Return to Transcripts main page


Press Conference at Orlando Regional Medical Center; Orlando Shooter Surveiled Pulse Club, Visited Disney Springs; Graham Criticizes Trump for Obama Comment; Breaking, Russian Hackers Breach DNC Computers. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired June 14, 2016 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What city are you from?

ANGEL COLON, ORLANDO ATTACK SURVIVOR: I'm originally from Boston, from Puerto Rico though, but I live here now though. I live in Polk County actually.


COLON: I live in Polk County actually.


COLON: Yeah, I'm sorry.





UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: To the doctors, would you please talk a little bit about the medical challenges you faced in treating the actual patients. Any close calls? And I also wondered if any of you had experience with other disaster that is had prepared you, other disasters here or other places you have worked. I know you can't identify patients maybe but to talk about particular cases that were challenging.

DR. WILLIAM HAVRON, GENERAL SURGERY PROGRAM DIRECTOR & TRAUMA SURGEON, ORLANDO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: You know, I think that it's almost impossible to point to one specific event or one specific patient interaction. The whole situation is difficult. As Chad alluded to, when his happens, you've trained for it, you've practiced it, and you just kind of get in a mode of doing what needs to be done. You know, when 44 people show up shot and are sick and bleeding to death, they're all close calls. I mean, patients were taken emergently to the Operating Room. That's a close call. If they hadn't been three blocks from the hospital, they might not have made it to a hospital. You know, I think that when you look at how the whole system functioned, it made it possible for these people to have the outcomes that they have. Speaking to other disaster-like situations, I -- prior to this, I was at the University of Oklahoma, and we dealt with obviously severe weather issues. Had the Oklahoma City Thunder playoff shooting that was there that I was a part of. But nothing really compares to this.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And you weren't there for the bombing?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What about -- a lot of the wounds were they -- (INAUDIBLE).

DR. MICHAEL CHEATHAM, TRAUMA SURGEON, ORLANDO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: That is a question that has come up. I think what we've identified, as I mentioned yesterday, is that there were a number of victims that sustained gunshot wounds to the head. Those victims were unable to get out of the club, and so, unfortunately, they appear to have passed away in the club. We did get one patient here that did sustain a gunshot wound to the head, and he is currently in the Intensive Care Unit.

As Dr. Havron alluded to, we have encountered environmental disasters in the past, the hurricanes that for those of you in this area, lived through about 10 years ago, those were instrumental in helping us to refine our disaster plan?


CHEATHAM: Back in 2004.

To answer your other question, that has also coming up. None of us have had military experience, but what I can tell you is that the military surgeon community and the civilian surgeon community from a trauma standpoint are very close. We learn from each other. Many of the techniques that we used on these patients have been things that would come out of battlefield medicine just as our military surgeons learn from what we encounter in the civilian side. We have seen many nights here where we see half a dozen gunshot wounds. We've had 12 gunshot wounds come in, in one night, in the past. That is something that has helped us to train for this. This was just an escalation of those events.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) with "Voice of America." My question is yesterday the released a statement of the updates on the patient and says 44 victims were treated and nine died. You have mentioned that 44 were admitted. So can you clarify more on the statement because if you say that, we know that the people that were wounded were 53, so if we add the nine to the 44 that was 53. So are we talking about this number or different numbers? And is the hospital by any chance expecting a visit from President Obama as he comes to Orlando on Thursday?

[11:35:32] CHEATHAM: OK. So as you all are aware, it's a very fluid situation. Numbers are constantly changing. What I will tell you the most accurate numbers we can come up with are 44 victims were brought to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Nine of those victims died in the first few minutes that they were here. That left us with 35 victims that we have been caring for that have been in the hospital, and as I mentioned, as of this morning, 27 of those patients still remain in the hospital. We understand that there were 11 patients that were treated at other facilities in town that were not brought here. They were obviously of lesser severity and I believe the majority of those were discharged home. We were not involved in their care. I think the final numbers will need to come from the FBI as they complete their investigation.

