Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Biden Calls For Ban On Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines; Four Dead After Attack On Hospital Campus, One Was Suspect's Surgeon; Uvalde County D.A. Dodges CNN's Questions; Trump Allies Who Texted Meadows On Jan. 6 Still Believe The President Could Have Stopped The Violence In Real Time. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 02, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Certainly, the shame that it is, and of course at the time, right, Joe Biden was the one who was heading that up.

Thank you all so very much.

And thanks very much to all of you for being with us.

AC 360 begins right now.



As you look at the White House where the President just addressed the nation, consider this. We are 153 days into the calendar year, and there have already been 234 mass shootings. Here they are in a map, 234.

More mass shootings than days of the year according to the Gun Violence Archive which defines mass shootings as shootings involving at least four people who are shot. That's a pace of 1.5 mass shootings a day, three every two days, upwards of 10 every week, and just minutes ago, after two weeks that have seen three especially deadly acts of gun violence, Buffalo, Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and with Congress debating what if anything to do, President Biden spoke to the country.

He called for restoration of the ban on assault weapons, we are failing that, raising the age for purchasing such weapons; also, banning high capacity magazines, instituting tighter Red Flag Laws and the repeal of a liability shield protecting gun manufacturers from prosecution or being sued following mass shootings.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It must end and let there be no mistake about the psychological trauma that gun violence leaves behind.

Imagine being that little girl, that brave little girl in Uvalde, who smeared blood off her murdered friend's body on her own face, to lie still among the corpses in her classroom and pretend she was dead in order to stay alive.

Imagine -- imagine what it'd be like for her to walk down the hallway of any school again. Imagine what it's like for children who experience this kind of trauma every day in school, in the streets, in communities all across America.

Imagine what it's like for so many parents to hug their children goodbye in the morning, not sure whether they'll come back home.

Unfortunately, too many people don't have to imagine that at all.


COOPER: The President just moments ago.

Just yesterday, as you know, a gunman walked into a medical office complex in Tulsa fatally shooting four people before killing himself.

Today, we saw more funerals for the 21 children and teachers killed in Uvalde and the arraignment of the alleged killer of 10 at a Buffalo supermarket. Not only do the days produce developments in multiple mass shootings, the shootings themselves interweave.

Consider Sandy Phillips, whose daughter, Jessica, was murdered in the 2012 shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Now, she is the founder of Survivors Empowered and travels the country with her husband, Lonnie, counseling people in the wake of mass killings. They were in Buffalo helping survivors there when they got news of the murders at Robb Elementary and went back to Uvalde. So they left those survivors in Buffalo and headed down to Texas to try to help people there.

And consider what happened to "360's" Gary Tuchman. To get a better sense of what happened in Uvalde, our Gary Tuchman was with first responders yesterday in Oklahoma, at an active shooter training session. And while he was at that active shooter training site, word came with the Tulsa shooting, so he rushed to report from the site of that mass shooting.

And so it goes this week, this month, year after year, for decades now.

The killings, the grieving the calls for action and an effort to find some kind of political consensus on addressing the problem, all of it accompanied by the hopeful yet faithful words, this time, it feels different.

Well, tonight, the President said he has been in the fight a long time, and if that sounds familiar, listen to then Vice President Biden nearly 10 years ago, shortly after the Sandy Hook killings, after then President Obama put him in charge of getting tighter gun legislation through Congress.


JOE BIDEN, THEN VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I know for the families who are here, the time is not measured in days, but it is measured in minutes, in seconds since you've received that news.

I've worked in this field a long time in the United States Senate, having chaired a Committee that had jurisdiction over these issues of guns and crime, and having drafted the first gun violence legislation -- the last gun violence legislation, I should say.

And I have no illusions about what we're up against -- what we're up against or how hard the task is in front of us. But I also have never seen the nation's conscience so shaken by what happened at Sandy Hook.

The world has changed and is demanding action.


CARLSON: Sounds like this time, it feels different.

Three months later, a bill to expand background checks for gun buyers failed in Congress. Joining us now is someone who was in the room when Vice President Biden spoke those words, Nicole Hockley, her son, Dylan, was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Nicole, thanks for being with us again. I appreciate it.


