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Details on Suspected Gunman; Twelve Dead in Mass Shooting; Lawsuit Against Kemp; Nelson Calls for Recount; Democrats to Investigate Sessions' Departure. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired November 8, 2018 - 09:30   ET

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


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[09:31:42] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome back.

We do have new breaking information just into CNN on the gunman, the man who opened fire overnight at the Borderline Bar and Grill in southern California.

Let's go to our colleague, Shimon Prokupecz, who has more.

What do we know at this time?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, so, Poppy, at this point we're not naming the suspect. We're not identifying him by name. But we've learned a lot about him and certainly law enforcement now knows a lot about him.

We're told that he's 29 years old. And, obviously, there were some difficulty this morning for law enforcement in trying to identify him because we're told he did not have any identification on him. He had no other information, nor any other real way that law enforcement could identify him. They took his fingerprints. They also traced the weapon that he had. They used other methods to try and identify him. And they now believe that they have identified him and that he's 29 years old.

Obviously, this is important for law enforcement so they can start building out a motive here, going through his social media, talking to his family, friends, people he worked with. So that's what's going on right now, certainly, in this investigation for law enforcement. Motive here still unknown and a key part, obviously, of this investigation that law enforcement is now working on.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Shimon Prokupecz, we know you're going to stay on top of it.

We're joined now by CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell, James Gagliano, both of them former FBI agents.

Josh, if I could begin with you.

The sheriff's deputy, he went in there. He went into the line of fire. He lost his life as a result of it. That is, isn't it, relatively new or recent guidance in terms of mass shootings, isn't it, not to sort of set up a security cordon, et cetera, but to go in and go in quickly, is that right?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's right. You go to the sound of the gunfire. And it looks like he did just that. You know, that's textbook. The officer showed up. It was an incredible response time that we saw here, just within a matter of minutes from the first 911 call that was coming in, until the officers actually arrived. It was a sheriff's deputy and an officer with the California Highway Patrol.

Obviously went in, were engaged by gunfire. The sergeant, you know, unfortunately, tragically losing his life. We're told that his partner, who was with the California Highway Patrol, attempted to, you know, drag him out into a position of safety. Again, this is all going on in a very chaotic situation as these officers were arriving and trying to save lives.

But, again, as you mentioned, Jim, I mean it sounds textbook and he should be truly celebrated as a hero today.

HARLOW: Yes, no question about it.

To you, James. We know from Shimon, a 29-year-old man. We know dressed in black, didn't have an ID on him. There were a lot of eyewitnesses. Some of them have joined us this morning. We will find out from them, authorities will find out, did he say anything when he carried out the shooting? Did he yell anything? Walk out through how the authorities right now are identifying motive.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So, Poppy, we know that the incident took place at 11:19 p.m. Pacific Standard Time last night.

HARLOW: Right.

GAGLIANO: We're just around seven hours. So this investigation is in its absolute infancy.

Now, we know that the police responded within three minutes and made entry.

SCIUTTO: Wow.

GAGLIANO: Jim, to your point earlier, the modality and how law enforcement responds is actually different than it used to be, where it was contain and negotiate.

HARLOW: Yes.

GAGLIANO: In most of these mass shootings, those of us in the FBI that studied these, know that they usually end in five to seven minutes. So police got there, did the job that they needed to do.

[09:35:03] What do we need to do right now? Determine what the motive was. And people always argue in the aftermath and they say, why is that so important? To understand what caused this person to do this. Was this a crime of impulsivity or a crime of premeditation?

HARLOW: And you don't always find out, like Las Vegas. They never determined the why.

SCIUTTO: Why. The why.

But, listen, you know, that's a fantastic response time, three minutes.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: You could kill a lot of people in three minutes, particularly with a handgun.

GAGLIANO: With a hand gun.

SCIUTTO: We don't know, was it semi-automatic.

Josh, if I could ask you, so he didn't have an ID on him. They had to identify him, it appears, via fingerprints, weapons trace. That struck me as unusual because oftentimes with mass shootings like this there's the death by cop phenomenon --

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: Or suicide by cop phenomenon rather, where the person wants some notoriety here. What does it tell you? How unusual is it for someone to go in, appearing, attempting, to hide their identity?

CAMPBELL: Well, when you see the lack of that information, such as an identification, we're told that he, you know, may have not even had a telephone on him, a cell phone. Again, that kind of leads to a level of maybe perhaps premeditation coming in and maybe not wanting to initially be known. But, again, there's so much that we don't know about what his plan was. Did he come here expecting to die? You know, again, what was that motive? There are a lot of questions.

To you point, there have been a lot of instance that we've seen where a shooter has either taken his or her own life or they're engaged by police and then it, you know, becomes obviously more difficult for officers to then try to determine why the person did what they did. But that's all going to be part of this investigation.

