Return to Transcripts main page
Gunman Targets GOP; President Trump in another Investigation. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 14, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: A stunning day in Washington. A gunman opens fire on members of Congress and then the news breaking tonight, President Trump under criminal investigation for obstruction of justice.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Breaking news on two fronts to tell you about. The Washington Post reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump for possible obstruction of justice as part of the Russia investigation. This, after only 145 days in the Oval Office.
Also breaking tonight, a shooting at a Virginia ball field targets members of Congress. The frightening moments captured on video.
Congressmen Steve Scalise, the third highest ranking republican in the House in critical condition in the hospital tonight where the president and the first lady just visited. Congressman Scalise suffered injury to his internal organs and will require more surgeries.
Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta will join us on the latest on his condition in just a moment. But first, the hospital treating Congressman Steve Scalise has released a new statement that says he suffered a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet traveled fracturing bones, injuries -- injuring his internal organs and causing severe bleeding.
He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a level one trauma center where he underwent surgery. He remains in critical condition tonight. He will require additional operations.
And I want to bring in now Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who our chief medical correspondent here on CNN. We're just getting the report of his condition coming in not long ago, Sanjay.
SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes.
LEMON: This MedStar Washington Hospital Center just released that update on his condition and it reads, "The Congressman sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip, the bullet traveled across his pelvis fracturing bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe bleeding. He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center one level trauma center, underwent immediate surgery and additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical and he will require additional operations."
They are going to provide periodic updates. It sounds very serious, Sanjay. What do all -- what do you make of all those injuries, what does this mean?
GUPTA: Yes. It is serious. And I think in the beginning, Don, when the description was of a hip injury, people were thinking maybe it's not going to be that serious. He was -- as you may remember, Don, at the scene he was able to communicate. He was in fact was able to even speak to his wife on the cell phone.
At that time, he was described as being stable from his office from a release from his office. It took about, you know, 10 minutes or so to transport him to the hospital by helicopter. And as you just read, by the time he arrived at the hospital, he was in shock, he was in critical condition by the time he arrived there giving you an idea of just how quickly someone can lose blood after an injury like this.
And that is the biggest concern with a rifle shot to the hip. There's blood vessels in that area and those blood vessels obviously you can lose a lot of blood from an injury to them. He was in the operating room for most of the day, really until midafternoon probably addressing that and there will be further operations because again, as you pointed out, to try and relocate all those bones that were fractured as well. That is sort of a secondary concern.
But stopping the bleeding, making sure he can be stabilized, that his blood pressure can be stabilized. That's what's going on right now at the hospital, Don.
LEMON: Yes. And just the severity, I mean, I'll read it again. It says the bullet, let's see, he sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip, Sanjay. The bullet traveled across his pelvis fracturing bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe bleeding.
He's a -- there's some challenges ahead for the congressman. Explain.
GUPTA: Yes. There's no question. When you think about a gunshot wound to the hip, not that people necessarily think about this sort of thing, but there are no vital organs in the area, you know, the heart or lungs, for example, but these injuries to the bones and the injury to the blood vessels, the injuries that cause the bleeding, that's -- those are the more immediate concerns.
Afterward, in the long run, they talk about further operations. It could not be just one or two, it may be several operations that he needs to continue to make sure that there's no further bleeding but also to perform fusions or sort of realign those bones and then even after that it's going to probably be some time before he can start to bear weight on that leg.
But right now, he's in critical condition. And it's important to point out that, you know, critical condition means that his vital signs, his blood pressure and his heart rate may still be fluctuating. [22:05:03] And they have got to keep a close eye on him in the intensive care unit and be ready to take him back to the operating room, if needed, be ready to provide an additional blood, as needed.
LEMON: Sanjay, pardon for the interruption but they didn't say critical but stable. Does this, what does that mean.
LEMON: Is that an important distinction?
GUPTA: Well, it's really interesting, Don. People use these terms a lot, critical, fair, stable. These aren't really uniform descriptions across hospitals. I actually looked specifically at MedStar's description and they do have critical and they have critical but stable both as potential options in how to describe a patient.
