tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN June 16, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
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find links to help the families and the one orlando fund is the one that the mayors are now recommending, which will distribute to a number of organizations. our coverage continues right now with don lemon. don? this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, and there is a lot about the man and the breaking news. i'm don lemon in orlando. once again, president obama has consoled the victims' families. >> i held family members as they asked why does this keep happening? >> omar mateen and his wife exchanging text messages.
the problem though is these are dueling bills. there is clearly an effort out there on both sides to require people who are on maybe -- a watch list. maybe it's a no-fly list to make it harder for them to get guns. but there is still very much a stalemate, they're both coming up the week, they're dueling bills but it doesn't look as though any of them will pass, at least not at this point, don. >> and the senator will speak to us in just moments, thank you, michelle, i want to bring in brian todd. there is more information on the attack, what did you learn? >> don, it is becoming really clear that this killer was engaged during situations, we never saw anything like this before.
today we got new information from law enforcement forces that omar mateen and his wife engaged in texts in the middle of the rampage, according to law enforcement sources. he texted her asking if she had had seen the news about what was going on. at one point she texted back saying she loved him. we learned she tried to call him at least once during the rampage but never got through. we couple this with the fact that he already called the tv station in the middle of this massacre and called 911 and professed his loyalty to isis, called a friend and said good-bye. we haven't seen this type of communication in these type of mass killings in the middle of the event itself. it really is extraordinary, don. >> yeah, very interesting, you also learned about what could have been his intention.
tell us about that. >> don, we have new information today, we spent time picking up records from the st. lucie school system. this is a set of records from the st. lucie county school system that we dug up on his disciplinary record. really hundreds of disciplinary issues dating back to when he was at least in third grade and possibly earlier. here is just a sequence that i can read to you, talking about him being verbally aggressive and much talk about sex. that is when he was in third grade. he was about eight years old, we talked to a former classmate of his, who talked about one day when he threatened to bring a gun to school and kill everyone. and the documents obtained from the st. lucie schools show that he was disciplined 311 times between 1992 and 1999 and the
school records say he was rude and aggressive and talked about violence and sex many times. >> he was out there, and didn't have many friends. >> brian todd with the latest on that information. i want to bring in senator bill nelson, i want to thank you, because you sponsored one of those dueling bills, you were with the president today and met with the first responder, tell us about that. >> the president and the vice president met privately with the families, the first responders. the only two in uniform were the chief of the police and the sheriff and the rest of them were all dressed up in coats and ties. but you could see those muscles rippling under those coats. those guys are ready to do business and they obviously took care of business the other day. >> as we were talking before going on the air you said you
saw one of the guys who fought back against that gunman in the nightclub, an off-duty officer, tell us what you saw about his injuries. >> he had a scar from about that long from there to there with the stitches still in it. but it was that kevlar helmet that stopped that .223 magmun that has the strength. and it just shows you how brave. >> the president talked after meeting with the families about someone who is on a no-fly list not being able to get their hands on a gun. do you think it has any chance of passage now? >> well, it should, it's common sense. if you're on a terrorist list you should not be able to buy a
gun. we don't let people by the way on a terrorist list get on an airplane, so why do we want to let tempe buy a gun? now, if the law were just that it still would not have stopped mateen. >> you have sponsored -- >> what i added was the part that if he has been on a terrorist list before, when he is closed, he can still purchase the gun. and when the fbi wants to go talk to him again they can. >> do you think this one will make a difference? because the vote is on monday. >> the vote is on monday. there is something different, the intensity of this 15-hour filibuster that we did. and i was early in the filibuster showing the doctors' blood-stained shoes. and then his facebook post where he talked about as blood is p r
pouring out all over his scrubs or his shoes, he doesn't know if they're black or white, gay or straight. he and his team are just trying to save lives amidst all the screams and the groans. it was a rather compelling piece. >> so do you think it has a chance? >> i think it has a chance, none other than lindsey graham, republican of south carolina today. he is introducing a version, now is that because he wants us to go on a republican bill, you know, it doesn't make any difference to me. if we get to the same thing and we're talking about exactly what you and i just talked about -- you start picking up lindsey and susan colins, and maybe you get a few more that are up for election. because you know 90% of their folks are telling them we want you to do that. it's common sense. >> i want to also play
something, i want you to listen to something, this is senator john mccain, comments he made today concerning this massacre, listen. >> barack obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of iraq, al qaeda went to syria, became isis. and isis is what it is today. thanks to barack obama's failures, utter failures by pulling everybody out of iraq thinking that conflicts end just because they leave. the responsibility for it lies with president obama and his failed policies. >> so then really after that, he backed up a bit, and released a statement. to clarify i was speaking of president obama's national security decisions that led to the rise of osisol. do you think these comments are appropriate on the day the
president is visiting with the families? >> well, no, it isn't. i love john, i know john, he is hot and passionate about things. and what he really believes is that we should not have pulled out of iraq. he said it inartfully, and he opened himself to criticism, but i don't think he meant it. >> well, thank you very much for coming on, appreciate it. just ahead from orlando, i'm going the talk to the grieving parents of one of the victims, you don't want to miss this interview. start at twenty bucks, with no contract. and give you talk, text and data with unlimited carryover. it was amazing! that's ninety days of nothing-but-net (buzzer) for less. america's largest and most dependable 4g lte networks. android smartphones start at $19.99. or bring your favorite smartphone phone. tracfone. do everything for less.
