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California Gunman was Veteran; Remembering Victims of Bar Massacre; Michelle Obama's New Book; Trump Takes Questions Before Leaving for Paris. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired November 9, 2018 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In there. And, of course, you know, there are also the possibilities of mental illness here. You know the sheriff's deputies were called to his house in April of last year during an incident. He was described as being irate. He was assessed by mental health professionals who did not decide to detain him.
And, of course, the sheriff yesterday also mentioned that PTSD, post- traumatic stress disorder, was a consideration there. He, of course, served a term in Afghanistan back in 2010/2011. But, you know, many experts say that PTSD does not necessarily or does not at all lead to this kind of violence.
So no motive so far. The FBI is still trying to figure that out. But they do say that they believe he acted alone.
But enough about the shooter. Let's talk about some of the -- actually, we're just going to go back to you guys.
Back to you in the studio.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Nick Watt, thank you.
And we will be talking about the victims as well in the coming hours. He acted alone, but was still able to do a lot on his own, sadly.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Exactly.
We are learning about those victims and those who lost their lives at this tragic shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.
My colleague, Miguel Marquez, is here with us to talk about them.
So seven names so far.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Seven names that we know.
MARQUEZ: Have confirmed and know about so far. These are, for the most part, young people whose lives had barely begun. Twenty-two-year-old Cody Coffman. He was considering joining the Army.
He was the head umpire for a local baseball league and big brother to three other boys. The Coffman family's now expecting their fifth child, a girl. His father says he was so excited to have a sister and now she'll never know him.
Ron Helus, he was a sergeant and 29-year-veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. He was planning for retirement. He was on the phone with his wife when he got the call and he said, I got to go, I love you, I'll talk to you later. He rushed in as others rushed out and was shot several times. He had served on the SWAT team there. He was a firearms instructor to new recruits and he love fishing in the Sierras with his son.
Noel Sparks was a member of the United Methodist Church in West Lake Village. Her friend says Sparks was a gifted dancer and artist. At Calvary Community Church nearby, friends say Sparks was always helping out or leading groups of young girls.
Justin Meek, he was 23. He was a recent graduate of California Lutheran University. The school says he saved lives before being killed himself. Meek was a criminal justice and criminality major who worked on veterans -- the veterans resource officer two years as a work study student.
And Alaina Housley, she was a Pepperdine student, the niece of former Fox News reporter Adam Housley, who was a personal friend who I knew from out there in California, and his wife actress Tamera Mowry- Housley. They say Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner.
Dan Manrique was a Marine Corps veteran. Amazingly enough, the irony enough is just too much to bear, who continued to help veterans here stateside. He served as a radio operator with the Second Marine Division and deployed to the Middle East in 2007 with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Back stateside, he joined the red -- the team Red, White and Blue. It's a veterans organization that helps connects vets back to their community.
And Telamocos Ofanos (ph), he a survivor of the Las Vegas mass shooting just over a year ago -- this is just too shocking -- only to die at the Borderline Bar and Grill. His mother, Susan Ofanos (ph), told our local affiliate KBC out there, I don't want prayers, I don't want thoughts, I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers.
MARQUEZ: Absolute anger and upset from this woman. And as we learn more about the others, we confirm them, we'll bring their stories to you as well.
HARLOW: Thank you for doing that. And joining us next hour is going to be a Republican lawmaker from Pennsylvania who has put forth legislation that arguably may have had an impact in a situation like this but can't get it anywhere. Can't get it to go anywhere.
MARQUEZ: We'll see if things change.
HARLOW: Thank you, Miguel, we appreciate it.
Michelle Obama, the former first lady, not holding back. Why she says there is something she will never forgive President Trump for in her new book. We'll break it down, ahead.
[09:38:11] HARLOW: All right, Michelle Obama, the former first lady, strikingly candid in her new memoir "Becoming," opening up about a miscarriage, about her marriage, about what she says she will never forgive President Trump for.
