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Trump Meets Survivors in Dayton and El Paso; India Facing Fallout Over Kashmir Move; U.S. Raises Travel Advisory for Hong Kong; Americans Struggle to Cope with Gun Violence. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 8, 2019 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): How not to be the consoler in chief. The U.S. president turns a solemn visit to two communities devastated by mass shootings into a non-existent controversy over the enthusiasm of his welcome by survivors and first responders.

Diplomacy first: Pakistan lodges multiple protests, expels New Delhi's high commissioner and cuts trade relations with India for revoking Kashmir's special status ending its semi-autonomy.

Plus, flights canceled and subways and bridges are closed. Tear gas in the streets and the high cost of Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrations.

Can their economy bounce back yet again?

Hello, welcome to our viewers, great have you with us, I'm John Vause and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

If ever there is a how-to book on the role of consoler in chief then Trump would be a case study of what not to do. Yet again, amidst a national tragedy, the 45th president could not resist portraying himself as the victim, launching an attack on his opponents on the same day he was in two communities left devastated by two shootings. He lashed out at two Ohio Democrats who he claimed misrepresented the warm welcome he received at a hospital in Dayton.

In reality, neither were critical of the president and were even bordering complimentary. There were protesters in El Paso and Dayton who called on the president to stay away. They say his rhetoric is at least partly a part of the problem and White House aides said the president was treated like a rock star.


TRUMP: The love, the respect for the office of the presidency I wish you could have been in there to see it, I wish you could in there. There was no different here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Before leaving the White House, the president played down any chance of a ban on assault style weapons like the one used in both weekend shootings claiming a political lack of appetite.


TRUMP: I'm looking to do background checks, I think they are important and I don't want guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate or sick people. I'm all in favor of it.


VAUSE: To Los Angeles now and the president of Loyola Marymount University, good to see you.


VAUSE: Good, thanks, mate.

Let's start with the "no political appetite" line. Firstly, isn't it the job of the president to lead when something is not popular?

There may be no political appetite for an assault weapons ban but there's public support. A poll from Quinnipiac University last year found that 67 percent Americans favored a nationwide ban a rate that has risen over the past five years since 2013 and just 56 percent were in favor in a more recent poll and the numbers are higher and an majority of Republicans support the ban.

When Trump says there is no political appetite, is he saying he doesn't want to take on the NRA?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: It's clearly what we're talking about and Mitch McConnell is not going to do anything until Donald Trump tells him to. He's playing as Trump's poodle. And the president will not lead and therefore we will end up with more of the same, which is more of nothing. We'll have tragedy after tragedy and no response.

VAUSE: It's interesting because the midterms in 2018, a lot of pro gun reform ballots actually got through a lot of candidates, had very, very bad ratings despite those bad ratings and despite the campaign by the NRA.

That, was 2018 an another round of mass shootings, will this be a major issue with the presidential election in 2020?

GENOVESE: It will for a variety of reasons. One because the NRA is in disarray right now. There have been internal problems and they are weaker internally than in 25 years.

It's also important because the Democrats think this is an issue on which they can run and win. It will also be important because they think they can tank the Republicans with failure to respond to crisis. Crises like this happen, they will happen again and again. But the

role of the president is to be a unifier in times of tragedy. I think of the time Ronald Reagan, after the Challenger disaster, gave meaning and purpose to a horrible act and told us that it will be OK and reassured us.

Or Bill Clinton after the Oklahoma City bombing with a white terrorist. President Trump is unable to do this and took -


GENOVESE: -- the grievances from Dayton and turned it into his own grievances. He's incapable of doing this so not every president can do everything that's on a presidential to-do list. Some do some better and some don't. Donald Trump is incapable of getting beyond himself. There are times when a president, like Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton, have to get beyond themselves and actually lead a grieving nation.

VAUSE: Even more than that, what we saw on Wednesday was just a couple of days after that hostage video on Monday, where Trump condemned white supremacy and bigotry. He was watering it all down. This is what he said.


TRUMP: I am concerned about the rise of any group of hate, I don't like it. Any group of hate, whether it's white supremacy, whether it's any other kind of supremacy, whether it's antifungal, whether it's any group of hate I am very concerned about it and I will do something about it.


VAUSE: "There are good people on both sides" at a Nazi rally. The pattern here is obvious. When he has those vacant eyes and he deliveries a speech with the enthusiasm and passion of wet lettuce, he doesn't believe it. We wait a couple days and we'll hear the real thing.

