tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 9, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
substantially helped by undocumented immigrants. tune in this sunday to state of the union and my guests include congressman beto o'rourke. it is at 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern on sunday. our coverage continues right now. thanks one and all. appreciate it. see you sunday. happening now, breaking news. targeting mexicans. cnn obtained the arrest affidavit for the suspect in the el paso mass shooting. police say he told them he was targeting mexicans and even admitted, quote, i'm the shooter. we're also getting new details about why he drove hundreds of miles to el paso. why wasn't the attack in his home town? defined and focused, the manager of the el paso walmart gives cnn a gripping firsthand account and said the attacker didn't spray gunfire but was defined and focused and took direct shots and he helped customers get to safety. gun lobby. president trump pushes for gun
reform telling reporters he sees strong support from very meaningful background checks but are mitch mcconnell and the national rifle association on board and will anything get done? and america on edge. from a motorcycle backfiring in times square to an armed man wearing body armor at a missouri walmart, anything is setting off alarms and even panic and the country returning to normal. wolf blitzer is off and i'm jim acosta and you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. and breaking news in the el paso mass shooting investigation, the arrest affidavit of the suspected gunman quotes him as saying he was targeting mexicans. the affidavit also said when he surrendered to police the suspect told them, quote, i'm the shooter. this comes as president trump said he has spoken with congressional leaders and sees bipartisan support for gun law
reforms. and the question-and-answer session as he left the white house, he touted the possibility of a deal on what he calls, quote, very meaningful background checks and predicted the national rifle association will come around or in his words be a little bit more neutral. the group is signaling it is against the current proposal to expand background checks or enact red flag laws. i'll discuss gun reforms and more with congresswoman jackie speier of california and our correspondents and analysts have full coverage of the top stories. beginning with breaking news in el paso. our brian todd has been there all week. brian, what are you learning? >> reporter: jim, we've been working sources here on the ground all day talking to the manager of this walmart. digging up records on what the suspect has said while in custody. tonight we have new details on who the shooter said he was targeting and a new account, dramatic new account of the chaos at in store. tonight cnn has obtained an arrest affidavit of the suspected shooter patrick
crusius showing he allegedly told police he was there to target mexicans. cnn spoke to the manager of the walmart robert evans who said the shooter firing at victims in the parking lot. evans said the shooting appeared deliberate. >> from what i saw, he seemed like he was -- he knew what he was shooting. he was very defined. he looked very focused. and precision on what he was -- on what he was aiming for. it wasn't just a spray of gunfire. these were direct shots. >> reporter: el paso police have told cnn that the suspect surrendered to a motorcycle police man a couple of blocks away from the walmart and getting out of the car and telling the officer he was the shooter. the affidavit said the suspect admitted to using an ak-47 to shoot multiple victims. robert evans, manager, got hundreds of people out back entrances and saw one man shot in the back staggering out of the back entrance and said one of the employees tended to the
wounded man. >> i just wanted to save as many people and get people notified there was danger, there is danger coming this way. >> reporter: then evans said he circled back around the front of the building and saw an elderly couple who had been shot in their car. >> there were shots to the glass in the windows of the car. and the passenger was a female and she was shot in the face and an area and she was pretty -- not responsive at the time and then the man was kind of moaning and it appeared he was trying to drive away from harm's way and he parked kind of crooked and he couldn't drive any more and bleeding severely from his back as well. >> reporter: and cnn is learning more about what drove the alleged gunman, crusius, to el paso to commit this horrific crime. three sources with knowledge of the investigation tell cnn crusius told investigators he didn't want to carry out an attack in his home town of allen, texas, expressing shame or reticence to do such a thing near his home.
