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Gunman Kills 12 in Shooting in Virginia Beach Municipal Center; Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer (R) Interviewed on How Virginia Beach Community will Recover from Shooting; President Trump Announces Plans to Increase Tariffs on Mexican Import Unless Mexican Government Helps Reduce Immigration from Central America to U.S.; Report Indicates Some of President Trump's Advisers against Tariffs on Mexico; Texas Border Patrol Processing Facility Experiences Severe Overcrowding; President Trump to Make State Visit to U.K.; President Trump Comments on Meghan Markle's Past Criticisms of Him. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 1, 2019 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:21] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Victor Blackwell, leading CNN's special live coverage of the tragedy in Virginia Beach. We'll have new details on the investigation, and on the victims throughout the morning. Christi Paul is in Atlanta with the rest of today's news. But let me tell you what's happening right now here in Virginia Beach. There is a vigil at the Regal Cinemas here in the city to remember those 12 victims of yesterday's shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. We're going to have more on the victims in a moment.

First, though, this morning police and city officials gave really an emotional update on the situation. Watch.


DAVE HANSEN, VIRGINIA BEACH CITY MANAGER: We will turn our attention for the remainder of today to assigned family and liaison officers to support those families that have been stricken by this horrible event. We are going to wrap our arms around those that serve with us here in Virginia Beach, and we are going to make sure that their families, their loved ones are taken care of and are supported, and that we guide them through the days and weeks ahead.

We have a significant number of employees that have been mentally and physically affected by what they we want through yesterday, and the vision and the images that they had to experience inside one of our major office buildings here in the Municipal Center.


BLACKWELL: The police also confirmed the name of the suspect, DeWayne Craddock. He was killed by a police officer in a shootout. He had been employed with the city of Virginia Beach for the past 15 years. But we're going to focus on the victims, those lives that were cut short because of this shooting. And here they are.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laquita C. Brown who works in Public Works for over four-and-a-half years and is a right-of-way agent, and she is a resident of Chesapeake, Virginia. Tara Welch Gallagher, who works in Public Works for over six years, and serves as an engineer and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Mary Louise Gayle, who has worked in Public Works for over 24 years and serves as a right-of-way agent and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Alexander Mikhail Gusev, who has worked for over nine years in Public Works and is a right-of-way agent and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Katherine A. Nixon, who serves in Public Utilities for over 10 years as an engineer and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Richard H. Nettleton. Rich worked in Public Utilities for over 28 years, served as an engineer, served with me as a lieutenant in Germany in the 130th Engineer Brigade, and was a resident of Norfolk. Christopher Kelly Rapp, who served in Public Works for just 11 months as an engineer and is a citizen of Powhatah. Ryan Keith Cox, who served in Public Utilities for over 12-and-a-half years and is an account clerk and a resident of Virginia Beach. Joshua A. Hardy, who served in Public Utilities for four-and-a-half years as an engineering technician and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Michelle "Missy" Langer, who served in Public Utilities for 12 years as an administrative assistant and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Robert "Bobby" Williams, who served in Public Utilities for over 41 years as a special projects coordinator and is a resident of Chesapeake. Herbert "Bert" Snelling, who was a contractor trying to fill a permit and is a resident of Virginia Beach.


[10:05:00] BLACKWELL: We now know the names and have seen the faces of the 12 people who lost their lives here. And while this community is rallying around their families, their friends, and the four people who are still in hospitals with serious injuries, we know that there is this parallel track of the investigation that's happening behind me. And at several locations across this community CNN's Brian Todd is getting the latest on that. And we did, Brian, get a few new elements of the investigation from this latest news conference.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We did, Victor. And what we can tell you is this, from this news conference, chief Jim Cervera said that they recovered additional weapons at the scene and at the suspect's home, at DeWayne Craddock's home. They did say they're going over those weapons and trying to determine the nature of how they might have been used.

Also, and again, talking about the officers' response, talking about how quickly the officers got to the scene and got into the building. Chief Cervera said that these officers acted very professionally, that they checked every room, every closet, under every desk, and that they escorted several victims out of the building. And again, he praised their rapid response.

