republicans what 65 million Americans, 3million more people who did not vote for him, understood from the get go that this man is completely unfit to hold the highest office in the land. That he comes unhinged in a second when his massive and petty, yet fragile man baby ego gets insulted.

That he does not have the capability to put America first when you are dealing with natural disaster after natural disaster. People dieing in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, people in Louisiana who are today trying to fight the current hurricane, now tropical storm, that just hit their shores.

When you have people worried that this is a man that is so unfit that at a moment he will press the button on the nuclear codes because the North Korean leader has insulted him. This is nothing new for the majority of the American people who did not vote for this man because they knew he was so unfit.

Finally the GOP, I'm not going to say that they saw the light. They knew this going into the election, Fredricka, but they put their agenda, their precious agenda first. They set, I believe, their personal principals aside because they knew what this President was all about and accepted him anyway.

It's been a year that we are now coming upon the anniversary of the "Access Hollywood" tape where this man bragged about committing sexual assault and the Republican Party looked away. So this is what they deserve. They are getting it now.

I am completely sad and really afraid as many Americans are that this is the case that we are dealing with today. But I hope more people like Senator Corker finally understand that this country is too important to keep in the hands of this unfit, unhinged man that is currently in the White House.

WHITFIELD: So Scott, what kind of tremors does this send, you know, just within his cabinet? I mean, here we've been talking all week about, you know, Tillerson. Is he coming or is he going? Will he be fired? Will he resign?

And it also pertains to, you know, John Kelly's mission of offering some real stability in the White House and perhaps he's not seeing, you know, any fruitful results from whatever his efforts have been. But then when you have this tweeting back and forth publicly, what's the level of unease that you suspect within his cabinet?

JENNINGS: Well, it puts a lot of downward pressure on his cabinet and on the White House staff who are trying to get results for the President. Look, I think the Treasury Secretary, the White House staff, they are all working together very hard right now with the Republicans in Congress to try to deliver what he wants, which is victories on policy and right now that means policy and changing our tax laws. But these kinds of episodes put --

WHITFIELD: But can they do that if the President, you know, no longer --


WHITFIELD: -- if his friendships or whatever, you know, this relationships if they dissipate, can even they move mountains here?

[15:10:08] JENNINGS: Well, that's just the thing. I mean, despite their best efforts at the highest levels if the President isn't getting along with certain U.S. senators or members of Congress and the other chamber and it puts these policy items in jeopardy, it puts all of their best efforts, they'll fall short. You know, it will be all for naught.

And so if you are the average Republican voters setting out (ph) here and all over the country, you're thinking gee wiz, you know, I voted to reject incrementalism in the last election. I voted for sweeping change and right now all I'm getting is, you know, sort of a slap fight between two guys, but I'm not getting lower taxes. I'm not getting the simpler tax code. I'm not seeing Obamacare repealed and I don't understand why we can't do this.

And so for your staff and for your cabinet secretaries, this has to be enormously frustrating to try to get these things done with these external complications.

WHITFIELD: So Maria, does this, you know, stem from, you know, Corker's comments earlier in the week that it's Tillerson, Mattis and Kelly who are the ones, you know, kind of, you know, keeping the country from chaos and that this, you know, is offensive to the President and so this is his way of simply lashing out.

CARDONA: I think so. But I agree with those who do believe that Tillerson and Mattis and Kelly right now are the ones who are keeping us from complete chaos internationally and globally and that is a scary thought, Fredricka.

But then when that gets out, obviously the President's ego gets insulted and instead of putting America first, even instead of putting the Republican agenda first, which I think is horrible and I'm glad it's getting nowhere, but instead of even thinking politically about what is it that I want to do to actually make "America great again"?

He can't even see past that because as soon as he gets insulted, as soon as he hears about the rumors whether it's Bob Corker or Tillerson calling him a moron, he sees red. When he sees red, he sees nothing else. He goes to Twitter. He's like a mad bull when that happens. He goes to Twitter. He starts insulting and then everything else goes out the window.

But, again, I will repeat, this should not surprise anybody. The President did nothing on the campaign trail other than to prove just how completely unfit and unprepared he was to take the office of the presidency. The Republican Party looked away. I hope that they now will put country before their party and help to right the ship.