back in orlando tonight, a city that is grieving. president obama here today comforting the families of the victims. shane tomlinson was 32 years young, a singer who performed at wedding clubs. and tonight, i sat down with his grieving parents. >> president obama said today for the family members of the victims they didn't care about the politics, and neither did he surrounding this whole gun issue. because you brought it up, you just want something done. >> we really do, enough is enough, and as he indicated, the whole thing is that my son, he was gunned down in a merciless way with 47 other people. and it seems to me that it's
uniu unfathomable that we are so tolera tolerant, every time you look in the paper or see it on tv, you get upset for a moment, and then move on, we don't learn anything from it. >> did the president offer any comfort to you? >> yes, he tried. what do you say to all of those people in there? those are a roomful of people who lost their loved ones. yes, he came, and like i said thank you for coming and being compassionate to this community. but really, what can you say? words won't make you feel better and it's definitely not bringing walk back my son, so you sit there and you hear people talking and
don't even know what they're saying. because my mind is focused on when i get home i have to start making funeral arrangements. and you know, i'm worried about what church and you know -- my nightmare has not even begun yet. >> i looked to the right and i saw there was somebody sitting there and had been there, and i felt myself focused more on what they were saying than what the president was saying. i mean, i heard what the president was saying. he said there was 15 times he had to come view a group of people since he has been president in eight years. that was horrific. but one thing he does is also go talk to family members of soldiers in war and they had become casualties of war. and he said although it's really hard to talk to parents, he said the soldiers, they knew what
they were signing on for. the victims in the room, the victims that were the family members they didn't know what they were signing on for. you know, you're going to go have some fun. my son gigged that night. it was like he got off from work after having a performance. okay, and he was having some fun with his friends and he decided after leaving the place where he had gigged at that he was going to go over to this other club and see some of the friends that he had there. >> you would not wish this on your worst enemy? >> nobody, nobody should have to lose a child like that. or lose anybody. not even a child. nobody should have to lose a family member this way. >> since this happened, and i told you guys this, i know people who know shane, and they have been texting me from the moment it happened until now when we started this interview about him. worried about you guys, trying to help you. he was loved by so many people.
>> unbelievable. i mean, i never -- never knew shane knew so many people. because my phone is going off. and i don't know how hardly any of these people. but that is what i read in the middle of the night. i just read all of these comments from people. and shane knew people all over the place. face to face, you know, different countries. i mean, it's just like he really enjoyed people, so he was well loved. he really was well loved. >> he was an incredible performer and his voice was amazing when he lit up the stage, tell me about that. >> full of energy. and he could work a stage. he could really work a stage. he loved to sing. he started singing at 18 months before he could speak. he was harmonizing gospel with
my mother. he just sang all day. i remember, what little child could remember all of those words, and it's a shame. >> you said something that i read. you said -- are you having trouble finding places that -- churches that will take his body or do the service? >> when this first went down that was a concern. and i said, my son has been in church his whole life. and let me tell you, he loves the lord. and he, no matter what shane did, he always asked for god's direction. >> what was the concern? >> that they wouldn't give him a service because he was gay. because of how some churches feel about the gay community. >> you have a lot of questions, i'm sure. >> uh-huh. >> what are your questions? >> what happened? why it happened?
and could it have been avoided? that is what keeping running through my mind, where was shane at that particular point in time? have i a plethora of questions i would like to know. >> i am already having nightmares how he was gunned down. but i don't want to know the specifics of it. you know, i don't want to see. he is gone, he is not coming back. i don't want to hear the reports well, he was shot 18 times. i don't want to hear that. you know, my nightmare is already great. i don't want to see that. it's not going to help me. for me, it's going to make it worse. for him, you know, maybe that will help him heal. that would not help me.
