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President Trump To Address Mass Shootings At 10:00 A.M.; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) On Trump's Suggestion To Tie Background Checks With Immigration Reform; Dayton, Ohio Mayor Addresses Weekend's Mass Shooting. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 5, 2019 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, AUTHOR, "TRUMP: THE BLUE-COLLAR PRESIDENT": And I think the way he's going about it with this sort of rhetoric and this sort of nastiness doesn't make any sense.

If he makes a speech today and says look, the Republicans -- we all know they're basically a bunch of fraidy-cats in the Congress. They never say boo about me.

And so, since I totally control them, here's what we're going to do. We're going to pass background check legislation. We're going to end -- we're going to increase the opportunity for red flag laws and things like that.

They'll sign that. He'll get Democrats to come over and get that thing done. And now, that's more of a moderate Independent view and that's the coalition that he needs to win reelection.

So, I don't know. Look, he's the president, I'm not the president. He has way better political instincts than me.

But let me tell you something, OK? I have studied the historical documents of the country and I have lived the American dream. Talking like this is not the best way to handle yourself as the American president.

So, it is what it is.


SCARAMUCCI: I hope he would stop doing it. People that really like him and want to support him, give us reasons to support you more --

BERMAN: Well --

SCARAMUCCI: -- and be faithful, passionate advocates. Don't do nonsensical things where we're all scratching our heads saying, OK, how are we going to support that when you're acting in a way that --

BERMAN: Do you, Anthony --

SCARAMUCCI: -- doesn't make sense and is potentially, inciting violence.

BERMAN: Do you support the president as we sit here this morning?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, go ahead -- sorry.

BERMAN: As we sit here this morning, do you still support President Trump?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, of course, I support him. John, I'm a very -- John, I'm a very loyal guy. Remember, I got fired two years ago for the Charlottesville thing. I spoke out against the Charlottesville thing.

BERMAN: Loyalty is one thing, but the question is -- then the question is Anthony, then -- if the answer is yes --

SCARAMUCCI: I under -- I under --

BERMAN: -- you do still support the president this morning, what would it take --

SCARAMUCCI: I understand that.

BERMAN: -- what would it take for you --


BERMAN: -- to stop supporting the president?

SCARAMUCCI: I -- well, I think he's going in a direction -- and I said this a couple of weeks ago on your air. He's going in a direction where there's a very large group of people that actually want to support him that are actually begging him to give us reasons to support you.

He's going in a direction where I guess he doesn't want that support or he wants people to have this 'twisted like a pretzel' loyalty test with him where he's going to do things that are not making any sense, but I want you to go out there and sort of defend it, OK?

And so, I think there's a large group of people that are going to stop doing that. And then eventually, people are going to say look, I'm sorry. The value system and the rhetoric does not outweigh the policies, OK? And so at some point, that will happen.

And it has not happened for me yet, but there's a lot of us out here. It's not -- it's not just me. I'm a little bit more vocal -- perhaps, a tinge more courageous to admit it.

But trust me, it's former White House administration officials, it's former cabinet members, it's former people in the American military. It's not -- it's not just me. It's not like I'm the only one -- I may be the only one saying it but trust me, there's a very large group of people.

If he keeps it up, they'll say OK, the policies -- they're great but you know what? This sort of rhetoric and this sort of disunity sort of stuff is overpowering the policies. So why can't we get them --

BERMAN: He's at risk -- he's at risk --

SCARAMUCCI: -- both together and figure it out. That's something that I don't understand.

BERMAN: He's at risk of losing -- he's a risk, you think, of losing cabinet -- former cabinet officials?

SCARAMUCCI: Oh, absolutely. I mean, there's not even a question about that.

He's at risk -- what he's at risk of doing is a very large group of people, moderates, Independents, Republicans that want to support him -- not the Republicans that are like making these Auntie Anne pretzels. I mean, there's a lot of guys in Congress -- when they leave Congress they're going to go to the shopping mall and buy a pretzel franchise. I mean, these guys are jokes.

