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New Surveillance Video Reveals Dayton Gunman Shot 26 People in 32 Seconds; Talks Underway Between White House and Key Senate Aides on Guns; The Midweek Grades with Chris Cillizza. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired August 14, 2019 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Or just political commentary.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is what's happening.

All right. We have new reporting on gun discussions or discussions to battle gun violence underway between the White House and Congress.

NEW DAY continues right now.


CHIEF RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: This was the next big chunk of the investigation that we felt comfortable releasing.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We know conclusively it was all deliberate because of video we've seen for the very first time.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): I don't know what the answer is, but not to act is irresponsible.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The urgency of this is not lost on any of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time for Mitch McConnell to stand up and be a leader.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think it's fair to have the American taxpayers pay for people to come into the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame on them for trying to push this racist agenda.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're supposed to be lifting people up. It's the (INAUDIBLE).

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.


BERMAN: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

We're getting some new reporting just into CNN about discussions that are underway between senators, key figures on Capitol Hill, and the White House in the effort to battle gun violence. We can report that Senators Joe Manchin, a Democrat, Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, and Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican, have been in talks with the White House on subjects that include expanding background checks.

Now one word of warning from some of our reporters who cover this more closely than anyone, don't get overexcited. Just because they're talking doesn't necessarily mean there is progress. We can also report based on what Politico and the "Washington Post" says that White House aides are expected to visit New Jersey soon and brief the president on where all these discussions are going.

Now, the president has claimed over the last few days that Senator Mitch McConnell who holds the key here may be in favor of background checks, expanding background checks. But he may be confused because Republican aides say Mitch McConnell has not endorsed any gun legislation.

CAMEROTA: Maybe this time will be different. This comes as police in Dayton, Ohio, release chilling new surveillance video and a detailed timeline of the gunman carrying out his massacre. Police say he shot 26 people in 32 seconds.

Let's get right to CNN's Ryan Young. He is live in Dayton with the latest.

What have you learned, Ryan?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, really tough to watch. You can see how police were able to stretch all this together with the surveillance video. You look at the memorial across the street, though, you understand the impact on this community. Nine people lost their lives.


YOUNG (voice-over): This new surveillance video released by Dayton Police painting a haunting timeline of how quickly a killer shot 26 people in just 32 seconds. Nine of them died.

CHIEF RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: This was a next big, I think, chunk of the investigation that we felt comfortable releasing as we have a high level of confidence that it's accurate in terms of timeframe and location and activity.

YOUNG: Authorities say the killer's night began shortly after 11:00 p.m., going to Blind Bob's Bar with his sister, Megan Betts, and a friend. Next you can see him here at 12:14 a.m. leaving the two before heading to another bar, Ned Peppers. About 30 minutes later, the shooter leaves the venue, even walking by a police vehicle.

LT. PAUL SAUNDERS, DAYTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: He's aware of where they were or you'd think he hadn't seen them. YOUNG: At 12:46 a.m., the killer goes to his car. Authorities say he

changes clothes and grabs his assault rifle. Next, waiting behind a stretch of bars for nine minutes.

BIEHL: I don't think he could have put that weapon in its fully built-out state in that backpack and not have it sticking out. I think that's part of the explanation for the nine minutes, right?

SAUNDERS: Right. And that's noticing the fact that the backpack was -- appeared to be weighed down. So it's safe to say it was probably in the backpack.

YOUNG: Surveillance cameras catch the shooter then walking down an alley. Shortly after 1:00 a.m., the nightmare begins. The killer opens fire with a weapon of war. Police quickly responding to the scene, shooting and killing the gunman quickly. But in those 32 seconds, he managed to fire 41 bullets, hitting 26 people, nine of them fatally, including his sister.

BIEHL: The evidence has been debated in both directions with individuals in our organization intimately familiar with the evidence. Whether that was intentional or not, I think it's inconclusive.