you know, because i would just keep picturing him being tortured. >> a mother's worst nightmare. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> do you think -- is there anger towards the person who did it? >> because of my faith i'm not going to be angry. i'm not going to just -- hug him and pour love out on him. but i can love him from a distance, he is gone now himself. but no, i'm not angry, because what is that going to do? what is the anger going to do? it's going to eat at me, too. >> straight ahead, looking into the new gun election. that is next. ♪
here in orlando today, president obama said that the families of the victims are pleading with him to do more to stop gun violence. i want to bring in florida congressman john micah, and jeffrey toobin, thank you for joining us both. john, you're wanting to know why the department didn't receive more anti-terror grants, tell me about that. >> well, two years ago, dhs, which is charged with assessing the vulnerable to terrorist risks for all of our metropolitan areas, to put more grants forth to combat terrorism. last year, my district came
closer. i've been working with the sheriff and police chief to get that request. we were denied every time from the dhs to consider orlando as having possible terrorist threats and moving up on the scale. they gave new york $178 million, and los angeles $168 million. we got zero. so i called for a hearing, there will be hearings to find out what went wrong to their assessment process. it's unfair to this community to have left us hanging. >> the president said today in his remarks that it is going to take more than the military. he also brought up the gun issue. i want you to listen to that. >> if you have lone wolf attacks like this hatched in the minds of a disturbed person then we're going to have to take different
kinds of steps in order to prevent something like this from happening. now, those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon. the motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in aurora or newtown. were so similar. >> so my question is, what is the best way to handle this? because multiple national security experts that i have spoken to, that i've had on the air say these are often terrorists that are home-grown, and they're taking advantage of being able to buy guns. >> well, first of all, this individual was identified at least twice, was taken on and
off a watch list. so how are you going to prevent that? additional legislation may be necessary. but when repeatedly fbi fails, this is not their first failure. they failed in boston, they used a pressure cooker there. they failed in san bernardino. they failed in texas. san bernardino, the guy went to the plumbing store and bought all kinds of plumbing equipment and filled it with explosives, created an arsenal. we have eight bills right now that the house has passed sitting in the senate that deal with giving our law enforcement, our intelligence agencies and others better tools to deal with radical extremists and terrorists. >> you don't think that the gun issue -- >> i think you have to look at the gun issue. >> let me tell you, the president said no matter what it is, whether it's terrorism,
somebody who may have an issue, it's always the same issue, a semiautomatic weapon. >> well, i went to paris after the charlie hebdo. they created an arsenal, with some of the most extensive bans anywhere in the world. and they created an arsenal, killed 130 people. look at the norway killing on the island of the children. norway has some of the toughest, they ban everything. so we've got to get a handle on a whole bunch of other issues. and go after people who pose a risk. identify them, if they're on a list certainly we don't want them to have that kind of weaponry. >> i want to bring in jeffrey, jeffrey, senator murphy after 14-plus hours of filibustering to get gun legislation, say they have now 34 votes on the floor.
do you think they're seeing a renewed push on the legislation? >> sure, but let's not kid ourselves. the republicans control the house of representatives, there is never going to be any gun control that passes. because the republican party as an institution is against gun control. why can anyone buy a semiautomatic weapon? that is not a hunting weapon. why is that for sale? why should anyone be able to buy a gun without a background check? those are simple questions and the republican party has answered those questions is that we don't want any regulations of semiautomatic weapons and we don't want any background checks. yes, there may be a vote in the senate on some amendments, but it takes both the senate and the house and the house is not even going to take up those issues. >> so do you agree? is that true? do you want no restrictions -- >> what i want to do is look at the legislation.
