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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Obama Speech, Q&A with Governors; Arraignment Soon of Michigan Uber Shooter; Trump Getting Advice from Rudy Giuliani. Aired 11:30a- 12p ET
Aired February 22, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those of you who have been in office for a while have also witnessed all the progress that we have made together. And it's been a partnership. The millions of new jobs created, millions of people newly covered with health insurance, the new energy projects that are popping up all across every state that's represented here.
I do want to comment, before I take questions, on the issue of security for the American people. Whatever our party, we all raise our hand and take an oath and assume the solemn responsibility to protect our citizens, and that is a mission that should unite us as Americans. Today, we're focused on three threats in particular. First and foremost is terrorism. The attacks in Garland, Texas, in Chattanooga, in San Bernardino, were attacks in good and decent communities, but they were also attacks on our entire country. As Americans, we are united in support of the men and women in uniform from every state who lead the coalition we've built with the mission to destroy ISIL.
We're working with other nations to prevent terrorists from entering the United States. We're unwavering in our efforts to prevent attacks at home. And that's where the partnership with your states come in. This is a shared mission. We have to stay vigilant. Across the country, we have more than 100 Joint Terrorism Task Forces, federal, state, local experts working together to disrupt threats. At the state level, your fusion cells are pushing information out to law enforcement.
We've also -- we also need to make sure our extraordinary law enforcement professionals and first responders have the equipment and the resources they need, and we have to stay united as one American family working with communities to help prevent loved ones from becoming radicalized and rejecting any politics that tries to divide the American people on the basis of faith. So this is something that -- this is a shared project. It's not something that we do together.
And one of the genuine areas of progress that I've seen since I came into office, and it was started in the previous administration, and this was one of the findings of the 9/11, was breaking down some of the silos between federal, state, and local law enforcement when it comes to countering terrorism. We've made progress on that. But that's where state and local partners are absolutely critical. This is not something that the federal government can do alone, particularly because many of the attacks may end up being lone-wolf attacks rather than those imported from the outside.
The attack in San Bernardino killed 14 of our fellow Americans. And here's a hard truth. We probably lost even more Americans than that to guns this weekend alone. On Saturday, another one of our communities was terrorized by gun violence. As many of you read, six people were gunned down in a rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Before I joined all of you, I called the mayor, the sheriff, and the police chief there and told them that they would have whatever federal support they needed in their investigation. Their local officials and first responders did an outstanding job in apprehending the individual very quickly, but you got families who are shattered today.
Earlier this year, I took some steps that will make it harder for dangerous people like this individual to buy a gun, but clearly we're going to need to do more if we're going to keep innocent Americans safe. And I've got to assume that all of you are just as tired as I am of seeing this stuff happen in your states. So that's an area where we also need to partner and think about what we can do in a common sense way, in a bipartisan way without some of the ideological rhetoric that so often surrounds that issue.
A second area of threats we're focused on is cyber threats. The technology that connects us like never before also allows our adversaries to do us harm. Hackers and nations have targeted our military, our corporations, the federal government, and state governments. They're a threat to our national security. They're also a threat to our economic leadership. They're a threat to our critical infrastructure. They're a threat to the privacy and public safety of the American people. This is a complex challenge, and we're not going to be able to meet it alone. We've made a lot of progress these past seven years, including sharing more information with industry and with your states. But all of us are still vulnerable. So this is why earlier this month I launched the Cyber Security National Action Plan and proposed significant funding to push our cyber security efforts in a more aggressive direction.
[11:35:16] We're going to start a major overhaul of federal computer systems. I want to do more with your states, including sharing more information about threats, improving our joint response capabilities. We have initiated a joint, bipartisan commission made up of one of my national security advisors, former national security advisor, Tom Donilon, but joined with the former CEO of IBM so that they can work together to help provide us a sense of direction both at the federal and state levels as well as the private sector in terms of how we move forward on this. We're going to want your input. I think we probably have some good ideas about where your vulnerabilities are in terms of your state databases and what you're doing. That's an area where I think we can probably work together.
Finally, we have to remain vigilant when it comes to the spread of disease. Since late last year, my administration has been focused on the threat of Zika. So far, while there's no evidence of Zika spreading in the United States, there are confirmed cases in Puerto Rico. And it's important that we convey basic facts, including that Zika is not like Ebola. Ebola was spread human to human. Based on what we know right now, Zika Virus spreads from a bite from a certain kind of mosquito that's limited to certain parts of the country. Symptoms are generally very mild.
