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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 5, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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blessing. our coverage on cnn continues right now. i'll see you tomorrow. happening now, breaking news. unapologetic. we're learning new details about the man accused of killing at least 22 people and wounding dozens more at an el paso walmart. police officials tell cnn he's shown no regrets and no remorse. we're awaiting a news conference with the latest on the investigation. mystery motive. investigators in dayton, ohio, piece together the movements of a now dead gunman who killed nine people including his own sister. why did he open fire? and did the people he rode into town with know anything about his murderous plans? calls for gun reform. outrage bills as democrats demand action and most republicans keep silent. president trump sends a tweet
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floating the idea of tieing gun reform to immigration bill but backs off talk of gun reform when he goes before cameras at the white house after so many deaths will washington act this time? and climate of fear. in a rare public statement, provoked by the mass shooting. president obama calls on americans to reject, and i'm quoting now, language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments. he doesn't name names. but will president trump see it as a personal attack? i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following multiple breaking developments in the investigations of the mass shootings in el paso, texas, and dayton, ohio. as well as the political fallout right here in washington. the combined death toll now, 31.
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nine in dayton, 22 in el paso. where two victims died in the hospital today. el paso police tell cnn the suspect has been cold in his interactions with them and has shown no regret or remorse for the shootings. we're awaiting a news conference with the laft on the investigation. president trump is blaming the mass killings on mental health, video games and the media. he went on camera to call on the nation to condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy but at no time today has he acknowledged the divisiveness of his own rhetoric. i'll speak with cesar blanco, a member of the texas state legislature and the cnn full resources are devoted to covering all aspects of this important breaking story. we have multiple crews in el paso and dayton and over at the white house. let's begin with cnn's brian todd on the scene in el paso. you're learning more about the suspect in saturday's mass shooting. >> reporter: right, wolf.
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speaking with several police officials in el paso, they're working furiously to put together clues about the gunman's planning for this attack and more information about his motive. what they're also giving us tonight is a horrifying new account of how cold and calculating he was. during the attack and while in custody. el paso police tell cnn tonight the man who allegedly carried out the slaughter at the walmart has been unapologetic. officials say patrick crusius has shown no regrets, no remorse for killing nearly two dozen innocent people. and has been cold emotionally while talking to investigators. that is consistent with how police are telling us he carried out the attack. >> the reports that we received is it was a calculated attack. it was well-planned out. and the reports that are coming out is that he showed no emotion and it appeared according to the videos and the eyewitness testimonies that he had some type of training on how he approached his victims.
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>> training you said? can you be more specific? >> no, not specific on the training part but it looked like he had it pre-planned. he knew exactly what was doing, whether it was weeks or months in planning, he had a mission. >> reporter: another official tells cnn he came face-to-face with the shooter when was arrested. he had a stone cold look. nothing short of evil. police are giving a general description of the weapon he used to gun down his victims. >> it was reported it was a model that looked like an ak-47. >> reporter: the 21-year-old alleged shooter who is a white supremacist is charged with capital murder and it called an act of terrorism. >> we are treating it as a domestic terrorism case and we'll do what we do to terrorists in this country which is deliver swift and certain justice. >> reporter: authorities are investigating a racist anti-immigrant document they believe was posted online by the suspect. that document states it took less tan -- less than a month to plan the shooting.
