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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
FBI Releases Transcripts of Gunman's 911 Calls; Law Enforcement Redacts References to ISIS, ISIS Leader in Transcripts; Orlando Shooter Allowed to Keep Gun; Trump Fires Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired June 20, 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] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- but more specifically the phone calls, the conversations between the killer, between the shooter and 911 and hostage -- and crisis negotiators. More detail coming out. Two important notes that -- a lot came out, but one important note is they said there were no shots in the three-hour period while the negotiating was going on, the three hours that a lot of folks have talked about. And they said right there they faced a lot of criticism over and questions over when shots were first reported and when SWAT finally went in.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah. One other thing we should note here is there's a lot of redactions here. Law enforcement telling us they redacted some specific references to ISIS and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, they say, because they don't want to re-victimize the people inside that club. That decision is getting some criticism because some people say it's trying to deflect what was the purpose, the cause of the shooter --
BOLDUAN: The motivation.
BERMAN: -- who clearly, from the beginning, pledged his allegiance to ISIS.
Let's bring in CNN justice correspondent, Evan Perez; also CNN law enforcement analyst, Art Roderick; and our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.
Art, let me start with you.
One of the new things here is more clearly state than ever, what Kate just said, that for three hours after officers engaged with this shooter, there was no shooting. The FBI and law enforcement says this transitioned from a hostile shooter, an active shooter, to a hostage situation in which it remained for three hours until they went in.
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's exactly correct. They shifted from the protocols you use in an active shooter scenario to the protocols in a hostage barricade, armed individual situation. So when the SWAT team comes in, not only does the SWAT team come in but negotiators come in. And as you the transcript -- the transcript is also not just 911 calls.
BOLDUAN: No, right. RODERICK: It's also radio transmissions or a summary of some of the
radio transmissions that occurred. So what you've got is, once this turned into a hostage barricade shooter situation, then they attempted to negotiate. And he kept the negotiation going, as you can see from the transcript, but also said that, you know, had referenced explosives. And we've heard other, witnesses say that there were other individuals possibly involved. That slows down the whole process because then you've got to be worried about explosives inside the club and also, as he referenced, explosives out in the vehicle in the parking lot.
BOLDUAN: You have three calls with negotiators, one at 2:48 and one at 3:03 and one at 3:24. On the phone with negotiators for a total of 28 minutes. That's the three calls we had heard some about.
What stands out to you, Jeffrey, as you're looking at this and as you heard what they were saying at the press conference?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Two things. One is just at a simple human level, can you imagine being in this club for three hours? I mean, as bad as this was, it's got to be worse -- there were people bleeding in there, people dying. The fact, it's so long makes this even more horrifying.
The other thing I have to say was a little disturbing about this news conference was this attitude that we did everything perfectly. I have no criticism of these folks.
TOOBIN: They were working under an extraordinarily difficult circumstances, but isn't the appropriate attitude, what can we learn? You know, we live in America in 2016. Something like this is going to happen again. And isn't the better attitude, you know, we did our best, we think we saved lives, but, you know, we need to learn from this experience because we may see ISIS activity or ISIS-inspired activity again. We may see anti-gay activity again. Let's learn from it. Let's not say immediately we did everything perfectly.
BOLDUAN: Evan, in the last few minutes, as we've been talking apparently the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, sent out a tweet saying that, "The president should reverse the decision made by the administration to what he calls censure the transcripts, censor the communications." If you look at the transcripts, there's no direct mention of ISIS, no direct mention of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. But in that news conference, it's clearly stated the shooter declared himself an Islamic soldier. There's no ambiguity at this point, Even, what this killer wanted people to believe, that he was committed a terrorist attack on behalf of ISIS.
PEREZ: Exactly. And that's why I mentioned I think right before the press conference began that in some ways this is already feeding conspiracies out there that perhaps what the Obama administration is trying to do, what the FBI and the Justice Department are trying to do is trying to diminish and obscure the role of ISIS or ISIS inspiration in this terrorist attack. And that's the criticism you're hearing now. It's because of -- I'm not sure what the decision was here because we already know the details of the call. We know who he pledged allegiance to.