that is one of the reasons he targeted el paso over 650 miles away. the sources said crusius believed that if he did this in another city, his family and people who knew him wouldn't know that he was responsible for carrying out the deadly attack. >> the fact that the shooter traveled that far away from all of the way from allen, texas, to el paso in search of people that as you read his screed, didn't look like him, this speaks to his mindset, this speaks to his motivation. >> reporter: the fbi said it is evidence response team is combing through the crime scene and will be for days. as law enforcement digs into the background of the alleged shooter. >> we were able to locate a call that came in on thursday, june 27th, at approximately 11:15 in the morning. >> reporter: allen texas police confirming that crusius' mother did in fact call theirtation weeks ago with concerns about her son as first reported by cnn. >> the sole concern was the
parent was motivated out of a concern that her son just did not have the training, the firearm safety training and the intellectual maturity to own this type of a firearm. the call-taker did a good job and comes around twice in fact and says is your son suicidal and then says has your son threatened any other person? and both times the -- it appears that there was not a problem with that. >> reporter: and since the mother didn't identify herself, allen police could not follow up with more investigation. >> the protocol is you always ask for identification. but you can't force someone to identify who they are. >> reporter: to give an idea of the kind of scene the shooter was walking into, robert evans the manager and another employee are telling cnn they believe there were 3,000 people at the store when the shooting began.
so far no walmart employees are counted among the dead but two walmart employees were wounded. jim. >> brian todd, thanks. the mass shootings in el paso and dayton sparked a national outcry for gun laws and today president trump is predicting action. let's get to kaitlan collins at the white house. what is the president saying? >> reporter: tonight the president said he's confident that he could get the republican party and the gun lobby on board with tougher background checks even though both groups have opposed such measures in the past and right now we haven't seen any new public stances from either of them. in a week where 31 people were killed in mass shootings, president trump is claiming tonight that republicans are behind him on background checks. >> i spoke to mitch mcconnell yesterday, he's totally on board. >> reporter: but his optimism is add -- at odds with what the gop said publicly. the senate majority leader
signals on -- on thursday he's open for legislation. >> the key is making a law and not making a point. >> reporter: but his office is making clear he's endorsed nothing yet. >> this isn't a question of nra, republican or democrat. >> reporter: the president said he's confident he can persuade the gun lobby. >> i had a good talk with wayne -- >> reporter: sources tell cnn nra chief wayne la pierre warned trump his base isn't on board with tougher background checks. >> i think in the end wayne and the nra will either be there or maybe will be a little bit more neutral. >> reporter: and after the shooting in parkland, florida, it was the gun lobby that swayed the president. asked why the country should believe him now, trump denied changing his mind. >> no, no, i never said what i'm saying now. >> reporter: asked what his message is for the children returning to school who fear mass shootings, trump said they have nothing to worry about. >> go and really study hard and
some day you'll grow up and maybe be president of the united states. >> reporter: the president leaving washington today for his own vacation as he's facing new scrutiny over his
trip to el paso, texas, now that a photo surfaced of him grinning and flashing a thumbs up while the first lady olds a 2-month-old orphaned baby whose parents were murdered in the el paso shooting. amid criticism over the rhetoric on immigration, trump is standing by the large-scale immigration raids in mississippi which left children sobbing as they waited for word on what happened to their parents. [ crying ] >> they're going to be brought out. and this serves as a very good deterrent. >> reporter: asked if democratic presidential candidates labelling him a white supremacist will help him with voters, trump called it a disgrace. >> first of all, i don't like it when they do it because i am not any of those things. i think it is a disgrace and i think it shows how desperate the
democrats are. >> reporter: the president also taking a swing at joe biden. after he made this mistake thursday night. >> poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids. >> yo is not playing with a full deck. >> reporter: when it comes to his cabinet, trump also doesn't have a full deck. >> sue did a great job. i like sue gordon very much. >> reporter: he's now searching for a new director of national intelligence and a deputy director after sue gordon resigned thursday saying in a note it was out of respect and patriotism, not preference. sources said it became clear trump wasn't going to pick gordon for the top job. despite wide support from senate republicans. >> i'm in no rush because we have a great acting. >> reporter: now, jim, we also have breaking news into the situation room tonight and that is shortly after the immigration raids you saw there in mississippi, the white house instructed senior i.c.e. officials to conduct more of the workplace enforcement operations
