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12 Killed, more than Dozen Hurt in California Mass Shooting; Fate of Mueller Probe Unclear After Sessions Forced Out; Amnesty International Says Tens of Thousands Trapped in Hodeidah; Stocks Rise, Proving Investors Like Divided U.S. Government. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 8, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Poppy Harlow.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Jim Sciutto.
A sad scene, a heartbreaking scene, and a familiar scene in America. Another mass shooting. Any minute now, police will hold a news conference
updating us on this latest shooting.
CNN has learned investigators in southern California now know the name, the ID, of this shooter and other details as well. We're coming up on eight
hours now since a man with a handgun opened fire inside the Borderline Bar and Grill in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks.
It was college night. The dance floor was packed with people as young as 18 from a number of nearby college campuses. In minutes, 12 people were
killed, plus the attacker, whose name we will not report, whose face we will not show on this broadcast. But we do now know it was a 29-year-old
HARLOW: Right. We're expecting a press conference any moment. You'll see it live here. We should hear from the sheriff but also from the father. The
father of a young man who was there last night at the Borderline enjoying his evening, as every, every child and every college student should be able
to do. Earlier this morning, he said he had not heard from his son since the rampage, so we should get an update from that father.
The first casualty to be publicly identified was the first police officer to run through that door, Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus.
Let's listen now to Sheriff Geoff Dean of Ventura County.
SHERIFF GEOFF DEAN, VENTURA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: Identify them and make notifications. So we will not be releasing any victims' name at this time.
We have identified the suspect. Approximately an hour ago the suspect was identified as Ian David Long. I-a-n David Long. Birth date of March 27,
1990. He was 28 years old.
We've had several contacts with Mr. Long over the years. Minor events, such as a traffic collision. He was a victim of a battery at a local bar in
2015. In April of this year, deputies were called to his house for a subject disturbing. They went to the house. They talked to him. He was
somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally. They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialists, who met with him, talked
to him, and cleared him. Didn't feel that he was qualified to be taken under 5150. And he was left at that scene last April.
Deputies are at the house now. They have secured the residence. And they're seeking a search warrant to do a thorough search of the house.
The weapon used in this horrific shooting was a Glock 21 .45 caliber handgun. The handgun is designed to hold, in California, ten rounds and one
in the chamber. This weapon did have an extended magazine on it. We do not know at this time how many rounds were actually in the weapon or how many
rounds it -- the magazine could actually hold because it's still being processed as part of the evidence.
I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
QUESTION: Any possible motive at this point?
DEAN: Yes, we have -- we believe that's the only weapon that was used was that hand gun.
QUESTION: Do you know why he did this, sir? Why he did this?
DEAN: We don't -- we don't know if he -- we don't know if he reloaded his weapon or not. We're still interviewing witnesses. There's not necessarily
indication that that happened. It appears he walked up to the scene. He shot the security guard that was standing outside. He stepped inside.
It appears that he turned to the right and shot several of the other security and employees there. And then began opening fire inside the
We don't have any other details to confirm an exact chronology about what happened. We will provide that to you as we bring all our witness
statements together and we feel more comfortable about talking about that.
QUESTION: Sheriff, any idea of a motive?
DEAN: We have no idea what the motive was at this point.
QUESTION: Was he alone?
QUESTION: Did he purchase his weapon legally (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: The incident in April happened in his home and he did purchase the weapon legally.
QUESTION: Was he living alone?
QUESTION: Despite the 5150 hold?
DEAN: Now, the -- the 5150 hold was never placed on him. The crisis -- the mental health experts out there cleared him that day.
QUESTION: Could you elaborate on the other interactions your deputies have had with him. Is it more than just these two?
DEAN: It was -- one he was involved in a -- he received a traffic citation and another one he was involved in a traffic collision. So pretty minor
interactions. We -- he was -- he is a veteran. He was in the United States Marine Corps.
[10:05:05] QUESTION: And, sheriff, we heard he may be suffering from PTSD. Did your crisis team --
DEAN: I -- that was -- I understand that was part of the discussion when the deputies went out to the call with the crisis team that felt he might
be suffering from PTSD, facing that the fact he was a veteran and had been in the corps.
QUESTION: Can you clarify any more on how the deputy was shot?
DEAN: The -- when Sergeant Helus and the Highway Patrol officer went in, they immediately exchanged gunfire with the suspect. And that's when the
Sergeant Helus was shot several times.
QUESTION: Do you know the date when he was discharged from the Marine Corps?
DEAN: No, I have no idea about his service record.
QUESTION: Sheriff, do you know when the suspect was shot, if he shot himself or how he died?
DEAN: It's not -- we believe he shot himself. When the officers went in and made reentry, he -- they found him already deceased.
QUESTION: Where inside the bar was he found?