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the four-page publication posting on 8chan 20 minutes before the shooting and the author opposes race mixing and asking them to return to their home country speaking of hispanic invasion and say it began in the parking lot of the walmart and the shooter then entered the store. [ sound of gunfire ] >> reporter: panicked shoppers slid under tables, others ran for their lives. and a heart-wrenching story of two young parents who were killed saving their infant child. 24-year-old jordan anchondo was caring her 2-month-old son paul inside of the walmart. the aunt and uncle tell us jordan and her husband andre had an instant to react. >> from what we understood, the shooter came in and pointed a gun at my niece jordan and andre was quick to jump in front of -- in front of jordan and paul, the baby. and from what we understood a bullet went through andre and
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jordan. >> they both shielded the child, is that correct? and then the child fell as they fell? >> yes. under jordan is where i think the broken fingers occurred and the bruising occurred from what we understand when they pulled baby paul out. he was covered in their blood. >> reporter: police say the -- the shooters was arrested without incident after getting out of his vehicle and arrested unarmed as they arrived at the walmart. he's being held at the el paso county detention facility and the el paso district attorney said they will seek the death penalty. tonight police are telling cnn they're investigating the shooter's route from the dallas area to el paso and hope to be able to tell us soon exactly when he arrived in el paso. right now they are telling us they do not believe he had any accomplices. wolf. >> brian, you also have some heart-wrenching information from the family of that young couple who died saving their baby. what have they told you? >> reporter: that is right,
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wolf. speaking to the aunt and uncle of jordan and her husband andre on chobdo killed saving their child and they have two other children and trying to figure out the extended family to figure out just how to tell these children that their parents are completely gone. the oldest child is five years old. she just turned five on the day of the shooting. they have no idea how to break the news to their children. >> heartbreaking story. there are so many unfortunate stories like this. brian todd on the scene. thank you. we'll get back to you. i want to go to cnn's ryan young in dayton where a gunman killed nine people and including hisone sister in less than a minute before police shot and killed him. police have released surveillance that contains graphic images. what are investigators learning? >> reporter: this is still very disturbing, wolf. in fact it was 24 seconds when the gunman opened fire. now people are trying to figure out the motive. i just walked to the memorial across the street and talking to family members who say when they
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close their eyes they're having a hard time dealing with this because they lost a loved one senselessly and they want to know why and that is what police are working on but when you watch this story, just know this video is very disturbing. [ sound of gunfire ] tonight the motive is a mystery as chilling details emerge about the gunman who killed nine people including his own sister and wounded dozens of others in less than 30 seconds. the terrifying moments show the massed gunman with a bulletproof vest unloading on people wrapping up a night out early sunday morning in dayton, ohio. police found at least 41 spent shell casings from the weapon but the carnage could have been much worse. >> if all of those were completely at full capacity, including the loose rounds found on the ground near him, as well as in the backpack that he carried, he would have had a maximum of 250 rounds in his possession at the time. >> reporter: the victims range in age from 22 to 57 years old.
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they say the gunman and his sister arrived together with a male companion but the siblings separated at some point. >> it seems to just defy believability he would shoot his own sister. but it is also hard to believe that he didn't recognize that was his sister. >> reporter: the male companion was wounded and remained in the hospital. two law enforcement sources tell cnn they don't believe he had prior knowledge an attack was going to take place but have more questions for him. >> 911, what is the address of the emergency. >> we're in downtown fifth street in dayton, ohio. >> what is going on there? >> there was shots fired. there was people hurt. there is somebody hurt. >> do you see what the person looks like? >> no. i don't know. >> did you see what the person looked like? >> no. there was shots and everybody laid down and i don't know where my sons are. >> you could clearly see the gunman being shot by police. surveillance video shows the moment panic sets in as people realize they're being shot at
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and run for shelter. seconds later, dayton police who were in the area at the time were able to stop the gunman. that is him wearing a mask about to enter a bar before brought down to his knees by officers. >> as soon as the gun started, i started running. then the direction i was running, some guy got shot until the head and he fell right in front of me. >> my cousins did not deserve to lose their life. they have children, hard-working people. all they were doing was enjoying a night on the town and they're dead. >> reporter: tonight four former classmates paint a dark picture of the man behind the attack as a high school student in dayton, they tell cnn he had a hit list of classmates he wanted to kill or hurt and a rape list for girls. >> my freshman year i saw him get pulled off the bus after school one day and apparently he had made a kill list and i happened to be on it. i don't know why. >> reporter: perhaps even more confusing is why he would have
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this type of high capacity rifle and ammunition. >> the shooter had a gun that he got legally with magazines that he got legally and i really don't understand why a gun of that magnitude is really needed on the streets of fifth street. >> reporter: many of the victims are african-american, wolf. but right now police are -- are not willing to speculate. but there is a data dump with all of his information so maybe in the next couple of hours we'll learn more information but a community is definitely searching for answers. >> brian in dayton for us. thank you. there is also breaking political news as president trump and the nation's leaders try to come to grips with the latest eruption of gun violence. cnn's kaitlan collins is over at the white house. kaitlan, what is the president saying. >> reporter: this morning the president seemed to open the door to tougher gun measures but when he addressed the nation hours later, he made no mention of background checks or any major new gun laws.