Most folks don't even realize that they have it. But as all of you have read, the possible connection between Zika Virus, birth defects and other serious health problems means we have to take precautions, particularly with respect to women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. So we're going to be fighting this disease at every level with every tool at our disposal. I've called on Congress to approve about $1.9 billion in emergency funding for our efforts at home and abroad.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You've been listening to President Obama inside the White House. A workman-like address talking about terrorism and other things that matter to governors.
Two things I noticed. He made a joke about appointing judges.
BERMAN: He said all of you, you have jobs like appointing judges. That got a laugh. And the president also said he spoke to officials in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where there is the shooting spree over the weekend. He praised the response from law enforcement in Michigan.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Congratulating them for apprehending the man quickly, saying they're going to get all the support that they need.
Let's bring in Michelle Kosinski, White House correspondent, right now for more on this.
Last night, Michelle, when he was toasting with the governors, he also made a joke about maybe he would be addressing them in the next round as a governor himself, saying he wanted to see his wife's reaction when he made that joke. But as John said, a businesslike address that the president is making right now.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. He also made a joke last night about the nominee that he needs to choose saying he's going to fulfill his duty by delivering remarks at the dinner last night and he hoped everybody would give him a fair hearing on that. He's making reference to it. We know the president spent a significant amount of his weekend, that's how the White House is framing it, looking over all of this information that the White House team has compiled on his potential nominees. At this point, the White House is saying it's not quite a short list. Let's not call it that yet. There's a lot of information gathered on more than two people, is how they're saying it. When you look at the binder, there's a photo of the president starting his weekend on Friday carrying this huge binder, and it looked like -- of course, reporters are going to want to scrutinize that photo. It looked like it was divided into at least nine sections. That could mean there are nine possible nominees he's looking at right now. But the White House says the list could grow and change. This is early days.
What could be interesting about the address today to the governors of America today, and not all of them are in attendance, this is the National Governors Association. There will be more remarks and then he's going to take some questions from some of those governors. And that could touch on the Supreme Court nominee. That's what we're listening for today -- John and Kate?
BOLDUAN: It looks almost as if he might be taking questions right now from those governors. Do we want to dip back in? Let's listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The benefit of the people of Utah and people that are world travelers overall. Again, an effort of communication and cooperation which I think is a great success. I do harken back to a failure, maybe an epic failure, lack of communication in a previous administration where a national monument was designated in Utah, larger than the state of Delaware, two and a half times larger than Rhode Island.
Still, still, the vice president made a little --
[11:40:25] OBAMA: Where's Jack?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At any rate, the problem was that Governor Mike Leavitt found out about the designation by reading "The Washington Post." That was the other side of the coin of not good communication. I expect all governors have successes and probably where we could do better.
And so my question to you, Mr. President, really is in the effort of the National Governors Association. What can we do as an NGA, as states to communicate better with the federal government and what can the federal government do to better communicate with the state. This should go post us. We're all off in the sunset some time. But it would be nice if there was a process to make sure we work together in a collaborative fashion, communicate better and have better outcomes on behalf of the American people.
OBAMA: Good. Well, first of all, I think the NGA generally has been a terrific partner for us. I hope you feel the same way. My instructions to my cabinet, to my secretaries, have always been that we have certain laws, statutes, mandates that we have to abide by.
BERMAN: President Obama talking to governors, answering questions about state/federal cooperation. We'll listen in to see what other questions the governors ask, to see if anything else comes up. We'll bring it to you as it happens.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. We'll be right back after this. Much more to come.
[11:46:24] BERMAN: All right. Happening soon, the arraignment of the man in Michigan accused of killing six people in a shooting rampage and two injured. No motive has come about. The alleged gunman kept doing his job as an Uber driver between what seemed to be random shooting.
BOLDUAN: Matt Mellon was one of the fares, and he says he had to escape the vehicle when that man, Dalton, began driving recklessly. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT MELLON, WITNESS: He got maybe a mile from my house. He got a telephone call, and after that telephone call, he started driving really erratically. We were kind of driving through medians and the lawns, speeding along. And then finally, once he came to a stop, I jumped out of the car and ran away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: That sounds terrifying, especially when you know what happened after that.