Let me read you part of her new memoir, quote, about the president. The whole birther thing was crazed and mean-spirited, of course, it's underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous. What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? She goes on to write, Donald Trump with his loud and reckless innuendos was putting my family's safety at risk, and for this I'd never forgive him.
Let's go to Kate Bennett, who covers all things first ladies. Sunlen Serfaty joining us now, who covered the Obama campaign.
Ladies, to you.
Sunlen, to you first. She is known for being so private. That's why so much of this is news in her book.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It certainly is, Poppy. And I think notably, especially at this time in politics, many people, especially many Democrats, are paying very close attention to her tone, how she approaches the Trump administration. And so certainly Michelle Obama really framing it in her way in this big way in this new book. Notably labeled "Becoming" is the title. I think that's significant.
She is growing into her voice and, you know, offering up a lot of intimate details about the life that we frankly have not seen before. I covered her during the 2008 presidential campaign. She was so fiercely protective, especially of her daughters, of course, out on the campaign trail. I remember many times, you know, going to soccer practices with the then candidate, and she just, you know, shot us looks across the gates. She certainly did not want to offer up any parts of their private life.
[09:40:02] OK, Kate Bennett, we'll get back to you in a moment.
But let's take a minute to listen to the president as he and the first lady head to Paris, walking to Marine One, speaking to reporters moments ago -- moments ago.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're heading off to Europe. It should be a very beautiful period of time. The 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I. We have many countries, the leadership from many countries will be there, especially since they heard the United States will be there. And we look forward to that. It will be a great really commemorative service. I think it's going to be something very special. I've seen what they have planned and I think it's going to be something very, very special.
I just signed the proclamation on asylum. Very important. People can come in, but they have to come in through the ports of entry, and that to me is a very important thing.
Again, I reiterate, we need Democrats' votes. They have to pass new immigration laws because they're flooding our country. We're not letting them in, but they're trying to flood our country.
We need the wall. We're building the wall, but we need it all built at one time and quickly. It's very important. We need Democrat support. Our new immigration laws to bring us up-to-date. The laws are obsolete and they're incompetent. They are the worst laws any country has anywhere in the world. And it's only because we don't have the Democrats' votes. So we need Democrat votes so we can change immigration. We'll have no trouble whatsoever at the border.
We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into our country legally. They have to come into our country legally. We want people to come in through the merit system so that they can work for all of these great companies that I have coming into our country. We have many car companies coming in. We have many tech companies coming in. We have literally hundreds of companies moving back into the United States. We need people. We need to have -- you see the unemployment numbers are at record lows. We need people in our country, but they have to come in legally, and they have to have merit. They have to come in through a system of merit.
We have everything worked out. We need some votes from the Democrats. So we need support from the Democrats. And hopefully they see what's going on. And the reason this is happening is we've created such a successful country economically that everybody is flooding in to our country, or they want to, but we're stopping them at the border. That's why we have our great military there.
QUESTION: Mr. President, Mr. President --
TRUMP: Well, Matt Whitaker, I don't know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker worked for Jeff Sessions. And he was always extremely highly thought of and he still is. But I didn't know Matt Whitaker. He worked for Attorney General Sessions. He was very, very highly thought of and still is highly thought of, but this only comes up because anybody that works for me, they do a number on them.
But Matt Whitaker is a very smart man. He is a very respected man in the law enforcement community. Very respected, at the top of the line. And actually the choice was greeted with raves initially, and it still is in some circles, on -- you know it's a shame that no matter who I put in, they go after him. It's very -- very sad, I have to say.
But he's acting. I think he'll do a very good job. And we'll see what happens. But I will say this, Matt Whitaker is a very highly respected man, and you didn't have any problems with Matt Whitaker when he worked for Jeff Sessions. He's respected by law enforcement. He's a very strong law enforcement personality and person.
TRUMP: I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it. I don't know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker has a great reputation, and that's what I wanted. I also wanted to do something which, frankly, I could have brought somebody very easily from the outside. I didn't want to do that. When Sessions left, what I did, very simply, is take a man who worked for Sessions.
