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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

FBI Warns More Devices Possible As Three Additional Packages Discovered, Manhunt For Suspect Intensifying; Police Federal Investigation At Postal Facility Near Miami; Authorities Believe Several Packages Went Through A Mail Facility Near Miami, Florida. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 25, 2018 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks very much for joining us.

We, of course, will keep an eye on what's going on in the building not far from where I'm sitting. We'll bring you anything significant as we get a bigger picture of it, but we are not going anywhere.

There is more breaking news tonight in a terror attack still unfolding and still being investigated as we speak. Today, the FBI said they're treating the devices that were sent as real, and not hoax devices. We still don't know if they were capable of detonating, but we do know that whoever sent them is still on the loose. We're learning far more tonight about the pieces of this plot, and we'll, of course, bring you all of it.

We begin, though, keeping them honest by focusing on what those pieces add up to and why the president of the United States just can't seem to see it. Remember, had those devices reached their targets and actually exploded, the country right now would be making funeral arrangements for two murdered ex-presidents, a former vice president, a former secretary of state, a sitting congresswoman, a former head of the CIA, a renowned actor, and the people that we work alongside every day, not to mention potentially postal workers and police or any number of bystanders.

As presidential historian Douglas Brinkley pointed out earlier today, the sheer number of targets and devices is unprecedented, and given who was being targeted, this is the kind of event when presidents traditionally might become aware of the awesome responsibility they have to all Americans of all political stripes. It is a moment that traditionally inspires deep humility. It's a moment for leadership.

We're often reminded that Donald Trump, of course, is not a traditional president, nor right now is he acting like a traditional leader. He has yet, for instance, to mention any of the targets by name, even though two of them, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, once held the office that he does. He's not spoken with any of them, nor briefed them on the threat that they face.

He's yet to speak of this as an attempt to terrorize the nation, nor has he called it an act of domestic terrorism, even though law enforcement officials have told us that is exactly what it was, an act of domestic terrorism, a term used by Mitch McConnell, and though President Trump solemnly called for national unity yesterday, those words, which he read off a teleprompter, sounded hollow this morning when he tweeted this: a very big part of the anger we see today is caused by the purposefully false and inaccurate reporting of the mainstream media that I refer to as fake news. It's gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream media must clean up its act, fast.

Now, given a chance to frame these devices as an attack on all of us, on all Americans, the president shows instead to blame one of the intended targets, a target that he himself views and has called publicly an enemy of the people. A target he has constantly railed against and encouraged stadiums pull of supporters to rail against as well. All of the intended recipients of these devices are viewed by the president as enemies. That may explain why these people and this organization were targeted, it may not. We don't know the motive behind this terror. We won't until the person or persons responsible are caught.

But let's remember something the president said just moments after winning the election. A night when it seemed possible to hope that the vitriol of the campaign could finally be put to rest. This is what the president-elect said that night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division. We have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It's time.

(APPLAUSE)

I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Binding the wounds is, of course, an image that Abraham Lincoln used in his second inaugural address. When he said that, the civil war was grinding to a close, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans had been killed. And leadership for Lincoln was not merely in saying those words but in trying to live and govern by them. He was killed trying in what at that time was the nation's worst act of political violence.

Thankfully no one has died this time, and the nation has not just fought a civil war. The stakes this time, by all means serious, are far, far lower than they were under Lincoln's time, which makes the cost of exercising real leadership far lower for this president. It makes it far easier.

But to do that, to exercise real leadership, not just for one's base but for all Americans, as he once talked about, that would require this president to move past or rise above whatever personal slights he feels he might have received from the people who were targeted.

[20:05:05] That would be real leadership. Not words read off a teleprompter, forgotten by the next morning when the president is showing his true self on Twitter.

The president is not inclined to rise above or to move past. He's shown that over and over again. And he showed that last night just hours into this attack and just seconds after saying that he wanted to, quote, bridge our divides, he then chose not to look inward and reflect on the things he has said or done. Instead, he pointed a finger once again at news organizations like the one that had just been evacuated because of what appeared to be a bomb in the mail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories. Have to do it.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Negative tone, uncivil tone, false attacks. He's blaming the media for that. He does not look inward and reflect upon the times when he has done all those things.

He said that at a rally for Republican candidates in Wisconsin, and even as he spoke, more devices were being discovered. But apparently, the upcoming midterms and pleasing his supporters and enjoying their adulation spoke loud to him. And today, judging by his tweet, his sense of grievance speaks louder still.