We've seen here behind us, as we've been out here for, you know, a few hours, the trucks arriving from various different agencies, the crime scene processing centers. We're told that officers are working to obviously trace the weapon that was used here to determine where that traces back to. Are there any clues there? You know, how he got the weapon? Was it purchased legally? And of those details.

And, again, moving to the witnesses as well. Obviously a very tragic situation that happened behind us overnight. But all those people are potential witnesses. They're going to be going through and asking them, is this someone that you knew, someone that you recognized, or was this just a random target behind us? Again, early in the investigation. So many unanswered questions. HARLOW: James, to you, would they be searching for possible

accomplices right now?

GAGLIANO: That is the most important thing. The shooter's dead.

HARLOW: Right.

GAGLIANO: So we're not concerned about there still being an active shooter, the person that started this. But were there any accomplices? People that were part of conspiracy. People that directed him to do this or provided material support for him.

Something to keep in mind, the last 17 years, the FBI tracks these statistics, 250 mass shootings, 799 dead, 2,217 casualties, 17 years.

HARLOW: Unreal.

SCIUTTO: You want to know something amazing about the shooting. Some of the folks inside that room --

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Were survivors of the Las Vegas shooting a year ago, which was the worst mass shooting in history. That's a commentary on gun crime in America today.

HARLOW: God.

SCIUTTO: Josh Campbell, James Gagliano, thanks very much.

HARLOW: Thank you, guys.

All right, this morning, turning to politics. Some races still undecided from Tuesday's midterms. Democrats pick up two more seats. The latest on all of it, next.

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[09:42:05] SCIUTTO: The election news is still coming in as the votes are still being counted. Two more pick-ups in the last several minutes for Democrats in the House. CNN now projecting that Democrat and pediatrician Kim Schrier will defeat Republican Dino Rossi in the race for Washington state's 8th district. And in Georgia, Republican Congresswoman Karen Handel has now conceded to Democrat Lucy McBath. That was a big race. Remember, it was a special election.

HARLOW: Right, Georgia 6.

SCIUTTO: A lot of attention on that a number of months ago. And now it's flipped to the Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Georgia governor's race, that is still up for grabs. Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory, says he will begin his transition to the governor's office today, but don't forget his opponent, Stacey Abrams, she's not conceding yet. HARLOW: That's right, in Florida, Senator Bill Nelson, current Governor Rick Scott separate by less than half a percentage point. That is close enough, if it remains that, to trigger an automatic recount.

Let's go to our Nick Valencia, Rosa Flores, staying on top of all of these headlines for us.

Good morning to you.

And let's start with you, Nick, in Georgia. What's the latest?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

We're outside of Federal Russel Building here in Atlanta for a lawsuit, a hearing that's related to a lawsuit that was filed late last -- on election night, I should say, by five Georgians who are working with a nonprofit and nonpartisan group. And what they're seeking from a federal judge this morning is trying to get Brian Kemp stripped of his powers as the secretary of the state. Leading up to this election, there was many that criticized Brian Kemp for not recusing himself as the secretary of state, the top election officials. They believe that he should have stepped down from that role.

This is all happening against the backdrop of a very bitterly contested governor's race. And it was late last night that Brian Kemp declared himself the victor. And here's what his campaign office said in a statement even though votes are still being counted. They say, based on votes released by the secretary of state's office, Brian Kemp, whose margin is so large that the number of provisional ballots and overseas ballots will not change his Election Day victory. They went on to say, simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election.

Now, for her part, Stacey Abrams is digging in. In fact, she's even considering legal action.

We should say here at CNN we've yet to declare a winner. And by our tabulations, Brian Kemp has 50.3 percent of the vote. You heard that statement there. They don't think that there's enough votes on Abrams side. She begs to differ. She thinks she has enough provisional ballots and absentee ballots to bring Kemp below that 50 percent threshold and force a run-off. The counties here have until November 13th to officially submit their tallies.

Guys.

SCIUTTO: And to be clear, Nick, there are tens of thousands of ballots still not counted? I mean does that -- that is what Abrams is basing her argument on, correct?

VALENCIA: Well, that's what Abrams is saying. And right now there's a gap of roughly 64,000 votes between them. It may not seem like much, but it is a significant uphill climb. So far, though, we should be clear, guys, we've asked the secretary of state for that raw data and those numbers of how many provisional absentee ballots are outstanding. We've yet to be given that data.

[09:45:01] Poppy. Jim.

HARLOW: OK.

SCIUTTO: Nick Valencia, I know you're going to keep following that story. We certainly will. It's a key race.

Now let's go to Rosa Flores. She's in Florida covering the still undecided Senate battle there.

