tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN February 19, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
iggins on the right! [loud cheering] [vo]we all call the same place home. i love you, afton! [vo]comcast is proud to bring the olympic winter games 2018 home to afton and every other hometown in america. happening now. breaking news. kushner under scrutiny. cnn has learned the special counsel is expanding his investigation to look at the foreign business dealings of the president's son-in-law and senior adviser going beyond jared kushner's russia contacts. stand by for our exclusive report. all tweet, no action. president trump is on the attack once again tonight, blasting president obama's response to the russia election meddling while refusing to blame vladimir putin. we are tracking mr. trump's on-going rant about new russian
indictments. kremlin denials. russia is helping the president feed his false narrative, dismissing the mueller investigation is much ado about nothing. cnn live in moscow with new reaction from the putin government. and warnings and anger. the florida school shooter appears in court as we're learning more about his arsenal of deadly weapons and warning signs that were missed. the family who took him in is now telling cnn what they knew. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." ♪ we're following breaking news on the russia investigation and the special counsel's growing interest in one of the most prominent members of the trump administration, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, jared kushner. robert mueller casting an every widening net days after his
bombshell indictment of 13 russians for election meddling. i get reaction from democratic congressman, member of the armed services committee, and our analysts are standing by. first, let's go to members on the team on the reporting. what's at the center of what mueller is now investigating? >> well, wolf, cnn has learned the special counsel, robert mueller, is now asking questions about jared kushner's personal business dealings during the presidential transition. we're told by people familiar with the investigation that mueller's lawyers are asking about discussions kushner had with potential chinese and qatar qatari investors. this is the first he wanted to know about his concerns around russia. it surrounded around this building. 666 fifth avenue which kushner's
company owns. financing is in debt by over a billion dollars. it is not clear what is behind mueller's specific interest in the financing. and we're told that special counsel hasn't asked the kushner companies for information and hasn't asked for interviews with other executives from the company. a spokesman for the special counsel has declined to comment. moments ago within the last hour, abby lowell provided this statement. it says another anonymous source with questionable motives now contradicts the facts in all of mr. kushner's extensive cooperation with all inquiries. there has not been a single question asked nor documents sought on the 666 building or kushner company deals. nor would there be any reason.
>> what are the details of the meeting? >> there are two meetings and discussions that were had with foreign investors that we understand special counsel robert mueller's team is exploring. one of those has to do with meeting that kushner had with anbang insurance, a chinese conglomerate. they report they met with kushner and others one week after the election and discussed financing for 666 fifth avenue. those conversations continued into the president's first term and we understand no financing took place. another investor that special counsel mueller asked questions about is a very prominent qatari business man. those conversations began during the campaign and continued through the administration. again, no deal was ever reached in either of those. kushner previously had declined comment. and we have been unable to reach the qatari. >> so what would mueller, special counsel, be seeking to
try to figure out in asking these kinds of questions about kushner and his business dealings. >> certainly the question of whether he was mixing his personal business with his work, as an incoming administration official. certainly that would be something perhaps mueller would want to ask questions about. we know that there have been several meetings that the special counsel has asked about, specifically as it relates to kushner's conversations, kushner's dealings with some of these foreign nationals. now it seems from multiple sources, abby lowell could say this is based on one anonymous source, but we have several sources we talked to that say these questions have come up in our meetings with the special counsel. >> you know, the president, president trump, has said that getting into his personal business dealings or his family's personal business dealings, the finances of all that would cross what he calls a red line.