this year. it is those kind of operations that could lead to the arrest like the -- the ones you saw in mississippi where nearly 700 undocumented immigrants were arrested. the ones that the president defended today as he was leaving the white house. >> it sounds like he and the white house like what they saw in mississippi. kaitlan collins, thank you very much. with us now is california democratic representative jackie speier. she's a member of the oversight and intelligence committees. congress woman, thank you for joining us. the el paso shooter admitted to authorities that he was the shooter and he told them he was targeting mexicans. what is your response to that? >> well, it is consistent with his manifesto, it's also consistent with the kind of language used by the president in terms of wanting to target mexicans. in the rhetoric he uses, it is very hot and very pointed and he is reaping what he has sewed. >> and have you heard president trump offer any condolences
specifically to the mexican community or the latino community and has he acknowledged the motivation behind this attack to your satisfaction? >> not at all. and president is not likely to do either of those things because he never apologizes, he never backs down. it is always about him. and that horrible creepy picture of him with a thumbs up with melania holding an orphaned infant i think says it all. he is as the psychologist and psychiatrists have said, he's a malignant narcissist and it is always about him. >> you were disturbed by that photo? >> of course i was. i'm also disturbed by the crying children of these undocumented workers in mississippi. what about throwing the book at the employers that intentionally hire undocumented immigrants and use them and abuse them and then fill comfortable releasing them and getting another whole group
of people. these are jobs that americans frankly won't take. >> and let's turn to our nation's gun laws. president trump now said the country needs what he calls intelligence background checks, although we're not sure what that means precisely and said the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is, quote, totally on board. do democrats have a strategy to keep up the pressure until the senate returns from recess because as you know congresswoman, when you are on recess and people come back in a couple of weeks, folks move on. >> that is right. but this issue is not moving on. this issue is going to plague this administration and mitch mcconnell until we start taking action. this is not the last of the kinds of mass shootings that we will see this year. we will typically see more than 250. we've already seen 253 this year. more than 39,000 people were shot and killed last year from guns. so there will be another one.
i say that with great pain. but it is not going away and we're certainly not going to let it go away, let me point out the background check bill is a modest provision that closes loopholes in an existing law. so this is not a heavy lift for mitch mcconnell, for the president, or for the senate. >> what is stopping them, do you think? >> well, in the past what stopped them is the nra. now maybe the president is recognizing that the nra is not going to get him re-elected like they did the first time with a $30 million contribution and that he has to recognize that this is a very modest proposal but should be on the books. there is about 180,000 people every year that are declined guns because of background checks. now, that number will grow if we close the loophole for gun shows and for online purchases. >> and what about the red flag laws that you hear about, that have been talked about? you survived a shooting as a
young woman, congresswoman, do those kinds of provisions go far enough, do you think? do you think there is an appetite for a new assault weapons ban? >> i believe very strongly that we need to reimpose the assault weapon ban that senator feinstein put on the books over 14 years ago. i also think high-capacity magazines need to be abandoned and banned. the dayton shooter had 100-shot drum that he was -- had in his possession at the time. so when they have more fire power than the police officers that are trying to subdue them, we've got a problem. and i think there is much more that has to be done over the next few months besides passing this modest bill on background checks. >> and getting back to that workplace enforcement raid down
in mississippi, we're learning that in the aftermath of that i.c.e. raid the white house is now directing i.c.e. to conduct more of those types of raids. what does that tell you? >> it is very consistent with the white house attitude which is instilling fear on the mexican-american community and those who are here, whether documented or undocumented. i just came from a town hall in an area in my district where there are a large number of latinos and they're all afraid, afraid to go out and afraid to go to the store and frankly that is the case for people who are white now as well. so this is a problem that is effecting all of us. and we have got to get serious about ridding our country of guns that are weapons of war. >> and congress woman, you serve on the intelligence committee so i want to get your reaction to "the new york times" report that president trump rejected an intelligence briefing from sue
