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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Shooter's Wife Denying She Knew The Nightclub Mass Shooting; Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi Took Shots At Anderson Cooper; Anderson And Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; Florida AG Fires Back at Anderson; Dems Filibuster Over Gun Control; Remembering The Victims; Trump To Meet With NRA, Push For New Gun Laws; Remembering Akyra Murray, The Youngest Victim. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 15, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:06] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We are live once again tonight from Orlando, Florida, over the next two hours, we are going to listen to stories of people that survived the attack on the Pulse nightclub four nights ago and continue to try to give a voice to those that fell silent that terrible night.
Tonight, we will hear from people who were struggling with the fact they made it out when their friends did not. We are going to hear from a man that lost his husband two weeks before their anniversary. We will hear from the medical examiner who went inside to see the devastations to find light still flashing, happy food still on the tables, drinks on the bar, as if time itself had stopped.
So many victims were young, just starting out. So much life ahead of them. Tonight, we are going to bring you the story of the youngest, a woman who first actually got out of the club and then voluntarily went back into the club when she realized her friend and her cousin were still inside. She didn't make it out a second time.
We begin tonight, though, with the latest on the investigation which is focused right now on calls the shooter made during the incident and what his wife may have known about his plans.
Our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me here and senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin, both have new information.
Jim, let's start with you. What are you learning?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So early after the attack, the wife told investigators that she knew in general terms that he was considering carrying out a jihadist attack, and that she persuaded him. Now, she is telling investigators that she feared the day that he left their home and went on to carry out this horrific shooting that he might be doing something violent.
COOPER: That day.
SCIUTTO: That day and possibly on Pulse nightclub. So that -- much more specific fears in advance of that attack, coupled with the fact that we know she visited some of these sites with him before. We also learn today that she went with him to buy ammo on at least one occasion, that's adding evidence that she knew something she should have told cops before.
COOPER: And let's be clear. She is saying she had been to the pulse nightclub. She thought that day it might be that day, and might be the Pulse nightclub and she didn't tell anybody.
SCIUTTO: She didn't tell anybody. They haven't decided to charge her, but are going to the grand jury with it.
COOPER: Drew, I mean, you have learning more about the wife. What have you learned?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: We now know that she was at least home Sunday morning, Anderson, when local police went and knocked on her condominium door and told her about the shooting and her husband's involvement in that attack. The local police would not say if she seemed surprised, if she was aware of the shooting, or if she even knows her husband's whereabouts at that time. They turned it all over to the FBI.
As for her husband, we have been learning a great, great deal about his ability to use those deadly weapons. As a security guard we now know that he took yearly proficiency exams and shooting at the shooting range, Anderson. Year after year he would score very high marks. At one point near perfect, which could explain this deadly ability he had to carry out the massacre - Anderson.
COOPER: And Jim, what are we learning about phone calls made by the killer during the attack.
SCIUTTO: We now know he made three, at least three phone calls in that attack. We already knew that he called 911, claimed this for ISIS. We now know he also called a friend that night to say good-bye in effect, but called a local television station, producer picks up the phone to make sure in effect, they knew the attack was under way and to identify himself as the shooter.
But even beyond that, I spoke with a survivor today who was in the bathroom and overheard his phone calls as he was speaking. In them as well, he said that he was not the only attacker. He said there were snipers outside and a suicide bomber hiding inside. And that was not true, but he was clearly trying to spark fear and perhaps keep first responders from getting inside and get them out.
COOPER: Talked to a survivor who is in I believe probably the same bathroom where that phone call was made and heard him saying as well that there were multiple people involved which obviously, you know, questions had been raised, why did the police wait so long to go in the final assault, that's obviously one of the possibilities. They didn't know how many people they were dealing with.
COOPER: And by the way before we go, I mean, have authorities been able to recover information from the phone? Do we know? SCIUTTO: They have the phone but the phone was found in a puddle of
blood sadly, nature of the attack, and water. Because as they busted through that wall to get in that bathroom, they broke a water pipe and that, of course, damaged the phone. Hasn't destroyed the phone. They have been able to get Meta data just from cell phone towers and that kind of thing, but that doesn't give you the full contents of those conversations and text messages. They are still trying that.
COOPER: Drew, anything else we should know about tonight?
GRIFFIN: I don't think so. We are talking to the father tonight. And one post script, we told him about his son's body in the morgue in Orlando. He didn't know he should contact the morgue. He said he is going to do that now. And again, he insists he knew nothing. He didn't know his son was radicalized. He didn't think his son was politicized in anyway and he says he had no idea that his son may or may not have been gay - Anderson.
COOPER: You know, and we just learned today about this phone call that was made by the killer during the attack to a producer that Jim mentioned. We actually have some of the sound from that producer talking about that conversation. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:05:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was at 2:45 when I had just received the phone call of someone claiming to be the Orlando shooter. I answered the phone as I was in News13, this is Matt. And on the other end I heard do you know about the shooting? And I said yes, I'm getting information. I'm receiving some calls right now. And he cut me off and he said I'm the shooter. And I didn't know what to say. It was, you know, alarming to say the least. He sounded really calm on the phone and he started saying that he did it for the Islamic state, he did it for ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Drew, I mean, it is so, you know, we heard from him saying the guy sounded calm on the phone. I talked to survivors who were in the bathrooms, again, they said he sounded calm. That one time after he shot somebody point blank, one of the survivors heard him kind of let out a laugh that the survivors described as just kind of pure evil. It is incredible that he could remain calm in the midst of all this.
