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Coroner Says Dayton Gunman Had Cocaine, Xanax, Alcohol In System; El Paso Mayor Says Trump Called Him A RINO During Mass Shooting Visit; Petition To Name Street In Front Of Trump Tower To Obama Ave; Call Grows For GOP's King To Resign Over Rape And Incest Remarks; Six Philadelphia Officers Shot During Eight-Hour Standoff. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 15, 2019 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Just in, we are getting new details about how the gunman in the Dayton mass shooting died and what he had in his system. So according to this coroner, he had cocaine, not only in his system, but also in his pocket when they found him.

Then he also had Xanax and alcohol in his system, and we are told he had 52 gunshot wounds on his body, and we're told that two of the victims were shot by law enforcement. But the coroner believes the initial fatal shots were from the shooter himself. Elie Honig is still with me. All of this in his system.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, it's more horrific details. A couple thing that I think are important, the report of 52 gunshot wounds in the shooter. Remember that could include entry and exit wounds. So he wasn't necessarily shot 52 times but police officers are trained when you have a situation like this, a live shooter, with other people's lives at stake, you shoot to kill. Center mass, you shoot to kill.

And you keep going until they are down. So I think that gives some explanation on the 52 shots. And on the detail about 2 of the people having been shot by the police officers, it's incredibly tragic. It's more tragedy on top of what we already saw. But I do think based on the reporting, it sounds like the initial fatal wounds --

BALDWIN: -- came from the shooter himself.

HONIG: Already came from the shooter himself. Correct.

BALDWIN: All right. Elie Honig, thank you very much.

HONIG: Thanks much.

BALDWIN: Now to this new reporting just in about the President's visit to El Paso in the wake of the mass shooting there. The President reportedly insulted that city's Republican Mayor questioning his party's loyalty. Again, this was in the wake of a mass shooting. CNN's Sarah Westwood is in Bedminster, New Jersey.

And so Sarah, you tell me what you're hearing about this conversation?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Brooke, this Republican Mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, is speaking out for the first time since that visit last week about the conversation that he had with President Trump. Margot says that on the car ride back to the airport after President Trump had finished that visit, Margo, the Mayor, attempted to correct the record with President Trump about a false claim that we've heard the President make several times in which he says that the high crime rates in El Paso were caused to fall by the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

We heard the President say that in the State of the Union speech. We've heard him repeat it several times since. And it's simply not true. So take a listen to what Margo had to say about his encounter with President Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. He came down here and criticized you, he says, I don't care whether a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat, they're full of crap when they say that basically the wall didn't make a big difference.

MAYOR DEE MARGO (R), EL PASO, TEXAS: I said I'd been to a proctologist and I was doing much better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you bring up that incident?

MARGO: No, he kind of did. He kind of did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say?

MARGO: He said, you're a RINO. I said, no, sir, I'm not a RINO.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Republican in name only.

MARGO: I said, I simply corrected the misinformation you were given by our Attorney General. And that's all I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say?

MARGO: He just kind of grinned.


[15:35:00] WESTWOOD: And that was Margot speaking yesterday on PBS. Now keep in mind after the President first started making this false claim at his State of the Union address, Margot spoke out about how it was false at the time. That crime rates in El Paso had started to fall long before the wall was finished being built, the bulk of it in 2009.

So this conversation is really just a replay of sort the interaction that you've seen the President and the El Paso Mayor have in the past. The President had mentioned the Mayor's assertions that his claim wasn't true when he held a rally in El Paso earlier this year as well -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Again the context of these comments after this mass shooting in El Paso. Sarah Westwood, thank you for that.

Coming up next, 295,000 signatures and counting, a petition to rename the street in front of Trump Tower in New York City to Obama Avenue is gaining popularity by the day. We'll talk to the woman who started this whole thing coming up.


BALDWIN: President Trump's preoccupation with his predecessor, former President Barack Obama is on display in everything from his tweets to his TV appearances, to his roll back of Obama era policies. But if you think 44 is on Trump's mind now, that is nothing compared to what supporters of the new petition have planned.

