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Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For Election Meddling; FBI Admits It Failed To Act On Recent Tip About Shooter; Students Express Dire Need For Change After Shooting; Building A Healthy Future Using Vision Boards. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired February 17, 2018 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[07:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Russia story is a total fabrication. This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. The entire thing has been a witch hunt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 13 Russians indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Russians also recruited and paid real Americans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The goal here was simple -- damage Hillary Clinton, and elect Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We truly regret any additional pain that this has caused. The FBI has determined that protocol was not followed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this situation, the system clearly failed us.
TRUMP: And the doctors did a great job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sent her to school yesterday; she was supposed to be safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't really care what people who defend the second amendment have to say. Their arguments are invalid unless they've experienced this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. I'm Victor Blackwell.
RENE MARSH, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Rene Marsh in for Christi Paul. President Trump spent more than a year calling it a hoax, a witch- hunt, and total scam, but now Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russians for interfering in the 2016 election.
BLACKWELL: In the documents, the Department of Justice claims that Russians efforted involving unwitting Americans, including Trump campaign associates. But the president says that these charges have vindicated him in the Russia investigation. Now, out other top story, the stunning admission from the FBI. The bureau says it failed to act on a tip about the Florida school shooter. And now, some are asking could that tip have prevented the massacre that killed 17 students and teachers. We'll have more on the latest developments from Florida in a moment.
MARSH: But we start with new charges, allegations, and denials in the Russian investigation. CNN's Matthew Chance is live in Moscow, but first, CNN White House Correspondent Abby Phillip. Abby, you're here with us live, talk to us a little bit about the indictments and what is the White House's reaction to the indictments?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, 13 indictments against Russian nationals makes it all but equivocal that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, and they did so with the purpose of sowing discord in the election. They also made it a goal to boost Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton -- a claim that the president has viewed as a threat to the legitimacy of his election.
Now, President Trump has talked about this investigation as a hoax, as a witch hunt, as a phony excuse by Democrats for their loss at the election. He's called it terrible and a total scam. But the indictments make it clear that this was all too real.
And President Trump, in the wake of indictments, responded yesterday on social media. Here's what he said, he said: "Russia started their anti-U.S. campaign in 2014, long before I announced I would run for president. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong. No collusion."
Now, that is partly true. The Russians did, in fact, start this effort in 2014, but, though, the indictments also make it clear that there was an effort underway to work actively in the 2016 election, to expose some of the rifts that were already there.
And Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, when announced this yesterday, also made it clear that while there was no evidence in these indictments, that there was any effected the election outcome, it doesn't impact anything that could be coming later on from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is clearly still working on this investigation, still pushing forward.
It's also notable that President Trump in the past months has talked about working with Russia to prevent Russian interference in the election, even though the intelligence community has made it very clear that Vladimir Putin likely directed this attack on the U.S. elections.
BLACKWELL: Yes, that cybersecurity unit is going to put together with the Russians, that minutes later, he said, well, I didn't really suggest that we should do it, that becomes quite questionable now. Abby, thanks so much. Let's go now to CNN's Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance in Moscow.
MARSH: All right. So, Matthew --
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, yes, that's right. I mean, just what -- sorry. Go ahead.
MARSH: Tell us a little about this Internet research agency that is mentioned in this indictment. I mean, it is so sophisticated, the operation that they had set up here.
CHANCE: It is. It's a sophisticated operation. And you know, when you look at the detail that's been included in this latest indictment, about, you know, what the Internet research agency did. This is the Kremlin troll factories as it's been popular called. It's absolutely incredible. It basically sets out what Russian meddling in the U.S. political system actually looked like, and the actual things they did in order to try and influence the outcome and political debate in the United States.
[07:05:11] They posted political messages on social Web sites, actually posing as American citizens. So, you've got paid Russian bloggers sitting at their computers in St. Petersburg, the Russian city there, and pretending to be Americans, and sort of inserting themselves into blogs, to try and skew the debate from one side to the other, usually away from Hillary Clinton toward the Republican candidate, at the time, of course, Donald Trump.
Thousands of dollars, the indictment says, were spent on buying political advertising through social media platforms like Facebook and others, as well. And I think this is really important -- they used these platforms to organize political rallies in the United States with the express purpose of sowing some social and political discord. Take a look.
CHANCE: In May 2016, a small group of anti-Islamic protesters gathered outside a Muslim community center in the U.S. City of Houston.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down with the Nazis!