QUESTION: How long before --
DEAN: He was found inside an office just adjacent to the entry to the bar.
QUESTION: It's our understanding that Sergeant Helus was able to call his wife right before he ran into the bar.
DEAN: Sergeant Helus was having a conversation with his wife on the phone, and he does several times during the shift, and said to her, hey, I've got
to go handle a call. I love you. I'll talk to you later.
QUESTION: Did the gunman say anything to any of the victims before the shooting?
QUESTION: How much time expired from the first shot --
DEAN: Not as far as we know at this point. He could have, but we don't know.
QUESTION: Any indication that he may have been targeting (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: No, there's no indication that he targeted the employees or -- we haven't found any correlation. We'll probably know more after we execute
the search warrant at his house, that maybe there was a motive for this particular night. But at this point we have no information leading to that
QUESTION: Were the secretary personnel part of the --
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) accounts from different witnesses of what this guy was wearing. Can you tell us what -- based on what you already know, what
he was wearing and his direction of travel once he walked into the bar?
DEAN: All I know about his direction of travel is he went in and he turned right and fired at the employees that were standing there. He was -- my
best -- my best recollection from seven hours ago, he was wearing a black sweater, and I don't -- I don't remember what color pants he was wearing. I
DEAN: No -- not when we went inside he was not.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) --
QUESTION: How long before he was -- how long --
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) first shot?
DEAN: Two and a half minutes.
QUESTION: Did he use smoke bombs?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) car?
DEAN: We haven't confirmed whether he used a smoke bombs but we have a couple of witnesses that have alluded to that.
QUESTION: So, sheriff, there was no -- there is no reason to believe or -- there was anything wrong with this person before this happened?
DEAN: Well, I mean, you could say there's no reason to believe it, but, I mean, obviously, he had something going on in his head that would cause him
to do something like this. So he obviously had some sort of issues.
QUESTION: Is he a Thousand Oaks resident?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) inside the bar?
QUESTION: Was the security guard that was shot armed?
QUESTION: Did he have a pre-existing relationship with the bar?
QUESTION: He was not armed?
QUESTION: Was anybody armed at the bar that we know of?
DEAN: Not that we know of.
QUESTION: Is he from Thousand Oaks?
QUESTION: Do we know of any pre-existing relationship with this bar? Why this particular location?
DEAN: We -- there's no connection as of yet.
QUESTION: Do we know how this (INAUDIBLE) witnesses whether (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: Yes, we don't know. We knew -- we know that once Sergeant Helus and the Highway Patrol officer engaged him, the shooting inside stopped. So we
don't know if he then went back in the office and shot himself or how that really transpired.
DEAN: He lives in Newberry Park.
QUESTION: Sheriff, sheriff, why do you think this keeps happening in the United States of America and not in comparable rich democracies?
DEAN: That's a pretty challenging question. I think we see unfortunate horrific actions that happen all over the world. And I don't know if it
happens more in the United States or doesn't. I'd have to read the stats.
QUESTION: It does. It does. Why do you think that is?
DEAN: Well, I don't know. If I knew the answer to that, I'd do something to stop it.
QUESTION: Can you talk about the training that Sergeant Helus and the other members of law enforcement have for an active shooting situation, just like
this, and how that helped when they arrived on scene?
DEAN: Well, as we -- as we talked about at the wee hours of the morning, post the Columbine shooting, how we approach active shooters changed
completely. Instead of waiting and surrounding and bringing our SWAT team, the officers are to immediately engage and try to stop the target and stop
the killing. And that's exactly what happened here.
QUESTION: Do you believe they helped save lives?
DEAN: There's no doubt that they saved lives by going in there and engaging with the suspect. Who knows? Who knows? There was -- we don't know how many
people -- I've heard anywhere from 150 to 200 people in there. So this -- not that by any means the loss of 13 lives is good, but it could have been
much, much worse.
[10:10:03] QUESTION: How many people were employees and how many people that were people that were in the bar?
DEAN: I don't know.
QUESTION: Is it your belief (INAUDIBLE) it was targeting, even though you don't know who or what INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: Well, I don't think it was random. I mean he's -- you know, he's a resident of this area. And I would have to -- common sense would speculate
that there's some reason he went here. He probably knew about it. But I don't think it was just -- it's not like he was driving down the freeway
and decided I'm going to get off here.
QUESTION: But as far as the shooting, do you believe he targeted any specific victims inside of that (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: There's nothing to lead us to believe that that actually happened.
QUESTION: Can you give us some of the heroics performed by people inside saving some (INAUDIBLE)? What do you want to say about that?
DEAN: It's just amazing. There were probably six off-duty police officers in there from a couple different agencies. And I've already talked to a
parent that came up and said they stood in front of my daughter. So it was -- it was amazing. It was amazing.
QUESTION: How many people injured?
