tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN October 4, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
good morning, everyone. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm john berman. new this morning, the girlfriend of the las vegas killer is back on u.s. soil and is once again a person of interest. ma marilou danley met by the fbi as she arrived back from the philippines in los angeles. she will also be questioned by las vegas police. also new this morning, our first look at video from body cams worn by first responders as they arrived on the scene. [ gunfire ] >> go that way. go that way. go that way. hey, they're shoot right at us, guys. everybody, stay down. stay down! >> where's it at? >> north of the mandalay bay, it's coming out of a window. >> also, the president right now is in the air. he is headed to las vegas where he will meet with some of those first responders, officials.
he and the first lady will go to the hospital to meet with some of the wounded, the victims. we are following all of the developments as they break this morning. let's begin our coverage with day bre dan breaks, cnn "early start" anchor. what can you tell us about what's coming out of this connection to the philippines, the girlfriend now, a person of interest again. why? >> reporter: well, i mean, she's not just a person of interest again. when you consider that stephen paddock, at 64 years old at the time of his suicide, had no friends to speak of, she's really the only person that can speak to the mind-set, begin to give us some sense of a motive as to why he might have committed this heinous crime. they have a lot of questions to ask her. she might be the only one that can give them some insight. as we mentioned, back in los angeles this morning, having flown in from her native philippines to l.a.x., accompanied by fbi agents. we're also hearing from her
sisters. they live in australia. with their faces obscured and their names not revealed, they spoke emotionally about why their sister was out of the country at the time her boyfriend opened fire and killed 58 people. >> and i know that she don't know anything as well like us. she was sent away. she was sent away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he's planning. >> she didn't even know that she's going to the philippines until steve said, oh, marilou, i found you a cheap ticket to the philippines. >> reporter: sent away. some chilling words from the sisters. how does australia fit in? well, she was an australian citizen. she was traveling on an australian passport and it was very active. on september 15th, more than two weeks before the shooting, we can confirm a flight from tokyo
to her native philippines, but she didn't just stay there. one week later, a flight from the philippines to hong kong. three days later, on september 25th, from hong kong back to the philippines, where she remained until traveling to los angeles. again, late last night, accompanied by fbi agents. why, to poppy's question, is she again a person of interest? well, they need to know about this $100,000 wire transfer from the shooter, stephen paddock, to the philippines. what was behind that? of course, they're searching for some sort of motive. and they would certainly like to know what she knew about this massive cache of weapons, 47 from four different states, including 23 that they found if that 32nd floor suite that we've now seen inside of, thanks to leaked police scene pictures. you will see later in the program, it's about 500 yards from there to the main stage at
the route 91 harvest country music festival, where jason aldean performed when shots rang out at 10:08 on sunday night. guys? >> our dave briggs on the ground in las vegas with really our closest view we've had to date of the stage. dave, thanks to you. part of the new information on marilou danley we're getting and the killer, as well, and this sniper's nest he had set up in that room equipped with cameras. let's bring in cnn's sara sidner with much more information on the investigation. sara? >> reporter: so what police are saying is, they've given some numbers here that are really shocking. that the shooting went on from 9 to 11 minutes, that he had amassed 47 guns. some of those guns were found in two of the properties he owned and some of those guns found inside of that hotel room here at the mandalay bay. what we now know is that there are some stages that were set up for him, so there were little platforms that he used.
sk and we understand that he had video cameras inside the room and just outside the room. now, authorities don't believe that those cameras were used to broadcast out, so that someone else could see what was going on, but they certainly have some video from that. and they are reviewing that video. there is also bump stocks that were in the room. now, what those are are significant, because it allows you to out them on a gun and that gun can fire much more quickly, quick enough, very similar, for example, to an automatic gun. a gun that's firing automatic rounds, which obviously, over 9 to 11 minutes, would make him be able to kill far more people in a far shorter amount of time. we are also learning the details that you heard from there, about him and some money and the $100,000 that he supposedly sent to his girlfriend, who was now back here, talking to authorities. but we're talking about someone, if you look at the amount of guns inside that room, we do not
know how many of those guns he used to kill innocents. we do know, though, that authorities are looking at every different angle and the one thing that we all still do not know is why. why would he do something like this? why would he target so many innocents? back to you guys. >> sara sidner, so many questions, so few answers. none of them will ease the pain, though, for these families, left behind by the loved ones. thank you, sara, for the reporting. we do have some video, it's body camera video that is released by the police. it shows the panic, the chaos, as this massacre unfolded. it also shows those first responders working frantically to get people to safety. a warning, before we play this, it is very hard to watch. >> go that way! get out of here! there's gunshots coming from over here! go that way! go that way! [ gunfire ]
>> there's gunshots right here! >> that's fireworks. [ gunfire ] >> go that way, go that way, go that way. >> they're shooting right at us, guys. everybody, stay down. stay down. >> where's it at? >> north of the mandalay bay. it's coming out of a window. >> get behind cover! >> mandalay bay [ inaudible ]. [ gunfire ] >> go back! go back! >> get back! get back!