WHITFIELD: And so now, a week after the Las Vegas massacre and the Vice President was in Vegas yesterday, you know, paying homage, you know, to those who were lost and those who survived, the atrocities there.

And so, Scott, the Vice President today was at an NFL game in Indianapolis and he was there for a moment and then he left and then he tweeted that he left the colts game over players kneeling during the anthem and then the President of the United States, you know, tweeted out saying he is the one who asked Pence, you know, to do this if anybody was kneeling, and here you see the series of tweets.

Why does this continue to be a priority for the President, for the White House? Why are they keeping this issue alive in terms of the White House as interpretation of the kneeling being disrespectful to flag as opposed to many players who are saying this is their form of protest of social injustices in this country?

JENNINGS: Well, I think this was obviously a set up issue here today. And they did it to make a point that they are standing with the people in the United States who don't like it when players kneel and in their minds disrespect the National Anthem and disrespect our traditions of standing up for it. And so they think this is a winning political issue for them.

WHITFIELD: But the White House has already said that. The White House has already made that statement and now you have the vice president leaving Las Vegas going up to the Indianapolis. He's on his way to California for a fund-raiser. So, you know, and then the President saying he asked him to respond this way if indeed people were going to kneel.

But, you know, since the start of the regular season we have seen, you know, the pattern of those kneeling or those, you know, making their statements via protest. So, why would the White House do this? I mean, is it a way to tax their money to do this to make that trip?

JENNINGS: Well, I think they clearly think it's a winning political issue. Yes, it's a good question. I have seen some people today question, how much did it cost to send the Vice President to this game and to do this. And they're going to end up answering those questions, I'm sure.

But they think this is a winning political issue for them. And some of the polling that's come out in the wake of the protest bears that out, even some of the most recent polling. Most Americans don't like the concept of people disrespecting the National Anthem even if they respect the right of the players to exercise their First Amendment right.

So I think the White House and the President -- Vice President think on this cultural issue, this is a winning issue for them and they want to keep it alive so they've obviously set this issue up today to do that.

WHITFIELD: All right. Maria?

CARDONA: Yes. I think Scott is right. I do think that this is very calculated on behalf of this White House and that they do think it's a winning political issue.

[15:15:07] But it's only a winning political issue with the 33 percent of Trump's base, which in fact is now also shrinking because they are also understanding how unfit this man is to make America great again the way they wanted him to. He only cares about his image.

But they do believe, I think, that they are feeling the walls tumbling down around this President, around this administration. They feel the chaos at hand and what do they do when that happens, what do they do when they're in the trenches? They go with what they know and their gut works for their base.

It does nothing to add to the support and expand this President's base beyond those that will vote for him no matter what. Even if he stands on Fifth Avenue and shoots somebody the way he said, it does nothing to help him pass the Republican agenda. It does nothing to prepare the party for 2018. It does nothing to prepare for his reelection that indeed he even makes it to 2020.

And it is, I think, a survival method that they have come to understand. Let's go to our base. They will never leave us. But that is not something that a true leader does. A true leader tries to expand his support, tries to bring the country together. And this man has done nothing but divide us from day one

WHITFIELD: All right. We're going to leave it right there. Maria Cardona, Scott Jennings, thanks both of you. Appreciate it.

CARDONA: Thanks so much, Fred.

JENNINGS: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, President Trump said there is only one way to deal with North Korea, but he won't say what that one way is specifically. So, what does it mean for U.S. efforts and diplomacy in the region?


[15:21:03] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. President Trump is still sending warnings to North Korea on Twitter saying overnight, "Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid. Hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work." So just what is that one thing?

David Sanger is a CNN Political and National Security Analyst, then a National Security Correspondent for "The New York Time." And David Rohde is a CNN Global Affairs Analyst and the New Yorkers Online News Director. Good to see both of you, Davids.

So David Sanger, you know, we've heard a lot of ominous language from the President on camera and via tweet, but it only adds to the mystery. So what do you think the words only one thing that he is referring to? What does he mean?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, we assume that what he means is something between massive economic pressure and some form of military force. But, you know, within that range there is an awful lot. So you have seen new economic sanctions and there's room for a lot more.

What hasn't happened so far is getting the Chinese, convincing the Chinese to cutoff oil to North Korea. That might be something that really got their attention. Or to see an authorization to use military force to inspect their shipping.

