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STATE OF THE UNION
13 Hours Of Bloodshed, 29 Dead In Two Mass Shootings; At Least Nine Dead, 27 Injured In Dayton Mass Shooting. Aired 12-2p ET
Aired August 4, 2019 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:00:00] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Jake Tapper live in Washington with the State of Our Union is in shock after at least 29 people were killed in two mass shootings in the United States just hours apart.
The first shooting happened on Saturday morning in El Paso Texas when an accused domestic terrorist opened fire at a Wal-Mart, at least 20 people were, killed 26 injured or wounded.
The gunman a 21 year old white male was taken into custody. We are told he is talking with law enforcement. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
The second mass shooting came 13 hours later early this morning shortly after 1:00 a.m. in Dayton, Ohio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired, multiple shots fired. Dispatch. We got shots fired. We got multiple people down. We're going to need multiple medics. We think there's one shooter. He is down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: A gunman clad in body armor killed at least nine innocent people in Dayton, Ohio and wounded or injured at least 27 in a business and entertainment district, heart of the city. Authorities in Dayton say that the lone suspect, a white male was killed by police less than a minute after he started shooting.
CNN's Ed Lavandera joins us now from El Paso. But I want to start with CNN Crime and Justice Reporter, Shimon Prokupecz here in Washington. And Shimon you have some breaking news about the identity of the Dayton shooter.
I want to tell people -- we mentioned this carefully in terms of showing the image of a shooter or giving the person's name. We have not mentioned the name or showing the image of the El Paso shooter, even though we have both. You are now going to report the Dayton shooter's name. You're going to say it once and then I'm not going to say it again on this show. But go ahead and report this.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. So saying it once here is absolutely right, Jake, his name is Connor Betts. And what we're told is that he's 24 years old. He lives in Bellbrook, Ohio. That is where he lived. That is where he lived with his family.
And we're told that the FBI was there this morning -- early this morning at his home in Bellbrook, Ohio. They executed search warrants and they have now left. They are done with the scene at his home. They have interviewed some family members there and they did remove items. It's unclear, officials will not tell us what it is that they were looking for, what it is that they removed.
Now Bellbrook is about 16 miles from Dayton, Ohio where the shooting occurred and authorities are there, obviously the investigation now stretching into other parts of Ohio as they seek clues as to the motivation here and that, Jake, is not entirely clear yet. And talking to law enforcement officials, they're still working through that.
It's not as clear cut as we perhaps have seen in the El Paso shooting where authorities zeroed in on one perhaps motive there that being a hate crime. They're now still trying to figure out exactly what set off this shooter in Dayton, Ohio. Jake.
TAPPER: And Shimon just to put a button on it, the shooter in El Paso -- the accused domestic terrorists there. Law enforcement is investigating whether or not he indeed wrote this document that was uploaded -- that is white supremacist, racist, vile and that is the reason for the suspicion that this is an act of terrorism and an act of hate crime.
We still do not know. Correct me if I'm wrong, what motivated the Dayton killer, whether it was a copycat or he also shared white supremacist views or something else entirely.
PROKUPECZ: Right. That's exactly right. We don't yet know. We don't know if they have zeroed in in Dayton. Ohio if there is something information that has come to authorities whether it's a manifesto or something else that can help him with determining motive here. There could be other reasons here as well behind the shooting.
The other thing important here is whether or not the El Paso -- the shooting in El Paso triggered something in this shooter in Dayton and perhaps that's what set him off. That's going to be something that authorities are going to be looking at. And there could be several reasons here why this happened as well.
Sometimes, as we know, the motivation is not as clear cut as we're seeing perhaps in El Paso and Dayton, we just don't have that yet and I think authorities don't really have that yet as they're trying to work through different scenarios, different interviews, other pieces of information perhaps that they have learned as we know and they just haven't shared a lot of it yet.
All right, Shimon Prokupecz thanks so much. And next I want to go to CNN's Ed Lavandera who is in El Paso and has some new information about the alleged terrorist in El Paso. Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jake. Well, here investigators continue to work the scene at the Wal-Mart. [12:04:00] They have been there throughout the night, identifying the victims still inside of that building and analyzing the crime scene at the Wal-Mart. They had been there throughout the night identifying the victims still inside of that building and analyzing the crime scene.
This, as El Paso police say, that the suspect -- the 21 year old suspect -- a shooter in this case has been speaking with investigators late last night and into this morning as well. And we have garnered new information from the social media posts of this suspected gunman. And it reveals a rather pathetic past.
I mean, in a LinkedIn page -- on his LinkedIn page he describes having an awful work ethic. "I'm not really motivated", he says, "To do anything more than what's necessary to get by, working in general sucks. I spend about eight hours every day on the computer, so that counts towards technology experience, I guess", which is really Jake the dichotomy of targeting this Wal-Mart location full of immigrants.
And as we've covered immigration issues, you hear over and over from immigrants who say they want to come to this country, a chance to work hard chance to get ahead. So that dichotomy of what this gunman puts in this LinkedIn profile with the experiences of what we've heard from immigrants over years of reporting these stories is, I think, really striking.
And also as these investigators continue to work this scene here, there's this other social media post where this gunman was also talking about and liking President Trump's Twitter post about building the wall. And there were several allusions to that as well. So, clearly, gives an insight into the mind of why this man targeted this specific place here in El Paso Texas. Jake?
TAPPER: All right, Ed Lavandera in El Paso, thank you so much. Joining me now to discuss this more, especially the law enforcement component of this is former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Andrew, thanks so much for joining us.
Let me start with just a basic question I have for the FBI, because I know a lot of what you do is opaque and has to be not transparent. There is an impression that the FBI takes more seriously acts of terrorism committed by other groups beyond white supremacists. Is that fair?
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: It's not fair. The work is very different. As you know Jake IT is an entirely different discipline. There's an entirely different set of --
MCCABE: International Terrorism -- sorry about that. There are laws and tools and approaches that we can use in the international terrorism realm that we just don't have in domestic terrorism realm.
I think Director Wray's comments a few weeks ago in which he indicated that there had been around or over 100 arrests in the domestic terrorist area just in this year alone, the same number generally that they've arrested of international terrorism subjects. So I think that shows you in a nutshell that there is a lot of time and energy being spent at the FBI on domestic terror.
TAPPER: So earlier in this show I was talking to former Obama Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem, and she was talking about what's called "Stochastic terrorism", which I know you know what it is.
But for viewers at home, it's the idea of leaders demonizing one specific group, whether it's Jews or gays or immigrants or whatever. And then acts of violence happening, not directly ordered by those leaders, but acts of violence against those groups happening -- not predictable in an individual sense. Couldn't say it would happen on this date at this location, but predictable in a general trend sense.
And she was specifically faulting President Trump for his anti- immigrant language. And we have now seen acts of violence against Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue for an alleged theory that Jews are funding immigrants to come in for this white genocide nonsense and now we see this violence against immigrants. What's your take on that as a theory of crime?
MCCABE: Well, I'll say this, I think, there is absolutely no doubt that these sorts of criminal acts -- these terrorist attacks are increasing. When the FBI is arresting 100 domestic terrorists in one year, I can tell you from my own experience, that number is off the charts compared to the numbers of domestic terrorists we've arrested in prior years.
You also see a very alarming connection between domestic terrorist attacks here in the United States and domestic terrorist attacks abroad. So it's not uncommon to see attackers referencing in their manifesto --
TAPPER: The El Paso terrorist referencing the New Zealand terror.
MCCABE: New Zealand terrorist, and I think we saw that again with the attacker in Poway or maybe the Tree of Life. So these connections between the acts of similar likeminded folks are going to further exacerbate this problem and kind of add fuel to the fire.
TAPPER: Is one of the problems that in this day and age whereas people like this could -- were basically shunned, they were losers, they had freakish bigoted views and were ostracized in general by communities that in this day and age, forgetting for a second what leaders might be saying, that the Internet brings people like this together.
[12:09:00] And that's might be emboldening some of them -- people sharing hideous ideas. We know that this is the case when it comes to Islamist terrorists.
TAPPER: Right? Is it also true when it comes to white terror?
MCCABE: It is definitely true. It's the same exact idea. When you have the ability to tap into a likeminded community that's going to reverberate and encourage your philosophy, your obsession with violence, your -- in the case of the El Paso shooter, your obsession with immigration, that has the effect of encouraging folks, emboldening them to take action.
It is absolutely no different than an isolated extremist young man or woman here in the United States who is very easily able to connect with known terrorists on the battlefield in, let's say, Syria and be directed or encouraged and inspired by those folks.
TAPPER: So Andrew you said something in the top of the interview that I thought was interesting was that, as a former Deputy Director of the FBI you had more tools to investigate international terrorism.
MCCABE: That's right.
TAPPER: So anybody who might be inspired by ISIS than then FBI officials or agents have to investigate domestic terrorists such as the individual in El Paso -- a suspected terrorist.
Now, for instance, he posted something we think -- law enforcement thinks it's still not 100 unconfirmed. But he allegedly posted something on 8chan, in which -- it was a document laying out why he was about to commit these acts.
TAPPER: If that had been posted on an ISIS component or an ISIS website as opposed to a white terrorist website or whatever section of that website, would you -- would the FBI law enforcement have had an easier time finding out who posted it?