QUESTION: What's your advice to people right now? What's your sort of your word to the community (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: You know, I went and went and spoke at a Jewish synagogue after the tragedy on the East Coast. And when I talked to the parishioners there, and
the -- I followed up on the rabbi, I said, we've got to do something about the hate. And we've got to do something to just spread the love and don't -
- and reach out and help people and be patient with them and understand them because this will touch so many lives around our community.
QUESTION: Sheriff, how -- any indication of social media that he may have been using where he was complaining about something?
DEAN: There's nothing to indication that, but, you know, we are looking at his social media sites, which I'm sure all of you are also.
QUESTION: Sir, did any of the off duty officers in there engage him at all?
DEAN: I -- none of them were armed. So I --
QUESTION: Can you give -- sir, can you give us additional information about the law officer that passed away?
DEAN: Well, it's out there, Sergeant Ron Helus. He's a 54-year-old 29-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office. He's married with a grown son. And as I've
said several times, he went in there to save people and made the ultimate sacrifice.
QUESTION: Sheriff, is there a commonality with the civilian victims? Whether it -- age or gender or some other demographic or even by location
within the crime scene (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: No, I don't believe so. I -- once they get inside I use the word random. And I think that -- it appears to be random inside. I don't think
he was targeted people. It -- we could do a further investigation that could prove to be true, but it doesn't appear to be that way at this point.
QUESTION: What is the way in --
QUESTION: Do you know when and where he bought the gun?
DEAN: Pardon me?
QUESTION: Do you have a close when and where he purchased the gun?
DEAN: Our partners at ATF are currently in the process of investigating that for us.
DEAN: No, I don't know exactly. Probably -- I believe there might have been four or five that I saw, but I'm not sure how many were in there.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) honor Sergeant Helus today?
DEAN: I'm sorry.
QUESTION: What is the plan to honor Sergeant Helus today?
DEAN: At 10:00, we will -- at 10:00 we'll be moving his body from (INAUDIBLE) hospital to the medical examiner's office in Ventura and we'll
be convoying him over.
QUESTION: With the loss of a sergeant, what is (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: It's lost a hero. It's lost a great human being. It's part of the loss of, again, of the 11 other victims that are in there, and it's all
part of the suffering that we're all going to go through as family members and parents and brothers and sisters on this tragic, senseless loss of
QUESTION: Sheriff, what is your message --
QUESTION: Was he close to retirement?
DEAN: He was within a couple years of retiring, yes.
QUESTION: Can you talk about any training that these deputies may have been through recently to go in there? Were they prepared for --
DEAN: We do ongoing active shooter training with all of our personnel. In our county, we train with our firefighters also. So if we need medical
rescue, we take our firefighters in with us. So it's an ongoing training that we've been doing for years.
QUESTION: What can you say about the number of injuries and what happened with them and how badly they're injured and the number of people?
DEAN: It's my understanding, and, again, don't hold me to this, that there's one other minor gunshot injury. And there's somewhere between eight
and 15 other injured, mostly cuts from jumping out of windows, diving under tables. They're relatively minor compared to everything else.
[10:15:00] QUESTION: Sheriff, what's your message to --
DEAN: We don't know that much yet.
QUESTION: Sheriff, were there exits? What kind of exits does the bar have? Several or --
DEAN: Yes, there's fire escapes and the patrons exited out of all of those. They ran out of back doors. They broke windows. They went through windows.
They hid up in the attic. They hid in the bathroom. So they, unfortunately, our young people, our people at nightclubs, have learned that this may
happen. And they think about that. Fortunately, it probably saved a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) the suspect?
DEAN: Not that --
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) history (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: He was the victim of -- yes, he was the victim of a battery in January of 2015. It wasn't here. It wasn't at this bar.
QUESTION: What bar was it?
DEAN: At a different bar.
QUESTION: Where was it?
QUESTION: Do you know what bar it was?
DEAN: I don't.
QUESTION: And you found his --
DEAN: Yes, it was in Thousand Oaks. I just don't -- I can't remember which bar it was.
QUESTION: He drove to the car -- he drove to the bar in his mom's car, is that accurate?
DEAN: I'm not sure whose car it is. He drove to the bar in a car. I'm not sure who it's registered to.
QUESTION: Do you know which car that is on the scene right now?
DEAN: Yes, we do.
QUESTION: Have you found any other evidence within the car?
DEAN: We're facilitating a search warrant to do that. We're not allowed to go in without the warrant.
QUESTION: Do you know how long that shooting lasted from when he opened -- first opened gunfire?
DEAN: No, I don't.
QUESTION: Are there any concerns with the car at this point?
DEAN: No, we've -- we put the bomb dog by it and everything and we feel comfortable. I was just standing by it, so we're good.