get back! [ bleep ] >> i know -- there are multiple -- >> i know, get back! get in there! >> we see muzzle flashes from the mandalay bay! it's from mandalay bay. >> that, again, some video from body cams we're just getting in from first responders, among the first to arife on the scene. the president who is on his way to las vegas right now, he will meet with some of those first responder when he is arrives shortly. he'll also meet with some of the survivors of this attack. cnn's alex marquardt in las vegas and joins us now live. >> reporter: good morning, john. this is something we've seen so much of the president doing lately. visiting these scenes of heartbreak and tragedy. first after hurricanes harvey, irma, and maria, now after this worst shooting in modern u.s. history. the president and the first lady due to touch down in just around three hours' time. they will be making two stops here on the ground in las vegas. the first one, visiting a hospital where they will meet some of the 500 wounded in this attack, as well as the doctors who have been working on them.
then they will visit a second location, where they will be visiting with first responders, with the sheriff, and what the white house is calling civilian heros. the president says he's here to pay his respectsrespects. on his way out of the white house this morning, he told reporters the las vegas police have done a fantastic job and they're learning a lot more, which will be announced at an appropriate time. of course, this has reignited the gun control debate, which also resurfaces in the wake of these tragedies. and rather predictably, the responses have fallen along partisan lines, with democrats calling for more gun control legislation, republicans saying this is not the time for this debate. the president was asked about that on his way back from puerto rico. he fell in line with the republicans saying, perhaps at some time this debate will be had, that is not today. democrats argue if anything is to be done, the president that as to get behind it because they say republicans on capitol hill won't do anything. the president and first lady due to spend around 3 1/2 hours on the ground in las vegas before heading back to washington. john, poppy?
>> alex marquardt for us in las vegas. >> let's discuss all of this. all of these new pieces of news we have in the investigation. with us, cnn senior law enforcement analyst and former fbi assistant director, tom fuentes, and former cia operative, mike baker. nice to have you. tom, let me begin with you. it was the fbi that greeted marilou danley when she arrived from the philippines to los angeles. they are calling her now once again a person of interest. she has taken all of these trips in the past few weeks, philippines, tokyo, hong kong, philippines, back to los angeles. what do you make of this and what questions do they ask her? >> well, good morning, poppy and john. i think, first of all, we should note that there was no legal process, which forced her to come back here from the philippines. so the fbi working with the filipino authorities, who they are very close to, met her and with the assistance of the filipino authorities, talked to her, and she voluntarily agreed to come back to the u.s. and she
was escorted back by the fbi agents assigned to the manilla office and some of the fbi assigned there. so she wasn't under extradition. that could take a couple of years. and even deportation, you can only deport someone back to the last country they entered into from, or their country of citizenship. so neither one of those criteria are met to bring her back to the u.s. so in this case, she's voluntarily coming back or came back. and the fbi, of course, would be with her all these hours and have a chance to see if she would give up any information. but, in this case, the las vegas police are still in charge of this investigation. so, what the fbi is doing is applying their considerable international resources to assist las vegas police in the investigation. >> one of the things we've learned, mike, is that more than 30 of these 47 weapons were purchased within the last year. >> right. >> this is something where she may be able to help. she may be able to say, hey, there was something unusual