I mean, you got to -- you got to tell the guy the truth. You've got to tell them where things are at because at the end of the day, it's disunifying and you are the leader of the free world and you are running the United States of America. It's united for a reason.

So, yes, to me, I support him. I want to -- I hope he gives a speech today.

The NRA is an emperor without clothing, obviously. These guys fall in line with the president. Anything he says or does, they support on Twitter or elsewhere.

Just tell these guys we're going for universal background checks and end the political nonsense.

BERMAN: Anthony --

SCARAMUCCI: Seventy-five percent of the American people are in support of that. That's your coalition.

BERMAN: Yes, and the House has already passed two laws to expand background checks. The Senate could do it today.

Anthony Scaramucci, thank you for being with us this morning. And I think it's notable that Anthony says, Erica, as we go back to El Paso --

SCARAMUCCI: Good to be here.

BERMAN: -- that there are former cabinet members who are close or at risk of splitting from the president and not supporting him anymore. That's interesting.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed, it is and we'll see what comes of that.

As you mentioned, John, we are here in El Paso. This city, which will be waking up at any moment now, is in mourning and part of the reason is because they are obviously learning about the lives lost.

[07:35:02] We want to share with you more of who these people are -- the lives that were taken. That is just ahead.


HILL: Two cities on opposite sides of the country, some 1,500 miles apart, united in grief this morning.

We are live in El Paso, Texas where we're learning more about the 20 lives lost at the Walmart just behind me, seven of them from Mexico.

Among those killed, Jordan and Andre Anchondo. They're parents of three young children. They were there shopping for school supplies when the gunman opened fire.

Jordan, who you see here, died at the hospital after using her body to protect their 2-month-old son. Her husband was also confirmed dead. Their little boy survived.

Leo Campos, seen here, and Maribel Hernandez dropped their dog off at the groomer and then went shopping at Walmart.

Eighty-six-year-old Angie Englisbee's family was desperately trying to reach her. Their worst fears now confirmed.

Sixty-year-old Arturo Benavides was also reported missing but is now confirmed among the dead.

[07:40:00] And, Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs identifying the Mexican citizens who died. Sara Esther Regalado, Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, Jorge Calvillo Garcia, Elsa Mendoza de la Mora, Gloria Irma Marquez, Maria Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, and Ivan Filberto Manzano.

Just 13 hours later, some 1,500 miles away, nine people were killed in a late-night shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

They have been identified as 27-year-old nursing student, Lois Oglesby. She was a mother of two, including a newborn.

Thirty-eight-year-old Saeed Saleh; 57-year-old Derrick Fudge. Logan Turner was celebrating his 30th birthday with friends.

Thomas McNichols, known as T.J., a 25-year-old father of four. Beatrice Warren-Curtis and Monica Brickhouse were best friends -- like sisters, according to those who knew them.

Twenty-five-year old Nicholas Cumer was a grad student at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. And, Megan Betts, the shooter's 22-year-old sister.

John, those are the lives that were lost. So many more will never be the same.

BERMAN: Erica, thank you so much for telling us about them. And to everyone out there, please think of those victims today, think

of their families. Think of the wounded, think of their families. Think of all those who have been affected by mass shootings over the last few years. Don't think about the monsters who did this.

We need to find solutions. And on that point, in just a few hours, President Trump will address the nation. Earlier this morning, he suggested linking background checks with immigration reform.

Meanwhile, a growing list of Democrats and one Republican are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconvene the Senate to take action.

Our next guest is one of those lawmakers. Joining us now is Democratic senator and presidential candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand. Senator, thank you for being with us this morning.

If I can get your reaction first, to the news of just a few minutes ago where the president said we need to expand background checks. Do you agree?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course, we do, and this president needs to take a lot more responsibility than that. He's been emboldening white supremacists his entire presidency and his campaign. He's been using language to demonize immigrants, to demonize the vulnerable his entire presidency.

He was at a rally in Florida where he's talking about immigrants and he said what should we do -- what should we do? And someone shouts out "shoot them" and he laughed. That is what a lack of leadership in the White House looks like.