With the racism and bigots in this country, they know the drill, they just need to sit tight and wait a couple days to have a message more to their liking?

GENOVESE: They are accustomed to it by now. They have gone through this drill before and they know how it works and they know how it ends. The question becomes for us, who, is the real Donald Trump?

Is it the man who is a robot, a Stepford Wife, kind of reading of the speech or is it the Donald Trump of his rallies and his tweets?

Thus far, Donald Trump has been kind of a Teflon president in the sense that he's gotten away with some incendiary, ugly, racist remarks and his base has stayed with him.

(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: Sorry, go on Michael.

GENOVESE: I was going to say, but at what point -- and maybe we reached the point -- does the American public say, this really is who he is and it's not good enough for us?

VAUSE: What that means and what the president says and how he acts manifests its way in policy. This is what we have from a senior source with discussions at the White House about domestic terrorism, telling CNN's Jake Tapper, "Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get him to focus more on domestic terrorism.

"The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat, which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on. Ultimately the White House just added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throwaway line."

That's the real-world consequences of a president who many think is a racist and Sees good people on both sides at a Nazi rally as he did in Charlottesville.

GENOVESE: And the Justice Department in the past has tried to do exacting what they were saying. They tried to focus on domestic terrorism as a source of great evil and threat. During George W. Bush's presidency they made the motions in that direction then; it stopped.

Then when Obama tried to revive it, about 2014, they brought it back but it died with Donald Trump. His priorities are clear, his base and the message to his base is clear. He saying to the base that I'm going to protect you and the nation, well, let's see what they get.

VAUSE: The former vice president and now candidate for president, Joe Biden, taking his hate speech and turning it into what was an effective way of being against Donald Trump. Here is.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our president has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation, we have a president with a toxic tongue, who has publicly and unapologetically embraced a political strategy of hate, racism and division.

Our president has more in common with George Wallace than he does with George Washington. His incompetence, his immorality, his carnage stops with us.


VAUSE: The comment, more in common with George Wallace than George Washington was a bit of a killer line. But Donald Trump was asked again if he believes his language is a problem.


TRUMP: I don't think my rhetoric is bad at all, I think my rhetoric brings people together.


VAUSE: Which -- this is another consistent play from the Trump team, ignoring reality, denying responsibility, blaming everyone else.

GENOVESE: Let me put this in more personal terms. My wife was born in Mexico City, she's proud of her Mexican heritage. And I would ask, is the president contributing -- contributing to putting a target on her back?

That's now what presidents do. They bring out the best, not the worst in us. Their rhetoric is important and their words matter. Their words influence people, especially people who are a little bit unhinged as some of these mass murderers are, maybe all of the are.

When they find a president who they think speaks their language it only -


GENOVESE: -- encourages and emboldens them. As President Trump's rhetoric has emboldened white nationalists and white supremacists and racists across the country. They think, maybe accurately or maybe inaccurately, that he speaks for them and speaks to them.

And when I think and when I personalize it, my wife, I think this is so wrong on so many levels and this is so unpresidential, this is not the American presidency that I remember from Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton even, Barack Obama. This is a very different person with a very different message.

VAUSE: You are one of many people out there who have those feelings right now. What also seemed unpresidential was the way Donald Trump turned this moment of national grief into a political fight with Democrats who he said mischaracterized his visit to Dayton.

Trump's director of social media tweeted this, "The president was treated like a rock star. They all loved seeing their great president."

This video released by the White House was actually closed to the press, which was not allowed in. These are the images we had.

The question is, does it look like a rock star welcome or is it more like the description that Trump took issue with that came from Sherrod Brown said.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): He was comforting, he, did the right, things, Melania did the right, things and it's his job in part to comfort people. I'm glad he did it, in those hospital rooms. The people in the hospital were terrific people, and people showed, when the President of the United States came, they showed respect for the office.

And a number of them said to me they are not great admirers of him privately but they clearly showed respect for the office because the president of the United States is in town.


VAUSE: Rock star welcome or polite respect for the office of the presidency?

How do you see it?

GENOVESE: Sherrod Brown did not say anything that should pick a fight. But Donald Trump sees everything, even slights that so are minor that they're unimaginable to take seriously, he takes everything seriously.