going on. he kept on buying more and buying weapons, more and more bump stocks, modifying them. what kind of behavior would you ask about? >> well, there's so much to this. they've got to decide, okay, are we talking to her as a cooperative witness or interviewing her as a suspect? they already have gathered a great deal of information. when you go into interviews like this, you want as much in your pocket as possible, so they've already done everything they can in terms of understanding the relationship between her and paddock. so that will help frame how they pursue the questioning. but, you're right. i mean, they're mostly interested in sort of the softer information. in other words, what did they share in the quiet moments, what did they talk about quick what did he have on his mind? therefore, what did she know about his intent or about his thought process. look, it's very frustrating for everybody right now, right? we all want answers immediately and we want the answer to particularly "why." but investigations sometimes, and it's enormously frustrating, have to be built on fact. and they probably, frankly, know
a great deal of information already related to motive. they're just not releasing it, because this is an ongoing investigation. >> one of the facts we do know, tom fuentefuentes, is that this murderer had 12 bump stocks. these are legal to buy, they're 99 bucks. and they essentially turn a rifle, a semiautomatic rifle into what is a machine gun, essentially, okay? and they turn it -- something legal into something that would not be easy to buy legally in this country. what are your thoughts on that? i didn't even know what a bump stock was until this week. >> poppy, many of these accessories to firearms are legal in this country and no other country would allow that. so even these high-powered military-style rifles, even without being fully ou y automa are now allowed in other countries. you're not allowed to buy body armor or gas masks or using armor-piercing shells or any of that kind of stuff anywhere else in the world except here in the united states. so, i think that, you know, it's a question that always comes up
is the armament and what kind of equipment and, you know, all of these issues. but we never -- we never really want to address it, anyway. so, yeah, very simple to modify a semiautomatic long barrel gun into a fully automatic, which essentially is what he did. and it's not illegal until you use it. and in this case, he determined that he was going to go out in a blaze of glory, either suicide, self-inflicted, or suicide by cop. and either way, he knew he wasn't going to be charged with a violation of modifying these weapons. >> mike, do you want to jump in? >> i'm just going to say, i'm sure this will come up as part of the discussion, assuming there's a reasonable discussion at a certain point about gun control and if various issues, whether it's about background checks or about the kit used, for example, the bump stock. what that does, those pieces of equipment can be used to alter the platform, the ar-15 or whichever the rifle is, to use the recoil of the weapon itself to simulate, right, a fully all
the weapon. but you don't need the kit to do that, either. it's a technique that you can use with an ar-15 or an ak-47, with a weapon that you don't need a piece of gear to change that. and so, this is going to be a very complicated conversation going down the road. >> the part that's not complicated in this case gets to his mind-set, though, right, mike? it's clear that he had these, 12 of them, to make these guns deadlier, to kill more people. he went to that room with 30-plus guns or however many he had in that room and he thought that would help him kill more. >> it does. because using a bump stock or using that technique, that method, it again it simulates the automatic fire. you still need a single trigger pull to discharge a single round, but it performs much more rapidly. yes, we know from that and all the other planning, there was a great deal of preparation. he chose the target, the location, the timing, the method of attack -- >> scouting out the weekend before, renting this condo with
a vantage point over a festival. gentlemen, thank you very, very much. we appreciate the expertise. ahead for us, stories of heroism emerging in the tragic aftermath of the las vegas shooting, including a story of an off-duty firefighter who went from concert goer to first responder. his incredible experience, ahead. plus, as key senators get ready to provide more details on the russia probe, a cnn exclusive. a number of russian-linked facebook ads, specifically targeted to two swing states. two of the states most pifvotal to the president's victory. d in? then we found out how many years that money would last them. how long do you think we'll keep -- oooooohhh! you stopped! you're gonna leave me back here at year 9? how did this happen? it turned out, a lot of people fell short, of even the average length of retirement. we have to think about not when we expect to live to, but when we could live to. let's plan for income that lasts all our years in retirement. prudential. bring your challenges.
