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KC Police: One Dead, 10 To 15 Hurt In Super Bowl Rally Shooting; Police: Two People In Custody After Super Bowl Rally Shooting; Soon: Next Update On KC Super Bowl Rally Shooting; Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Is Interviewed About House Intel Chairman Announces "Serious National Security Threat," Sources Say It's Related To Russia; New CNN Interview With Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired February 14, 2024 - 17:00   ET


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Crowded areas that are now as we know, either targets for shootings or could perhaps be impacted by a shooting happening in these urban areas that are dealing with as Kansas City is an influx of gun violence.

Juliette Kayyem, thank you for all of your analysis during this coverage.

Our coverage on CNN, of course continues of this shooting in Kansas City, Missouri. At the Kansas City Chiefs parade, Wolf Blitzer picks up our coverage with "The Situation Room" right now.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now breaking news on the deadly shooting in Kansas City during a celebration of the Chiefs Super Bowl victory. We just got new information from the police on the victims and the investigation. Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the Situation Room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: And let's get right to the breaking news, major breaking news. A Super Bowl victory rally turns deadly as shots are fired after a parade honoring the Kansas City Chiefs. CNN's Nick Watt is following the story for us.

Nick, we got an update from authorities just moments ago, update our viewers.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the headline from that press conference was that the two people who were detained, the two armed people who were detained, the police chief in Kansas City just referred to them as suspects. She suggested that the scene is no longer active in terms of an active shooter. But it is a very active scene in terms of the investigation, which is still going on to try to determine exactly what happened here.

Now, of course, this happened at the end of that huge rally, celebrating the Chiefs and their Super Bowl victory, we still do not yet have confirmation if the shooting was actually targeting that rally or connected in any way to that rally. The police are still working on that. In terms of injuries, well, very sadly, one person has died and at least 14 others are injured. Some of them in pretty bad state. We are told that three people, this is from the fire department, three are critical, five are serious. But that number is very fluid, we're told that people are still walking in to hospitals.

Now, there were 800 officers, police officers policing this rally this celebration. Take a listen to what the police chief had to say.


CHIEF STACEY GRAVES, KANSAS CITY POLICE: I'm angry at what happened today. The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment. We had over 800 law enforcement officers, Kansas City and other agencies at the location to keep everyone safe. Because of bad actors, which were very few this tragedy occurred even in the presence of uniformed law enforcement officers.


WATT: And we're told that fire department personnel were actually giving life sustaining treatment to people on the street. Now the police chief also said that she has heard this suggestion that some fans were involved in chasing down at least one of those suspects. She says she cannot confirm or deny that, but she has heard that. Her main point really is that this investigation is still very, very active. And they really don't have a lot of answers just yet.

But they do have those two people in custody who aren't being called suspects and at least 14 people injured. And we've been hearing from some of the people who were at this event, the celebration, they were talking about hearing sounds that they thought were fireworks, they thought this was a celebration. No, those were gunshots. Wolf.

BLITZER: Very sad situation, indeed. The two suspects, as the police chief said now in custody, 10 to 15 people she said have been injured in this shooting in Kansas City. We're watching all of this. We expect more briefings to be coming up very, very soon as well.

Nick, stand by, we'll get back to you. I want to bring in CNN Senior Legal Analyst Andrew McCabe, former D.C. chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence Donell Harvin, and CNN Sports Anchor Coy Wire.

Andrew, let me start with you. You're the former Deputy Director of the FBI. We just heard the mayor of Kansas City and law enforcement there give what they have, not a whole lot of information, but some significant information. What questions jump out to you right now following what we just heard at this news conference?


ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST Sure, we'll obviously the authorities in Kansas City have done a lot of work in trying to protect this event in the best way that they can. They talked about over 800 -- I think 850 law enforcement officers were deployed to this event. But the fact, Wolf, is that an event like this is almost impossible to completely secure, it is a massive open space, tickets are not required, there are no gates and, you know, admission areas. So, combined that with the fact that Missouri is a state that does not control the carrying of firearms, essentially, anyone can carry a firearm, you have a huge crowd, and likely a large, you know, a significant portion of that population carrying firearms. So, any conflict or dispute can easily turn into a shooting, and then you have what we saw today.