They want to rename that stretch of Fifth Avenue, right here in Manhattan that is home to Trump Tower as President Barack H. Obama Avenue. Yes, the petition which was launched on last October is now closing in on its goal of 300,000 signatures.

And the woman behind this petition, Elizabeth Rowin, joins me now.

Elizabeth, thank you for coming by.


BALDWIN: So, really, you started this, you thought it would be funny or a joke --


BALDWIN: -- at first. Tell me.

ROWIN: I saw a tweet, and I thought it was hilarious. And I thought, why not make it a petition and just see if we could honestly troll the troll king.

BALDWIN: And 295,000 signatures later. What say you?

ROWIN: It seems that a lot of people -- I think there's a lot of depressing news right now, and it's a way for people to feel kind of collective strength that we can poke the giant in the eye.

BALDWIN: Did you ever think so many people would jump on to this?


BALDWIN: No. OK, so, not to be the -- this is the deal, you know the rule. So New York City laws say that the streets can only be renamed in Manhattan if a person has been dead for two years. So this part of what Keith Powers, the city councilman who represents the district encompassing Trump Tower has said in a statement. Quote, President Obama embodies the best of our political system and leaves a remarkable legacy. The classiest President of our time deserves better than being honored next to the home of Donald Trump. Your response to that?

ROWIN: Of course, I understand. But you know, Los Angeles has named two streets after Obama so far, and I think the rule about the person has to be deceased is --

BALDWIN: You can make some exceptions, what I read.

ROWIN: Exactly, it's arbitrary. And honestly, the point is, that it's too irk Trump and to cause him, to bother him, because he dislikes Obama so much and has done so much to ruin Obama's legacy. So why not kick him in the shin a little?

BALDWIN: Well, this is what some New Yorkers have to say about your idea. Roll it from Jeanne Moos.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will never happen. But I love it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would do that. I would never change. We have differences in our family.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think they want to stick it to the guy who --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then get out and vote.


BALDWIN: Get out and vote she says.

ROWIN: I definitely agree with that. Well, 2020 will be all about overthrowing Trump in the GOP complicit Congress.

BALDWIN: Any response from the mayor? Have you reached out to anyone?

ROWIN: I emailed him, but I didn't hear back from his office.

BALDWIN: Any tweets from Trump?

ROWIN: No, not yet. But I'm counting on him.

BALDWIN: Not yet. Elizabeth. Keep us posted, thank you very much.

ROWIN: Thank you so much.

BALDWIN: Appreciate it.

Coming up next here on CNN, Iowa Congressman Steve King is silent despite calls even from some of his own fellow Republicans to step down after the disturbing comments he made about rape and incest. So we will take you live to Des Moines to find out how voters in his home district feel about his latest firestorm.


BALDWIN: Now to a man who continues to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. An embarrassment and a misogynist, and someone who is out of touch with Iowa values. Those comments are some of the reaction from Iowa Democrats and Republicans at the latest firestorm surrounding nine-term Congressman Steve King.

In a speech to a conservative group. Congressman King defended his refusal to allow abortions in the case of rape or incest. By saying, there might not be as many people in the world if those things didn't take place.

A member of the House Republican leadership, Liz Cheney, tweeting that her words, it is time for King to go. For Kamala Harris, the reaction was disbelief followed by a call for King to step down now.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: You're listening to what he had to say.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These guys are just out of their minds. What is that? What is going on with these people? They need to -- they do not understand the importance and the responsibility of their jobs.

BLITZER: You called him a rape apologist. Does he need to resign?

HARRIS: Which he?

BLITZER: Steve King.

HARRIS: I think he should, and if not, I think he's going to get beat in this election.


BALDWIN: Rekha Basu is a columnist with the Des Moines Register. Rekah, always nice to have you on. I mean, this is just the latest, right? You and I have been on before, this is the latest in a long line of crazy comments from Steve King. My question to you is, does it turn any of the voters off in his district? Or does it energize them in any way?

REKHA BASU, COLUMNIST, DES MOINES REGISTER: I think it's going to be a compendium of things that will actually, potentially result in his getting unseated this next year, next election. Last year he came pretty close to that, but it's still a very red part of the state and he didn't have any Republican opposition.