GRIFFIN: I would say so. And combine that skill to remain calm, if you would call it a skill, along with proficiency in firearms and you can see how methodically he could go through a big crowded nightclub like this. But what doesn't match, Anderson, is what we are hearing from his past. He had outbursts in his past. We know from his first wife, he may have been violent toward her, he had violent vocal outburst when he was guarding the St. Lucie courthouse here which is why the FBI interrogated during 2013.
And we even believe he was involved in some kind of an outburst at a law enforcement academy which he was kicked out of in 2007. So we know all along the line there were these outburst or violent reaction, and yet somehow I would say he slipped through the cracks, certainly the family didn't notify anybody about this.
COOPER: Yes. A lot more still to learn.
Drew, thanks very much. Jim as well.
Joining us now is CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary of homeland security, Juliette Kayyem and also CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara who, of course, famously defended George Zimmerman as long history of working in this state.
Juliette, I mean, again, we are learning more and more bits and pieces as we always do.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: And complicated and complex. And there's no (INAUDIBLE). No eureka moment. He had many motivations, all of them hatred. And I think we have to just sort of recognize that. There's not going to be a moment that says it was ISIS, it was is, it was Al-Qaeda, it was Hezbollah. It was anti-gay attitude. And I think that's why a lot of people like me who are national security are really also focusing on the means and the methodology on the gun issue because look, we're never going to be able to stop all bad ideologies from being bad, but what we can also do, I'm not saying to ignore that issue, but also figure out is we can minimize the damage that they can do. That's why this gun issue is really part of counter terrorism.
COOPER: Mark O'Mara, just from a legal standpoint, if the wife knew about, you know, I think there is going to be an attack today. I think it may be Pulse nightclub. We have been to this nightclub before. We bought ammunition together before. What responsibility does she have to come forward? Can she be charged?
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We talked about this today, anything as little as misdemeanor or felony, which means I know about it, didn't do enough to stop it. But we can also, all you have to the other side of the spectrum refers to conspiracy to commit an act. First degree murder takes knowledge of the act may added and any act in furtherance of it. If I drive you to the bank and you rob the bank, I am guilty of conspiracy. I'm just as guilty as you are. So she could go be going way up that spectrum into the real responsibility for 49 murders if in fact they can show she was aware of it and she did anything in furtherance of it.
COOPER: If it wasn't specific knowledge of what the target was or specific knowledge of when it was, can she claim ignorance?
O'MARA: She's going to try -- the problem is willful blindness. If she tries to argue I didn't know enough or I wasn't fully aware, that's where all the forensic evidence, the text messages, the back and forth, the cell phone calls that they make, the GPS coordinates of the car that I going to shows where she was and where the car was. All that information is going to be very, very relevant. That's why the FBI is taking time is taking so much time to do this methodically as they are to does that to make sure it is done right, not just to get her necessarily, but to have a template for the next one.
COOPER: All right. Juliette, thank you so much. Mark O'Mara, as well.
There's so many moving pieces in this to cover right now. The Orlando police did and are continuing to do their job under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, the crime scene, largest mass murder in this country's history. Getting a lot of support from the community, from other police departments, officers from Aurora, Colorado posted a message of support to them online today. Another police department that knows what it is like to serve the community in time of chaos certainly.
Joining me right now is Orlando police chief, John Mina.
Chief, thanks so much for joining us. I appreciate you taking time.
[20:10:22] CHIEF JOHN MINA, ORLANDO POLICE: Thanks for having me.
COOPER: What's the most important thing you want people to know right now about this investigation and about what you're going through?
MINA: The most important thing to remember is those first officers on the scene and our SWAT officers saved many, many lives.
COOPER: There have been a lot of questions, people trying to figure out exactly what happened. Obviously, the investigation is going on, there are still teams on the ground. There was a three hour or so window. Can you explain the thinking on the ground about waiting to go in, what the initial encounter between -- because he tried to come out and that's where there was engagement with an officer is my understanding.
MINA: That's correct. So we had an extra duty, off duty police officers working full uniform. He responded to shots fired right way, exchanged gunfire with the suspect.
COOPER: Pretty much right away.
MINA: Right away. The officer was outgunned. We only had a handgun, suspect had a long gun, a rifle. He waited for backup. As soon as enough arriving officers responded, with enough backup, and there were three or four of them, I believe, they made entry into the club right away within minutes.
COOPER: And that's standard procedure now since Columbine.
MINA: Active shooter training, we go in right away as soon as you have enough backup. So they went in right away, exchanged gunfire in the suspect, within those first few minutes and that's important because this caused the suspect to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom where he was now isolated and contained. From that point on until 5:00 in the morning, there were no shots fired.