YOUNG: Authorities say the killer was communicating with his sister in the hour before the massacre through a phone call and text messages.

BIEHL: We don't see anyone assisting him in committing this horrendous crime. Some follow-up investigation seems to strongly suggest that his companion had no idea what he was going to do, nor did he have any knowledge of the weapons that were in the trunk of that vehicle.


[07:05:03] YOUNG: Honestly, the police response in this case has been amazing. You think about those officers who ran to the front of that club taking the shooter out within 30 seconds of this starting. Really amazing police work from there. But something else that we've kind of noticed here because you know how stories have impact, there's these post-it notes all over this area right now with positive message, sort of encouraging everyone to sort of be the light, and to kind of move on and try to be a special person.

It's kind of interesting to see how this community has rallied around itself especially as no one knows what the motive is just yet.

John, just pretty heartbreaking in terms of what they're dealing with. But at the same time, it's pretty inspiring how they're coming together.

BERMAN: Be the light, Ryan. It is a wonderful message as that community still looks for some answers. Thank you so much for being on the ground there.

Joining us now, David Gregory, CNN political analyst, Joe Lockhart, former White House press secretary under President Clinton and a CNN political commentator, and Bianna Golodryga, CNN contributor.

The new reporting into CNN is there are staff-level talks from the White House with Key senators, Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin, a Democrats from West Virginia, who had legislation that would not get through the Senate after Sandy Hook on universal background checks or expanding background checks. Also, Chris Murphy, the senator from Connecticut, of course, who represented the district that Newtown was in.

Staff-level talks about expanding background checks, David. Our reporters, Manu Raju and others, warn us, don't get too excited about this. Why might that be good advice?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, because we've seen it before. And Senators Manchin and Toomey worked this very hard after Sandy Hook and were really disappointed that they couldn't get it through. And they thought they had gone a very far way toward success. So, the fact that there's talks are good, obviously it's a good sign. But I think the way I watch all of this are two key figures. It's the president and Mitch McConnell. Because McConnell I think will test the waters of the Republican caucus to see who's willing to advance this and if there's conversations going, fine.

But he's going to wait for President Trump to see if President Trump will put himself out there and really fight the fight with the NRA, with others in the caucus. I don't see Mitch McConnell doing that himself.

CAMEROTA: And Joe, President Trump has flip-flopped on this. After Parkland he said he believed in it. Then he didn't after he talked to the NRA. Now he says behind closed doors he believes in it. Who knows who will be the last person to talk to him? So it's very hard to trust what President Trump says he believes about background checks because we just haven't seen any action.

And while I'm on the topic, let me just pull up the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. The number -- the list is shocking because sometimes there's so many that you forget about Virginia Tech, or you forget -- I mean, they're just all so horrible. And when you see them on the screen, it comes flooding back to you, all of the pain and torture after -- we all felt after these. And -- but four of them have been during President Trump's time. So it feels as though things have accelerated, not gotten better.

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, that's -- if you've ever been to one of these places, you know, as a reporter or as I was at Columbine, you don't forget and you'll never forget.

I think David put his finger on it. There's a little bit of a game going on right now between Trump and McConnell. Trump is not saying forcefully that I'm for background checks. He's saying McConnell's considering it. McConnell is putting out quietly that, no, that's not really what's happening. So, I don't really expect anything to happen. McConnell will look at his caucus. There are not enough Republicans in his caucus as of now I think to pass this. So, they'll have this little cat and mouse game and a little bit of finger pointing, but I don't expect anything to happen.

The reality, looking at that video in Dayton, is expanding background checks, you know, isn't going to solve the underlying problem. The problem is the weapons and the ability to kill so many people so quickly. And even Pat Toomey, the person who's supposed to be the Republican who's pushing gun control measures, has said on the record that he doesn't want to do anything with assault weapons because people like them and they're popular.

So, I'm with the people who -- I'm in the camp of I'm not getting too excited about this.