gordon, the former director, or deputy director of national intelligence last week and the white house denies this. but could that potentially put the country's national security at risk if he's objecting to this brief or that briefer during a national security briefing? >> well, i think the president puts our country at risk frequently. he does not have daily briefings by the intelligence community like our previous presidents have done. he gets briefings maybe once or twice a week. and as we know, there are certain people he just doesn't even want to have come brief him because he just doesn't like their personality. well this is not a personality game. this is our country's security at stake. and he needs to be briefed, he needs also to be willing to listen to what the briefers are telling him. the fact that russia has so impacted our elections in 2016
and again the attempt in 2018 is something he doesn't want to hear so he wants to rid the intelligence community of the people that came up with that intelligence analysis. that is not going to keep us safe. >> representative jackie speier, thank you so much for your time. we appreciate it. up next, president trump today dismissed all of them as lousy candidates but the 2020 democrats are firing back and eager to take him on. we're pretty different. we're all unique in our own ways. somos muy diferentes. muy diferentes. (vo) verizon knows everyone in your family is different. there are so many of us doing so many different things. (vo) that's why verizon lets everyone mix and match different unlimited plans. sebastian's the gamer. sebastian. this is my office. (vo) and now with more plans, everyone gets what they need without paying for things they don't. new plans start at just $35. the plan is so reasonable, they could stay on for the rest of their lives. aww, did you get that on camera? thanks, dad! (vo) the network more people rely on gives you more. when does an opportunity become a golden opportunity?
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tonight democratic presidential candidates are taking president trump to task on gun control. cnn's arlette saenz is following the 2020 campaign from iowa. what are the democrats saying about the president as well as their own plans for gun safety? >> reporter: well, jim, gun control has returned as a focal point in the 2020 campaign and the candidates have been hammering away at both president trump and the nra over inaction they believe on gun control. take a listen to what senator elizabeth warren had to say in humboldt, iowa, earlier today. >> president trump wants to have everything both ways. he wants to stir up as much hate and division as he can, and then
say, oh, not me. he wants to say, oh, yes, i could support changes on gun safety and then say but let's all be sure to bow to the nra. that just doesn't work. >> reporter: now elizabeth warren will release a gun reform plan of her own in the coming days and some candidates aren't just looking for changes legislatively or through executive action, they're also, some of them, at least four of the presidential candidates tweeted today calling on walmart to stop selling guns since that shooting in their store in el paso. elizabeth warren, bernie sanders, cory booker, julian castro, the four cantons who have made that call so far and tomorrow attention will turn over to des moines where many of the 2020 democratic candidates will speak at a forum on gun reform, that issue taking significance since the shootings last week, jim.
>> and bring us up to speed on the tussle today between joe biden and president trump. >> reporter: yeah, jim, this all stems from comments that the former vice president made last night in front of a group of mostly hispanic and asian voters when he said that poor kids are as bright as white kids. he then did go on to say wealthy kids and black kids, but the biden campaign said that he simply misspoke and went on to correct himself. but that hasn't stopped president trump from seizing on those comments earlier today at the white house, he said that it showed that the former vice president isn't playing with a full deck. i asked a biden campaign aide about the comment and they fired back that donald trump's deck is full of jokers and joe biden was asked about the criticism from the trump campaign during an appearance in boone, iowa today and take a listen to what he had to say. >> tell him it is the second anniversary of charlottesville coming up and they need to divert something. >> are you able to you think go through a whole campaign with
this kind of scrutiny. >> yes, i have to. it is a legitimate scrutiny. >> mr. biden, they say that they question your elect ability. >> but that will be determined pretty soon, won't it. >> reporter: and this comes as the democratic presidential candidates are trying to paint the president as a divider since the shootings over the course of the past week. you now have at least seven of the democratic presidential candidates labelling president trump as a white supremacist. that call has increased in the coming days and we'll see if it continues to grow further, jim. >> arlette saenz in noisy iowa. thank you very much. our political experts are here to discuss the latest news. stand by, we have a lot to talk about right after a quick break. r credit cards right- by consolidating your credit card debt into one monthly payment. and get your interest rate right. so you can save big. get a no-fee personal loan up to $100k.