And he is not only egging on white supremacy and white nationalism, but he is one, himself. And he has been using racist language as a candidate and as president for two years, especially against immigrants. He called Mexicans rapists. He demonizes them every time he talks about immigrants.

BERMAN: I want to talk about the epidemic of hate in this country because I think it's so important.

But first, specifically, on the issue of guns, the president suggested linking background check measures to immigration measures.

Is that something as a -- as a Democratic vote in the Senate you would ever consider?

GILLIBRAND: It's absurd. Why would -- again, he's -- this is part of the problem.

He's linking the issue of basic commonsense gun reform that we should be going back into the Senate today to vote on with this issue of immigration because, again, he continues to try to demonize people seeking asylum. People needing our help.

BERMAN: And there are two measures that did pass the House. One that would extend the waiting period from three to 10 days. The other that would close the gun show loophole and expand -- not make I universal background checks, but expand them greatly.

Would you vote yes on those House measures that passed?


BERMAN: And it may not be enough. You want more than that, yes?

GILLIBRAND: Right. We should ban the assault weapons and we should ban the large magazines. We should have a federal anti-gun trafficking law, as well as universal background checks.

Those are the three most commonsense ideas that we -- that are supported on a bipartisan basis. We can get that done and Mitch McConnell should call the Senate back in today and we should pass these measures.

BERMAN: There are two that are just sitting there waiting. I mean, there are others that may be more controversial. These are not the controversial ones that are sitting and waiting for a Senate vote that the Senate majority leader won't allow on the House floor, even to count the numbers.

Now, on the issue of hate. The language that has been used in this country over the last few years is something I don't remember. I don't remember in my lifetime having it be so public and so out there.


BERMAN: What should the president say this morning, and does it matter?

GILLIBRAND: Yes, it matters. He's the president. He has a bully pulpit. His responsibility is to set the tone for America and what he's done is spew hate and division his entire presidency.

The incidence of hate crimes have risen all across the country. Incidents of racism, homophobia, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant has risen and he is responsible for creating the climate where this has flourished.

[07:45:06] These social media groups -- the fact that the head of 8chan closed it down today because he at least recognized that this group was inspiring and inciting white supremacy and violence based on race. He is at least taking responsibility.

Our president hasn't taken responsibility on any level and he must. He must actually do what it takes.

I read a piece this morning about imagine this was from anti-Islamic --


GILLIBRAND: Imagine that kind of hate crime and what this country would do to respond to it. It would be everything.

And the president would shut down the social media groups. The president would use every weight and power of the federal government to make a difference. That's true.

And in this instance he's done nothing. All he's done is pour fuel on a flame that has been burning since he got elected.

BERMAN: One of the things people have pointed to is the president was very critical of President Obama for not using the words "radical Islamic terrorism" to describe some terrorist attacks that were perpetrated by Muslims.

So, why is it that he hasn't in the last few days used the phrase "white supremacist terrorism" --


BERMAN: -- to describe this?

GILLIBRAND: Because he doesn't lead and he is part of the problem. He is the one that is inciting this violence and inciting this hate.

If I was president, I would use my Department of Justice to actually investigate white supremacy. To make sure that we knew what these groups were doing. I would make sure we infiltrate these groups to make sure we could stop these kinds of terrorist attacks. This is what domestic terrorism looks like.

And you should be using our resources -- the Department of Justice -- our investigative arms with the FBI to actually root out this kind of terrorism at home.

BERMAN: One of the things the supporters of the president say is even if he goes out there this morning and calls it white supremacist terror, he'll still be criticized for other things he's done in the past, so why bother? I'm just telling you what they would say.

GILLIBRAND: Leadership is leadership and we are in desperate need of it. This president is unwilling to change the climate in this country.

As I've said, he's used his speeches to demonize immigrants. He calls it an invasion. He's been doing that since his candidacy, straight through his presidency. And so it's no wonder that these white supremacist groups are using violence to stop what President Trump continues to incite.

It's his responsibility to change the national narrative and to decry this kind of racism.

