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Nunes Subpoenas Firm Behind Trump Dossier; Questions on U.S. Soldier Ambush in Niger; Congress Looking to ATF on Bump Stock Regulations; Change in Timeline Raises New Questions on Las Vegas Shooting; San Juan Mayor Responds to Criticism from FEMA Chief. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired October 11, 2017 - 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: Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, despite recusing himself months ago, is issuing new subpoenas for information from the company behind the Trump dossier.
So is Nunes back in charge? What does this mean? And are they likely to get the information that they're looking for now?
CNN congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, is live on the Hill with more on this.
Manu, what's going on here?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is really the latest episode in an investigation that has been periodically hobbled by controversy. Yet another one here, Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the committee. Earlier this year, remember, he stepped aside from running this investigation over the House Ethics Committee, which opened an investigation about his own handling of classified information. As a result, he stepped aside and let Mike Conaway, the Republican from Texas, run this investigation along with Adam Schiff, the top Democrat.
Well, it turns out that we learned yesterday that Devin Nunes issued subpoenas to the firm Fusion GPS that was behind that Trump/Russia dossier that was compiled by that British agent, Christopher Steele. That dossier included allegations of Trump campaign coordination and ties with Russia. Now, Nunes has been sharply critical of that dossier and has been trying to undermine it for some time, including trying to --separately, trying to subpoena the FBI and the Justice Department for information and for testimony about the FBI's relationship with Christopher Steele and that dossier itself, records that he has demanded separately.
Now, even though, Kate, he has stepped aside from this investigation, he still retains subpoena power. And it's very clear that he's wielding that subpoena power, even issuing subpoenas without Democratic support. Yesterday, Democrats were very angry about being blindsided by this. They believe it could undermine their investigation. But, Kate, Republicans seem to be onboard with it, including Mike Conaway, who says they're OK with this and that they need this information -- Kate? BOLDUAN: And Conaway is the guy who's supposedly in charge, so there,
you've got some of that.
Manu, thank you so much. Appreciate you laying it out for us.
We'll have much more on this, what this means for the investigation, and where is this investigation, with a key member of the House Intelligence Committee. That's going to be coming up in just one second.
Plus, this, the death toll in Puerto Rico on the rise. And 90 percent of the island is still in the dark. 90 percent. This after the head of people says that they are, quote, "filtering out complaints about recovery from the mayor of San Juan." The mayor is going to be joining me live for an update on the recovery efforts, an update on, to be quite honest, the tension with the president, the White House and some of the federal response. That's coming up.
[11:36:52] BOLDUAN: You just heard Manu Raju on Capitol Hill laying out the very latest on the Russian investigation. On the House side, new subpoenas being issued by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee with regard to the Trumps dossier, the research firm behind it. But in doing so, blindsided Democrats on this key committee, since Devin Nunes is supposed to be recused from anything Russia related.
Let's discuss. Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Denny Heck, of Washington. He's a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, thanks for coming in.
REP. DENNY HECK, (D), WASHINGTON: You're welcome, Kate.
BOLDUAN: From your perspective, what is going on here? Did you know about these subpoenas he has ahead of time?
HECK: No, Not ahead of time. I'll make a couple of observations. It takes a lot of gall to do what chairman Nunes did, namely, to initiate this action, when he himself is under investigation for alleged improprieties related to the Russia investigation, which is why he stepped aside. And I want to remind viewers that the decision to investigate him by the Ethics Committee was entirely bipartisan. That's a bipartisan investigation, as well.
And secondly, it's not going to work. He's tried this any number of times since he supposedly stepped aside. But the truth keeps coming out, whether it's the Facebook ads or the July 16th meeting or instances of increased awareness about business relationships between Trump -- the Trump organization and Russia. It's just not going to work. We're going to get there.
BOLDUAN: When you say, it's not going to work, are you talking about the actual subpoenas and the information that he's going for? Do you want to hear from the folks who produced the dossier, as well? HECK: I do. And if the intent here was to understand fully what the
information is behind it, I would be delighted with that. But I want to remind you, it's like the unmasking manufacture kerfuffle --
BOLDUAN: You think this is a wild goose chase?
HECK: No, I don't think it's a wild goose change. I think it's an attempt to distract. And it may very well be an attempt to discredit the people involved in this. It's very hard to credibly conclude that this is an effort to get at the truth, given the pattern here.
BOLDUAN: Let's leave that to the side, because I have some other important news I want to get to with you, unfortunately, dealing with your district. The ambush attack in Niger last week, it left four soldiers dead and two of them wounded. One of the soldiers who was killed was from your district, Staff Sergeant Brian Black. There are a lot of questions about what exactly happened in Niger. Are you concerned? Do you have concerns that you don't have a full story yet?
HECK: I'm concerned anytime the men and women who serve in the armed services are put in harm's way that we have a full understanding and accounting. Frankly, Kate, I think what this tragic incident is a painful reminder of is that, no matter where people are deployed, no matter their assignment, they do serve in harm's way. This is not just about Afghanistan or Iraq or other hot spots around the country or around the world. Anywhere that men and women put on the uniform to defend America's national security interests, they're at risk.