QUESTION: Do you guys have more (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: We'll be here for 15 or 20 hours at least. We still need to go through and identify. Our FBI partners are doing a great job. They've
brought in their expert evidence team. They're flying people in from Quantico to do the scene. So we'll be here a long, long time.
QUESTION: Well, what does it look like in there?
DEAN: Like hell.
QUESTION: Can you tell us the sex of the victims, the ratio?
DEAN: No, I --
DEAN: We don't have those things identified yet.
DEAN: We have the house secured. We go in, we secure the house. We make sure everything's safe in there. And then we go get -- ask the judge for a
search warrant to search it more thoroughly. So we feel safe that it's secured right now.
QUESTION: Was there anyone else at the house?
DEAN: We've had some conversations with some family members, and it would be premature to talk about that. It's still part of the ongoing
QUESTION: Do you plan to stay on until the investigation (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: No, I'm no longer the sheriff by tomorrow at midnight. But I will certainly be a part of the family.
QUESTION: Can you share more on that, sheriff? Are you retiring tomorrow?
DEAN: I am.
QUESTION: So what is your message to families who still have loved ones unaccounted for?
DEAN: We have a family center set up. They need to call the number. And we are expediting as quick as we can, because my heart goes out to those
parents and family members that don't know. So contact our family help center, and we will coordinate with you. And as soon as we have any
information, it will be going right to the families.
QUESTION: Do you know the age range of the victims?
DEAN: I don't.
QUESTION: For this to be one of your last days on the job, I mean what's -- what's that like? What's going through your mind as you (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: It can't be any worse.
QUESTION: And how's your department doing (INAUDIBLE)?
DEAN: They're mourning. They're sad. It's awful. Ron was a great guy. He was close to everybody. He was a hard worker. And our hearts are broken all
QUESTION: He was also nearing retirement. What do you say to the fact that he didn't get there and this had to happen?
HARLOW: All right, we have just gotten a lot of important information from the sheriff, Geoff Dean there of Ventura County. We have learned the name
of the shooter, which we will not repeat on this show, nor will you see his face.
HARLOW: Twenty-eight years old. Mental health issues. He has been known by law enforcement. They sent mental health officials to his home a while ago.
Cleared him. Did not take him in under the 5150 law in California that would have allowed them to do that had they deemed it necessary. We know he
used one gun.
SCIUTTO: Yes. With an extended magazine. A Glock. It's a gun maker. A semi- automatic weapon. Police say it had a -- typically that would carry about 11 rounds. An extended magazine could take it up to 30 rounds, obviously
increasing his ability to kill as many people as he did.
Some other interesting details. The sheriff said there were six off-duty police officers in the bar at the time --
SCIUTTO: Just socially celebrating. Even shared a story of a parent of a survivor who said that one of those officers stood in front of her
[12:20:01] SCIUTTO: There was also a security guard in the bar. That one of the first people that the shooter shot.
Final thing, U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
SCIUTTO: And suspicion that police said in their interaction with him that he had -- might have had PTSD.
SCIUTTO: Listen, it's a tragedy. And so many familiar details in this. And here we are. Look at the picture there. How many times have you seen that
HARLOW: Once again.
SCIUTTO: We're joined now by CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz, and CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell, and former NYPD
Detective Tom Verni. A lot of folks here with a lot of experience in this kind of thing.
Tom, the NYPD, you've dealt with a lot of shootings. As you listened to the sheriff there, what stood out to you?
TOM VERNI, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Yes, well, again, we're hearing a lot of the same things that we've seen. I mean I've been doing this for a few
years now since I've retired and it's the same scenario over and over again. It's a person with mental illness or someone who snaps. They have
access to weapons.
VERNI: They go in and take out a dozen, two dozen, you know, three, four dozen people if you're at a concert, 20 school children in first grade. I
mean, where does this stop? Where does this --
VERNI: And my whole -- you know, I -- when I was on Don Lemon's show a while back about another shooting, you know, I made this very simple point.
And for me the line in the sand was Sandy Hook. If you are not completely disturbed by what happened in Sandy Hook where 20 first grade children, not
that any of these other victims are not as important. Please don't get the wrong idea. And my condolences to the families and, you know, victims of
SCIUTTO: We hear you.
VERNI: But, you know, when 20 first grade children are slaughtered in their classroom, and six of their teachers, and no one lifts a finger to do
anything, where are we in this country? My personal belief is that the pain is not great enough. The pain is not great enough for someone to address
the mental health issue in the country. The pain is not great enough for people to stop the flowing of arms into our cities and into the hands of
people who have mental illness.
One of the first things President Trump did when he came into office was to remove a law that enables people with mental illness to get their hands on
VERNI: So it has to be a top down initiative. From the president and everyone in D.C. get off your asses and do something to protect our kids.
VERNI: I mean, otherwise, where are we going to go? I -- this is an ISIS dream here.
