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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 7, 2017 4:00am-4:31am PDT

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>> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thanks for watching. good morning. i'm phillip mena at nbc world headquarters in new york. some new and puzzling clues in the las vegas shooting. was there more than one suspect involved? hurricane watch. nate is now a category 1 and is expected to make landfall in the southeast. the latest on nate's path, strength, and timing. calm before the storm. the president's cryptic phrase leaves everyone wondering even apparently some who work in the white house. details ahead. and new polls gauging public sentiment on the direction of the country and president trump's performance. what do the numbers tell us? we begin with new details
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this morning in the las vegas mass shooting investigation. officials are trying to make sense of a cryptic note with numbers found inside the gunman's hotel room. this as details emerge of the hours leading up to the rampage, but a motive for the shooting remains a mystery. >> we're very confident that he did not -- there was not another shooter in that room. what i cannot confirm to you today and what we continue to investigate is whether anybody else may have known about this incident before he carried it out. >> nbc's ron allen is in las vegas with more on this. ron, where does the investigation stand as we speak? >> reporter: well, i think the investigators are hoping that somebody comes forward with some bit of new information or some new lead for them to pursue to answer this question that everyone has of why. while we're talking, let me show you this memorial that's behind me. there are still people here coming. they've been coming days now. it's the middle of the night here, too, remember. it's about 4:00 in the morning.
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there's still something of a crowd here. that's how emotional this situation still is and obviously will be for some time. the investigators keep finds out new details about how paddock assembled his arsenal. they know, for example, he tried to buy tracer rounds, military-grade hardware. we know he scoped out other places in chicago, perhaps in boston, another site here in las vegas the weekend before where he might have carried out a similar sort of massacre. but of course he didn't. but they don't know why. the problem is that he doesn't fit the profile. he's not the typical mass murderer, if you will. they've looked at his computer records. they've looked at his phone records. they've talked to everyone they can think of who he knows. they can't figure out why he would have done that. people want some sense of closure about that. the officers want some sense of closure about that. remember, they're from this community. here's what they had to say about where they stand in terms of trying to figure out a
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motive. >> we have looked at everything, la literally, to include the suspect's personal life, any political affiliation, his social behaviors, economic situation, and any potential radicalization that so many have claimed. we're also aware, of course, that isis has repeatedly claimed responsibility, which today i can tell you we have no known connection to. >> reporter: so no connection to terrorism. obviously this was, they think at this point, an isolated, single incident. in other words, he wasn't part of some cell. they don't suspect there are other people here in the community who might carry out another phase of this attack. to some extent, that episode is over. of course, this community still deals with and will deal with the aftereffects of it, the horrible impact of it, for some time. there's still people in the hospital in critical condition.
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the death toll hasn't gone up beyond 58. the 59th person being the gunman at this point. there are funerals planned for the coming days and weeks ahead. there are people all over the country who are affected by this. interestingly, just a handful of people from nevada killed. there were 30 from southern california and others as far away as alaska and canada. . ron, thank you. joining me now is jim kavanaugh. it's been nearly a week since the shooting. still very few clues on a motive. how much planning must have gone into this to leave just so few traces, and have you ever encountered a case like this from that perspective? >> this guy is a strange cat, phillip. there's no question that as we try to evaluate the motive, it changes as the facts change. it's just like at the command post on any big case.
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who is it, why are they doing it, what's driving it. we always have all those questions. early assessments, i thought maybe we had a gambler losing his murngs goioney, going to tr back at the world. that's been taken off the table by the new facts that this guy researched the hotels in boston and chicago and at concerts. so we have to look at the motive from inside him and the targets and his planning, like you say, and his purpose and see if we can, you know, get something out of that. >> we've heard the undersheriff saying they cannot confirm whether anybody else may have known about this incident before he carried it out. in police speak, do you think it's likely that someone else was involved or at the very least knew about it? >> i think it's very unlikely anyone else was involved. here's likely what we're looking at, at motive. the first is power, a desire for infamy. his father was a bank robber, on
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the fbi's ten-most wanted list. this guy may be trying to be the most infamous, even more infamous than his father and be the greatest mass murderer. because all his efforts were on shooting automatic weapons and a cache of military weapons into a crowd. it's a very specific way of -- a modus operandi. the second motive may be revenge. when i say revenge, i mean this. this guy is a very sullen and depressed guy by all accounts. he's not a happy-go-lucky man. he was taking valium. certainly a lot of people take valium, but this guy was very depressed and sullen, yet he liked to go to concerts and country music and other music and gamble. you know, people would see him as having a good, happy life. he wasn't really working, just gambling. but he may not have seen it that
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way. he may have seen all these concert goers and young people as having a happy life. he did not have a happy life. despite what we think, his life was unhappy. so his revenge is to destroy those who have the happy life. so i think right now absence of new information, it looks like maybe power for infamy and revenge on those who are enjoying their lives. >> we're going to continue to try to piece some of this together. jim kavanaugh, thank you for joining us this morning. >> thanks, phillip. happening now, hurricane nate, a deadly category 1 storm. the fast-moving storm is responsible for at least 22 deaths in central america. it's expected to make landfall along the u.s. gulf coast. nbc's kerry sanders is in orange beach, alabama. kerry, you've been very, very busy this season. what's the latest on nate now? >> well, nate is moving, and the general direction will be here in the mobile bay, orange beach