To answer your final question, our understanding is that President Obama is considering coming to Orlando. You will probably know better than we would. We do not know what his plans are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have -- Dr. Levy has a statement he wants to make.

DR. MATT LUBE, ORLANDO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Just to add to a question earlier, we have a tremendous amount of support here. You know, you talked about cardio thoracic surgeons. I had a patient with major abdominal injuries and at the same time had major exsaninating (ph) vascular injuries. Dr. Patel was here and helping me. Obviously, it would be very difficult to deal with three major injuries at once, and we were literally operating on different body parts at the same time, and that was very helpful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lady in the white shirt.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Just to follow up on the question -- (INAUDIBLE). You spoke about battlefield injuries. Do any of the medical staff have a thought on what should be done to prevent these types of getting from getting these types of weapons?

LUBE: I think it's important to realize that the other night we took care of 45 patients with gunshot wounds, but it's not unusual for us to take care of four, five a night on a regular night. And you do the math, that adds up to 45 pretty quick. So it's a very serious problem that we have, and I don't know what the answer is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Down here in the baseball cap.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Jason (INAUDIBLE) with the Associated Press. For the people who were in-taking patients in that first wave, there has been mention of these trucks bringing people in. Can someone talk about who were driving those trucks? Were they first responders? Were they private citizens? Who were the people bringing in folks to the E.R.?

DR. CHRISTOPHER HUNTER, ASSOCIATE MEDICAL DIRECTOR, ORLANDO COUNTY EMS: So I'm Dr. Hunter, the associate medical director for Orlando County EMS.

It was very fluid initially on scene. We had EMS response very quickly. It was right next to one of our police department and some other citizens there were able to help extricate people who had gotten themselves out or dragged out a lot of people's friends also helped them get out. At the time the number of ambulances we had was not nearly as many as patients, so multiple patients were put in ambulances, multiple patients were put into any other vehicle that we could get them here. What they needed was to be at this trauma center as soon as possible. We were doing our best to coordinate the scene, myself and Dr. Parrish, to let them know people were coming. But obviously, it was not the way we typically would have done it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So there was a mix of private citizens helping out along with --

HUNTER: Yes, absolutely. And --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. John Berman here, outside the Orlando Medical Center, Orlando Regional Medical Center. You have been listening to a collection of heroes.

Kate Bolduan, up in New York, as well, I should tell you.

Let me give you a sense of some of the important information about those injured in the attack. We just got a key update as to their condition. 27 patients are still behind me at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. 27 patients still here. Six are in critical condition. Of those, one or two are said to be profoundly ill. One of the doctors said he thinks that they will survive but there could be some profound, lasting implications. So six critically ill, five in guarded condition, 16 are stable. All of that an improvement over the last several days, and no one has been lost since that horrifying night and that morning.

[11:40:07] Again, what we've heard here, just some remarkable examples of courage and heroism and dedication and perseverance So six critically ill, five in guarded condition, 16 are stable. All of that an improvement over the last several days, and no one has been lost since that horrifying night and that morning.

[11:40:08] Again, what we've heard here, just some remarkable examples of courage and heroism and dedication and perseverance, especially in light of the evil that took place just two blocks away. And that is one of the most interesting things about this, this medical center, a mere two blocks away from the Pulse nightclub. You can see this from Pulse. Now, that was very helpful on the one hand. Patients got here and got the help they needed very, very quickly. On the other ha, the doctors and nurses and medical professionals here, they had no warning. People started showing up. The minute they got world there was a shooting, people started showing up by the truckloads. That is the word from inside.