BERMAN: I will note, it's not clear that Nancy Pelosi has 216 Democrats in the House who would vote for an assault weapon ban. The estimate I've seen right now are 200. So she doesn't even have all the Democrats on board if she wanted to push an assault weapon ban which is why you will hear people say, Joe, that that's a nonstarter. Now it may be worth fighting for. That's a different issue. But in terms of whether or not it's going to pass, doesn't look likely.

I want to play the sound of President Trump talking about Mitch McConnell because it gets to the heart of this discussion.


[07:10:04] TRUMP: I am convinced that Mitch wants to do something. I've spoken to Mitch McConnell. He's a good man. He wants to do something. He wants to do -- and I think very strongly, he wants to do background checks and I do, too. And I think a lot of Republicans do. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So that's the game that Joe and David are talking about, Bianna, right there. President Trump is saying, oh, Mitch McConnell wants to do something, Mitch McConnell wants to do something. Republican aides tell us that Mitch McConnell isn't backing universal background checks. All he's said is they should be discussed. I'm not quite so sure I understand why it's so hard to say either I support them or I oppose them. It'd be pretty important to know that, right?

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Mitch McConnell is waiting for the president to blink on this. And if the president talked about any sort of gun legislation the way he talks about tariffs and the way he talks about immigration, maybe we would be talking about a different situation right now. We clearly don't see that evidence coming from the president. You hear rumors and sort of, you know, off-the-record stories about Ivanka Trump now having conversations with Joe Manchin, what have you. We've seen this story before.

I think Mitch McConnell knows how the president works. The president, when he wants to move forward with something, he puts pressure, i.e. health care a couple of years ago as well. And you look at some of the legislation proposals that are even out there. I'm so glad you put up that graphic of the top mass shootings in this country. And you look at number one, Las Vegas, there's still no motive behind that shooting. Right? So when you talk about red flag laws, red flag warnings, we don't know how they would be implemented. But in that type of situations, specifically, there was no motivation. We have no clear logic as to why he did what he did.

So there's still a lot of question even as to whether or not this legislation would be as productive as people are hoping they are. I think it does go back to the issue of guns in general, the types of guns that are legally allowed to be purchased in this country. And that's a conversation the president and I think as you mentioned Nancy Pelosi aren't willing to talk about right now.

CAMEROTA: I mean, just to give people some hope out there, but, I mean, I hope it's not misplaced, the activists, the grassroots groundswell that we are reading about, and that happened after Parkland in Florida, locally it did change things. The Parkland students locally, at their state legislature, did change things. And so maybe that's what it takes.

If the Senate won't come back from recess, if Mitch McConnell doesn't think this is pressing enough to come back and vote on this from their August recess, then maybe at the state level, something will change so that we don't have to experience this, you know, again.

GREGORY: Well, and I think to your point, Alisyn, to demonstrate some results on the state level, I mean, I think the issue whether they come back in August is not so much the point because if they don't have the votes, it doesn't do very much. So it takes time anyway to build some support from this. But demonstrating the results, I mean, we see videos like our reporting this morning, it's just such common sense.

Why wouldn't you at least try to do something to reduce the lethality of this kind of event without infringing upon the rights of gun owners of America? There's such broad consensus around that. It just makes sense. And, you know, to counter the notion about background checks that those who support gun rights think, oh, you're going to start having universal background checks at gun shows or across kitchen tables, now there's a federal registry of names of people who own guns. It's that kind of paranoia that needs to be chipped away at by effective laws that can actually do something about it.

BERMAN: It's a 90 percent issue. Expanding background checks is a 90 percent issue in the United States. Ninety percent of Americans support it, which was pointed out to me by Scott Jennings, former aide and adviser to Mitch McConnell. So Republicans know this.