MCCABE: So if a man -- hypothetically, a man walks into a restaurant, shoots it up and then we find out he has posted a manifesto online in which he pledges allegiance to ISIS and indicates he's been talking to ISIS terrorists on the battlefield.
That by definition connects him to a foreign power and puts the bureau in a position to be able to conduct that international terrorism investigation of that person. All of his potential associates and supporters and trainers and planners and communicates with the very powerful classified tools that we have on the international terrorism side.
TAPPER: Easier to access, who sends, where they sent it, where it was posted et cetera, than if it's just this --
MCCABE: That's exactly right.
TAPPER: Domestic terrorist in El Paso.
MCCABE: Doesn't exist on the domestic terrorism side. Any experienced domestic terrorism investigator or prosecutor will tell you that we need a domestic terrorism statute in this country.
Right now, the PATRIOT Act defines what domestic terrorism is and what's required to qualify something as domestic terrorism. But it is not currently a crime in this country. It could very easily be turned into a statute, similar to the statutes that we have that criminalize conducting terrorism on behalf of or in support of a foreign power. And that would put our investigators on a very different footing to be able to attack this problem.
TAPPER: That's so weird. Why would Congress be reluctant to give you more tools -- these people -- I mean these terrorists are killing people and they are just as dead they are as if they had been killed by somebody influenced by ISIS.
MCCABE: That's right.
TAPPER: Why would -- I mean in conversations with Congress, what are the reasons -- I understand you don't want to penalize people for views as opposed to actions. But we're talking about people talking about actions they're about to take.
MCCABE: So there's some very careful sensitivities around our First Amendment protections here that make domestic terrorism a little bit different. But I would venture to say that that is not -- that does not put us in a position where we can't act.
For instance, it's much easier to build those tools targeting international terrorists, because we have basically determined that, even if you're an American, here in the United States, if you're acting in concert with -- behalf of, let's say Al-Qaeda, you are acting as the agent of a foreign power.
It's not the same for someone who is here in the United States and is just voicing their political or philosophical views, as abhorrent as they maybe, you are still an American citizen or a U.S. person as the Statute defines it and you enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.
However, the PATRIOT Act defines domestic terrorism as an act of violence that constitutes either a federal or state crime committed here in the United States for the purpose of intimidating or coercing a population, changing government policy or affecting the actions of a government.
[12:14:00] That is a very tight and constitutionally sound definition. It is one that could easily be applied to criminalize acts of terrorism that are done for those intents.
TAPPER: All right. Former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, thank you so much. Really appreciate your time today.
MCCABE: Thank you, Jake, appreciate it.
TAPPER: Coming up next, I'm going to talk to Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, 2020 candidate about these shootings. How she would combat gun violence as president.
Plus, an interview with former El Paso Congressman, Beto O'Rourke, who is tying President Trump's rhetoric to the El Paso massacre. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BASH, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS: We are also treating this as a domestic terrorist case. There's statutory definition of domestic terrorism, 18 U.S. C2331, this meets it. It appears to be designed to intimate a civilian population to say the least. We are treating this as a domestic terrorist case and we are going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is bring swift and certain justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was John Bash, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, talking about the case against the suspected terrorist in El Paso. The suspect is in custody, has been charged with capital murder.
[12:19:00] We are following all the latest news from two different crime scenes, one in Ohio at Dayton, and El Paso, Texas where dozens of people were killed by mass shooters.
Joining me from Las Vegas, Nevada, is Democratic presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris. Senator Harris, I would say good morning, it's obviously not a good morning. What is your reaction to the mass shootings in El Paso yesterday and you wake up to find out what happened in Dayton, Ohio earlier today.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well that's exactly it. We went to sleep just mourning the tragedy of it. And frankly, really it's a combination of feelings, none of which of course match the feelings of the families of those victims. But the sadness, the frustration and frankly the anger, Jake, because we can do something about this.
And so you put that fact, right, that we actually can do something, and you combine that with the fact that our children are right now living in fear -- like seriously living in fear.
Our children are going to school every day -- elementary, middle, high school students having to have a drill where they are taught about how they have to crouch in a corner or hide in a closet in the event that there is a masked shooter roaming the hallways of their school.
If you talk to our children they will tell you they are afraid to go to school. They sit in a classroom and they should be paying attention to a teacher and learning the wonders of math or science or music. But half their brain is aware that somebody might walk through that back door carrying an assault weapon.
So it's just -- it's tragic on so many levels. But the frustration that I feel comes from knowing that there actually is action we can take.
TAPPER: What is an action --
HARRIS: -- that will have an impact on --
TAPPER: Let's about that -- you've laid out a number of executive orders and executive actions that you would take as President.
HARRIS: Right. Yes, I have.
TAPPER: And what are they?
HARRIS: But let me tell you why, because we don't lack for good ideas. There are all kinds of good ideas. I've had some, plenty of my friends and colleagues who are running for President have some great ideas. I'm supporting them. We don't lack for good ideas we lack for action.
So, yes, when elected, I am prepared to take executive action if Congress doesn't pull its act together. I will give, after being elected, the United States Congress 100 days to pull it together, put a bill on my desk for signature, and if they do not I will take executive action and do three things in particular.
I'll put in place a comprehensive background check. Why? Because it's just logical that you might want to know before someone can buy a lethal weapon if they've been found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others. You might just want to know before somebody can buy a gun, if they have been found by a court to be guilty of committing a violent crime. So background checks.
I'm going to require that we put resources into ATF so they can take the licenses of gun dealers who break the law. Do you know that up to 90 percent of the guns associated with crime are solved by just 5 percent of the gun dealers? We need to take their licenses.
And then the third piece, is by executive action, I'll put in place a ban on the importation of assault weapons into our country, because we got to get this under control. And again it's within our ability to act.
And I know there's been there's been a lot of conversation this morning about many things. But the reality is that we're not without hope on this issue. We're without action. And leaders got to lead. And, in particular, when our babies, when our children are living in fear and they are.
TAPPER: So law enforcement officials are investigating this document -- this screed that they believe was written by the suspected terrorists who conducted the El Paso massacre. It's filled with white nationalist, white supremacist, racist hatred towards immigrants, specifically towards Hispanics.
TAPPER: You're a former prosecutor. Was this a hate crime, was this an act of domestic terrorism assuming that the document is right? What's your take on the legality of it?
HARRIS: Based on everything I know, yes and yes and yes. Hate crime and act of domestic terrorism. On that point, I'm in Las Vegas as you mentioned. I did a big rally last night in Las Vegas experienced 1 October which was the deadliest mass shooting in the recent history. Couple of days before I was in Colorado, and of course Columbine happened there, and then and in my home state of California, Gilroy.
And so let's talk about it. When we're talking about domestic terrorism, we also have to recognize that under this administration they have not been putting the resources into investigating and dealing with these cases as they are, what they are, which is to your point, domestic terrorism.
[12:24:00] And so there also has to be some accountability by this administration to take these cases seriously and call them what they are. And this is where we also have to acknowledge that we have a President of the United States who uses the microphone, which is probably one of the most powerful tools in the hands of the President of the United States.
And uses that microphone in a way that is about sowing hate and division in our country, in a way that is about not acknowledging domestic terrorism when it occurs, and in a way that is highly irresponsible and not a reflection of the values and the morals of who we are as the American people.
TAPPER: President Trump condemned the shooting in El Paso as a quote "Hateful act and an act of cowardice". Your 2020 opponent Congressman Beto O'Rourke told me this morning, he believes President Trump is not only encouraging racist rhetoric or engaging in racist rhetoric, but is also responsible for racist violence, because he is creating this atmosphere.
Do you agree? What role, if any, do you see the President playing when it comes to this? Obviously, the shooter is responsible for the shooting, but in terms of the environment of hatred. What's your view of that?
HARRIS: Well, my view is pretty simple and direct, which is there is a consequence to the words that the President of the United States speaks. And when she uses the microphone in a way that is about elevating public discourse and speaking to our better selves and our higher angels, there will be a consequence for that as well.
We have a current President of the United States who does not understand the responsibility that comes with the office, which has to be a leader on every level, including encouraging challenging us to be our best selves.
Instead we have the occupant of the White House in Donald Trump who completely and continuously goes to the lowest common denominator. So, yes, I do believe there is consequence to his words.
TAPPER: Your fellow Senator and 2020 opponent Cory Booker said he was frustrated that some of his fellow candidates do not support his plans for gun licensing and he's calling on his opponents to support it.
You said you agree with lots of your competitors' ideas. Is that one of them? Do you support federal gun licensing? HARRIS: Yes. I think it's a great idea. I think it's a great idea. But again, Jake, my issue is, I do -- I think it's a great idea. There are a lot of great ideas, and this is not about Cory, it's about just the fact of it.
We have not lacked for great ideas. This has been going on for far too long. You can go back to the reason that we had the Brady Bill. You can go back to President Reagan being shot. You can go back to in my backyard in San Francisco 101 California. We are not lacking for good ideas. We are lacking for Congress to have the courage to act.
And, listen, and I want I want to say something else that I think is really, really important to also acknowledge and recognize. Those children who are having those drills are not registered with any political party and could give a what about what party you or I are registered with to vote. They are scared.