Sherrod Brown and the mayor of Dayton both said Donald Trump did a fine job, he was treated with respect, he tried to be comforting, the president should be thankful.

Instead, he said, wait a minute, they did not say I was a rock star, they did not say I was greatest, therefore they must be terrible people doing terrible things.

What is wrong with this man?

Why can't he simply get beyond his own grievances and think about the people who are suffering, the people who were killed, the families that survived and have to mourn the losses?

He's thanking about his own ego, very unpresidential.

VAUSE: Yes, and we see that time and time again, thank you, Michael .

GENOVESE: Thank you. John

VAUSE: Be sure to tune in for a CNN town hall. Chris Cuomo host, 7:00 am in London, it's 2:00 in the afternoon in Hong Kong, here only on CNN.

The first funerals for some of the Mexican victims of the El Paso shooting will be held, for Mexicans who are used to violence at home, El Paso was seen as a safe haven. Patrick Oppmann reports.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elsa Mendoza de la Mora made her final trip home to Mexico in a black hearse. Mendoza taught primary school here in the Mexican border town of Juarez.

A colleague of Mendoza's told CNN she often went to the Walmart just across the river in El Paso, Texas, to buy school supplies, they were a little less expensive there, and that's where she was, when the gunman, allegedly fueled by white supremacist vitriol, opened fire, killing 22 people.

Elsa was one of at least eight Mexican citizens to be cut down in cold blood. She had taught hundreds of children during her long career, a friend and a fellow teacher told me.

"She was a good teacher," she said, "what can I say?

"For 30 years, she worked and was very giving and very dedicated."

Just down the road, from Elsa's school, employees of this radio station are mourning too, their colleague, Ivan Manzano, also lost his life in the El Paso shooting.

"He was a family man," she says. "Aside from work, his priority was his mother, his wife and his children, his little one most of all, because she was the light in his eyes. She was his princess, his life, is what he would say.?

There aren't any memorials in Juarez to the victims of the El Paso shootings, senseless and sudden killings have long been part of life here.

Juarez is no stranger to violence. Drug cartel killings have made this one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico. But just over there in the United States, El Paso has provided a sanctuary for many Mexicans.

But following the Walmart shootings, many here are wondering if anywhere is really safe. Anti immigrant and anti Latino sentiment in the U.S. -


OPPMANN (voice-over): -- are more visible than ever before.

"It's always been said that El Paso is more secure, but things need to change, they need to change, especially with this."

The first funerals of the Mexican victims of the shooting will take place on Thursday, the dead will be laid to rest but for the friends and families left behind, there will be a long time before they could find any peace -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Juarez.


VAUSE: When we get back, a big development in the two Canadian murder suspects, we will tell you why the manhunt is all but over.

Also, the deteriorating relationship between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region.




VAUSE: In northern Canada a manhunt for two murder suspects appears to be over. Police say they're confident they recovered the bodies of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod. The two were the main suspects of the killing of an Australian man and his American girlfriend and a Canadian university teacher back in July.

The search for the teenagers spanned four Canadian provinces. The bodies were found in northern Manitoba. The cause of death has not been made known and an autopsy will be held to confirm their identities.

Tensions between India and Pakistan tensions are escalating after giving New Delhi greater authority over the contested region. On Wednesday, Pakistan urged their military to remain vigilant and claimed the move was illegal.

Islamabad has downgraded their diplomatic relations and suspending trade with India and asked the U.N. to intervene in the deteriorating relationship.

For more now on the fallout with the decision to revoke Kashmir's special status I'm joined by the Alyssa Ayers, member on the senior Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

Thank you for coming in.


VAUSE: There was no shortage of outrage from Pakistan protesting to the U.N. Security Council that they have violated human rights in Kashmir, broken a 2003 cease-fire agreement and claimed India violated the Kashmir's aspiration for self determination as in the U.N. declaration.

The Indian ambassador in Islamabad will be expelled. The new Pakistani ambassador will not be sent to Delhi. Pakistan will suspend trade ties. In and of themselves, these diplomatic moves seem more symbolic than effective and are almost meaningless in some ways.

What happens on the ground inside Kashmir, an outbreak of violence, what would India do and what would be the reaction from Pakistan?

Then there is the potential for escalation?