COOPER: Having witnessed that speech firsthand when he was Vice President, now we're here 10 years later -- almost 10 years later hearing the same message without any big legislative changes in between. What did you think of what the President said tonight?

NICOLE HOCKLEY, SON, DYLAN, WAS MURDERED AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY: You know, President Biden is just as passionate and emotional as he was today as he was 10 years ago, but I do think things are different. I do hear more voices, more surprising voices leaning in than before, and I truly hope that this is the moment that we achieve, not an end to gun violence, because it's such a complex solution, but a major step forward from a policy perspective.

COOPER: What do you think is possible now?

HOCKLEY: I think more is possible than I've had -- than I've thought about in the last several years. I think background checks is being discussed or opposed, our Red Flag Laws, extremist protectionists, they are being discussed, safe storage, age restrictions -- everything is on the table right now and there is energy around it.

We're not going to get everything through, but I think this is where we're seeing two parties really working together who want to create solutions. Not every senator is going to go for it, I'll be perfectly honest with that. But all we need is enough to get the vote passed so that we can move forward and continue to make more life-saving interventions.

COOPER: The President said they need 10 Republican senators, do you think there are 10? HOCKLEY: Yes, I do. But you know, we still have a few hours and a

couple of days left to agree a package that will have enough votes. And I know that they are working really hard around the clock on this right now.

COOPER: Your Senator, I know you've worked with closely, Senator Chris Murphy is negotiating with Republican senators on gun control. He told Manu Raju today that he is quote, "Certainly prepared for failure." Are you prepared for that?

HOCKLEY: No, I don't think failure is an option here because we've had far too many shootings, every day shootings, how many school shootings in the last 10 years alone. When the President says enough, which is a rallying cry we've been hearing for many years, it's not just about enough lives lost. It's enough of the rhetoric, enough of the fear and the emotion that we hear from the extreme right.

Let's focus on the data and the evidence. These are options that can truly save lives. So enough of the negativity and the pessimism, lean into the optimism because this is about what's possible, and I believe if both sides come together and really think about that in terms of saving lives, we will make a difference.

COOPER: The President also mentioned holding gun manufacturers accountable. You were part of the Sandy Hook families that sued gun maker, Remington successfully. How important are those wins to the big picture of protecting people from gun violence?

HOCKLEY: There's a lot of different ways that you need to attack a social issue or a public safety issue such as this, and the legal lever is one that you can pull in. When you think back to Big Tobacco, that's exactly what we're doing from a manufacturing perspective.

It's not going to stop manufacturing, it's not going to stop people from purchasing guns, but if they can be held accountable for their sales and marketing messages, and the way that they target young adults and shift, that will be a major change as well and that is one of the additional solutions that's on the table and something that I'm personally very excited about.

COOPER: Nicole Hockley, appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

HOCKLEY: Thank you.

COOPER: More now on what the President said tonight and what if, any impact it may have on the debate in Congress and the country? Joining us now CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, CNN senior political commentator and former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod. Also two more CNN political commentators to the left and the right, former Obama's special adviser Van Jones and former Trump campaign strategist, David Urban.

Gloria, I mean, you hear Nicole Hockley, sounds optimistic about the possibility for things actually getting done.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: If she can be optimistic, why shouldn't everyone be optimistic? It seems to me that she knows more than any of us what's at stake here, and she is so involved in this, and we all tend to be cynical about this, because there is good reason to be cynical about this, which is the President proposing a renewal of the assault weapons ban.

We all know that's not going to happen, but what he was doing tonight, I believe, was talking to the American people, a majority of whom agree with him on all these issues, agree with him on Red Flag Laws, agree with him on raising the age to buy an assault weapon to 21, agree with him on Safe Storage Laws, and on and on and on.

He knows a lot of this isn't going to get done, but I think the fact -- and I agree with her, I think the fact that they're all meeting and they're not giving up is something that we shouldn't say, oh, well forget about it. It may end up there, but the American people, I think, to whom the President was speaking, agree with him when he says "Enough, enough, enough. Do it."

And, you know, I think that's a message that every parent who was listening tonight can say, "Yes, enough."