Those victims of these crimes their families will mourn them not through the identity of the party with which they were registered to vote. This is ridiculous that Congress is simply not have the courage to stand up and have the spine to say, "Hey, it's a false choice", to say you're either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone's guns away. That's a false choice.
Have the courage to say, "Hey, fine if you all want to go hunting, but we need reasonable gun safety laws in our country, including universal background checks, including a renewal of the assault weapons ban". Assault weapons were designed to kill a lot of people quickly. There is no reason for them to be available on the streets of a civil society.
TAPPER: Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California and a Presidential candidate, coming to us from Las Vegas, Nevada this morning. Thank you so much.
HARRIS: Thanks Jack.
TAPPER: Officials in Texas say they are treating the massacre in El Paso as a case of domestic terrorism and they will seek the death penalty. 2020 Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke whose home district, when he was a Congressman, is El Paso, canceled his campaign events and went home to El Paso where his family lives yesterday after the shooting.
[12:29:00] Joining me now former congressman from El Paso and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Beto O'Rourke. Congressman Beto O'Rourke, thank you for joining us on this horrible day for your community, our thoughts and prayers is such a cliche at this point, but we're all feeling the pain of what's going on in El Paso and in Dayton. Have you learned anything new about what happened since you got back to El Paso yesterday?
BETO O'ROURKE (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you Jake. We're grieving right now for our fellow El Pasoans and this community is also thinking about Dayton and the people there who have suffered such extraordinary loss. Came back yesterday and got to spend some time with some of the victims and their families, I'm seeing extraordinarily courageous people who have suffered the most grievous wounds and who have also learned that it wasn't just one family member, it was two or three or more who were shot and in some cases who were killed.
This community is coming together unlike any other time that I can remember -- donations of blood, donations of food -- just the love and the encouragement and the strength and the support in the face of a horrific mass killing.
El Paso we'll see on average 18 murders a year. That's the average over the last 10 years. We lost at least 20 people yesterday and it took someone coming from outside of this community of immigrants to come and bring their hatred and their death to El Paso, and in the face of that. This community has shown just incredible strength and love and is more than a match for this. We will overcome this.
But something has to change and one of the wives of one of the victims he had been selling things to her to raise money for the soccer team he coaches, shot in the chest. His wife asked me what why is this happened in our country right now? Why will this continue to happen? How do we how do we change this.
And Jake I've got to tell you in addition to universal background checks, in addition to ending the sales of weapons of war into our communities, in addition to Red Flag laws we've got to acknowledge the hatred the open racism that we're seeing.
There's an environment of it in United States. We see it on Fox News. We see it on the Internet. But we also see it from our Commander in Chief. And he is encouraging this. He doesn't just tolerate it. He encourages it, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, warning of an invasion at our border, seeking to ban all people of one religion.
Folks are responding to this. It doesn't just offend us. It encourages the kind of violence that we're seeing, including in my hometown of El Paso yesterday.
TAPPER: So I want to talk about that in a second. But I do want to show this picture of you visiting with a victim named Rosemary, who you said was shot in the chest, but she is doing well after surgery. Obviously, we want to bring as much attention to the victims of this as much as possible. So I do want to talk about how we can stop it in one second but if you could tell me about that moment meeting Rosemary.
O'ROURKE: You know, I met her son on the flight back from Las Vegas. He approached me on the airplane, told me that he'd just learned that his mother had been shot in the chest. His grandmother had been shot in the stomach. His great aunt had also been shot. He was flying back to El Paso. And he asked if I would join him going into university medical center where I met Rosemary.
Both of her lungs punctured, her lungs being drained as I was talking to her, big smile on her face, just extraordinary courage. Not only was she shot, but her mom, her aunt was also shot -- her family around her.
These extraordinary caregivers at University Medical Center, nurses who had been working 12, 14 hours already, doctors who'd been seeing multiple patients with multiple gunshot wounds, just really moved me.
And makes me so incredibly proud of Rosemary, her family, families all across El Paso right now who should never have to demonstrate this kind of courage and yet nonetheless are doing so.
I've met families who have not heard from a family member and fear the worst. Have called Del Sol Medical Center, called UMC don't know where their mom or dad are. Fear that they are one of the at least 20 who are dead already and are resolved to ensure that this changes.
And I heard that from so many people yesterday. They want this to change this cannot be the normal for the United States of America. And I know this community is going to do everything within our power to make sure that it is not.
TAPPER: So Congressman you wrote on Twitter and said publicly in El Paso.
[12:34:00] President Trump's racism does not just offend our sensibilities, it fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence.
Now the document that this terrorist in El Paso that law enforcement is investigating whether or not he actually posted this document, which refers to Latinos coming to the country is an invasion, which as you noted is, a language that we've heard from the President of the United States.
It also says, and I know you know it's hard to make sense of it of any of this stuff. But it also says that he had this ideology before President Trump. He kind of anticipated it. Assuming this document's real, the alleged terrorist anticipated that people would blame President Trump for it and said I felt this way before President Trump.
O'ROURKE: I don't know the point that you're trying to make here Jake. But it's pretty obvious to me and anyone who's listen to the President and will look at the facts that his anti-immigrant rhetoric -- not just the things that I cited, but calling asylum seekers animals or an infestation.
Now you might describe a cockroach or termites as an infestation, something less than human. You might hear someone in the Third Reich describe a given people based on their characteristic as an infestation or subhuman.
But that's what the President of United States is doing right now and it's not just with Mexican immigrants, conflating Congresswoman Ilhan Omar with the terrorists from 9/11, encouraging that chanting in North Carolina of "Send Her Back". Let's not mince words right now. This President is encouraging greater racism and not just the racist rhetoric, but the violence that so often follows. This shooter in the manifesto cites in part for his inspiration, the shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand who cites Donald Trump as his inspiration.
This anti-immigrant rhetoric -- and again, it is not just President Trump, but he is certainly as the person in the position of greatest public trust in power, most responsible for it. This is Fox News. This is what we're seeing on the Internet.
This is the toleration of intolerance and hatred and racism in this country. This is what is causing what we are seeing here today and it will continue to happen unless we call it out and unless we change it.
TAPPER: The FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned Congress about the increasing threat of white supremacy in the past. I want you to take a listen to something that FBI Director Wray said in April of this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER A. WRAY, DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: We've seen an increase in the reporting of hate crimes and the FBI is on a number of hate crime cases have increased. The danger, I think, of white supremacist violent extremism or any other kind of violent extremism is of course significant. We assess that it's a persistent pervasive threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: If the kinds of shootings we've seen in El Paso or in California in which the individual there was suspected to have white supremacist ideology and other white supremacist murders, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and on and on.
If those were Muslim men committing those crimes, how do you think Congress would be reacting as opposed to the fact that it is white supremacists committing these crimes?
O'ROURKE: They weren't Muslim men committing those --
TAPPER: I know, I know --That's all.
O'ROURKE: -- how Congress.
TAPPER: My point is so is there not a double standard here?
O'ROURKE: So problem is there --
TAPPER: That's what I'm saying. That's what I'm saying. Yes.
O'ROURKE: Yes. Well, so -- but let's focus on the problem that the FBI Director has called out to members of Congress and to this country. We have a problem with white nationalist terrorism in the United States of America today. So I don't I don't want to confuse people about what is going on or use a hypothetical about what if this was somebody else from a different background or profile. These are white men motivated by the kind of fear that this President traffics.
And the mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground on the same day that President Trump signed his order attempting to ban Muslim travel to the United States of America.
When he says after Charlottesville, the Klansmen and white supremacists and neo-Nazis are very fine people, the Commander in Chief is sending a very public signal to the rest of this country about what is permissible, and in fact, even what he encourages to happen.
So let's connect the dots here on what is happening and why it is happening and who is responsible for this right now.
[12:39:00] And the fact that it's going to take all of us Republicans, Democrats, independents alike rising up, standing up to be counted against what this President is doing, against this white nationalist racism, against this violence and getting this country back.
They are saying that our differences are in fact dangerous. If you're a Muslim, you're inherently dangerous. If you are an immigrant, you are inherently dangerous. If you are an asylum seeker you are invading this country, you are an infestation.
Those words have very real consequences. You don't get mass shootings like these, you don't torch mosques, you don't put kids in cages until you have a president who's given people permission to do that. And that's exactly what's happening in the United States of America today.
TAPPER: Just to be clear, I'm not trying to confuse anybody. I was trying to point out that there seems a glaring double standard in how law enforcement and Congress talks about these incidents.
These are these are white supremacist terrorist acts over and over and over in which people are being murdered, and I was trying to offer a hypothetical, if it were a different group, I feel like it would be a red alarm fire -- a four alarm fire.
But let me move on. Because during one of the debates you're 20 20 opponent Governor Jay Inslee of Washington said that President Trump is a quote "white nationalist". That was a fairly stark accusation. Do you agree with that? Do you think President Trump is a white nationalist?
O'ROURKE: Yes, I do. And again, from some of the record that I just recited to you, the things that he has said both as a candidate and then as the President of the United States, this cannot be open for debate.
And you as well as I have a responsibility to call that out to make sure that the American people understand what is being done in their name by the person who holds the highest position of public trust in this land.