Leadership would mean setting that aside, if only for now. The other night, we had retired General Stanley McChrystal on the program, he was talking about the book he had just written about what makes a good leader.

The dedication says it well. To John Lewis and John McCain, it reads, who remind us that it's possible to keep our humanity while leading with courage and commitment. Well, it is possible but not easy. And for this president, it might not even be something he wants or knows how to do.

I want to get the latest now on the investigation. Authorities here in New York briefed reporters late today.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz was there. He joins us now.

So what have you learned, what's the latest development?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: There have been significant developments in the investigation, certainly for the FBI. They are now at this sorting site in Opa-locka, South Florida, and they're zeroing in on this site, because they believe if not all, most of the packages that were sent came through this site. The other thing there seems to be a large focus now on the south Florida area by authorities looking for leads, trying to figure out if the person who sent these is from the south Florida area.

So, certainly --

COOPER: Person or persons.

PROKUPECZ: Well, person or persons. And I can tell you, Anderson, authorities tonight and law enforcement are pretty optimistic. You know, earlier today, yesterday, we weren't getting the same kind of optimism from them, but there seems to have been some developments in this investigation that has authorities thinking that, you know, they may be making some significant moves here, that they may have a break here, and certainly now they know where some of these packages came through.

COOPER: The FBI and authorities have kept a pretty tight lid on what they know about the devices themselves, were there actually explosives inside, were they capable of detonating? We don't really know much about the details of the devices.

PROKUPECZ: No. And usually we tend to know more about these devices. For whatever reason, in this particular case, the FBI and NYPD here have not been releasing a lot of information. We did ask those questions at the press conference.

And, of course, the FBI said they don't want to release information that can hurt the investigation, because what happens is there's a lot of clues in those devices. They're intact, so they can do a lot of forensic work, -- you know all this. And also, they can pull some of the wiring and some of the casing and figure out where some of these items were purchased.

The other thing they don't know whether or not these devices could actually explode. And they want the forensic work and the lab work that's going to be going on in the next few days over at Quantico, at the FBI headquarters at Quantico to figure out, hey, you know, could this have really exploded? What were we dealing with before they tell us publicly what these devices were, how could they have exploded if at all?

COOPER: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Much more now on the mystery of how some of these packages actually got around the country without postmarks. CNN's Rene Marsh joins us now with that.

So, it is strange. Explain some of them do not have postmarks? And what did you learn about that?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. So what we know is that several of those suspicious packages, they were missing this critical clue that could have helped investigators, and we're talking about the postmark. It's not visible in the photos of several of the packages that CNN has reviewed. All but one of the packages actually had a postmark, and that, Anderson, only adds to the mystery of where these packages originated from.

Now, as you heard Shimon say, authorities believe that several of the packages went through that Opa-locka, Florida processing and distribution center, but that still doesn't tell them exactly where the packages originated from.

[20:10:05] As you know, the postmark indicates when and where the mail was sent from. You usually see it marked over the stamps. You cannot trace stamps, but a postmark is so distinctive, it could actually help investigators focus their search, but at this point, it's unclear why many of these packages did not have the postmark.

COOPER: I mean, isn't everything sent through the mail with stamps get an automatic postmark, is there an explanation why something wouldn't have a postmark?

MARSH: Right. So they are confident that all of these packages did go through the mail, but to your question -- no, not every package gets a postmark. We spoke to several people today who say the lack of a postmark is rare.

We spoke with the National Postal Museum. They say that is rare. However, a postal inspector who we spoke to also said that it could be that this piece of mail, essentially the way it was shaped, you just couldn't fit through the machine, which automatically postmarked a lot of this mail. It perhaps did not fit through that machine, and that is why we may not see that physical mark. It does not mean that the piece of mail had not been looked at.

So, there are exceptions for why mail you may not see that physical postmark signature on there. But still, we can't draw any conclusions from this at this point. It is unclear why these particular pieces of mail did not have that mark. But, again, there are some exceptions to the rules. But we don't know if any of them apply to these pieces of mail, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Rene Marsh, thanks very much.

Joining us now, three criminal justice professionals, Michael O'Neil, former commanding officer of the New York Police Department's counterterrorism division. Also former CIA and FBI senior official, Phil Mudd. And former FBI special agent, Asha Rangappa.