Rosa, I know Bill Nelson's campaign, he initially conceded and turned around now as that margin tightened. They're going to hold a conference call in 30 minutes. What do we expect him to say?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, we are monitoring two races here, Jim, because even though the magic word here is could, there are two races in Florida that could be in automatic recount territory, both the Senate race and the governor's race. So we're monitoring these very closely.

Now, we won't know anything. And I cannot stress this enough. We won't know anything for sure until Saturday at noon because that's when the first unofficial results are due in all 67 counties in Florida. But we have talked about this. We've talked about the razor thin margins in Florida.

I want to share these latest numbers with you because the margins have narrowed. In the Senate race, Rick Scott 50.1 percent, Bill Nelson, 49.9 percent. That's a 0.2 margin with 99 percent of the results in.

Now, as you mentioned, Scott has declared victory. Nelson has not conceded. We're expecting to hear from him or his camp in a press conference shortly.

Now to the governor's race. Ron DeSantis is at 49.6 percent, Andrew Gillum at 49.1 percent. So that's just over the 0.5 percent margin. And, again, that's with 99 percent of the results. DeSantis has declared victory. Gillum has conceded, but he has tweeted saying that he wants every vote to count.

But again, Jim and Poppy, I can't stress enough, until Saturday, once those unofficial results are submitted to the secretary of state, we won't know.

PHP: Right.

FLORES: And the magic number is 0.5. If that margin is 0.5 or less, it goes to an automatic recount.

SCIUTTO: It's automatic. By law, if it's 0.5 or less, is that correct?

HARLOW: Yes.

FLORES: That's correct.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: All right. All right, we'll be watching.

HARLOW: You know what is very true and not to be disputed, Rosa, you will be working all weekend. It will be a busy one for you.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: Wow, fascinating. We'll know a lot more on Saturday. And, again, I think we're going to hear in less than an hour from Bill Nelson. Maybe holding a press conference to talk about all of this. So, Rosa, thank you.

Ahead for us, Democrats say the new attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, should recuse himself from overseeing the Russia probe because he has so openly criticized it? Our Sunlen Serfaty is standing by live with details, next.

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[09:52:10] SCIUTTO: So, does Democratic control of the House matter? Here's a sign. New this morning, key Democrats on Capitol Hill saying that they plan to investigate the removal of the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, telling Trump administration officials to preserve all documents related to Sessions' and to Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Joining us now, CNN's Sunlen Serfaty on Capitol Hill with more.

You know, it just shows how the shift matters, right? The fact that Adam Schiff and those other Democrats that couldn't mandate getting those documents, or hearing from certain witnesses, now they can.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Poppy, and that new dynamic was so quickly on display when we saw the Democrats react very strongly to the news of Sessions' firing and really using potentially their new power as their new tool in their toolbox. We heard very quickly from many Democrats, especially those over in the House, these key Democrats that likely will become the chairs of these key committees in charge of oversight, in charge of investigations, people like Jerry Nadler, people like Elijah Cummings. They've indicated that they could potentially launch investigations and sending letters to multiple key officials really demanding that the letters, any sort of documents related to this must be preserved, potentially setting up investigations going forward in the new -- their new majority in January.

Also strong words from Senate Democrats. We heard from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer yesterday, concerned about what this would mean for the Mueller probe, saying that it potentially would spark a constitutional crisis if Mueller is fired. And certainly we also have seen Democrats really zero in on the acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker. Multiple Democrats, including the top Democrat in the House and the Senate calling for him to recuse himself in the Russia investigation.

SCIUTTO: So, $Republican response, and do they have to comply with these demands to preserve those documents?

SERFATY: Good question. And I think we'll certainly hear more Republicans respond in the days coming. But Republicans at first blush really have largely remained silent here, notably, they have. Very few Republicans in the response to Sessions' firing mention the Mueller investigation at all beyond just praising Sessions for his job as attorney general.

We heard from, though, Susan Collins, Republican from Maine. She was one of the few senators who mentioned not only Rosenstein, saying she's concerned that Rosenstein will no longer be overseeing the probe, but she also said Mueller must be allowed to complete his work. A similar, notable statements, too, coming from incoming Senator Mitt Romney, who won his election. He says that the Mueller investigation should conclude unimpeded.

Back to you guys.

[09:55:00] HARLOW: OK, Sunlen, thank you for the important reporting on The Hill. We appreciate it.

Coming up for us, we do have some more breaking news on the horrific shooting in California overnight. Twelve people murdered, including a sheriff's deputy who ran inside in the most heroic of actions to save people. We will bring you the very latest from the scene ahead.

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HARLOW: All right, if you're just joining us, it is the top of the hour. 10:00 a.m. here on the East Coast, 7:00 a.m. out west. I'm Poppy Harlow.

[10:00:01] SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto.

A sad scene, a heartbreaking scene and a familiar scene in America, another mass shooting.