And that's assuming it wasn't sort of a targeted or directed effort by people for political or other reasons, or mass shootings or something like that. So, very, very hard to secure this space. I think the questions we're all waiting to hear are more information. We'd like more information about the two people that are in custody. And specifically, how is it, if they have at all, how have they connected these two people to the actual shooting?

Were they just people who were fleeing and happened to have firearms and arrested? Or are there actually witnesses or video coverage or some sort of -- some sort of evidence that ties them to the shooting that set this whole thing off?

BLITZER: Yes, those are important questions, indeed.

Donell, let me bring you into this conversation. What stood out to you from what we just heard from the Kansas City police chief and from the Kansas City Mayor?

DONELL HARVIN, FORMER D.C. CHIEF OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE: Well, Wolf, as Andrew just said, I've worked at least a dozen of these between my time in New York and D.C. These are very, very difficult to stop a determined assailant. But the fact that she had 800 officers out there should be a deterrent for most people. Unfortunately, it wasn't today. And I want to be mindful of the fact that the victims, their family members may be watching this broadcast right now.

Quite honestly, the fact that you had emergency response on the scene, providing life safety and life support, could possibly have averted a worst disaster. We've learned a lot in the emergency response community after the Boston Marathon attack. And so I'm sure as more comes out, you'll hear about the pre staged assets in terms of intelligence and first responders that weren't seen.

But these are very, very difficult to secure. But I don't want to worry people like I've been to these, I've been involved in the planning of these, and they are quite secure. And they're usually the amount of law enforcement is a great deterrent against most bad actors, but not today.

BLITZER: Coy Wire, our sports anchor, you were there covering this huge celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs. This was supposed to be just a celebration and hundreds of 1000s of people were on the scene. How -- I understand some of the players for the Kansas City Chiefs are already reacting to this shooting. What do you learning? COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, first of all, Wolf, speaking to several players on the field after this when they could not wait for this moment they all said, see you at the prey. These players have been looking forward to this for their fans, for the city. This is a moment was supposed to celebrate the Chiefs coming back to back Super Bowl champs for the first time in nearly 20 years. People off work schools close so that families could show support for their team. The city rally behind them all season, the Chiefs didn't have any home playoff games this season.

This is the first time the community could really rally and cheer for their team in person. Now, there's several players posting on social media Chiefs guard, Trey Smith, saying, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by to today's incidents. A huge thank you to the first responders who ran towards the sound of danger. You're the ones who should be celebrated today. Chiefs defensive tackle Donovan Smith, simply saying, praying for everyone today in Kansas City.

Now, Wolf, as a former player, I can see that these players would have been fanatically thinking about their families. Many of them are on the parade route, so they're thinking, are they OK? Thinking about the kids or members of the community who volunteered for their foundations at times throughout the season, who create that bond with your community. So this was a very daunting moment for many of the players indeed.

Now, Mayor Quinton Lucas did say during a news press conference that all Kansas City Chiefs players, coaches and staff were safe and accounted for after the shooting at the end of that Super Bowl celebration rally, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, I heard that comment for the mayor, as did you.

Andrew, what is the next few hours look like for the police and for the investigators who are looking into what happened?

MCCABE: Well, first we'll a lot will determine -- will be determined based upon the level of cooperation if any they get from the two individuals who are in custody. But I would expect beyond that interaction police are probably going to, if they haven't already, begin reaching out to the community to solicit the submission of potential evidence. So there were undoubtedly 1000s of people in the immediate area around the shooting, who may have captured photographs or videos of the event. And those videos and photographs can be critically important in identifying people who may have been involved.


The obvious analog is, of course, the Boston Marathon bombing in which we made the same sort of request to the public. And then we're completely buried by the overwhelming response we got. But many of those videos and personal photographs ended up being important to us in our efforts to identify the bomber. So I'd expect you to see a similar effort like that here. They're going to have to really stand up a very robust team to review that material. It is not easy when you essentially have to have eyeballs on every piece of evidence that gets submitted. That's some work that can take some time, but it can really help crack a case open.

BLITZER: It's interesting, Donell, the Kansas City police chief, Stacey Graves, says that two suspects have been taken into custody. What's your reaction to that, that there are two suspects right now as opposed to one and there potentially could be more down the road?