As you pointed out, they did not say critical but stable. They just said critical.
GUPTA: Which means that you do worry that as a result of the blood loss, his blood pressure has dropped and they've had to give additional blood, give additional fluids to try to maintain his blood pressure. So he's sick. You know, he's quite sick. And that's why he's in the intensive care unit, that's why he's going to be on standby to go back to the operating room. He's a sick trauma patient with this gunshot wound to the hip, it can be a severe injury.
LEMON: All right. Sanjay, thank you very much. II appreciate your reporting on this again. Just getting the condition of the Congressman in, Sanjay updating us on that.
I want to bring in now our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim, I want to bring you in because I understand you have some new information.
JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes.
LEMON: The president just visited the hospital, the president and the first lady also just tweeting. What can you up -- what can you tell us?
ACOSTA: That's right. And Don, as you know, in these situations there's a pool of reporters that travels with the president and so we have a pool report on this visit from the president and first lady that can shed some light on what Sanjay was talking about on Congressman Scalise's condition.
It says when the president and the first lady arrived at the hospital, they met with some of the doctors treating Congressman Scalise and Officer Crystal Griner. They also spoke with some of the fellow officers who were there to see Crystal Griner, apparently she is doing OK, according to a senior administration official. Although this official emphasized that's not an official condition
coming from the hospital. Just a general assessment that she seems to be doing OK. At that point, the president and then first lady then made their way towards Congressman Scalise but they did not meet with the congressman because his condition is so severe.
However, they did meet with the congressman's wife. And according to this pool report, coming from the White House, the mood in the room, the mood in that area was quite somber. So getting to what Sanjay was saying earlier, Don, it does appear to be a very serious situation for Congressman Scalise.
You would think that if he was doing OK or well enough to be greeted by the President of the United States, who went through all this trouble to go up to the hospital and see them on his birthday, of all days, that that would have been something that the hospital would have tried to do but the fact that he was not able to do that I think does tell us that his condition is quite severe.
And they did deliver those flowers to both Jennifer Scalise and to the police officer there at the hospital. Don?
LEMON: And Crystal Griner. So listen, let's put this tweet up, Jim, since we're just getting it in. I'll read it, "Just now here, just left hospital, Representative Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people is in very tough shape but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve." He has been talking about what a hero, what a great American Steve Scalise is all day, but now the president tweeting that out, Jim Acosta.
ACOSTA: A little bit -- a little bit of confusion here. I just want to make sure we clarify this and make this crystal clear. We are being given a report by the White House pool, he did go into Congressman Scalise's room. He sat next to the bed and spoke with the family. We don't have exact information as to how long that lasted and what transpired once he was inside the room. But it sounds like he was very close to the congressman there during this visit to the hospital.
And so I think -- I guess the best thing -- the prudent thing to do at this point is to wait for further details to come in but we are being told at this point that he did go into Congressman Scalise's room. So that's the latest information on that.
The White House, Don, is also putting out a statement about the president wanting to go to the congressional baseball game tomorrow night. As you know, there were some discussions about this. The White House was trying to take a look at this to see if the president could go as a show of support to members of Congress participating in that event.
This also coming from the White House, the Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying in a statement that we received in the last couple of minutes, Don. It says, "While the president would like to attend the game and show his support for all these brave public servants, he's been advised that there is not enough time to follow secret service protocols." So it does sound like the secret service there said this is just not
something that we're advising at this point.
[22:10:00] LEMON: Yes.
ACOSTA: But it sounds like a very emotional visit. Just to go back to the hospital, it sounds like a very emotional visit for the president and the first lady at the hospital.
LEMON: Yes, absolutely. And they were saying early that it was just too dangerous and I think they sort of weigh the options there and it was dangerous for the president to attend tomorrow. But who knows, that could change between now and then.
And also, Jim Acosta getting some new reporting there, a bit of discrepancy about whether the president visited or not. So we'll do as Jim Acosta said and wait to see if there's a better update on the pool briefing there from the press and the president's visit to the hospital.