And then there's a range of things the United States could do inside North Korea starting with cyber attacks and President Obama, of course, hencely (ph) ordered some against the missile program in 2014 that run for several years. Presumably there are others under way.

But there's also the possibility of taking out test launches on the pad, which the U.S. has considered, while intercepting launches using missile defense and then all the conventional military options which have all the potential downside of restarting the Korean war.

WHITFIELD: So David Rohde, has the President -- is he further undermining any chances of diplomacy? I mean, this after he had already, you know, tweeted out saying to his Secretary of State, "Don't waste your time." But is he essentially digging in his heels on that, the President that is?"

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: He is, you know, at best he is sort of playing good cop that somehow this kind of threats or going to caused the North Koreans to back down. That hasn't work so far. I talked last night with a sort of leading expert on North Korea, more hawkish one, and what he said is that the constant tweets is eating up all the band width the time and energy among experts.

So instead of, you know, the staff at the White House talking about the very tough new sanctions that David Sanger mentioned, there's no time for that leading experts on the field. And again, people on the Hill, people in the White House are constantly reacting to his Twitter feed and it's not leading to a clear and effective policy.

WHITFIELD: And David Sanger, this ahead of the Secretary of State the President's scheduled visits to Asia, how does this kind of color that upcoming trip?

SANGER: Well, I was with Secretary Tillerson last weekend in Beijing and that was an effort to both prepare for the trip and also to try to get the Chinese to go and do more. And it was incrementally successful and I think it was useful that Secretary Tillerson went to Beijing and met with President Xi from everything we heard out of that meeting.

The U.S. message was pretty consistent about what the North Koreans would have to do before the U.S. would go talk to them. Then he came out and spoke with a group of us. And then, of course, the following day President Trump undercut Secretary Tillerson by saying, "Don't waste your time, Rex. There's only one way to go do this."

So, one possibility is that President Trump is doing a bit of the mix and mad man theory here and trying to seeing his unpredictable over North Koreans as they seen to us. Another possibility is he's trying to build the North Koreans into acting first.

[15:25:07] WHITFIELD: And so, David Sanger, what about the demeanor of the Secretary of State Tillerson? Is he at a place where it looks like he is starting to really get his groove of being Secretary of State?

He said during this week that, you know, he doesn't -- he's on accustomed to the Washington ways, but it doesn't seem as though that potential set back by the President comes at a time when he was just starting to feel like he was doing the work of a diplomat with these back channels.

SANGER: You know, I don't know how he feels. Certainly as he sat down with us last Saturday in the U.S. Ambassador to China's residence, he was on top of this brief and he knew what he was doing.

But the problem is that back home he has consumed a huge amount of his time with a reorganization of the State Department and we made much (INAUDIBLE). He hasn't appointed or hasn't been allowed appoint by the White House many of his key assistant secretaries and undersecretaries, so other nations in the world feels that they have anybody to get this sort of daily business of diplomacy done with.

And so he's focused sort of too much on the reorganization in my view and too less, too little on the kind of innovative diplomacy he is going to need from North Korea to Iran and beyond.


SANGER: All of which is three-dimensional chess and takes most of your time.

WHITFIELD: OK. And David Rohde, you know, final word. Isn't that really by design by the White House that the Secretary of State has not been given the green light? He hasn't been allowed to feel a lot of those vacancies, you know, or beef up the staff as traditionally as Secretary of State would.

ROHDE: Yes. I mean, this President wants to be the call the shots and be the center of attention some argue. The danger is that people aren't going to take President Trump seriously and it's about Beijing as David mentioned.

I don't think they are taking President Trump seriously because he is all over the map. He is going to build a wall in Mexico. He doesn't do it. NATO doesn't matter, then it does matter and that's the real danger here with all this rhetoric and all this tweeting.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there. David Rohde, David Sanger, thanks to both of you Davids. Appreciate it.

SANGER: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, the Gulf Coast cleaning up this morning after a battering by Hurricane Nate. The concerns forecasters have now as the storm continues to dump rain across the southeast, next.


[15:31:55] WHITFIELD: All right. We're continuing to follow tropical depression now, Nate. Right now, more than 6 million people are under a flash flood watch from Florida to Western North Carolina. The flood risk come after Nate land into the Gulf Coast twice as a Category 1 hurricane.