We also heard from a survivor, Angel Colon. He was shot three times in the leg the minute that the shooting started, three times in the leg. He fell to the ground. He was trampled by people fleeing. His leg was shattered and then he described a chilling scene moments after that when the shooter went around the room shooting people again presumably shooting people to make sure they were dead. He was shot in the hand at that point, also in the hip. He thanked the police officer who later dragged him to safety through broken glass to get him out so he could come here to this medical center where these heroes treated truckloads of patients who kept on coming and coming. They describe the scene as they kept on calling for more doctors and

more nurses. No one said no. And then people just started showing up because they heard what was going on. They were showing up to help.

I'm joined here by CNN's chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto; and CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

What struck you? We learned about the nature of the injuries. Miraculous on the one hand but also exactly how they practice it on the other.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And they made a lot of mention of these drills that they do and these practice routines, but they also said, as you heard I'm sure, John, you can practice all you want, but nothing prepares you quite for this. It wasn't just so many patients. But again, as you mentioned, so many wounds on those patients. Multiple gunshot wounds to those patients. These bullets, both large caliber and small caliber, they were making a point of this about they tend to tumble once they get inside the body. Why is that important? Because where the entry wound is where you sort of focus your energy but if the bullet starts to move around in the body, you don't know exactly where it is, what kind of damage it's caused. So a patient can appear stable one moment and then start to have significant declines. They talked about one patient who had four operations, needed 90 units of blood. Again, they had 44 patients they were dealing with in a very, very short time.

BERMAN: Huge amounts of tissue destruction. That's what you're describing right there during the entry wounds.

Jim, you and I, we're not medical professionals but we've been to war zones. These are the injuries that you get in war.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. You speak to military commanders about weapons like this. The AR-15, though not fully automatic, it's designed to a lot of damage when it hits the body. It may -- and I know this from my own experience being embedded -- it may have a small entry wound but a big exit wound because of what happens after it enters the body. And tremendously difficult for experts like this to respond.

BERMAN: Again, some of the details were chilling. Number one, a lot of people were shot at close proximity, but a lot of people shot while running away. Those are the type of injuries they saw.

Guys, stand by. We have a lot more to discuss.

We're going to take a quick break. We do have more breaking news on the investigation. We're told by officials that the killer visited Disney, a Disney Springs area, and the nightclub, the Pulse nightclub, for surveillance in the days before the attacks. Details ahead.


[11:46:10] BOLDUAN: Welcome back. We're continuing to watch, follow all the new developments in the investigation into the attack in Orlando.

We'll get back to John Berman on the ground there in just one second.

But in the latest developments on the attack, in the investigation of the attack, law enforcement are now saying that the killer visited Disney Springs, a Disney property, as well as Pulse nightclub over the past few weeks intending to surveil the locations ahead of his attack. A lot of new developments into what they're learning from sources, electronic and from interviews.

Let's bring in CNN's justice correspondent, Evan Perez, with much more on these details.

So he visited these locations, Evan, to surveil the properties. What more are you learning about his visits?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The Orlando gunman visited the Disney entertainment complex known as Disney Springs and the Pulse nightclub at the beginning of June. These visits happened between June 1st and June 6th, and we don't know how many times he went to these places but the dates we should note coincide with the Gay Days celebrations that are taking place at Disney and other Orlando theme parks during that time. Investigators believe that the visits were intended to surveil the locations. Disney officials, security officials there, have also told the FBI that they believe there was an earlier visit to Disney world on April 26th by Mateen, the gunman, and his wife and family, and that was possibly to conduct reconnaissance. Now, the FBI is still investigating that possibility. Investigators don't know whether the wife knew or suspected at the time about the intent of her husband. Still looking into that. And we should add that she has spoken to investigators.

We also are learning a little bit about what the investigators have been able to get from doing -- using search warrants. This includes from the gunman's residence as well as the homes of his parents and sister and brother-in-law. Among the items that were seized is a Dell computer, a Smartphone, digital camera. The phone that belonged to the gunman was recovered from the Pulse nightclub but the FBI had to spend some time delaying exploiting the phone because it was covered in blood.