Again, he worked for Jeff Sessions. He's a highly respected man, especially by law enforcement, and I think he's going to do a great job. He's there in an acting position. He's a -- probably, from what I hear, a very strong person, a very strong personality, and I think that's what they need.
QUESTION: Kellyanne's husband (INAUDIBLE) --
[09:45:00] TRUMP: You mean -- you mean -- you mean Mr. Kellyanne Conway?
QUESTION: He wrote (INAUDIBLE) --
TRUMP: He's just trying to get publicity for himself. Why don't you do this. Why don't you ask Kellyanne that question, all right? All right? She might -- she might know him better than me. I really don't know the guy.
TRUMP: But when you make a comment, first of all, let me speak, please. First of all, when you make comments, I see everybody on television, all these lawyers, all these law enforcement people making comments after comment. They never ask to get recused. They make comments. The fact that you go on Fox or CNN or MSNBC or anybody, you make a comment, you'd have nobody left to choose. You would have absolutely nobody left.
I see different people at different times going on shows. Am I supposed to say, oh, now he's never qualified to serve in government? So all the time I'm watching many different people go on many different shows saying many different things. That doesn't mean they're unqualified. Now, in all fairness to Matt Whitaker, who, again, I didn't know, OK,
other than through reputation. His reputation is excellent. But in all fairness to him, he did some shows. So did many of the people that you're talking about. So did everybody that you're talking about a permanent position. I think everybody looking at a permanent position in any department has done many shows. Does that mean we can't hire anybody? We have to hire somebody that's in a shell? I don't think so.
TRUMP: Say it again. You have to speak up.
TRUMP: Well, it could be, because if you look at Broward and Palm Beach, to a lesser extent, if you look at Broward County, they have had a horrible history. And if you look at the -- the person, in this case a woman, involved, she has had a horrible history. And all of a sudden they're finding votes out of nowhere. And Rick Scott, who won by, you know, it was close, but he won by a comfortable margin, every couple of hours it goes down a little bit. And then you see the people, and they were involved with that fraud of the fake dossier, the phony dossier. And I guess I hear they were somehow involved or work with the GPS Fusion people, who have committed -- I mean you look at what they've done. You look at the dishonesty.
Look, look, there's bad things have gone on in Broward County. Really bad things. She's been to court. She's had a lot of problems. She's lost. I say this, he easily won, but every hour it seems to be going down. I think that people have to look at it very, very cautiously.
TRUMP: I haven't ruled out anything. I haven't even thought about it. I'm thinking about the world. I'm thinking about -- right now I'm thinking about the world. I'm not thinking about sit downs or not sit downs.
There was no collusion. It's a whole hoax. This was a thing set up by the Democrats, just like they set up other things when you look at what's going on in Florida, when you look at what's going on in lots of different locations.
The Russian investigation is a hoax. It's a phony hoax.
I didn't speak to Russians. The fact is, I was a much better candidate than Hillary Clinton. I worked much harder. I went to the right places. She went to the wrong places because she didn't know what the hell she was doing. I did a great job. I was a great candidate. She was a bad candidate. I went to Wisconsin. I went more to Michigan. I went to Pennsylvania. She didn't do a good job.
This has nothing to do with Russians. It's a Russian hoax.
TRUMP: Oh, Michelle Obama said that. I haven't seen it. I guess she wrote a book. She got paid a lot of money to write a book. And they always insist that you come up with controversial.
Well, I'll give you a little controversy back. I'll never forgive him for what he did to our United States military by not funding it properly. It was depleted. Everything was old and tired. And I came in and I had to fix it. And I'm in the process of spending tremendous amounts of money. So I'll never forgive him for what he did to our military. I'll never forgive him for what he did in many other ways, which I'll talk to you about in the future.
[09:50:00] TRUMP: But what he did, because she talked about safety, what he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you.
TRUMP: Well, we're looking at other people. I did not see Chris Christie yesterday. I heard he was in the White House. He's a friend of mine. He's a good man. When he got out of the presidential race, as you know, the next day he supported me. He has good -- he has good taste. So he proved one thing, he has good taste. But when he got out, he immediately supported me.