HARVIN: One thing I've learned in my in my 30 years of doing this business is what you've learned in the first few hours could not be sometimes could be misleading. The fact that they do have two individuals that were armed, could lead to all types of speculation. But you know, it could be as something as simple as a minor dispute between people, or something that can be proven to be actually more of a evolving conspiracy.

The fact of the matter is that guns are ubiquitous in our country. This marks I believe, the 57th mass shooting, that's for more people shot in one incidents this year alone. And so we're on track to be like last year, which is, you know, 1.3, 1.4 mass shootings a day. And so, investigators, as Andrew said, are really working all the leads, are checking all the CCTV, all the all the tips and leads that they're getting. Having two people in custody is a good sign, but it may not be the end of what's going on here.

BLITZER: Andrew, Is it unusual that there is more than one alleged gunman right now, there are two suspects involved in this mass shooting in Kansas City?

MCCABE: It is unusual, Wolf, if you can pair this to just mass shootings in general. We're unfortunately very familiar in this country with coverage and information about situations in which a sole shooter goes into a school, a church, a grocery store, you name it, and commits a mass shooting. And so, that's the format we kind of expect. So having two armed persons taken into custody right away, is a little bit of an anomaly.

However, if you look more broadly across the scope of mass shootings, and terrorist attacks and things like that, it's not uncommon to see more than one offender, more than one shooter, more than one armed person. So, it really depends -- a lot depends on what we're actually dealing with here. I think Donell is absolutely right, this may have been nothing more than a dispute between two people who happen to be armed. And then when one person pulls out a gun, the other one does, and then you have shots fired. Or it could be something much more complicated like a planned attack. But if that's the case, it is somewhat rare that you'd see that executed by two armed individuals.

BLITZER: We're now being told that there will be another news conference coming up at the top of the hour. We'll of course have live coverage of that as well.

Coy, this was a celebration of the Chiefs, they win the Super Bowl, one of the happiest moments for so many people, especially young people are a devoted, Kansas City Chiefs fans, they get together and all of a sudden a tragedy like this occurs. How does this -- a city like Kansas City, and the folks there get together after a tragedy like this?

WIRE: Yes, Wolf, speaking of get together, I mean, there was a huge contingent of fans from Kansas City who made their way all the way out to Las Vegas to support their beloved Chiefs, spending 1000s of dollars so that their family can go witness this potential piece of history as they continue this dynastic run. Again, their second -- their back to back Super Bowl. It was the first time that had happened in the NFL in nearly 20 years since Tom Brady the Patriots did it. And so now you have this moment, on Valentine's day when people are off work, kids are off school to go and be able to celebrate not just this team and these players, but the city, right? They've been still instilled hope in that community all season long with their play on the field.

But with the way they go back and give back to their communities, they're dedicated to the people and the fans there. As an NFL player, you're always looking for ways to reach out, you have a foundation. People come and volunteer. You create these bonds.


So this is going to be a difficult situation for many of the players but you -- just as they did rally on the field this season and in the Super Bowl, claiming that championship title once again, they will also rally for their community. I expect fully that we will hear from the top to the bottom. From the Patrick Mahomes, and the Andy Reids, all the way down through the roster, from players in the coming days, how they are going to reach out and help support and how they can help initiate change if they see need fit and if they feel their platform is worthy of that.

That's what the NFL Brotherhood is about. It's not just going out there and playing some game. They're leaders. And they are -- they know that they help instill hope and lift communities up, they'll be well aware of that and there'll be seeking anywhere they can do that. We'll be sure to bring that to you as soon as we know.

BLITZER: I'm sure that will happen, indeed. As Kansas City Chiefs fans, were so excited, understandably. So their team just won the Super Bowl. Now they were celebrating, and all of a sudden this happens.

Andrew, as we heard, authorities now say between 10 and 15, maybe, at least 14 people have been injured in this mass shooting. What does that suggest to you?