Phil, what is the significance to you of the fact that they're focusing on this mail facility in Florida?

PHIL MUDD, FORMER FBI SENIOR INTELLIGENCE ADVISOR: There's different categories. We talk about people chasing a soccer ball. There's multiple soccer balls here. There's the facility and the transmission of the package. This is significant.

Did the person transmit the package from Florida or was that a facility that the package traveled to? Were they someplace else? That is a really huge clue. But there are other --

COOPER: One of the things that Ted Kaczynski, if my memory serves me, did is he went on a bus --

MUDD: Yes.

COOPER: -- or buses from where he lived, I think it was San Francisco, to actually mail the device.

MUDD: The same questions about anthrax going back, what, 16, 17 years ago, did somebody travel to someplace else to confuse people. But that's one basket they're looking at. Think of this as different soccer balls and different elements of the investigation.

There are also people looking at what's inside the package. Hard for me to believe ten packages if this person is an amateur, not a single hair, not a single finger prints, not a single piece of DNA. So there's people looking at the packages, determining independent of what, for example, the Postal Service is doing on transmission, whether it's something in the package that's a clue.

And then another example, Secret Service. They've got a lot of people on file. Who are the people who have threatened the individuals who are like the individuals that we've seen over the past couple of days? I'm going to bet the investigators know a heck of a lot more than we know. One of the pieces is Opa-locka. But there's a lot of other pieces.

COOPER: All right. We're going to talk to Asha and Michael in just a moment. We're going to take a quick break. More on the investigation ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:17:38] COOPER: Police in Miami-Dade County are tweeting tonight about new activity at that Miami area mail facility. These are aerial images from local affiliate WPLG.

Now, the tweet reads, our bomb squad and canine unit are currently providing assistance to our federal partners at the United States Postal Service. Opa-locka mail facility is part of the ongoing investigation into suspicious packages located in other jurisdictions. This assistance is as precautionary -- is a precautionary measure.

Joining me, Michael O'Neil, Phil Mudd, and Asha Rangappa.

Mike, just in terms of where -- I mean, with your expertise as you look at what we know now and what we don't know, where do you see this investigation? What interests you the most?

MICHAEL O'NEIL, FORMER COMMANDING OFFICER, NYPD COUNTERTERRORISM DIVISION: What I see is a lot of devices, is a lot of potential evidence there, both on the package, on device itself, whether it's trace evidence and a technical assessment of the device, or --

COOPER: Even if they had exploded, you can still sometimes get evidence off the exploded device. But the fact it didn't --

O'NEIL: It's much better. COOPER: Much better.

O'NEIL: If he was sloppy put thing together, maybe some trace evidence or latent prints. They will go through that to find something like that. Plus, the device itself kind of gives you some direction on what you think the motivation of this might be on the construction of the device.

COOPER: The -- I mean, Phil, obviously one looks at all the targets or the intended targets. It would seem obvious what this person, what they all have in common. We frankly -- but we don't know what is in the mind of somebody else. Somebody might have wanted to make it look like something was following the president's rhetoric and was doing this to make it look bad for the president.

We frankly -- I just think it's important to point out what we don't know. We don't know the motive of this person.

MUDD: Sure. I find it interesting the percentage of conversation in the public form about what the motivation was versus the percentage of conversation if you're behind the curtain, I can't imagine if I was at the FBI doing, you know, a thousand cases how much conversation would be about motive. The question would be about, for example, what are the signatures of the device?

You look at all --

COOPER: At this stage in the investigation, you're saying they're not talking about motive.

MUDD: Correct, correct. As soon as you got into an apartment, for example, I'd say, is there an indication of motive? Because if there's an international dimension, you'd say, who else is involved, who motivated this person, who trained them.

But at this point, the basic question about, you look at the tape around those devices, is there a fingerprint on one of those pieces of tape? You're almost like -- think about climbing a mountain, you want to climb a mountain, and it looks like a piece of glass.

[20:20:03] You want one finger hold, a hair, a piece of DNA evidence, some mistake when the person mailed the package where the person actually went to a facility. Right now, I'm not worried about why they did it, I'm worried about one hand hold on a glass mountain that allows me to say, OK, game on, we're going finish this.

COOPER: Asha, if you can, just take us inside an investigation, and what will investigators what will they be looking for at this facility to help them narrow down exactly what happened?