is there an argument that can be made that this doesn't necessarily fall under the purview of what robert mueller's mandate is? >> i'm sure we'll hear that argument from those close to the white house because they're going to look at the authority that mueller's team has, but it is also important to remember that mueller's team was also given this as part of the mandate. says any matters that arose or may arise from the investigation. now, we don't know how mueller's team is using this information. they could be asking questions about this to check the box and say there's nothing to see here. they may be looking at it from a different angle that has nothing to do so much with personal finances but why they were having the conversations. i think it is too early to know why these questions, where they're going to go, if a red line is being crossed. >> could he be facing charges? >> there's no indication from sources we talked to that he's facing any charges or is in any legal jeopardy at this point. people have expressly said they
get the sense that mueller is certainly exploring this avenue, but there's no indication that kushner is a target or going to face any charges. >> good reporting. thank you very much. exclusive cnn reporting. also right now, president trump is heading back to washington from florida. still stewing over new indictments in the russian investigation. picking up where he left off in a blame and anger filled rant on twitter. tonight, targeting president obama while leaving russian president vladimir putin off the hook. let's go live to pamela brown. it has been a long holiday weekend, the president has been riled up about the russian probe. update viewers on the latest. >> reporter: that's right. the president got worked up over the weekend at his resort in mar-a-lago, after talking to his sons and watching coverage of the russian indictment spurring on his twitter tirade. after a round of golf today, the president went back to twitter, this time taking aim at his
predecessor, but notably, not russia. president trump began his press president's day at his florida golf course, after deciding to avoid it in the aftermath of the shooting. he took to twitter, blaming his predecessor, tweeting obama was president up to and beyond the 2016 election. why didn't he do something about russian meddling? the president spent much of the weekend raging on twitter at his mar-a-lago resort, watching cable news, getting riled up by his sons don junior and eric who urge him to take a tougher stance with the fbi, after revealed that the agency failed to follow-up on a tip about the florida shooter. very sad that the fbi missed all of the many signals sent out by the florida school shooter. this is not acceptable. the president tweeted they're spending too much time trying to prove russian collusion with the trump campaign. there is no collusion. in the wake of special counsel
robert mueller's indictment of 13 russians for meddling in the 2016 election, the president appears to be lashing out at everyone but russia. first he fired off a tweet, suggesting he had been vindicated in the russian probe, pointing to comments by the deputy attorney general. but rod rosenstein never definitively said there was no collusion, merely that the indictment does not include collusion. >> the nature of the scheme was the defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear they were ordinary american political activists. >> reporter: the top democrat overseeing the house intelligence investigation, adam schiff, seizing on the indictment of the russian nationals of clear cut evidence of russian meddling. >> ought to put to rest for anyone including the president who continues to call this a witch-hunt that the evidence is now overwhelming and unequivocal and we need to move to protect ourselves from russian interference in elections that
are coming up. >> reporter: the president chootichoo choosing to focus on comments about the obama administration, tweeting finally little adam schiff is now blaming the obama administration for russian meddling in the 2016 election. obama was president, knew of the threat, and did nothing. >> i've said all along i thought the obama administration should have done more. none of that is excuse for this president to sit on his hands, knowing what he knows now, knowing what our intelligence committee knows now in this excruciating detail about the russian effort, it is inexplicable that the president of the united states continues to sit on sanctions that congress passed, that congress wants enforced against russia over this interference. >> for its part, the white house is avoiding specifics. >> can we expect the president to have additional action against this country who clearly doesn't fear or respect us? >> well, i won't get ahead of what the president is prepared to announce, but i wouldn't for one second say that his foreign
policy has not been effective. >> reporter: trump also claiming he never said russia did not meddle, contradicting himself from the past. >> could have been a lot of people interfered. i've said it very simply. i think it could very well have been russia, but it could well have been other countries. >> reporter: but the president claims the multiple russian investigations are satisfying putin's plan, tweeting if it was the goal of russia to create discord, then all of the committee hearings and party hatred, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. they are laughing their asses off, get smart. they deflected blame on russia by accusing democrats and the media of dividing the nation. >> there are two groups that created chaos more than the russians and that's the democrats and the mainstream media who continue to push this lie on the american people for
more than a year, and quite frankly, americans should be outraged by that. >> reporter: and the president is expected to arrive back here at the white house very soon, this after a day of demonstrations outside the white house pushing for beggun reform. he spent time according to sources getting input from friends and family. the white house says he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system, now, wolf, we have to wait and see what concrete steps the white house takes next to address the issue. >> pamela brown at the white house for us. thank you. also tonight, as president trump lashes out at his predecessor, there's new reaction from russia that's dismissive of the special counsel's investigation. let's go to our senior international correspondent, frederik pleitgen joining us live from moscow. fred, what are you hearing from the kremlin? >> reporter: yeah, you know, it's interesting, wolf. we were on a phone call today with the kremlin and for months,