Joe Lockhart, I want to play you sound of the president. He has been questioned about emoluments, about whether or not he and his family have profited off of the Office of the Presidency. Now the courts haven't ruled conclusively on that one way or another. But he came up with a new defense yesterday, an absurd defense, which is basically yes, but President Obama has a book deal. Listen to this.


TRUMP: I got sued on a thing called emoluments. Emoluments. You ever hear the word -- nobody ever heard of it before. They went back. Now nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book. That's OK. Even though nobody in history ever got that much money for a book. $60 million for a book. Nobody looks. Nobody looks at any -- but with me, it's everything.


BERMAN: So one of the differences here, and I've got to sit back for this, Joe. Is that --


CAMEROTA: Just relax. Just relax.

BERMAN: Donald Trump is president, and correct me if I'm wrong, Barack Obama is not. Is my reasoning right there, Joe?

CAMEROTA: Is that accurate?

LOCKHART: I think that's quite accurate and I'm glad our viewers are clear on that. It -- you know, it kind of goes back to what the reporting from on tariffs, whether -- you're talking about the last hour whether the president is just completely ignorant on these issues or it's just lies and, you know, makes things up off the top of his head.

[07:15:05] I think on this one it's pretty clear he just doesn't understand what emoluments mean. And he doesn't -- even if explained to him, he wouldn't think it's a problem. He's used the Office of the President to make money. He continuously stays at his own properties. He pumps up his hotel. There appears to be some favors for people who -- and companies that stay at his hotel in Washington. At least there's a perception there. And the idea that, you know, what a former president makes has anything to do with this issue again shows, you know, I think both his lack of voracity and his profound ignorance.

GOLODRYGA: He has bilateral meetings at his own properties, i.e., Mar-a-Lago as well.

CAMEROTA: He's made millions of -- he's hundreds of millions of dollars.


CAMEROTA: I mean, there's numbers out there. He's made hundreds of millions of dollars from his hotels with dignitaries visiting. Mar-a- Lago's membership fees have gone up. So he should actually take comfort, he's made much more than the Obamas.

GOLODRYGA: He's the biggest --

CAMEROTA: Feel great about that.

GOLODRYGA: He's the biggest sore winning out there. We've been talking about this since he won the presidency. It's all about poor me and look at what I'm sacrificing when we all know when you count the dollars and cents here, he's actually making a huge profit.

CAMEROTA: Bianna, I want to --

BERMAN: I was -- Barack Obama, he shaved ice. How come no one talks about that? I mean --

CAMEROTA: Is that luxurious?

BERMAN: It's as pertinent as the book deal.


BERMAN: It's as relevant as the book deal.


BERMAN: It's just an absurd comparison. I did not mean to interrupt.

CAMEROTA: Well, shall we move on --

BERMAN: Just not used to you being here.

CAMEROTA: I know. What am I doing back?


CAMEROTA: Should we move on to the immigration, to Ken Cuccinelli and everything that he had to say about the Statue of Liberty? I think we should. I think we should play it. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- also agree that Emma Lazarus' words etched on the Statue of Liberty, give me your tired, your poor, are also part of the American ethos?

CUCCINELLI: They certainly are. Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.


CAMEROTA: All right. First of all, that guy's no poet. OK? Can we all just agree that that is not how it should be changed? The Statue of Liberty. And the idea that the man that the White House has tasked with overseeing immigration wants to change this sort of motto and as she says ethos of America. Here's how he tried to explain it last night on Erin Burnett's show.


CUCCINELLI: That poem was referring back to people coming from Europe where they had class-based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren't in the right class. And it was introduced -- it was written one year, one year, after the first Federal Public Charge Rule was written that says, and I'll quote it. "Any person unable to take care of himself without becoming a public charge," unquote, would be inadmissible.


CAMEROTA: Bianna, you were a political refugee that came to this country. And by definition political refugees come with the clothes on their back.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. I wasn't the daughter of an oligarch. And so we came here with no money. And it's another example of only in America story, an American success story where your family comes here. They love this country. They appreciate what this country gives them and they make a wonderful life for themselves in this country.