MCCABE: Well, Wolf, the numbers that really will unlock the significance there is when we determine the exact number that were injured by gunfire. I've heard different numbers, quite frankly, over the course of the reporting the last few hours. I think recently, one of the hospitals is reported they have as many as eight people who they are treating for gunshot wounds and the remainder who have been injured in ways other than being shot, maybe in fleeing, getting trampled by the crowd, what have you. So, what it says is that wherever you had this conflagration that turned into shots fired possibly between the two people who are currently in custody, but we don't know that for sure yet. It certainly suggests a lack of precision and a lack of direction, or possibly an intent to harm as many people as they could. You know, we still haven't heard from law enforcement in terms of how many shots they think were fired. And so, possibly we'll hear that at the next news conference at the top of the hour. But there's a lot of details here, Wolf, that we haven't heard yet, there's just a lot of facts that we're waiting on.

Certainly the more people who are -- who happen to be injured by gunshots, you know, at the center of this controversy, as that number goes up, the situation gets more and more grim. And obviously, our hearts go out to those folks who are healing from those injuries now.

BLITZER: Yes, our hearts indeed go out to all those folks. So, so sad, indeed. And to see those pictures, the huge crowds, 1000s and 1000s of people and then all of a sudden you see so many of them running and hiding and squinting down because they hear gunshots, and that's it. Take a look at that video right there. It's just heartbreaking to go through the minds.

And so many young kids are with their parents, their families, they're running as well, simply to try to stay safe there.

Donell, how difficult is it for law enforcement right now to respond to a situation like this with such huge large crowds?

HARVIN: Once again, the planning to these type of things is meticulous. And obviously Kansas City for having won multiple Super Bowls is not new to this type of arrangement, which you'll see if you look at the video that there's court, there's actually routes for law enforcement and first responders to come in on a bedded by, you know, anything else. And so, this is well planned, these type of events happen all the time.

And you know, once again, the rapid response of law enforcement and EMS and fire is assisted by the fact that they have these cordons that they put people. That also actually becomes what we call a fatal funnel, right? And so you really don't need to have good precision or really be targeting anybody to shoot someone and hurt a lot of people by stampede or just having that congestion. We call that, you know, crowded spaces and vulnerable places.

So, there's a kind of juxtaposition there when you have so many people kind of penned in there. You really can't go anywhere you see people jumping over, you know, barricades. But those barricades allow for law enforcement and first responders to get in rapidly treat patients you know, stop the threat, and then kind of locate who needs help.

BLITZER: Yes, so important indeed. Everyone, thank you very much. Standby. Don't go too far away. Our breaking news coverage is only just beginning this hour. And we're also awaiting any reaction from the White House to this very disturbing new act of gun violence here in America. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BLITZER: We're back with the breaking news on the shooting, the shooting in Kansas City during a celebration to the Chiefs Super Bowl win. Police now say one person is dead, and 10 to 15 are injured. We're standing by for another update from the police. That's coming up shortly we're told right at the top of the hour, and will of course have live coverage right here on CNN.

Want to check in with the White House right now. CNN's MJ Lee is standing by over at the White House.

MJ, I understand the President has already been briefed on this?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. The White House is of course monitoring the situation. And the President has been briefed and the White House has been in touch with state and local leaders and is offering any federal help that might be useful.

Unfortunately, Wolf, as you know very well, this is a very familiar drill for this White House and this president at this point. You know, earlier this afternoon, I was with the White House official in their office when this news was breaking on television. And they looked up and said, you know, this is just sort of the sad reality of America today. And they said, this is why we -- the White House continues to talk about gun violence as an epidemic. Of course there have been countless mass shootings under the President's watch, including in Uvalde, Texas, in Monterey Park, California, and in Buffalo, New York.


And each time if we hear the President calling on Congress to take action including a ban on assault weapons which you might recall was at one time in place, but ended up expiring in 2004. We've also seen the White House and this administration try to take any executive action that they can. The White House also recently launched a new Gun Violence Prevention Office. We did also see the President back in 2022 sign into law a gun safety legislation, but he has been clear since then, whenever he has talked about this issue, that that bill, that law in and of itself simply wasn't enough. So we certainly expect whenever we do hear the President addressed this issue, say some of those familiar lines and definitely once again, a call on Congress to take more action, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, it's hard to believe it goes on so often these mass shootings here in the United States. MJ Lee at the White House, thank you very much.

I want to bring back our law enforcement experts Andrew McCabe and Donell Harvin.