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instead in that speech to the nation, condemning bigotry and white supremacy and vowing to akts but now, there are questions about how. >> our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. >> reporter: tonight president trump is condemning white supremacy after two mass shootings in less than 24 hours. >> these sinister ideologies must be defeated. >> reporter: but he's offering few details on what he'll do to stop another from happening. in a solemn address from the white house, the president said he's directing the fbi to examine ways to identify and address domestic terrorism. but he stopped short of calling for new gun laws. instead turning his focus to mental health. >> mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun. >> reporter: trump making no mention of his morning tweet suggesting tieing background checks to immigration reform. the president did reference the el paso shooting suspect's
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manifesto that warned of an immigrant invasion and advocated views he said pre-dated the president. >> the shooter in el paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. >> reporter: today trump ignored how some of the language echoed his own. >> i was badly criticized for using the word invasion. it is an invasion. but how do you stop the people. >> you can't. there is -- >> shoot them. >> that is only in the panhandle you can get away with that statement. >> reporter: democrats aren't brushing off the similarities. >> he's been calling mexicans rapist and criminals. members of the press, what the -- [ bleep ]. hold on a second. it's these -- it he's these questions that you know the answers to. connect the dots about what he's been doing in this country. >> reporter: instead, trump said other factors are to blame. >> we must stop the
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glorification of violence in our society. we must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed mind and perform demented acts. >> reporter: todayez repeated a talking point from minority leader kevin mccarthy that video games play a part in increased violence in america. >> this includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace. >> reporter: it is an old claim not substantiated by any research. and was even dismissed by supreme court justice antonin scalia in 2011. for the most part, republicans are staying silent. and those who are speaking are struggling to propose new solutions. >> bad people are going to do bad things if their hell bent on doing that. >> reporter: democrats are calling on senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to reconvene the senate for a vote on stalled gun legislation, they argue to prevent the next shooting. a step sources say he's unlikely
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to take. the president is also facing some criticism after misstating the location of the ohio massacre. >> may god bless the memory of those who perished in toledo and may god protect them. >> reporter: that city is 150 miles north of dayton, ohio. where at least nine people were murdered and dozens injured. it is a mistake democratic presidential candidate joe biden also made. who was forced to correct himself after referring to the tragic events in houston and michigan. the question now is what happens next? trump has called for gun restrictions in the past -- >> i think it is something you have to think about. >> reporter: but later backed off of after sitting down with nra leadership. now, wolf, former barack obama has issued a very pointed statement calling on the country to, quote, soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist
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sentiments. he does not mention trump by name in the statement but, wolf, this is certainly one of the most forceful statements since he left office and hard to see the president doesn't see this is directed at him. >> good point. kaitlan collins, a very powerful statement from president obama. thank you. i want to go back to el paso. bring in cesar blanco. a democratic member of the texas state legislature. thanks so much for joining us. you represent el paso where we've seen the death toll rise today. how is your community doing? >> well our community continues to be sad, wolf. two more people as you just mentioned passed away today. and several people are still -- still remain in the hospital battling for their lives. just a tragic day and we're all trying to -- to work together here in el paso to get through this. >> when we last spoke, you described a community that is majority latino where many
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chu -- including yourself has served in the u.s. military what goes through your mind knowing the suspect specifically targ targeted your city? >> naturally it brings fear to communities not only latino communities by african-american communities, to communities of color throughout our country. there is fear that more white supremacists will do more acts of violence like this. and it is unfortunate that our leaders, while they condemn it, one specific leader has used a lot of racial division in his language when he's campaigning. that does not help heal the wounds of communities such as el paso when people are dying as a result of a white supremacist coming and shooting them. >> you're preferring to president trump. as you know, he laid the blame today in his address on mental health, on video games, the
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perils of the internet. how do you respond to the president? >> you know, wolf, video games didn't kill the 22 people here behind me in el paso. an angry man did that. somebody who had access to high powered automatic rifles that killed these individuals. not video games. many countries around the world have video games. we don't see that kind of violence in those countries. so it is very irresponsible for the president to mention video games as a source of the terror that is rained down in our community here in el paso. >> you mentioned yesterday when we spoke that you've seen the so-called manifesto prepared by the -- this shooter. the author said his views on immigration pre-date president