COOPER: David Axelrod, the White House made a strategic decision to stay out of negotiations on guns between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Is that speech a sign the strategy isn't working and the President needs to engage or is it just the President trying to add momentum?


DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's interesting, Anderson. The last time we were all together was the night of this horrific massacre in Texas, and the President spoke, and he was very much not talking about what needed to be done, he didn't specify action, I think partly because there has been such a dismal record of getting things done, and so he has waited to see how things come together and they are coming together by all accounts.

There is a possibility of something getting done, and I don't think he wanted to be a spectator in that process. I think he wanted to play a leadership role here. And so they decided now is the time to step forward.

As Gloria said, he laid out what he wants to see, but knows that some more modest steps may be in the offing, but any progress would be historic after 27 years of inaction, and he was involved in it.

You know, he was the one who was the author of the assault weapons ban, he was involved in serious action to deal with gun violence in the past. So you know, this is something very personal to him.

COOPER: Van Jones, did you hear what you wanted to hear from the President? I'm wondering what reaction you're hearing or seeing from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, I think people should be encouraged -- be encouraged. The boards are starting to creak under the weight of the pain of this country. So many funerals, so many dead bodies, so many dead children, the boards are starting to creak, and I think people should be encouraged.

I think the President did a fantastic job. He went from being the consoler-in-chief, to really being the educator-in-chief. He walked through the commonsense arguments that are there and he did it in a way that any regular person would say, this at least makes sense.

This is not somebody who is trying to take everybody's guns away, and he even shows he's listening to some of the criticism on the 18 to 21 by saying yes, our 18-year-olds in the military, they can have those weapons because they're supervised and trained by the best in the world. That's not the same as somebody going and grabbing a gun as soon as they turn 18 and shooting up someplace.

I thought he did a masterful job. It was a beautiful job. His heart was there. It wasn't just heart, it was smart. He put forward the argument, I think in a very, very profound way.

And I think people should be encouraged. The boards are starting to creak.

COOPER: David urban, if boards are creaking, is that a good thing? Are there enough Republicans who think that's a good thing?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen, Nicole's message was really, I think, spot on. Lean into the optimism and focus on what's possible is what she said, is what I heard her say and I think that's exactly correct.

And for the for the President to come out and call for the assault weapons ban, when he knows that just not going to happen, I think is a little disingenuous. I think that from listening to Nicole speak, and as you indicated, she obviously knows, or maybe Gloria said that she obviously knows far more than any of us because she's probably intimately involved in these negotiations.

There are things that can really, really occur here, which will be substantive, falls short of an assault weapons ban would really make a difference and perhaps raising the age to 18 to 21 like there are in Florida, excuse me from 18 to 21.

Red flag Laws, protection orders like here in Florida, which make a difference in saving lives. Those are going to fall far short of what a lot of progressives, a lot of people want, but they'll still make a difference.

And Nicole has mentioned, it is leaning forward into the optimism and focusing on what's realistic, I think is a message that everyone should hear and take away from, not simply demagogue on the issue.

COOPER: But David Urban, do you think there are 10 Republicans in the Senate who are willing to or are interested in moving?

URBAN: Anderson, I don't know. I would guess no, there aren't, right. I guess that these are probably, you're going to hear a lot of people saying that, you know, Red Flag Law should be done at the state level, like that was done in Florida and other states across America. They'll say that State Legislatures are capable of doing this and should be handled at the state level.

But I think there is a cause for optimism. There is a real dialogue taking place among really substantive members of the Senate. Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn and others with Chris Murphy who has been a leader on this issue, and it is a cause for optimism. They may not get everything that's on the table, but something I think would still be a victory.

COOPER: We're going to pick up this conversation. We're going to take a short break. We'll talk more in detail about what Congress could do, would do, might do or won't do, whether there is reason as Nicole Hockley said to her optimism, but also what the Democratic senator prepared in his words for failure in a House hearing on gun legislation nearly going off the rails. We'll have more on that.

Later, also, we're now learning about the shooting -- more about the shooting yesterday that took four lives in Tulsa.

We'll be right back.