This was a scene at the Margaritaville resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. An employee captured the moment the storm made its second landfall, people barely able to stand there as the 85-mile-per-hour winds and torrential rain lashed the city.

We've got full team coverage on the ground as damage is being assessed in the area hardest hit by Hurricane Nate. First let's go to CNN's Derek Van Dam in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Derek?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Fredricka, you know, this is the scene playing out across much of the coastline of Mississippi damage control this morning after Hurricane Nate made his presence known across here. But we've got some amazing stories of a family who rode out the storm, decided that they would stay in their lovely home behind us.

We've got Sarah and Sati Adlakha and their two wonderful twin girls. And there's quite a story behind what they experienced last night, including what was their docked behind us, now sitting on a front of their lawn. Can you tell us a little bit about what happen and what you saw?

SATI ADLAKHA, RESIDENT OF OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI: Sure. We were out late around midnight watching our pier because that's we were worried we were going to lose and all a sudden we started seeing planks in the water and we said, "Here it comes."

And then this morning our dock is completely destroyed behind us and in fact some of the larger pieces are two lots over, over there. We're going to have to hire some construction crews to come and then look it for us because there are massive pieces of a dock, but quite a sad sight to see.

VAN DAM: And no one is here to help you clean it up, unfortunately, I've heard. Your mail boxes also taking quite a beating as well as the storm surge came on. Remember the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center call for 7 feet to 11 feet here. Tell me about your mail box.

SARAH ADLAKHA, RESIDENT OF OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPI: Yes. Well, I've see that surge was probably about 6 feet or 7 feet. But, yes, it's knocked off in the middle of the night. We haven't been able to find it yet, but --

VAN DAM: And you watch all this happening in front of you. Does that make you nervous to live so close to the coastline like this? I mean, we all know what Katrina did back in 2005. This is a precarious place to position your home and your family. So, how do you feel about this big storms that form so quickly?

S. ADLAKHA: Well, I think with a Category 1 and, you know, we're almost 20 feet elevated and our house is raided for hurricane we've got, Category 1 would be OK to ride out. Her parents live in Montgomery, Alabama, so (INAUDIBLE) or above we would have left town a long time ago.

VAN DAM: Great. Thank you very much. Sarah, Sati, appreciate it. Ladies, I appreciate your time as well.

The homes here have built been to post Katrina up to Hurricane Sander that was stand at Category 3. The storm as you can see, very little damage this home behind me. Fredricka, one lucky family here for sure, but good happy ending stories. Well, back to you.

WHITFIELD: Indeed. All right, Derek Van Dam, thank you so much.

All right, we will go to Ryan Young right now, right? And there you are in Mobile. So how are people, you know, assessing what damage may have occurred?

[15:35:05] RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Everything is a-OK here. In fact, yesterday while we're doing our live shot someone had a wedding during the preparations for the storm and we talked to people who said, look, they were going to have a party for -- a storm party. Then we were like, wait, this could get worst. And so when they got close to being a Category 2, some people did get worried, but for the most part they seem like they were ready for the storm.

We want to point in this direction, that down there is known as Water Street and that's where we saw the most significant flooding all morning long. It's about 2 feet to 3 feet high. We even saw a gentleman get his car stuck in there after driving through it early in the morning.

And then as we did our assessment and we were standing with the water, we saw jellyfish, we saw fish, we saw shrimp. The one thing we haven't seen a lot of is damage. We talked to firefighters who did make about 10 rescues last night because people -- they decided to get into their car or they were worried about the water that was getting close to their home. But the good news here, no injuries overnight, no significant damage.

We did a tour all the way down to the coast or we went to Dauphin Island and nothing there in terms of damage to people's homes. We did see sand and water in the road. We did see some docks blown away, but for the most part, this is one of those damage reports that people like to hear, Monday will be just fine, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, very good. Thank you so much Ryan Young in Mobile. All right, let's go to Tom Sater in the CNN Weather Center for the forecast on how the system continues to keep moving.

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's just a nuisance, Fred. Let's breathe aside of relief and count our blessings. Thank goodness Nate decided to move at 24 miles per hour, 25 miles per hour, 26 miles per hour. These hurricanes do not like to move that fast. They just can't intensify.

