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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  June 15, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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this is cnn breaking news. our breaking news right now, a 2-year-old child attacked and dragged in to the water by an alligator at a popular disney resort, a desperate search happening right now. what did the wife of the orlando club gunman know about his plan to attack? new information that she told the fbi. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> and i'm john berman in
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orlando. it is wednesday, june 15th. our breaking news at disney world, walt disney world not far from here. a 2-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator and dragged into the water. the parents tried to rescue the child but to no avail. the child is still missing. it happened at the grand floridian. that's a hotel on the walt disney world grounds. what are you learning? >> reporter: good morning, this drama has been unfolding for the last seven hours. and i have to warn you, the details of this are absolutely horrific. essentially, a family on vacation from nebraska. a mother and father and two children. they're down by the water's edge of the seven seas lagoon. about 9:15 at night. the child very close to the water's edge when an alligator
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about 4-7 in length comes out and snatches the child. the father immediately dives into the water and begins struggling with the alligator, so does the mother, so eventually does a lifeguard. here is the sheriff picking up the remainder of the story. >> the father entered the water, and he tried to grab the child, was not successful in doing so. at some point, i'm told, that the mother may have also entered the water. so the parents diligently tried to get the child. they alerted a nearby life guard who was there in the area as well, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts. >> reporter: since that time, an all-out effort has been under way. you have the sheriff's department that is out on the water. you have officers, at least 50 of them, searching along the shore line. on top of that, they've brought in a dive team, using sonar to search under the water.
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and for a ng long time, they we using a helicopter with one of those intense light beams looking down trying to illuminate the area. the boats are still out there. there is still the hope that this child can be recovered, but i have to tell you, john, as each hour passes by, those hopes have got to grow dimmer and dimmer. the sheriff of 35 years says he's never known anything like this. al greligators are part of the landscape here, but in this kind of magic kingdom, something like this has never been seen before. >> no, i've never heard of anything like that happening at disney world. thank you so much. we have more breaking news at this hour. i'm standing outside the orlando regional medical center where 27 patients are still recovering from their wounds, among the injured at the largest mass shooting in u.s. history at the gay nightclub right here in orlando. we do have breaking news on the investigation.
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investigators right now focussed on whether anyone was involved in this attack other than the shooter himself. officials tell cnn that the wife, the wife had some kind of knowledge that the husband wanted to carry out an attack. the wife drove the husband and was with the husband at disney springs when she visited that location, also perhaps took him or was with him when he went to the nightclub at least once. the wife told the fbi she tried to talk her husband out of doing anything violent and did not know about his plan, did not know about his plan to attack the nightclub. cnn asked the gunman's father whether he thought his son's wife might have been involved. >> can we just ask one question related to the news that's breaking? it is that she has told police, the fbi, that she personally
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went on a trip to orlando and brought your son to that club? >> i don't know anything. i wait until they talk to her. >> it appears she could be charged with a crime. >> i don't know. i can't say anything. >> do you think that your daughter-in-law helped your son commit this crime? >> uh, i don't think so. >> is she an accomplice? >> i, we'll wait. >> now the fbi does not believe the wife was a co-conspirator, but investigators are looking into whether she knew about the plans and failed to call police. there's also new information this morning about the gunman's personal life. investigators are looking at reports he visited gay chat rooms, used gay hookup apps and patronized the very nightclub he ended up shooting up. we're also getting new details from his ex-wife about their relationship, joining me now with the latest, cnn's nick
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valencia. what are you learning? >> reporter: new details this morning that seem to suspect or seem to show, i should say, that omar mateen was a lot more familiar with the lgbt community than originally suspected. the fbi talking to people that claim that they ran into him or encountered him online on these gay dating websites, this as his ex-wife tells cnn that she wouldn't be surprised if her ex-husband was leading a double life. >> he did have a different side of him that he could not open up to his father about. the fact that he liked to go to nightclubs. the fact that he liked to drink. these were not things that were welcome in his family's structure at all. and especially any indication of homosexuality. in the islam religion, homosexuality is not that tolerated, and especially when somebody's a political figure as