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, at this facility, this is one stop in what the FBI is doing in tracing the journey of each of these devices. They're trying to go from the point of arrival. Every field office in the jurisdiction where one of these devices was received is involved in this, and they're basically tracing them back to see if they can pinpoint a point of origin. Now, as you mentioned, that doesn't mean that point of origin is where

the suspect or suspects could be located. But it can tell you things. For example, if these devices originated from geographically disparate locations simultaneously, then you may be looking at multiple people who are coordinating versus a single person, just because that would be logistically infeasible.

The other thing, as Phil mentioned, is -- and the commissioner mentioned also, that these are going to be forensically analyze at Quantico. And I want to emphasize that in addition to DNA evidence, they also have the components of the bombs itself. These have not been detonated, so they have each of these. They have ten of them.

And Quantico is very good at what they do. Even though these are readily available materials, they can often trace these materials and ingredients back to sometimes individual stores where those could have been purchased. And then you have things like video cameras, receipts, payment methods, if you can narrow down a time frame where that might have happened. So, it's moving methodically along, as Phil mentioned. This is about looking at what do you have in your hand and what can you -- what is the next step that you can take to learn a little bit more about it so you can narrow down, mainly I think at this point the geographic scope.

COOPER: Michael, you know, it's now cliche, everyone talks about the signature that bomb-makers have. How true is that? I mean, you see that on television programs all the time.

O'NEIL: The Unabomber, for example, had a signature kind of how the devices were made. Sometimes it's not intentional, like the signature with this could be the commonality amongst the devices. The switch is always the same, the wires are always the same, set up that way. So, that could be a signature of the device. It helps. And there's a great database with the FBI that captures those signatures of all device --

COOPER: I assume there's a database of the kinds of bombs that can be made and where somebody might learn about it, if it's a military style that might provide clues or --

O'NEIL: Military style, you're probably dealing with a serious bomb maker.

Pipe bomb unfortunately is the most commonly used explosive device by attackers worldwide. Unfortunately, it's very simple. It's an easy and very simple device to make. You can find parts online, and you can find directions online how to make it.

COOPER: It's all out there.

O'NEIL: It's all out there.

MUDD: You would be surprised how specific some of the bomb specialists can get in terms of signatures on bomb. I remember years ago talking to one of our bomb techs at the CIA about a bomb. The individual, the bomb tech was telling me they could determine based on the bomb whether they thought the individual was right-handed or left- handed based on signatures.

What was the signature, how they solder the wires in the bomb. They're looking at soldering saying we think this person was left or right-handed based on where the soldering is. Incredible bomb specifics based on what you can acquire from an explosive device.

COOPER: Is it usually an individual who is behind multiple devices? I mean, the idea of multiple people working on similar looking devices, I haven't heard much of that sort of thing.

O'NEIL: I think typically when you see a signature across multiple devices, it usually goes to one bombmaker and how they made it. And to what Phil said exactly is true, like, you know, how they cut the wires, how they crimp them, they all tell you something about the individual that might have put this together.

COOPER: And, Asha, I mean, the person or persons responsible, they've obviously talked about clues, whether that was by intent or just sloppy work, that would also be something investigators are trying to determine I would assume.

RANGAPPA: That's right. We have to remember that there could be false clues, that we just mentioned the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, he left false clues in his bombs. Now, he also had a PhD. He, you know, he did 16 bombs over 17 years, so he was learning from each one and was getting more sophisticated with each one.

Here you have ten in a span of five days. I mean, the person would have been working on them for a while. But I think the likelihood of sloppiness or mistake probably goes up statistically in that kind of situation.

[20:25:06] COOPER: All right. Asha Rangappa, thank you. Phil Mudd, Michael O'Neil, appreciate your expertise. Thank you very much.

I want to give you an update now on what's been going on here at the Time Warner Center. Law enforcement officials tell us they are responding to two suspicious packages on level three of the shops in this building. Evacuation was limited to certain areas. There's no known threat. They're operating out of an abundance of caution as the police department is doing.

As we've said, President Trump is not backing off one bit on his criticism of the media, not reflecting on his own rhetoric over the last two years. Coming up, we'll hear from former Vice President Biden on civility. Two of the suspect packages, of course, were addressed to him.

And we'll go to the White House for the very latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, as you know, President Trump has called the media the enemy of the people, and has elevated the term fake news into a national conversation. Now, he's blaming the media for what he said was the anger in society because of, quote, purposefully false and inaccurate reporting.