Now, if Nate was moving at 5 or 10, there is no doubt we would have a Category 2, maybe possible Category 3 and that is considered major. But, this is just a depression, although, remnant still some thunderstorm activity that's knocked out power now to 70,000 in Georgia and Alabama. So, it's still kicking up the winds a little bit.

But let's go back in time. Why was this a concern? Nate was a tropical storm when it moved in to Central America. And after two weeks of rainfall here, the rivers were already swollen. 22 lives, at least we know, lost their life in it and many are still missing here. That didn't move very close to Cancun.

Look at this, just East of Cancun, we thought Cancun would be hit. Well, just East of Cancun may have met just East of New Orleans. In fact, we showed live pictures at Suburban Street last night and that just the roads were damp as it was crowded. I even mentioned the only hurricane they were experiencing was the one they ordered at the bar because there were absolutely no wins. It was all from the core and eastward. But we did have wind gusts up to 90 and we did have some pretty good storm surge. I mean, you get up to 6 feet in some areas, 9 feet in others.

Here are some of the wind totals. Venice, Louisiana, 89 miles per hour, Near Gulfport, 73. But yes, it was always about the surge. And even though it's around the core, you can see, you know, a 10-foot storm surge that can do some damage and it is mainly just clean up. The remnants moving quickly then under the Tennessee valley moving up to the north. This is going to cause problems with flight delays.

Speaking of flight delays, Pensacola close their airport thinking maybe they would reopen tomorrow morning. They decided, "Let's go ahead and have a soft opening today with some minimal flights." But we're getting warnings now along this band that is moving into areas of Eastern Georgia, flood watches up in the higher terrain of the smoky (ph) up, of course, under the Blue Ridge. So as we watch this Fred, again, it's going to be more of a nuisance, but it's going to come down over the next 24 to 48 hours.

WHITFIELD: All right. Tom Sater, thanks so much.

SATER: Sure.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, new details into the investigation into the Las Vegas shooting, that note left in the shooter's room. What investigators believe it means, next.


[15:42:36] WHITFIELD: A new clue has emerged in the Las Vegas massacre. A source tells CNN the note that shooter Stephen Paddock left behind in his hotel room contained written calculations on targeting the crowd at that country music festival. The note gives insight into how meticulously Paddock mapped out the mass shooting from his 32nd floor window, spraying the crowd below with bullets.

A member of the law enforcement team that first entered Paddock's hotel room described the note in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID NEWTON, LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: He had written, he must have done the calculations or gone online or something to figure it out of what his altitude was going to be, on how high up he was, how far out the crowd was going to be, and what it -- at that distance what the drop of his bullet was going to be. He hadn't written out the calculations. All he had was written out the final numbers that were on the sheet.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Stephanie Elam joins me now live from Las Vegas. So Stephanie, are authorities any closer to linking these numbers to a possible motive?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's frustratingly -- it's a frustrating situation for law enforcement officials, Fred, because they are not closer to figuring out why the 64-year-old man would do this. They are saying on that note pad it was just those numbers, just that. There are no words with it and nothing else with it on that note pad.

And this as they are chasing down some thousand leads trying to figure out why this man would do this, looking at his social friend, his -- where he went, who he ate with, anything that they can figure out what would have led this man to do this. And so far there are no clear motives that have come to light at this point, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And then that massive scene, you know, there were articles that were left behind, phones, purses, etc. even wheelchairs from some of the images I saw. Are people now allowed to retrieve their items?

ELAM: Yes and no. So they have mapped out the area inside of the concert venue. And now for Section A, they are saying that you can do that if you go to the convention center you can go and they will help you work with your -- with someone there to figure out where your belonging is, whether it's a purse.

I've heard from several people that there were a lot of cell phones that were dropped all over the ground. They are charging those cell phones so people can hopefully look at the pictures because they are locked and see and recognize it, so they are asking people to describe it in great detail.

[15:45:07] And if you're no longer here, they have -- FBI has set up a website to help people go through and figure out, describe in detail where they were, what their personal property looks like and so they can try to reunify those people with their belongings here. But they are working with people help get them back, but right now it just for Section A. If you go on and look at the map they can show you where that is.