I like Chris Christie, but I have not talked to him about it. He was in the White House yesterday. He was in the White House yesterday, but I have not -- I did not see him.
QUESTION: Mr. President, how long are you going to leave Jim Acosta in the penalty box?
TRUMP: I think Jim Acosta is a very unprofessional man. I think -- he does this with everybody. He gets paid to do that. You know, he gets paid to burst in. He's a very unprofessional guy. Whether it was me or Ronald Reagan or anybody else, he would have done the same thing.
Look, I don't think he's a smart person, but he's got a loud voice. And he --
TRUMP: Wait, wait, David, do you mind if I answer the question?
And as far as I'm concerned, I haven't made that decision. But it could be others also.
When you're in the White House, this is a very sacred place to be. This is a very special place. You have to treat the White House with respect. You have to treat the presidency with respect. If you've ever seen him dealing with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, it's a disgrace. And he does it for, you know, the reason.
The same thing with April Ryan. I watch her get up. I mean, you talk about somebody that's a loser. She doesn't know what the hell she's doing. She gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise or she gets a contract with, I think, CNN. But she's very nasty. And she shouldn't be. She shouldn't be.
You've got to treat the white House and the office of the presidency with respect.
TRUMP: I see her nodding very positively, so I'll ask her, you know.
TRUMP: I -- you have to speak up though. You have a helicopter raging back. For all the people that don't know why, my hearing is great. But you have a helicopter that's raging back there.
TRUMP: In fact, do you remember Ronald Reagan, he'd always, what, what, I can't hear you. I never -- I always thought he was hard of hearing. He wasn't. That's the problem.
QUESTION: She wants to know what's going to happen when you meet with Putin?
TRUMP: Well, I'll meet with Putin at the G-20. I don't know that we're seeing each other in Paris, but we may. There may be a lunch for the leaders. I don't know. So I would say nothing. We have a good relationship. Having a good relationship with Russia and China and every other country is a good thing, not a bad thing. But we have a good -- we have a very good relationship.
QUESTION: Are you going to fire Ryan Zinke?
TRUMP: No, I'm going to look into any complaints. If -- David, if there are any complaints, I'll look into them.
TRUMP: Well, it was a political decision made by a judge. I think it's a disgrace. It's -- 48,000 jobs. I approved it. It's ready to start. And they went, and I guess they'll end up going to the Ninth Circuit, as usual.
We're slowly putting new judges in the Ninth Circuit. Everything goes to the Ninth Circuit, everything. Now, DACA, that was actually good news yesterday because you never win in the Ninth Circuit if you're on this half of the equation. When I say half, it could be half or more. But you never win. You rarely win in the Ninth Circuit. The good news is, by rejecting DACA in the Ninth Circuit yesterday, finally, we've been waiting for that. We get to the Supreme Court. And we want to be in the Supreme Court on DACA. President Obama said he had no right to sign it. He had no right, but it was upheld in the Ninth Circuit, as usual.
If you take President Obama's statement, he know -- he knew that he couldn't sign it. So this whole thing is a terrible thing what's happening with the courts. The DACA will now hopefully go to the Supreme Court where we'll be given a fair decision.
TRUMP: We'll be making a decision. I have so many people who want it. We are looking at Heather. We're looking at numerous people. We have plenty of time. Nikki is staying until the end of the year. We're working with Nikki also. We have some very good people that want that job. I'll make the decision over the next few weeks, but by the end of the year.
QUESTION: On the attorney general, what's your -- what's your timeline (INAUDIBLE)?
TRUMP: Well, I have some very, very good people, but, I mean, there's no rush. You know, it has to go through a Senate process, which takes a long time, but we'll pick somebody that's great. We're going to pick somebody that's very good.
[09:55:02] And, again, I think it's very -- Matt Whitaker is a highly respected man, but I didn't know Matt Whitaker, but he's a highly respected man.
QUESTION: Matt Whitaker has not gone through a Senate process.