Jim, I want you to stick around. I want to -- there's a report out tonight that the President of the United States under criminal investigation for obstruction of justice that we need to discuss as well.
I want to bring in our justice correspondent Evan Perez. Evan, good evening to you now. The Washington Post is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump for possible obstruction of justice. He's interviewing three top intelligence officials as early as next week. This is a huge development.
EVAN PEREZ, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, it would be, Don. We know that the FBI and the special counsel are gathering information and that eventually we could be at a place where the president is under criminal investigation. Our understanding is that it's still at the information gathering stage.
Look, the Post we've been able to confirm that at least two of those officials, Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the National Security Agency, Mike Rogers, are expected to provide information to the special counsel and the FBI and as part of that, obviously they are looking at whether or not the circumstances of the firing of James Comey was something to impede the investigation.
The investigation that was being impeded was the one into Mike Flynn, the fired National Security Adviser. Our information is that at this point they are still gathering information and then they'll make a decision as to whether or not this is going to become a full-blown investigation that looks at the president and whether the president obstructed justice.
Again, we're still a few steps there according to our own reporting. The Post seems to be saying, based on their sources, that it's already there. Look, I think everybody, based on the information that we have, fully expects that the special counsel is going to have to look at this.
This is something, the great irony here being that Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director because James Comey wouldn't go out publicly and say that he was is under investigation and it looks like by doing so he might basically assuring that that's the case.
LEMON: All right. Developing news on two major stories tonight. Jim Acosta, thank you. Evan Perez, I appreciate that.
More now on the shooting of republican members of Congress. I want to bring in now Bill Euille, he's former Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia. Mayor, thank you so much for coming on. I wish we could have met under better circumstances. I'm so sorry for the tragedy that has hit your community.
You have some unique insight into the shooter, though, James Hodgkinson. You spoke with him every morning over the last month or so. Tell me about that.
BILL EUILLE, MAYOR OF ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA: Yes. First of all, I'm saddened about what happened here in the City of Alexandria today and at our local YMCA and the congressional baseball team has played on this field probably several times a month for several months over the past four or five years and never any incidents or circumstances.
But I got to meet, I'm a 20-year member of the Y, I go there every morning from Monday through Friday, usually arrive between 7.15 a.m. and 7.30. And about a month and a half ago I noticed this gentleman who was new sitting at a table drinking coffee and always on his laptop.
After a couple of mornings after I finished my workout, I'd come back and have coffee and sit at a table and read my iPhone and then residents or members of the Y would walk up and say, hi, Mr. Mayor, how are you? We miss you. All and above. And some would say, hey, I have a question. Can I talk right now? And I said sure. Please sit down.
So the next day he approach me and said, hey, are you really the mayor? And I said, yes. And so we exchanged greetings. And from that point forward it was, hey, I need to know good places in the area to go for lunch or dinner, happy hour for bars and then he even a couple weeks after I approach him and said I'm looking for a job. Do you know anybody hiring?
And so we had those types of conversations. Never anything political even though the TV was on in the lobby. And then for you know, other members sitting around conversing as well. They would express themselves, that Trump or you know, Congress needs to get its act together.
He never responded other than sometimes he would just simply say, I agree or whatever. But he never was in a dialogue with anyone. He actually his only communication -- direct communication was with me and I think he sort of befriended me or vice versa because I was somebody of stature and then one of the managers say shift at the Y at the front desk always greeted us. We both call Bill -- Bills, but I never noticed anything strange or odd about him. He seemed very normal.
[22:15:04] LEMON: Well, can I ask you...
EUILLE: Very respectful.
LEMON: You said, and I know there's a delay and pardon the interruption. But did he -- they said -- the reporting is that he was living out of his car, that he had been there possibly since March. But did you know anything about that? Did he seem angry or anything out of the ordinary?
EUILLE: No. I was not aware of where he lived or whether he even had a vehicle because early on when -- the first couple times I met him, he was inquiring of me of places to go for breakfast and lunch and when I said, we got a lot of restaurant in the city particularly in old town along King Street I said my favorite restaurant, I show him it's near Braddock Road metro.