COOPER: So that's really interesting. Because I talked to a number of people who were in the bathroom heard him on the phone. That's where he was making those phone calls. So are saying he went in to the bathroom because he was forced in to the bathroom essentially by the shots from the officers.
MINA: Absolutely. So our officers went in there, exchanged gunfire with him, forced him to retreat, and basically become a barricaded gunman in the bathroom. So during that time while he was in the bathroom, our officers were saving people, getting injured people out, getting many, many people out the doors.
COOPER: So there were officers anyone believes there weren't police inside helping people in the three hours, that's a misperception, there were officers in the other rooms helping people get out.
MINA: Correct. Out officers were inside from the very beginning helping to get people out. Now, once it became contained, we knew it was going to be a big situation. We called our SWAT team, SWAT team came right away, and surrounded. The SWAT team started to replace patrol officers on scene. Immediately we knew what we had. We start setting up for explosive breach in the bathroom where we knew there were about 15 other people in the opposing bathroom from the suspect.
COOPER: Was there ever belief, because I know I have reading FBI studies on, you know, they have done extensive studies in all act of shooter situation since columbine. Was there ever a belief that this was a possible hostage negotiation situation? Because it seems like a lot of active shooter situations. That is no longer believed that it is actually -- you can actually negotiate any more.
MINA: Well, in this incident, this started out as an active shooter and then turned into a hostage situation. And our negotiators were able to talk with him. They were able to talk with him at some point in that while he was in the bathroom, contained and isolated. Like I said, there were no shots fired during that time.
COOPER: Do you know, and maybe can't say it, but do you was he making any specific demands?
MINA: Yes. I don't want to talk abo that and getting the FBI investigation. But here's the important thing to remember. We had information, both from him and from other people in that club that at that time people were going to start putting on bomb vests and there was a time when they give a 15 minutes. Our SWAT officers had already set up for explosive breach. And we believed further loss of life was imminent. And that's when I made decision to do explosive breach and get those people out.
COOPER: You are the one who made that decision.
COOPER: Must have been a tough call.
MINA: It was a tough call. It was a very tough call knowing to put those officers' lives in danger and possibly other people inside the club in danger, but that's what we trained. That's what we trained for since 9/11. I knew the officers were ready for it. And we trained many, many times. And I thought they performed spectacularly.
COOPER: I know -- I talked to one guy who was in one of the handicapped stalls who said he heard the guy saying that -- making claim, he wasn't sure if it was on a phone call or just saying it out loud that there were multiple shooters. There were multiple involved in different locations, was that part of the concern? I mean, were you 100 percent sure there was only one guy in there when you went in?
MINA: Yes. We believed there was only one person inside. And you know, they train for the worst, but we believed it was only one shooter inside.
COOPER: You mention the fear of ballistic vests. Was that - or a bomb vest and I didn't hear fully what you said. You were saying that you are afraid people are going to start putting them on? Like he was going to put them on people or he was wearing him inside.
[20:15:12] MINA: Correct. He actually admit to us that he was wearing some vest, wouldn't elaborate. And we had information that he was going to put explosive vests on four people and then blow the place up in 15 minutes. By that time we were already set with our explosive breach and that's when we make the decision.
COOPER: And the four people were - they weren't confederates, they were victims.
MINA: Absolute victims, innocent people.
COOPER: In a situation like this, obviously, after every kind of incident like this, you do reassessment and you pass that on to other police departments around the country so they can train. Is there anything you think at this point you know that in the future can help other police forces around the country? I mean, everyone is -- every kind of these situations is different. After Mumbai, you know, New York City police and Washington, D.C. police trained on Mumbai. They learned how to do it. I'm wondering if in this, will this be a new training scenario for police forces around the country.
MINA: It could be because this was a very different scenario than - from anything we ever faced in the United States. So, absolutely. When we get all of the debriefs done, we are going to pass that information along to all our brother and sister law enforcement officers so we know how to respond to his in the future.
COOPER: He clearly knew that club well. I mean, it is a dark club. He has got, you know, rightfully has pistols. He clearly knew the layout of that club.
MINA: You know, I'm not really sure if he knew the layout or not.
COOPER: Chief, listen. I appreciate the time and really I appreciate all you have done. And thank you.
MINA: Thank you.
COOPER: Thanks very much. Chief mina. For each of the 49 people killed, there is a story, of course, family
and friends left suffering with the loss. One of those lives, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera just 36 years old, I will speak with his husband coming up next.
[20:20:19] COOPER: Well, the aftermath of the devastation here in Orlando, we want to keep obviously to focus on the lives that were cut short far too soon. Right now, we want to learn more about Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera. He was just 36 years old. He should be celebrating his one year wedding anniversary 11 days from now. We are very sorry that that is not going to happen. But so grateful to Eric's husband, Ivan Dominguez is with me tonight to tell us a little bit about their life together. Thank you so much.
IVAN DOMINGUEZ, HUSBAND Thank you.
COOPER: So sorry to be under these circumstances. Tell me about your husband.
DOMINGUEZ: He was a wonderful person.
COOPER: How do you guys meet?