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prominent as his father was, it is especially, really looked down upon and disgraced and could shame the entire family. it doesn't surprise me that he might be gay. and it doesn't surprise me that he was leading two totally different lives and was in such deep conflict within himself. >> investigators continue to glean information from the items they seized, such as a laptop, digital camera and other media. they focussed in on his widow and want to know what she knew, and when she knew specifically and if she knew about plans to attack this pulse nightclub. she said that she knew that her husband wanted to carry out a jihadist attacks but denies knowing specifics about the target of the pulse nightclub. we're also learning that it could have been weeks in the making, that mateen was casing out the pulse nightclub here as
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another location here in orlando. >> thanks so much. let's talk about the developments here in the investigation. joining us from washington, cnn military analyst, cedric leighton, former member of the joint chiefs of staff. appreciate your time. the new information overnight, the wife of the killer, how much did she know about this attack going forward? she's apparently telling investigators, cnn learned that she had reason to believe that he wanted to carry out some kind of attack, had violent intentions but had no specific knowledge of the specific plans. what do you think investigators are focussed on now? >> well, john, i think that the big thing that they're looking for is really seeing how much she knew and when she knew it. was she in a position to actually do something about it to prevent the attack on the nightclub? or was she completely unwitting. did he give her excuses as to why he needed to about to the disney establishment and the
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nightclub. did she provide transportation, was shy goie going to be a get car driver. some of these will be the things that investigators will be looking for. also, if she was involved somehow in the purchase of firearms or ammunition, anything like that that would make her basically an accessory to the crime, that's the kind of stuff that they're going to be looking for. and if they can find it, john, then she is in quite deep legal trouble at this point. >> and it is because she in that level of trouble right now they do have some leverage, right? they can lean on her and lean hard as they look for new information in this investigation. >> that's right. a grand jury is convened as it has been in this case, then they can do all kinds of things and prosecutors and law enforcement officials can lean very hard on somebody who has a degree of knowledge of the case, even if it isn't intimate knowledge, they can still make life very
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difficult for them because they can ask them many questions. they can force them to retrace their steps, and they can force them also through the questioning techniques that they use to reveal more about their life together. and that's also going to be an important thing, because they're going to be able to determine certain patterns of behavior, certain clues that otherwise would perhaps not be immediately evident in a case like this. >> you know, it is interesting, one of the things they're looking into right now, the electronic communications perhaps, these apps that some people say that he used. these gay hookup apps. and federal investigators tell cnn they are looking into this, in that if they were to find something, that would paint things in a different light. this just goes to show in an investigation, you can't go in with any preconceived notions. you have to follow the leads as they present themselves. >> absolutely, because as you know, john, and as the first
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wife indicated, in islam, it is very much frowned upon to have a homosexual relationship, and, you know, on the other side of that, though, in middle eastern cultures, there is a large, illicit homosexual underground that does exist in many islamic cultures. that's part of the issue that you have here. did he actually act on it? or was he just in essence the casing the lifestyle if you will, not just casing the particular establishment that he attacked, but also in the way people behaved, where they met, who they were. those are the kinds of things that they're going to be looking for. and when they do that, they are going to want to talk to people that he may have encountered, using apps like grinder and other apps that are a part of the gay social scene today. >> that will give you greater insight into perhaps what he was thinking, but it will have no impact on whether or not he was a terrorist. he in fact clearly was a terrorist who committed a
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horrible mass murder. thank you for being with us. >> you bit, john. >> the mass murder at the center of a fierce political fight. hillary clinton and president obama say donald trump is out to destroy american values. in seconds. and because it's so delicious, you'll drink 43% more water every day. sodastream. love your water.