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breaking news. disturbing details on the moments after the massacre in el paso. according to an arrest affidavit obtained by cnn, the accused gunman told police he was targeting mexicans during the slaughter. let's get more analysis from our experts and turning to susan hennessey, according to the arrest affidavit, the suspect told police he was targeting mexicans, what does that tell you about the suspect, the fact he's declaring this motivation to police. >> it will make easier for
federal have you ever -- federal investigators will seek federal hate crime charges with sentencing enhancements because they don't have to prove this was about racial animus and the person is telling it to them. this is a standard feature of all kinds of terrorism. you're not trying to target the specific victims, but trying to send a message to instill fear in a larger group and so for the shoot tore be quite explicit that he was targeting mexicans, that is one way to amplify that message and to try and essentially achieve the goal of terrorism. it is also important that we sort of note, this doesn't even -- even though we've had conversations about mental health this does not appear to be an individual mentally ill. it is an individual who is saying why he committed the crime, he had selected victims specifically so when we see horrific acts of violence we want to say this has to be mental health because it is just difficult to imagine the mind of somebody who would do something like this. but it really is a case in which
it is about evil not mental health. >> and sean turner, we've heard the president talk this week about what unfolded in el paso and in dayton but not heard the president really talk about what this should mean to the latino community and do they feel protected. has the president said enough to the latino community in the aftermath of what happened in el paso, do you think? >> jim, i wish i could say he had, but no. look, the president is trying to strike an impossible and what i think is a misguided balance here between what he should be doing now, to reassure the country and what he wants to do. on the one hand what, the president should be doing now is he should be taking steps to not only reassure but to protect the people in this country who are increasingly under attack because of in warped ideology. but what the president really wants to do right now is he wants to send a subtle message or not so subtle message to his base and those on the fringe of
his base that when it comes to this immigration issue that he's keep the appreciate up and will continue to deal with the issue and get the immigrants out of the country. and i have to tell you, jim, there is no better evidence of that than the i.c.e. raids in mississippi. the president could have picked up the phone and made a 30-second phone call and said, look, this is not the time to do this. i believe in this and i think it is important but it is not the time but he didn't do that and in a week with such horrific attacks he decides to go forward and i think that speaks volumes of where the president's mind is on this. >> and ron brownstein, instead of calling back the i.c.e. raid, we just heard in the last several minutes the white house wants i.c.e. to conduct more raids like this. they're not pulling back, they're expanding. >> look, sean is right. from the very beginning, jim, the core -- the core of the core of the president's support had been the voters who are most uneasy about immigration in particular and demographic change in general. i go back to the republican primaries in 2016 in virtually
every state it was only a minority of voters even in the republican primary who said that all undocumented immigrants should be zee ported but that minority voted for trump in overwhelming numbers in 2016 they provided a majority of the stoets in almost every state during the march to the nomination and he never lost sight of that. you see the president constantly -- today for example, he had a series of tweets accusing -- he said i'm not a racist. hollywood is racist. and it is a reminder that the president in following in the track of conservative populous since joe mccarthy and joe wallace and pat buchanan always comes back to the argument that his voters, what he refers to as the real americans, are under threat from two directions, contempt shoous cultural elites who look down on their values and minorities coming to threaten their security and take their jobs and he always gets back to ways to make one of those two points. >> rebecca, another pressure
point is on the issue of gun control. the president was saying today that he believes mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader is totally on board with the idea of background checks but you and i both know we've seen this movie before. being totally on board on this friday is not necessarily where things will stand when they come back from recess. >> right. and here is the thing when we're talking about whether or not mitch mcconnell is on board here, he can be on board in principle, but all he cares about is the senate majority leader is how could we put this in a piece of legislation that has enough votes to pass. he's not going to put his republican senators in a position where they're going to have to vote for something that isn't passing, that is politically unpopular -- >> or be signed by the president. >> exactly. so the president might be right now very enthusiastic about this in principle but the devil is in the details -- especially when it comes to the politics of gun control and so that is i think where the divide could be here and whe-- where things could ge hairy. >> did you want to jump in.