Now this year there are three people running to seek the Republican nomination to challenge him. So there's quite a bit of competition in addition to the Democratic candidate who challenged him last time, who lost by only four percentage points. So I think that there is a good possibility this may do it.

But, you know, I laugh when Presidential candidates say he should resign calling him to resign. That's a completely futile call. He's never going to do that.


BASU: In fact the controversy emboldens him, right. It makes him more combative and he actually uses these kinds of denunciations of him to raise money. He sends out press releases, he's been doing it since January regularly, saying that the liberal radical socialist media is out to get him and now they have kowtowed the Republicans in Congress on their side, and it's all this political correctness. And he actually raises money on it.

BALDWIN: So he's not going anywhere. If it's up to him, I hear you loud and clear on that. Tell me more about his Republican challengers.

BASU: His Republican challengers are pretty conservative also. They're also right-to-lifers, but several of them spoke up today, and they're male, and they spoke up today or yesterday and said they just cannot condone that kind of talk, that they do believe in the protection of innocent unborn life.

But they don't believe that rape should be, you know, glorified as a way of perpetuating the population. I think they have the same basic policies. Now the question is, there is some very deep loyalty towards Steve King in that area. A lot of it as I found when I went to tour the area before his last election was about the abortion issue.

And a lot of it is kind of people coming to his defense because of what they believe are the politically correct identity politics, liberals and Democrats are going after him. The question is, now that there are some people who call themselves Christians and say they are right to life, is it enough to let go? I do think this time things have changed.

The fact he has lost some of his committee assignments that Republicans took him off those committees, including the Judiciary Committee, where he vowed, he would have defended Donald Trump, had it come to that. I think that he's just kind of powerless now, and inept and he's become a laughingstock. In the past where people would have laughed off that, I think they're realizing it's damaging their brand, both as Republicans and as Iowans.

BALDWIN: Do you think as a result of that -- let me jump in -- that the Republican Party could come in with the Republicans and also Democrats -- some of them want him out. Could the Republican Party just dump a ton of money just to make sure the seat stays red?

BASU: That the seat stays red, Yes, they could. So far, they appear to be supporting his opponents. They've had fund-raisers in Washington, D.C. for his opponents. In fact, I talked to -- I had an e-mail exchange with a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee today, and she just called what he has said appalling.

And she said it just show the Republicans were right to take him out of committee assignments. The other way, interestingly, I did a little some research into this. The other way he could go out, if he's not voted out is, it is possible for two thirds of the House of Representatives to vote him out, if after there's been an investigation by a certain House committee.

They found that he is not reflecting credibly on the institution. So I don't know the House is controlled by Democrats now so it is possible something like that could happen, but first let's see what happens with the election.

BALDWIN: OK. We'll see. Rekha Basu, thank you so much. We'll keep talking. Thank you very much in Des Moines for us, good to see you.

BASU: Thank you so much, Brooke. Good to be with you.

BALDWIN: More on our breaking news. The coroner says the Dayton gunman had cocaine, Xanax and alcohol in his system the night he murdered those nine people. We'll be right back.


BALDWIN: It was a routine drug warrant until it became a nearly eight-hour standoff in north Philadelphia. No one died, but six police officers were shot. Just moments ago, Philadelphia's Police Commissioner commended his entire department, but specifically two of those officers.


COMMISSIONER RICHARD ROSS, PHILADELPHIA POLICE: Two of the heroes that most have not thought about it, believe it or not, were the two officers upstairs. They were officers who knew they were trapped, who naturally wanted to go in immediately and get them. This is before SWAT got in. As I understand it, these officers were astute enough and wise enough and brave enough to say, do not come in here.

Do not come in here. If you come in here, you will be met with severe gunfire. Now, think about what it takes to do that, to know that you're trapped in the building yourself, your natural inclination is to say, help, come get me, but they did the opposite.


BALDWIN: Also the Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney spoke, reiterating a point he had made last night, something has got to give on guns. He called on state and federal officials to either step up or step aside and let cities like Philadelphia enact their own solutions.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being here these last two hours. Let's go to Washington. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: From send them back to keep them here, "THE LEAD" starts right now.