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all right, an intense search under way right now at this disney, at a disney world hotel, trying to find a 2-year-old boy, dragged into a lagoon by an alligator. this is at the grand floridian resort and spa, a 2-year-old little boy, two children and parents visiting from nebraska. it is unlikely they will find that child alive, the police say, the father jumped into the water, trying to get his child back from the alligator, and, again, no sign of that child right now. it's also been a rough 48 hours for disney. we've just learned that sunday's nightclub shooter scouted out disney ahead of his attack on
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the club in orlando. the shooter visited the disney entertainment and shopping complex known as disney springs at the beginning of june during this year's gay day celebrations. this is happening just as disney gets ready to open its highly-anticipated shanghai location half a world away tomorrow. donald trump, the president making the case that he is the one unamerican. his comments about the president's reluctance to use the words "islamic extremist." >> we now have proposals from the presumptive republican nominee for president of the united states to bar all muslims from emigrating to america. where does this stop? we don't have religious tests here. our fiounders, our constitution
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our bill of rights are clear about that. and if we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it a lot easier to radicalize people here and around the world but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect. >> the president and hillary clinton saying trump is destroying american values. trump is not letting up on president obama on hillary clinton. and he's repeating his call for a ban on muslims entering the u.s. the presumptive republican nominee calling his rivals weak and infective. here's sarah murray. >> reporter: on a day when democrats united on their criticism of donald trump he arrived in greensboro, north carolina fired up. he said that the president should be angry at the shooter rather than direct his anger at donald trump. >> and i watched president obama today, and i was more angry at me than he was at the shooter!
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and many people said that. [ crowd booing ] one of the folks on television said boy, has trump gotten under his skin, but he was more angry, and a lot of people have said this. the level of anger, that's the kind of anger he should have for the shooter and these killers that shouldn't be here. >> reporter: now of course trump's latest comment comes after he's already been facing criticism for appearing to suggest that president obama might be sympathetic to muslim extremists. of course obama wasn't his only target last night. he also went after hillary clinton, suggesting that america would never be the same if she were president, saying if liberals are elected over the next eight years, so many supreme court justices will move in that people will lose their gun rights and continue to lay clinton as crooked hillary. >> sarah murray, thank you for
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that. the final primary of the season goes to hillary clinton. and just moments after the polls closed, clinton met face-to-face with bernie sanders. when they left the hotel nearly two hours later, sanders was still in the race. his campaign releasing a statement saying the candidates continue to seek common ground like minimum wage and campaign finance reform and how to defeat trump. he blasted donald trump's comment calling him shameful and unfit to be president. stories from those who survived the massacre, their emotional words, next.
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new memorials overnight honoring the victims of the attack here in orlando. university of central florida faculty and staff filled every story of the union and illuminated the area whith a moment of silence. >> one survivor told me about crouching under a table while separated from his husband. >> sometimes you don't think about yourself, the first thing you think about your kids, you're not going to see them no more, junior, is he okay? when i saw him got out, yes, he had blood on his clothing. so sometimes you go oh, my god,
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he got hit, but i was finally able to see him, you know, he was okay. but it's hard. it was hard. the most thing was just seeing all these bodies, just there in the middle, because sometimes i don't know what made me do it, i was still running, but i was still looking toward that door and just see him, the way he was just shooting. on the ground, just literally, these people, they were already on the ground. >> survivor janette mccoy said shy wat she watched in horror as the gunman shot her friend five times. >> there's so many emotions from anger to frustration to sorrow. for me, it's the people who were in their bleeding to death. the question of why, why am i
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here? and why they're not. it plays in my head every day. >> fortunately, both mccoy and her friend who was shot, angel calone survived. calone is behind me at the regional health center recovering. he was shot five times. three times in the leg and then later after the gunman came back, he was shot again in the hand and the hip, simply terrifying. all right, breaking news this morning not far from here. a 2-year-old pulled from the beach into the water by an alligator. that boy still missing. we have new details up next. wanna drink more water?
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this is cnn breaking news. breaking right now, an alligator attacks a 2-year-old
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boy, a 2-year-old boy from nebraska, drags him in to the water at a popular disney resort, an intense search happening right now for that toddler. we are live. did the orlando club killer's wife know anything about his plan? what she told the fbi as his ex-wife reveals new details about what she calls the gunman's secret, double life. welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> i'm john berman live in orlando this morning. the breaking news not far from here at walt disney world. a 2-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator and dragged into the water. the parents tried to rescue the child but to no avail. the child is still missing. it's right next to the magic kingdom. they have been unable to find the boy in the dark. martin savage joins us now with the very latest.