TRUMP: Yes, but neither has Mueller. Excuse me. You talk about the Senate process. Mueller is doing a report. He hasn't gone through the Senate process. So you're saying Whitaker hasn't. But Whitaker has. Wait a minute. Because he was a really distinguished U.S. attorney in Iowa, and he was approved by everybody, because to be U.S. attorney, that's top of the line. He was a highly respected, in fact, I'll tell you, the ambassador to China, as you know, Terry Branstad, who used to be the governor of Iowa, he told me that what a great choice that is, that he is one of the most respected people in all of Iowa. And that was coming from Terry Branstad, who was the governor.
Look, Mueller, a big complaint people have, Mueller was not Senate confirmed. So he's doing a report. He wasn't Senate confirmed. Whitaker was Senate confirmed. Now, he doesn't need this, but he was Senate confirmed at the highest level when he was the U.S. attorney from Iowa.
But Mueller was not Senate confirmed. Why didn't they get him Senate confirmed? He should have been Senate confirmed. Because -- no, but because of all the conflicts, they didn't want to bring him before the Senate because he's very conflicted. So because of those conflicts, they didn't want to bring him before the Senate. But don't tell me about Whitaker. Don't tell me about Whitaker because Mueller was not Senate confirmed.
TRUMP: And Whitaker was actually.
TRUMP: It doesn't. Whether they get -- whether they get a couple of more House seats doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. But you notice the votes never go the other way? They hire lawyers, and the votes don't ever seem to go the Republican way, although I hear --
TRUMP: Well, I don't know. You tell me. It's always the Democrats. It's always GPS Fusion. It's always crooked stuff. Look, look at what happened. How many FBI are gone. How many Justice Department people are gone that I found out? That I found out? There's a lot of bad stuff going on in this country, and we're finding out. And I'm getting to the bottom of it. And I've done a hell of a job.
How many people have been fired from the FBI? You got Comey. You got McCabe. You've got Strzok. You have Lisa Page. You have Baker. You have a whole list of people. There's a lot of crooked stuff going on. But it is interesting, it always seems to go the way of the Democrat.
Now, in Arizona, all of a sudden, out of the wilderness, they find a lot of votes, and she's -- the other candidate is just winning by a hair. What's going on in Florida is a disgrace. Go down and see what happened over the last period of time. Ten years. Take a look at Broward County. Take a look at the total dishonestly of what happened with respect to Broward County. Broward County just press -- Broward County/election. There's a lot of dishonesty there.
TRUMP: The taped video of Acosta?
QUESTION: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: What are you talking about (INAUDIBLE)?
TRUMP: All that was, nobody manipulated it. Give me a break. See, that's just dishonest reporting. All that it is, is a close-up. See, that's just -- that is just dishonest reporting. I watched that. I heard that last night. They've made it close up. They showed it close up. And he was not nice to that young woman. I don't hold him for that because it wasn't overly, you know, horrible. But it was -- buy all that was, when you say doctored, you're a dishonest guy because it wasn't doctored. They gave a close-up view. That's not doctoring.
QUESTION: Mr. President, are you thinking about more Supreme Court justices with Justice Ginsburg in the hospital?
TRUMP: No, I wish her well. She said something very inappropriate during the campaign, but she apologized for it. I wouldn't say she's exactly on my side. But I wish her well. I hope she gets better, and I hope she serves on the Supreme Court for many, many years.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) another mass shooting this time in California.
TRUMP: Terrible. Terrible. He's a very sick -- he's a --
QUESTION: What are we going to do about (INAUDIBLE)?
TRUMP: Well, it's a mental health problem. He is a very sick puppy. It was a very, very sick guy. Not too many people knew about it, but now that they're looking, they're starting to see he had a lot of problems, a lot of trouble and we're very much into that.
[09:59:52] As you know, I funded a lot of money toward mental health for that reason, and we're continuing to do it, and we continue to look at the laws. We want to make sure -- look, it is a -- it is a problem. It's a disastrous problem. It makes you sick to look at it.