AYRES: That's what everyone is looking with the hope that this is not escalating in terms of violence further terrorist attack or anything of that sort. Let me say this, it's a positive step that Pakistan have laid out a diplomatic strategy. They object to what's taken place so in sense it is good that they're going to use diplomatic and economic tools -


AYRES: -- to try to express their displeasure. There has been a very real problem with terrorist groups that have sanctuary in Pakistan and, to some extent, support of Pakistan security services. The real fear is that some of those groups will be unleashed and will infiltrate across the line of control and cause havoc. That is the real fear.

As far as diplomatic steps, suspending trade, this is what countries do when they are upset. To that extent, I can not criticize that.

VAUSE: With that, Kashmir is under lockdown and troops will enforce this unprecedented blackout in communications.

How much longer would you expect this to continue?

AYRES: I don't they see how they can have this continue on for much longer. The government should lift the communications blackout. They should release the political senior mainstream politicians who have been put under detention, which I believe is to prevent public protests.

This has been several days there, is no reason to be doing this, they really should pull this crackdown back. And we just saw today a video of the Indian national security adviser who had gone into the valley and had conversations with people. That appears as if things are turning to some level of normalcy. So they should pull back soon.

And if they don't, there'll be much greater attention around the world as to why this is taking place in this way with such tight constraints on these individual movements.

VAUSE: This is one of the most serious crises since Khan has been prime minister. He accused Modi of his government of promoting ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that will repress other religious groups.

Is that criticism fair?

In the context of other controversial moves since he has been prime minister?

AYRES: Let me first say that I think the prime minister's biggest crisis was probably the tensions over Kashmir that escalated in February. That was a real military response with an escalation on both sides in response for the terrorist attack that took place in Kashmir, which was clamed by a group that has residence in Pakistan. That was a real military crisis that involved violence and escalated the use of armed forces on both sides.

India used airstrikes across the border there.

Is this a crisis between both countries?

It is not yet a crisis but it certainly is an escalation of tensions and something that we all need to be watching closely and trying to do whatever we can to try to encourage cooler heads to prevail.

VAUSE: This could actually have an impact on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Pakistan is playing a key role in that drawdown. Here's a comment from a global policy analyst Mosharraf Zaidi, who wrote for a Pakistani news outlet.

"India may be expected to help to cool down the line of control and dial down any rhetoric that would cause fissures between the countries to grow. what has India done instead, the opposite, they sprayed gasoline all across the Kashmir valley and is now playing with a lighter, threatening to set fire to the entire region."

At the very least, the idea is that Pakistan do not have the capability to help the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and deal with the security issues in Kashmir.

Is that a cold-hearted assessment or a warning to Washington?

AYRES: It's hard for me to assess what's the intent of the author there, I do think there's a very real fear and concern certainly within New Delhi that, Pakistan is looking for some sort of bargain. And Pakistan would raise Kashmir as an issue, as a bargaining chip internationally, for greater Pakistani cooperation helping bringing about a peaceful and successful negotiation with the Taliban, that will permit the withdrawal of the American and international forces.

So that is the concern, there are a lot of talk, a lot of speculation, the timing of this move by the Indian government.

Remember, abrogating Article 370, the move has now incorporated Kashmir into India as opposed to providing that historical autonomy, this has been a political priority for the BJP party, so it's not a surprise.

Surprising is the timing and the speculation in New Delhi that the timing is linked to the withdrawal of these troops and the negotiations with the Taliban and where that will leave India eventually.

VAUSE: Thank you for the background, it was great.

AYRES: Thank you.

VAUSE: The U.S. has issued a travel warning for Hong Kong, citing large and violent demonstrations. Similar warming warnings have been issued by Australia, Japan, Ireland and Singapore. The protests started in June -


VAUSE: -- over the now suspended extradition bill but it has been evolved to include democratic reforms. These protests cause widespread chaos across the island. Uncertainty of how this will end is taking a financial toll on the financial hub, more accustomed to stability and law and order, CNN Kristie Lu Stout reports.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The temperature is rising in Hong Kong's long and hot summer, of pro-democracy protests, commuter chaos, flight cancellations and violent clashes.

All this shaking the city's reputation as a stable business hub and damages its retail markets, Hong Kong's market has been down 6.7 percent.

Michael Tien, a pro Beijing lawmaker also founded the brand G2000, in 1985, and now oversees 700 stores across Asia including this flagship in Hong Kong. But the usual crowds of customers, in particular mainland Chinese tourists, are no longer here.