PEREZ: So you're not really, you know, saving our ears here. And, frankly, we're all adults. It's called -- it's all of a sudden -- this is a public record. In Florida law, this is a public record and the Justice Department had to intervene to prevent this from being completely issued. We're not trying to re-victimize the victims, but it's a curious decision they've made.
By the way, another point part is there's no mention of homosexuality, of his being anti-gay. So I'm not sure whether we rule that out. But it's interesting that in his moment when he has the microphone, so to speak, he doesn't mention that. He mentioned only the Islamic State, the Boston bombing. He mentioned Saleh, a Palestinian young man who worshipped at the mosque where this killer worshipped and who blew himself up in Syria in a suicide bombing.
[11:35:48] BOLDUAN: As a former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey, what do you make of the redactions?
TOOBIN: I don't think it matters a great deal. We know who -- we know what he was saying. I think the redactions are probably a mistake. But you know, I think Speaker Ryan's tweet illustrates that there is no issue, not even a massacre in Orlando, that will not be a Democrat versus Republican issue in 2016. I mean, you would think this is sort of outside of politics but apparently not.
BOLDUAN: No, it's not.
BERMAN: But they would say that the decision by the administration to keep --
BOLDUAN: Was political in itself.
BERMAN: -- to keep the name redacted is also political.
TOOBIN: There you go. That's how we look at issues.
BERMAN: All right, guys. Stand by for a minute here, because we also have some new information about the investigation in general.
CNN has confirmed that the killer had been allowed to keep his work- issued gun, a revolver, despite being transferred from an armed position at his security job to an unarmed position. But the revolver was not one that was used in the shooting.
Still, CNN's Rene Marsh has details on this.
Rene, what are you learning?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We've been digging into the security company, G4S, that employed Omar Mateen as they are learning more about that work-issued Smith & Wesson revolver that was found inside of his car after the Pulse nightclub attack. We know that despite being transferred from a courthouse position, which was an armed position, to his last role at that residential community, he still kept that revolver. And when asked -- when this company was asked about why that decision was made, also in light of the FBI investigation in 2013, a company official saying, number one, they had investigated the dispute that happened at the courthouse that led to his transfer and they didn't find any red flags. They also brought up that they had done several background checks and didn't find any red flags. And they also went on to say that the state of Florida still had him licensed as an armed security guard. Also considering all of those things, the company said that they made the decision to allow him to keep that weapon. They said oftentimes that security guards who are in unarmed positions will at a moment's notice be called to fill in, in an armed position, and that is why, again, that individual was allowed to keep the weapon.
But so many questions for this security company as far as how much they knew about him, when they knew it, and what sort of actions they took. But as it relates to this gun itself, the company saying they didn't see any red flags that would force them to take that weapon away from him.
BOLDUAN: Rene Marsh on it for us in Washington. Rene, thank you so much.
BERMAN: We've got a lot of breaking news this morning. Political news, Donald Trump just fired his campaign manager a month before his convention. Corey Lewandowski out. Why? How did it happen? We have brand new information on the time line, the internal debates, the family involvement. You'll want to hear it. That's next.
[11:42:47] BOLDUAN: We're following breaking news on the political front this morning. Big news happening in the last hour. Plus, Donald Trump's campaign manager, who has been with him from the beginning, Corey Lewandowski, he is out, fired. A source telling CNN this is a, quote, unquote, "reset for the campaign" in acknowledgment of what has been rumored and discussed for weeks that things were not going so well on the inside.
BERMAN: Yeah. Lest anyone think differently, this does not happen at this stage in campaigns.
BOLDUAN: Yeah. He's the nominee.
BOLDUAN: This is not normal.