CHANCE: Across the street, a counterrally formed, and the two sides held abuse in the stark illustration of American division and discord. The organizers were thousands of miles away -- in St. Petersburg, Russia, working for a secretive organization which, according to a recent U.S. indictment, had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system. Its name, the internet research agency, dubbed "the Kremlin troll factory" by former employees who smuggled out these rare cell phone images. In 2016, CNN spoke to a Russian journalist who went undercover as an internet troll there.
LYUDMILA GAVCHUK, FORMER INTERNET TROLL (through translator): The U.S. elections are the key issue for the Kremlin, and of course, Russia has invested a lot of effort into them. That's why the troll factories are working. I have no doubt.
CHANCE: It was during the Russian-backed rebellion in Ukraine in 2014, that evidence first emerged of pro-Kremlin troll factories filled with bloggers paid to spread false information online about the conflict. And this is the Russian oligarch who, according to the U.S. indictments, bankrolled the troll factory operation. Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as Putin's chef -- because one of his companies provides catering services to the Kremlin -- has denied any guilt.
"Americans are very impressionable people," he told Russian state media, "they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them, I'm not at all upset that I'm on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see one." But it is the devilish work of Russia's Internet trolls and the social divisions they have incited that the U.S. has now moved firmly against.
CHANCE: Well, the Russian officials sort of commented on this, have so far gone back to their additional position which is to reject any allegations as absurd of Russian meddling in the U.S. political system. The most recent comment coming the past few minutes from the Russia Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, saying, "If you excuse my phrase, all of this is just blather." Back to you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Matthew Chance for us in Moscow. Matthew, thank you.
MARSH: And some experts believe that the indictments of the 13 Russians are almost a preview of things to come. Take a listen.
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JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I think there are other shoes to drop here, notably, finances. Bob Mueller and his team know a lot more about all this than is out there that we know. And now, I think there's much more to come. I didn't see any announcement about closing down the investigation after this indictment.
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BLACKWELL: All right. Let's bring back Abbey Phillip, CNN White House Correspondent with us; Juliette Kayyem, CNN National Security Analyst and Former Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security; and Michael Moore, still with us, Former U.S. Attorney Middle District of Georgia. Juliette, I want to start with you and your thoughts on what we heard there from General Clapper.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST AND FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I think he's exactly right. Remember, Mueller has been spending a lot of time on various theories of the case. One is, what did Russia, in fact, do which was -- we got some sense of that from the indictments yesterday. But then there's this whole financial piece, right, which is where was money -- who was it flowing to, and why did the Russians so badly want Trump to win, and why was Trump willing to ask the Russians to help him to win? We can't forget that Trump -- the Trump campaign was spending a lot of time essentially urging a lot of this behavior. And so, I think, we're only seeing a piece of it.
[07:10:05] But one of the reasons why we should remember that these indictments came out was because there's a lot of hints in them, right. So, there's various people who might be implicated in this conspiracy who are U.S. citizens or related to the Trump campaign. But also, we have an election coming up, and one of the benefits of putting these indictments out is, we know we're not going to arrest anyone in these indictments -- they're in Russia. But to, sort of, name and shame, expose Russia for what they did in hopes that that disrupts their sources and methods in 2018, because as we know the Trump White House has not enforced the sanctions, which were supposed to be put in place in response to their election meddling.
MARSH: Michael, to you, just this week on Capitol Hill, Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, he said that there was no single agency in charge of blocking Russian meddling. That coupled with what you just heard from Clapper that there are more shoes to drop as it relates to what Mueller finds as well as what others are saying as far as the meddling that's happening probably as we speak. What's your thoughts on that?
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Well, I think we've got an outstanding group of intelligence agencies, and they can work together. And each one has a different function. So, I'm not 100 percent sure that we have to have a specific Russian meddling agency involved. And I think between the CIA and the FBI and other agencies that certainly we have the intel and the capability to do that.
I think he's right, though, that there're likely other things to drop. I mean, remember, this indictment only deals with the facts concerning these defendants. It's not a complete story of the investigation, it's not put out there as a summary of the investigation.
It only produces and talks about the evidence that is necessary to charge these defendants with crimes, and, in fact, to prove their guilt for violations of federal law. So, I don't think this tells us anything. And I think that for there to be any reliance for the Trump administration, by the president himself especially, that somehow this vindicates him, we've heard that story before.