But they do want people to get their belongings back whether it's a lawn chair, whether it's a phone, a purse, or wallet, a hat, whatever it may be. They have gone through and slowly cataloged everything where it was found, what it looks like so they can hopefully get it back to the people that lost them in this heinous crime.

WHITFIELD: All right. Stephanie Elam in Las Vegas, thank you.

All right, still ahead, it has been one week since that tragic shooting. And the singer on stage at the time of the massacre unfolded now lending his voice to help the country heal.


[15:50:33] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Saturday Night Live honored the victims of the Las Vegas massacre last night with a man who was on stage in Vegas when the gunshots rained down, country music star Jason Aldean.


JASON ALDEAN, COUNTRY SINGER: Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, they're all part of our family. So I want to say to them, we hurt for you and we hurt with you. But you can be sure that we're going to walk through these tough times together every step of the way.


WHITFIELD: All right. With me now, Danny Myrick, he writes the country music hits, including Aldean's "She's Country". And Danny is with me now from Nashville. Good to see you.


WHITFIELD: So what happened a week ago is certainly hit this country very hard, and it's also hit the country music community very hard. What are you hearing in the country music community about what transpired, what people are saying and how they're expressing themselves?

MYRICK: Well, we are certainly like the rest of the country in shock. I personally have a lot of friends in Vegas. I've got a buddy who -- a couple of buddies who host a show at Mandalay Bay every Friday night, which we actually played this past Friday night. We were the first show since the shooting to happen. And because it so closely relates to us, we've got a lot of friends involved and had a lot of friends at the festival playing, including Jason Aldean and his band.

You know, we're still in shock trying to figure out how it happened. And, you know, I think at this point the first step is a matter of just sending up prayers and thoughts to those families, to the people involved, coming together as a community. And then the next step is to begin to ask the questions of how this could happen and how we can move on to hopefully prevent it happening again.

WHITFIELD: And what do you think needs to happen particularly in the healing process? We've heard so many say now is not the time, you know, to talk beyond offering comfort to the victims. What do you believe is a component of healing?

MYRICK: Well, I disagree with that. I think when these things happen it's the perfect time to discuss it. I think what it's not the perfect time for is for both sides of an issue, like the gun control issue, to immediately go to your corners and go back to your agendas. I don't think that helps anything. I think having real conversation about steps that we could take.

I'm really disturbed when I read, for example, that the shooter got 33 of those 47 guns within a year. And I'm wondering, how does that not raise red flags? I understand that he clearly did it within the law in terms of purchasing the guns. How can we not have some sort of a standard where someone is stockpiling that that can't raise a red flag? Maybe that's a starting point.

But, you know, it doesn't help like we do in so many issues to be so polarized and, you know, try to go to our agenda in the middle of these emotions. I think we have steps, you know, have conversations to see what first steps we can take and get on those and hopefully a domino effect happen.

WHITFIELD: So Danny, after the shooting, you took to Instagram and you wrote some of your thoughts on guns saying, "We must figure out a way to lay the weapon of words down as we figure out how to evolve as humanity. We will not survive if we don't." And so, what do you envision when you talk about evolving as humanity?

MYRICK: Well, all I can speak to is the environment that I grew up in. And I grew up in a gun culture in South Mississippi and I don't say that as a negative term. It was a very family environment. My first hunting experience was with my grandfather. I got a shotgun for Christmas, my brother and I, when I was 10 years old. And so, you know, those were family activities with law-abiding citizens who learn gun safety.

But the thought to me now is, you know, we can't automatically wrap ourselves in our freedoms that other people can take advantage of. And I know, especially in Nashville, and the country music world that NRA is really, really big understandably and so we hold that Second Amendment right really, really almost sacred. And I think now is the time, though, in a social media internet age that maybe we need to take some of the things we've taken for granted and go.

[15:55:06] Maybe the society we're in now is not ideal for the same level of freedoms and those circumstances that it was maybe when the amendment was written, you know?

WHITFIELD: All right. Music writer Danny Myrick, thanks so much for sharing your words.

MYRICK: My pleasure. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

WHITFIELD: All right. We got so much more straight ahead in the "News Room" right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:00:00] WHITFIELD: Hello, again, everyone and welcome. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks for being with us this Sunday.

All right, it's a new war of words in Washington, and this one is Republican versus Republican.