He does not even pretend to respect our differences or to understand that we are all created equal. He is saying that some people are inherently defective or dangerous, reminiscent of something that you might hear in the Third Reich.
Not something that you expect in the United States of America, based on their religion, based on their sexual orientation, based on their immigration status, based on the countries that they come from, calling those in Africa shithole nations and saying that he'd like to have more immigration from Nordic countries -- the whitest place on planet Earth today.
So, again, let's be very clear about what is causing this and who the President is. He is an open avowed racist and is encouraging more racism in this country. And this is incredibly dangerous for the United States of America right now. All of us have a responsibility to stand up and be counted on this issue.
TAPPER: You went home to El Paso yesterday after the shooting to spend some time with your wife and your children. There are a lot of parents across the country right now trying to talk to their kids about this or even debating whether or not they should tell their kids about it. What did you tell your kids about what happened in El Paso?
O'ROURKE: I was laying down with my youngest Henry who is eight years old, and he was asking me question after question after question about why this is happening. For him, and really frankly for me, it is so hard to believe that this happened in El Paso. It's one of the safest places in in America, and safe in large part because of our differences.
A quarter of those with whom we live were born somewhere else, chose this country, made us better by their presence. Why is this happening here? Why would somebody come to our community -- I don't know how he got here. But it's a 10-11-12 hour drive to come here in order to do this.
Some of this, I've explained to you, in terms of what our President has done, in terms of this environment of racism in this country, really hard though for a child to understand why anyone would do this to anyone else.
But my responsibility, your responsibility is to make this better for Henry and for the generations that follow ours. They need to know that we knew exactly what was happening and in the face of that we stood up and did the right thing. And I'm 100 percent focused on doing that right now.
TAPPER: All right, former Congressman Beto O'Rourke from his home city of El Paso, a city that is grieving today. Good luck to you and your fellow citizens. It is a horrible day and we're all thinking about you. Thank you so much for joining us.
O'ROURKE: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: The White House is responding to these horrific mass shootings. That's next.
[12:48:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: This difficulty that we face as a nation predates this administration by many, many years.
You cannot be a white supremacist and be normal in the head. These are sick people. You know it, I know it, the President knows it. And this type of thing has to stop. And we have to figure out a way to fix the problem, not figure out a way to lay blame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney on a different show. President Trump ordered flags to be flown at half- staff, and the White House issued a statement condemning, quote "These hateful and cowardly acts" saying "We share in the pain suffering of all those injured in these two senseless acts."
Our panel joins now to chew over this. Amanda your response?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I didn't hear any solutions in that clip from Mr. Mulvaney. And I've heard a lot of other people blame video games, blame the parents, blame pharma, stop looking to blame.
There are solutions at hand. I can guarantee the executives at Wal- Mart -- there's been two shootings at Wal-Marts in the past few weeks, they're scrambling for solutions right now.
[12:49:00] And they are not going to check with NRA first. They're not going to put their fingers in the wind to see which way it's going. They are going to be smart about things.
And so we just really need to think much more broadly about this Red Flag laws, longer waiting periods. Something needs to be on the table because this keeps happening.
TAPPER: So Patti, if Islamist terrorists had committed say the act in El Paso that we know that was carried out by a white terrorist -- a white supremacist terrorist, I can't help but feel like the White House statement would condemn specifically Islamist ideology -- ISIS ideology, kind of whatever -- hypothetical. And we've seen it, we've seen it happen before.
And while they condemn hateful and cowardly acts, there is no specific mention of white supremacists, even though the Sheriff in El Paso has said that the document is linked to the terrorists there?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON 2008 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Right.
TAPPER: What do you make of that? DOYLE: Look I think this President's rhetoric, anti-immigrant, anti- Hispanic has taken a real toll on our country. We have seen a rise in hate crime incidents -- whether it's a man in a restaurant yelling at a woman who's speaking Spanish to go back to our country, whether it's a white woman yelling at a man who's mowing his lawn to go back to his country, whether it's two white males beating up an old Hispanic man. It has culminated in this horrible tragedy.
And while I don't think the President's responsible. He didn't pull the trigger. He did not plan the attack. His tone and his rhetoric has taken a real toll. It is giving permission for people to hate. He did not invent racism. He did not invade white nationalism but he has to come out and condemn it strongly. And he has to just stop. I beg him to stop.
I am a daughter of Mexican immigrants. My father came here illegally twice, deported twice. He finally came back. He got his papers. He was here legally. He became a citizen. My brothers and sisters became citizens. Later in life, I was born here.
I've had -- I've raised two great kids. I'm married, I've had a successful career -- most of it in public service. But I can't watch this and think, but for the grace of God go, I go my brothers and sisters, go my cousins, go my family, it's tragic.
TAPPER: Adolfo, your perspective?
ADOLFO FRANCO, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR MCCAIN & ROMNEY CAMPAIGNS: Well, I'm Latino too, and I wasn't born in the United States and I see it completely differently. I saw all of these comments being made well before Donald Trump was ever present United States.
I think it's what sometimes message sent is a message received. I think the President's messages have been largely focused on policy. Yes, he has a different style. Yes, he's not a conventional politician. There's no question about that. But I think they've been twisted.
And I really frankly believe, yes, everything should be on the table and there should be a discussion on all these issues. There's a lot of suspicion on the people that support the right to bear arms and this is going to be used and manipulated as an agenda to change and ultimately ban guns as a long term proposition. And I think that trust factor is legitimate in terms of the discussion.
I also think, frankly, listening to all on this program, all morning, I think is despicable that a national tragedy is being utilized by people like Beto O'Rourke to call the president a White Nationalist. To use this rhetoric -- this hot rhetoric from the left. And that goes unexcused. That is also offensive to me. It's offensive to many, many Americans as well. So I don't think that contributes to the debate.
There is an issue in this country with gun violence, there's no question. Most gun violence -- of course, most deaths are suicide. So we need to look at the -- not address the symptoms. This is a horrible tragedy. What is the cause of it? I frankly think with this person, I'm glad he survived, is actually subject to psychiatric evaluation. We'll see his pathological case -- a nut case. That doesn't justify what in -- any sense the debate about guns. But we need to look at the root causes of these problems.
TAPPER: So Mayor Rawlings-Blake, I want to play for you some sound that has been pointed out from May when President Trump was in the Panhandle in Florida talking about immigrants coming into the country. Somebody in the audience yelled "Shoot them", and you can see his response and then we'll get your response after that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How do you stop these people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot them.
TRUMP: You can't. There's no -- that's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, FORMER BALTIMORE MAYOR: It's despicable. And to say that you're offended that Beto O'Rourke would say that he's a white nationalist. White nationalist are calling him white nationalist.
So that's why you should be offended with his rhetoric, it's horrible, it's despicable.
[12:54:00] It is not worthy of the office that he holds. He snickers at the thought of killing an immigrant. I don't know how we can call it anything, but what it is.
TAPPER: And let's -- and let me just -- I want to put up Adolfo, this is your former boss --
TAPPER: After 9/11 -- George W. Bush.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD U.S. PRESIDENT: The face of terror is not the true face of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Two very different tones.
FRANCO: Well, two very different situations. If we find that this individual is part of some organization as al-Qaida was the President's referring to this and that was carrying out a mission for some white terrorist organization, yes, I think that would be then something very, very different.
Than what I suspect this will be, which is a sick individual, an individual who was motivated not by him by any political ideology, per say, but the fact that he is a rogue person who was -- is ill, is very different than an organization that the President is referring to.
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: If you're calling him a rogue individual, had he been with his friends, the president would have called him very good people, like you did in Charlottesville.
FRANCO: That's not fair.
TAPPER: It's what he said.
FRANCO: CNN correctly reported this initially. The President was referring to the good people, the people who are there supporting the monuments. The President deplored Nazism. The President -- by the way just so everyone on this set actually knows, the President's son in law is Jewish.
TAPPER: Sure. And the President's daughter is --
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Anti-Semitism has gone up under his leadership.
TAPPER: Unfortunate we have to take a break right now. More breaking news coverage of these attacks on a special edition of State OF The Union. Stay with us.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington with the state of our union is shaken and angry. We are all as a nation trying to come to grips with the news of the two horrific mass shootings, one in El Paso, Texas, one in Dayton, Ohio early this morning.
We're also learning more about what might have driven two men, white men in their early 20s to such acts of horrible violence. At least 20 people were killed and 26 wounded or injured Saturday in a packed El Paso Walmart as families did their back-to-school shopping. Schools are going to open in the next coming days in Texas. Authorities say they are investigating that attack, that mass shooting as a case of domestic terrorism and a possible hate crime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF GREG ALLEN, EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT: From the manifesto that we first saw, we have to attribute that manifesto directly to him based on that information in that manifesto. That's where that came from. And so we're going down that road. It's beginning to look more solidly like that is the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: The manifesto he was referring to is a document uploaded just before the shooting, that is a screed filled with anti-immigrants and anti-Latino nonsense.
And then just after 1:00 this morning, there was a second round of shooting. At least nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio in an business and entertainment district part of the town. 27 people injured or wounded. Police killed that gunman within a minute. He was apparently wearing body armor and carrying a high- capacity rifle. We're learning more about that suspected terrorist in Dayton.