COOPER: We're talking tonight about President Biden's call for Congress to take action in the wake of the latest mass shootings. Van Jones before the break said it felt to him like the boards are starting to creak, meaning there's reason for optimism. That said, there is also a Democratic Senator Chris Murphy today saying -- and these are his words here -- "I'm certainly prepared for failure."

In addition, Texas Senator John Cornyn, the Republican point person on reaching a compromise had this to say yesterday to a tweet suggesting he was open to making gun laws more restrictive. You can see his reply which reads, "Not going to happen."

Also today his boss, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said any gun deal should address what he called the actual problem, which he said is mental illness and school security. He did not mention gun restriction or background checks.

On the House side, tensions flared at a Judiciary Committee hearing on the issue.


REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Spare me the bullshit about constitutional rights.

You know who didn't have due process? You know who didn't have their constitutional right to life respected? The kids at Parkland and Sandy Hook and Uvalde and Buffalo and the list goes on and on.



COOPER: Back with Gloria Borger, David Axelrod, Van Jones, and David Urban.

Van, you said that you feel like the boards are getting to creak under the weight of all this pain in the country. If you watched that House hearing today, things got so hot. I mean, it's typical to see how things can get done in the way the President laid out tonight.

JONES: Well, listen, you know, people can make a point or they can make a difference. In order to make a difference, you've got to make a deal. The reason people don't like deals these days is because it means you're going to get less of what you wanted, your opponent is going to get something that they need. But that's the nature of a deal.

Neither side -- well, certainly the Democrats don't have the ability to just impose our will. There's got to be a deal, and there are areas where a deal is possible. I think, again, background checks. I think that if you had -- every single day, we have more and more of these shootings, and it begins to have a cumulative effect.

The idea that Republican Party can just, you know, hide in the locker room and hope it goes away. That's not realistic anymore. And there are I think, reasonable Republicans and there are responsible gun owners that really want to see something happen.

I do think that there's reason for optimism. I do think there's reason that something can happen. It won't be all that we want. The progresses are not -- David Urban is correct. We're not going to get all that we want. But I don't think there's a situation where nothing is acceptable. We won't get everything, but I think we can get something that's done.

COOPER: David Urban, and we heard, you know, a number of Republicans saying this is about school safety, mental health issues, and certainly there is certainly a lot of mental health issues in this country, and certainly more research sources are needed for mental health, particularly for young people, and we're seeing a lot of active shooters now below the age, you know, in the 18 to 21 year old age range.

I guess, some are asking why it can't be about all those things and take steps to address guns in conjunction with school safety and mental health.

URBAN: Right. I agree, Anderson, I think those should -- you know, and maybe that's what Senator McConnell was alluding to in a package that needs to get passed and it will need to include all of those things.

Look, we protect our banks, we protect our stadiums, we protect so many things with hardened doors and guards and the fact that we don't protect our kids the same way, it is just is, you know, beyond my belief, and so I think that what a lot of Republicans like to see is some sort of hardening of schools. That's what happened in Florida.

There was lots of money in the Florida bill that passed after Parkland. You had all the -- you know, you had the Red Flag Laws get in place, age raised to 21, but you also had huge amounts of additional resources for mental health counseling in schools for hardening of schools. It was a much more robust package that addressed all those things.

And you know, and I heard the President speak about his walk through Arlington Memorial Day. I also thought that you know, he was going to talk about, you know, shootings in general in America. Over the weekend as David knows probably all too well from being in Chicago, there were 50 shootings in Chicago alone over Memorial Day weekend, right? Nine people killed in the City of Chicago.

So if we're going to address gun violence in America, I think it needs to be done holistically and we need to ask what's going on in America that people just so frivolously take other's lives, and there is so much mental illness. There needs to be a much more holistic approach to this whole question.

COOPER: I just want to listen to what President Biden said tonight.


BIDEN: After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done. This time, that can't be true. This time, we must actually do something.

This isn't about taking away anyone's rights. It's about protecting children. It's about protecting families.

For God's sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept? How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say "Enough?" Enough, enough, enough.


COOPER: Gloria, one of the things the President also said tonight, essentially is that, you know, if all this fails, it's up to voters to make this a prime issue front and center in how they choose to vote. It hasn't been hereto, fore.