>> yeah, because background checks are as popular as anything gets in american public opinion. there is connistent polling showing over 90% of the public believes everyone who buys a gun, no matter where they buy it, should have to undergo a background checks and that includes roughly 90% of republicans and roughly 90% of gun owners but the problem isn't the public sentiment but it is the institutional hold of the nra on the republican party particularly in more rural small states. if you go back to 2013 when there was the vote in the senate on universal background checks after the school shootings in connecticut, the senator -- you assign half of the state population to each senator and the senators who voted for it represented 195 million people and the senators who voted against it represented 120 million people. that is about as decisive as it gets in a democracy and yet it was blocked because of the -- of the roll of the filibuster and the near universal republican opposition. that is what we're talking about.
not a question of whether mitch mcconnell has to make people cast an unpopular vote it is a vote they are inwilling to cast because the institutional influence of the nra separate from gun owners within the republican party. >> but there is a recent example of the president leading the way on a bipartisan issue. criminal justice reform he got it done when mitch didn't think they could get the votes so that could be where this goes as well. >> we'll see about that. stand by, everybody. we have lots more to talk about. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back in just a moment. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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democratic field. rebecca, as you know, some democratic 2020 candidates are taking criticism of the president to a pretty incredible extreme. you would never think you would hear this in modern politics but we're hearing it, labelling the president of the united states a white supremacist. by cnn count we could put it up on screen, roughly a half dozen 2020 democrats accusing the president of being a white supremacist. we don't have the graphic ready but that is okay. we'll talk about it. what do you make of this? >> right. >> it sounds like something that a lot of the democrats are agreeing on. but are there any political risks in going down this road, do you think? >> the polling that we have seen over the past few years suggests that most americans, we haven't polled the question specifically do they believe the president is a white supremacist but is he encouraging white supremacist or white nationalists an the majority in the polls have said yes. so it is not a political risk for the candidates to be saying
that he encouraged this ideology but this is a step further and a litmus step of sorts in this democratic primary. what i think is noteworthy, we have half a dozen candidates who said, yes, we do believe the president is a white supremacist, joe biden the front-runner has not gone that far. and deliberately so. he said he does believe the president encourages this ideology but he said he actually expressed frustration, why do you want me to say this word and so he's not there yet trying to make a more moderate approach to the question. >> and sean turner, let me ask you about. let's listen to what the president had to say earlier today whether he thinks it helps him to be called a white supremacist. >> i don't think it helps. first of all, i don't like it when they do it, because i'm not any of those things. i think it is a disgrace and i think it shows how desperate the democrats are. they call anybody a racist when they run out of cards. i'm winning in the polls, they're desperate. they've got lousy candidates. they got bad candidates.