DOMINGUEZ: We met at the nightclub and back in 2007.
COOPER: What was like?
DOMINGUEZ: It was - we met through a friend, really good friend. His name is Leo that introduced us. What is really funny, we got here the same time, same year as I got here from Panama in 2007.
COOPER: And he came from Puerto Rico.
DOMINGUEZ: Exactly from 2007. So it started a really good friendship. Then decided to, you know, date and then we got married.
COOPER: You have been friends since 2007?
COOPER: OK. So you have been friends a long time.
DOMINGUEZ: We are very close. We were really close. I know him very well.
COOPER: What was the decision to get married, what was that like? When did you know he was the one you wanted to marry?
DOMINGUEZ: You know, everything was started with a friendship. So we decided to get together and spend the life together. And it is very curious because that was June 26th, 2015. And we went into the courthouse and we got married. And when we got out we went to social media to share with everybody. And in that moment the 50 states got legalized exactly that same day. It was really an honor for us to get married on that specific day.
COOPER: Great timing.
DOMINGUEZ: And we didn't know.
COOPER: You had no idea it was going to happen.
COOPER: Wow. You wanted to thank - I mean, there's been such an outpouring of support.
DOMINGUEZ: Yes, yes.
COOPER: From police, medical personnel. You wanted to thank people.
DOMINGUEZ: I want to thank everybody that has been really helpful with us and that reach under to make sure we are OK and helping with everything that we need from the government, all this associations are willing to help when somebody needs. This is a specific tragedy because it was a big thing, you know. So the police department, fire department, the FBI, everybody that has been here for us.
COOPER: How are you so strong right now?
DOMINGUEZ: Because I believe in positive energy and I believe that he is helping me to go through all this.
COOPER: You still feel him.
DOMINGUEZ: Absolutely. I have been having long days, since day one when I was looking for him that Sunday. I left my apartment at 8:00 a.m. And I found him, I can say, because I looked for him the whole day in the afternoon, and --
COOPER: You spent the whole day looking for him to find out what happened.
DOMINGUEZ: Exactly, yes. So I feel like he has given me the opportunity to handle this in a good way and I have to.
COOPER: And you want people to know about this wonderful man that he was?
DOMINGUEZ: Yes. He was wonderful person, willing to help everybody. Putting everybody first and then him in second place. He was so much support for everything for me and all the men, you know. He was a good worker. Actually his job has been wonderful, too. He used to work at party city. I just talk yesterday with the HR director, how wonderful employee Eric was. And they were devastated, too, because it is a big loss for the company, too.
COOPER: I'm glad. I know your family is calm and hid family as well. So I just, I wish you the best in the days ahead. And I'm so sorry for you loss.
DOMINGUEZ: Thank you so much.
COOPER: Thank you.
DOMINGUEZ: Take care.
COOPER: Ivan Dominguez.
Last night I talked to Florida's attorney general Pam Bondi. Today on a radio show she took shots at me over the interview. Just ahead, we are actually going to show you what she said and we are going to go through it point by point. We will be right back.
[20:28:12] COOPER: Welcome back.
Now a 360 follow-up on interview I did with Florida attorney general Pam Bondi yesterday on CNN.
Now, as a rule, I think it is important the reporters not become part of the story. I don't get into feuds with other cable news anchors or professional politicians. On this broadcast, and especially in this awful tragedy, we try to keep the focus on where it should be, on the victims and the survivors and the love ones they left behind.
But today, the attorney general went on a radio show and made claims about our interview that are just factually incorrect. Now, she is either mistaken or she is not telling the truth.
Talking about my interview with her yesterday, here's part of what she said on WOR New York talk radio station today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA GENERAL ATTORNEY: We have been dealing with price gouging issues, with potential scams about people trying to donate to legitimate charities, that's what they told us they wanted to talk about and we felt like Anderson Cooper had a huge audience to help people yesterday. So we went over there. We went on. We were going to talk about the interview was supposed to be about helping victims' families, not creating more anger and havoc and hatred yesterday.
Yesterday was about unity. About bringing people together about helping these people. Before we went live, I said, Anderson, these are all the issues we need to help people with. He said OK, that's great. So we started off with just maybe a couple minutes if that about the scams, the potential scams that people all over the world want to donate, and they just need to make sure the websites are legitimate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, attorney general Bondi is correct when she says we spoke just before we went on the air live as I do with most guests, I ask them as courtesy, what they want to talk about. So I asked her what she wanted to talk about. [20:30:00] COOPER: She mentioned possible scams that arise in the
wake of tragedies, shady funerals homes, she mentioned that gone -- gofundme pages that her office were trying to verify as legit.
Now, that's important and I said to her, great. Let's talk about -- In fact they have said, let's start with that. Let's lead of the interview with that last one but I'll I start it with.
She warned me. She had no actual specifics about any scams but I still said we we're discussing and that's exactly what we did. So that's the only reason that whole topic ever came up in our discussion.
But it's not true for her to say that she was booked to talk about scams in the first place. Now, you might ask how do I know this? I know this because here are the pre-interview notes compiled by a CNN producer based on what Bondi's own office said she could possibly discuss.