Ryan Young is outside the courthouse where Jason Dalton will be arraigned.
Ryan, what are relearning about how it's going to play out today?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've learned probably about one 1:30, 2:00 when this arraignment will happen. The ride in the Uber, there was a guy on the inside of the car who asked him, hey, are you the shooter because the car matched the description the whole community was talking about. And then apparently, he said I'm not the shooter, which we obviously know now that, at least according to police, he was the shooter. They have surveillance video from the car dealership where he shot two people. That's how they were able to describe the car.
To take you through the time line, this started around 6:35 when he pulled into an apartment parking lot and opened fire on a woman walking with children. Shot her several times. The woman was able to survive. She's in critical condition. He went and shot a father and son, killing both of them before moving onto that Cracker Barrel where he shot four women sitting in a car, and we're told all four of them, over the age of 60, they died. And a 14-year-old was shot in that same parking lot. She was pronounced dead at one point. We believe from what we were told. Butut she actually survived. She was able to squeeze her mother's hands.
This has been a miraculous story from the community in terms of people coming out and talking about the pain. We know two to the victims, Barbara Hawthorn, and Mary Jo Nye (ph), both of them died in the shooting. We went to a vigil yesterday where people were talking about how the community is trying to come together to figure out exactly what's going on, as they still don't understand what happened to cause this man to snap and start shooting several innocent people.
BOLDUAN: Ryan Young, thank you so much. We'll watch closely to see what happens in that courtroom today.
BERMAN: We'll bring in CNN law enforcement analyst, Jonathan Gilliam.
Jonathan, this is unusual. Six people dead. Others badly injured. And no apparent motive at all. What do you make of this?
JONATHAN GILLIAM, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Killing never really makes sense to us, but when we look at the way the FBI and psychologists define different kinds of killing, you have single homicide, which is the most typical one. You have mass murder, which is normally one single killing or a period of time where more than three people are killed. A lot of times when that happens, there's visions of grandiose, revenge, or retaliation associated with that.
What's interesting about this, though, is that there's no real -- as far as we can see now -- clear motivation. It was purely random as to who this person picked off. And the only time we typically see that randomness is when terrorism is involved. Which we don't know if there's any type of, you know, mentality or motivation that has anything to do with any beliefs at this point in time. But it doesn't appear to me that there is. And when you add to that what the first -- what the passenger that got out said, that he was driving sporadic, it appears to me that it's pointing towards more of a mental break of some kind.
[11:50:36] BOLDUAN: What do you make of the targets? This is one thing. This was happening Saturday night, when we were here. That's one thing that we kept talking about, a car dealership, a Cracker Barrel. What do you make of the targets?
GILLIAM: When somebody has a mental break, it's no different than if you see somebody who's suffering from schizophrenia or something, where they have just random thoughts and visions of, you know, who knows exactly what's going inside a person's brain when they're having that break. So this person could have been just been picking a target as he drove by them or as things were happening in his brain, the same as when he was driving. Why was he driving in the middle of the road on the median? You don't know what was going on inside his brain at this point.
BERMAN: We do know six people are dead in this horrible, horrible tragedy.
Jonathan Gilliam, thank you so much for being with us.
GILLIAM: You've got it.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.
Coming up for us, Rudy Giuliani advising Donald Trump. The candidate confirms he's getting advice from deep within the Republican Party. So what does this mean for Donald Trump's ongoing battle as he takes on the GOP establishment? We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: All right. "The Washington Post" reports that Donald J. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination right now, is getting advice from Rudy Giuliani. Both Giuliani and Trump confirm they've spoken several times on the phone over the last month about big, important things about running for president.
BOLDUAN: Quote/unquote, "campaign issues."
Let's discuss and bring in CNN political commentator and political anchor for Time/Warner Cable News, Errol Louis.
Errol, great to see you. Thanks for joining us overnight.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. Lots of fun.
BOLDUAN: Watching the coverage, that was very fun.
What do you make of this, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, hmm?