>> and sean turner, the fact that we're discussing whether or not it is politically advantageous for the president to be called a white supremacist by democrats, especially coming up on the two-year anniversary of charlottesville, where are we right now with our politics? >> yeah, you know, it's a startling position to be in. startling place to be in. look, i talked to a former white house official recently who said to me, i asked whether or not she thought the president was a racist and she said something shock. he's not a racist, he's a bell ye -- a brilliant strategist that understands race plays well and gets him votes and it is a good strategy. i can't underestimate how dangerous it is for the president to look at this as a game and to treat these issues of racism and division as political tools to get re-elected. all over this country you have friends, colleagues, neighbors who are looking at each other now with an increased level of
skepticism because they don't know whether or not the person that they've known and worked with and been associated with for sometime buys into an and espoused to this view. so this is a dangerous thing the president is doing and i think if he's using it as a political stunt, that is even more dangerous than if he is an actual racist because if he is an actual racist, i believe the people in the country will see it and vote him out. >> susan, i remember talking to a seen ye-- a senior white hous official who said i don't think the president is a racist and i said can you say that on the record and they would not say that on the record. this is decades after the civil rights movement in this country. >> at some point you have to set aside politically advantageous and call something what it is. white supremacists think donald trump is a white supremacist. racists think donald trump is a racist. they hear his words and feel emboldened by it and we know
that because they tell us that themselves and the president is not to be horrified or disgusted and appalled and say i have nothing to do with those people and i condemn those people and i'm disgusted by those people, it is to play coy and court them and sort of do a sort of a wink and nudge because obviously he used these people as a critical part of his base. >> thanks all of you for a great discussion. ron we'll get you next time. thanks so much to all of you. america on edge, that is our next story. fear and false alarms in the wake of last weekend's dual m s massacres. advice for what youy and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. when the power of 472 horses and an inspired race car design... ...come together at the perfect moment. ♪
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pour breaking news in the arrest affidavit obtained by cnn. police athe man now charged in the el paso mass shooting told them he was targeting mexicans. the el paso attack and the mass shootings sunday morning at dayton, ohio, have the country on edge. let's bring in cnn's ed lavendera, who has been covering events in el paso. ed, tell us more. >> reporter: hi, jim. as this week comes to an end amidst all the sadness and the grief that we've reported on, something else has been going on across the country, as well. and that is a great deal of anxiety brought on by what happened here in el paso. throughout the country, the el paso gunman's actions put people on edge. this 20-year-old is now facing a terror threat charge, striking fear inside a springfield, missouri, walmart, after walking through the store dressed like
this. >> there were a lot of people hiding outside, behind these barriers and businesses and it was pretty chaotic. >> reporter: it's the latest example of angst and anxiety across america. from times square in new york, where a motorcycle backfiring sent people running, to a mall in utah. where a sign crashing to the ground had shoppers scrambling to safety. >> we didn't know what was going on until somebody went in to tell them that we need to leave the place, so we just basically ran. >> reporter: a costco in california was evacuated after reports of a possible gunman inside. all of these incidents and others like it just this week. and while protesters plead with washington to act. walmart today took its first actions since the shootings, deciding to stop playing violent movies in their tv sections and eliminating displays of violent video games, but still planning to sell the games as well as
guns. and jim, despite that anxiety we kind of see in various parts of the country, here in el paso, the memorial that has grown throughout the week has really become a gathering place. every day, people coming down here unafraid to gather and mourn together. especially at night. we've heard singing and praying and hugging and all of these people coming here in this one location to share in their grief after what has been an incredibly long weak. jim? >> the nation is certainly on edge. ed lavendera, thank you very much. coming up, more on the breaking news. the arrest affidavit for the el paso mass shooting suspect. police say he told them he was targeting mexicans. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills?
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happening now. breaking news. direct shots. a key witness tells cnn it was clear who the el paso gunman was aiming for as we're learning that the suspect admitted to police that he was targeting mexicans. predicting progress. president trump is sounding optimistic about the prospect of new background check legislation, but gop leaders and the nra seem to suggest otherwise. more raids coming after the
arrest of hundreds of undocumented immigrants in mississippi. a source tells cnn that the white house is ordering i.c.e. to conduct additional operations that may separate more children from their parents. and race cars. the president claims some democrats are calling him a white supremacist out of political desperation. is he being helped or hurt by the attacks? we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off and you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> we are following breaking news on a chilling confession reportedly made by the man charged in the el paso shooting massacre. an arrest affidavit shows the alleged gunman told police he was specifically targeting mexicans. when he opened fire inside a walmart with an assault style weapon. tonight, the store manager tells cnn the shooter was precise and quote very