Two of the packages were addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden. This afternoon, he spoke about it publicly for the first time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:30:03] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: We've got to turn off this hate machine. We've got to come together. The American publics have been all over the nation. People want us to be more civil. People want us to choose hope over hate. They want us to choose for real. I mean, it's guttural. People understand that and words matter. Words matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: More now from CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House. So the President clearly is taking his heels in here laying the blame at the feet of the press. Is there any indication that he is looking inward at all or reflecting on some of the rhetoric he himself has used, you know, referring to people as evil or the enemy of the people, et cetera?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: There's not, Anderson. In fact, there's actually quite the opposite. The President thinks that he's got a working strategy and he thinks that he has nothing to do with anything that has happened over the last few days and he wants to make that pretty clear and that is why he is going after the media in renewing those attacks on the media even just a few hours after he called for unity.

He's been on the phone with allies all day. He's been talking to aides and he thinks his strategy of saying that it's the media that's dividing the country with this angry rhetoric, that is working. He thinks that's a winning strategy so far. He plans on sticking with that.

Now, a lot of those aides and allies he's been talking to are agreeing with him. They think that he's unfairly covered by the media. They think that the media has unfairly linked him to these incidents because of his angry rhetoric in what he said and they think that has nothing to do with what's gone on.

So he's not getting any pushback from his aides and from his allies that he's been speaking with. So certainly it seems to be this is what he is going to continue doing, this is the approach he's going to continue to take.

He did speak with the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, today. They updated -- he updated him on the investigation. They talked about that, but they didn't have any conversation about the President's rhetoric in cooling the temperature or taking this opportunity to address the nation in a more unifying manner than attacking the media.

And Anderson, one other thing I do want to update you on, we've been talking about how the President hasn't called anyone who's been the target of these attacks, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, you just heard from there, and I just got off the phone with a really senior White House official and they said they are very sure and very confident the President has no plans to make any calls to those people.

COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. Thanks.

Let's get perspective now from David Gergen who served four presidents and journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate renowned and more.

David, I mean, the strategy from the President, not surprising I suppose, disappointing to some, and to supporters, it's why they elected him.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think he has a strategy on almost anything. I think he has reactions and he plays it by ear. And I do think he thinks its working and he would continue it.

But it's really worth understanding and remembering, there have been a lot of books recently about authoritarianism that have been creeping up across Europe. How countries go down that road toward authoritarianism? And the books almost all agree. One of the first major things you do is to silence your critics, especially in the press.

You try to find -- you try to delegitimize them and discredit them so that they won't be taken seriously in what they report and then you can run over them. And that is I'm afraid -- I'm reluctant to say this, but it seems to that's what we're seeing.

COOPER: That's the strategy?

GERGEN: Well, that's what he's doing. I'm not sure I'd call it a strategy.

COOPER: Right. Do you think, Carl -- do you expect anything different from this President? I mean, it was fascinating last night to hear him, you know, read off a teleprompter about, you know, lowering rhetoric and not, you know, demonizing one's opposition. And yet coming from this President who has, you know, called opponents evil and enemy of the people and, you know, in a few sentences later was blaming the media for being targeted.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: His strategy, which has worked for him, is to spew hate and division. That is what he has been doing for two years as a strategy, and it has worked. He's fired up his base.

And once again, he had a real opportunity here to bring the country together to be the president of all the people and instead he sowed divisiveness once again, made the conduct of the press the issue, not the conduct of anyone except the press, blamed the press for misuse of information, false and misleading information. Where's the evidence of all these false and misleading stories? What the press has done? The main stream media has done throughout his presidency is to report on his lying, that is why the coverage appears so negative. But it's been factual, it's been contextual, it's been accurate, and that is what the beef of the President of the United States has.

And he has managed to put it out there in such a way as to rev up the country that supports him and believes that we are the issue, not the President of the United States and his hate and divisiveness.

[20:35:07] GERGEN: If it is striking, Anderson, that some of the worst rhetoric that's come out of his mouth has happened in the last few weeks and his numbers are going up. You know, it's --

(CROSSTALK)

BERNSTEIN: I mean, not an accident.

GERGEN: It's not an accident. It's striking. And it really -- I think at some fundamental level, because the press has been a foundation of the First Amendment and everything is going out of that. And, you know, you go back to what Jefferson or any -- Madison or anybody you want, and they'll all tell you how important a free press is to this republic. And, you know, it's just like we've thrown all that out at the door.