Want to go to CNN's Jason Carroll live outside Trump Tower here in Manhattan.
Campaign bombshell this morning, Jason. What are you learning?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, John, you say this is not normal, but let's be honest, this hasn't been a normal campaign from the very beginning.
And in terms of what you're saying in terms of this being an unusual move, a significant step just because this is a man who has been involved from the beginning, very loyal to Trump, Trump loyal to him, even as you remember during no whole Breitbart incident with that reporter where he allegedly manhandled that reporter, Trump stood by him, saying at the time, I don't just discard people, I stay with them. This is a man that's there's been questions about his temperament, questions about his ability to lead, about whether he can get along with Paul Manafort.
In terms of the statement that came out earlier this morning from Hope Hicks, she says, "The Donald J Trump campaign for president, which has set a historical record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign."
Just to give you a better sense of some of the animosity Lewandowski has with some of the members of the campaign that he worked with, one former adviser telling "G.Q." magazine saying this about Lewandowski, saying, "I literally will suck the blood right out of his skull." That gives you a sense of just how much animosity there was between Lewandowski and some of the folks within the campaign.
In terms of what's happening here at Trump Tower, earlier today, Trump, some of his senior members, insiders, met with some of the family members as well to try to get a better sense of how the campaign will move forward, perhaps a change in direction. They face a number of challenges. You look at the anti-Trump movement, which still is percolating between the surface here. You know about that call last night with some of the delegates who are trying to change the rules to try to stop Donald Trump. You have issues with fundraisers who were skittish, nervous about donating to the campaign. They've got issues going there. Clearly, a change needed to be made and this was one of them.
[11:45:14] BOLDUAN: And it happened. What happens now? Let's discuss.
Jason, great to see you. Thank you so much.
A lot of smart people, smarter than John and I, although don't tell John that, joining us to discuss.
Let me first bring in CNN's chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, on this one.
Gloria, you are picking up some more of how this happened, why this happened, who was the driving force behind what happened. Tell me.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. This has been percolating for weeks. There's been a lot of unhappiness with Corey Lewandowski's performance. Even the simplest things that needed to get done sort of couldn't get past his desk, I'm told. But I think the final straw -- and it a lot about how the campaign is run -- came over the weekend from the family. I think the children, Ivanka in particular, was emphatic as well as her husband, Jared Kushner, who has been very involved in the fundraising, saying that something has to change here. Kushner, I gather, had been hearing from a lot of funders, and I think there was a sense among the kids who are very involved as you all know in this campaign that they couldn't continue like this with Corey at the helm, and I think they went to their father and said, you know, something has got to give, and I think that Trump listened to them.
BERMAN: Dana Bash, you have been on the phone nonstop for the last hour or so. You know, what else are you picking up about what happened and what happens next?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, just sort of dove-tailing off what Gloria just said, that it really sounds like a very dramatic weekend inside the Trump -- not just the campaign --
BASH: But the family in a way you couldn't have scripted on any kind of political drama, ending with a one-on-one meeting with Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, where she apparently, according to my source, and some of my colleagues have heard similar, said to her father, he's got to go. Corey Lewandowski has got to go and, if he doesn't, I can no longer help with this enterprise.
BERMAN: She can't quit. She's his daughter.
BASH: Well, she kind of can.
BERMAN: She's his daughter.
BASH: She's one of his best, most successful and positive influences on him behind the scenes, and also very much so publicly. And I'm told she said, you know, no more, no more. If you don't get rid of him -- he's got to go. As Gloria was saying, it was in concert with her husband, Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has not only been very involved in fundraising but more and more inserting himself more and more with the way the campaign is being run, working very hard with Paul Manafort, the person who seems to be -- to have won this huge power struggle with Corey Lewandowski. He's probably now going to be the person to take over, whether it's by title or just by actions. And Reince Priebus, the RNC chair, I am told, he, starting late last week, kind of got into the action of calling Trump personally saying we've got to make a change with Corey Lewandowski for a whole host of reasons. Of course, now we're talking about kind of the mechanics of how it happened, why it happened. I am told by several sources it wasn't just one thing. It was a series of issues, both in terms of their inability, many people say, to hire good staff because he would not attract good staff or he would try to get them fired, and just the aggressive nature he had internally. But also more importantly, what that has meant for Donald Trump on the campaign trail and that his poll numbers have been sliding because they thought Corey was a bad influence policy and message-wise. BOLDUAN: Let's bring in someone who has been on the inside of the
campaign. Barry Bennett is joining us. He's a Trump supporter, a Republican consultant.