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what can you tell us? >> reporter: it's been an all-night effort. they've had at least 50 police officers that have been out of the water or searching on the shore line. but you've pointed out to no avail, they've not been able to locate this 2 year old toddler as of yet. this all unfolded around 9:15 this evening when a family of four, down by the water front there staying at that hotel, their 2-year-old child is right at the water's edge when apparently a 4-7 foot alligator emerges and grabs the child. the parents desperately fight to get the child back. this is the sheriff describing what is almost unimaginable. >> the father entered the water and tried to grab the child. was not successful in doing so. at some point, i'm told that the
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mother may have also entered the water. so the parents diligently tried to get the child. they alerted a nearby lifeguard who was there in the area as well, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts. >> reporter: disney world has also released a statement. it raeads like this. everyone at the walt disney world resort is devastated by this tragic accident. our thoughts are with the family and are helping the family in everything we can with law enforcement. the greatest assist would be finding the child, beyond that, daylight would be a help as well. extremely dark right now and will be for a few more hours. we expect an update in about 90 minutes, but hope is fading, john. >> all right, martin savage, this search is so difficult in the dark. thank you for giving us the new details. we have more breaking news at this hour from the orlando
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pulse nightclub. i'm in front of the orlando regional health center. this center has 27 of the patients still recovering from their injuries inside. six are still in critical condition in this building. that as we're getting new details on the investigation. three nights ago, of course, a gunman went into the pulse nightclub, murdered 49 people, injured 53 others. officials are focussed on whether anyone else knew, anyone else knew about this planned attack before it happened. law enforcement officials tell cnn that the wife was told he wanted to carry out an attack. she advihe visited the club and disney springs earlier this month. she tried to talk her husband out of anything violent, but she did not know about a specific plan to attack the nightclub.
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cnn asked the gunman's father whether he thought his son's wife might have been involved. >> can we just ask one question related to the news that's breaking? it's that his wife is cooperating and has told police, the fbi, that she personally went on a trip to orlando and brought your son to that club? >> i don't know anything. i wait until they talk to her and -- >> it appears she could be charged with a crime. >> i don't know, i can't say anything. >> do you think that your daughter-in-law here helped your son commit this crime? >> uh, i don't think so. >> is she an accomplice? >> i, we'll wait. >> the fbi does not believe that the wife was a co-conspirator with her husband, but investigators are looking into whether she knew about the plans and failed to call police, that
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would be a crime. there is new information about the gunman's personal life. investigators are looking at reports he visited gay hookup apps. his ex-wife is providing new details to cnn. joining with us this, nick valencia. good morning. >> reporter: we are learning that omar mateen, the man responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in u.s. history may have been very familiar with the lgbt community, currently, the fbi is interviewing people who say that they ran into him online on gay dating websites. this, as his ex-wife tells cnn that she would not be surprised if her ex-husband was leading a double life. >> he did have a different side of him that he could not open up to his father about, the fact that he liked to go to nightclubs. the fact that he loved to drink. these were not things that were
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welcome in his family's structure at all. and, especially any indication of homosexuality. in the islam religion, homosexuality is not that tolerated, and especially when somebody's a political figure as prominent as his father was. it is especially really looked down upon and disgraced and could shame the entire family. it doesn't surprise me that he might be gay, and it doesn't surprise me that he was leading two totally different lives and was in such deep conflict within himself. >> federal law enforcement officials have seized a number of items from mateen's residence, including a laptop, digital camera and a laundry list of other related media. they want to glean anything they can from those personal items to find out more about mateen. they're also focussing in on his widow to try to find out what she knew and when she knew it.