I should add, some of the visits he made to Pulse and to the Disney Springs area, it comes about the time when he was buying these firearms, including the Sig-Sauer rifle. It's not an AR-15. It was a Sig-Sauer rifle, and a pistol that was found also at the scene -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: More puzzle pieces. How they all fit together is obviously exactly what investigators are trying to figure out as we speak.

Picking it all up, Evan. Evan, thank you so much.

PEREZ: Thanks.

Let's get back to John Berman in Orlando -- John?

BERMAN: Kate, thanks so much.

With me now, CNN intelligence and security analyst, Bob Baer; and counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd.

Bob, he was casing the Pulse before the attack. That's what investigators are now telling our Evan Perez. He had been to the Pulse they believe to case it. He had been to Disney Springs they believe to case it. He had been to the gun store during that period of time when he was surveilling. So that in and of itself in the weeks before, what does that tell you?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY ANALYST: Well, he was -- I mean, he clearly thought this true, but the important thing for the site which he attacked was a long gun. You do not want to take a long gun into a crowded area because it's very easy to get away. So I have no doubt about it, he was looking for a perch, some place where his back was covered. He had a sidearm, a pistol, a .9 millimeter. So if anybody got close he could use that or his gun jammed. So this guy had looked at tactics for sure. I mean, the count is just horrific. The way you arrive there is preparation. And clearly, when the police said he was prepared, he was.

[11:50:08] BERMAN: And, Phil, we're also learning this piece, what we've learned is one piece of what happened in the days and weeks before but we also learned what went in at the Pulse for the three years before. There are people telling CNN and ear media outlets he had been going there for three years, maybe a few times a month. That doesn't seem like casing a place. You don't case somewhere for three years. That seems to be independent of what went on these last few weeks.

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: That's right. I think we're finding increasingly and frustratingly that he had a mindset we can't fully understand. We're looking for a linear path. He was radicalized. He talked about terror groups. He was bigoted in front of coworkers, for example. Therefore, he committed an act of terrorism. Or he had a conflicted personal sense about his sexuality, visiting a gay club from a culture from even terror groups that don't accept that way of life. We're looking for a path or another and we find out it's neither. Maybe a mix of the two we may never understand.

BERMAN: It doesn't need to be either/or. It could be all of it.

MUDD: That's right.

BERMAN: You are a terrorist the minute you walk in and open fire and kill all of those people.

Bob, you're both shaking your heads at this as we pull all these threads together. It does seem there are a lot more threats. Like investigators now have a ton of leads that they're following up, including this phone, including his movements. Some of the details may be a mystery to us, but it certainly feels like they're closing in on something. BAER: I think what we'll see that there are a lot of indicators on

his phones, texting, sites. Even his visits to Saudi Arabia, who he met there. Was he bolstered in this decision? Did someone actually participate? It's too early to tell. The Saudis have not completed their investigation. And when we look at all of this evidence as it comes up, we're going to ask the question, why didn't the FBI catch it? The problem is all of this metadata and the rest of it never makes sense until after the act occurs.

BERMAN: That's where we are right now. New details coming fast and furious by the minute.

Stand by, guys. We could be getting new formation shortly.

Coming up for us, he was hiding under a table, holding the mouth of a fellow club patron shut so she wouldn't shout and be detected. All of this while wondering if his husband was going to get out alive. Coming up, the survivor tells us about his horrifying encounter with the terrorist. Stay with us.


BOLDUAN: We continue to follow developments in the aftermath of the attack in Orlando at that Pulse nightclub. In the aftermath of it, we have some interesting developments coming out of Washington. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, clearly no fan of Donald Trump, moments ago, he blasted the presumptive Republican nominee for comments that Trump made that many took as pushing some sort of a conspiracy involving President Obama following the Orlando attack, specifically when Trump said in an interview, "Something is going on." Listen here to Donald Trump's comments.


DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable. We're led by a man that is either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind.