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area. but don't be fooled by that. this storm, while moving quickly at 22 miles an hour, has a breadth of about -- which means while the hurricane force winds will be concentrated around the new orleans area and over maybe here to orange beach, you actually have winds that will be impacting areas as far east as tampa. the storm surge could be in some places as high as nine feet. so that means folks are waking up this morning, and while yesterday they started to recognize there was going to be a threat, it's now very real so here in alabama, there was a voluntary evacuation . in portions of new orleans, there's a mandatory evacuation. in recent rainstorms, they've had flooding. that's all a result of some problems that have been developing with the pumps that are designed to keep that city
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dry. as you can see, people have been going to the grocery stores, loading up on supplies. this has not been one of those panic situations, but i think the hardest thing, phillip, has been for people especially in new orleans but all along the gulf coast here, folks who are on vacation. they're just not paying attention. as they wake up today and they hear about a nine-foot storm surge, in some cases they're coming from parts of the world where they don't even understand the english language that well, much less understand the concept of what a storm surge is. this is all very much a frightening situation, one that's of urgency as they try to determine what they're going to do, stay or leave. phillip? >> we're hoping everyone there is heeding the advice from officials. kerry sanders live for us this morning. kerry, thank you. the white house press secretary responding to a question about the president saying it's the calm before the storm. did she shed any light on the cryptic message from the commander in chief? before we go, a tool that many of us used back in the early days of the internet soon will be gone. aol says after 20 years, it's
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on the left screen here, you see this is a live look at colon square in madrid, where thousands have turned out for a pro-unity demonstration. a similar rally is taking place in barcelona, where people were asked to wear white to promote dialogue. new rules rolling back obamacare's birth control coverage. the move being celebrated by some conservatives as other groups promise to fight it in court. for details on this, let's bring
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in n becomebc's peter alexander. is there a sense this rollout was an attempt to change the narrative? >> perhaps, but the bottom line is this is something that's been in the works for a while. it's not just something they can flip a switch on. it is a big deal and one that's being celebrated by religious liberties groups. the trump administration is rewriting the rules so more employers can refuse to pay for birth control. it's a move that could impact a large number of women by asking more to ask for an exemption. this morning, new fallout from a birth control controversy that means many women could pay more for contraception. the trump administration unveiling new rules, allowing more employers to opt out of one of obamacare's key requirements. businesses no longer mandated to provide birth control coverage free of charge to their employees if they have a valid religious or moral objection. several groups already suing, including the state of massachusetts and the aclu.
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the national women's law center arguing the rules give employers a license to discriminate against women. president trump's team insisting it's a campaign promise fulfilled. >> and we are proudly reaffirming america's leadership role as a nation that protects religious freedom. >> meanwhile, the president, a former reality tv star, is also introducing a political cliff hanger. >> mr. president, what did you mean by calm before the storm? yesterday, what did you mean by that? >> thank you very much. >> offering a wink and a smile. >> you'll find out. >> but no new details about the meaning of his cryptic comment during a reception with military leaders and their spouses thursday night. >> you guys know what this represents? >> tell us, sir. >> i don't know, maybe it's the calm before the storm. >> what's the storm? >> could be the calm, the calm before the storm. >> what storm, mr. president? >> you'll find out. >> his press secretary sarah huckabee sanders providing no clarity. >> we're never going to say in advance what the president's going to do. >> still unclear whether the
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president was previewing some new action in north korea or iran, where he's expected to announce next week that he'll begin to unravel the iran nuclear deal. or was he just joking, perhaps to deflect from the political storm swirling around the administration that the president was furious after learning his secretary of state, rex tillerson, called him a moron. white house aides say president trump still has confidence in america's top diplomat. and just to underscore the wide range of national security challenges on president trump and rex tillerson's plate, the pentagon has announced that in addition to three green berets, a fourth american soldier was killed in the west african nation of niger this week. he's not yet been identified. their special forces patrol was ambushed by islamic militants. one more region where americans serve every day, phillip, in harm's way. back to you. >> that's right. peter alexander for us. peter, thank you. a new poll shows a decline in americans who feel this country is headed in the right direction.
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24%, according to the associated press and orc poll, down from 34% in june and 37% in march. president trump's job approval also taking a hit. it's now at 32% a ten-point dip from march. and the poll was taken at the end of the last month. joining me now is chief washington correspondent for bloomberg news as well as the senior political correspondent at safe to say all of washington was on stand by last night, thinking rex tillerson would be out of a job, given the optics of another high-level departure, what's president trump's calculation for keeping rex tillerson at the state department for the time being? >> good morning, phillip. yeah, the fallout, of course, continuing from that nbc news exclusive report earlier this week that drew a lot of contentious comment coming from the administration. it was quite remarkable to see secretary of state rex tillerson, someone who has not given a press conference. if he has, it's only been one or two.