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i wanted to know where i did my ancestrydna. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. it's opened up a whole new world for me. ♪ as the shooting began in las vegas, so many people stepped in to help those who were injured and in need. >> our next guest is one of them. his name, robert hayes. he is a los angeles firefighter, but on that night, robert, you were not in uniform. you were there to enjoy the concert, like the thousands of other concert goers. and the evening to you turned
into a mission to save as many as you could. ultimately, you said 20 people died as you were trying to help them. can you walk us through that evening for you? >> absolutely. i would just like to say, start off by saying good morning to everybody and i'm praying for everybody who was there, that people are calling me a hero. there's a lot of heros that night that people did a lot of things that they weren't trained to do and they acted on instinct. and for one, i want to say thank you to all those other people i saw that were helping. it started, the third day of the concert. it was a fun time. everybody was having a great time. jason aldean came on. everybody was excited. the crowd was heavy. honestly, at the first inside of it, we heard a few pops and everyone was like, what is that? and we assumed that, honestly, to me, i'm like, no, i know what gunfire sounds like, i'm telling my wife and my friends, that's
not gunfire. i said, i think it's just the electrical system. and jason aldean kept playing, and just like everybody else, and then you kind of heard a more series of pops. and then it seemed like it went into automatic fire and people started getting down. i was still standing up, not sure. i told my wife and her friend, michelle, to get down under a table. my other friend started to harbor in place. and all of a sudden a guy to the left of me said, hey, i have somebody down. and honestly, right away, the first thing ticked think of is, i said, i looked at him, i said, where, show me. and i ran over with him, probably about ten steps i noticed a female that was down and right away, i tried to do something for her. i honestly noticed right away that there was nothing i could do. i told the gentlemen, give me a hand. we need to get her into a safe zone. i kind of tried to, in my mind,
think about my triage, the way we do for the fire department, and i wanted to use this area, this was going to be our triage area. so i had that gentlemen and another lady, we were trying to grab her, and we were bringing her up the stairway to this little vip area and i noticed as i'm carrying this lady, that was very bloody at the time, the hard part for me was, i've done that before, but when i looked down and i saw my wife looking at me from under the table, with her friend, michelle, staring up at me, the first thing i yelled at her was -- not like this, but please get out of here. because i didn't know where to send her at first, because i didn't know the direction of the gunfire. because at the time, i didn't know was gunfire. and she got up and crawled through hundreds of tables and chairs with her friends and they got out to safety. i helped that gentlemen get their loved one or friend into a safe spot and i went back in, down and right away i came upon
somebody else who grabbed my arm and they actually knew me. they said, rob, you know who i am? my friend's been shot. help me. i next grabbed that male individual. it seemed like at the time, i believe he might have had a gunshot wound to the upper clavicle area, in the shoulder. we picked him up, we got him to safety. and then i went back down again and i think it was hard, as my wife stated, she knows what i do at my job, but it was hard when she looked back to see me running back in to an area that wasn't safe and then after that, it was like a war zone. and i've never been to war, but identify se i've seen a lot of things many my job, in my career, like a lot of other law enforcement, police, military, and the stuff i came upon, my goal was not to be a hero, because in my mind, i don't consider myself a hero. i consider those people who don't do what i do, a hero.
because they risk their lives helping people and a lot of people that day saw stuff that they never should have seen in their life. and i was just trying to go around, honestly, and find people that were salvageable, to help. i came upon a lot of people and i got a lot of people out, but there was so many people that i wanted to help that i couldn't. i could not. >> it doesn't sound like not helping people is something you're even capable of doing. it seems like you only have one speed and that's to help, robert. look, there's been a lot of focus on the monster who did this. we prefer the focus be on heros like you and the people who lost their lives. have you thought at all about this person who carried this out? >> you know what, it's hard for me to kind of fathom, you know, understand why this would hap n happen. i think i go towards the lacking for the good out of this.