BOLDUAN: Now, here's Senator Lindsey Graham speaking out against Trump's remarks, calling them highly offensive, moments ago. Listen.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Senator, Trump yesterday said that the president seems to be sympathetic to the folks that --


[11:55:13] SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think that is beyond out of line. I've been all over President Obama when it comes to destroying, defeating and containing radical Islam. I think his model of doing it is a complete failure and won't work. I've never doubted that he loves his country. I think he has a world view that I don't agree with in terms of how to deal with radical Islam. I don't think he's sympathetic to their causes. I think he has just made poor policy choices. And I don't know why anybody would suggest that another American was sympathetic to the cause of historic radical Islam because you disagree with the policy.


BOLDUAN: Our Manu Raju was the person speaking with Senator Lindsey Graham. Manu joins me from Capitol Hill.

Manu, I want to hear more of what you're hearing as Republicans are speaking out now about how Donald Trump has reacted in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting. What more are you hearing?

RAJU: It's a lot of pushback. The latest example of Hill Republicans pushing back against the party's nominee, something that seems like a daily occurrence that Donald Trump says something and the party has to distance itself.

Up here, I spent the morning interviewing House Republicans and Senate Republicans and what we're hearing is almost universal condemnation for how Trump handled the aftermath of the Orlando shooting. Not just the comment that Lindsey Graham said, where he was concerned, saying President Obama was sympathetic to the killer in Orlando, but also asking for praise, that Donald Trump came out saying he should be praised for being first on that ban for Muslims, calling for the ban for Muslims.

I asked Adam Kinzinger, congressman from Illinois, another Trump critic, and he said it was tacky. That's his remarks.

But those who support Donald Trump were having a hard time saying anything nice, including Darrell Issa, of California, criticizing both Trump and Clinton for their handling post-Orlando shooting. And Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, reiterated his opposition to the call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Once again, Kate, you're seeing major pushback from Republicans in Washington to their party's nominee.

BOLDUAN: Sure are.

Now, unrelated to the Orlando attack, we get breaking news that I want to get your take on, Manu. "Washington Post" reporting that Russian hackers breached the computers of the Democratic National Convention. What are you hearing?

MANU: It caused a lot of alarm. We just came across the wire. People are still trying to grapple with it. But certainly, something that Democrats are worried about, especially since it looks like, according to this report, it came across opposition research involving Donald Trump. So we'll have to learn more about this, but certainly, a cause for alarm here on Capitol Hill -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Absolutely, Manu. Manu is working his sources on that.

Manu, thank you so much.

Let me get back to John in Orlando -- John?

BERMAN: All right, Kate, thanks so much.

We're standing outside of the Orlando Regional Medical Center right now. This is where 44 patients were brought from just a few blocks away from the Pulse nightclub two blocks away more than 48 hours ago. We got an update on those inside. Six patients still in critical condition, including two profoundly ill, but they have lost no one since the morning of that deadly attack. They've been working around the clock here to treat the people inside.

We also heard from a survivor, a man named Angel Colon, and we learned about the horrors inside that nightclub. I spoke with another survivor a little while ago, and they said the killer went in and shot once people were already on the ground to make sure they were dead. That is something we also saw in Paris as well. Moments of sheer terror.

But our hearts go out to the families of those who lost more than 100 families. Think of that between those killed and wounded. 100 families right now, either grieving or caring for their loved ones in that nightclub.

We keep on getting new investigative details about what the killer did in the days before. CNN is following every thread right now. And we're waiting to hear from President Obama. He is concluding a terror meeting right now with top intelligence officials. That meeting takes place now. He will speak to us shortly.

For Kate Bolduan, in New York, I'm John Berman, here in Orlando.

Our special coverage continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[11:59:56] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. This is "Legal View."

My colleague, Chris Cuomo, is reporting live for us today from Orlando as we following the breaking news of the terror attack at the Florida nightclub.