We were fortunate enough not to have to rely on government safety nets. We had private donations for our family. But millions of Americans rely on public safety net. And I think not only are you changing and moving the goal post here from talking about illegal immigration to legal immigrants to this country, sure. There's a lot of bureaucracy and red tape in government safety net programs, right? In Medicaid, in food stamps, people abuse the system.

If you want to change that, go ahead and do that. Focus more on improving the system. But if you want to look at statistics, more white Americans rely on Medicaid and food stamps than immigrants to this country do. Are there some that are utilizing it to an extreme? Sure. That having been said, this is not a crisis in this country and you are intimidating people that are here that need that safety net for whatever reason for a short period of time to get them on their feet.

And I think on a larger scale, it just sends this terrible message that immigrants are not welcome to this country specifically immigrants that may not be from European countries and that in and of itself is anti-American.

BERMAN: What about that? Because Angela Rye pointed that out, too, Bianna, in our last hour, David Gregory, Ken Cuccinelli went out of his way to point out well, yes, but when Emma Lazarus wrote the poem, she was talking about immigrants from Europe. I'm not sure I understand why that matters.

GREGORY: Right. You know, the darker part of this, the underbelly part of this is this cynical effort and works by the administration to stoke fears among people who are willing to blame others, who look to immigrants, legal and illegal, to say oh, they're taking away what I'm entitled to in this country when it's not true.

[07:20:00] It feeds a fiction that somehow the immigrant to America historically and today is some drain on the system, and is seeking to replace, in the words of those who really peddle this kind of stuff. Seeking to replace American citizens and what their opportunities are.

It's just not true. I think that the fact and the fiction of it speak for itself. But it's worth reminding people what immigrants contribute to the country historically and today. And what America as an idea is supposed to mean. I think we tend to accept these things but it's worth reminding because there's a political effort on -- underway by this administration to fight against that, to say, no, these are people who want to take what you've got. And it's just the height of cynicism by government.

CAMEROTA: David, Joe, Bianna, thank you all very much for this wide- ranging conversation.

All right. So less than a month to go before the next Democratic debate. Which candidates are in the best position today fresh off of the Iowa State Fair?

BERMAN: Fried butter.

CAMEROTA: Chris Cillizza has been eating some deep-fried butter. Well, but he just says that naturally. Nothing to do with the state fair.

BERMAN: Nothing to do with the Iowa State Fair.

CAMEROTA: And his midweek grades are next.


[07:25:06] CAMEROTA: Democratic presidential hopefuls descended on Iowa to make their case to voters at the Iowa State Fair. How did they do?

BERMAN: Let's get the "Midweek Grades." In case you didn't get a sense of the notebook already. Chris Cillizza joins us right now.

CAMEROTA: He is ready to go.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: I -- it's good to be back. Now I heard in the tease, Alisyn, I heard you say that I eat deep-fried butter. Now I have done that. There was a moment in my 20s in which I tried to eat as much as I could in one day at the Iowa State Fair. And it was about 105 degrees and I am not kidding, I was covering Mitt Romney, and I thought I was sweating profusely like Albert Brooks in "Broadcast News" and I thought I was going to pass out. Ever since then --

CAMEROTA: You've laid off the butter. The deep-fried butter.

CILLIZZA: And the deep-fried Oreos.

BERMAN: We're glad you made it. We're glad you're here this morning not sweating yet.


BERMAN: Who's in the top of the class in the "Midweek Grades"?

CILLIZZA: OK, here we go. I've got a lot of them so I'm going to try to run through them fast. Cory Booker with an A and here's why. The Iowa Democratic Party has a dinner, it's called the Wing Ding Dinner, which is probably my favorite name ever. It was over the weekend, it was actually the last Friday night. Booker I think along with Pete Buttigieg got the best response. That comes in -- comes hard on his really, really strong, I thought, debate performance in Detroit.