One key piece of information about how all this unfolded, you can often tell what a motive might have been if there were any verbal exchanges during the exchange of gunfire between police and a suspect. We asked the chief about that. He said that he did not engage verbally with the police. When he saw the police, he immediately exchanged gunfire with them.

And again, as we know, there was a long, drawn-out gun battle. We pressed the chief on how many minutes that gun battle lasted. He did not want to give that information. Though, Victor, we have to say that there are still key components of this investigation that police are not prepared to tell us. We pressed them hard on a motive. Was there any indication of a motive? Police Chief Cervera was not prepared to say what the motivate might have been, at least this morning. We had pressed them on whether the suspect made threats to employees, his fellow employees, in the past at all. They were not prepared to give that information.

I pressed the chief and the city manager, Dave Hansen, about whether there had been any disciplinary incidents in his work record, whether events in his work or conflicts with other employees that might have prompted him to go in and do this, and again, they were not prepared to give that information, or they may not know it yet, Victor. But those are just some critical components here that we still as yet do not know.

BLACKWELL: Brian, some details they are choosing to keep a secret, close to the vest right now because of the investigation. Other elements they're still working to get answers to those questions. Brian Todd, thank you for your reporting.

Joining me now to discuss is Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer. Under these circumstances, first, my condolences to you and this community, because these are not just constituents. These 11, and 12, we'll talk about Bert Snelling, were friends, were co-workers, were fellow public servants. More than 12 hours on, what are you feeling this morning?

MAYOR BOBBY DYER, (R) VIRGINIA BEACH: I'll tell you what, it's still a sense of shock, disbelief, why did this happen. I guess the big question is why. And we want to know too. And yes, police are looking into it, and, you know, be assured that once the information becomes evident -- we just don't want to speculate right now and give out false information. We want to make that through your help, the community is aware of what's going on. And this rocked the foundation of Virginia Beach. We are the safest city of a city our size in this country, with a magnificent police, fire, EMS, and sheriff. This worked our foundation.

BLACKWELL: And this has been personally difficult for you because, again, you know these faces. You're new to the mayor's office but not new to city government here. And the contractor there, Bert Snelling, was a personal friend of yours.

DYER: Yes, he was. He started off as a carpenter that did work at our house, and then he became a friend. We socialized. Regrettably, I hadn't seen him in a little while, but I'll tell you what, I found out on social media last night about midnight that he was one of the victims. And I was devastated.

BLACKWELL: Tell me about him. How did your contractor go to becoming a friend? DYER: I'll tell you what, he was just such a great guy. He was a

consummate professional, did great work. But when somebody is working and you get to know each other. We invited him out for a happy hour to join us and everything. Then my wife, we met his wife and everything. And, I'll tell you what, this really -- this really hits home with me. But also the -- but just seeing the other victims up on the screen and everything, it really humanizes the extent of the tragedy that happened in our great city.

[10:10:01] BLACKWELL: These aren't just individuals. These are mothers, fathers, cousins, neighbors.

DYER: Friends, colleagues. Yes.

BLACKWELL: Especially in a community as tightly knit as this. Let me ask you, a lot of what we heard from the police chief and from the city manager just a little more than an hour ago was about how this community is going to rally around and support these families. How is Virginia Beach going to do that?

DYER: I'll tell you what, the strength of Virginia Beach are the people of Virginia Beach. And we're resilient, and we're going to be responsive, and we're going to come together as a community. Right now everybody always had that feeling that we were a safe community because of our public safety people. We're going to restore that confidence. And I'm sure that the community is just going to come together and rally around not only the families, but just as a community, that we are -- this unfortunate event does not define Virginia Beach. What defines Virginia Beach are the strength and resolve of the people.

BLACKWELL: A lot of city business happened in that building.

DYER: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Which is now a crime scene. Cars still in the parking lot. Investigators on scene. How will you continue the business of the city Monday morning?

DYER: I'll tell you what, obviously we're not going to have access to that building. But I am confident our city manager are going to find contingency plans. Once again, the people's house was violated. You know, that's where people came, people worked. That's where people came to do commerce and business. And once again, we have to restore some equilibrium in the city, and we're going to do that.