CNN's Polo Sandoval has just arrived on the scene. And, Polo, what are you learning right now into the Dayton shooting?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The question right now, Jake, is certainly that -- what is that motive? It's something that authorities and, of course, family members of those nine people killed are struggling with. And as you stand here in downtown Dayton, you certainly get a sense of that loss here.
This is as close as we can take you, Jake, the crime scene still about a block away from where we're standing here. But we're standing and what is, really, a thriving arts and entertainment district on a Sunday afternoon, certainly could potentially be bustling with people, checking some of the local restaurants. But instead there is this eerie silence. The only noise that we're hearing, essentially journalists here on the ground covering the story, and then a couple blocks away, a church where afternoon service just wrapped up, you could hear bell toll. So there certainly is that eerie silence that -- here downtown.
But, really, the main question again is that motive. So far, investigators have identified that the suspect there is a 24-year-old local man. The man, the police say, arrived at this bar not far from where I am standing, wearing body armor on with a rifle and then shot and killed those nine people before police were able to arrive in just mere moments, opened fire, shooting and killing that suspect.
So now, they are the ones tasked who will be tasked with essentially following this trail of evidence. Investigators, we're told, are processing a scene about ten miles away from where we are, executing various search warrants. And that could potentially provide some crucial clues while the community here, Jae, now is tasked with basically healing and left with answering that question, how -- why did this happen?
TAPPER: Our Polo Sandoval in Dayton, Ohio, thank you so much.
And just to reiterate a point I made earlier in the show, CNN has the names and photographs of both the alleged shooter in Dayton, Ohio, and the accused terrorist in El Paso. We have reported them, but we are not going to share them beyond the initial reporting of the names. We don't want to bring any more attention to the heinous acts than has already been given.
For more on the El Paso, joining me now from Las Vegas, democratic presidential candidate and Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.
Senator, under these conditions, it's horrible to bring you in to talk about this, but thank you for doing so. Two mass shootings within 13 hours. You Tweeted just a few minutes ago, quote, Mr. President, stop your racist, hateful and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Your language creates a climate which emboldened violent extremists. Could you elaborate more what you mean by that Tweet?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): Look, I am sure that President Trump does not want anybody in this country to go around shooting other people. But what he has got to understand is that when you have language that is racist, that is virulently anti-immigrant, there are mentally unstable people in this country who see that as a sign to do terrible, terrible things.
So I think the President has got to stop the racism and that xenophobia immediately.
Second of all, Jake, I think the issue of the moment is whether the NRA will continue to determine gun policy in America despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the American people, gun owners and non-gun owner want common sense gun safety legislation. So what I have asked Mitch McConnell, republican leader of the Senate, bring us back to Washington, end the recess right now and let us sit down and work on the kind of legislation that we need.
The truth of the matter is the American people want to expand background checks, they want to end the so-called gun show loophole. They want to, in many cases, ban assault weapons, and my own view is we may want to be thinking about treating assault weapons the same way we treat machine guns today, having very strict license requirements for them. We want to make sure that we wend the process by which people can legally walk into a gun show, buy all the guns that they want, and then sell those guns to criminal elements.
So there's a lot to be worked on, but I think the American people are sick and tired of the NRA determining gun policy in America.
TAPPER: As you know, machine guns in this country are very tightly regulated. It's almost impossible to get one. You really think that the United States Senate would vote for a measure that would make them as difficult to obtain semi-automatic assault rifles as difficult to obtain as machine guns?
SANDERS: Jake, here is the fact. There are somewhere between 5 to 10 million assault weapons on the streets of America today. That is more, unbelievably, than the United States military has. So what we need to do is to sit down together and determine, for a start, clearly, I think, no more sale and distribution of assault weapons, and then figure out how we go forward at a time when, you know, it doesn't give me a good feeling to say this, but we all know it to be true. There are thousands of people in this country in every state of America who are either suicidal or homicidal. That is the sad reality of mental health in America today. And when you have hundreds of millions of guns out there, 5 to 10 million assault weapons, that is not a good mix. That's not a good combination. So we need to do some bold thinking but essentially do what the American people want, not what the NRA wants.
TAPPER: CNN has learned that a Twitter account linked to the suspected terrorist in El Paso was sharing and re-Tweeting some of President Trump's Tweets and postings about the border wall. Now, President Trump has condemned the shooting and if that so-called manifesto, that screed by the accused shooter, was his, when I believe law enforcement says they think it is his, he does say, I felt this way long before President Trump,
But given that, what do you make of the fact that he was re-Tweeting some of President Trump's Tweets about the wall and such?
SANDERS: Look, I mean, clearly, Donald Trump does not want anybody shooting down innocent people. You know, Trump and I disagree on everything, but I'm not going to suggest to you for one second that that is what Trump wants.
But what he has to understand, in a nation where you have many, many thousands of people who are mentally unstable, that when you talk about invasions and hordes of people, and when talk about Mexicans as criminals and rapists, and a country under siege, you have unstable people who are going to see that as a sign that they have got to take up arms and do the horrific things that we just saw in El Paso.
So, look, bottom line is if there is any silver lining in this horrible, horrible, horrible period in American history, it is that all of us, conservatives, progressives, republicans, democrats, independents, have got to come together and think our way through this.
But the bottom line is the NRA is way, way, way out of touch with where the American people are on the issue of gun safety. Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have got to stand up to the NRA and let's sit down and figure out a path forward that protects the American people.
And, you know, one of the things, Jake, that bothers me so much is that you got kids who will soon be going back to school. And these ki9ds are traumatized by these events. They are worried that when they go into a school, which should be a place of learning, a place where kids enjoying each other, and now, they are frightened.
So don't underestimate the trauma that this has on children and all Americans. This is a major, major issue and we have got to come together to resolve it.
TAPPER: One of your 2020 rivals, Congressman Beto O'Rourke, told me this morning that he believes President Trump is a white supremacist or a white nationalist. Do you agree? SANDERS: I do. Look, and it gives me no pleasure to say this, but I think all of the evidence out there suggests that we have a president who is a racist, who is a xenophobe, who appeals and is trying to appeal to white nationalism. And, you know, it breaks my heart to have to say that this is the person we have who is President of the United States.
TAPPER: If you don't mind my asking a personal question, because I know you're not really one for that, but after the Tree of Life shooting, which was also part of this deranged white supremacist theory of Jews bringing in Latinos to commit white genocide on this country, so this was no longer a white country -- again, this is an insane conspiracy theory from the far fringes of the fever swamps of the internet. But that was what motivated the Tree of Life terrorist against Jews.
You would be the first Jewish president. And I'm wonder if you feel less comfortable, less safe in America today than you did 10 or 20 years ago?
SANDERS: Jake, it's only Jews, and you're right, I went to that synagogue in Pittsburgh and talked to the rabbi there. And what a horrible shooting that was. It is the African-American community that have to deal with mowing down of people in a church in their community. It is the Muslim community today, the terrible attack in mosque in Australia. I was in a mosque meeting with Muslim leaders in Los Angeles. It is the Latino community. It is the gay community.
And, I mean, again, this is -- we can disagree on healthcare and the environment and educational policies. But there should not be a moment in American history where we have a president who is deliberately trying to divide us up based on our religion, based on where we came from, based on the color of our skin. That is so un- American. That is so much against everything that I was led to believe, you were let to believe, the American people were led to believe about what this country stands for, you know? And we have got to get over that.
I hope that Trump understands that maybe he's got to change the way he is doing this. And I hope very much that Mitch McConnell will have the courage to bring us back to Washington and put together a legislation which has the wide support of the American people. This is not radical stuff. This is what the American want. They want expanded background checks. They want to end the gunshot loophole. They want to end the store man provision (ph). Many people want to ban assault weapons. Maybe we should go further. But we have got to come together as a people. We cannot let the NRA dominate the discussion.
TAPPER: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for joining us on this horrible day.
SANDERS: Thank you for having me, Jake.
TAPPER: Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley is holding another press conference on the deadly shooting overnight. She is joined by Governor Mike DeWine, the Governor of Ohio. Let's listen in.
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): My wife (ph) and I want to express to the victims, they victim's families, the Dayton community of great sympathy. This is a heartbreaking tragedy, and it is the type of tragedy that you pray never comes to your state or to your community.
The mayor and I talked earlier this morning, very early this morning. Prior to that, I received a call from our public safety people about the situation. I just want to say that the City Of Dayton, Montgomery County, the first responders, everyone has done an absolutely amazing job. You practice for these tragedies and we pray to God they never occur. If you don't practice, you're not ready.
It's clear Dayton was ready, the community was ready. The Mayor has pointed out to me how many other departments have made them self available and have been involved in helping. So I just want to thank all of them.
I want to thank the Dayton Police Department, the officers who were involved in ending this tragedy, their professionalism, their quickness, their amazing courage and their response undoubtedly saved many, many, many lives. We may never know how many lives were saved. But, you know, the police department and the mayor gave me a tour, my wife and I, the tour a few minutes ago. And the assailant was obviously very, very close to being able to kill dozens and dozens more people.