that the good meaning that there were so many people helping. you see so many people of the police, the fire department that was there, that i encountered. there's so many things they saw, personally, that made me proud to be an american. and i know it sounds strange, but the things that i saw were people helping people, and i think that we need to really focus on, i know we're focusing al on the shooter and that stuff, and i think that we need to focus on is helping these people, you know, not just physically, the families, the friends, but mentally, there's going to be a lot of people that need some help. i know people have reached out for my job, counselors and what not. and it's going to be a long haul for a lot of people. i saw a lot of people in their eyes that were in corners that were -- you know, i'm yelling, please come with me, please come with me. and i had a girl screaming at me, how can i trust you, how can i trust you? i said, i need you to come with me to safety. is anybody hurt. i said, i'm a fireman, please
follow me. and they did. and i directed them to a way that i thought was safe at the time, and thank god it was. but there was just so much stuff that was seen on that day by people, like i say, that it's not normal for them, you know? and for the shooter, you know -- and it doesn't go away. >> and it doesn't go away. >> and i honestly just jumped into the mode where i told my wife, i'll be honest with you, my friend derek and trenton, they were a little upset, because my wife actually found her way out and they actually came upon each other, just by fate. my wife's two other sisters were there, as well. and they found each other and my friend, derek, he was mad at me, like, where's rob? i can't believe he stayed. and then, you know, he told my wife, you know, i heard him say, hey, this is what i do. you know, i'm there to help somebody. so i just jumped into that mode. and that's why sometimes it's hard for people to say, i'm a hero. and i consider the police
officer that passed away, that was helping people, as well. there was law enforcement there. there were so many people -- >> let's just say -- >> -- just doing the right thing. >> i think, robert, we can agree, there were a lot of heros there. and i think we can all agree that you are the good that comes from this. so we thank you, robert hays, for what you did and thanks so much for being with us. >> all right. thank you guys very much. i appreciate it. >> wow. incredible man. all right, we have an update on the russian investigation coming very, very shortly. this as we have a cnn exclusive, highly sophisticated russian-linked facebook ads that targeted some of the most pivotal swing states in the election. stay with us. it produces 530 cubic feet of the #1 rair per minute, blower.
russia, specifically targeted michigan and wisconsin. these were two key swing states that the president won by a very, very small margin and were crucial to his victory. joining us now to discuss, republican congressman chris stewart. he is a member of the house intelligence committee. congressman, thank you so much for being with us. this cnn exclusive report about the russian-linked facebook ads targeting michigan and wiig. you know, michigan, the president won by 10,000 votes. from what you have seen, what do you think the russians were trying to do here? >> listen, good morning. good-bye to be with you. before i answer that, can i just say, i was listening to your previous segment. at a time when many americans are heartbroken, these stories you're talking about, these heros and the courage they've displayed, god bless them. it kind of protects our hope and our future. to your question, it doesn't take a very sophisticated kgb officer to realize that michigan and wisconsin and pennsylvania, some of these key states would be places that they would likely target. it's important to note these weren't advertisements that were necessarily pro-trump. they seemed to go in an audience
on the left and the right. you had some that targeted those who would associate with black lives matter. you had some that would associate with kind of the alt-right. across the board, we saw them trying to interfere or trying to, you know, mold people's opinions. and let's remember the foundational thing that they were trying to achieve was breaking down the faith in the institutions, breaking down faith in our democratic process. and in the electoral process, and oh, my heavens, they've certainly done that, haven't they? >> at this point. and we know the investigations by your respective committees are not complete. but at this point, on these ads, can you rule out, rule out completely any collusion with anyone on the trump team? >> well, i tell you what, i just -- and it's not just me, i would challenge anyone, show us direct evidence of that. and one of the interesting things, you know, the last few weeks i've been on television, we've been able to talk about tax reform and some of these other steps we're right to move our country forward. and part of the reason we're doing that instead of talking
about russia is i think, even many of my democratic colleagues will recognize, you know, there isn't a case that i think has been made that would tie president trump or his campaign officials to any evidence at all of collusion. there just simply isn't. and i think a lot of people are after a real, real intense effort recognizing that. and we just don't seem to be talking about it quite as much as we did certainly a few months ago. >> we'll see. we'll see with the robert mueller investigation, as that continues and the work of these committees does continue. let's talk about las vegas. and again, our hearts are with yours, reaching out to the people who suffered so much in that massacre. we learned from the atf that at least 12 of the rifles that this killer used were modified with these bump stocks, bump fire stocks, turning them into essentially automatic weapons. these bump stocks are legal right now. do you think that perhaps they should be banned? >> well, i tell you, that by itself won't turn a weapon into an ouautomatic weapon.