look at the measures that will truly stop this. this is not the end. we know that they have hit us here in orlando. a soft target. we need to be doing our assessments better. and certainly time after time when fbi has failed to connect the dots we're doing something wrong. so whether at the use a gun or whether they use a pressure cooker, whether they put together high profile weapons -- >> you have made your point. you said we have to look at ways. you don't think that looking at sensible ways -- >> yes, sensible ways. again, when the watch list is not working how are you going to control that individually? >> why is it so complicated -- >> if these guns were not available. jeffrey, go ahead. >> why shouldn't there be a
background check before you buy a gun? >> i don't have a problem with a background check. >> you don't? does your leadership? >> but again, everybody votes differently, there are 435 members in the house. but some are warranted, some restrictions on some weaponry are warranted. and some weapons should be kept out of the hands of some people. we have issues of mental health and a whole host of people who may pose a risk. and certainly, no one would want to allow a known terrorist to have a weapon. the problem we have is the lists are not even good or you can't even get them on the list directly. i talked to law enforcement within the last hour who will tell you that. >> isn't it unrealistic to expect the fbi to come up with perfect profiles of who might do these sorts of crimes in advance explosi -- advance? we have a hard enough time
convicting people who committed crimes in the past. how is the fbi going to be able to find these people who are going to commit the crimes? >> well, first of all, this guy did just about put up a neon light. he just about told them they were going to do this. they missed the mark. the fbi director comey says we have to look at it and find out what went wrong. the watch list is a mess, and has to be cleaned up. and you have to rely on intelligence, intelligence, intelligence, get back to local law enforcement. we had one person, that these people dealt with in my community the other day. and we could not get a straight answer the other day, whether he posed a risk in my community and panic over that. i call the department of justice and get a recording sunday morning. that is not the way this should
work. >> here is what i don't understand. if you say we should be looking at ways to prevent this why can't we look at all ways? >> every way. >> because no one wants to abolish the second amendment. i don't think anyone is saying that. >> no, no, but to do things that make a difference. first we have to try to identify these. but some of them are imbedded. look at san bernardino. look at this guy. but there were many hints. look at boston, those guys bought pressure cookers. san bernardino he went out and bought plumbing supplies and put them together and created a bomb. >> it was an ar-15. also in newtown as well. >> and then taken off the watch list. >> that is a valid -- >> you have to have the watch list that identifies people. now, maybe we should look at extending the period of the ineligibility once you get on
that watch list. if we had done that, that is a possibility that it could have stopped that guy. >> i think it's a valid argument to look at the fbi's action. but i also think there is an argument that we can look at how, what kind of guns should be legal to purchase here in america. >> and who should be prohibited from having what kind. if we know there is a known terrorist they're on the watch list no one wants to give those people that kind of weaponry. but the problem we have now -- >> congressman, you keep saying if he is a known terrorist. if someone is a known terrorist they should be locked up already. the point is we don't know who is a known terrorist until they have actually committed crimes. >> that is the fbi's job. >> but the fbi is not -- >> under additional surveillance. they did say not just once, up to three times and more.
we have to get this right. you can ban all the weapons you want. again, i'll give you dozens of examples and i was over in paris as i said. i saw the arsenal that was accumulated by those that killed 130 people. and before that, trying to make certain that our assets, our personnel were protected. and in that instance they were. they went to a nightclub where there was an american band and tried to kill people there. in brussels, they subverted the system and went to the counter of three american airlines. but again, when -- dhs doesn't even assemenassess, and here is record in orlando, we knew we had soft targets here. they would not listento to us. they turned us down every time.
in my last letter to them, if central florida became a target, it would become a national disaster. >> congressman, i think you're preaching to the choir. okay -- >> we look at what will be effective. >> i think we should look at all steps and that includes which weapons to be available to certain people. >> exactly. >> listen, i have never seen anyone in my family -- a lot of people hunt and shoot. but i have never seen anyone go hunting with an ar-15. >> i'm a strong second amendment person, but i believe that people who pose a risk, particularly a terrorist risk or have other problems that are identified should not be allowed to carry that arm or some other arm. >> how do you plan on voting next week when it comes to the bill? >> i have not seen the bill. as i said, winchester passed seven bills dealing with terrorist threats that are
sitting in the senate. i want the senate to move those. we'll get it right. it's a great country and a great community. we have had tragedy, but people working together finding solutions that do make a difference we can change it. >> and you said your district -- >> right here. >> right where you're standing. >> a gay bar. >> we have a great community. we have a very diverse community. >> since this is going to be a part of your district now will you be better now when it comes to legislation for gay people? >> well, i -- >> your record is not very good. >> i have a very good record, both of friends, people who are very close to me and work for me and you'll find nobody in the community that works better with that community, the gay community. and also with the latino community that suffered an incredible loss here that has not been talked about. it's devastating. i came home down from the airport and the first place i
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back now live here in orlando where some of the victims who survived the massacre are fighting for their lives. and i want to bring in our cnn political commentator and a trump supporter, kayleigh mcenany. donald trump held a rally tonight and said this, listen. >> and you know what? lgbt is starting to like donald trump very much, i will tell you. >> anna, what is your response to that? >> i -- you know, i don't know