BOLDUAN: But do you question the quality of intelligence that led these men there, that led them what seems to be an ambush?
HECK: Not yet. I think we need more information before we can come to that conclusion. And we'll be engaged in an effort to make sure that we have all of that intelligence.
[11:40:04] BOLDUAN: We'll follow up on that.
After the Las Vegas shooting, Congressman, there's been a bipartisan -- there has been bipartisan agreement that something should be done about these bump stocks that everyone's learning about now, which is how the shooter made his weapons fire as if they were automatic weapons. You're a co-sponsor on the Democratic proposal to get -- to ban bump stocks. Paul Ryan, though, he just said in his press conference this morning that fixing regulation, fixing it on the regulation side, the ATF is the fastest fix and what they're looking into. Do you support going that route?
HECK: No. I think this needs to be federal law. I see no circumstance in which we ought to delegate to the executive branch the detailing of a prohibition on bump stocks. That's why I've joined 140 or 150 of my colleagues. Frankly, I'm very concerned, Kate, frankly, that this effort to delegate to the ATF, the development or the promulgation of the rule and regulation to prohibit bump stocks, is just a delaying tactic. If we really believe these horrific devices should not exist, let's pass a law they cannot resist. That's what I think the responsibility of Congress is.
BOLDUAN: Do you have any -- have you gotten any indication or guarantee from leadership that if the regulation route doesn't work, that they'll bring something to the floor?
HECK: Zip, zero, nada.
BOLDUAN: What does that tell you?
HECK: Well, it reinforces my point of view I just expressed. I'm very worried that this is just a delaying tactic.
BOLDUAN: But do you have Republicans telling you -- put the speaker aside -- do you have Republicans telling you that they are interested in a legislative fix? I talked to Adam Kinzinger. He said he's interested in the legislative route, but if that doesn't work, he wants to do a legislative fix.
HECK: I think, in their heart of heart, there are any number of Republicans that would like to vote for a prohibition of bump stocks. But the question is whether or not the leadership will allow us to get to them.
BOLDUAN: Congressman Denny Heck, appreciate your time. A lot to discuss, a lot of questions. So let's follow up, please.
HECK: Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thank you very much.
All right, so, let's move to this. As we were just talking about Las Vegas and the bump stock legislation, there's also new details on the Las Vegas massacre. The timeline of how the massacre played out, that is raising new questions about what really happened that very tragic night.
And a new person who was there that night is speaking out. Hotel worker, Stephen Schuck, he went up to the 32nd floor, because there was a door alarm that was going off that night. He came upon the security guard, Jesus Campos, who was shot in the hallway, and Jesus Campos warned him to take cover. Listen to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN SCHUCK, HOTEL WORKER: I was about a third of the way down the hallway and I started to hear shots go off. They were not in the hallway yet. And as soon as they stopped, I saw Jesus pop out, because the doors in the hallway are set back about a foot. And he popped out and he yelled at me to take cover. And as soon as I started to go to a door to my left, the rounds started coming down the hallway. I could feel them pass right behind my head. Something hit me in the back and I took cover. I tried to think how I could get to Jesus, because I could see that he was shot in the leg.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: CNN's Sara Sidner is joining me now from Las Vegas for more on the investigation.
Sara, we're also hearing new details coming from the sheriff. This timeline is so key, at this point. A lot of questions about the timeline. What are you learning?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, the timeline has changed. We heard that two days ago. The sheriff saying, basically, look, initially, they thought that Jesus Campos, who was up on the floor, looking for this open door that triggered an alarm, and he ended up coming under fire. Initially, they said, he actually interrupted the shooter who was shooting down at the crowds. Now they're saying, actually, no, he was hit first by bullets, and then six minutes later, ended up shooting down at the crowd.
Now we're also learning more from the sheriff, in an extensive interview with the paper, the "Las Vegas Review-Journal." And he gave quite a few details. One of which is there's an autopsy that is now going on when it comes to Stephen Paddock, the shooter, and so far, no brain abnormalities have been found. Because they're looking for any reason as to exactly why he did this.
Here's what the sheriff had to say about how the investigators are going about that and how frustrating this has been for the them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, LAS VEGAS METRO POLICE: We're looking for a trigger point. And right now, we haven't been able to find one.
Part of me losing sleep in all of these days is did I miss something? Did I fail to do something? Did my people fail to do something? And same with Aaron Rouse, of the FBI, he hasn't slept other. Did the FBI fail to do something? We haven't been able to point to anything yet, OK? Like I said, he's not on anybody's radar. He's not on anybody's watch list.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: And so now they're looking at other possibilities, but they are having a very difficult time trying to find out why.
There's a few more bits of information that the sheriff gave yesterday. One of which is that they do now know that Paddock went back to his Mesquite home a couple of times. That he also checked into that hotel a lot earlier than once thought. He checked in on September 25th as opposed to checking in on September 28th. Apparently, he checked into rooms that he was given for free for a few days until that suite became open and then he started paying for the rooms. That's where the discrepancy is. But we don't have that one answer that investigators think is so important, why did he do this -- Kate?