But remember, we're not talking about Manafort here, we haven't talked about Gates, and then there are all these things out here, Mike Flynn. Other tenets and tentacles of the investigation that we haven't gotten to. The key is we need to follow the money, follow the money, follow the money. I think at some point, we'll find out in -- that we look back and say that there was a reason that Russia wanted to have Trump elected president.
I think that's one of the reasons we don't have his tax returns. He's been holding those very tightly. And I think that Clapper is right, probably, that Mueller already has that investigation and knows that there's a money trail that leads back from Russia to some folks very high up in the Trump administration.
BLACKWELL: Abby, Juliet mentioned the sanctions that were voted on by members of Congress nearly unanimously. I mean, I think one percent of members of Congress voted against these sanctions, the president signed them into law, still, last month. They announced that they would not be implementing them immediately. Does this, in any way, force or push the White House's hand to implement those sanctions, and do you expect that we'll hear, I guess, more urgency from members of Congress to encourage the president to implement them?
PHILLIP: It certainly increases the pressure on the president and on the White House. But I think this Trump administration believes that they have a parallel diplomatic goal here on Russia. They want to pursue a different strategy, they want to broker a different relationship, and they want to hold off on sanctions for as long as possible. I don't necessarily foresee that changing, what I do see changing is more of an active effort by people pretty high up in the administration, perhaps starting with Mike Pence, and liaising with other aspects of the administration in the intelligence community, the attorney general, to actually work with states to prevent this from happening in the midterms. I think there is a recognition that this is real now, and they have more backing to do that. I think the president will be hard-pressed to come out publicly once again, calling the underlying claim that Russia interfered with the election or that they planned to a hoax in the future. It will just be virtually impossible for him to do that now.
MARSH: Juliet, really quickly to you. Obviously, the U.S. can't bring these 13 individuals here for them to face trial. Talk to me a little about the value of putting out this indictment for Mueller considering that.
KAYYEM: Oh, absolutely. So, as I said, so one of the values is, of course, the naming and shaming. The extent to which Mueller was able to figure out what happened is shocking from a sources and methods perspective. So, people in the Kremlin are not happy today that all of this has been exposed. And then, the second, of course, is there are, throughout the indictments, references to a firm in Texas, to other potential links that would draw in a larger conspiracy here in the United States. So, what does that mean? It means that if you were conspiring with these people, you might be thinking about coming forward now or not protecting people, say, in the White House or the Trump campaign. So, Mueller's showing his hammer a little bit. There's a third piece, quickly, which is Facebook and Twitter to a lesser extent. The sent to which Facebook is all over these indictments as a sort either passive or, you know, unhelpful forum is really key. I think it's going to begin a discussion about Facebook's obligations and responsibility in 2015.
[07:15:28] MARSH: All Right. Juliette, Michael, Abby, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: President Trump and the first lady visited the victims of the Florida school shooting. The president shared these photos of their time at Broward North Hospital yesterday where several of the survivors are recovering now. The Trumps also visited the nearby sheriff's department headquarters to meet with first responders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I just got back from the hospital. A young woman was shot,
four bullets, two in her lungs, and they got her over to the hospital in less than 21 minutes. She had no chance. And between the first responders, your people who got her -- you know who I'm talking about -- they got her there, Scott. What a job you've done. I hope you're getting the credit for it, because, believe me, you deserve it. The job you've done is unparalleled. Give him a raise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The president is spending the rest of the holiday weekend at his resort.
MARSH: And as those victims recover, we're learning stunning new details about the warning signs, and there were many, including racist online rants and a tip weeks ago that could've prevented the carnage. More on that, ahead.
BLACKWELL: 20 minutes after the hour now. Let's talk about this admission. Pretty stunning from the FBI about the Florida school shooting. The bureau admits, it failed to act on a tip that was called in about six weeks before the shooting. Now, the caller talked about the shooter, Nikolas Cruz's gun ownership, his desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and also disturbing media posts. CNN is also learning those posts included racist, homophobic, and anti- Semitic rants.
MARSH: And the FBI's admission prompted this response from Florida Governor Rick Scott. "The FBI's failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable. 17 innocent people are dead, and acknowledging a mistake isn't going to cut it. An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain." Scott also called for FBI director Christopher Wray's resignation.