And then he said, no, I'm thinking about looking for something within walking distance. And then I just figured he lived somewhere in the area. Then I figured after a while that maybe he lived at a homeless shelter because, you know, he would just spend so many hours every morning at the Y and most people, if they don't have a job to go to, which I know he didn't because he was asking me to help him find a job.
But, but you know, last weekend in the locker room as I was coming out to get dressed and he was going into the shower area, he left his gym bag wide open and then, you know, not that I was looking -- personally looking into it but it was noticeable enough that it looked, it was heavy packed, it looked like he was somebody that had all their life possessions with them in this gym bag.
There were other dress clothes, street clothes, more than just gym wear and then, you know, he had his regular toiletries but more than that. And I even saw a couple books in the bag.
EUILLE: And so, in my mind I was saying, well, you know, I don't know this guy really very well but maybe he's living, you know, out of his car, if he has a car.
EUILLE: Well, I knew he had a car because then most mornings he would take his gym bag to the car, come back and with his laptop.
LEMON: But besides his life was in a bit of disarray, nothing out of the ordinary. But mayor, lots of breaking news tonight. We appreciate your perspective. Thank you so much for joining us here on CNN. And sorry that this happened in your town.
Up next, a report that the special counsel is investigating President Trump. I'm going to talk about it with John Dean who was a White House counsel to President Richard Nixon.
[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Our breaking news, a major development regarding the Russia investigation and President Trump.
I want to bring in CNN contributor John Dean, the former White House Counsel to President Nixon, also the author of "Conservatives Without Conscience."
It's good to have you on, sir. Welcome. The Washington Post reporting that according to official Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump for obstruction of justice. So lay this out for us. What is the evidence that points to obstruction, in your estimation?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, I would think what they're looking at and what this story appears to be based on is the interview with intelligence officials where he apparently called them and asked them to intervene with Comey. This was before Comey was fired.
And then, of course, Comey was fired by the president himself and he later stated his own intent was because of the Russia investigation. So this is a prima fascia case here, and it would be just inevitable that the special counsel start looking at this and it's going to broaden the investigation considerably.
LEMON: Take us back to your Watergate experience. Is this comparable?
DEAN: You know, Don, I learned about those statutes the hard way by getting on the wrong side of them and watching my colleagues and debating them about these statutes and they are very broad, they're very confusing. They differ from different circuits in the federal system. So it's very easy to obstruct justice.
The only hope that Trump can have is that for some reason the jurisdiction he's in doesn't think that an FBI investigation is a pending proceeding. And this is something that scholars have been debating already for weeks about Trump's actions. So we don't have a clear case and we have also evidence that there may be a clear case. It depends upon which line of cases happen to fall in with the facts that are emerging.
LEMON: Yes. You know, we keep hearing people saying there's nothing there, the president is not under investigation. But let's dig into this Washington Post reporting a little bit more.
It said, "Trump had received private assurances from then FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officially say that changed shortly after Comey's firing." So if Comey wasn't there, he wouldn't know about it. The president has
reportedly been thinking of firing special counsel Mueller but was talked out of it by his aides, we're told. If firing Comey got him to this point, what would happen if he fired Mueller, John?
DEAN: That would be a suicide course. At that point I think he'd be in a comparable situation that Nixon was in when he fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor that he was dealing with. It's just is so blatant that you're trying to interrupt and disrupt an investigation but that is the sort of thing it would get Congress to act.
Nixon actually had a lot of support in Congress before he fired Cox. But that's when people said, hey, this is one step over the line. This is where we're playing with no rules and they decided to take action.
LEMON: How much, if any, influence did Comey's testimony have?
DEAN: I think that -- you mean on Trump or on establishing evidence?
LEMON: On Trump and on the special counsel and on -- you know, what the Washington Post has reported tonight, that the president is being investigated for possible obstruction.
DEAN: I don't think his evidence was strikingly new and it didn't give us a lot we didn't already know. What he did is he confirmed the rumors that were out there about the memos that we have not yet seen about his conversations with the president, which could be very damning.