BERMAN: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, thanks for being with us this morning. I appreciate it.

GILLIBRAND: Thank you. BERMAN: So, mourners came together last night in Dayton, Ohio to honor the victims at this weekend's shooting there. Nine people killed. We'll speak to Dayton's mayor, next.


[07:52:15] HILL: The community of Dayton, Ohio coming together last night to honor the victims of Sunday morning's mass shooting that left nine dead and more than two dozen wounded.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was interrupted by chants of "Do something" as he addressed the crowd.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley also spoke at that event and she joins us now. Mayor, we appreciate you taking some time for us this morning.

How is your community doing this morning?

MAYOR NAN WHALEY (D), DAYTON, OHIO: Well, I think -- I think our community is still in a state of shock and sadness, frankly. We were completely amazed by the outpouring of people coming to the site last night and really, to begin the work of healing for our community, but it's going to take some time.

HILL: It's going to take some time. I know you said before there will be hugging, there will be praying, there will be a range of emotions. There will be anger.

There will be calls for change and for action. We heard some of that last night at the vigil. Of course, the governor interrupted --


HILL: -- by those chants of "do something".

A two-part question for you.

Number one, what are you hearing from people in your community? They're looking to you as their leader. What do you they want to see done?

WHALEY: Look, I think -- I think -- in Dayton, number one, I think there is a real need for us just to be there for each other and showing up for each other. And so, I think that is what is really important right now for the community of Dayton.

Secondly, there is an exhaustion from the community from a lack of action, you know. This shooting in Dayton -- our heroic and amazing police department stopped it in 24 seconds and I think a lot of people are asking what if they weren't there? How we would have -- how we would have had so many more loss of life here on Fifth Street. I think that's what the community is thinking.

But for us, right now, in Dayton, we have the work to do to really help the families of the victims really process this as a community and then recognize that it does have a national effect as well. HILL: In terms of that national effect, we're obviously going to hear from the president later today. A number of lawmakers have spoken out.

What do you want to hear from them?

WHALEY: Look, my job as mayor is to take care of my community, to bring my community together --

HILL: Yes.

WHALEY: -- to make sure that our community has what's it need -- what it needs. And really, what I want from Columbus and Washington, D.C. is I want them to do their job as well.

And I don't think -- and I've talked to our police officers here -- this shooter had a gun that he got legally with magazines that he got legally. And I really don't understand why a gun of that magnitude is really needed on the streets of Fifth Street.

[07:55:10] And, you know, a gun that can kill nine people and injure 26 more in the course of 24 seconds, while our officers have handguns and shotgun rifles to go back at it -- I just don't think -- I think -- I think it begs the question like what are we doing?

HILL: Yes, that's a question a lot of folks are asking this morning.

You're talking a lot, understandably, about the community -- about what your community needs. Have you been able to meet with many of the victims or families of those who were lost?

WHALEY: Look, we've given the victims and their families space in this really tough time. When issues like this happen of this magnitude we treat it the same. There is an advocate for each victim's family and we, like, respect that space.

And we are here for the families. We put up a fund for them to make sure that they can get what they need. We've had a great outpouring of support from that.

Dayton is known as a welcoming city. We were the first city that was designated welcoming to immigrants of all kinds of people. And the diversity is rich and the strength in the community is strong at that time, too. I think that diversity is what makes us so strong.

So, we will continue to do that work and continue to support the victims and their families.

HILL: That's a similar message we're hearing here in El Paso. I know you've heard from the mayor here. I know you've heard from a number of mayors reaching out --


HILL: -- offering their support to you.

We will continue to check in with a community update. Mayor, thank you for taking the time this morning.

WHALEY: Thank you. Thank you so much.

HILL: All right. This country reeling, once again, from back-to-back shootings.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are blessed. We are blessed because we're alive. And I pray for all those people that died.


HILL: Our coverage continues after this break.


BERMAN: All right. Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, August fifth. It's 8:00 in the East.

Alisyn is off. Erica Hill joins me live from El Paso, Texas, the site where 20 people were gunned down because, as the sheriff there said.