I mean, if you look at, you know, people are passionate about it, but it's not, when you look at what brings people out to vote, this is not it necessarily.

BORGER: Well, no, it hasn't, and you'll remember that former Mayor Bloomberg devoted an awful lot of money to try and say, all over the country, people who are for gun control should become single issue voters, just like those who are against gun control or single issue voters and it didn't happen. It didn't work.

And I think what the President was doing was getting political here, and he called Republicans who would vote against this unconscionable and he told voters to whom he was speaking that you want to make your voices heard with your votes on this issue and you want to make this a single issue if you believe as I do, and as a majority of the American public does that enough is enough if Congress cannot get anything done, and if you can't find, as Dave Urban is talking about, if you can't find those 10 Republicans in the Senate to sign on to anything, no matter how mediocre it is, it's not going to be what Joe Biden wants.


BORGER: But whatever the compromise is, the question out there is, can there be 10 people from the other side of the aisle who would sign on to it?

COOPER: Yes, David Axelrod, I mean, unless it is front and center for voters, why would senators risk their -- you know, risk themselves by taking a gamble on this?

AXELROD: Well, it depends on how much of a risk they think they're taking. There are some things here that are so overwhelmingly supported that there isn't that much risk associated with it. And if you have --

You know, one of the reasons Mitch McConnell assigned John Cornyn to lead these negotiations is that he has impeccable credentials with the gun owning community with the gun activists and so, if he blesses a deal that will give cover to other senators to come along on the deal.

But Anderson, just have to respond to one thing Dave said. He is absolutely right. We have a terrible gun violence problem in Chicago. We also have a problem that 60 percent of the guns recovered there come across the border from Indiana and other states with lax gun laws.

So it is a national problem. It is not just a state problem, and we have to address it as a national problem.

COOPER: Gloria, Van, and the two David's appreciate it. I like referring to you guys two David's from now on. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, new details on the shootings that spurred the President's speech in Tulsa while the gunman went to a doctor's office who he was targeting.

In Uvalde, Texas our Shimon preoccupies on the ground, keeping them honest, still looking for answers why law enforcement didn't respond. Exactly what went on? They're still trying to figure out, at least in the public to tell the public and their families what actually happened.

We'll be right back.


[20:30:59] COOPER: In his speech tonight, President Biden mentioned the latest

mass shooting this time at a facility on the St. Francis Hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Four people murdered including a surgeon who was the suspect's doctor and saw him multiple times before the shooting.

Gary Tuchman has the latest on what we know about the attack and the weapon that connects this mass shooting to so many others.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The murders in Tulsa followed a sequence of events that began two weeks ago, according to Tulsa police. On May 19th, the killer underwent back surgery.

WENDELL FRANKLIN, CHIEF, TULSA POLICE: The performing for physician was Dr. Preston Phillips.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The patient was released from the hospital on May 24th. Five days after that he --

FRANKLIN: Purchased a semi automatic handgun, a 40 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Two days later, the gunman saw Dr. Phillips for more treatment. The next day on June 1st, he called the doctor's office complaining about his back pain. That same day he bought a semi automatic rifle from a gun store.

FRANKLIN: That semi automatic rifle was an AR-15 style rifle.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): And then later that afternoon 4:53 p.m., Tulsa police received a 911 call about a shooter on the campus of St. Francis Hospital. Several more calls were then received with the information that shots were fired in the Natalie medical building near the main hospital. Only three minutes later at 4:56 p.m. the first Tulsa police officers entered the building. Officers got to the second floor where the shots were heard within two minutes and began yelling, identifying themselves.

FRANKLIN: As officers were calling out Tulsa police and advancing towards a suspect location. They heard a gunshot. We believe that was the final gunshot with a suspect taking his own life. The gunshot was at 4:58 p.m. approximately 39 seconds after the first officers entered the building.

RICHARD MEULENBERG, CAPTAIN, TULSA POLICE: It's a multi-floor facility, hundreds of rooms, hundreds of people. It was complete chaos if people ran out. And then we did a methodical floor by floor search. Looking at every room people were hiding. We were able to get them out safely.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Law enforcement found all the victims quickly. In addition to Dr. Phillips, who according to a letter found on the gunman was the killer's target. Dr. Stephanie Husen was also killed, as was office receptionist, Amanda Glenn, and a patient William Love who was critically hurt and died shortly after. A woman was found under a desk at the foot of the dead gunman. She hit and survived. Dr. Phillips was remembered as a great person and physician who went on annual medical missions.