This could be the sort of information that is propelling Mueller to take the next step and start talking to other people. And Don, another thing this is going to do is people on the White House staff who have been involved in this, they're now going to have some jeopardy, too.
They are going to be called in front of grand juries. Contrary to the counsel he got, they were given by his private counsel, they don't need a lawyer, when they start getting called before grand juries, then they're going to have to get a lawyer.
[22:25:03] LEMON: Does a deputy A.G., Rod Rosenstein, who appointed the special counsel, by the way, now have to recuse himself as well since he was a witness to the conversations and deliberations about Comey's firing?
DEAN: That's not clear. I'm sure he will do the right thing if that indeed does become the case where he is clearly a witness and because of his relationship with the job he's in and getting appointed to it. He may step back and that will make things even more confusing because the Department of Justice has not been fully staffed at this point.
LEMON: Thank you, John Dean. I appreciate that.
DEAN: Thank you.
LEMON: Up next, President Trump's private attorney responding tonight to the Post, the Post report of the president is under investigation. We're going to see what he's saying.
LEMON: Our breaking news, the Washington Post is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump.
Joining me now, CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, the author of "Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Land of America," CNn political reporter, Nia-Malika Henderson, and Jack Kingston, a former senior adviser to the Trump campaign.
I'm so glad to have all of you on. Nina -- Nia, I'm going to start with you. Why do I call you Nina every time, I don't know why.
Nia, I'm going to start with you. The President of the United States under investigation for obstruction.
[22:30:01] Again, the Washington Post is reporting that. Let's just stop for a minute because this reporting is accurate. It's a really big deal. Give me your thoughts.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER, CNN: Yes. It is a big deal. In many ways, it's not surprising. I mean, if you flashback to the testimony that we heard last week from Jim Comey and the testimony we heard the week before from DNI Coats and Admiral Rogers at the NSA. It isn't surprising.
Comey seemed to hint that he thought there was something inappropriate about his conversations with Donald Trump. He felt that Donald Trump was directing him to lay off Flynn, to possibly drop the Russia investigation.
He also said that there was interest in his memos based on his interactions with Donald Trump from the special counsel Bob Mueller. So I think the takeaway from Comey's testimony last week was that Donald Trump was not under investigation due to any sort of possible Russia collusion and that's what Comey testified to and that's what Trump's personal lawyer said as well.
But out of that, it was clear that they were going to look into -- or Bob Mueller, into possible obstruction of justice. So that's where we find ourselves now with some pushback from the White House saying that it's really about the leaks.
LEMON: And that's what the Post is reporting again because as I read the segment before John Dean, it's that Trump had received private assurances from FBI Director James Comey stating that in January he was not personally under investigation but officials say that changed shortly after Comey's firing. So Douglas, maybe he wasn't then but he apparently is now? Is that a result of his own actions, if so?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN, CNN: Absolutely. He wasn't then and is now and it's because of the Comey affair that we've all been talking about. You know, this is a very big moment tonight.
It's been a very subdued day because of the Alexandria shooting. Donald Trump's been perfect. Going to the hospital there this evening and the rest but this is already -- this means this cloud is not clearing up for Donald Trump and it gives the Mueller report, I mean, more credence to keep that investigation going. He's being really investigated now in three different fronts Trump. So the Washington Post had quite a scoop this evening.
LEMON: Yes. Jack, a spokesman for President Trump's attorney Marc Kasowitz said in response to the Washington Post report, and he pointed out that there's push back from them, "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal." But you know, the statement doesn't do -- it doesn't deny the reporting, Jack.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: You know, well, I still think it's outrageous. Number one, it shows the FBI is continuing to leak information that is damaging to the president that's been going on all along as Marco Rubio pointed out. The only thing that wasn't leaked was that the president was never under investigation.
Now, if that's changed now, it's still contrary to the testimony of James Comey, Mr. Brennan and Mr. McCabe and they've had plenty of opportunities to report obstruction. But also, Don, if this is going to be the case, what about Loretta Lynch? Because James Comey clearly threw her under the bus last week.
And so, you know, where this is a pivot and it would appear to me that this is going to be -- if it becomes a Whitewater, you don't know where it ends up but Loretta Lynch would certainly be under investigation by this standard. So you know, the whole thing has got me really scratching my head.