the russians have been saying the u.s. investigators put forward no evidence there was russian meddling in the u.s. election. today we asked them look, special counsel has now put forward this evidence in the form of these indictments, and the answer from the kremlin was in the form of the spokesman for vladimir putin to say that russian citizens have been implicated but not the russian state. and one of the things that u.s. investigators have been talking about so much in the past couple of months is the way the russians try to maintain what they call plausible deniability, using companies like this to make sure there's space between them and the kremlin. so far, the russians haven't given explanation as to why a russian oligarch close to vladimir putin would sink millions into a trolling campaign against u.s. democracy and against the clinton campaign for any other reason, whether or not he had anything to do with the kremlin. as far as pamela's report was
concerned, the president tweeting his anger towards the democrats, towards the media, but not towards the russians, the russians are returning the favor. there's a pattern in moscow criticizing the u.s., not criticizing president trump. wolf, i actually went past some of the things the top three people in russia said the past couple months. vladimir putin in december saying all of the charges dreamed up by trump's opponents in effort to discredit him. in january, sergei lavrov, foreign minister come out saying trump was forced into makes anti-american decisions by some of his political enemies. couple days ago, you have the prime minister coming out and saying the u.s. elite is using all this to settle political scores with president trump. as you can see, a lot of this goes both ways. on one hand, you have president trump not criticizing the russians, you also have the russians not criticizing president trump while of course lashing out at the u.s. over this investigation and everything that has been such
issues for u.s., russian relations, wolf. >> good point. fred, thank you. let's talk about all of the breaking news. joining us, congressman. >> good to be with you. >> new reporting, this was happening as jared kushner was helping with the presidential transition, the president's son-in-law, senior adviser. what risk could that pose? >> it is a simple conflict of interest. he's in a very, very important, powerful position, probably the closest person next to the president, receiving all kinds of classified information. at the same time, dealing on his own for his own business not only during the transition but apparently according to the report after, after the president was in place. that's a conflict of interest, plain and simple. does it lead to something, we don't know. but clearly it's a conflict of
interest, using your position to deal for yourself. and i must say, the president seems to be doing the same by hanging out and inviting foreign dignitaries to his various golf courses. but beyond that, listening to what's going on from the kremlin, i think i've heard that before, when the russian government took over crimea, they denied they had anything to do with it. hello. we knew they had something to do with it. and the little green men in ukraine, guess what, they denied involvement there. denial, denial, denial. but the facts are clear. the facts are clear that the russian operation most certainly under the authority of the kremlin involved in our elections, sending spies into america, subversion, subverting american citizens, this is beyond the pale.
it requires a very, very hit back from the u.s. government. and i'm afraid we're not going to get it. >> jared kushner's lawyer says new security clearance policy won't, repeat, won't influence kushner's ability to work in the white house with sensitive material, key national security related issues. in light of this new reporting, though, should jared kushner, congressman, have access to classified information including the presidential daily brief? >> absolutely he should not be given that information. and let's go back to conflict of interest. he's double dealing. he is sitting there in the white house, putting forth policies, and at the very same time he is involved in his own personal business. i think his wife had something to do with china during that period of time when he was reaching out to china for money. what was it? had something to do with trademarks, like a lot of
trademarks. so what's going on here? are they interested in protecting america or are they interested in protecting their own business interests? it seems to be at least the bottom. if one were to look at what russia did, not supposedly did, but did in this election, hack the dnc, hack john podesta, then use that information in the campaign, then this indictment even goes in an additional direction. and what is this administration doing? well, they're cozying up to putin, at the very same time they ought to be hitting back in every way. >> congressman, should jared kushner recuse himself from any decisions related to national security policy with both china and qatar? >> i think it goes beyond that. it goes beyond that. this white house, the trump
family at large involved in multiple deals around the world, countries around the world, where their business is depending on the goodwill of that country. it is a conflict. it is a conflict that in some ways is directly opposite the ee mol u meants clause of the constitution which in plain language says that the president and officials cannot take gifts from foreign governments. those trademarks are an enormously important, valuable commodity to the trump family. it is a conflict, the ee mol meants, we saw the president pledge that he would defend the constitution. well, my sense is that this family's business interests are in direct conflict with the constitution, and there should be no continuation of the conflicts that exist.