Andrew, are you surprised that a shooting like this could take place when police were already on the scene with more than 800 law enforcement officers, they're getting ready for all of this? MCCABE: Yes, not at all, Wolf, not surprised at all. I mean, this is a massive event, 10s of 1000s of people at least conducted in an open area outside in which access to the event is not controlled. And then -- so, in addition to that, you have -- it takes place in a state that has very loose open carry laws and firearms law. So, it just makes sense that you're going to have some percentage of that population attending the event or going to be carrying weapons.

Compare that to an event, like we experience here every four years or so on the inauguration of a new president. So we have a massive open space, it's Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House where the President typically -- you know, we have a parade and the President walks or ride some distance along Pennsylvania Avenue. The lengths that the law enforcement community goes to here in D.C. to completely ensure that there are no guns anywhere near that street, that could possibly be used at or near the president is the entire area is frozen a day in advance, every vehicle is removed. Every person who has a ticket, you have to have a ticket to get into that area has to go through magnetometer and metal screening to make sure they don't have firearms. That's the only way to secure a massive outdoor area like this.

It takes 1000s of officers and National Guard helping them out and a massive amount of resources to do it. So, it doesn't surprise me that we had people in this crowd who, for whatever reason, hopefully we'll find that out soon ended up in a violent confrontation involving firearms.

BLITZER: Yes. I suspect down the road, law enforcement authorities around the country, whenever they have an event like this, are going to be doing a lot of what has been done in Washington, D.C. all of the time, when there's a major, major event.

Donell, law enforcement says this is still what they describe as an active crime scene. Walk us through that. What are they looking for right now?

HARVIN: Well, it's going to be active for quite some time. Unfortunately, there was loss of life, so that really takes the forensics to a whole another level. But you have to look for shell casings, you have to look for CCTV. There's obviously a lot of coverage in that area. I am certain, I'm 100 percent certain that someone was recording or multiple people were recording with their cell phones at the time this happened. And so, obviously, the individuals that they've detained, have firearms, they'll have to obviously test those firearms to see if those are similar to the shell casings that they found on the scene. So there's a lot of work that has to go on.

And, obviously, this is a huge crime scenes that has been trampled with -- by people. And so, it's not unlikely for folks to get home and find a shell casing in a bag or in an item of clothing or in the hospital. And so, they have to talk to people in the hospitals.

There's a lot of evidence that has to be gathered. And so obviously, this is just evolving as we're watching this unfold. There's a lot of work that investigators have to do, but I'm sure they're up to the task.

BLITZER: And Donell, you can relate to what Andrew was just telling us how D.C. law enforcement prepares for a big parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House over to Capitol Hill. Walk us through that, the difference between how D.C. police prepare for something like that, as opposed to what was going on in Kansas City.

HARVIN: Well, just to give you an idea, we start planning for the inauguration before we even know who the president is. That planning starts in earnest, usually the summer of before. So we're talking about five or six months before the drumbeat leading up to the inauguration. We're have multiple meetings, consequence management meetings, intelligence meetings, talking a lot about the same things that Andrew talked about who's getting in, who's not going to be allowed in, the magnetometers, you simply can't do that at the state or local level. They don't have the resources to do that.


Obviously, this, you know, the Super Bowl was one on Sunday, and they're putting this together a few days later. And so you asked Andrew, if he was surprised that this happened, I actually surprised in all my years of working these types of events that this is the first time this has happened because it's a mass amount of people. It's almost impossible to secure these locations. And the best bet that law enforcement has is to have an overwhelming presence. And once again, that's going to deter most of your would be bad actors, except those that are really determined.

BLITZER: Yes. Andrew, we know that the Kansas City Chiefs players, the coaches, the staff, we're told by law enforcement, they are all safe right now. And they were there at this parade, the celebration in large numbers, is there any reason to think they were actually a potential target?

MCCABE: I don't think we have facts to indicate that just yet, Wolf, but as I said before, there's still a lot of details that we don't know. I think, interestingly, they mentioned in the press conference, that the shooting began on the west side of the train station of union station there. And we know that the presentation or the show essentially with the players and others was taking place kind of on the -- on that southern facing entrance of the train station.