And nowhere in these notes were scams mentioned. In fact, right here her office said that she could talk about the investigation process, but couldn't get into specifics beyond what the FBI had already said.
She can say it was a critical for law enforcement to be allowed to do their job properly and to avoid missteps. She also said that she could talk about the fact that she's meeting with victims' families and trying to help them but then she also said she would not talk about gun control or any issues surrounding gun control. So that's all in the notes.
So instead of following what her office suggested, I chose to ask her about comments she herself publicly has made on numerous other television show appearances in just the last few days, she's been on a lot of T.V. comments which seemed contradictory to her record of dealing with gays and lesbians in the state, so, now another of the Attorney General's complaints how CNN presented the interview. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: When he posted the clip, he cut out the entire first portion that discussed people donating to legitimate sites.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, again for the record. The interview aired lived and unedited in the 2:00 p.m. Eastern hour yesterday on CNN. Everyone watching across the country and watching around the world saw and heard Pam Bondi say exactly what she said in real time just as she said it.
She's apparently there referring to a clip that was posted shortly after online over cnn.com, a clip which focused just on our discussion about her public statements and her past record.
Now, I don't control what's posted online. I'm here on the ground. I'm told they routinely shorten the interviews online for time.
Frankly, I wish they have posted the whole thing immediately which they did by the way later in the day, yesterday, and it is now online for you to watch in its entirety, including the vague comments about possible scams and making sure you donate to a reputable organization all which are important.
Let's be real here. Miss Bondi's big complaint seems to be that I asked in the first place in the wake of a massacre that target a gay- lesbian citizens about her new statements about the gay community and about her old ones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BONDI: I was extremely disappointed in that and it just wasn't the time nor the place for that yesterday because all it did was encourage anger and hate and families who were trying to help to probably not trust my office and the 14 advocates we brought in who are helping trying to help them get compensation to bury their loved ones.
And, of course, I've been getting, you know, horrible hatred e-mails and texts now based on Anderson's story. So that was just sad because he had a real opportunity to bring our country together yesterday and talk about what's right and what's good instead of a story filled with anger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A story filled with anger. So for the record, my interview was not filled with any anger. I was respectful before the interview, I was respectful during the interview and I was respectful after the interview. I don't know Pam Bondi personally she seems like a nice person actually.
I don't think she has hate in her heart. But what I think it doesn't matter. It's my job to hold people accountable and if on Sunday, a politician is talking about love and embracing "Our LGBT community", I don't think it's unfair to look at their record and see if they have actually ever spoken that way publicly before which I never heard her say.
The fact is that Attorney General Bondi signed off on 2014 Federal Court Brief that claimed married gay people would "impose significant public harm", harm. She spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayer's money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry.
Now, look. Good people can and do disagree on that issue. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, thank goodness.
But Miss Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors for the very right which allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones -- that's a right that would not exist if Miss Bondi had her way. I think it is fair to ask about that. There is an irony in that.
I don't believe anyone should send angry mean messages to her or anyone else, but that isn't what I have seen here these last few days. What I have seen here among gays and lesbians here, it's not hate and it's not anger. I have seen love and I've seen unity.
You know, as I mentioned one of Miss Bondi's issues was the fact that when the interview first was posted it on cnn.com for a couple of hours.
[20:35:01] Part of the bit about the charity scams was cut out. She wanted the whole interview seen so it was reposted and its entirety yesterday and it's still on there right now.
Just to oblige her again because what she was "You should either take the whole thing off or put it on in its entirety". It's on there in its entirety. It has been since yesterday. But just so everybody can see the whole interview in its entirety, here it is again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I want to bring in Pam Bondi the Florida Attorney General to talk about what's happening here and I know there's a lot you can't talk about on the investigation. I won't going to press you on that, you've been meeting with family members.
BONDI: I have.
COOPER: What are you hearing from them and I know you're concerned also about scams. Like victim's family ...
COOPER: ... been scammed?
BONDI: Yes. You know, we have so many great Americans out there who want to donate, who are doing, you know, they're watching us on T.V., they're seeing you give the names of these victims and people want to help and want to give but please go to a legitimate disaster relief organization. Right now we don't know what's legitimate and what's not.
COOPER: There's hundreds of websites popping up and you're worried about some fake ones?
BONDI: Hundreds, hundreds. So please. Also our legitimate disaster relief ones and some of the scam artists will change one letter in the name, and come up with that. So people who think they're helping all of these victims and their families ...
BONDI: ... are in fact helping scammers. So please don't stop giving to the public but just be vigilant in how you do it.
COOPER: I want to ask you. I saw you the other day saying that anyone who attacks the LGBT community, our LGBT community said will be gone after with the full extent of the law.
BONDI: Exactly right.
COOPER: I talked to a lot of gay and lesbian people here yesterday who are not fans of yours and who said that they thought you were being a hypocrite, that you for years have fought -- you basically gone out for gay people, said that in court, the gay people simply by fighting for America quality were trying to do harm to the people of Florida. "To induced public harm", I believe was the term you used in court. Do you really think you're a champion of the gay community?