we cannot do too much immediately about trump's conflicts, although every previous president put all of their financial interests in a blind trust or disposed of their assets. this president did exactly the opposite. he maintained his personal financial involvement through a trust in which he receives all of the benefits. now, what's going on with russia? there are two tracks here, wolf, two very, very serious tracks. one has to do with the russian investigation, all that we're talking about with kushner and family and so forth, that's important. but the other track is equally important and that is we must defend our democracy. and that is not happening. >> congressman john g, thank yo being with us. what prompted this special counsel, robert mueller to dig deeper into jared kushner's business dealings? talk more about the exclusive
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motorcade, heading back to the white house. the president is back from a long holiday weekend in florida. also breaking. cnn learned that special counsel robert mueller is now asking questions about jared kushner's personal business dealings during the presidential transition going beyond his russia contacts. joining us, josh campbell, former fbi supervisory special agent. josh, what red flags might have led the special counsel to open this line of inquiry? >> i think it is yet to be seen, wolf. we've seen great reporting from our colleagues. it will be interesting to see how this new line of inquiry with kushner plays into the larger investigation. if you recall from the order from may 17th of 2017 where the
deputy attorney general appointed the special counsel, he gave him charge of investigating any potential collusion or links or coordination between the russian government and trump campaign. there was also a second prong. any additional information derived from the investigation, a broad mandate. i can tell you in law enforcement when you conduct investigation, even if charged with looking at one crime, if during the course of that investigation you uncover additional information or crime, you don't simply ignore it. >> helps explain why paul manafort is in deep trouble, former trump campaign chairman. the president hasn't condemned russia since we learned details of interference in the 2016 election. but did link the parkland school shooting to special counsel investigation tweeting this. let me read it to you. very sad that the fbi missed all of the many signals sent out by the florida school shooter. this is not acceptable. they are spending too much time trying to prove russian collusion with the trump
campaign. there is no collusion. get back to the basics and make us proud. what's your response to that, josh? >> well, i think it's an unfortunate political distraction, and the fbi is no stranger to unfair political attacks lately, we have seen a lot of that. what it does is takes our focus sadly away from what we should be doing and that's making the fbi better. let me say at the outset that the fbi's primary mission is protection of human life. it is, always has been, always will be. but it can walk and chew gum, it can simultaneously defend the united states against the attacks of foreign intelligence services who are attempting to do harm here in america, they can do both. what i'm afraid what it does when you take the two issues and combine them is that it takes our focus away from looking at the fbi, looking at what happened in this incident and making it better, ensuring it does not happen again. >> the florida governor, rick scott, is calling for the fbi director christopher wray to resign over the fbi's failure to
properly follow up on a january warning about the parkland shooter. is that appropriate? >> so at this point, you know, i've said i think it would be a distraction, i think it would be premature. the focus has to be on what happened. but it goes broader than that, not only in the fbi, but how does the fbi and law enforcement through the country, mental health institutions and educational institutions, how do all those agencies fuse together to share information that may stop potential threats, and then the last issue which is obviously the big one, how do we get weapons of war off our streets, out of our schools. we should be focusing on that. i don't think one resignation at this point would be helpful, it may hinder those efforts. that's something to be determined down the road. but i think we need to come together, look at the mistake made, a big one, colossal mistake here on the fbi, but have to look at it collectively and help make the agency and our nation safer. >> thanks for that analysis. just ahead.