VERNI: ISIS would love to go in and kill 10, 20, 30, 40 people, but we have Americans killing other Americans. So we don't need ISIS in this country.
HARLOW: Geez (ph).
VERNI: We have a serious problem here that needs to be addressed and the time has long since passed.
SCIUTTO: You know what struck us this morning when we were talking is that some of the people in that bar were survivors of the Las Vegas shooting in
October 2017. The deadliest shooting at the time in America. In what kind of --
VERNI: Like that wasn't traumatizing enough, right?
SCIUTTO: Well, in what country do you -- do you experience two mass shootings in the span of a year?
VERNI: Yes. Exactly. And not be part of law enforcement or in the military where you're under fire because that's your job. It's just insanity. It
HARLOW: Josh Campbell, to you.
It really struck me, I think both of us, when we heard the sheriff say this man was evaluated. His mental health, a veteran, possibly suffering from
PTSD, mental health experts went to his home and cleared him. So what's the threshold then?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So what we just heard here from the sheriff just outside where the crime actually happened behind us is the
nightmare scenario for a law enforcement leader. He had to step to the microphones and first of all grieve the loss of one of his own, one of the
sergeants here who bravely went in the building, trying to mitigate the threat, trying to rescue victims, and he obviously tragically lost his
life. That's something the sheriff had to tell us about.
The second thing, as you mentioned, he also had to tell us that the person responsible for this act had made contact with law enforcement. Now, here
in California, there's a 5150 law where if there's someone who's facing some kind of psychiatric issue, some kind of distress, the authorities can
actually commit that person to up to 72 hours for evaluation and then longer. But it looks like that it didn't meet the threshold here in this
case. But that's going to be the subject of this review we know involving authorities here to look back and then also with the Department of Defense,
understanding that, you know, this person was in the military. Again, this will be a multi-agency effort to try to determine who was this person, what
did authorities know about him. Again, try to help figure out why he came and did this.
It will be important for this case. But, again, as we talk about the number of incidents that we're often deployed to, to cover, we see this over and
over again. So it's that kind of data that, you know, we really need to gather to figure out, what was law enforcement getting from this person,
what was their read, because, again, their goal was to stop this from happening again.
Shimon, we heard the sheriff there say that they're going to look at his social media.
SCIUTTO: Do we have any sense yet, and again I know it's early, I don't want to put you in an unfair position, but do we have any sense yet as to
whether he made threats prior to this?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: No. In fact, our teams have been searching through this for quite some time now. You know,
obviously, we've known the name for a little while and we've been searching and so far we have not found anything to indicate that -- any that would
say this was about to happen or that he issued any threat.
There is some social media about his military background, obviously, and he was an active member of the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2013. So we have
found FaceBook and other social media content which shows that.
[10:25:25] The other thing that I want to point out, obviously, you know, and which is going to be interesting for law enforcement and how they treat
this, is the extended magazine issue and where that goes here because that has, obviously, come under fire before in shootings, in mass shootings,
where people have used these extended magazines. People have called for them to be banned. So that's an interesting issue here as well.
But so far, really, there's a lot more work here for law enforcement to do. They have interviewed some of his family members, but they need to go back
in. They need to go into the home, look through his computers to see if he has anything at all that can indicate a motive here.
SCIUTTO: Shimon, Josh, Tom, thank you.
You know, he may have had PTSD. We should make clear, big problem with U.S. military veterans, but the vast majority do not commit acts of violence.
SCIUTTO: They suffer, they deal with it. Their families suffer, but the vast majority do not commit acts of violence like this.
HARLOW: Look, and I think Tom just gave us a very, very, very important thing for everyone to think about right now, what's the line and what are
you going to do about it? We'll stay on this, of course.
Still to come, the president will appear with his new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, this after the sudden firing of Jeff Sessions.
What does this all mean for Mueller's Russian probe moving forward. We will discuss that.
SCIUTTO: Plus, we have some breaking news on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She fell. She fractured three ribs. We're going to give you an update just
[10:30:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Welcome back. Our breaking news this hour. A scene of horror and devastation after yet another deadly mass
shooting in the United States. At least 12 people murdered overnight including a sheriff's deputy. After a gunman opened fire inside a southern
California bar, filled with college students. Some as young as 18. Authorities say more than a dozen are injured. And the suspected gunman is
dead. It's the second mass shooting in the United States in just 12 days.
Police say hundreds were inside the bar, dancing, playing billiards, just having a good time. Witnesses describe a scene of shear panic as many were
forced to smash windows to escape. Just moments ago, authorities told us about the suspect. A 28-year-old man, a former Marine, who had previously
been examined for mental health issues but did not meet the threshold for mandatory hospitalization. They say he took his own life. We do not know
about a possible motive for the shooting at this point.