BONDI: Let me tell you. When I was sworn in as Attorney General I put my hand on a Bible and was sworn to uphold the constitution of the State of Florida. That's not a law. That was voted into our state constitution by the voters of Florida. That's what I was defending. Had nothing to do -- I have never said I don't like gay people ...
COOPER: But you do say -- but you worry about using language, accusing gay people trying to do harm to the people of Florida, when doesn't that send a message to some people who might have bad ideas in mind?
BONDI: And Anderson, I don't believe gay people would do harm to the State of Florida ...
COOPER: But you argued that in court?
BONDI: My lawyer argued a case defending what the Supreme Court allowed the voters to put in our state constitution.
COOPER: Right. Are you arguing the gay marriage, if there was gay marriage, if there were same-sex marriage, that would do harm to the people of Florida to the Florida society.
BONDI: That it was constitutional to put that in the constitution.
COOPER: Are you saying they do not believe it would do harm to Florida?
BONDI: Of course not, of course not. That gay -- no, I have never said that. And those words never came out of my mouth.
COOPER: But that is specifically what you're argued in the court.
BONDI: You're not -- No, no. What we argued was it was in the constitution of the State of Florida. Let me give you an example. Medical marijuana, a 12-year-old could get it if it passed.
We took that to the Supreme Court. Because of that language -- hold on, but if that passed, I would defend that as well because it's my job to defend what's in the constitution of the State of Florida. That's what it was about.
COOPER: The hotline that you have been talking about on television which allows family members and spouses of the dead to get information.
BONDI: Yeah. COOPER: Which is incredibly important and I appreciate you talking about it on the air, had there been no gay marriage, no same-sex marriage, you do realize that spouses -- there would be no spouses, that boyfriends and girlfriends of the dead would not be able to get information and will not be able to call you in a visit in the hospital here. Isn't there a sick irony in that?
BONDI: Well, yeah and let me take to the step farther. People are right now who are partners and aren't married officially aren't able to get information. So we are trying to assist them in getting information because early on ...
COOPER: Wait, isn't that a sick irony that you for years were fighting about that very idea?
BONDI: I was defending the constitution of what's over 69 percent of the voters put in the constitution.
COOPER: Right. But there's, you know, the courts -- federal courts said that's not the constitution.
COOPER: And you continued to fight it.
BONDI: No, that's why we rushed it to get it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
COPPER: Well, and before the Supreme Court, there was a federal judge and you continued to fight after the federal judge ruled and in fact you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money ...
BONDI: Well, Anderson, we, we rushed to get it to the Supreme Court. You know, what today is about? Human beings.
BONDI: Today is about victims.
COOPER: It's about the gay and lesbian victims.
BONDI: We are here -- it sure is, LGBT ...
BONDI: ... victims ...
COOPER: Right. I'm just wondering ...
BONDI: ... is about ...
COOPER: ... is it hypocritical to portray yourself as a champion of the gay community, I'm just reflecting what a lot of gay people told me they don't see you as that.
BONDI: Anderson, I'm not portraying myself as anything other than trying to help human beings ...
[20:40:00] COOPER: Right.
BONDI: ... who have lost their lives, who are right behind us right now in hospital beds, who have family members who aren't getting the services they need. This morning you know what I've been doing? Trying to fight with the funeral home for overcharging family members ...
COOPER: That's sickening.
BONDI: ... to bury their loved ones. I'm not championing anything other than Floridians, that's what this is about.
COOPER: So ...
BONDI: We're about human beings.
BONDI: And this is about victims who need help, this is about family members who need services.
COOPER: It's just that ...
BONDI: That's what this is about.
COOPER: ... I will say, I have never really seen you talk about gays and lesbians and transgender people in a positive way until now. I read your Twitter history for the last year, and I saw you tweeting about, you know, National Dog Month and National Shelter Dog Appreciation Day, or Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, you know, it is Gay Pride Month, you've never even tweeted about Gay Pride Month. I mean ...
BONDI: Well, actually if you look at my website now, we have hands clasped together, all different colors, rainbow hands.
COOPER: So you just put that up now?
BONDI: Yeah, I did, after this horrible tragedy.
COOPER: Well ...
BONDI: The only thing I'm championing are human beings whose lives were lost ...
COOPER: So that's your message ...
BONDI: ... in terror
COOPER: ... to gay and lesbian people here. Because again, I'm just telling you what people have been telling me to ask you.
Moving forward, do you see yourself as being a vocal champion for gay and lesbian citizens in the state?
BONDI: They are citizens just like anyone else, of course. I -- my goodness, Anderson, we have had 49 people murdered simply because they were in a bar at the wrong time.
BONDI: That's horrible.
BONDI: I'm a career prosecutor. These family members are devastated.
COOPER: Well, it's good to hear. It's good -- yeah.
BONDI: These surviving victims are devastated.
COOPER: Because I know -- I thought ...
BONDI: That's what this is about.
COOPER: Right. I know a lot of gay and lesbian people in the state want to feel that the people represent them, represent everybody in the state. I mean ...