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trump but the document does reflect some of the president's rhetoric on immigration. it warrants for example of t the -- the hispanic invasion and democrats want open borders and free health care for undocumented immigrants. if you could speak directly to the president, cesar, what would you say to him about the impact of his words? >> well, their hurtful. those words hit home for me. i'm a grandson of a mexican immigrant who came to this country for a better life for himself and his family. his sons served in the military. many of his grandsons such as myself and my cousins served in the persian gulf in iraq and afghanistan and have given our time and our life to service to this country. it is a shame for a president who has never served in uniform
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to criticize immigrants, immigrants give so much to this country and they have throughout the history of the united states and we're going to continue to do that. make no mistake, wolf, el paso is going to continue to be an open community with its arms open welcoming to immigrants. because el paso will remain, despite this tragedy, a beacon of hope for immigrants who are seeking refuge here in the united states. >> very special city indeed, el paso. as you probably know. democratic presidential candidate beto o'rourke who used to represent el paso in the house of representatives, he tweeted this just moments ago. let me read it to you and to our viewers. this president who helped create the hatred that made saturday's tragedy possible should not come to el paso. we do not need more division. we need to heal. he has no place here. do you agree with beto o'rourke? >> i agree, wolf. because there are still -- this
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is still an investigation. there are till people in the hospitals battling for their lives. there are still families who are mourning the community and is still planning vigils and things like that. right now we need time to heal. we need time to act as local and state governments. i think the president coming here would just be a distraction to all of that. >> cesar blanco, thank you sore joining us and please, please express our deepest thoughts and sympathies and our condolences to the families in your beautiful city of el paso. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. a quick note to our viewers. cnn is reached out to at least 60 republican lawmakers. almost all of them have declined our invitations to come on camera and discuss this shootings and what the nation should do about gun violence. some have accepted, but not many. let's get the insights of our
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legal and law enforcement experts. jim sciutto, you are there in el paso. you just heard what the lawmaker had to say. at least 31 people are now confirmed dead and dozens more wounded. what, if anything, have you seen that has changed in america since we've learned about these mass shootings in these two american cities? >> wolf, we learned a lot today. the president's reaction and the reaction of the one republican lawmaker who agreed to come on our broadcast earlier this morning. as kaitlan noted, the president teed up the possibility of discussing background checks, possibly linked to immigration reform and then dropped that idea by the time he made his public comments. i spoke to a republican congressman from florida, ted yoho and florida experienced its parkland and heard a succession of talking points on why gun
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control and background checks, et cetera, don't work or aren't enough or we shouldn't rush to judgment. i even had what amounted to something of a bizarre conversation with him. him making the argument that knives and arson are as dangerous as high-powered weapons and high-powered ammunition with high-capacity magazines. but that seemed to be where the conversation is. so from a political point of view, based on what we heard today, from republican lawmakers and the president and by the way a lack of desire from republican lawmakers to come on the air and even address the issue, it doesn't seem that a remarkable three days of deadly violence have changed the political calculus and that is -- it is truly remarkable. i'll tell you, here in el paso where people are suffering through the effects of 22 people being gunned down, they're shaking their heads. their frustrated and a little amazed. >> everybody i want to -- stand
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by. i did speak to congressman will hurd over the weekend. one of the few republicans willing to come on camera and discuss what has happened. we're going to take a quick break. we have a lot going on. we're awaiting a news conference updating the mass shooting in el paso. we'll have live coverage of that. also just into cnn, presidential candidate joe biden tells our anderson cooper that president trump is playing a dangerous game with his rhetoric. we're going to bring you some of this one-on-one interview with the former vice president. much more right after this. hi i'm joan lunden.
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we're back with breaking news on the mass murders in el paso, texas and dayton, ohio. let's continue the discussion with our law enforcement and political experts. anthony ferrante, you're a former fbi special agent and the suspected shooter according to police have shown no remorse and stone cold in his interactions and answering questions but what does it tell you about the kind of information he'll likely share. >> wolf, it doesn't surprise me he's not cooperating with investigators. considering what he's done -- >> he is cooperating -- >> but it doesn't surprise me he's showing no remorse. considering what he's done, gruesome acts but i would say two things. one, investigators will continue
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to lean on him, continue to talk to him, build rap -- rapport to continue the investigation and investigators at the city and state and federal level are looking into every single aspect of his life, every single associate that he has and they'll leave no stone left unturned when it comes to looking into the matter. >> whatever he says to them, he's answering the questions and they have to take some of that with a grain of salt. shimon, on a separate case, but potentially also very significant just a little while ago, a lawyer representing cesar sigh ed sentenced to sending pipe bombs to democrats and including to the cnn bureau in new york, the headquarters in atlanta. the lawyer for him said, and i'm quoting him now, that they believe that the president's rhetoric contributed to his actions.