it takes an actual illegal modification of the firing mechanism in order to do that. but you listen to the audio and it's very, very clear this was an occupant weapon. it wasn't semi-automatic. there there's a clear distinction. semiautomatic, you have to pull the trigger every time. >> well, we have video. this is about ten seconds long from the manufacturer. let's watch this. >> okay, so there's no sound to it, but it shows how a semi-automatic, a legal weapon, can be turned into something that to the civilian eye, looks no different than a machine gun. and that's the point john is getting to. i mean, knowing that this was used to speed up the shots that were so indiscriminate, that wounded 500 people, that took 58 lives. should those be legally sold in this country for 99 bucks? >> i think it's an important distinction to recognize. it's illegal to have a semi --
or, a fully automatic rifle. it's illegal to do that. and in order to convert a semi-automatic to a fully automatic, you have to do an illegal modification of the firing mechanism. now, i'm not familiar with the product you're talking about there. but what i just said to you is true. it's illegal to do that. and it may speed up the process of being able -- but you still have to pull the trigger. look, i think all of us can agree on this. this is a tragedy we haven't experienced before. it's one of too many. let's honor the victims. let's try to comfort their families, let's embrace one another. and i think it will be an opportunity to have these conversations, but let's also distinguish between those things that are legal and those things that are illegal. and it seems to me that this person participated in illegal modifications. >> congressman, we are going to have to address this again, because there's a lot more to discuss than just this subject. but again, we appreciate your time. we've got to run. >> we'll have you back to keep
talking about this, of course. we're going to take a quick break, because we are expecting to hear from the secretary of state, rex tillerson, in just a few minutes. stay with us for that, live. worrying about your big... about the client dinner. you gonna wear? hannah. did you get that email i sent you? i need you to respond... ...before you wake up. when life keeps you up... zzzquil helps you fall asleep in less than 20 minutes. because sleep is a beautiful thing.
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you're looking at live pictures on the side of your screen there to have the state department. why? because the secretary of state rex tillerson is set to speak every moment. he was due at 10:40 eastern time. he just met with the pakistani foreign minister. we're going to bring you those remarks live as soon as they begin. >> stick around for this. let's just say, if you've been following the news about the secretary of state over the last days and weeks, this comes at a very, very interesting moment. in the meantime, they were people from all different walks of life who gathered sunday nigh to enjoy a music festival, and 58 of them, they were killed in las vegas. this morning, we are learning more of their stories. cnn's stephanie elam joins us with some of these details. stephanie? >> reporter: hi, john and poppy, adrian murfitt was 35 years old. he was a commercial fisherman.
he surprised his buddy with a boy's trip to vegas and that friend, brian mckinnon held him in his lap as he passed away. his mom remembering adrian as being a caring and happy individual. there was also john phippen, who was 56 years old. his son, travis, a medic, stopped to help someone while the shooting was happening. john stayed with his son and then when a woman was in the way, he jumped in to stop a bullet from hitting her. he ultimately lost his life. he lost his wife three years ago and he's the father of six. and candice bowers, her family says she was a supermhero. she was the mom of three, including a recently adopted 2-year-old. she passed away doing and listening to what she loved. and michelle vo, 32 years old from the los angeles area, an insurance agent. she was there at the concert and
her sister said she had an infectious smile. while she was there, she happened to meet a stranger, another 32-year-old named cody robertson. take a listen to what her sister and this stranger cody had to say about her. >> she was really, truly beautiful. inside and out. and she had this bubbly, infectious personality and it's so magnetic. anyone who has been lucky enough to meet her would know that she made it so easy and fun to be around her. >> we were actually at the side stage, originally, when we met. it was about 7:30. and we just kind of just instantly clicked. you know, she was a great personality, felt like we were friends for ten years, even though we just met her. the second round of shots came and she got hit right here, just left upper side of her chest. and she immediately collapsed. the music stopped. everyone started panicking and
that's when i immediately turned, tried to cover her up from the shots. i knew, you know, in the chaos of everything, that, you know, with her being there by herself, and her not having any information, her not being i.d.'d in any type of way, i had to find a way to, you know, to get to her, to find her. to let somebody know to be there. >> and kody did stay with her and find her phone and was able to communicate with her family so she was not one of the people that could not find her family members. so, just such courage that people showed over the last few days here to help out family members and people that were lost during the concert, poppy and john. >> all right, stephanie elam for us in las vegas. stephanie, thanks so much. we are awaiting live remarks from secretary of state rex tillerson. as john said earlier, if you've been watching the news, you'll want to see these. he did meet with the pakistani foreign minister. will he talk about more? stay with us, live from the