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did she know specifics about this attack? she did tell investigators that she knew her husband wanted to carry out a jihadist-style attack but denied knowing specifics about his plans to carry out this shooting at the pulse nightclub behind my here. we also learned mateen may have been casing out this place, this nightclub as well as other orlando locations for weeks. john? >> all right, nick valencia, a lot of new information there. thanks so much, nick. let's talk about the latest very ma many, developments. joining us, the wife, the wife is the subject of this investigation right now. clearly anytime there's an incident like this, you do go right to the family members many you go right to the people who lived with the criminal here, and in this case, the wife was there, and there at important locations at important times
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before finding out what she knows is crucial. >> absolutely, john. and good morning. there are so many aspects to this, that clearly raise questions in the minds of investigators. so what they're going to be looking for is what exactly she knew and when she knew it. also, was she in some ways an accessory to the crime? did she know what he was planning? the first reports are that she didn't know. but we don't know enough as to what she knew, what she suspected and what she should have reported if anything. and those are the kinds of things that become very, very important as a case like this unfolds. >> there's some legal gray area here, right? because if she had knowledge of a specific crime, of a specific attack, that is in itself a crime, and i'm sure that's what investigators are leaning on her for right now, but, if the husband had said, you know, he wants to attack america in a
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broad sense, if he had said things against america in a broad sense, that's where it gets more complicated. i imagine that's where they're focussing right now. >> that's exactly right. if he made very broad statement the. if omar mateen made a very general statement, then it would be very hard to say, okay, this is going to be something that he a going to do. he's actually going to act on that sentiment or on that desire, but when it comes to very specific things, like i'm going to attack a certain club at a certain point in time, that, then, becomes the one thing that really would require anybody with another knowledge of that particular act to report that possibility and let law enforcement then take it from there. and if that in fact did happen, then of course she should have reported it, if the statements that she knew about and heard and understood were only very general in nature, it becomes very hard to prosecute her at that point. >> of course one of her problems
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right now, legally speaking is that she was at some of the places where investigators now believe he may have been casing sites, whether it be disney springs not far from here, whether it be in at least one instance we believe, taking him to, dropping him off at the club itself. you know, so many questions there. did she go inside with him, if she was dropping him off at a gay nightclub, what would she have been thinking at that time? those are difficult questions to answer. >> they sure are, and especially whether it comes to a life stiet issue like this. should she have known? you would say yes, she should have known that he was leading a double life or there was something in there. he may have said this guy owes me money, so i'm going to go in there and get the money, wait for me here. there are all kinds of possible ways in which he could have covered it up. but to most people who are married to each other know something about the spouse in a way that few other people do. and law enforcement is going to
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look for those kinds of clues and try to find out exactly what she knew and what she suspected at each of these points in time. the other thing that's very interesting is the fact that she apparently went to the nightclub with him a week or two before the attack. age if thand if that's true, th have an indication that she knew what was going on inside that club, who the clientele were or could suspect who the clientele were, and that could have led her into a very different set of knowledge that she may not have otherwise have had. >> a whole lot of questions there. thanks so much. >> you bet, john. >> obviously what happened here in orlando is dominating the subject in the presidential race. president obama and hillary clinton say that donald trump, how i wants tohe wants to appro that he wants to destroy american values. donald trump has fired back. next.
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an intense search under way right now at a disney world hotel, trying to find the 2-year-old boy dragged into a lagoon by an alligator. police now say it is unlikely they will find this child alive. it has been an unimaginable few days for orlando, first, christina grimmie was gunned down after her concert. we just learned that orlando's shooter scouted out the disney springs complex at the beginning of june during this year's gay days celebrations. so what will this mean for tourism in the area? more than 63 million people
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visited orlando in 2013, making it the most visited destination in america. disney operates 27 resort hotels in orlando, all of this as they get ready to open the shanghai location half a world away tomorrow. donald trump ma, obama is angered by donald trump's comments about the president's reluctance to use the term "islamic extremist". >> we now have proposals from the presumptive republican nominee for president of the united states to bar all muslims from emigrating to america. where does this stop? we don't have religious tests here. our founders, our constitution, our bill of rights are clear
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about that. and if we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it a lot easier to radicalize people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect. >> trump is not letting up on president obama or hillary clinton. and he's repeating his call for a ban on muslims entering the u.s. the presumptive republican nominee calling his democratic rivals weak and infective. here's cnn's sarah murray. >> reporter: good morning john and christine. on a day when democrats united in their criticism on donald trump, he arrived here in greensboro, north carolina ready to hit back, in a fiery speech he said president obama's anger was misdirected and that he should be angry at the shooter in the massacre rather than direct his anger at donald trump. >> and i watched president obama today, and he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter!