BLACKWELL: The way you do that, are you considering changing the access, changing the, I guess the free and open nature of a public city building?

DYER: Right. But we're going to have a sit-down and debriefing when the time is appropriate, when the information is in, then we can certainly discuss what we're going to do going forward. But right now, we're not even 24 hours into this, and right now we're dealing with the shock and the sorrow of what's going on in our city. But this is going to be a long-term process. This is not going to be a week, it's not going to be a month, years. This is going to be a lifelong process for the city of Virginia Beach as we live and learn through this project. This was a nightmare that nobody ever wants to live. But it did happen, and we're going to have to step to the plate and react responsibly.

BLACKWELL: The city is now joining this fraternity of so many that have lost residents in the senseless gun violence. Mayor Bobby Dyer, thank you so much for being with me. I know you have to navigate the official work of the city, but also a man who lost friends here yesterday.

DYER: Yes, we did. And I'll tell you what, Virginia Beach is going to come together on this.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, thank you so much.

DYER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: With us is law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey. We're going to talk with him in just a moment.



SHEILA COOK, WITNESS: We heard shooting. We heard shooting. But we didn't think it was that close, like in proximity of the building. So I just thank God that they were able to alert us in time, because if it had been 10 minutes more, we all would have been outside. So that's what I'm grateful for today.

EDWARD WEEDEN, WITNESS: I heard that on the stairs, we go through the corridor, there was a lady on the stair unconscious, blood on her face, blood on the stairway. We didn't know what happened. One of the other coworkers went upstairs to find out something else. She came back down and said, get out of the building. Some guy has a gun. She was shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess it's kind of a good thing because I don't know how I would have reacted. And is it true that he's dead?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so are 12 victims. The latest one they just announced at a news conference. And he lived right above you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That could have easily been me.


BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell here in Virginia Beach, and those were some of the witnesses to that horrific shooting yesterday. I'm joined now by CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey, he's also a former police chief and commissioner. Chief, good morning to you. CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: First, let's start with where we ended with the mayor, restoring some sense of security here in this community and how to do that. Is there a way to better secure public buildings, should that be part of this conversation, or is this just something, this possibility something we live with in this free society?

RAMSEY: Well, it certainly should be part of the conversation. But the reality is, it's a public building. People come, go in and out to pay water bills, phone bills, I would imagine, things of that nature, the one individual, the victim who was filing a permit. So there's only so much you can do with public buildings like that. But certainly, it should be discussed as to whether or not security could be tightened.

BLACKWELL: So of course, you've been a commissioner and chief of big cities, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., as well. What is the value now to an investigation, the motive here of a shooter who is already dead? What's the value of finding out why he did this?

RAMSEY: There's always value in finding out why somebody did it because it might present some red flags that maybe we should pay attention to for any future incidents. But you need to know and answer the question why. You don't just wake up one day, I would imagine, and decide you're going to go in and kill as many people as possible. There was something going on.

[10:20:05] He's described as a disgruntled employee. Disgruntled over what? It was also reported yesterday that he was actually named as a point of contact in some of the literature that the city had put out in previous years. So that means that he must have been a pretty good employee. You certainly wouldn't put the worst guy down as a point of contact. So what happened? And I think it would very important for us to know that.

BLACKWELL: An engineer for 15 years with the city. There's also the reporting, according to sources, telling CNN that in addition to this rifle and this .45 caliber handgun, there was a suppressor, some call it a silencer, erroneously, because no gunshot is silent. But how would the use of a suppressor change the equation here in a shooting of this type?

RAMSEY: It was interesting, one of the people that you interviewed, or at least you showed the footage prior to my coming on, said that she didn't think -- she heard the shots but didn't think it was that close. It would distort the sound to a point where people would not really realize that the shot is right outside their door, for example. It would make it perhaps a bit more difficult for police to be able to go in and actually locate the shooter because you're locating him basically through the sound of gun shots. So it does change the dynamic.