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live pictures you're looking at right now from the state department. we're expecting to hear from the secretary of state, rex tillerson, any minute. you will want to stick around for this. we don't know what he's going to say, but we do know there have been a whole lot of reports swirling today and the last few days about the secretary and his relationship with the president. >> we'll bring that to you live as soon as it begins. meantime, it has been two weeks since hurricane maria struck puerto rico. still more than half of the people, that is millions of americans on puerto rico without drinking water, without power. >> president trump once again this morning praised the recovery efforts there, but there are still people on that island, waiting to receive aid. and the death toll is now 34. that has gone up in just the last day. >> yeah, joining us now is luis fortuna, former governor of puerto rico. thank you for being here. and i know you have been on the phone in recent days with the president. let me get your assessment of him and the first lady on the
ground yesterday, making remarks. how would you grade his response on the ground yesterday? >> i believe all americans residing in puerto rico, we're 3.5 million american citizens in puerto rico, will grade anyone, including the president, by results. and actually, i read the local newspapers, all three of them this morning, and what everyone is saying, gracious of him to come down, results is what will count. we're starting to see some results after general buchanan came down to take over control of the situation last week. actually, the rate of containers coming out of the port has doubled. but i'm still very concerned, as many of us are, with especially those that are seriously ill, that need medical attention. that are up in the mountains. those, i would say, are the priority right now. >> what do you make of some of the statements that the president keeps on making? what appears to be a need for some sort of validation about his own personal effort and the administration's effort there. he's said in puerto rico, we've
only heard "thank yous" from the people of puerto rico. i'm curious if you think that's actually helping with the recovery effort there. >> you know, i understand that there's a discussion in washington about, you know, the president and his statements and whether, you know, it's inelegant at times, the way he expresses himself and all that. but with 3.5 million americans needing help right away, only 8% of americans down there have power today. and the concern that i have, you just said that the death toll has come up to 34. that has doubled in the last few days and the reason is the need for medical attention. so i would rather stick to that and seem to demanding results. and i can say one thing, general buchanan has started to turn things around. i'm thankful for what is starting to see happen. but we need a lot more, you know, lies ahead, of course. >> here's the issue, as you well know, adding insult to skbrinju
the fact that puerto rico is $74 billion in debt, has billions more in unfunded pension liabilities. and the president said something, seeming off the cuff last night, that he can't do. he said, you know, we're talking about waiving all that debt that is owed by puerto rico, which would help it to be able to borrow money. the issue is any expert you ask says the president doesn't have that power. and his own budget director, mick mulvaney said this morning to chris cuomo, i wouldn't take the president's words literally on that one. what do you think? >> well, i tend to agree with the omb director. of course, the president has been very successful in business, dealing with debt, and, you know, my hat to him and the success he has had in that area. but in terms of the municipal market, that's a different story. and indeed, congress approved about 15 months ago, legislation that deals with that process, it's ongoing as we speak. and i assume that process will
continue. >>fortuna, former governor of puerto rico, thank you so much for being with us right now. >> we appreciate it and good luck. >> we do have to run. we are getting some news just into cnn. this as we're waiting for secretary tillerson to speak. we have new reporting at cnn and a much closer look at how the administration's generals have been working with the secretary of state. i want tag to co go to cnn's ba starr with much more on that. barbara? >> let me clarify a little bit. we've been poking around into this, and what we're finding is a little bit unexpectedly, we are seeing a growing number of generals and admirals, three and four stars, starting to speak up very candidly about their views on certain matters without the white house spin mysemeisters a their side. one of the latest examples, jeffrey buchanan, the three-star in charge now of relief efforts down in puerto rico. within hours of getting on the ground, saying that more was needed, more troops, more helicopters, more aid, that it was the worst he had ever seen.