So in this tragedy, we have to thank our first responders. We have to thank our police department for the amazing job that they have done. The mayor and I have been in contact throughout the morning. We'll continue to be in contact. I've made it clear to her that, you know, any resources that we have in the state certainly is available, from mental health specialists. And the highway patrol, of course, has been involved as well.
Again, my hats off to the City of Dayton, to the police department and to the first responders. Thanks, Mayor.
MAYOR NAN WHALEY (D-OH): Thank you, Governor. Thank you so much.
I certainly appreciate the Governor's help, Ohio State Patrol, who have been terrific. As we've gone through a number of these issues over the past summer, the Governor has always been one to quickly call, quickly check in and then be here when we're dealing with these issues. So we certainly appreciate your personal leadership.
We have some updates from police. And so I'm going to turn it over to Deputy Chief Carper;
LT. COL. MATT CARPER, DAYTON ASSISTANT CHIEF OF POLICE: Thank you, Mayor.
First thing I'd like to do is go ahead and confirm the identity or release the identity of the shooter. The shooter in this incident is Connor Betts, C-O-N-N-O-R B-E-T-T-S, white male, 24, date of birth, 10/28/94.
And I would ask we -- it's our understanding that some images of the suspect had been posted by media, and some of those are not correct. So please make sure that you have the correct photograph or image of the suspect when you report that.
And, secondly, there's -- I believe some of the media has the wrong Facebook posting on their website. So if you would, please make sure that you have the correct ones so we are identifying the proper person and the proper person's image.
With that, we will have additional information at 4:00. We originally thought it would be about a 3:00 briefing for a more comprehensive view of what happened and what the response was. That's going to be at 4:00 right here at this location. So we will give you additional information on the suspect and actually what transpired.
At this time, I will give you the names and demographics of the nine people who were killed. And the first one is Lois Oglesby, O-G-L-E-S- B-Y, black female, 27. The second one is Megan Betts, B-E-T-T-S, white female, 22. Saeed Saleh, S-A-L-E-H, black male, 38. Derek Fudge, black male, 57. Logan Turner, white male, 30. Nicholas Cummer, C-U-M-M-E-R, white male, 25. Thomas McNichols, M-C-N-I-C-H-O- L-S, black male, 25. Beatrice Warren Curtis, black female, 36. And Monica Brickhouse, black female, 39. Those are the nine names of the individuals who were killed overnight.
With that, I'll turn it back over to the mayor.
WHALEY: So tonight, I want to also announce we will have a vigil at 8:00 P.M. We've talked with the leaders of the Oregon Business District Association. It will be on the streets of Fifth Street in the Oregon District at 8:00 P.M. this evening.
Also, the blood center is closed today. We've been informed they have adequate supply today, but we want to remind people that if they want to take action, it would be good to donate blood tomorrow.
And we have a special effort we're putting together.
And I want to thank the Dayton Foundation and have Mike Parks come forward to explain what we're trying to do for victims' families.
MIKE PARKS, PRESIDENT, DAYTON FOUNDATION: Thanks, Mayor. First, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the victims. As two months ago, we learned as a community, we came together to help those in need. And once again, we'll do that.
And as we speak, a fund is being established called the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund at the Dayton Foundation. That will be up and going later this afternoon for those that would like to help. And if you'd like to help your neighbors and friends, there will be a way to do that and to assist those that have been impacted.
WHALEY: Thank you, Mike.
I think what's the most amazing about our community is once people woke up this morning as early as 5:00 A.M., 6:00 A.M., 7:00 A.M., folks and leaders from across the community called and reached out and said, what can I do? And then others we called and they immediately stepped in. And I want to appreciate -- I really appreciate the Dayton Foundation for doing this quickly, as we know that there will be people that weren't prepared, obviously, for such a tragic event in their families.
All right, with that, I'll open up for question.
MIKE CAMPBELL, DAYTON DAILY NEWS: Can you tell us whether the (INAUDIBLE) who had died is related to as sister, aunt or whatever on the suspect?
CARPER: Yes, that's the sister of the suspect.
CAMPBELL: Was she found in a different location from the other shooting victims?
CARPER: All nine shooting victims were located in the Oregon District on or around Fifth Street.
REPORTER: Is there another crime scene in a different area related to this?
CARPER: As I said earlier, the investigation leads us in different directions. So, obviously, we look at vehicles, we look at houses, and, yes, we did conduct a search warrant earlier today.
REPORTER: can you please say one more time (INAUDIBLE)?
WHALEY: We will put this on our site as well. So how about we do that? Is that okay? I think that will be best. We'll put that up.
REPORTER: You mentioned that all the victims were found in the same location, but we are hearing reporter that the suspect's sister and her boyfriend were found in a car. Can you comment on that?
CARPER: That's incorrect. And I will say that the family members of all nine people who are deceased have been notified and a victim witness member from the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office has been assigned to each of those families to help them through this process as well.
WHALEY: And that's why we waited until this afternoon to release the names.
REPORTER: Deputy Chief, have went any further about possible motive?
CARPER: We will address that at 4:00 as best as we can. We will be able to provide much more information on the actual incident itself at 4:00. REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)?
CARPER: The address that we -- where he was staying, where we conducted a search warrant earlier today was in Bellbrook. That is correct.
REPORTER: I want to ask about the gunman (ph). (INAUDIBLE) the suspect from our own backyard (INAUDIBLE)?
DEWINE: Well, all the victims are from our own backyard too. And so, you know, this is just an immense tragedy. You know, no matter where the victims are from, they're victims. And our hearts go out to the families. But this is a Miami Valley tragedy.
REPORTER: Can you comment on the suspect's clothing? We're hearing that something on his sweatshirt represented death.
CARPER: I cannot. We'll comment more at 4:00. I don't know if we'll get into that great of detail, but we will provide as comprehensive of an overview of what occurred at 4:00.
REPORTER: The shooting in the parking lot behind Ned Peppers (INAUDIBLE) or on the street?
CARPER: The shooting took place on and around the street inside -- in Fifth Street.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) the shooting?
WHALEY: We're telling you that the shooting took place on East Fifth Street, not the sidewalks of Fifth Street.
REPORTER: Okay, not the parking lot?
CARPER: Not the parking lot, correct.
REPORTER: You said that it was the shooter's sister, but what about the boyfriend? I mean, (INAUDIBLE) shooter's sister and the boyfriend (INAUDIBLE)?
CARPER: We can give a little bit more information at 4:00 on that.
REPORTER: Do you know more about the information and --
WHALEY: I'm sorry, I can't hear you.
REPORTER: Do you know more about (INAUDIBLE)?
CARPER: We will try to get you a general idea of that at 4:00.
REPORTER: Governor DeWine, you said that Dayton was clearly prepared for this. Does that speak to the fact that those nine people who were killed, there was no way to avoid that?
[13:25:00] DEWINE: Well, I think that's the first thought that always goes through your mind whenever there's a tragedy of any kind. The question is that policymakers have to think about is is there anything we can do in the future to make sure something like this does not happen. Make sure is the wrong term, but to lessen the possibility or to lessen the number of people who were killed.
These mass shootings, if you go back, and I don't pretend to be an expert, but, you know, they're all alike and they're all different in that sense. And so sometimes you get different lessons from each one of them. I don't think today is the day to try to draw the lessons because, frankly, we don't have all the facts. And there's going to be ample time for all of us to talk about what we learned from this tragedy.
but, again, without all the facts, I would just tell people wait until you get all the facts and then we had can start having those discussions.
REPORTER: In fairness, I think the Mayor said it was the 250th mass shooting this year. It's the 216th day of the year. It's more than one a day right now at this pace. At what point has enough time expired before you can enact (ph) before the next one?
DEWINE: Well, you've asked -- with all due respect, you've asked several questions at the same time. Let me just say that let's -- there will be ample time for us to discuss the lessons learned from what happened today. But let's first get the facts and get all the facts out. And there will be time to have those discussions.
Each one of us in public office has an obligation to take what facts that occur, to take tragedies, whether it's a natural disaster, whether it's the disaster of a mass shooting such as this, whatever it is, and try to come up with the lessons learned.
REPORTER: A quick question. I'm wondering if you (INAUDIBLE) were targeted specifically and the sister and her boyfriend? Can specifically sought them out in any way or any of the other --
CARPER: We will address that as best we can at 4:00. I will say this. Due to the very short timeline of violence, it's hard to imagine that there was much discrimination in the shooting. It happened in a very short period of time.
REPORTER: What about the (INAUDIBLE) investigating, what did they find?
CARPER: Absolutely. You know, we're always looking at what could have motivated such a horrific action as this. And like I said this morning, we're interviewing dozens of people and going through a lot of different electronic evidence, other evidence to try to determine that. We don't have that answer yet. This is the first day. This is going to be a lengthy investigation. So we'll do our best to get the information to you. But speculating at this point would be premature.
REPORTER: The shooter's family cooperative at this time? CARPER: I won't address that.
WHALEY: We said earlier that it was a .223 caliber A.K. like long rifle. He had extra magazines as well as he was wearing body armor.
REPORTER: Did he have extra guns or just that one gun?
CARPER: We can get some more specifics at 4:00, yes.
WHALEY: I'll bet we'll see you all at 4:00.