Again, it's not like television where it also completely muffles the sound. It does lower it in terms of decibels. But what a lot of people don't realize is it's legal to purchase suppressors in, I think it's 42 states, although there's a lengthy process that you have to go through and register with ATF and that sort of thing. But there was a movement to try to actually lift that to a point where you no longer had to register with the ATF. So having suppressors available to the public at large is very, very troubling as far as I'm concerned.

BLACKWELL: There's also the reporting that he had higher capacity magazines as well, and the ability to do even more damage and kill more people than he did.

RAMSEY: Right.

BLACKWELL: We know that there was some effort federally to try to ban those high capacity magazines. How easy are they to get?

RAMSEY: They're not hard to get at all. I don't know what model .45 he had. I carried a Glock .45 when I was on the job. You carry 14 rounds in the magazine itself, one in the chamber, that gives you 15. If you have an extended magazine, you could almost double that. He had several extended magazines, from what I hear. Again, he was an employee. He knew the building. He actually shot people on all three floors, which is unusual, but he knew the layout. So he knew exactly where people would be, probably where the largest number of people would be gathered. And had the police not gotten there as soon as they did, there has been a much worse outcome than, believe it or not, 12 dead. Probably it would have been a lot higher than that.

BLACKWELL: Chief, we have had this conversation with me standing at one of many scenes and you answering the questions about the specific weapons and the specific suspect. But let me ask you the $64,000 question here. What if anything would make these less frequent? There is nothing in this man's background that would suggest that if there were universal background checks, that he wouldn't pass one. These weapons were purchased legally. Is there anything that's clearly identifiable that could have said, this was avoidable, this was preventable, and if we do this, we could stop the next one from happening?

RAMSEY: We'll only know the answer to that question once a thorough investigation is completed, going into the background of this individual. But I think people need to understand one very important thing. And that is you're not going to totally stop this, but you can make it less likely to occur. And we need to be able to sit down and have a discussion, a real discussion followed by real action on how we can reduce the opportunity to have people that should not have guns in possession of guns that are going to use them in a way in which they harm others, harm themselves, and so forth. We need to have that discussion. We need to take some action.

It's not going to be absolute. You may not get down to zero. But we can certainly make an it be a less frequent occurrence if we have the courage to stand up as the public, and also our elected officials, who, quite frankly, are pretty much missing in action as far as I'm concerned, to actually do something to make it safe for people to go to work, go to church, go to school. This is going to continue. We'll be having this conversation again, there's no doubt about it. The question is where. [10:25:00] BLACKWELL: Yes. CNN law enforcement analyst, former

chief, former commissioner Charles Ramsey, thanks so much.

RAMSEY: Thank you.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Victor, thank you so much. We're going to continue, obviously, to follow this throughout the day.

I do want to get to some other news this morning as well. There's a "Washington Post" report today saying President Trump's advisers weren't on board with his threats to slap tariffs on Mexico over immigration issues, but apparently he was unmoved by their concerns. We'll dig a little deeper into that.

And standing room only, at a border detention camp, live report for you here on some of these really disturbing images coming out of El Paso, Texas this morning.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell in Virginia Beach. CNN continues its live special coverage following the latest developments in the mass shooting that happened here Friday afternoon. Now, this morning police identified the shooter. City officials also named the victims of the attack. Eleven were city employees, one was a contractor who was filling out a building permit. The police commissioner says it is too early to determine a motive for the shooting, but that work is happening now. There are plenty of investigators here at Municipal Building Two behind me, also spread across areas connected to this shooter. And of course, we'll bring you more as we get it from investigators. But now let's go back to Atlanta and Christi.

[10:30:08] PAUL: All right, Victor, thank you so much.

I want to talk to you about the "Washington Post" report this morning that President Trump's own advisers weren't on board with his plan to hit Mexico with rising tariffs, but the president went ahead anyway, vowing to slap Mexico with these new tariffs until the country does something to help slow the flow of migrants.