The U.S. Senator for California, Kamala Harris, tweeting, and I quote, my heartaches to learn about the horrific shooting in Thousand Oaks on college
night. Praying for the injured and the families of those killed, who like so many others, have lost their loved ones to gun violence. Leaders in
Congress must act -- not someday, but now.
Aside from the odd tweet here and there, the gun debate in the U.S. largely sounds like this. Yup. Silence. Nothing from any political party. From
anyone in power. They seem to have nothing to say. There seems to be a resignation acceptance that gun massacres can and will happen across the
country. Quite frequently. Obviously, it is an extremely contentious and divisive issue. But to many of us around the world, you watching wherever
you are, watching tonight, the frequency and the barbarity of these massacres in America seems simply astonishing and appalling. Doesn't it?
Well to another big story that we are following today. The fate of the Russia investigation. Very much in doubt, it seems, after Donald Trump
abruptly dismissed his Attorney General. The U.S. President didn't even wait for all of the votes to be counted from Tuesday's midterm elections to
demand Jeff Sessions' resignation. So, what's the beef here? Well, Democrats say it is a blatant attempt to undermine special counsel be
Robert Mueller's investigation. Now that they've won back the House, they have new powers to try to stop it. Top Democrats sent letters to
administration officials demanding they preserve documents related to the probe.
Well, after what can only be described as a chaotic news conference last night, with the President, last afternoon, it was shortly after that news
broke that the Attorney General had been fired by the President. So, what does Jeff Sessions' dismissal mean? What does it mean for the Russia
investigation? And much of what else is going on in the states at the moment. We are joined by CNN legal analyst Paul Callan. Now the firing of
Jeff Sessions, Paul, has certainly and perhaps intentionally moved attention from the results of these midterms, results that gave the House
Democrats, of course, a check on Donald Trump. Explain why then the concern that dismissing the Attorney General is an attempt to impede the
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the concern is that the person who is now in charge of that investigation, internally at the Justice
Department, is Rod Rosenstein. Who was serving as acting Attorney General, because Sessions had to recuse himself, because of conflict of interest.
But what the President has now done is he has appointed a new acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, who will replace Rosenstein in terms of
the supervision of the Mueller investigation. Now, Mueller will have to report back to Whitaker, instead of Rosenstein, and Whitaker is perceived
as somebody who is very close to Trump. Somebody who really has publicly expressed opposition to many aspects of the Mueller investigation, and
there is a lot of worry that he may use his power here to try to terminate or limit Mueller's investigation.
ANDERSON: Worry that you think is justified at this point? Who is Matthew Whitaker?
[10:35:00] CALLAN: Well, Whitaker is a former U.S. attorney from Iowa. He was appointed by President George Bush. And then when Obama appointed a
replacement for him, when he was elected, he went into private practice, and he served in, you know, he worked for a law firm, and he worked for a
private conservative think tank. And then eventually, he became Jeff Sessions' chief of staff, which is a position he has assumed in the last
Now, I have to think that this was a prelude by the Trump administration to firing Mueller, knowing that they would have Whitaker that they could plug
in to the position. So, he has law enforcement background and he has Justice Department background. But of course, to become acting Attorney
General is a pretty big deal for someone of his age and his qualifications.
ANDERSON: The firing of Sessions was once seen as a red line, even among some members of Mr. Trump's own party. Have a listen to what Senator
Lindsey Graham said just last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. Any effort to go after Mueller could be the
beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: What a handful of Republican Senators warning the President, not to get any ideas about shutting down this Mueller investigation, they've
been speaking in the last couple of hours. But Paul, how times have changed. After Sessions was fired yesterday. Graham said, he looks
forward to working with Mr. Trump to usher in a new chapter at the Justice Department.
CALLAN: Yes, the political tune, Becky, has changed tremendously. Lindsey Graham is a great example by the way, because he was so outspoken against
Trump and against any tampering with Sessions and the Justice Department investigation, and now, he has changed his tune completely. But of course,
although Congress changed in the United States, the House of Representatives picked up a Democratic majority, the Senate Republican
majority actually was increased and that's the body that approves the next Attorney General and that approves the Supreme Court appointments and so
they're all beholden to Trump now. So, Trump is in a stronger position.
Nonetheless, I would still be surprised if Trump aggressively tries to terminate the Mueller investigation, because that would lead possibly to
impeachment articles being voted by a Democratic House of Representatives. So, I think you will still see the Trump administration treading lightly on
any attempt to close down the Mueller investigation notwithstanding the resignation of Sessions.
ANDERSON: And this time yesterday, in what I suggested at the beginning of this, was, could only be described as a chaotic news conference. Donald
Trump once again, insisting that he had nothing to do with collusion and Russia, and saying that he could, if he wanted to, close this investigation
down, if he wanted to, at any point. Can he? Just draw a line under this, does he have the power to do that?