And what we have now is something I think that goes far beyond anything Carl and I have seen. You know, we thought with Nixon we were seeing the edges. Does he have an enemies list? He, you know, he always went after the press and so forth and so on. But this is much more systematic. It is much more -- it's much deeper. I mean, this whole administration turns in part on that theme.

BERNSTEIN: To be honest, throughout our history, the President of the United States has set the tone of public discourse in America, that's why Washington and Lincoln are our most revered presidents. That's why Roosevelt has been revered, because of the tone they set.

We have never had a President of the United States, including Nixon, for all his criminality and making the conduct to the press that issue sometimes, no president has ever spewed the kind of consistent hate, disdain and division as this President of the United States has and it is basic to who he is.

It is not about a positive program for all the people of this country. It is about him winning, as he says, constantly, constantly, it's all about winning, and look at what the cost is. Look at what has happened.

We have had a president who praises a member of Congress for body slamming a reporter. In the same week that Khashoggi was dismembered and killed, a reporter, by a foreign power that is authoritarian, and even less than Trump has no regard for a free press. But the free press, as all of our presidents have recognized, yes, they have gotten really angry at the press. And, look, we make mistakes, and usually we own up to them. But this is something different. This is saying that the poison in our system is the press. It's not the poison in our system, the toxicity in our system is the current President of the United States and his words, and they mean something.

COOPER: David?

GERGEN: You know, in the past, working in the White House when we've gotten crosswise with the press and then really just a lot of anger, I've been involved in a session when we call in publishers or call in editors of major newspapers, called in the presidents of the various news organizations, and have a real conversation with the president and his people about how can we live better together and treat each other as professionals. And I keep thinking, "Should we do that here?" And then it occurs to me, "He won't listen." I don't think he's willing to go down that path.

COOPER: I don't think that he sees it in that.

GERGEN: Yes.

COOPER: I know he doesn't see it in that way.

BERNSTEIN: We are basic to his success and his success in his eyes is based on demonizing us.

COOPER: I've got to get a break. Carl Bernstein, thank you. David Gergen, thank you very much.

Much more ahead tonight specifically about the President's words and his opponent's words for him, should that be a factor? Perspective from Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:42:25] COOPER: Again, our breaking news tonight, authorities now believe several of the suspicious devices mailed to prominent figures went through a mail facility in Opa-Locka, Florida.

As the investigation intensifies, there's another comment thread, all the targets of these devices have been verbally attacked by President Trump. Some have recently said critical things about him. First, the President's device of rhetoric.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.

Maxine Waters, a very low I.Q. individual.

Biden, I hear Biden, wants to take me to the back of the barn. He would be in big trouble, I will tell you. Such a nasty woman.

You know with Biden, you go like this. And he goes down.

I said it the other day, yes, she is a low I.Q. individual. I mean, honestly, she's somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Now, here are some of the pointing words spoken by those who have bombs addressed to them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.

ERIC HOLDER, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Michelle always says that, you know, when they go low, we go high. No. No. When they go low, we kick them.

BIDEN: When a guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, "I can grab woman anywhere and she likes it. I said, "If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him."

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: With this kind of inspiration, I will go and take Trump out tonight.

ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: He's so blatantly stupid. He's a punk. He's a dog. He's a pig. He talks how he wants to punch people in the face. Well, I'd like to punch him in the face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, there's also the criticism for the President from John Brennan, CIA director during the Obama administration. The package we got here at CNN was addressed to Brennan.

Back in July, he posted this tweet after the President met with his Russian counterpart. "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin."

Earlier tonight, I talked about the attacks and harsh language from all sides right with Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich, a former rival of President Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Governor, whether its Secretary Clinton saying you can't be civil with the political party that wants to destroy and what you stand for. Eric Holder saying when they go low, we kick them. Is it fair to equate that with some of the virtual of the language that we've heard from the President? [20:45:06] GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Well, I think their language was completely inappropriate. In fact, I criticized Hillary for it and we're shocked that she said that. However, Anderson, look, I'm the governor of Ohio, and I have the biggest mega phone in the state. I mean, other political people can say things, ones who are office holders, but I've got the biggest mega phone and therefore I have the greatest responsibility.

The President of the United States has the greatest mega phone really in the entire world. And the way the President leads and the way he speaks matters. And so while I would criticize the Democrats for saying we should go low, the President of the United States has a big responsibility.