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how significant is that? >> look, when this first started happening, and the investigators started looking at this, they were very concerned. because of the rhetoric. and they were concerned about his almost fascination with the president, with trump. he had all sorts of material, if you remember when he was arrested, on his van. he was arrested -- he had a van. so had trump decals and stickers. so they have always been very concerned that perhaps this man was somehow just extremely -- listening to what the president was saying that was kind of perhaps maybe in some ways some thinks that was there something the president said that inspired this -- of course cesar sayoc asked for letters of leniency from the judge but for people from the fbi and local level they are concerned about the conversations going on in this country right now and if that is in any way inspiring folks to
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act. >> in the case in el paso, it is now being considered a domestic terrorism case. legally speaking, susan, what does that suggest? >> so domestic terrorism designation is usely significant for the investigation. that allows the fbi to conduct a different type of investigation called an enterprise investigation and people are surprised when big shootings like this with political motivations aren't charged in courts as terrorism. because there is no such thing as a domestic terrorism offense. it is not a stand-alone crime. so that -- people think that means government isn't taking it as seriously and don't understand the political gravity. that is not the case. but it is a matter of a legal technicality the way the law approaches terrorism and it usually requires a foreign nexus so it is unsurprising to see this being investigated as a domestic terrorism investigation. at this point, that said, those will -- we will not see domestic terrorism charges ultimately. >> i want to bring in charles ramsey, cnn law enforcement
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analyst, former washington, d.c. police chief, former commissioner of police in philadelphia. chief ramsey, when we look at what happened in dayton, ohio, about 30 seconds for the gunman to kill nine people, injure and wound so many others and it could have been even more deadly if local police had not stopped him so quickly. give us your analysis of how this happened. >> well, they were very for t fortunate and that is an entertainment area and like many cities on friday and saturday night, you have additional personnel assigned because you deal with the crowds, you deal with people that may be intoxicated and so forth. so they had what we call an on-view situation. in other words, they were right there and they were witnessed to it and heard it and able to react very quickly. but even though they reacted quickly, under 30 seconds, he did an awful lot of damage. which gets to the heart of the issue and these assault weapons. i listen to the president this morning. how can you blame video games as
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part of the problem. and not see assault weapons as part of the problem. i don't get it. it is not a partisan issue. the shooter in either one of the cases, neither one of them stopped to ask if they were a republican or a democrat before they killed them. this is an american problem and we have to deal with it. we were just lucky the cops were there that close to be able to minimize the impact this guy would have had. because believe me, we would have had a body count probably in excess of what we in el paso had they not been there. >> and explain, chief ramsey, we have a picture of a gun with what is called a double drum magazine which is apparently what was used. explain how potentially deadly this is. >> well, it carries 100 rounds. it fires a.223-caliber weapon. i don't know what level vest those officers had but if he turned that gun on them, their vest probably would not have protected them. it is a very dangerous weapon. and when a bullet impacts the body, it expands and causes a
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tremendous amount of tissue damage and the victims simply bleed out from the wounds. it is devastating. and you can fire rapid fire -- it is incredible. i think chief biehl said he had 250 rounds in total at the scene is what they actually were able to recover. just think about the carnage that could have been brought as a result of a weapon like that. it has no place at all in our society on the streets. it is for -- it is for the military, it is not for civilian use. you can't hunt -- you the only thing you could hunt with it are other people. that's it. you try killing a deer, there would be nothing left to eat. it is absolutely ridiculous to even think about having this stuff out here. and yet we've got an embarrassment on our hands which is our united states congress that just refuses to do anything. and it is a shame. >> let pe get david chalian to
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indicate -- the house has passed something on back ground checks but there is no indication that mitch mcconnell will allow this to come up for a vote. >> no indication and i doubt that will surprise anyone watching who observed these incidents over the years. no matter how gruesome, no matter how tragic, no matter what these mass killings are, there doesn't seem to be a way, yet, to break the gridlock in washington. and i think what the president -- what the president proved today with his words is that he's incapable of being able to break that gridlock as well. he's incapable because of his rhetoric, because of the way that he injects division into much of what he says, he is now sort of given up on the role of being the healer-in-chief for the nation at moments like this as well which is why i think you're seeing a sort of totally different response from
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democrats running for president and from barack obama than we've seen before. i think they are looking past anything president trump could say because for them and i would say -- probably for half of the country or so politically, he has no credibility to speak about. >> in his tweet earlier in the morning he spoke about a need to come together and get strong background checks. then when he addressed the nation from the white house, makes no mention of background checks. >> right. and i think he was tieing that perhaps to immigration reform as well. something that some folks in the white house did not want to see him do. and so therefore it gwinne-- it appear. and he's signaled interest in background checks before only to walk away from it hours later. so i don't think it is particularly new that the president would float something and then walk away from it. i do think right now across the landscape we haven't seen any appetite to actually upend the