CALLAN: Oh, yes, he has the absolute power to do that, because remember, the President of the United States as head of the executive branch of
government is in charge of the Justice Department. So, he hires and fires the Attorney General, and the Attorney General in turn then hires and fires
people under him, and Mueller is part of the Justice Department. So, it would be legal for Trump to fire Mueller, using his new Attorney General,
except in one circumstance. If the purpose of the firing was to obstruct an investigation of Trump himself, that could be viewed as an obstruction
of justice and an abuse of power, both impeachable offenses. So that's the line I think that controls Trump with respect to what he can do in this
ANDERSON: Fascinating. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan, great to have your perspective on this important story today. Thank you.
Remember this historic meeting just a few months ago? President Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, were openly friendly and promised to
leave the past behind. Unfortunately, a handshake can't shake off everything. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting with a key
aide to Kim, was called off this week. Though the administration calls it a scheduling issue. And a source tells CNN that North Korea is getting
increasingly angry at the U.S.'s talk deadlock. This as we get word that North Korea has zero incentive to rush talks now until it determines how
the Democrats majority, grabbing the House, could affect any denuclearization deal.
[10:40:00] For analysis, let's go to CNN's global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, live in Washington. So slightly different take on this, one
from the U.S., one from North Korea. Where are we at, do you think?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Becky, well I think where we're at is, you know, the North Koreans see different messages coming from
the administration. When you hear President Trump, he speaks of this warm relationship he has with Kim Jong-un, that it's going to be this lovely
relationship. But when they hear from Secretary Pompeo, they see the pressure campaign that is going on, the North Koreans, you know, I think
there is still a lot of mistrust there. And on the U.S. side, they're not seeing any actions by the North Koreans.
So, I think the North Koreans are looking at what happened on Tuesday night, on election day. They see maybe President Trump was weakened a
little bit. And I mean, I think you know, you saw the way this meeting was canceled at the very last minute, midnight on U.S. time on Tuesday night.
You can kind of see that the North Koreans are recalculating a little bit and saying, you know, we need to regroup and think about how we want to do
this. Neither way, Becky, it is not a good sign for these talks. Certainly, in the last year, the atmosphere has improved but tangible signs
of North Korean denuclearization not happening.
ANDERSON: Very briefly, Elise, on Tuesday night, the President tweeting that he had been congratulated on the results of these midterms, by a
number of his friends, leaders, from elsewhere. We haven't seen any evidence of who it was he was, who was congratulating him. How have these
midterms changed the position for Donald Trump as he goes in negotiation on various issues around the world as present?
LABOTT: Well, I mean I think it depends, you know, what the issue is. Certainly, on issues about the Senate, and where he would need Senate
approval, I think he sees, they see President Trump as having a stronger hand. But politically, maybe a bit weakened that he doesn't have the
House. I think that he looks at these allies, look at Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic House, and think that maybe they'll maybe they'll be more of
a check on the President, some of his more adventurous foreign policies might have a little bit more of a check. Certainly, he is not going to
have the free reign that he did with an undivided Congress.
ANDERSON: Sure. Elise Labott is in Washington thank you.
Coming up, a war that reaches new lows each month it seems. I speak to Amnesty International about what they are calling a stomach-churning
development in Yemen. That is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:45:00] JAMES MATTIS, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Improved accuracy of bombs is still a war. So, we've got to move toward a peace effort here.
And we can't say we are going to do it sometime in the future. We need to be doing this in the next 30 days. We've admired this problem for long
enough down there. And I believe that the Saudis and the Emirates are ready. And in fact, had the Houthis not walked out of the last effort that
Martin Griffin had going, we would probably be on our way there right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The U.S. Secretary of Defense there, calling for a truce and peace talks, just over a week ago, in one of the Middle East's most
grinding conflicts. With Yemen's battered population, facing not only air strikes and shelling, but also food shortages and disease.
This is said to be footage of Yemen's key port city of Hodeida, released by pro-rebel TV, showing the aftermath of Saudi-led air strikes. It's thought
that tens of thousands of people are trapped inside the city with Amnesty International, accusing Houthi fighters of taking up positions among
civilians, including on a hospital roof.
Well, Benjamin Walsby is Amnesty International Middle East researcher and led the research and joining me now from Beirut. And, Benjamin, your
latest report, let me just get to that, points out that what is happening in Hodeidah is a clear violation of international humanitarian law.
And let me quote it, this is a stomach-churning development that could have devastating consequences for the hospital's medical workers and dozens of
civilian patients, including many children.
Those are the words of your colleague, Samah Hadid. We are hitting new lows, it seems, every week. And at this point, we see evidence from your
report that Houthi fighters are militarizing a hospital. What happens next?
BENJAMIN WALSBY, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST RESEARCHER: Well, that is a very good question, Becky, and thanks for having me on to talk about
this. I mean the situation in Hodeidah city is looking increasingly ominous for the possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians who are still
trapped within the city.