more on our cnn exclusive reporting as special counsel investigation looks into jared kushner's efforts to get foreign financing for his company during the presidential transition. plus, the florida high school shooter appears in court today as we learn more about the warning signs that were missed. and the family that shell te t -- shell terd him speaking out. and sometimes those experts need experts. on it. [ crash ] and sometimes the expert the expert needed needs insurance expertise. it's all good. steve, you're covered for general liability. and, paul, we got your back with workers' comp. wow, it's like a party in here. where are the hors d'oeuvres, right? [ clanking ] tartlets? we cover commercial vehicles, too. i think there's something wrong with your sink. we cover commercial vehicles, too. whhe's happy.im? your family's finally eating vegetables thanks to our birds eye voila skillet meals. and they only take 15 minutes to make.
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we are following multiple breaking stories. president trump returning to washington from florida and resuming his twitter rant about the russia investigation. this is cnn reporting exclusively on the special counsel's growing interest in the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, jared kushner. robert mueller's team now looking into kushner's personal business dealings, including discussions he had with potential chinese and qatari investors. jeffrey toobin, what's the latest reporting on jared kushner's foreign business dealings, specifically during the presidential transition, tell you about the scope of mueller's investigation right now? >> well, certainly it shows that it's broad as does the indictment that surprised all of us last week, but the kushner story just underlines why senior government officials are not supposed to be conducting their
personal business at the same time they're exercising governmental power. you know, jared kushner is involved in an extremely troubled investment here in new york, 666 fifth avenue. he needs money. he needs investors. he has been seeking money and investors. that's a conflict with exercising governmental power over the people and countries that might do the investing. whether he committed any crime i certainly don't know, there's no evidence that he did at this point, but it is certainly a good reason not to have these sorts of conflicts of interest. >> the fact that he is still thirteen months into the administration, does not have full security clearances, even though he continues to have access to some of the most sensitive information out there, what does that say to you? >> this is pretty straightforward. when you look at security clearance process, you look for vulnerabilities, the person walking into a polygraph is not going to necessarily say i'm comfortable, i have problems at home.
you look at vulnerabilities like, for example, spouse abuse, child abuse. saw that all the time in the security process. it weeded people out. lot of shoplifters. one of the most significant vulnerabilities locked at after major spy cases was financial vulnerability, and the u.s. government involved in terms of what kind of documentation they ask me about their financial backgrounds. i think not only of the mueller investigation and whether this suggests why jared kushner doesn't have security clearance. maybe he doesn't want to turn over the documentation that would allow the government to process the security clearance because he is worried about it. >> the los angeles times is reporting rick gates, senior adviser to the campaign may soon be cooperating with the special counsel, robert mueller. how worrying should that be for paul manafort, former campaign chairman, and for others in the trump campaign. >> gates gets this plea deal, that can only mean a lot more
trouble for paul manafort. you remember in the indictment in october, the two are inextricably linked with business dealings, all their work in the ukraine, the special counsel lays it out in over 30 pages, so gates knows a fair amount about manafort and his business dealings but also has a lot to lose. we know he has a young family and these are serious charges, facing decades in prison if convicted, so he may feel more pressure to go through with this, given his limited financial means. he can't be paying over a million dollars in legal fees, wolf. >> the president sent the weekend at mar-a-lago resort in palm beach and we're told watching a lot of tv, cable tv about all of the russia investigation, latest breaking developments, including the russian trolls. what's the impression you get for the long weekend tweet storm? there were two, 15, 18 tweets that were really going at various issues.