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so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. we're stand by for a news conference, authorities in el paso, texas, getting ready to brief us on the latest in the investigation. we'll have live coverage of that comingp in a few moments. also our own anderson cooper, he
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just had an opportunity to speak with the democratic presidential front-runner joe biden and they discussed these latest developments. listen to this. >> that may be behind the rhetoric, you're saying, an effort basically to stoke white supremacists or white nationalist to give them a dog whistle. >> well it is -- they do have a dog whistle. they do have a dog whistle. look, this is a president who has said things no other president has said since andrew jackson. nobody said anything like the things he's saying. and the idea that this is contribute to or legitimize or make it more rational for people to think that we, in fact, can now speak out and speak out and be more straightforward and make this an issue, we've been through this before. we went through this before in the '20s with the ku klux klan and 50,000 people walking down pennsylvania avenue in their hats and robes because they didn't want catholics coming
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into the country and we went there it after the civil war in terms of the ku klux klan and white supremacy. this is about separating people and the good and bad in his mind. it is about making -- it is about an access to power. it is a trait used by charltons all over the world, divide people and pit them against one another. >> if that is the case, it is a very dangerous game that he's playing? >> oh, no, there is no question it is a dangerous game. there is no question that his rhetoric has contributed to at a minimum -- at a minimum of dumbing down the way in which we as a society talk about one another. the way we -- we've always -- look, we've always brought the country together. we've never -- we the people. we hold these truths self evident. he flies in the face of all of the basic things that we've never really met the standard, we've never abandoned it before. he looks like he's just flat abandoned the theory that we are one people. >> to discuss, david chalian,
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what do you think? >> so this is getting to the point i was discussing before, joe biden is now reacting in ways and so are many democrats that we haven't seen before which is, like, not -- there is no credit being given to the president and i'm not suggesting there should be by the candidates that he did denounce white -- >> no, he's long past that because he's lost credibility. so they're in a different place. now joe biden doesn't go as far as bernie sanders or beto o'rourke who called the president a white nationalist. joe biden you heard say there is no doubt that he contributes, his rhetoric contributes to the climate in which these people behave. so he wasn't quite as out there in taking on the president as the others are. but what you see there is a belief that this isn't just about this one incident, wolf. this is a belief by the democratic candidates that the president of the united states has completely abandoned the notion that we are one people. that he is all about division and it is that that is the sort
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of existential threat or the danger the candidates imposes. >> let me get ryan lizza to weigh in. this is a sensitive issue into the 2020 election. >> yeah, it is, wolf. look, i think that the starting point here with trump is that the republican party up until trump came along was in a very different place. we live in a rapidly changing country demographically and the republican party was at the cusp of dealing with that by reaching out to the fastest-growing groups, hispanics and asians, trump came along and he said no, we're going to turn up out the white vote and a whole political strategy flows from that decision since 2016 and you jump on that treadmill of trying to crank up that vote and it leads you to some very dark places. and i think that is what we've seen in the last few years, is trump just pushing the envelope,
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pushing the envelope on these race-based issues and inflaming white grievance politics and that -- and he just is not backing down. and it is not just trump any more. we see other republican candidates jumping on the same thing. trump has been running facebook ads with this word "invasion" in it, thousands of them. and if you look at the facebook archive of political ads, other republicans are jumping on that same rhetoric. so it is trickling down to the entire republican party, not just trump. and i think a lot of democrats in the last couple of days have just as david was saying are not holding back in any way as they describe what is going on. >> sabrina, a lot of outrage and anger, anything legislatively going to happen? >> well, i think that the conversation around gun control has very much remained stalled on capitol hill. but i want to go back for a moment to the president's response because we just hit in
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june the three-year mark of when donald trump launched his presidential campaign by declaring that most mexicans were rapist and killers and in recent weeks leading up to the shootings he was treating that four congresswomen of color all of whom are u.s. citizens should go back to where they came from and those are just the bookends. this is a president who has repeatedly demonized nonwhite immigrants and muslims and other people of color. so he can stand there today and condemn white supremacy but it is remarkable that for him to do so is somehow noteworthy. i think it really reinforces the fact that the bar is so low and the real question is is the president going to stop stoking fears around immigrants or those fleeing violence in south america or stop the twitter account or stop referring to majority black cities as war zones and using words like infested to describe them.