So those two locations are pretty close by. We also know the shooting started right at the end of the ceremony just after some of the players had been speaking or singing. So the event seems to have taken place locationally not far from where the players were located and likely temporarily, you know, pretty close to when they were on the stage now remains to be seen exactly, you know, whether or not they were up there when the shooting was actually taking place.

But these are some of the details that investigators will be able to reconstruct once they have that network of CCTV footage and of folks attending the event who will submit their own personal videos event. You kind of patch all that stuff together like a massive quilt. And it gives you a better look at exactly what was happening in different places.

BLITZER: Andrew and Donell, guys don't go too far away. We're staying on top of the breaking news as it's unfolding still in Kansas City. We're standing by for another update from police right at the top of the hour. We'll have live coverage right here in The Situation Room. Our special coverage continues right after this.



BLITZER: We're back with the breaking news on the shooting in Kansas City during a celebration of the Chiefs Super Bowl win. Joining us now is Kevin Sanders who is at this deadly parade celebrating the Chiefs victory. Kevin, thanks so much for spending a few moments with us. We're so glad you're safe. You're uninjured. But tell us exactly where you were and what happened? What did you see where you were?

KEVIN SANDERS, WITNESS OF SUPER BOWL RALLY SHOOTING: We were directly south of, I guess, where it happened. And we -- I mean, we didn't realize what happened. We thought it was fireworks going off. But we did see people scrambling from the area. But it seemed to subside pretty quickly. So we weren't initially alarmed.

BLITZER: Did you see any injured people were told 10 to 15 people were injured. One person was shot and killed. What did you hear from folks over there at the rally?

SANDERS: Yes, no. We -- I mean, we didn't see anybody. We were probably 75 yards away from there. And we did not see anybody injured ourselves. And it was actually quite some time before we realized that it was actually a shooting and that people were injured.

BLITZER: How long did it take actually, Kevin, to realize that you were in the middle of a mass shooting I assume you heard gunshots?

SANDERS: Well, it -- they -- it didn't sound like gunshots. They weren't. They didn't. They weren't loud enough for us to think that they were gunshots. It sounded like fireworks. And it was quite some time before. I mean, I don't know the timeline because we weren't keeping track. But it seemed like it was a fair amount of time before we need emergency vehicles. We're coming to the scene.

BLITZER: Kevin Sanders, we're glad you're OK. Thank you.

SANDERS: But I don't know what the time -- OK.

BLITZER: We're glad you're OK. Thanks so much for spending a few moments with us and updating our viewers on what you felt and what you saw at this horrific shooting in Kansas City.

Once again, we're standing by for another update from local police, law enforcement. They're going to update us on the latest developments on the suspects, on those who were injured, shot. We're watching all of this unfold right now much more of our special coverage right here in the Situation Room right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BLITZER: Our breaking news that we're watching, police say one person is dead, 10 to 15 others were injured after a shooting at a Super Bowl rally in Kansas City, Missouri. We're watching that. We're also watching another major story that's unfolding tonight here in Washington. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announcing what he described as a serious national security threat that a source tells CNN is related to Russia.

For more on all of this, we're joined by Representative Gregory Meeks of New York. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us. I know first of all, you were briefed on this so called national security threat that the chairman of the Intelligence Committee announced. What are you able to share with us about the day nature of this threat if you can?


REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): Yes. I can't tell you any specificity of anything. I will just tell you that there's no cause for anybody to panic or, you know, some people were calling in and asking, should they rush for cover somewhere that nature. There's no need for anyone to panic or anything of that nature. But I can't go into the specifics, as you've indicated, that it is classified, but there's no urgency. And anyone -- no one has to need to worry about something drastic happening to the United States of America.

BLITZER: So the speaker, just -- Speaker Johnson is correct. I take it when he says there's no cause for alarm, is that right?

MEEKS: That is correct.

BLITZER: I know you can't give us classified information. But can you at least share with us that this is a national security threat involving Russia?

MEEKS: I cannot, Wolf. As I said, I can only tell you what we've done and what this, you know what I've just said and what the speakers have indicated. But I cannot tell you anything other than that. It's classified information.

BLITZER: I understand completely. Let's discuss the breaking news, the awful breaking news out of Kansas City right now, what's going through your mind, Congressman, seeing yet another horrific mass shooting here in the United States, this time, at a very crowded Super Bowl parade, that was supposed to be a happy celebration?