what the lgbt community's support of donald trump is. i have not even the poll numbers. but i do think that often times he boasts of having support from hispanic and others who don't really support him when you look at the polls. but listen, don, i was just listening to your previous segment, and i was thinking to myself if i was a friend or loved one or relative, and i was hearing that kind of partisan arguing i think i would want to reach into the tv and slap somebody. out of respect for those dead and wounded, i think we have to think about this back and forth and volleying, and really push for action this time. we cannot continue seeing tragedy after tragedy then follow it up by this kind of discussion. this kind of argument that leads to nothing other than more
people going into their respective corners. for the love of god, for the respect of the dead let us do something this time. >> well, and speaking to the family members, ana, to your upon the, i spoke to some of the family members and the reason i did was because of obligation. they said they're tired of the partisan bick eebickerring, the see anything wrong with sensible gun legislation, they say everything else is on the table but they want to see that on the table. you see solutions, what do you want to see? >> i'm not a gun expert. i would like to see folks in this field, national security people, fbi, folks that are experts. gun sales people, people from the nra and lock them into a room so that they can come up
with something that can be passed. i would like to see the laws on the books be enforced and communication between different agencies. for a guy who has been interviewed three times by the fbi can easily go get a gun. i would like to see sensible people do sensible things, i think that is what all americans should be demanding right now. >> kayleigh, let's listen to the reaction. >> i just watched president obama -- and he does it a lot. he does it a lot. because we have one after another, we have tragedy after tragedy. and it's a tough situation. but largely, to a large extent, he is blaming guns. and i'm going to save your second amendment, folks. i'm going to save your second
amendment. totally. and hillary wants to abolish the second amendment remember that. >> before i ask a question, in every single fact check that says he is false on that. that hillary clinton has never said or even suggested she wants to take away the second amendment. how much of the discussion do you think will be on the campaign trail? >> well, i do think she in intimated that, discussing the heller case, i do want to say i agree with what ana is saying, 100%, we need to take partisan politics out of this, and donald
trump saying i want to support -- talking -- i think that is reasonable and sensible. >> i want to read a fact on the heller decision, okay? so it says talking about hillary clinton and what she has just said, that she has intimated that. that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents sexu s safe. that is what she says, and clinton disagrees with the ban, unconstitutional. a position that is more or less in line with what george bush's administration was on heller of recognizing a right but allowing reasonable curtailment, so this is what they say, for this claim to hold water to support the second amendment, abolishment
needs to be more direct. so they rate it false, and they rate donald trump's statements retaliation about hillary clinton wanting to destroy the second amendment. and it's just completely false. >> hillary clinton, it is absolutely fair to question whether she supports the individual constitutional right to hold a weapon, if she wants to call into question the supreme court's jurisprudence on heller. i think it's fair to say, does she want to abolish it, it doesn't matter, it's semantics at this point. she is not a really strong second amendment supporter. but this is really about terrorism. >> kayleigh, the media is not trying to make this about guns. i am speaking for the family members who i have been sitting down with since sunday who are upset. some are republicans, some are
independents, some are democrats, most all of them say they believe in the second amendment but they're tired of this partisan bickering about the second amendment. donald trump says at every turn that hillary clinton wants to abolish the second amendment, and if that is a lie we should point it out. you should not come on national television saying it is true when it is not. that is who is making this a partisan thing, is donald trump. >> no, no, because here is the thing, we're talking the entire segment about guns. donald trump is the one candidate out there who says my party needs to come around on this. where is president obama and the segments, talking about islamic extremism. france banned assault weapons. but the last four terrorist attacks have all occurred despite the assault weapons being banned under french laws.
so we can talk about guns, we need to make changes on guns, but by ignoring the islamic extremism, we'll have this ag n again, this is going to happen again and it's a complete injustice to ignore the root of the problem. >> no one is ignoring extremism, our whole show is about extremism. >> don, this is why we can't have a sensible discussion about this. because trump and his supporters, even when they have the facts they misreport them. and when you have the standard-bearer of the republican party essentially continuing to under score outright lies then it is hard to have a sensible conversation. but the fact of the matter is that the majority of americans are demanding a sensible conversation and sensible changes to ensure that people
who should not have guns are not able to acquire guns. republicans are starting to come around on this, because i think they realize it, because again, in deference to the families, again, don, they are demanding this type of sensible exchange and changes to the gun laws to make sure that gun safety is put first. that does not mean that anybody wants to get rid of the second amendment. it does mean that sensible changes can be made so that it's harder for this time of thing to happen again. >> ana, i'm almost out of time, i'll give you the last word again. >> look, i think this is part of the problem and when i hear folks talk about islamic extremism. yes, that is part of the problems, when you have a guy who calls and pledges allegiance to isis that is good enough for him to consider him an extremism that was allied with isis.
but at the same time if you're going to talk about islamic extremism you also have to say this was a hate crime against the lgbt community. both things are true. both things can be simultaneously true. and i think that we cannot blind ourselves to the fact because of personal bias and discrimination. and unless we get a comprehensive approach to the problem, we're not going to follow this. >> thank you everybody. we'll be right back. bend me shape me, any way you want me