MICHAEL TIEN, PRO-BEIJING LEGISLATOR: We have about six or seven stores in Hong Kong, that have a drop of about 30 percent in sales, 30 to zero. The rest of the stores in Hong Kong, dropped about 10 percent.

I think the bulk of the drop is due to the complete disappearance of mainland tourists and I don't blame them.

STOUT: Little wonder since many of the protests run through the major shopping areas in Hong Kong, right here. Visitors who would usually come to buy fashion and jewelry, are just staying away.

STOUT (voice-over): The pressures on the economy prompted a warning from the financial chief.

"The Hong Kong's economy is facing an acute situation," citing the trade war along with the protests, Tien adds the city's economy could plunge into recession.

To a certain degree, Hong Kong has been here before, it has weathered previous crises like the SARS outbreak in 2003 and 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella movement, which saw thousands of protesters, occupy the streets for more than two months.

But a movement that's been called Hong Kong's most serious political crisis in more than 20 years.

ROBERT KOEPP, "THE ECONOMIST": Hong Kong has some unusual economic resilience in its favor, that relates to not only the spirit of the Hong Kong people but in fact, Mainland China needs Hong Kong as much as Hong Kong needs Mainland China.

This, is one part of China, that has an entirely open market, that you can move capital in and out, it's not only important for foreign enterprises it's, also important for Chinese enterprises, it's important for the Chinese government.

STOUT (voice-over): Retailers like Michael Tien remain hopeful for the future of Hong Kong.

MICHAEL TIEN, PRO-BEIJING LEGISLATOR: I survived SARS, occupy central and this is what Hong Kong is all about, but I'm still in love with it.

STOUT: The Hong Kong finance chief and other political leaders have urged protesters to pull back from the destabilizing action, but that has not deterred them from occupying roads and shopping centers, destabilizing business is a tactic, as they see that's vital for the battle for the future of Hong Kong -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN,, Hong Kong.


VAUSE: When we come back, life under the gun in the U.S., Americans have right to bear firearms, for many now that right comes with a fear of firearms.


[00:31:02] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause. I want to update on our top news this hour.

Ties between India and Pakistan continue to fray after India revoked the special autonomy for the disputed Kashmir region. On Wednesday Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations and suspended trade with India. Both have asked the U.N. to intervene in this deteriorating relationship.

Police in Canada believe they recovered the bodies of two murder suspects along a riverbank in the province of Manitoba. The teenagers were the subject of a weeks' long manhunt. They are wanted for the killings of an Australian man, his American girlfriend, as well as a Canadian university professor.

U.S. President Donald Trump met with first responders and survivors of the shootings in Dayton, Ohio. and El Paso, Texas. Hundreds of people protested his visit in both cities. Before he left the White House he said he would like to see stronger background checks to gun purchases.

Three years ago, after another mass shooting in the United States, the British poet Brian Bilston wrote "America is a gun. England is a cup of tea. France a wheel of ripened brie. Greece, a short, squat olive tree. America is a gun. Brazil is football on the sand. Argentina, Madonna's hand. Germany, an oompah band. America is a gun." There are two more verses but you get the idea.

Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms but that right is now sparking a very real fear of guns. This was New York's Time Square Tuesday night.

There was panic as the New York Police Department tweeted, "No active shooter. It was only the sound of a motorcycle exhaust backfiring. Time Square was safe." But in the frantic escape, nine people were hurt. Broadway production of "To Kill a Mocking Bird" was hold and theaters in the area went into lockdown. In the Valley Fair Mall in Utah, the loud bang of a falling sign was enough to spark this stampede for the exits.

Compared to every other developed nation, Americans are more likely to be shot and killed by a stranger with an assault-type firearm at the mall, a concert, cinema, school, university, church, mosque, synagogue, bar, restaurant, a park, food festival, a workplace, anywhere.

This is a nation where bulletproof backpacks are advertised as just another back-to-school supply and sales are booming.

Little wonder there that Amnesty International is the latest to issue a travel advisory for the U.S. People worldwide should exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan when traveling throughout the USA. This travel advisory is being issued in light of ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country."

Juliette Kayyem is not only a CNN national security adviser, not only a former assistant to the secretary of Homeland Security, she is also the author of "Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home."

So, Juliette, it's good to have you with us.


VAUSE: Just answer me this.