I want to recognize some people that are here. The Coroner's Office has been in great partnership, obviously. The coroner has been in autopsy all day. So Erik Blaine is here. State Representative Phil Plummer is here. State Auditor David Yost is here. And my dear friend -- and I don't think I wouldn't get through anything without the Mayor of Kettering, Don Patterson.
Okay, we'll see you in a few hours. I will see you at 3:00. We're going to have a press conference at 3:00 and a press conference at 4:00.
TAPPER: Okay. That's the mayor of Dayton, Ohio and the Governor of Ohio and the Assistant Police Chief of Dayton, Ohio giving us the later.
I'm joined now by a panel of law enforcement experts. I want to find out what they make of it all.
Lisa, I want to start with you. You just heard the victims' names read off during that press, names and demographics. Two-thirds, six out of the nine victims, were identified as African-American.
Dayton is a city that I think is about roughly 40 percent African- American. Does it seem significant to you that two-thirds of the victims were black?
LISA MONACO, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, look, Jake, what I heard was the Governor talk about learning lessons. He talked about how we need to learn from this and similar events. And I think we need to learn the lessons of the past, which means in years past, we had a whole of government approach to international terrorism.
I think we need to apply the same type of unity or focus to domestic terrorism. And we should make no mistake, that's what the events in El Paso and these other shootings have been.
As to your question about demographics, I think it's early to say, right? We don't know specifically the motivation of this attacker, this terrorist. There will be lots more to come in that vein. The FBI and the state and local law enforcement authorities are doing, as I understand, parallel investigations. So there will be lots more to be learned in the coming hours and days about motivation, about what really prompted this, what triggered this individual to do this unspeakable act.
And I also want to acknowledge, however, the incredible work and the speedy work that it sounds like first responder and law enforcement did, so we need to learn lessons and chief among them is treating domestic terrorism with the same priority focus that we have in years past with international terrorism.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER: Right. And we had Deputy FBI -- former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on the show earlier, and he talked about how the FBI doesn't have the same tools to approach domestic terrorism that they have to address international terrorism such as ISIS or Al Qaeda-inspired events.
Juliette Kayyem, let me bring you in. The shooter's sister was also identified as one of the victim. She was one of the three white victims killed in the same area as the others. Three white victims, six African-American victims. What does that tell you, the fact that his sister was also one of his targets?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Okay. So that's not a coincidence. She just didn't happen to be on the street. And I think it was telling that the authorities said they're going to come out at 3:00 P.M. with a greater narrative of what happened in this family.
So I'm just going to state what we know and then we'll figure out that the pieces, how they put them together. You have a white male going -- or at least killing his white sister in an area in which it appears at least the numbers are predominantly African-American on a Saturday night when maybe she was at a bar or dancing. He did not kill her at home if he wanted to kill her.
So this is both a family rage issue, obviously, but something else. And that's what I'm taking away from that press conference. That's what I'm taking away from them saying they're coming back at 3:00. Their failure to answer in the affirmative if the family has actually been cooperative. This is what we learn from these interviews and from what we understand.
But the sister factor, the white sister and predominantly African- Americans killed is my takeaway from that press conference.
TAPPER: And, Phil, let me bring you in. Law Enforcement has visited the shooter's home. Again, we're not mentioning the name of the shooter. What are the next steps in the investigation?
PHILLIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: You can put this into two big baskets of stuff. The first is digital. I don't want to just know whether there are documents like manifestos, which we saw in El Paso. I want to know things, like Google search history, when that history started, if it started, not only on ideology but looking at things like body armor. I want to know, and we're seeing this increasingly in the past few years, whether this person or these people are part of an informal network that talks about things like white supremacy. So there's a digital piece.
But what you're talking about is the human piece, the interviews, to determine things like motivation. There is, of course, the secondary piece of those interviews. Go back to the Pulse shooting in Florida. You want to know if anybody knew something beforehand. And I mentioned Pulse, because there were longstanding questions there about whether family members knew anything about the Pulse shooter and whether they could be partly culpable, Jake.
TAPPER: Same thing with the Boston Marathon shooter. We never really got a full answer on what the wife knew about that, right, Juliette?
KAYYEM: Yes, that's exactly right. There is going to be some part of this family that knew what the rage was with this killer. And either -- you know, we also don't know whether he was on law enforcement radars for other activities, for other violent activities, sister abuse, family abuse, those all come out. But I really think this factor of going presumably the sister as a victim in public is just -- is unique, it's horrible, it's horrifying, and there are multiple victims because of the family rage. And that's what we will learn about more.
TAPPER: And as you noted, it's -- Juliette, the idea that he could have killed his sister at home where they lived in this largely white suburb of Dayton, but instead he went downtown to Dayton, a much more diverse area, killed her, her boyfriend, we're told, and then also seven other individuals, and six of the nine killed were black, seems like there might be some information there that's relevant.
But let's turn to the El Paso attack for a second. And, Lisa Monaco, I want to bring you back, former Homeland Security Adviser to President Obama. The U.S. Attorney in West Texas says that they're treating the case as domestic terror. What does that mean in terms of the investigation?
MONACO: So that was significant to me, Jake, and I'm sure to Phil and Juliette as well. I means that they are looking for connections to domestic terrorist organizations, groups, potential links between the El Paso attacker and other groups that they may have investigations going into. They're looking into what type of domestic grievance may have motivated this individual. And, obviously, we've got a lot of information on that thus far, the manifesto that seems quite clear.
The sheriff has linked and the law enforcement authorities have linked to this attacker, and importantly and somewhat uniquely in these situations, although let's pause for a minute on just how incredible it is that we're talking about this as a series of types of situations. We have many unfortunately of these situations to compare it to.
But this individual is talking, it seems, to law enforcement and we've seen indications in the briefings that we've had thus far from the authorities that they are feeling increasingly confident about his motivations, pairing this manifesto to him. And so all of that is going to be part of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI, their investigation, domestic terror focus will, I think, in the first instance look at those linkages, the motivations or contacts he may have had with other individuals who espouse a similar ideology.
TAPPER: All right. Thanks, one and all. I appreciate your expertise.
As the President orders flags to be flown at half-staff, one former republican governor is saying enough is enough. We need gun reform now. Who is it? That's next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to State of the Union. I'm Jake Tapper in the wake of two horrific mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. We at State of the Union invited several republican lawmakers to come on the show to talk about what can be done, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Minority Leader, the two U.S. Senators from Texas, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Texas. All of them declined to come on, as did anyone from the White House to talk about these shootings. But Ohio's former Republican Governor is willing to share his thoughts.
Joining me now, former Ohio Governor John Kasich. Governor Kasich, what is your reaction to the mass shootings in El Paso and then waking up to learn what happened in your home state of Ohio in Dayton?
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, come on, Jake, we're all devastated, you know? But with this -- after the Las Vegas shootings, I convened a group in Ohio to pass some reasonable gun control measures. I had to do most of them by executive order because I couldn't get any of it through legislature, including a simple thing like a red flag law, that if you know somebody in your family poses a threat to your own family or to somebody else, you go to the judge and you have their gun taken away until they're stabilized. I could not get that done.
Now, I hear all these thoughts and prayers. I mean, I can pray with the best of them. But, you know, prayer without action doesn't matter. And people say, well, you know, it's all white nationalism. Okay, yes, we should condemn it, of course. And, frankly, that's a cause for people to look at whether somebody is stable or not.
But at the same time, we need reasonable gun control legislation. So when I convened a group in Ohio to solve some of this problem, or to get at some of this problem, since Las Vegas, when I convened a group, there has been 34 of these type of shootings. And the fact of the matter it is, it is outrageous for the politicians to just sit back and hope this will go away.
One other thing, the media has a tendency to focus. They, focus, they focus, and then it goes away, so there's no pressure. You want to pass gun control legislation, people need to start marching, like they did Parkland, Florida. Florida had no interest whatsoever in passing any kind of gun control legislation until those incredibly brave students demanded it and the people of the state demanded
Too much of the time, the only voice you hear from are gun owner people, most of whom are reasonable, but the ones who don't want any changes, they just do a barrage of negativity. And the fact is everybody else sits still. You want to get gun control legislation, begin to march for it, and you will get it.
TAPPER: So, Governor, first of all, why do you think the legislature would not pass any further gun restrictions when you were governor and pushing for them?
KASICH: Politics, Jake. Politics.
TAPPER: But what? Are they afraid --
KASICH: That's why they don't pass this legislation. They're afraid of the gun owners.
TAPPER: Because the gun owners will vote them out of office?
KASICH: Yes, or they'll make their life miserable. And so, you know, I can't tell you how many legislators I talk to, and they're like, well, one guy called me and he doesn't like any of this stuff. And let's be clear, most gun owners favor reasonable gun control legislation.
And let me give you another little dirty secret out there. People want to blame all this on republicans, they should carry a large part of this blame. You know how many democrats run for the fences whenever this issue comes up? They don't want to deal with it either, plain and simple.
Your candidates for president -- I'm just telling you. I'm calling it the way it is.
TAPPER: But the House of Representatives, which is now under democratic control, passed some gun control restrictions and we've had a number of democrats running for president call for everything, from closing the gun show loophole to red flag laws, to gun licensing, to further restricting whether or not somebody can purchase a semi- automatic rifle. I mean, I do hear democrats calling for a lot of gun-control measures.