general buchanan being a combat veteran has a lot of street credibility on all of this. no white house spin, no message-meisters from the oval office. this is a u.s. general simply saying in public what he believes. we've seen the head of the air force academy. we've seen the joint chiefs all come out post-charlottesville and condemn racism, unequivocally. no language of equivocation c, e coming out very bluntly on all of this. so you would think, isn't this what we pay our generals to do? speak truth? but in this administration, as we see with so many cabinet members now, there's a lot of sensitivity about upsetting the president, a lot of pressure not to come out in public in opposition to the white house or say anything that diverges from the white house. and i think that's what people are going to be watching to see what secretary tillerson has to say. will this be a cabinet officer that has a public difference of
opinion with the white house? we know from the president's tweets over the last few days that there are people on capitol hill, it's already been talked about publicly, that believe the president has thrown secretary tillerson under the bus on the question of negotiating on the north korea problem, that he has said publicly now the president, that tillerson's wasting his time, talking to the chinese. where does this leave tillerson? we've seen secretary mattis step in yesterday on capitol hill, trying to finesse the point. try and give the secretary of state a little more maneuver room with the chinese on the north korea question, and even with the white house. on the iran deal, secretary mattis, yesterday, saying that he thinks that the iran nuclear deal is worth staying in, because it contributes to national security if the iranians are not in violation of the deal. the president often talking about trying to get out of the deal. so i think what you're seeing in
washington, on a lot of fronts, from the state department to the pentagon, people after several months speaking their mind, when they're asked about it, everything from four-star generals to secretaries of defense and secretaries of state. >> barbara starr, you asked a key question there. it's the reason we're focused on those two doors in front of you right now. where does that leave, rex tillerson, the secretary of state. this was not a news conference or a statement that we were expecting tomorrow, but for tom even, at the state department, they put that podium out and they told us we would be hearing from the secretary of state today. elise labott joins us right now, perhaps with some insight here. and again, this comes as there's been reporting about the secretary of state, very public reporting, about seemingly key policy disagreements he has with the administration. but also some personal issues, as well, elise. >> that's right. and i mean, john and poppy, look, this is the secretary of state who came in with no government experience.
he came from the business world, and he was the top ceo of exxonmob exxonmobil. so i think maybe when he came in, he wasn't expecting -- he, in effect, is a staffer to the president. and often times, i think this is a president who says what he thinks, speaks his mind. and i think sometimes that chaps secretary of state tillerson. you heard just last week secretary tillerson working diligently on the north korea problem, trying to get some diplomatic initiatives going. he's trying to get some back-channel talks with the north koreans. and you have the president come out and say, i just told my secretary of state, that's a waste of time, i'm going to take care of it. and you have this succession of these type of things. but i will say, secretary tillerson has been working behind the scenes, as barbara said, to try to salvage the iran deal. try to give the president what he wants, which is dealing with iran's other activities. but at the same time, trying to avoid that political headache
every 90 days, trying to certify. so on some ways, he is working with the president. but certainly isn't falling into line. i think in a way that the president expects. >> elise, very quickly, look, rex tillerson doesn't love talking to the president. he didn't talk to them a lot as ceo. he hasn't done it a lot as secretary of state. you've had some conversations. is he -- quickly, is he going to take questions? >> i don't think he's going to take questions. i think he's going to come out. we've seen from statements from the white house, a real denial of some of the aspects of some of the stories we've seen in the last few days. >> thank you, elise, thank you, barbara. we're waiting for him to walk through the doors and make a statement. >> stay with cnn. much more on this, just ahead. t-mobile's unlimited now includes netflix on us. that's right. netflix on us. get 4 unlimited lines for just $40 bucks each. taxes and fees included. and now netflix included.
country is as strong as it was the day i accepted his offer to serve as secretary of state. president trump's america-first agenda has given voice to millions who felt completely abandoned by the political status quo and who felt their interests came second to those of other countries. president trump's foreign policy goals break the mold of what people traditionally think is achievable on behalf of our country. we're finding new ways to govern that deliver new victories. our job is now to achieve results on behalf of america, and we are doing that. we've created international unity around our peaceful pressure campaign around north korea, including influencing china to exert unprecedented economic influence on north korea. at the riyadh summit, the president rallied muslim majority nations to assume new responsibilities for stopping
terrorism. nato members are now contributing more to shared security. and our approach to south asia and specifically afghanistan means building upon our relationships with india and pakistan to stamp out terrorism and support the afghan government in providing security for their own people. and isis' fraudulent caliphate in iraq and syria is on the brink of being completely extinguished, thanks to an aggressive new strategy led by the president. what we have accomplished, we have done as a team. similarly, secretary mnuchin has levied economic sanctions on north korea and related entities. countries must increasingly decide whether they will do business with north carolina or with the community of peace-loving nations.