Now, Congress is asking for a briefing into how the FBI handled the tip. CNN's Rosa Flores is live in Parkland, Florida. Rosa, can you tell us a little bit more about the Instagram message, the group that he belonged to?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Rene, this is exclusive CNN reporting. We've got teams that are scouring through social media trying to find clues and connect dots. And one of our colleagues was given access to this private Instagram chat. And it -- it's a conversation that goes back and forth between six people including this suspect. And the comments are very disturbing. As you and Victor mentioned, they are racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic about black people. He says that he just simply hates black people. About Jews, he says that they plan to destroy the world, and so that's why he hates them. About gays, he says that they should be shot. About White women, he says that they are traitors if they are in interracial relationships. And so, there is just a lot of hate and a lot of back and forth in this chat. And again, this is just one other element of his digital footprint that has officials disturbed. MARSH: And Rosa, you're learning more about what's next for the
gunman. What can you tell us?
FLORES: Well, we know that there is a hearing on Monday. We don't know exactly what the hearing is about. But from the public defender, he's saying that the suspect plans to plead guilty, which probably is no surprise if that indeed happen because we do know from probable cause documents that he confessed to this crime.
BLACKWELL: All right. Rosa Flores for us there in Parkland. Rosa, thanks so much.
MARSH: And joining us now, CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, Tom Fuentes, he is also the Former Assistant Director of the FBI. Tom, people, you know, even the vice president said in reaction to the shooting, if you see something, say something. Well, people saw something, they said something, and nothing was done. How in the world does the FBI miss something like this?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST AND FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE FBI: Well, certainly, it's a catastrophic failure, Rene, there's no question about that. The FBI's admitting to that, that they're going to look into where the breakdown was in the process. Interestingly, they set this process up seven years ago to have a call center with trained operators receive these calls from all over the country, all over the world. It's set up in West Virginia at the Criminal Justice Information Service Division -- CJIS, it's called. And you know, this was supposed to be to prevent this, so that each individual office with, you know, a night clerk on duty or something might get an important call and not know what to do, whether not be as well-trained. If you would have very trained specific instructions of what to do, what the protocol and process was. And obviously in this case, something broke down or someone, and that's what needs to be looked at. But it's absolutely an FBI failure in and of itself.
BLACWELL: As terrible as this mistake, this failure is, I was in Parkland, and people there want to make sure that we're careful about how we frame this. Now, you've got the governor of Florida, calling for the resignation. That politicians on state and federal level won't use this mistake as some absolution, right? If they'd only done their job, this wouldn't have happened. And quite possibly, that's it, but that this is not being used as an excuse by politicians to do what they were going do anyway, which is nothing.
[07:25:22] FUENTES: Well, that may be true, Victor, but, you know, you look at a system like this from start to finish. Here's this kid that's nothing but trouble to the local police, 39 trips to the house because of violent interactions, domestic disturbances, abuse of elderly people there. You have all of these incidents. You know, the schools don't just expel people because they get in trouble a couple of times or show up late.
Violence at school, threats to school, to the point where the school superintendent or principal issues an e-mail to the faculty if this kid shows on campus with a backpack, call here immediately, because they had information that sometimes he brought guns and ammunition. So, you know, you have so many different officials that had an opportunity possibly for an intervention, much earlier in this kid's life, so there's a number of systems that failed.
And I'm not exonerating or attempting to exonerate what happened with the FBI, but we have this destroyed system, especially when it comes to mental health issues, when it comes to civil liberties to use Internet, social media, and things like that. And the FBI is constantly running up against this with social media, for instance.
Look at the San Bernardino killing. Kills 14 people. And the FBI has a running battle with Apple to get into the phone to find out if he was calling other terrorist cells, and they didn't want to help. And this is a murder; they protecting the civil rights of a murder. So, that's the kind of issues that they run into.
BLACKWELL: And the concern was -- that I heard was that they just don't want politicians to now say that this is the FBI's fault, so that now they don't have to take any action, that they'll say that this is all on the miss from taking that call, that they did move on that. They still want some action from legislators. And we'll see if that happens. Tom Fuentes, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
FUENTES: Thank you, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Failed attempt at immigration reform, new indictments in the Russia probe, and another alleged affair. Next, how those White House -- or rather, the White House plans to move on from a very rough week.