U.S. and Mexican officials are meeting in Washington next week to talk about this issue. The U.S. imported $346 billion in goods from Mexico last year, just to put some perspective on this. And a higher tariff at the end of the day would mean that you, you and me, we are likely going to be paying for it through higher prices on several items. We're talking about things like auto parts, TVs, avocados, and beer. CNN's Patrick Oppmann is live from Mexico City. So Patrick, good to see you today. What is the reaction this morning?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a realization that the clock is ticking. And that's why Mexican officials went to Washington yesterday, they've been speaking with members of the Trump administration, they'll be meeting with them, as you said, next week. There's a sense of urgency here that I've not felt during previous times when President Trump said he'd close the border or he'd force make Mexico pay for the wall. And that's just because so much, as you said, Christi, is at stake here. The U.S. is Mexico's largest trading partner. Mexico is fast becoming the U.S.'s largest trading partner. And there are just so many products that these countries buy from one another. And you have auto parts that are sent here to be put into cars and then sold across the border. So it really is a very, very complicated, very connected economic relationship.

And in the midst of all this, of course, they are negotiating, we're getting close to signing a new free trade agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. And just that is on hold now. So there is so much at-risk on the line right now. And President Trump apparently is not backing down. And he said that in nine days it will be five percent, but by October it could be up to 25 percent on all Mexican exports to the U.S. That would have a major impact on the Mexican economy.

PAUL: Very good point, that he promises to continue to raise that number. I wanted to ask you, if Mexico's economy spirals, say -- we're concerned about the U.S. economy, of course, as well, but if Mexico's economy spirals, wouldn't that spur possibly more people trying to get out of that country and coming to the U.S. border?

OPPMANN: It's such a good point, because the majority of the people that we see crossing the southern border with Guatemala, coming into Mexico, making the long journalist north, they're Central American migrants, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador. The number of Mexicans has been consistently been dropping over the last decade or so. But that's because the economy here is improving. We've seen some indications the economy here is slowing down. And it stands to reason that if the economy were to take a nosedive because of these tariffs, 25 percent tariffs, that would have such a major impact, it would lead to more Mexicans once again needing to go north to work, to find work. So it would have the exact opposite effect that President Trump says he wants to accomplish.

PAUL: Interesting. Patrick Oppmann, thank you so much for breaking it down for us.

And the spike in migrants coming across the U.S./Mexico border is causing, and I'm quoting this here, dangerous overcrowding at a Texas border patrol processing facility. Take a look at these pictures here, obviously we have whited out the faces, but this is according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security, saying detainees are, quote, standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space. CNN's Polo Sandoval is live from El Paso, Texas, where this is happening. What are you learning, Polo, about the situation specifically in that detention center?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, as we look at these images, some important context to keep in mind here, those photos and findings from the Office of Inspector General are certainly stunning, but they are not surprising given that we have been hearing from the head of the Department of Homeland Security, the interim secretary, who testified before Congress just over a week ago, telling lawmakers that the situation certainly is not improving, that the agency itself, that the border patrol and other resources available to Customs and Border Protection are just not enough to handle the surge of migrants, about 109,000 detained in April. The numbers that will come in in May are expected to be even higher here.

We've even heard from the head of Border Patrol who has spoken live on CNN who says that Border Patrol agents here just do not have the resources necessary to try to handle these numbers. So it really comes down to capacity here as we look at these images.

[10:35:03] There were these unannounced visits that were performed by independent investigators, this watchdog group, the Office of Inspector Seneral, who came to El Paso, and at one particular location noted that a facility meant for about 125 was holding up to 900 people in early May. What has been done since? What will be done? I can tell you that officials here in El Paso have already made some temporary structures that will hold larger numbers. And there are plans for a permanent structure that could hold well over 1,000 people. That won't be completed, though, Christi, until 2020. So the concern is, now, what will be done is certainly what you hear from the ground here.

And this report outlines not just conditions for the detained, but also those doing the detaining. The report from the I.G.'s office outlining decreasing morale among agents. Some of those agents who were approaching retirement are in essence trying to speed up that date because those conditions are certainly not improving here. So that's what we're seeing on the ground here in El Paso.

Again, we've heard these kinds of versions coming from members of the administration, from the Department of Homeland Security. What's important here, though, this is now an independent investigation that is now providing a picture of some of the facilities here in El Paso.