The operation began in May, in the southern districts of Hodeidah province and the city is becoming increasingly encircled as conflict begins to
engulf its southern and eastern areas. Over the weekend, Houthi forces took over a hospital which was close to front lines. We believe they took
it because it was a force of building, it was a strategic point, and they placed gunmen on the roof. This clearly is an alarming development.
Although I should add that humanitarian organizations working in Yemen point out it is not the first time that Houthi forces have taken over a
hospital. It is the first time that we've seen them do it in Hodeidah and Hodeidah is a big population center currently under such threat.
I can confirm from sources on the ground today, since we issued that press release yesterday, that the -- and this is very good news -- that the
medical workers and patients of that hospital have since been taken away. They've been moved up to Sana. That happened a couple of hours after we
issued our press release last night.
But nonetheless, the situation for civilians in Hodeidah looks increasingly ominous. This is in the context of a war in which Saudi and UAE-led
forces, a coalition, have relied on relentless air power, relentless air strikes which have caused countless civilian lives. Also, in the Hodeidah
campaign we documented a case on 13th of October when they killed 12, hitting two buses for the sake of what looks like one personnel at a
checkpoint. On the 24th in a vegetable market, in a place called Bayt al- Faqih, and again, south of the city, they killed up to 21 in an air strike. Two of the air strikes going wrong. The civilians are in Hodeidah are in
grave, grave danger.
ANDERSON: Well, we know that. And the U.N. and various groups are calling for a political solution, as you know. Back in 2015, security council
resolution 22-16, or 2216, in particular, called for, and I quote, all parties in the embattled country, in particular the Houthis, immediately
and unconditionally end violence. And to refrain from acts that threaten the political transition, a political transition that is essentially, as
you and I know, nonexistent.
[10:50:00] WALSBY: Yes indeed. And the humanitarian situation is getting worse. And again, to go back to our colleagues in the U.N., in September,
Martin Lowcock, was describing the fact that the country is at a tipping point of going over into famine. It's already very, very food insecure.
And 80 percent of supplies come through Hodeidah port. The city is being increasingly encircled by troops to the south and to the UAE and it cannot
afford to lose the vital lifeline.
ANDERSON: And that coalition, stepping back, before the summer, suggesting that there was an opportunity for a cease fire back then, they say, they
saw no evidence that the Houthis were prepared to work to ensure that Hodeidah and its civilians could continue their lives as they should be
able to do. Very, very briefly, sir. From those that you are speaking to on the ground, since the cease fire appeal by General Mattis on 31st of
October, have things got better or worse?
WALSBY: For the people of Hodeidah city, they are getting increasingly worse. As I say, it is becoming increasingly encircled and conflict is
beginning to engulf the city. Air strikes are being used in the city. And will increasingly be used if things carry on like this. Houthi forces have
responded with imprecise mortar fire which is also taking a toll on civilian lives. We are very happy that the people were moved away from
that hospital. But again, that was another ominous sign that part of, both parts of this conflict, are not prepared to place sufficient priority on
protection of civilian, because the civilians in that city, as in other parts of Yemen, their lives are in the hands of the warring parties. It is
up to them.
ANDERSON: Benjamin Walsby of Amnesty International out of Beirut for you this evening, thank you, sir.
WALSBY: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Coming up, investors show their approval of a divided U.S. government Following the midterms. Details on that, up next.
ANDERSON: All right, let's have a look at the big board for you. Global stocks have been being mostly higher, following the U.S. midterms, that
gave Democrats control of the house, but increased Republicans control the senate of course. The Dow soaring nearly 550 points, Wednesday, showing
investors are pretty much like a divided government.
Here is what the big board is doing at the moment. Practically nothing. I mean literally up 15 and a bit of change for you. That is less than a
tenth of one percent move today.
[10:55:01] Let's break it down with CNN's Julia Chatterley at the New York Stock Exchange. I don't suppose for a moment people were expecting to see
the sort of moves that we saw off of the back of the results as they came in on Wednesday, but how do traders explain where you are what's going on
with these markets?
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Yes, I think the nontechnical term today, Becky, is treading water for what we're seeing after the strong
rally, the rise that we saw in markets yesterday. It was just taking, I think, some of the uncertainty out of the markets here that allowed them to
go higher. And what we're seeing today of course, now is waiting for the Federal Reserve meeting, that isn't going to be a press statement today --
I'm sorry, a press conference -- but there is going to be a press statement. I think that is going to be key, Becky, for some of the things
On the down side, we've had a lot of volatility. On the topside here, we've had some strong data. Does the fed indicate any change in rates
going forward? That's what investors are waiting for in that statement in a few hours' time. Back to you.
ANDERSON: We will keep an eye on you and it. Thank you. I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. thank you for watching. More after