[07:31:40] MARSH: Welcome back, I'm Rene Marsh, in for Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, good Saturday to you. I understand this was an easy story to miss coming on the same day that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, announced Russia indictments and the FBI said they missed tip warning them about the Florida school shooter, but the White House is now fighting another story of an affair by the president. Again, dating back to shortly after the first lady gave birth to their son, Barron Trump. Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Heading to Florida, the President walked alone to Marine One. His wife Melania, traveling separately amid humiliating headlines, including word that the billionaire businessman's lawyer paid off an adult film star following an alleged affair, and a new claim about another extramarital merger.
That story dates to 2006 when The Apprentice was shooting and having a party at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The married star of the show, Donald Trump, was there and according to The New Yorker, so was the former playmate of the year, Karen McDougal. The magazine says it was the start of a nine-month whirlwind of hotel room romps, fancy trips, a visit to Trump Tower where he pointed out his wife's bedroom, even high profile events like the launch of Trump Vodka and the Miss Universe pageant.
McDougal told the magazine, she paid for everything and was reimbursed to prevent a paper trail leading to Trump. The White House says this is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says, he never had a relationship with McDougal. So, how did The New Yorker come up with the sordid tale? A friend of McDougal supposedly gave the magazine eight handwritten pages.
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RONAN FARROW, JOURNALIST, THE NEW YORKER: She wrote a detailed chronicle of this affair in the course of selling the story.
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FOREMAN: The story did sell to the company that owns the National Enquirer for $150,000 days before the election, according to the Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. So, why didn't she read it? Because the Enquirer, which was run by a friend of Trump's, did not publish McDougal story. But by paying for it, legally blocked anyone else including her from coming out with the details. The Enquirer has made no comment on that part of the story. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
BLACKWELL: All right, so as you saw there, the first couple did not leave the White House together for their trip to Florida, but they did leave Air Force One at the same time when they landed in West Palm Beach. Joining us now, Gabby Morrongiello, White House Correspondent for the Washington Examiner.
MARSH: All right, Gabby, thank you so much for joining us. So, I mean, we don't hear a lot from Melania Trump, but we are seeing this sort of visual cues so to speak. As Victor just brought up, she showed up at -- she showed up in D.C., headed to Florida alone. I guess, my question is how is the White House behind the scenes handling news of yet another affair -- alleged affair with the President?
GABBY MORRONGIELLO, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, they're a known in situations like this is to deny, deny, deny publicly. And behind the scenes, not really say anything as well. We do know that this is been the way that she operates after allegations of extramarital affairs come out. With the Stormy Daniels' first, and now this.
New Yorker story, the First Lady has kept a distance from her husband. It's been very obvious in the media and when they have been together, it's been -- you can just tell by the body language that there is a sense of awkwardness there. But I think that this is a situation where the White House going forward. They really do need to come out and actually issue a full statement.
You can no longer get by with saying, this is fake news. I mean, this is a second extramarital affair that we've heard about. It's not earthshattering giving the president's reputation as a playboy, which is something that he certainly has had for -- you know, decades going on now. But it is something that conservatives can't excuse, and his supporters shouldn't excuse. And there should be valid questions asked and something the White House needs to address publicly and not just dismiss constantly.
[07:35:40] BLACKWELL: The White House has had really -- I was going to say, a rough week, but a rough two weeks dating back to the beginning of what we learned in the Rob Porter scandal. They've got work to do, they've got DACA to come to some agreement with Democrats. They've got infrastructure that this real-time to time to pitch and work on this plan that's come out now. How are they going to get back on message, this memo from John Kelly that the first entree into trying to do that?
MORRONGIELLO: I think that that was a way to sort of mitigate the damage that has been caused eventually, last two weeks. Not only by the White House's failure, to properly respond to the Rob Porter resignation, but also to every other issue that's been mentioned just there. I mean, they have not advanced any immigration legislation at this point.
They're still working to come together on an infrastructure bill. If they now have to deal with the shooting in Florida and how to respond to that. And an FBI that may have severely lacked the proper protocols in that situation. And on top of that, you had the 13 new indictments yesterday from the special counsel investigation.
So, it has been a horrible two weeks for this White House. And going forward, I think that the only way that they can correct their course right now is to hone in on some legislative priority, whether that be immigration or infrastructure and get to talking about just that. That seems to be what they've done previously, I don't know if it's going to work this time.
BLACKWELL: And that's the thing, I don't know if it's going to work, because when the White House is trying to get back on message, the President -- and it is Saturday morning and this is when he likes to tweet, will send out a message that sends the entire of apparatus off track.