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if past is prologue, i think the answer is no and unfortunately the president's comments today were the exception to the rule. >> stick around. coming up, much more on the breaking news. we're standing by on the update on the mass murder in el paso.
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we are following breaking news. the aftermath of two massacres in el paso, texas, and dayton, ohio. at least 31 people were killed by the gunfire. democrats are demanding congressional action. president trump is blaming much
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of this on mental illness. he says that's responsible for the carnage, not necessarily dp guns. we are joined by psychologist lisa van susterin. listen to this. >> mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun. >> i'm quoting now, the rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world. but the rate of gun deaths here in the united states, mass murders along the lines of what we have seen over the weekend are enormous here compared to other countries. >> yes. i think most of us recognize now this is just a handy excuse to say mental illness for not taking action. it's just a giant fig leaf people use so they don't have to do what they need to do obviously which is to reduce the availability of guns. i would like to say that, yes, mental illness is a problem in the u.s. we can't get help often times,
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but the idea -- this is what's so naive -- especially for somebody who's been in the business as long as i have. to think you can find people who, quote, have mental illness and, what, even high functioning people won't come in for therapy. you get them in for therapy and they talk about their problems, take medicine, join a group, talk about the issues? it's ridiculous. >> let's talk about the 21-year-old white male suspect in el paso. he posted this horrific anti-hispanic -- what police call -- a manifesto 20 minutes before the shooting. what do you gather about his mindset? >> it's the same whether it's targeted at a particular ethnic group, religious or some other group. when you see mass murders, the people who engage in mass murders, mass shooters, what they have in common is they are full of self-loathing. they feel like losers. they project in order to get rid of the feeling of being a loser onto other people.
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then they scapegoat those people. sometimes it's anonymous as the lone wolf type is. here with a new social platform where they can gather it's like mob psychology. they can encourage each other. they become part of a group, a mass movement, a mob. >> the suspect wrote down his thoughts in considerable detail, drove about 700 miles from allen, texas, to el paso. when you see that planning, that preparation, what do you say? >> it's consistent with what we have seen with other mass murderers. sometimes you have someone who is very psychotic meaning they are out of touch with reality. they can't plan. you see a disorganized crime scene. in a situation like this where a person is not psychotic, not mentally ill to such a degree and the line between madness and badness is difficult to draw. what you see is simply he was very determined to do this. indeed, i'm sure he expected to
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get a lot of credit for the rest of the people on those sites. >> in dayton, we saw a 24-year-old white male, the suspect with a high capacity set of magazines. very crowded bar. killed his own sister in this attack. what stands out in your mind when you see the details that we have so far and clearly the investigation is continuing? >> that it's the same sort of process. he has a long history of not feeling like he's been a success. by any stretch of i think anyone's imagination he's had a long history of feeling like an outsider. he's angry, full of self-hatred he projects on others and somehow getting that revenge is going to allow him to feel superior which is why they talk about white supremacy. the reasons these words are used, why they have disdain for elites, so-called, it's because they are trying to feel important themselves. this is one of the ways they can get all the attention. >> as usual, thank you for
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coming in. appreciate it very much. we are standing by for an update on the mass murder in el paso. we'll be right back. >> tech: at safelite autoglass, we really pride ourselves on making it easy for you to get your windshield fixed. >> teacher: let's turn in your science papers. >> tech vo: this teacher always puts her students first.
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happening now, stone cold look. as the death toll rises, police say the man charged with the mass shooting in el paso is showing no remorse. what is he revealing to
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investigators about the domestic terror attack? hit list. classmates say the gunman in the dayton massacre had a list of people he wanted to kill and rape when he was in high school. we are learning more about his war-like arsenal that allowed him to commit a slaughter in seconds. not blaming guns. president trump claims mental illness and hatred pulled the trigger in the texas and ohio shootings. tonight he's not offering new gun proposals and is ignoring his own hate-promoting rhetoric. and top democrats are demanding action from the president and his party arguing mr. trump is part of the problem as gun violence claims more lives. this hour, new reaction from presidential candidates kamala harris, joe biden, tim ryan. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is

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