BONDI: We're human beings.
BONDI: And that's what this is about.
COOPER: Well, I appreciate you talking to us.
BONDI: That's what this is about. Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thanks for all you're doing on behalf of the victims.
BONDI: Thank you.
COOPER: Thanks, Pam Bondi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, that was the whole interview in its entirety. You can make up your own mind.
Just ahead, the Orlando terror attacks being felt on the campaign trail. And of course, in Washington D.C., Senate Democrats are filibustering the forced action on gun control.
Well, Donald Trump is breaking ranks with his party and possibly the NRA over the issue, we have more on that. And far from all of that the victims of the Pulse shooting being remembered and more and more of their stories ahead.
[20:46:20] COOPER: Well, this is how the tragedy in Orlando is playing out in Washington tonight. Here are live pictures we're seeing from the Senate floor of a filibuster launched today by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to try to force action on gun control reforms. He wants to expand universal background checks and make it illegal for people in terror watch list and No Fly List to buy guns. Democrats are about to hold the floor as long as it takes.
As this was unfolding, Donald Trump today signaled his support for banning people on the No Fly List from buying guns. He's planning to meet with the NRA about it. And they've endorsed him as, you probably know. Now Trump also kept up his fiery rhetoric about what the country needs to do to prevent more terror attacks. Phil Mattingly, tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE. It's going to happen again, and again, and again because we're not doing what we have to be doing.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump raising serious concerns on the campaign trail today in the wake of the devastating attack at an Orlando gay club.
TRUMP: We have to maybe check respectfully the mosques and we have to check other places. Because this is a problem that if we don't solve it, it's going to eat our country alive.
MATTINGLY: Attacking Hillary Clinton and again swinging back at President Obama's broadside of his foreign policy.
TRUMP: He gives a speech yesterday, a long speech that at the end of it nobody knew what the hell he was talking about.
MATTINGLY: After this retort Tuesday night.
TRUMP: And I watched President Obama today and he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter.
MATTINGLY: Trump is also calling for a meeting with the NRA to discuss barring individuals on the terror watch lists from gun purchases. The NRA says it would welcome the meeting, but the group says its position on the issue has not changed that continues to support Republican legislation would expand the ability of law enforcement to block such sales.
This, as many GOP leaders in recent days have taken pains to distance themselves from the presumptive GOP nominee.
Trump faces bigger problems, the U.S. voters, a new ABC "Washington Post" survey showing Trump with a 70 percent unfavorable mark compared with a 55 percent unfavorable rating for Clinton.
A new Bloomberg national polls shows 55 percent of responsible would never support the New York billionaire, while 43 percent say the same of the former secretary of State.
And Trump is trailing Clinton by 12 points. Clinton, seizing on new momentum, hammered Trump again today during a national security event in Virginia.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEEE: So not one of Donald Trump's reckless ideas would have saved a single life in Orlando. It's just more evident that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be commander-in-chief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's Phil Mattingly reporting. Joining me now is CNN political analyst in "New York Times," presidential campaign correspondent, Maggie Haberman. Maggie, thanks very much for joining us.
So, neither Trump nor Clinton is letting up on this whether it's national security more broadly or gun control in particular. They both clearly think they have the correct argument. Does this one -- I mean, do you see this continue to get more heated? I mean, we got a long way to go.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, I think that we're going to have daily focus on this. As you say, there is a schism, Democrats are approach this as a gun control argument. And the terror argument that primarily gun control at the moment Republicans are doing the opposite and -- or doing something different and talking about national security and talking about terrorism. Trump has obviously done it in very specific terms.
I do think it is important to notice the difference between what Congressional Republicans have been talking about in terms of this issue and what Trump has been talking about. Trump talked about, you know, extending his ban on Muslim immigrants.
[20:50:04] He is now sort of doing it by geography but he's also talked about sort of aggressive profiling of Muslims who are already in the country. That is different than what we're seeing a lot of Republicans talking about. They are talking in sort of broader terms about being more vigilant but not supporting what he is doing.
COOPER: And the idea that Trump is putting out there that he is a better candidate for gay and lesbian Americans than Hillary Clinton, at one point today, he said in a rally that people should ask the gays. The fact that he says -- I mean I guess the gays raised some eyebrows but where do you think this is coming from just -- does he see that he has an avenue in here to pick up a lot of support of gay and lesbian Americans?
HABERMAN: I mean I think two things, I think in terms of the gays, he has a history in my colleague Jonathan Martin and I have written about this of framing every demographic group as the which is sort of archaic language form the 1980's in New York, which is when he came of age politically.
But in terms of how he sees this issue playing out for him, look, he does have -- and I've written about this prior to this campaign where he has been vocal about gay marriage and being against it, but he does have a history of tolerance in terms of the LGBT community.
HABERMAN: He was, you know, open about the North Carolina transgender bathroom law, much to the surprise and chagrin of some Republicans but what he is doing now is trying to pushed a wedge between the LGBT community and Muslims which is a characteristic that had been seen in a lot of European far right politicians and he is adhering to that playbook.