VAUSE: How can this country even agree on the definition of a mass shooting? There's no official government count. There's no one taking records of this. How can you seriously tackle a problem if you don't know the basics like when and where and how often?

KAYYEM: I mean, it's inexcusable. There is no rational explanation for it. I view it akin to the opioid crisis that we have, or epidemic that we have here in the United States where it's like, you know, learning about one death there and one death there, and then not being able to see the big picture, which is, you know, thousands of people are dying from drug overdoses. It's the same way with guns, that if we view each of them separately, we don't see gun violence as the, you know, a high likelihood, a high consequence event, that we should be addressing.

VAUSE: And we also have this generation of kids who are now growing up.


VAUSE: In a school system where active shooter drills are normal. Children, they're 5, 6 years old, they're actually told, get ready, kids, because one day a bad man can come with a military grade weapon, is going to come here to school for no other reason than to hunt you down and kill you. Let's go practice sitting quietly in a closet.

This doesn't happen any other countries.

KAYYEM: I know. I know. And it is one of the most -- you know, I have three kids, they're now teenagers, so their active shooter training, they go to urban high schools, you know, pretty serious, right? [00:35:09] You want things to -- they have to practice to get out of

the school and I have to admit I sort of accept it now because the alternative of them not being prepared seems so high in the sky, seems so high in the sky so I'm realistic because of the kinds of school violence that we've seen. And that's something that we -- we've now normalized the likelihood that one if not many of us will be in an active shooter case, and that's the fear in your lead-up. That's the fear you're seeing in New York and these other places that it's no longer it could never happen here, it's literally, oh, it's happening here this time.

VAUSE: And then every time there is one of these shootings, you know, where --


VAUSE: Wherever it may happen, other conservative media they bring out this asinine talking point about the good guy with a gun taken out the bad guy with the gun. Listen to Sean Hannity on FOX News. This is just one day after the shooting in Dayton, Ohio.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'd like to see the perimeter of every school in America surrounded and secured by retired police, have one armed guard on every floor of every school. All over every mall, the perimeter and inside every hall of every mall.


VAUSE: Yes. I first heard this lunacy back in 1999. I was driving to Columbine after the shooting there.

KAYYEM: Right.

VAUSE: If only teachers were armed, they could've taken out those boys. Apart from being absolutely ridiculous, is that the type of society Americans want? Everyone armed and ready to kill, and anyone who dies in the crossfire, well, bad luck, that's the price you pay for living the American dream?

KAYYEM: Right. And it's so -- it's so crazy because when you actually think about it, if it were true that the more weapons and society had, the safer it would be, we would be the safest country in the world because we have more weapons per individual than any other country. It's asinine. I mean, the idea that more guns help. And the truth is, I mean, this is the other aspect of it that we just saw this weekend. It's not just any gun. I mean, from just the perspective of what we're seeing right now. We have weaponry that can, just from what we can tell from the data, killed 10 people in less than 20 seconds with the most brilliant good guy response, which is what we saw in Ohio, where the first responders killed -- you know, killed him in moments, right?

With the best response, it doesn't matter. If a shooter can kill 10 people in 20 seconds, you've got no good guys. There's just simply no time. And so while we have to talk about the ideology and guns and we also have to talk specifically about the kind of weaponry that's on the streets right now which kills dozens of people in literally moments.

VAUSE: Yes. I think the police response time in Dayton was somewhere around 30 seconds. You know --

KAYYEM: It's just -- yes. I mean, you just -- you don't get that -- that's a good response and 10 people died. Right? I mean, that's where we are right now.

VAUSE: And when the good guy came out and shot the bad guy with the gun, it was in Texas, in Sutherland Springs at the church, and even though the good guy was there, 26 people were dead, that's considered a success.


VAUSE: You know, there's been no shortage of recalcitrant lawmakers from both parties. Over the years, they've refused to deal with this problem in a genuine and substantial way. Maybe we should listen to the kids, like 11-year-old Ruben Martinez from El Paso. He was terrified after Saturday shooting. His mom told him not to live in fear, that most people are caring and loving, and maybe he could find a way to make El Paso a little better. He came up with the El Paso challenge. El Paso challenge, 22 random acts of kindness every day. One for each victim. He had to change the number because originally he had 20. He said he just wants everyone to be kind to each other all day every day.

It's pretty simple advice which seems to have been lost during -- especially during this current administration.