We found out recently that three of the key lawyers gave a total of $56,000 to Hillary Clinton and yet that's supposed to be, there's no problem there but suddenly now they're aiming their guns at the man at the head of office.
LEMON: But Jack, with all due respect that you're straight from the talking points of the White House and we're discussing the reporting...
KINGSTON: And it's accurate, Don.
LEMON: I know. But we're talking about the reporting tonight that you're giving us -- you're giving us talking points.
KINGSTON: Don, I'm not. I know every time that somebody from Trump gets on the air, the opposition always says you're reciting talking points.
LEMON: But they are literally the talking points from the White House. KINGSTON: Well, actually, I can look in at the camera and can say I
haven't seen any talking points from the White House. I actually learned about the $56,000 tonight at a dinner that I was having with a republican staffer who was telling me about it because I have not been following about it. You know I played on the congressional baseball team with Scalise for about 10 years and so I've been...
LEMON: And that's what I wanted to talk to you about that so, yes, good, so let's move on because I want to get that in. Let's talk about -- let's move on now and talk about the issue of what happened today.
And Nia, I want to get your response to that. It's awful what happened today and many are wondering if this is considering the toxic environment when it comes to politics in Washington and around the country if this might be a moment for people to come together and realize that we're all Americans and we're all on the same team, regardless of an R or D or an I.
[22:35:05] HENDERSON: Yes, I think we'll have a significant moment tomorrow in the baseball game will go on. Donald Trump won't be there. It would probably be a security nightmare, even more so if he was there.
But I think it will be a real significant moment and those Congress folks who will get out there and the fans. It will be a moment. But I think beyond that I mean, there are significant differences between republicans and democrats in terms of policy. And I don't think that's going to change. Perhaps there will be a cooling off in terms of political rhetoric and that might be a good thing in terms of engagement.
HENDERSON: But we'll see I think in this moment.
LEMON: I've got to get to this quickly. Yes, and I want to make sure -- Douglas, I know that you're a huge baseball fan and you feel strongly, but I have to -- I want to go back to Jack. Because Jack, I know you played on that team for 15 years. What were your thoughts today?
KINGSTON: That I can tell you how sad this is. Those were some of the wonderful moments of my entire career and I think most people would say that, democrats and republicans. The athletes in Congress -- and I'll say that marginally that I'm an athlete, but the guy who is are out there trying like I was, we become very close to each other.
I'll give you an example. Jared Polis who never votes with me, but he and I became great friends over baseball. When I go to Colorado, I often call him and sometimes I have gone out and play baseball with him in Colorado. That's how important this game is. It's not just a charity fund-raiser. It does bring people together, it bridges the gap and then you can solve problems together.
But I can tell you that the democrats and the republicans who will be battling it out tomorrow night very fiercely, they still become very close friends at the end of this process and it is just one of those great lasting sanctuaries in Congress and I'd say that for the gym and the bible studies and there's a lot of examples of bipartisanship.
LEMON: And we should, I hate to cut you off but we just don't have the time tonight. But thank you, Jack. Sorry about your colleagues. And let's hope they raise lots of money tomorrow and that a lot of people come out of that. Thank you so much.
Up next, more on the shooting. We're going to see what investigators are looking for.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Congressman Steve Scalise, three others shot during today's attack.
I want to bring in Chris Swecker, the former FBI assistant director for criminal investigative division, the criminal investigative division, Charles Moose, the former police chief of Montgomery County, Maryland, and David Chipman, a retired ATF special agent.
Gentlemen, I wish I could have you on tonight for better circumstances. It was an awful, awful day starting with this morning.
I want to listen to some of the shooting caught on cell phone video.
And there was more shooting, more shots after that. David, two firearms recovered, an SKS rifle 7.62 and a .9 millimeter pistol. The SKS rifle believed to be the firearm used in the shooting. What cn you tell us -- please inform us about these weapons.