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and many people said that. [ crowd booing ] one of the folks on television, said, boy, has trump gotten under his skin, but he was more angry, and a lot of people have said this. the level of anger, that's the kind of anger he should have for the shooter and these killers that shouldn't be here. >> reporter: now of course trump's latest comment comes after he's already been facing criticism for appearing to suggest that president obama might be sympathetic to muslim extremists. of course obama wasn't his only target last night. he also went after hillary clinton, suggesting that america would never be the same if she were president, that if liberals were elected over the next eight years that so many liberal justices will move in and gun rights will be taken away. >> thank you for that, sarah. the final primary of the season goes to hillary clinton. and just moments after the polls
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closed in washington, d.c. clinton met face-to-face with bernie sanders. had they left the capitol hill ton h hotel, they discussed how to defeat donald trump. clinton spent most of tuesday blasting trump for his response to the orlando terror attack, calling him shameful and tempermently unfit to be president. new stories of survival from those who escaped the massacre, that's next.
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be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara®
1:54 am
tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. always tell your doctor if you have any signs of infection, have had cancer, if you develop any new skin growths or if anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions can occur. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. most people using stelara® saw 75% clearer skin and the majority were rated as cleared or minimal at 12 weeks. be the you who talks to your dermatologist about stelara®.
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new memorials overnight honoring the victims of the attacks in orlando. this was the university of central florida. you can see students, faculty,
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staff on every floor of the student union, raising lights as those names were read, so many names. this as the survivors of this awful night are sharing their stories, how they had to hide in terror at gunman stalked the nightclub, shooting dozens of people, reloading and firing again and again. a survivor told me about his horrifying experience. he was crouching under a table. he was separated from his husband junior. >> sometimes you don't think about yourself, the first thing, your kids, you're not going to see them no more. junior, you know, if he's okay. because when i saw him got out, yes, he was, he had blood on his clothing. so sometimes you go oh, my god, he got hit. but when i was finally able to see him, he was okay. but it's hard.
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it was hard. most thing was just seeing all these bodies just there in the middle of the because sometimes i don't know what made me do, but instead of running and just going towards, i was still running, but i was still looking toward that door and just see him, the way he was just shooting on the ground, just literally, these people, they were already in the ground. >> survivor janette mccoy says she watched in horror as the gunman shot her friend five times. >> there's so many emotions, from anger to frustration to sorrow. for me, it's the people who were in there bleeding to death. the question of why? why am i here? and why they're not. >> you think about that a lot? >> it plays, it plays in my head
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every day. >> so hard for all the survivors. you know, luckily, her friend n angel calone survived. he was shot five times, three times in the leg. his leg was trampled and smashed. and later the gunman came back and shot him again in the hand and the hip. simply terrifying. so many stories like that as this city continues to recover. "early start" continues right now. this is cnn breaking news. breaking news right now, a 2-year-old attacked and dragged into the water by an alligator at a popular disney resort. an intense, desperate search under way right now for that boy. what did the wife of the orlando club gunman know about his plan to attack? new information on what she told the fbi, as his ex-wife reveals intimate new details about the
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killer. good morning, welcome st. >> good morning, it is wednesday, june 15th. it is 5:00 a.m. in the east. breaking news this morning happening not far from here at walt disney world. a two-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator, dragged into the water. his parent tried to sane him. to no avail that boy is still missing. they have been searching for hours at disney's grand floridian reassortment it's very, very difficult right now. because it's still dark. cnn's martin savage is near the scene, martin, what itself the very latest? >> reporter: john, we're in the staging areas area, by the lagoon. this has been playing out the last seven hours, it began in the evening when a 911 call aim in from the gra

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