I think that he is he is genuine when he talks about his history in terms of employing gay people, in terms of Mar-a-Lago in Florida, he's club having been a pretty at -- the first reportedly to admit an openly gay couple and this is a little bit different what he is talking about right now.
COOPER: Maggie Haberman, I appreciate it. Thanks very much.
Up next, we remember the youngest victim of the Orlando mass shooting, 18 years old, celebrating a high school graduation with a night out, dancing with friends. Her family shares what happened early Sunday morning when we continue.
COOPER: Look it may sound cliche to some to say the 49 lives were cut short by a hate filled gunman but that's exactly what happened here in Orlando in Sunday morning.
There's really no more accurate way to put it.
[20:55:00] Most of the victims who died were under the age of 40, young men and women full of dreams and full of plans, some just taking their first steps even into adulthood.
The youngest victim Akyra Murray was 18 years old. Her future waiting to be written, she'd already accomplished a lot and went to the Pulse to celebrate, her first visit to a night club.
Tonight, we have a much fuller picture of the final hours of her life and the selfless choice that her family says cost her, her life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Playing possum that's how Akyra Murray her cousin Tiara Parker and friend Patience Carter said they survived Saturday night.
TIARA PARKER, COUSIN OF AKYRA MURRAY: He came in. You could hear the loading the gun. COOPER: Playing possum or pretending to be dead waiting, hoping and praying that could get out at Pulse Night Club to get out alive. Akyra's cousin Tiara were recounting it to NPR.
PARKER: God, I'm like, please get us out of here. Like, were too young for this.
COOPER: It's started out as a week end of celebration. Akyra graduating from High School in Philadelphia just last week heading to Orlando to visit her brother there. She picked Pulse because she was under 21 and wanted to find a place to have a good time and dance.
ALBERT MURRAY, FATHER OF AKYRA MURRAY: I didn't want her to go but she's kept begging, "Dad, take me there." I was saying to myself like your vacation.
COOPER: And then 2:06 a.m. when the text messages from Akyra's cousin. Please come get us now, please, they shooting. Akyra's parents racing back to the nightclub where they dropped off their daughter off just hours before.
NATALIE MURRAY, MOTHER OF AKYRA MURRAY: At this point, it was low boost at lifted at about 190 down the road. I turned the 35 minutes run into about 17 minutes.
COOPER: Inside the club a chaos. Akyra manages to escape but realizes she's left her cousin Tiara and friend Patience behind goes back inside. All three girls managed to hide inside the handicap stall with 15 to 20 others huddled nearly stocked on top of one another. The gunman walks in and she says in what seemed like a miracle his gun jammed.
PARKER: And as I looked at each other, I picked a bum rush him out of here.
COOPER: She says it was too late however the killer uses another gun and opens fire. Akyra is shoots her in the arm, her cousin Tiara in the side and the patience in both legs. Tiara recounts the moment to NPR.
PARKER: I never thought that I would have somebody's brain fragments in my fingernails, blood clots and stuff all over the place.
COOPER: And then at 2:12 a.m. a phone call from Akyra to her mom.
MURRAY: About 10 minutes in and we got a phone call from my daughter, "Mommy, please hurry, they're shooting, they're shooting. I'm hit, I'm hit in the arm."
COOPER: But Akyra's parents are still miles away, they need to call the police.
MURRAY: "She's like I'm bleeding so bad, mommy, please help me, please help me call the cops, please." And I'm just like baby, I need the GPS for the phone. I need to call the cops, I need to disconnect with you. COOPER: The three girls lied for hours playing dead, a pool of blood surrounds them, trying to be as quite as possible, using mores code of taps and signal to communicate with one another.
PARKER: It just kind of with the 27 and suddenly I just kept tapping each other.
COOPER: But Akyra was bleeding badly in need of medical care, soon no longer responds to mores code.
PARKER: So, I was tapping her and she wasn't responding right back.
COOPER: Just after 5:00 a.m. authorities finally punched through the wall and killed the gunman, dragging hostages to safety. Akyra's parents can do nothing but wait for news. Midday Monday, some 36 hours later they received word that Akyra is dead.
MURRAY: I heard her going I just keep seeing her face.
COOPER: Akyra Monet Murray, superstar basketball player, honor student, hero to her friends. She is the youngest victim of this senseless tragedy.
MURRAY: I just can't even imagine that my baby girl, an honor role student, who graduated from high school just last week on the way to college next month would be dead today. It is surreal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So much life ahead of her. Right now, we're going to share with you some thoughts from some of Orlando's youngest citizens. These are pictures from Orlando Police Department Twitter Page, kids and family have been come to the station to offer gratitude, and dropping up care packages cards the officers of the shooting site.
I want to show you few of the cards. This one says "Dear life saver, thank you for putting your life first especially during this hard time. May God bless you. Love Joshua!"
This one says, "Thank you fro all you've all done and continue doing for a community of this tragedy, don't forget you're the best. Thank you."
And from Kayleigh, "Thank you are hero. Thank you for helping us." And you can see Kayleigh draw -- drew some awesome pictures on the bottom left screen a rainbow with smile.
We'll be right back. More coverage ahead.