PAUL: OK, so that's that particular detention facility. Is there any indication, Polo, that DHS has a plan b, knowing that we're going into the summer and knowing those numbers could go up?

SANDOVAL: So there is that temporary facility that's been put in place. That's likely going to increase capacity here in El Paso region to about 800 people. It's not just what we're seeing here but also up and down that 2,000 stretch of southern border. You're seeing other Border Patrol sectors implementing similar policies here. What you're also seeing is that permanent structure that is expected to be built here in El Paso alone. And then finally, another action that's being taken by the agency is essentially sending some of these detainees to other sectors that are perhaps built to handle this.

Finally, I'll note only about three days ago, this particular sector here in El Paso apprehended its largest group ever, just over a thousand people. Instead of sending them to one location they had to disperse them among about 10 different Border Patrol facilities here in the El Paso region. So that's a temporary solution, but what will be done on a permanent basis, that is still the question here.

PAUL: And that's a lot of logistical legwork too, no doubt about it. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. Victor?

BLACKWELL: Fewer than 24 hours since the mass killing here in Virginia Beach, and there are two major searches happening right now. First, the search for answers. Why this shooter did this. But second, the search for reassurance and comfort and security. There's a vigil happening right now. The beginning of the healing, we'll have more of the live special coverage here from Virginia Beach.


[10:41:39] BLACKWELL: Welcome back. Of course, we're staying on top of the latest developments in this mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Police have now identified the 12 people who were killed as well as the gunman. They have not yet found the motive. Police are still at the Municipal Building. You can see investigator over my shoulder collecting evidence. Earlier the city's police chief talked about really the toll of going through this scene for his officers. Remember, the police station is just a few yards from this municipal building. They're all city employees. They know the people who survived and those who did not survive this shooting. Here is some of what the chief had to say.


CHIEF JAMES CERVERA, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: -- into the building. The officers checked every room on every floor, every closet, under every desk, and they escorted a large number of city employees out of the building. And remember, they're escorting them out of the building while the victims are still in the building. I want you to know those officers worked with compassion, they worked with caring, they worked with professionalism in assisting our brothers and sisters who work for our city.

This is a large-scale crime scene. It's a horrific crime scene. And police understand, it takes not only physical, emotional, and psychological toll on everyone who spent the night inside that particular building.


BLACKWELL: If you weren't with us a few moments ago from a conversation with the mayor of Virginia Beach, Bobby Dyer, I want you to listen to a bit of it. He talks about the community here, and their need to rely on one another, to make it through this tragedy.


MAYOR BOBBY DYER, (R) VIRGINIA BEACH: -- the strength of Virginia Beach are the people of Virginia Beach. And we're resilient, and we're going to be responsive, and we're going to come together as a community. Right now everybody always had that feeling that we were a safe community because of our public safety people. We're going to restore that confidence. And I'm sure that the community is just going to come together and rally around not only the families, but just as a community, that we are -- this unfortunate event does not define Virginia Beach. What defines Virginia Beach are the strength and resolve of the people.

The people's house was violated. That's where people came, people worked. That's where people came to do commerce and business. And once again, we have to restore some equilibrium in the city, and we're going to do it.


BLACKWELL: Listen, the people in this community, when they pick up the Saturday paper, "The Virginian-Pilot," they see this headline, "Devastating," but also this photo there, you can see it there under my left hand, the man here, and that's blood on his shirt, on his pants here. That's the front page of the paper here. The mayor understands, although he has his personal emotions to navigate because he lost friends in this shooting, he has to do the work of restoring the sense of security, the sense of safety in this community in the people's house, as he called it, that city building. A lot of work ahead for the mayor here and the people of Virginia Beach.

Christi, back to you in Atlanta.

[10:45:09] PAUL: No doubt about it, they are going to do exactly what he said, because we have seen so much emphasis this morning on the healing process that they are prioritizing. Thank you so much, Victor, appreciate it.