This is the moment. If Booker doesn't get a bump here, if he doesn't start moving, you've got to wonder if it's ever coming because he's doing everything right right now. A.

CAMEROTA: OK. Elizabeth Warren, how's she doing?

CILLIZZA: OK. She is -- if you are buying stock, you should start buying Elizabeth Warren stock. Actually probably should have started buying it six months ago when it was undervalued. But right now, she is in a perfect spot. Everything coming out of Iowa and everyone who's in Iowa this past weekend, everything coming out of Iowa, everyone agrees she has by far the biggest and best organization on the ground and the most organic passion behind her candidacy.

Those two things are what everyone wants. And I think that while Biden is ahead, Joe Biden is ahead right now in Iowa, I think you got to keep an eye on Elizabeth Warren. A.

BERMAN: We'll wait on Biden. We're going to wait on Biden. We'll get there.

CILLIZZA: Yes, that's a tease.

BERMAN: We're going to get there. In terms of the middle of the class, someone else jumps to mind.

CILLIZZA: Yes. Beto O'Rourke. So I gave him a B and here's why. I really do think that his response in the wake of the shootings, he had the mass murder in his hometown of El Paso, was a really powerful, authentic, genuine moment for him. His best moment in the 2020 campaign. Obviously not one he would have wanted, but one that he had and dealt with, and you know, it is where we are. That said, what did it trigger? It triggered more talk that he should come back to Texas, run against John Cornyn for Senate in 2020. Not more talk that he should move up in the presidential race. That has to concern you. So a B.


CILLIZZA: Yes. Joe Biden. I mean, I always struggle with this one. He's still the front runner in Iowa, New Hampshire, and generally speaking. But the gaffe story is starting to re-emerge. We knew this would happen, but he made a couple mistakes in Iowa, said he was vice president during the Parkland shootings. He had been out of office for 18 months. He talked about -- he made a misstatement as related to poor people -- poor kids and white kids when speaking. His campaign had to correct.

Look. He has said himself, I am a gaffe machine. He's said that before. The problem is acknowledging it doesn't change that fact. And when you're dealing with the fact that it's a 76-year-old guy running for president with some questions as to whether or not he is up to this. Whether this race has passed him by. This Democratic Party has passed him by. That's a bad story line. So a C because he's still holding where -- in the front, but I think there's softness there.

BERMAN: That's interesting. Maybe more of an incomplete because we just don't know yet if voters are recognizing these so-called gaffes.


BERMAN: As much as the political reporters are. We don't know yet. We'll see. Biden is still faring better than someone else in your "Midweek Grades," Chris.

CILLIZZA: Yes. And to your point just very quickly, John, you're exactly right. Voters are still not super engaged in this but -- hey, that's all I keep coming on. Praise Berman.

CAMEROTA: Yes. It works.

CILLIZZA: Yes, exactly.

CAMEROTA: That's why I'm here.

CILLIZZA: But we don't know that, but I will say, it sets the tone for when voters do start paying attention if the storyline where voters do start paying attention is this guy makes mistakes, it's problematic.

OK, yes, John Hickenlooper, a D. And here's why. John Hickenlooper has now been in two debates including our debate in Detroit. Do you remember anything about either of those debates? Me neither. At least as it relates to him. I barely remember a thing about those debates generally speaking because I was working a lot and was very tired.

CAMEROTA: Working.

CILLIZZA: But -- yes. Working. You know, watching the TV box. John Hickenlooper is just -- it's not going to happen for him in the presidential race. But the reason that I included him is because "The New York Times" has a report out this morning that says Hickenlooper is considering jumping out of the presidential race and running for the Senate in Colorado.

Now, that -- if he did that, that would make him an A because he's an A Senate candidate. Former governor against an endangered Republican incumbent Cory Gardner. He would be a very viable --