[11:45:34] BOLDUAN: The why, the motive, what it all adds up to, that is still out there.
Sara, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Coming up for us, from one tragedy to another. The tragedy playing
out in Puerto Rico. The death toll on the rise there. Many still struggling without power, without basic supplies. This, after the head of FEMA said over the weekend that they're, quote, "filtering out complaints about the recovery from the mayor of San Juan." The mayor is joining me live, next. I want to get an update and see what she has to say about the federal response.
[11:50:31] BOLDUAN: Three weeks after it hit Puerto Rico, Maria is the hurricane that keeps devastating. The death toll has risen again, now to 45 people. That could even go higher, with more than 100 people still unaccounted for we're told.
Here are some of the latest numbers for an update, 90 percent of the island has no power. More than a third without water. Cell phones and land lines are working for about half of the people of Puerto Rico. Americans still facing desperate conditions three weeks after the storm hit.
Joining me now for an update, the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz.
Mayor, thank you so much for coming.
CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, (D), SAN JUAN MAYOR: Thank you very much, Kate, for having me.
BOLDUAN: How are recovery efforts? Give us an update today.
CRUZ: We're not out of the woods yet. We are now starting to see a lot of health issues, conjunctivitis, scabies. Two reported deaths -- and I'm sorry if I say it wronging in English - leptospirosis, which is something you get usually not only from the rats' urine, but from animals dying in creeks, where people are drinking water. So we are in a great effort, a great humanitarian effort, so SOS out there. We need a lot of water, drinking water, or we need ways to make non- drinkable water into drinkable water. We are getting a lot of help from international ONGs and from American not-for-profit organizations that move from disaster to disasters. They have been in Africa with the Ebola, Haiti with cholera and Sandy and Katrina. So we are getting a lot of specialized help in that respect.
We haven't been able to be putting the tarps at the rate that we wanted people's roofs. With the humidity, a lot of fungus has come into the homes. They have to be cleaned first with a chlorine substance in order to put the tarps in and start moving people back into their homes. So we're moving from a situation where people still don't have the water or food that they need.
BOLDUAN: It's a second wave of devastation. The governor said in a briefing yesterday he's been sending investigators to look into reports that some towns and cities are not distributing the aid to residents. Are you hearing that, as well? CRUZ: Well, I haven't been hearing that. But then again, you know, I
don't have contact with all the other mayors. However, this morning, we had a visit from Ernst and Young, the company that has been contracted by FEMA. We showed them our operations. Our operations were actually set up by members of New York City Emergency Management that worked in 911. We have everything accounted for.
But I have to tell you the conditions for other towns are not exactly the ones that you may see in San Juan. You get 100 boxes of food. You have to push them out sometimes when lives are at stake. You don't really have enough time. I can tell you something. There's one FEMA box that we have made into snacks. So we're not giving out the box. Why? Because a meal was supposed to be one beef jerky, a little Chez-It chips, some applesauce and some pudding. So that really isn't a meal. So we've done the best thing we've done -- we can do is to put it together into snack packs that people can complement with the primary donations that we're getting mostly from the private sector and nongovernmental organizations. I have to tell you that with respect to San Juan, the supply of food from FEMA has improved. It's not where it's supposed to be but it has improved.
BOLDUAN: Let's talk about that.
CRUZ: And communications with the federal government have improved.
BOLDUAN: I do want to ask you about that. There has been tension between you and President Trump over the response. And not just the president but also the head of FEMA. Here is what Brock Long said on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROCK LONG, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don't have time for the political noise. The bottom line is that we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Mayor, have you been filtered out?
CRUZ: I don't care if I have, frankly. All I care about is saving lives. That's our primary mission.
And you know, I have to tell you that I have daily communications with John Bossert, the representative of Secretary Duke here in San Juan, and in Puerto Rico. In fact, I was invited today to have a meeting with Secretary Duke this Thursday, that she's coming into Puerto Rico. So maybe the central government has done that. But this is no time for any of that. This is time for saving lives and I really have only time for that. So I don't care.
[11:55:20] BOLDUAN: Do you regret that this became -- that this entered that realm that it became political as Brock Long thought? CRUZ: I regret that the federal government has made it political. I
regret that some of the members of the central government have made it political. But listen, those that have a small mind and want to take it there, they can keep on taking it there. All I care about is saving lives. Actually, the president mentioned that everything I was doing was because I was thinking of running for governor in 2020. I put that aside. I said to everybody, just be calm. You know, I don't even know if I'm going to run again for mayor. So if anything, any politics gets in the wave saving lives, I will take it out because this is all about saving lives. I will not only be content with the situations in San Juan being taken care of, but when the 78 municipalities are taken care of and when the Puerto Rican people are afforded the respect and dignity that they deserve.
BOLDUAN: That is a long road away.
CRUZ: Yes, it is.
BOLDUAN: Mayor of San Juan, thank you so much for coming in. I appreciate it.
CRUZ: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, President Trump. We're going to go to the White House. President Trump is set to meet with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House. This comes as these two countries and Mexico continue to fight over renegotiating NAFTA. What are the sticking points now? We'll discuss. That's coming up.