We expect more from the leader of our country, the leader of the free world. And I just -- I want some unity, and I praised him yesterday, Anderson, when he started by saying we all needed to work together, great. But then don't pivot around and start attacking the press, you know, calling them the enemy of the people. I mean, that's just uncalled for and not appropriate.

COOPER: It was interesting, former President George W. Bush last night talked about the press. And then one of the things he said, and I'm quoting, he said, "You want the press corps to be active with powerful people because you want the press to hold powerful people to account and keep people honest as long as they're honest."

It's just so interesting, you know, that this president seems to be incapable of having the same -- I don't even know if it's respect that's need to be have, but just understanding of what the job of the press is.

KASICH: Well, you know, look, the press is a critical part of a free society. And of course, people in politics, a lot of times they don't like what the press has to say because they can make it difficult. That's their job and you need to respect that.

But what I'm really concerned about is I'm really concerned about whether the President, and I'm starting to think it's not possible for him, unless there's a Damascus road experience, is unable to bring people together, that he does play to this base, that he uses this language. And I guess what we're seeing now is the unwillingness to take any personal responsibility and put it off on somebody else.

Look, this is not a personal attack on Donald Trump. I want him to do better. When I heard his initial statement yesterday about we needed to get together, I praised him for it. That's what I want to see. But I don't want to see them a pivot to more attacks and more rhetoric. And it holds true for the Democrats, as well. They've got to be very careful about the way they conduct themselves and the way in which they scare people.

COOPER: You know, President Trump at his rally last night, you know, when he was talking on the teleprompter as you mentioned, you know, he was talking about unity and not saying terrible things about your political opponents. But then he went on to say something off script it seemed and I want to play that for our viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And by the way, do you see how nice I'm behaving tonight? This is like -- have you ever seen this? We're all behaving very well. And hopefully we can keep it that way, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It was interesting to me to hear that because it does seem like sort of a, you know, he says something scripted and then it's a wink and a nod to supporters that what he's saying about coming together isn't really what he wants to say or isn't really what he may be saying the next day.

KASICH: Look, he has an opportunity if he would seize it, to really bring people together. That is one of the jobs of a president, to calm people. It's the job of any big-time leader, whether you're the CEO, whether you're the governor of Ohio, part of your job is to calm people down.

Yes, we can say that we have problems. But your choice is you can say we have problems and beat them down and frighten them or you can say we have problems, but guess what, together, we can pull out of it. We can fix it. That's called giving hope. It's not called dividing people or frightening people for political gain.

I believe we need unity. And here's what I also believe. I believe that the people of this country are good, and that the people of this country want to solve problems. And I believe the people of this country want to be together to solve problems that exist in their neighborhoods.

So while we focus on this, why don't we also take some of our frustration and figure out how we can work with other people to solve things that are in our neighborhoods?

COOPER: Governor Kasich, I appreciate your time as always. Thank you.

KASICH: Thank you, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: One more update on what's been going on in the building here for the last four hour or so. The bomb squad was called to apart of them all that were attached to, they found nothing dangerous. And just a few minutes ago, they gave the all clear. I want to thank them for their efforts.

Let's check in now with Chris to see what he's working on for "Cuomo Prime Time" at the top. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: People are super sensitive right now, and getting a little bit of a glimpse into the process. They are so fast to the scene. [20:50:02] I mean, look, I hate to see our best tested this way, but the first responders are just no joke, their ability to detect the threat, to determine what needs to be done, to evacuate and to tell people, extraordinary.

You know, that was a great interview with you and the governor and there's a gap though, right? Kasich is saying things that people want to hear and objectively you would think we should be hearing right now from leadership right now, but we're not and that's because the people around Donald Trump are giving him a different message.

They're giving him consolation. They're giving him reinforcement and we have one of his main supporters on tonight, Florida congressman. And we're going to have a discussion about what needs to change and who needs to change and who should go first and why.

And then I'm working on a closing argument, Anderson, I guarantee it will make you smile.

COOPER: All right.

CUOMO: 100 percent guarantee. Don't smile now. You think it sounds like a little war (ph).

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE), I could use something to smile about. Chris, thanks very much. Nine minutes from now, I'll see you.

All of these 10 packages containing apparent explosive devices looked pretty much the same on the outside. Just ahead, the latest on where some of them may have been mailed from and just how sophisticated they may have been.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:55:21] COOPER: Returning to our breaking news. Two law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation believe that several of the packages were sent through a postal service distribution center not far from Miami. Authorities are not treating these devices as a hoax.