President Trump is getting ready to make a state visit to the United Kingdom. He's just released comments about Duchess Meghan Markle, though, are making some waves across the pond already. The president is set to meet with most of the senior royals except for Meghan because she is on maternity leave. And in a new interview he calls the Duchess "nasty." He said this because of comments that she made before the 2016 presidential election. Let's listen. This is what she said two years ago.


MEGHAN MARKLE: Yes, of course, Trump is divisive. Think about just female voters alone, right? I think it was in 2012, the Republican Party lost the female vote by 12 points. That's a huge number. And with as misogynistic as Trump is, and so vocal about it, that's a huge chunk of it. You're not just voting for a woman if it's Hillary just because she's a woman, but certainly because Trump has made it easy to see that you don't really want that kind of world that he's painting.


BLACKWELL: So CNN's Kristen Holmes is with us now. Kristen, walk us through exactly what the president said.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christi, the president had a lot to say in this wide-ranging interview with "The Sun," really setting the stage for his trip to the U.K. But as you mentioned, these comments about the Duchess of Sussex are really what caught everyone's attention. And just to set the scene a little bit here, we know that "The Sun" confronted the president with these remarks. Take a listen to what the president said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Meghan, who is now the Duchess of Sussex, she can't make it because she's got maternity leave. Are you going to see here, because she wasn't so nice about you during the campaign, I don't know if you saw that.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I didn't know that, no, I didn't know that. No, I hope she's OK. I did not know that, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said she would move to Canada if you got elected. Turned out she moved to Britain.

TRUMP: That would be good. There are a lot of people moving here, so what can I say? No, I didn't know that she was nasty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it good have an American princess, Mr. President?

TRUMP: I think it's nice. I think it's nice. I'm sure she'll do excellently, she'll be very good. She'll be very good. I hope she does.


HOLMES: So you can hear him there saying this about the comments being nasty, but then kind of walking it back, saying that he hopes that she does a good job. Just to be clear, as you said, she won't be meeting with him this trip because she just had a child, she's on maternity leave. But even if she was to meet with President Trump, it likely wouldn't come up. Remember, Royals do not participate in politics, they don't want to give any idea to seem like they are on either side.

And Christi, I just want to add one thing. We're here at the White House, we've been here all day waiting for President Trump to respond to the shooting in Virginia Beach. We have just gotten a tweet, so I want to make sure we read that before we leave the White House here. I'm going to read it to you. It says, "Spoke to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam last night and the mayor and vice mayor of Virginia Beach this morning to offer condolences to that great community. The federal government is there and will be for whatever they may need. God bless the families and all."

So we do know President Trump is not at the White House right this very second, we don't know where he has gone, but where we are right now is this was what we had been waiting for. We have been waiting for this kind of a response. We had been waiting to hear from him. We heard from those 2020 Democrats who are all on the campaign trail. But this was exactly what we were waiting for, some kind of tweet to address those 12 lives lost in Virginia Beach. Christi?

PAUL: And him just making that tweet then finally about five minutes ago. Kristen Holmes, we appreciate it. Thank you so much. And we're taking you back to Virginia Beach with the latest on that

deadly shooting and what happens next for this community. Stay with us.


[10:53:29] PAUL: In the United States, domestic violence is a leading cause of injury to women, and so many of these women have pets that they love and they don't want to leave them behind if they try to get out of that relationship. Only three percent of domestic violence shelters, though, accept animals. So this week's CNN hero came up with a groundbreaking solution that's keeping women and their pets together.


STACI ALONSO, CNN HERO: Noah's Animal House is built right on the campus of the women's shelters so that women fleeing an abusive relationship don't have to choose between leaving and leaving their pets behind. We have had clients from 21 states. They're driving thousands of miles. That tells you the need and that tells you the power of the relationship between the woman and the pet when you watch the woman come through the doors and then they see their pet.


ALONSO: And everything is right in the world for a little while.


PAUL: To learn more about Staci's lifesaving work or to nominate your own hero, go to We'll be back in a moment.


[10:57:32] BLACKWELL: Right now investigators are continuing to search for answers at the crime scene behind me, while a few miles from here there is also a vigil for those who lost their lives here in Virginia Beach. There's much more ahead on this massacre. CNN's Newsroom starts after the break.