>> wolf, we've all gotten used to the weekend tweet storms. the president is frequently combative and misleading. this was like the chef kisses fingers of president trump tweet storms. it was hostile. he made the florida tragedy about himself and he kept going and going, blaming others for his problems. it suggests to me he is worried about the special counsel investigation. what we saw friday was special counsel mueller laying out indictments that even if they don't bring criminal charges or get extraditions of the russians, he is leaving bread crumbs, so with each passing thing, rick gates, the russians, it is harder and harder for the investigation to get shut down. >> what does this suggest to you, jeffrey? >> the president doesn't operate by the rules of american politics. i mean, the idea that he is just continuing to attack law enforcement, attack the fbi when they are trying to solve the problems, some of which he
created with his campaign, it's just astonishing, and you know, attacking oprah winfrey, i mean, it is something that presidents have never done before and perhaps they'll never do again. >> let me get phil to weigh in. go ahead, phil. >> he is sinking into irrelevance. i am going to give you proof of that in a moment. he says things that don't correspond to reality, for example, his characterization of the indictment. people say after 13 months of this, we don't pay attention. we have lost track of this, this week the pentagon will issue a report on how it is going to take steps forward on the president's tweets about transgenders in the mimlitary. i will lay my personal money on the table, a thousand bucks, my money to the charity of your choice if what the pentagon says in terms of instituting policy on transgenders looks anything like the president tweeted. let's lay it on the table. i think what the president
tweeted is irrelevant, and the pentagon will say something fundamentally different. that will happen in two or three days. >> if i can voice a little disagreement, i don't think the president is irrelevant at all. every single member of the republican party in the house and senate, except those that are not running for re-election are supporting him 100%. the republican party is donald trump's party, and you know, we can be outraged on cable news, but the people who cast the votes are still very much with the president. >> you want to add something before i go to break, phil? >> absolutely i do. we're going to tear up the iran nuclear deal. no, we're not. discussions with north korea are irrelevant. no they're not. we are going to distance from nato, no, we're not. going to build a wall, no we're not. every time he talks, you don't put your money where your mouth is. we will be back with coverage of breaking news after this. 30,000 precision parts. or it isn't. it's inspected by mercedes-benz factory-trained technicians.
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we are back with analysts, following breaking news. on sunday, the president tweeted this. i'll put it on the screen. i never said russia did not meddle in the election, i said it may be russia, china, or another group, or maybe a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer. the russian hoax is that the trump campaign clued with russia. it never did. that's what the president tweeted over the weekend. his comments in the past several
months tell a very different story. listen to this. >> i don't think anybody knows it was russia that broke into the dnc. how many times do i have to answer this. russia is a ruse. this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. the entire thing has been a witch-hunt. the russia story is a total fabrication. russia did not help me, okay? i call it the russian hoax. they made up the whole russia hoax. that was a democrat hoax. it's a democrat hoax. >> phil, what message is the president sending to russia with these comments and his most recent tweets? >> they won. i mean, if you look at what the president said over the weekend in terms of the russians laughing, of course they're laughing. the president now has two options as we go to mid term elections. violate what he said and get out and speak to the american people about the threat they face not only from a foreign security service but from foreign
security service that wants to swing the election one way or another. his second option, say nothing and have the russians come in and say well, if the president of the united states doesn't say anything, and if he said before it was all a ruse, why wouldn't we continue to operate. by the way, as you know, u.s. intelligence agencies say they have continued to operate. he has two options, neither of which are good. i look at the russians, they say i can't believe how successful this is from their perspective. >> what does it say to you, jeffrey, he has been president now for thirteen months, hasn't spoken out, ordered anything, hasn't done much, if anything, as far as russian meddling in the u.s. democratic system is concerned. >> no. the one person, the one person he never says a bad word about is vladimir putin. i mean, it is just incredible, and this goes back years. he has not acknowledged any sort of wrongdoing on the part of the russian goflt, and especially on behalf of putin. it remains one of the mysteries
of why he is so insistent on defending russia and diminishing this scandal which is now completely apparent to anyone who is paying attention. >> in contrast to that, david, he goes after former president obama. he was president up to and beyond the 2016 election, so why didn't he do something about russian meddling. so he is accusing his predecessor of not doing enough when he hasn't done really anything over the past thirteen months. >> right. couple of things, wolf. flaw in the president's logic. if it is a ruse and a hoax, how can president obama be in the wrong for not addressing said ruse and said hoax. the other thing is that of course in october of 2016, president obama's department of homeland security and director of national intelligence issued a joint statement saying the russians were meddling in the election. it happened to drop the same day as the access hollywood tape, didn't get the coverage it otherwise would have. >> let me get to you, jeffrey
toobin. terrific article. you went to russia, did investigating on the miss universe pageant that the president was involved in as a private citizen. quickly tell viewers what you discovered. >> well, it fits very well in with news of of this weekend that the president has been trying to do business with russia since the days of the soviet union. he went there in the late 1980s and in 2018, with this family, they put on the miss universe contest. you saw how he was trying to gin up. he didn't manage to do it in 2013. the connections he made led to the most direct evidence of collusion we have so far which was the meeting in trump tower in june of 2016.