KAYYEM: Right. And I think -- I think that they're related. And I have been saying this for the last couple of days, we're seeing in America the combination of a course, access to some kind of weaponry with a change in the ideological threat or the ideological impetus for a lot of these killings which is now white supremacy. In America, you just believe that if you look at the numbers, the numbers that we're seeing from the FBI, ISIS is not the predominant terrorist threat, immigrants clearly are not the predominant terrorist threat, it is white supremacy.

And what you see happening with the White House and certainly Donald Trump is a failure to address it as a systemic problem. They say, oh, this one had mental health problems, or this one tweeted about, you know, Elizabeth Warren. No, that's not the issue. The overall issue is that we have to treat the rise of white supremacy as a community of ideologues that must be addressed holistically.

The White House is failing to do that and by failing to do that they actually are embracing it, because the white supremacist movement feels like it has a voice in the White House. It feels like when the president both sides these issues, that they're given sort of comfort and understanding and acceptance, and that's what breeds the violence. And so I don't think that the president's words today, he sort of took back the white supremacy language that we heard him say from the teleprompter yesterday, and now put white supremacy in the litany of all sorts of other ideologies that are violent, as if they're all equal.

[00:40:10] And that actually emboldens the white supremacy movement here in the United States. We've never seen anything like this in our modern era in which the major threat to American civilians is actually the community of ideologues are actually embraced by the White House, and while I love the FBI and I love local and state law enforcement, it's very hard to be very aggressive against the movement that the White House fails to acknowledge, fails to address and a fails to end.

VAUSE: Yes. I have never seen a time like this before in this country.


VAUSE: And we'll see what happens. Juliette, thank you.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

VAUSE: Puerto Rico now has its third governor in the last couple of weeks. Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez was sworn in Wednesday. She wants to put the financially troubled island back on track despite initially expressing some reluctance to take the post. The Supreme Court ruled that Pedro Pierluisi's swearing in was unconstitutional because he had not been confirmed as secretary of state by both chambers of the legislature. Pierluisi was former governor Ricardo Rossello's handpicked successor. Rossello stepped down after weeks of anti-government protests.

Well, after a slow start, the Pacific storm season is hitting high gear. Just ahead, dueling typhoons bearing down on East Asia. The very latest from Pedram Javaheri at the CNN Weather Center in a moment.


VAUSE: Typhoon season in the Western Pacific had been pretty mild until this week. Now dueling storms have East Asia in their crosshairs. Typhoon Lekima is intensifying, could become a super typhoon before it makes a landfall. Near Shanghai this weekend, not far behind, Typhoon Krosa possibly bringing a one-two punch early next week.

Pedram Javaheri joins us now with all the details. What you got?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, John. You know, you said it very well. It has been extremely quiet way across the Western Pacific. In fact over the last week you saw a trio of systems lined up across the Pacific. Up until last week you had to go back to February 28th since the last time we had a typhoon. In fact this is what the numbers look like as of last week. Tropical storms are below average. Indicated in the blue beam, the actual number of typhoon is well below average which is six where we should be for this time of year. And then you fast forward just a couple of days you bump that up to

four as the three storms line up there across the Pacific.

Lekima, this is the storm that we're very concerned about. Has category four equivalent wind, sitting right there across this region, just east of Taiwan and of course the Ryuku islands, an area here that's well adapted to tropical storms and typhoons, and certainly has structures that are typically able to withstand a lot of storms. This particular one is certainly going to challenge that and notice this storm approaches the areas of Taiwan, closest approach sometime Thursday afternoon across this region and then skirts potentially just to the east so a lot of rainfall to be had.

The wind damage looks the one to stay offshore and then the concern becomes eastern China. You know, the population density, extreme, very urban environment. You look and you see the forecast models bring potentially 300 to 400 millimeters of rainfall and it's that water element of these that's often most deadly. If you take a look at the surge, typically half of all lives lost when it comes to this. Related surge in about 30 plus percent of it going to the flooding and surf aspect of tropical systems.

So overall 80 percent of deaths related to tropical cyclones have to be with the water element, not the wind element and again population density into the tens of millions, as the storm system approaches. A weaker storm by Saturday evening but it is certainly going to be a formidable one as it approaches category two equivalent by Saturday, John.

VAUSE: A lot of water, a lot of people, never a good mix.

Pedram, thanks. Appreciate it.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.