KASICH: Jake, I can tell you in my legislature, we did not have the kind of strong bipartisan support we needed, nor did we give -- nor did the -- my friends, look, this is not a republican or democrat issue. This is what I'm trying to tell you. I'm not trying to shift blame from republicans. They all can be blamed for this, because after Las Vegas, and one thing after another, they all ought to be doing something.
Now, running for president, that's a whole other kettle of fish. I'm just trying to suggest to you that until the public itself and the media, for example, the Dayton Newspaper, the newspaper in El Paso, it should be front page every day until they get some of these restrictions in place. That's what has to happen, Jake. TAPPER: You were a fairly reliable gun rights vote when you were in Congress. Did Las Vegas change this for you?
KASICH: No. Look, Jake, I voted for the '94 -- you know, this is a thing Biden gets condemned for the '94 crime bill. Well, that's when we banned assault weapons and high magazines. Now, what we found out that manufacturers figured out how to reconfigure the gun. And the fact is though the high magazine -- high-capacity magazine should have stayed in place. I believe those things matter.
Now, when I did that, the gun people were against me all the time. When I ran for governor, the democrat candidate for governor was endorsed by the NRA. They did everything they could to defeat me in that election. And, unfortunately, the police union who wanted me to vote for that assault weapons ban was nowhere to be found. In fact, they endorsed him as well. So you pay a high price politically for leading on this issue.
But you know what? Think about what this is. You know, it's in a Walmart in El Paso. It's in a Garlic Festival in California. It's in Dayton, you know, in an entertainment district. Jake, it could be our family.
TAPPER: I know.
KASICH: And God bless those families. Did you see the pain on those people's faces?
TAPPER: It's heartbreaking.
KASICH: Did you see how -- it is, and it demands that we start to do something. We need leadership at all levels of both parties and the media that keeps the heat on. And we need people out there to begin to organize the rallies, and you're not going to get it all. Small steps. Small steps. You're not going to prevent all of this.
KASICH: Small steps can be very helpful.
TAPPER: There is another aspect to the El Paso shooting, at least, we're still waiting for more information about the Dayton shooter, but the El Paso alleged terrorist is believed to have written this white supremacist and racist screed that was posted on 8chan. FBI Director Christopher Wray has pointed to white supremacy as a, quote, persistent, pervasive threat. And there are people, a lot of people, democratic presidential candidates and republicans who say President Trump gives comfort to white supremacists, that he's not responsible for these shootings, that he should not be blamed for these shootings, but that he creates an environment where white supremacists are able to thrive. Do you agree? Do you disagree? What's your take?
KASICH: You know, in light of 29 people being murdered here and so many injured, I think casting blame on the President -- look, there's nobody been more critical of his divisive language than I have been. There's not republican in the universe that's been more critical, okay? This is not the time now.
But what I will tell you, Jake, and what I have been so upset about and worked up about because of my own family and the risk to them and families and families all over America is this business of dividing and hatred and polarization leads nowhere but a house divided against itself will not stand. That's not just me. That's biblical. And the fact is that this rhetoric, it's been going on for a long time, leads the people taking matter sometimes in their own hand, particularly when they are not in balance. And that's why this red flag law matters so much.
I'm not saying it's going to prevent anything, but if you spot somebody who is unstable and poses a threat by things they text on the internet, why not using some sort of technology to be able to pick up these kinds of radical things that can lead one to conclude that the person that is posting these things is not stable, and with the protection of court to determine who is stable and who is not.
So we've got to end all the division, Jake. I've been saying it. I wrote a book, Two Paths. You know, you can go down the negative path. You've got to go higher. All those things will help.
TAPPER: President Trump did Tweet about the shooting in El Paso, condemning it as, quote, a hateful act and act of cowardice. Is that adequate, do you think? Is that enough of a condemnation?
KASICH: No, no, no, no. Look, if I were president, I would convene a group today and I would say, we're going to have some national gun reform, period, end of story, you know? And so -- and they don't want to do that. They don't want to disrupt the base of people who are gun owners, including democrats, as I might say again, they don't want to disrupt it. It could hurt them politically somehow.
There should be a group convened today. It should include law enforcement. It should include community activists. It should include people of faith. This is exactly, exactly what we did in Ohio. And we made a little bit of progress, but not the progress that I wanted.
And here in Ohio, I call on Ohioans, Ohio legislators, the Governor, all of them, pass the red flag law. Do something now. Don't keep thinking it will fade away. It may fade away with the media, it may fade away with the public, but, look, 34 incidents, major incidents since Las Vegas.
How many do we need? Do we need 134? Search yourself. Look in the mirror. Stand up. Do something. Please, do something.
And don't behind the fact, oh, we've got all this rigmarole and all this, well, you know, if we just had people with more guns, it would stop the violence. That's just -- come on, that's nonsense. You've got to do something here to restrict this. TAPPER: Governor John Kasich, former Governor John Kasich of Ohio, thank you for joining us today.
KASICH: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: What we do not yet know in the wake of this weekend's mass shootings is what, if anything, our elected representatives might try to do to stop or at least curtail these awful attacks.
Joining me now, 2020 presidential candidate and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan. Congressman Ryan, your reaction to the mass shootings in El Paso yesterday, and then, of course, you wake up to learn what happened in your home state of Ohio in Dayton?
GOV. TIM RYAN (D-OH): yes, it's just brutal, Jake. I think the whole the country is exhausted, scared. I mean, you know, I'm getting calls, we've got kids going to school, parents are scared to death to send their kids to school. You watched the videos of this and you see Walmart in the background, Dillard's in the background, the churches in the background of some of these shootings and you think there's no place safe to go. And that's eating at us as a country, which is why our -- part of the reason why our anxiety level is so high.
And then, you know, what happened down in El Paso -- you cannot connect, you cannot not connect the President of the United States and his rhetoric. I read that manifesto this morning a couple of times. And the language in there is so similar to the kind of language that you hear at a Trump rally, you see in his Tweets, and the President isn't just speaking to, you know, really smart people who are stable at his rallies. He's speaking to the lowest common denominator to where this jackass gets in a car and drives ten hours to go kill Latinos and Hispanics and Mexicans, mostly Mexicans.
I mean, he's creating a culture and an environment in which this stuff keeps happening. And we're so dysfunctional. You mentioned it in the last interview. We passed universal background checks out of the House of Representatives. It's sitting at Mitch McConnell's doorstep right now and he needs to act on it and this country does need to mobilize and get him to act on it.
TAPPER: Earlier in the show, Congressman, your 2020 rival, Beto O'Rourke, said that he thought President Trump was a white nationalist. I asked Bernie Sanders if he agreed. He said yes. I asked Pete Buttigieg if he agreed. He said, at the very least, he makes white nationalists feel comfortable or words to that effect. What do you think? Is President Trump a white nationalist?
RYAN: Well, the white nationalists think he's a white nationalist, and that's the crux of the problem. They support him. The David Dukes of the world support him. They said he's going to implement their agenda. That's all you need to know. And it's causing killings happening here in the United States and it's created a toxic culture now in the United States around the immigration issue, around -- now around the gun issue. And he has to bear responsibility.
And more than anything, the laws (ph) and executive orders, Presidents Of the United States, they create culture. And that culture can say, we're going to reach for the stars and we're going to go to the moon or that culture can be, you know, go back to where you came from, or you come from a shithole country. I mean, those are two different examples. What kind of country do we want? And we have got to mobilize.
People cannot be quiet anymore. And I'm not saying we've got to yell and scream. I'm saying we've got to act. And people who are on the sidelines who want to kind of ignore the toxicity that's happening have got to step up so we can actually start getting some stuff done.
TAPPER: You used to have an A rating from the NRA and you have changed your views. Why did you change your mind on supporting further restrictions on gun ownership?
RYAN: Because I'm a living, breathing adult who is awake and watching what's happening and could no longer watch the inaction happening. I come from a state like Ohio where we have a sportsman's culture, we hunt, and so that's kind of where I started politically. But watching kids get killed in schools and watching the nightclubs and what happened in Nevada, I didn't want anything to do with it. Not only do I have an F rating now, I gave every dollar that I got from the NRA to the gun control groups because I want them to have the resources they need to continue to push this message out.
And we've got to activate.
We're starting to have conversations, Jake, with some of these groups about a national vigil tomorrow night about 8:00, where the whole country goes out, buy candles, go to your town square, you know, get your priest, get your pastor, let's go out and let the world know that this is unacceptable. We're not going to yell and scream. I think we should do 29 minutes of silence, one minute for each of the victims that were killed in the last two days. I certainly invite all of the other presidential candidates to help communicate this with their email lists and all the people that were always asking them for money and asking them to do things. Let's do a national vigil tomorrow night with 29 minutes of silence and start the process of healing this country, Jake.
This is just exhausting for everybody. And we've got to do something about it. And I think we should start immediately bringing this country together.
TAPPER: Congressman Tim Ryan, Democrat from Ohio, thank you so much for joining us today. Try to enjoy the rest of your Sunday with your family. We appreciate your time, sir.
RYAN: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: And for you at home, try to enjoy the rest of your Sunday with your family. Stay with CNN all day for the latest on this heart- rending day in the United States of America.