MORRONGIELLO: Yes, he cannot keep quiet, and he seems to -- you know, sometimes make situations like this worse. And that's something that has been prevalent all along and something that causes great frustration for White House aides if you talk to anybody inside the West Wing, they're constantly complaining about how the president's social media interactions, and how his decision to re-tweet certain things or just tweet out certain things can just completely contribute to an upheaval in whatever conversation is happening that day. And I think that's probably the case right now. And again, you never know what he's going to say, how he's going to wade into a national conversation.
MORRONGIELLO: If he's going to start talking about gun control, we have no idea what he's going to talk about over the next week and that's a constant source of frustration -- BLACKWELL: Yes.
MORRONGIELLO: -- for people covering White House and inside it.
MARSH: All right, Gabby, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
MORRONGIELLO: Thank you.
MARSH: Well, still to come, a group of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High get political and are blaming lawmakers for Wednesday's shooting. Their thoughts about gun control and the ways to prevent incidents like this from happening again.
BLACKWELL: Plus, the Broward County School District is thinking about tearing down the high school where that shooting took place. The Parkland mayor joins us live for more on that.
[07:43:00] BLACKWELL: Wednesday's high school shooting has renewed the national conversation about gun control. Now, the President says, he's working with Congress on many fronts on this issue. But in the meantime, some students at Stoneman Douglas High School say they feel abandoned and have a message for D.C.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BLACKWELL: You said that the governor and Senator Rubio murdered 17 people. Why?
CAMERON KASKY, JUNIOR STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Its Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, who allowed this to happen. They're enablers, and they're -- the blood of 17 people and all those injured and all the families that have been hurt, this is all on them. They have us taking that this is inevitable and that we can't do anything to stop it, it's too difficult, we're done with that. The GOP has abandoned us and left us to people like Nikolas Cruz.
BLACKWELL: This is for any of you to respond to. This is what Speaker Ryan, said --
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We need to think less about taking sides and fighting each other politically just pulling together.
ALEX WIND, JUNIOR STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: I disagree with that statement because it's very clear that there are two sides to this, and there are -- there are certain people that accept money from the NRA. And I believe Speaker Ryan is one of those people. It doesn't seem like the country is coming together. It seems like they're sending their prayers and condolences but they're not taking action like they need to be.
BLACKWELL: Now, those who disagree with the framing of what you said and what we're hearing from others, is that the NRA didn't purchase the gun, the NRA didn't pull the trigger, the NRA didn't conspire to kill.
SAWYER GARRITY, JUNIOR STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: They might not have pulled the trigger, but they're who allowed him to buy the gun. Someone who isn't allowed to buy alcohol legally is allowed to buy a war weapon? Like, where does that make sense?
BLACKWELL: Does this make you uncomfortable, what you're hearing from people who want to limit access to weapons?
ALFONZO CALDERON, JUNIOR STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: I just don't feel it's realistic to expect people to just deny a right that they've been given by the Second Amendment and the -- through the -- throughout the entire history of this country. I just feel like, if we take small steps now that are plausible, maybe later we can actually take large steps that will stop things from ever happening again. I think mental health is something that everybody can get on.
KASKY: If Nikolas Cruz, spoke to one official, someone who knows mental health, for five minutes before he bought that gun, they would have instantly said, not only is this person not able to wield this gun responsibly, this person belongs in counseling.
BLACKWELL: Mental health hasn't brought Washington together before, what's your degree of confidence that anything will happen?
SOFIE WHITNEY, JUNIOR STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: I've never seen this kind of reaction to something like this. There's been 18 mass shootings in schools this year, and I didn't hear about them.
GARRITY: I don't have a degree of confidence at all, stories like these like you hear about them on the news and then a week later, we're on to something else.
KASKY: Every time this happens, its flowers, it's love, but right now, there's this air of change. Parkland, I feel it, everybody is inspired. Everybody is ready to make Parkland, the last city that has to deal with it.
[07:46:05] BLACKWELL: The part of my conversation with some of the students from Stoneman Douglas High School. Those five, started this group Never Again MSD. They've started the social media campaign and they hope it will be more. You'll going to hear more from them later in the show. But joining me now to discuss all of this is the Parkland mayor, Christine Hunschofsky. Mayor Hunschofsky, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
MAYOR CHRISTINE HUNSCHOFSKY, PARKLAND, FLORIDA: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: I first want to get your reaction to the news that broke from the FBI. They're admitting and apologizing for not responding to, not following protocol after someone who knew the shooter called in and expressed specifically their concern about a school shooting. What's your reaction to that and what you're hearing from your constituents?