CLIFF ROBERTSON, CEO, ST. FRANCIS HEALTH SYSTEM: Dr. Phillips was the consummate gentleman. He was -- he is a man that we should all strive to emulate.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): We asked the police chief if he felt the shooting rampage would have continued without the rapid response.

FRANKLIN: We are trained to go in there and stop that threat regardless of what may happen to us. And that's what our officers did. We have no reason to believe that that he was going to stop.


COOPER: And Gary joins us now. Are police investigating anyone else who may have had advanced knowledge of this attack?

TUCHMAN: Well Anderson, police tell us that last night they received a call from the killer's wife and she told them that she received a call from her husband when he was on this medical campus either shortly before he carried out the shootings or during the shoot and told her what he was up to. So they say the information they have right now indicates that she did not know about this in advance then you can be sure Anderson they will continue talking to the wife.

COOPER: Gary Tuchman, appreciate it. Thank you.

I'm joined now by someone who knew several of those who were killed Dr. Ryan Parker, Associate Medical Director at the St Francis Health System.


Dr. Parker, thank you for being with us. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances. I know you work closely with Dr. Phillips, and you just had lunch with him on Tuesday. What was he like?

DR. RYAN PARKER, ST. FRANCIS ASSOCIATE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: Oh, goodness, like Dr. Robertson said in the press conference this

morning, he was the consummate physician. It was interesting I was, I'm the associate CMO here. And I was introducing him to our new Chief Medical Officer. And I was telling her a little bit about Preston. And I told him, the thing that I most respect about him is that he treats everybody the same. It doesn't matter if you are an environmental services, housekeeper, all the way up to the CEO and other physicians, he truly just appreciate it in people's humanity.

I saw him one time in our little coffee shop. And he oftentimes employees would come to him for surgery, he was very good surgeon. And one of the employees in a coffee shop had just recently had surgery. And he called her out by name. And she just smiled because she felt so important because he remembered her and was reaching out to her, but that that was just him. It wasn't unique.

COOPER: You know, we all see this on television. And we've seen this, you know, for years now happening in cities, in elementary schools, in churches and supermarkets and you know, now medical building, to actually live through it to know a person who was there having lunch with you one day, and then several days later is killed. I mean how do you deal with this?

PARKER: There -- I don't have any words, I don't know how we deal with it. You watch other people go through this. You know, I've seen you know, other cities go through this on the news. In fact, I moved here in 2018. I was living in Dallas, when we had another mass shooting in downtown Dallas and the same emotions flood over you. It's why, it's how could it be me? Oh, my gosh, I just had lunch with him yesterday. I can't believe this. It's surreal. You don't live through it in a way that doesn't affect you. You are never the same after something happens.

And so, I don't have a good answer about living through it. I think we're trying to take one moment at a time.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, you know, we're not just really talking about Dr. Phillips, there's Dr. Stephanie Husen, there's the receptionist, Amanda Glenn, the patient William Love were also killed. You actually apologize to Mr. Love's family earlier today I understand.

PARKER: I did. One of the images that will never leave my brain. And it's interesting because I've been privileged to walk through the 911 Memorial in New York. And one of the things as an emergency provider is there's a haunting picture of all these emergency physicians dressed up waiting for victims of 911. And they just couldn't do anything they wanted to help. And they there was no one to help. And when we first got news that there was an active shooter, I ran down to the ER for my administrative office. And our team was preparing. We didn't know what we were going to get. We were just preparing for the worst. And we had a full trauma hallway of just nurses, techs. You know, our trauma team, our emergency physician team, people came from ICUs upstairs just to be there. We were all ready. We wanted to use our skills and we couldn't. And so I did apologize. We wanted and then we couldn't.

COOPER: I mean, that image just thinking about you all there. I mean, you know, when people are evacuating the hospital you're talking you're saying the staff who could do something stayed on site to do whatever they could just waiting to do whatever they could.