LOUIS: What I make of this is Donald Trump taking another step toward a very interesting break point I think we're going to see in the near future, which is that, as Trump continues to win primaries and causes, continues to rack up delegates, what looks like right now, characterized as a fight between him and the Republican establishment, starts to look like a hostile takeover. Because the next president is not just the commander-in-chief and not just the head of the government and not just the head of state, but also the head of the party. And I think we haven't seen any Senators endorse him openly. I think the closest to an elected official, the most powerful one, has been Henry McMaster. But let's keep in mind, he was also a three or four-time state chair of the South Carolina Republican party. We're getting near the point where people are going to have to figure out whether or not they're going to continue to fight with Trump or make some kind of an accommodation. I see the Rudy Giuliani connection and the leak of the relationship as a step in that direction.
[11:55:15] BERMAN: And we've spoke with Rudy Giuliani and he's said he's perfectly OK with Trump being president. Not an endorsement yet.
LOUIS: Not an endorsement yet, that's right. Well, we'll see. I mean, the Joe Arpaio's of the world, the sort of controversial characters, the Sarah Palin's from the elected world, are not the kind of validators that Trump is going to need if he wants to have a hostile takeover of the entire Republican establishment. So he's going to need people like America's mayors, somebody sort of in good standing, a guy like Rudy Giuliani. Electorally, we remember when Rudy Giuliani ran for president in 2008. I think he got one delegate, right? So he is not going to provide any help on the ground. There's nothing resembling an effective political organization nationwide from Rudy Giuliani.
BOLDUAN: Errol, that's what I was going to ask you, Errol, it seems like the help for Donald Trump that Giuliani can provide, especially when they want to leak it and talk about it, isn't necessarily in Nevada or electorally at all.
BERMAN: In the South.
LOUIS: That's right. Although, it does make an interesting case in that it underscores an interesting case that Trump has been making, which is that, I, Donald Trump, can get Reagan Democrats. I can put states like New York in play, that Republicans normally don't even attempt to win. Rudy Giuliani, plus Donald Trump, does, in fact, put New York in play. Trump himself is probably not all that popular. He's never run for office here before. But we know that Rudy Giuliani has a lot of support, not just in the city, in fact, mostly not in the city, but in the upstate areas, and in the suburbs, certainly, he is fondly remembered.
BERMAN: This is fascinating.
Errol Louis, thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Every step of the way, Errol.
Stick with us. So, Errol, stick with us for this one, too.
In case you missed some of the most -- how do we describe it?
BOLDUAN: -- amazing TV made history last night. Lt's just say the Boys and Girls Club is getting $25,000 today.
Here's a take of the CNN "Quiz Show" last night.
BERMAN: Mitt Romney.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: That is correct.
BOLDUAN: Potato guy.
BERMAN: Dan Quayle.
BERMAN: John McCain.
BOLDUAN: '96 nominee.
BERMAN: Bob Dole.
COOPER: Correct. BOLDUAN: AUH20.
BERMAN: Barry Goldwater.
COOPER: That's right.
BERMAN: Herman Cain.
COOPER: That's correct.
BOLDUAN: Minnesota --
BERMAN: Michele Bachmann.
BOLDUAN: Decimal system.
BERMAN: Thomas Dewey!
BOLDUAN: Publisher, publisher.
BERMAN: Steve Forbes.
BOLDUAN: Rand's dad.
BERMAN: Ron Paul.
COOPER: That is correct.
BOLDUAN: Bill's quarterback.
BERMAN: Jack Kemp.
COOPER: That is correct.
BOLDUAN: 700 Club.
BERMAN: Pat Robertson.
COOPER: That is correct.
BOLDUAN: Secretary of state.
BERMAN: Alexander Haig.
COOPER: That is correct.
BOLDUAN: Speaker of the House.
BERMAN: Newt Gingrich.
COOPER: That is correct.
BOLDUAN: Forgot the three agencies.
BERMAN: Rick Perry!
COOPER: That is correct.
BOLDUAN: 9/11 mayor.
BERMAN: Rudy Giuliani.
COOPER: That is correct.
COOPER: Wow. Wow.
BOLDUAN: Oh, god.
COOPER: So --
BOLDUAN: I feel like I just had a baby.
BOLDUAN: I said, I feel like I just had a baby.
COOPER: Each one is worth 30 points.
BOLDUAN: Oh, my god.
COOPER: You got 16 correct.
COOPER: You're up to 620 points. Nicely done.
COOPER: Nice work. Nice work. BOLDUAN: That was good.
COOPER: All right.
BERMAN: We'll be right back.
[12:00:03] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.