HUNSCHOFSKY: People are completely frustrated, it's unbelievable to think that the information was there to prevent this, and it didn't -- it wasn't acted upon like it should have been.
BLACKWELL: OK. I've read that from the Broward County school district that they propose tearing down one of the buildings where this -- where the shooting happened. Is that something you support, is that something that's likely going to happen?
HUNSCHOFSKY: Absolutely. So, the Broward County Public Schools under the leadership of our Superintendent Robert Runcie, have been absolutely amazing in this community. Providing resources, they've been out there advocating for the students. And Superintendent Runcie is 100 percent correct in his desire to tear down the 1200 building where this took place and to rebuild it.
The students, teachers, staff, everybody who was in there was completely traumatized, rightly so by this event. And to expect them to be able to go back into a building where there was such carnage, it's indefensible. I know the Superintendent Runcie, has been working with the State legislators and has spoken with the governor. And we are all supportive of this that, that building get torn down and rebuilt, so that the students, and that faculty, and the administration do not have to step inside that building again.
BLACKWELL: You know, the conversation I had with those students was really a microcosm of the conversation we're having nationally. There was -- you know, Cameron, who really believed that there should be some movement on gun control. Alfonso said that there should be some movement on mental health.
But they believe that there will be some change, some legislative change. Are you as confident as they are that those in Tallahassee there in Florida, and Washington will react legislatively as they have that in the past to what happened at that high school?
HUNSCHOFSKY: I think, the residents of Parkland and Coral Springs and this whole Northwest Broward community are going to make sure something happens. There is such resolve here. We've been contacted by other areas that have faced similar tragedies, and it's enough already. So, while we have people here who are still mourning and grieving, we have everyone working and taking action. Whether that's action helping those people who are affected and dealing with this right now, whether that's action with discussing things with our State legislature. And of the governor, on whether that's action talking with our congress people and with our Senators.
Everybody here in this area -- and by this area, I don't just mean, the Parkland community, I mean, the whole community in Broward that's been affected by this throughout our State and throughout our country. People want action, and it might be a small step at this moment, but we need to know that the people who represent us want to protect us. BLACKWELL: And speaking of action, do you agree with the governor that the FBI Director Chris Wray should resign after that mistake, that to not following of protocol in response to the tip about the shooter?
[07:50:14] HUNSCHOFSKY: I believe that the FBI should review what their policies are and make sure that something like that never happens again. We need to make sure that when we have information, we are always -- this is the day and age we're in. All agencies on a daily basis we're all getting an information.
HUNSCHOFSKY: How do we process it properly and make sure that we're able to use that information to protect our residents.
BLACKWELL: But you don't go as far as the governor here?
HUNSCHOFSKY: I don't -- I'm not involved in the FBI. I think there should be consequences for this. But I also, more importantly than consequences is there needs to be action to make sure it doesn't happen again.
BLACKWELL: All right, Mayor Christine Hunschofsky, thanks so much for spending a few minutes with us. We know you are, are very busy there taking care of your city. Thanks so much.
HUNSCHOFSKY: Thank you very much.
BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.
[07:55:20] MARSH: Well, this week's "STAYING WELL" looks at how families can create a healthy future using vision boards.
TONI HOMABY GRIFFIN, THERAPIST: Vision boarding is the process of taking your visions for your life or your relationships and putting it on a board in the form of pictures, in the form of words. When you focus your attention on certain things, you will take action toward those things. Pictures are more powerful than just putting a to-do list on a wall. Whenever working with a couple, we do a love vision board. It gets the couple on the same page.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're engaged to be married later this year. I prepare the engagement from my vision. We first talked about our goals, they this made us plan, it made us talk about things there are moment uncomfortable.
On our vision board, we have to buy a home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have like a 30K of goal for savings. We have a big sign that says vegan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To try in green every week. My friend, Brian, he has a fear of riding bikes. So, we have a huge bike on our board.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We look to the board on a daily basis, honestly to draw an inspiration, it just makes it then more tangible and real.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're well on our way to pass our savings goal for the year. And we are set to close on that home.
GRIFFIN, The fact that you envision what you want to see in your life, you draw that internal light.
TRUMP: The Russia's story --