the line is direct and it starts or it leads very clearly to the sort of bizarre spectacle of the 2013 miss universe pageant. >> i recommends people read the article in the new yorker opinion stand by. just ahead, the florida school shooter in court as more of his victims are laid to rest. we'll have a live report with new information about his mind set, his behavior and his weapons. multiple red flags that were missed. this is food made to sit down for. slow down for. put the phone away, and use a knife and fork for. and with panera catering, it's food worth sharing. panera. food as it should be. we know that when you're >> tspending time with thelass grandkids... and with panera catering, it's food worth sharing. ♪ music >> tech: ...every minute counts.
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we have new reporting on the deadly weapons amassed by the scoot shooter school shooter before he went to court today. >> reporter: more red flags missed. he kept his head and eyes down. he only communicated with his public defender by way of nods and very short responses. the new information we're learning of his troubled behavior didn't come from that brief court appearance.
nickolas cruz in court for a procedure today. a law enforcement source briefed on the investigation says cruz bought ten rifles in the past year. the buying spree setting off no warning signs with authorities or those who knew him. james and kimberly need took cruz in last fall after his mother passed away.cnn. >> he told us depressed. he's just trying to fit in. he didn't know what to say or how to say it. he would ask a lot of questions. he would apologize a lot. if he needed to clean up something after himself, he'd apologize and said he was sorry. you don't have to be sorry. just do it. >> reporter: they said he showed
no signs that made them believe he could commit such atrocities. >> i thought i had the only key to the gun safe. >> had he ever asked you before hand to use a gun and take it out of safe? >> he asked twice. once i said yes because he wanted to clean it. i don't know which gun he wanted to clean. i said okay. another time he asked and i told him no. it wasn't a good time. >> why did you tell him no. >> i don't know what the situation was in the house. it wasn't a good time. >> reporter: though they knew of one instagram account, they say they were unaware of the others that contained alarming images and racist rants. >> if we had known about that, he wouldn't be in our home. >> reporter: surveillance video showing the confessed killer walking down the street just minutes after the attack. a 2016 report from the florida department of children and families siting cruz mother revealed he suffered from
depression, adhd and autism. he began cutting his arms following a break up. the report found the final level of risk was low because he was living with his mother and receiving in home mental health services. services continue for the victims. >> scott saved the lives of his students. >> reporter: mourners gathered to honor teacher scott. others taking to the streets with hopes of affecting change to bring about an end to these tragic events. also included in that report, record that cruz' adopted mother told investigators she had seen cruz draw on his backpack nazi symbols and write the racist language i hate n words. when she asked why, he claimed to not know what they meant. wolf. >> all right. thank you very much.
cnn will explore the demands for gun action during a town hali vent. we'll hear from community members affected by shooting including local politicians including marco rubio and bill nelson. rick scott and president trump have declined the invitation. wednesday night, 9:00 p.m. eastern. that's it for me. erin burnett outfront starts rite now. next, president trump is arriving back at the white house to a flurry of russia developments. the special counsel is looking at jared kushner's links to foreign investors. new details about the florida school shooter. he obtained ten rifles before shooting, cut his own arms and posted video on snapchat. why were there so many missed signs? trump's obsession with oprah. why she just can't