PARKER: Right. Yes, other people, right, we were locked down but people were turning around and coming back and you just -- you want to help I use the term this morning, that's our job to help and heal. And, and we can't help ourselves. That's, that's what we wanted to do in that moment. And then there was just no one to help.

COOPER: Yes. And the healing takes a long time. Dr. Ryan Parker I really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you. And again, I'm so sorry for your loss and, and all those who are suffering tonight who's who are grieving. Thank you for being with us. PARKER: Thank you. Thank you for having us.

COOPER: Just ahead, more questions about the timeline and search for answers about what really happened what exactly went wrong in the police response to the mass shooting Robb Elementary School. You heard the chief of police there in Tulsa describing reaction that seems textbook exactly how quickly it should be done.


CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has done more digging today. He joins us next.


COOPER: With everything else tonight, we're also learning more about the mass shooting the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas about how law enforcement handled the shooting as it was unfolding and about the embattled school district police chief who according to Texas officials led the much criticized response.

I'm joined now by Shimon Prokupecz, who's repeatedly done outstanding reporting on the story.

So Shimon, has there been any reaction to the conversation you had with Chief Hernando yesterday, which he basically said --


COOPER: -- you know, there and while there's grieving going on, he's not going to say anything?

PROKUPECZ: Yes, no, Anderson, there's not been any reaction. You know, certainly, officials here not responding to anything. Of course, there was the idea. He said that he was cooperating with investigators, which investigators say that's not the case. He's not returned our calls. But there's a complete blackout right now on information around Anderson. So, we have not been able to get any kind of reaction. He really hasn't been seen here on the streets. He was home early this morning. But certainly there has not been any kind of new information coming from him or anyone surrounding him, Anderson.

COOPER: It's certainly been just listening to the police in Tulsa who on the day of the shooting gave out very detailed information about when the calls came in what happened, it's really stunning when you look at that press conference, and then you look at a week later, how little we still know about what happened in Uvalde. I know you tried to get answers from the district, county district attorney today.


PROKUPECZ: Right. And that's the thing, Anderson having covered these, sadly, so much at this point. You know, there's a process here, there's a procedure, and law enforcement officials here are not following that. And so, as part of our hunt, really for answers, we were told that officials here were -- are no longer allowed to publicly speak about this case, they're not allowed to answer our questions. And because the DAs office is now part of this investigation, and the DA here has told them not to talk to us, she said refer them to us. So we went to her office today to ask her questions.


PROKUPECZ (on-camera): (INAUDIBLE) there's a lot of information that needs to come out. Ma'am?


PROKUPECZ: So you can see there, Anderson, she was escorted out by these sheriff's deputy there into her car, and then just simply left, did not want to answer any questions. So she had no comment at one point when we spoke to her inside the building. But then again, this is part of the way they're operating now, refusing to answer any of our questions.

COOPER: So I mean, local authorities at one point said to expect a report tomorrow from the Texas Rangers. Is that still happening?

PROKUPECZ: No, we believe that's now not happening. The local Senator here, the Texas State Senator here, he's been pushing for answers. He's been out here every day with us Roland Gutierrez is his name. He was hoping for some kind of information to come out tomorrow from the DPS, he was asking for just some basic information about officers that were in the building, how many and where they were. While he was told today, according to him, just sometime tonight, he was told by DPS by the head of the DPS the man who is in part running this investigation that he was told by that DA that he cannot release any of the information that the Texas State Senator (INAUDIBLE) --

COOPER: The irony thing is, you know, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz was, you know, made sure to stand right behind Texas Governor Greg Abbott at that press conference where they were given out facts and information. And, you know, he was going to say the just the facts, and a lot of that stuff just wasn't true that, you know, we now know what he said. And he seemed to have been duped by it as well. It's amazing that he hasn't sort of, I guess he doesn't want to get anywhere near this publicly until there's a report out but it's amazing that he hasn't come out and given new information that nobody is.

Shimon, I appreciate all your efforts. Shimon Prokupecz, it is not easy.

Up next, a CNN exclusive and what some allies the former president are saying now about they're pleased for him to step in and stop the violence of Capitol Hill on January 6.