Barry, you have worked with the campaign, you have worked against the campaign when you were the campaign manager for Dr. Ben Carson, and now you're supportive of the campaign, not working with the campaign. Give us some insight here. Was it really this bad?
BARRY BENNETT, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT & FORMER CAMPAIGN MANGER FOR DR. BEN CARSON & DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, I don't think it was nearly that bad. Listen, I think we're shifting to a new phase of the campaign as we approach the convention and he becomes the official nominee. And, you know, Corey did an amazing job getting through the primary. They spent precious little, got more votes than anybody in history, got record turnout. It's hard to say that what they did was anything but spectacular. But as we go to a new phase and a new campaign, Paul has a great skill set, and I think he will push Donald Trump over the victory line.
[11:49:50] BERMAN: Corey Lewandowski did guide that ship through the primaries and won the primaries, and no one saw that coming.
BERMAN: But when you say shift to a new face in the campaign, he fired the campaign manger a month before the convention phase of the campaign.
BOLDUAN: It's unique.
BERMAN: Yeah. It hasn't been done before.
Steve Lonegan, I want to bring you in here.
You are a fierce opponent of Donald Trump. You want to basically overthrow Donald Trump at the convention. You've been on the phone with delegates, a conference call trying to make this happen. Do you see this move? Because Corey Lewandowski was a big stumbling block for a lot of Republicans. I assume you as well. Do you see this as a step in the positive direction?
[11:50:25] STEVE LONEGAN, SPOKESMAN, COURAGEOUS CONSERVATIVES SUPER PAC: No, I don't. I've known Lewandowski for many years. I worked one on one with Corey Lewandowski in Americans for Prosperity. He's a very good manager. He's very good with people. Any allegations that Corey Lewandowski is responsible for the problems in Trump's campaign are utterly false. It's Donald Trump himself. Anybody who's been in politics or campaigns like I have, when the family, when the kids and the wives are moving on a campaign, that's a bad sign, especially in a presidential campaign. You need professionals, not amateurs who think they know better. This is a sign Donald Trump cannot lead this campaign. The biggest change we need right now is a new candidate for the Republican Party, or the Republican Party, like his campaign, will go down in historic defeat. BOLDUAN: To Lonegan's point, does firing one person, albeit the
campaign manager, who has been with you from the beginning, does it right the ship?
JIM GERAGHTY, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW: All we need is for Ivanka to say, OK, dad, we need to change the candidate, and we'll be all squared away.
GERAGHTY: It's not that Corey Lewandowski said, Trump, go attack that judge. It's like he said, oh, go tart talking about U.S. troops for Iraq.
BOLDUAN: We heard it over and over again, let Trump be Trump.
GERAGHTY: Yeah, and we see where it's gotten him.
GERAGHTY: Trailing badly against Hillary. Kansas isn't looking that great. Utah is a tie. At this point, you think, is this a step of progress. Ultimately, if you think the core problem of this campaign is Corey Lewandowski, that he's not letting this up and won't let things go forward, OK, fine.
GERAGHTY: But the evidence isn't pointing towards that.
BERMAN: Is that a little bit straw man. You're not to say the whole problem is Lewandowski, to acknowledge he is a problem.