DAVID CHIPMAN, RETIRED ATF SPECIAL AGENT: Well, you know, a rifle of that sort is one that would be commonly used in the military. So it's a military-style weapon. It's something that when fired by someone who has any training is very risky to law enforcement because it's going to fire a caliber of round that will defeat their body armor.
So if you're imagining two Capitol police officers out there with their handguns, it's a very formidable situation to be against and thank God for their training or this would have been a cataclysmic day for our nation's government.
LEMON: Eyewitness say, I think, you know, it went on for about four or five minutes but they say it felt like 10 minutes. What does that tell you?
CHIPMAN: Well, it tells me the shooter had a lot of rounds. It told me that I know if you're in a critical incident, I've heard reports that it took three minutes for the police to arrive. Three minutes can seem like hours when you're under gunfire.
I can imagine those officers immediately trying to talk to each other, starting to count rounds. The big fear would be you wouldn't want to run out of ammunition and have the shooter run up on you. It's the most intense situation that you train for as a law enforcement professional and we're lucky as a country that on this day these two men -- man and a woman, performed heroically or our government would have taken a major blow.
LEMON: Unbelievable. Chief Moose, now let's talk about the investigation. The FBI says law enforcement has reason to believe that the shooter James Hodgkinson was in Alexandria, Virginia, that area since March. They believe he was living out of his car that was parked in the area of the baseball field and they are seeking more information from the public. What information, in particular, will be helpful to law enforcement tonight and in the coming days?
CHARLES MOOSE, FORMER POLICE CHIEF, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND: Well, Don, I think there are a variety of things but certainly if we can conclude that he was acting alone, I think that would be very important because that would say that we were talking about someone who no longer poses and threat and there's no other team members out there, no secondary shooters.
But I think, more importantly, we need to realize in terms of lessons learned, that the victims, the members of Congress that experienced this today, they need to also now parlay that into the reality that these types of shootings occur in our country each and every day in communities.
And the sensitivities that hopefully that they gain from being witnesses to this will help them now go out in communities and states and cities and be more sensitive and more reactive to our communities that suffer these types of shootings.
Oftentimes, simply because of the color of your skin, you know, because of some club that they may or may not be attending, certainly because of the way that they wear their hair or perhaps they have a scarf on their head.
So the sensitivities that can be gained by these members of Congress can be enormous as we try to address this problem throughout the country. You know, don't want to take anything away from how terrible this was, but something to be learned because this occurs each and every day in communities and in our country.
[22:45:02] And we need to be more responsive to that and we need to also be appalled when it occurs to community members, not just appalled when it occurs to members of Congress.
LEMON: I have a very short time, Chris. And I want to talk a little bit more about the suspect here. His Facebook page, largely political, his profile picture is a caricature of Bernie Sanders as Uncle Sam. But also his post is saying, quote, "Trump is guilty and should go to prison for treason." And then on March 22 he wrote, "Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It's time to destroy Trump and company."
On 2015, he also likes the comment on the political cartoon that suggests that Scalise should be fired. Is it time to destroy the Trump and company is what it says. And you know, he also appeared to hate Hillary Clinton as well. Do you think that this -- do you see that as an assassination or as a threat there?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Against Hillary Clinton, possibly. I mean, would somebody like this...
LEMON: No, against congressmen who were there. Obviously he targeted them, but he was hateful towards the president and towards Hillary Clinton, and apparently loved Bernie Sanders.
LEMON: And he says ended up going for Jill Stein. That's according to his social media pages. But it appears that he at this point that he targeted those people out there.
SWECKER: It seems pretty clear that he did target them and he was ideologically driven. Did he cross the line to the point where he should have got -- been noticed by law enforcement in some form or fashion, look, the FBI is not out there surfing the internet looking for people like him. They really depend on reports from people that are close. They are the first line of defense.
Every one of these shooters, this active shooters is flashing red and this person had at least three violent incidents that I count back in Belleville, Illinois, where he came from.
So this guy was flashing red. But I don't think that we can expect that law enforcement would have -- he would have popped up on their radar. It appears to me that his posts didn't really cross that line into violent action or calling for violent action or threatening violent action. That's just based on my read of what I've seen.
LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you so much. I appreciate your time. We'll be right back.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The shock and sadness of today's shooting, those who were there described what they saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD WENSTRUP, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: The man in my opinion, knew what he was doing, had been there before, had seen the setup.
RON DESANTIS, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: A gentleman walked up to us and wanted to know whether there were republicans or democrats practicing out there. Congressman Duncan said that it was republicans and then he immediately turned around and went towards the field.
ROGER WILLIAMS, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: We were sitting ducks.
MO BROOKS, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: I see a rifle. And I see a little bit of a body and I hear another bang and I realize that there's an active shooter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that guy OK up there?
RODNEY DAVIS, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: Because I watch my friend Steve Scalise lay motionless on the field.
BROOKS: The gun was a semi-automatic. It continues to fire at different people. You can imagine the people on the field scattered.
WILLIAMS: Zach Barth who works for me was shot and Zach had come running in from the outfield, and he landed in each other's arms. He held me. I held him.
BROOKS: I took off my belt, myself and another congressman applied a tourniquet to try to slow down the bleeding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay down! Stay down! Stay down!
BROOKS: I looked up and there's a guy with a gun blasting away. Fortunately, it was one of the good guys.
RAND PAUL, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: He was just killing everyone, and I think the Capitol Hill police apparently both were wounded. It would have been a massacre without them.
BROOKS: Steve Scalise in the meantime he's drug himself to the outfield grass, and if you go out there, there's a long stretch of blood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got one in custody. Three medics, we got a suspect shot.
WILLIAMS: There could have easily been 25 deaths or more today. But Officers Griner and Bailey prevented that and my family and I will be forever grateful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Really, really unbelievable. I want to bring in now Ben Childers, also an eyewitness to this. Ben, thank you for joining us. Explain to us where you were this morning and describe what you saw and heard.
BEN CHILDERS, WITNESS: Sure. So, I was on my balcony, which is just across the street from the baseball field, and I heard the first shot which, you know, I didn't assume was a gunshot at first of course. It was followed rapidly by repeated shots after that.
That woke my wife up. We called 911. And we were able to report there was an active shooter while we were kind of looking out our window to see what's happening and then continue to hear gunshots. And that's when we saw there were three men that were, you know, like trying to bob and weave their way through some of the parked cars over on the street and then were making their way around our building, around the building across the field from us.
And I was able to signal to them and get them inside, and they were able to shelter in place and able to call their families to let their families know that they were OK and trying to get ahold of some of their people that were work for them and let them know that they're also OK.
LEMON: So some of the members of Congress ran into your home. What was it like? Were you guys watching it unfold out your window?
CHILDERS: Yes, that's correct. We were just watching out of our balcony window. We saw all of the people that were playing baseball run off the field, and then those people ended up -- some, you know, three of them ended upcoming our direction, and we were able to get them inside.
LEMON: You, without revealing too much of what happened with the congressman, you were very moved by it. Can you explain that to me?
CHILDERS: Just the level of shock that you see in someone's face after going through something like that stays with you, and it's just something that is going to probably affect our community for quite a long time.
[22:55:06] And just kind of seeing how they reacted and then when they were able to get ahold of their families and how their families reacted, and then, you know, when they mentioned that Representative Steve Scalise, you know, was down. And at that moment, you know, they were unsure whether or not he had passed away. It sounds fortunately like he's doing OK but he's still in critical condition, so.
LEMON: Yes. Is there anything you want people watching in America and the world to know what you witnessed, what took place this morning?
CHILDERS: I think beyond just being open to helping people when they're in an emergency situation is sometimes the hardest thing but it's the easiest you can do, is just kind of giving people some comfort, you know, when they're going through something like that is going to make a big difference to somebody. If you don't know how they're feeling but you can give them a small
amount of stability, that's going to make a big difference.
LEMON: Ben Childers, thank you so much. We really appreciate you and I'm sure the congressman and their families do as well. Thank you so much.
CHILDERS: Thanks a lot for filling me.
LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. Jake Tapper is in Washington and he picks up CNN's coverage right now.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)