Helping me now to try to decipher what we know thus far is Adam Hall, a former bomb analyst with the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab, Josh Campbell, a former senior official with the FBI.

Josh, I'm just wondering in terms of where you think the investigation is now, what you're from sources, what are you make of where we at?

JOSH CAMPBELL, FORMBER FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: So two parts of this investigation, the forensic side and then trying to get into the mind-set of whoever these or group of people are. We've been talking to sources the last 24 hours, actually since it's began. What we're told now is several of these devices have actually been transported from a New York area back to FBI's laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, they'll undergo analysis.

We're also learning about some of the characteristics of these devices. We saw some of the initial reporting that there was some type of ISIS flag that was on one of the devices. We've talked to some of our sources who are telling us now that law enforcement is not giving credence to that, they don't think that this is international terrorism. In fact, it looks to be some sort type of parody ISIS flag which, you know, again, make simply this is international terrorism. So, they're trying to rule things out.

We're also learning from our sources that there are initial pieces as far as getting in the mind-set of this person. Law enforcement is really leading heavily on this behavioral analysis, the profilers that we often hear about try to determine, OK, what are the characteristics involved of someone who would do something like this, and it's going to come down to the target set, the people that they chose to go after.

And one interesting lingering question is why none of the devices actually detonated. There's a 100 percent failure rate here if this was in fact intended to kill people, was intended to scare people, which is still be terrorism that something investigators will looking at, Anderson.

COOPER: Adam, I mean, just -- we know there were 10 devices. Just from what, you know, what we know in your expertise, how difficult is it to make and how likely is it that they were all made by one person?

ADAM HALL, FORMER BOBM ANALYST, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE CRIME LAB: You know, the -- it's difficult to say at this point. But, you know, overall, the devices don't seem to be overly sophisticated. You know, it's also not as if it would take, you know, days or weeks for an individual to construct, you know, 10 devices let's say with the appropriate level of knowledge.

COOPER: And the kind of -- I mean, obviously, I'm relying on you in your expertise, not to say anything that would give anybody any ideas. But from what I've talked to other people, they all say like, you know, this information how to make these, it's on the internet, people out there who want to find it already know where to find it.

HALL: You know, that's true. You know, the individual doesn't necessarily have to have a sophisticated level of knowledge to construct a device such as this. Unfortunately, there is a lot of information available on the internet nowadays and, you know, people are -- can certainly access that type of information.

COOPER: Josh, the fact that there's also writing and whatever forensic clues there may be on the devices or on the packaging or DNA, even just the handwriting samples, that is something which can be compared to, you know, everybody who's ever written any of these public officials, you know, threatening letters.

CAMPBELL: That's true. And, you know, Quantico, Virginia, the site of the FBI's laboratory, that compound is now really a refocal point for this investigation for two reasons. First, of which being this is where these devices have now been taken. So the forensic examiners will be going through them trying to, you know, conduct this surgical examination to figure out what's then and what are the components. But as you mentioned, they're going to try to compare that with known intelligence that they have on past devices. There's this repository that sits at Quantico where they've collected devices for several decades and they can run through leads and tips and, again, try to figure out these commonalities whether it's the tactics used in handwriting or whatever that it make-up that it happens to be.

Next to that facility at Quantico, a bomb laboratory is also the behavioral analysis unit. The same people were actually going to be going through and determining, OK, what does it mean if a person did a certain thing, again, trying to build what that profile, trying to build what that scope of what they're dealing with.

We're told at least as of a few hours ago, the law enforcement, they're not honing in on one particular person. This is still an investigation that's very much in its infancy. It's all hands on deck. It's spanning coast to coast from Los Angeles to Florida and then up to New York, a lot of resources that are being involved. But as of this --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Josh Campbell, thanks. Adam Hall, as well, appreciate your expertise.

Quick reminder, "Full Circle" is our new daily interactive newscast on Facebook. You get to pick some of the stories we cover and cast your ballot. Watch it week nights at 6:25 p.m. Eastern at facebook.com/andersoncooperfullcircle.

The news continues right now. I want to hand it over to Chris, "Cuomo Prime Time" starts right now. Chris?

CUOMO: Thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo, welcome to "Prime Time." This has become a two prong search, one for the person or people responsible for the bombs and we have new information coming on how some of the devices were sent.