And at that point, Angela, you've been sitting here smiling like the whole time, like, I'm a Democrat, mayhem for the Republican nominee, what a great day this is for me. However, if you get a campaign manager and wasn't doing the job, and you replace that person with someone who made you a better job, isn't this a pivot point, isn't this point in the campaign where things could start going better for Donald Trump and wouldn't that be a concern for Hillary Clinton?
ANGELA RYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If it weren't Donald Trump, perhaps. I think the reality is that every point where he said, Kate just mentioned it, a pivot point, it's another pivot point. If we continue to look like there will be real change, perhaps. That is the problem right there. He was going to start being more presidential. We see where that's gotten us. I think Corey Lewandowski -- I don't know him like you do, sir. He's a reflection of his candidate and that's why it was so hard for Donald Trump to let him go from the beginning. It's been clear that he's a problem from when he grabbed the reporter to the things he said in the press, it's been a clear challenge. And I think the reality is he did not want to let him go because he liked him. He saw some of himself in him. And Corey Lewandowski was a reflection of the candidate. I don't think Paul Manafort or anybody on his team or Barry or anybody else is saying that there's not any problem there, it is still paradise. I think the reality of it, Donald Trump is --
BOLDUAN: One of the biggest problems, outwardly and inwardly, for the party at the moment is there are problems with unity.
Does this help, Gloria, unify the Republican Party?
BORGER: I think they're going to sit back and see which Donald Trump emerges. This no doubt there's been a candidate problem. I had someone close to the campaign say to me today, look, it's been an insane three weeks and everybody knows it. But there has also been a management problem and a logistical problem. And I was this has been what this source called a logistical nightmare for us. And that they had trouble getting the simplest things done and executed. And that is because things, according to this source, got sort of stopped at Lewandowski's desk, which this source says really impacted the level of organization that they were able to have. So, yes, there's a candidate problem. There's a getting control of the candidate problem. And then there's the logistical problem, which the campaign and the RNC is trying to figure out in terms of going forward. So I think it's a combination of all three things.
And the kids --
BORGER: -- who are the closest to Donald Trump finally went to him, as Dan and I were reporting, and said, we've got to figure this out. This has got to stop.
BERMAN: We've got about 30 seconds left. A few five seconds here.
BASH: Thank you for bringing that up. I think we have to say that Corey knew his candidate and knew the Republican primary electorate in a way nobody else got because he let Trump be Trump, as he liked to say, and he got him over the finish line in a way nobody thought.
But for Barry to say it wasn't that bad internally, have you ever seen a former staffer --
BERMAN: Put out a tweet.
BASH: -- put out a tweet suggesting that his boss was the wicked witch of the West? In seconds, Michael Caputo, who works for the Trump campaign, this is his tweet, suggesting, "Ding dong, the witch is dead."
[11:55:19] BERMAN: Which witch?
The wicked witch.
BERMAN: Jim, five seconds, last word?
GERAGHTY: Sure. You have the drinking blood from skulls about the mood in this campaign. A well-oiled machine. You've seen Lincoln's team of rivals and now we're seeing people practically shooting at each other in rivalries over this. This is not a campaign. It's an organized circle of chaos.
BERMAN: What will Donald Trump say about this when he speaks next? That's the key question.
All right, guys, thank you so much for being here on this breaking news.
There is other breaking news today. The FBI releasing a partial transcript of what happened in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and what the shooter said.
BOLDUAN: In it, the shooter pledges but there are big redactions in it, and that was something that the FBI projected, and the attorney general, telling Dana Bash they were going to do. What are officials keeping from the public? More on that coming up.
[11:59:37] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. And welcome to "Legal View."
We're going to begin this hour with the words of a mass killer, the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. It is breaking news from Orlando. Partially edited transcripts of the Pulse nightclub gunman's conversations that he had with 911, and then later, with police crisis negotiators. The transcripts show that 33 minutes into the siege in the 2:00 a.m. hour last Sunday, Omar Mateen, had this exchange with the 911 dispatcher. And it reads like this --