Also, what we've learned about who the House committee investigating attacks and hence to call his witnesses, when their public hearings are scheduled to start next week.



COOPER: Tonight, we have seen an exclusive connection to the investigation by the January 6 committee. CNN spoke with more than a dozen individuals including allies of the former president who texted then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the Capitol Hill insurrection, and they each stand by their urgent text to him, and still believe that the former president had the power and responsibility to stop the attack immediately. This comes as the committee gets ready to start his first primetime public hearings on Capitol Hill one week from today.

Now you may recall that meadow selectively handed over more than 2,000 text messages the committee back in December before he stopped cooperating with the investigation.

Joining us from Washington with more, is CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel.

So Jamie, last night I spoke with former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman who served as a senior technical advisor to the committee. He referred to the text messages turned over by Mark Meadows as quote, almost a roadmap to what happened on January 6. What did you find when you went over these messages?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: It absolutely is a roadmap when you look at the two plus months. But what we're doing today is we're releasing for the first time all the key text messages Anderson from January 5th and 6th, it is a dramatic minute by minute picture of how as you said Trump allies, former White House officials, Republican members of Congress were pleading with Mark Meadows to get Trump to stop the attack and send the rioters home. There are 150 messages texts that day. Here are just a few. From a congressman Jeff Duncan 3:04 p.m. POTUS needs to calm, you can read it on the screen down. From former Trump HHS Secretary Tom Price at 3:13 p.m. POTUS should go on the air and diffuse this extremely important. From North Carolina lobbyists, Tom Cors at 3:42 p.m., please have POTUS call this off at the Capitol, urge rioters to disperse I pray to you.

And then as you mentioned to Anderson, I went back and called 17 months later a dozen of these people and asked them what they were thinking about when they reached out to Meadows. Each one said that they believed Trump had the responsibility to speak out immediately that he failed to do that. And if he had the attack would have stopped. So this is from a Meadows associate. Two hours is just inexcusable when the safety of the federal government is in question. You have the duty immediately to speak out and Trump was derelict in that duty. And from a very senior Republican, I think he knew he could stop it which is why he remained silent. That is a key point, Anderson.


And just finally, one more from a former senior Trump administration official, he failed at being president that day. So, it speaks to exactly Anderson. The case the committee is going to make next week, that Trump's inaction on January 6 was a dereliction of duty and that they believe he was obstructing Congress and the peaceful transfer of power, Anderson.

COOPER: Former Congressman Riggleman who also said the evidence he had seen was quote, horrific, and that quote, you can see almost QAnon and other conspiracy theories had to inundate of the Republican Party all the way up to the top levels. Does that match what you saw reviewing the texts?

GANGEL: It does. When you look at the text messages as a whole, we have reviewed all 2,319 that Meadows handed over to the committee. There are Republican members of Congress, GOP supporters, big donors, who are just pushing wild conspiracy theories. It's troubling to say the least that they are sending these messages to Mark Meadows. But I would say perhaps the biggest concern is that Meadows doesn't push back even though he knows these outlandish theories are false, even though he knows from then Attorney General Bill Barr that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.

Several sources on the committee have told me that when they look at these text messages, they believe it shows that Meadows was Trump's enabler and chief, Anderson.

COOPER: You've also learned new details about who the committee intends to call when they begin public hearings scheduled for one week from today. Who could the committee lead with and what does it say about the strategy?

GANGEL: So first of all, I want to say they really have not given out very much information, they are holding it close to the chest. We do expect to hear from many folks on Team Pence. But we've been told not to expect Mike Pence himself. We're hearing that Pence's former General Counsel, Greg Jacob is likely to testify that former federal judge Michael Luttig who played as you remember a key role in putting out those tweets that knocked down his former law clerk John Eastman's outlandish theory, to try to get Pence to help Trump overturn the election, the committee would like him to testify.

And finally, we're told the committee wants to hear from former Pence Chief of Staff Mark Short, who was with pence on January 6, and was a firsthand witness to many of the events, Anderson.

COOPER: Jamie Gangel, thank you. Appreciate it.


COOPER: You're great. We'll be right back.



COOPER: The news continues. Let's hand it over Laura Coates in "CNN TONIGHT." Laura.