MEEKS: If I seem a little down, Wolf, is because of that. I'm devastated about what took place in Kansas City in my, you know, have to give my prayers to those that who are the victims of this. But, you know, as a member of Congress, you know, seeing this over and over again. And then I'm sure we'll go on the floor, and we'll say, give our prayers. And then it happens again. And I think, you know, as the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I traveled all over the world.

And when I talked to individuals and other countries, they're looking at what's taking place in the United States. And they often ask, what's going on with the violence in America in the numbers of shootings that they see, with innocent people dying by gun violence, and when they don't see it happening and -- with the frequency that they see here in the United States. And so that goes into my mind what, you know, people on the outside, are looking at us on the inside, and we supposed to be the leaders of the free world and seeing what's happening internally in the United States that they can't get a control over their gun problems, where mass murders are now, you know, seemed to be occurring, almost on a regular basis.

BLITZER: Yes. When I'm overseas, people say exactly the same thing to me. And people are watching us right now, all over the world. And no doubt they're wondering what is going on in the United States? Congressman, what will it take right now for Congress to finally enact what's called some common sense gun reform to deal with this?

MEEKS: Well, I think that is, you know, we've got to get to the point where we will sit down and talk to one another, not allow a gun lobby or anyone else to separate us. And I think there's room to do that. It had been done specially with assault weapons, Wolf. We had an assault weapons ban previously, for years, it expired. There's no reason why we can't do what had already been done in Congress and ban assault weapons. It's been done. But that's when Congress's talk to one another sat down to resolve problems, as opposed to utilize it as a campaign weapon. So we've gone backwards instead of going forward.

We need -- and so we need to work and do just what you said, common sense law. And I think we start with doing what had been done banning assault weapons.

BLITZER: Representative Gregory Meeks of New York, thanks so much for joining us on this breaking news day. Appreciate it very much. And we'll be right back with much more on the breaking news.



BLITZER: Once again, we're standing by for a news conference in Kansas City. We expect to hear from the police chief, other law enforcement authorities, an update on this shooting that just occurred a little while ago in Kansas City supposed to be a celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs win in the Super Bowl turned out to be yet another shooting here in the United States, one dead between 10 and 15 people injured. Two suspects have been arrested. We'll have that live coverage of the briefing that's coming up momentarily.

But in the meantime, there's other important news we're following including up on Capitol Hill, a new CNN interview with the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on deep divisions within the GOP over aid to Ukraine and more. CNN's chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju is joining us right now. Manu, what did McConnell say about the criticism he has received in pushing Ukraine aid? MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he is strongly defending his push for Ukraine aid and a larger $95.3 billion package. That as well as a bipartisan border security deal that was killed essentially by Donald Trump, opposition from Donald Trump as well as House Republicans and other Senate Republicans, those that bipartisan deal will fell by the wayside. And then they put forward as a package that did not include border security provision that has endured sharp criticism from the right flank of his party.

But McConnell indicating this is bigger than party politics in his view. He said one more point, every argument against this as wrong, every single one of them. Most of the money being spent here. Europeans have done as much or more. And after the $55 billion from -- 55 billion from the E.U., more than we have. Not a single American soldier has lost their lives in this fight. We've got a bunch of people willing to kill Russians. I can't find any argument against this that makes any sense. So I think it's a political reaction led, obviously, by the likely nominee for president having a view expressing a view on this.

And Wolf, he essential called on the Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to put that aid package on the floor of the House for vote. He said why not have a vote on it. Johnson though has indicated he has no plans to move forward, showing a point of contention between the two most powerful Republicans on Capitol Hill.


BLITZER: Yes, significant. He is directly blaming Trump for this chaotic situation. Manu Raju, up on Capitol Hill, thank you very much.

Coming up, police will be holding a news conference momentarily on the deadly shooting at a Super Bowl rally in Kansas City, Missouri. We'll bring it to you live, that's coming up next.


BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. A Super Bowl victory celebration turns deadly as shots ring out in Kansas City after a parade honoring the Chiefs big win. We're standing by for a new update from police this hour. It's expected to start momentarily.


Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in The Situation Room.