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giving that press conference behind the podium. i can tell you that there is a sense from some sources that i've talked to that the president as well as secretary of state have a good cop/bad cop relationship in terms of the communicative strategy they're using on a host of foreign policy and geopolitical situations. most notably, north korea. but the president with his calm before the storm comment raising a lot of questions about whether or not this is with regards to north korea ahead of columbus day holiday, in which many are anticipating that north korea could have some type of other type of missile launch test. or if it was regards to iran. either way, both republicans and democrats on capitol hill all week scratching their heads, trying to piece all this together. >> and aaron, we learned that chief of staff john kelly met with tillerson and general mattis to manage the fallout over tillerson reportedly calling president trump a moron. what does the path forward look like for tillerson? >> most people say it's not a
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case of if. now it's a case of when. we've seen this revolving door of senior officials in the west wing. that's hurting trump's credibility. it's hurting his administration's ability to govern and to get a big success across the finish line by the end of the legislative calendar year. it's a tough time to lose a secretary of state. we've been talking about an american involvement abroad. we've also been talking about that asia trip coming up. and questions are going to be who succeeds rex tillerson. some people are saying nikki haley. the president likes having competing power circles around him, but he doesn't like being in competition with members of his administration for the spotlight. that's something we're going to watch going forward. >> and kevin, i want to play for you what sarah huckabee sanders said in response to president trump's calm before the storm comments. take a listen. >> as we've said many times before, i know the president
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has, as i have, from this podium on quite a few occasions, we're never going to say in advance what the president is going to do. and as he said last night in addition to those comment, you'll have to wait and see. i think you can take the president protecting the american people always extremely serious. he's been very clear that's his number one priority. and if he feels that action is necessary, he'll take it. >> and kevin, you add to the cryptic comment, the wink he gave. does this present a national security issue for his administration? >> well, democrats are raising that point. they're arguing that this is the type of politicization of foreign policy and national foreign policy. they frequently criticized him for tweeting uncertainty with regards to foreign policy. but look, republicans and president trump supporters say this is the element of unpredictability that he campaigned on and not wanting to forecast the military strategy. but i can tell you this, that the uncertainty surrounding north korea is only going to continue. i think that the dynamic between
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russia, china, and the united states and how all three of those countries work together to i d demilitarize north korea is going to be the broader story that we're going to be following for quite some time. and next week or even this weekend, we're anticipating that at any moment president trump could decertify that iran nuclear deal. that's already drawn criticism on capitol hill from democrats who say that no one wants to see iran with a nuclear weapon but that that deal orchestrated by hillary clinton and former president obama is a positive. >> and erin, what do you think, is this a cryptic message strategic at all on the president's part? >> the president has said from day one he won't telegraph his actions to our adversaries. but the question now is, if you won't telegraph your actions, why are you dangling these cliff hangers out here? that was a question reporters asked during the press briefing yesterday. now, we've seen this habit from the president. we've seen him edge toward a decision, dangle some bait out
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there and peel it back. think about his deliberations over the paris climate agreement or his trump -- the trans military ban he put out, later consulting with his generals and rescinded. you can think about some of these times when he's put his foot in the water, dipped a toe to figure out what the public support is and to urge some of these people in his administration to come forward and make their best case. but the question is, what is he referencing now? is it an internal storm, an external storm? does it involve the diplomacy corps? we'll have to wait and see. >> erin, kevin, thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, which areas of the gulf coast are in the path of hurricane nate? we'll have the forecast for you coming up.
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the gulf coast on alert this morning as nate strengthens to a category 1 hurricane. msnbc meteorologist bonnie schneider joining us now. it looks like at least four states could be in dangerous. >> that's right, phillip.
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much of the eastern part of the u.s. will be impacted by nate. we're already seeing thunderstorms working their way to the southeastern parishes of louisiana. how far is it? well, right now 345 miles to the south-southeast of the mouth of the mississippi river. still a category 1 storm. as it goes over the warmer waters of the gulf of mexico, keep in mind the water temperature here is about 85 degrees. we have fairly calm winds, so we're not looking at a lot of wind shear to tear down the thunderstorms. we're still anticipating the storm to come in as a category 1 hurricane in the very early hours of tomorrow morning or late tonight. you'll certainly feel the impacts sooner than that. and notice the low-pressure system will work its way across much of the east. that's why our weekend forecast will be impacted as well. look at the heavy rain that's expected right in the central gulf coast, especially right along the border into mississippi, florida, alabama, and across much of the midsouth, including tennessee and georgia. as we look at the impacts we're expecting, tropical storm-force winds that will work their way in very soon, storm surge, of
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course, and rough surf along the coast. phillip, really the big story is the storm surge along the central gulf coast. >> all right. checking it all for us. bonnie, thank you. that'll do it for me. i'm phillip mena. at the top of the hour, paul ryan discusses the latest calls for gun control. you are my hammer out there. don't let these young guys see you fold. ♪ i'm only human ♪ i make mistakes get down! ♪ i'm only human ♪ it's all it takes ♪ don't put the blame on me thank you for looking after my son. we're brothers. we look after each other. thank you for your service. rated r. ♪ don't put the blame on me
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