tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN June 17, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PDT
>> breaking news this morning. new information on the orlando club killer's wife texting with her husband during the attack as investigators ask were warning signs missed? president obama meeting with victims and families in orlando calling for gun control to prevent future tragedies. will lawmakers hear his pleas? good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> i'm victor blackwell in orlando. it's friday, june 17th. now 5:00 a.m. here in orlando. the breaking news this morning, new information about the orlando nightclub massacre. were warning signs about the gunman missed? this as president obama travels to orlando to offer his support and to help his traumatized city recover. we are learning that gunman omar mateen texted with his wife
during the attack asking if she had seen the news. orlando's federal prosecutor says it is still too early to say whether she or anyone else will face charges. we are learning more this morning about mateen's visit to a florida gun shop where he tried to buy military-grade body armor. something the store doesn't sell. the store reported the suspicious activity to the fbi. we have cnn's polo sandoval with more. >> victor, we said it was likely that the investigators said the gunman likely used his phone to search facebook in the middle of the shooting. now information suggesting he was using it to text his wife which you mentioned. i want to take you back to 4:00 a.m. on june 12th. four hours in the shooting not far from where i'm standing.
investigators believe that the gunman actually texted noor salman asking if she saw the news. investigators believe she then responded by calling several times after no answer she reportedly texted i love you to the gunman. eventually no response there. police eventually went to her home to tell her what was going on. obviously it will be key to find out what she did know. she has previously told investigators her husband previously mentioned there was a plan to carry out some sort of attack. however, the question was was it this attack? could she face charges in the case? the grand jury will decide that. they are going over the evidence right now. meantime, you mentioned other significant development. another gun shop coming into the
picture. jensen beach, florida, just south of where the couple actually live, the gunman as his wife, the owner of the gun shop initially reported to the fbi in the weeks leading up to the shooting there were several suspicious individuals attempting to purchase police clear. investigators responded and they interviewed the shop owner and determined it was several foreign police officers that were carrying out legitimate purchases. and one case, the employee at the gun shop told of another possible incident. someone they felt was suspicious. now feel it was omar mateen himself. investigators say he was trying purchase not only level three armor, but also several rounds of ammunition. many rounds of ammunition. investigators followed up on that case. i want you to hear from an individual who works at the shop and hear what he told my
colleague drew griffin. >> my sales person got concerned about it. he said we do not have this body armor. at this time, he pulled away and got on the cell phone and had a conversation in a foreign language that was very concerning. then he came back and requested ammo. at that time, he declined any business and he left the store. we had no link. no contact. we didn't know who he was. we did contact authorities and let them know we just had a suspicious person in here. >> so again, this is really the latest information and witness statement the investigators have to go over. it seems every day seems to bring a quite significant development, victor. we cannot forget a community that is still grieving. the investigation continues entering day six. at the same time, you have families, victor, now preparing
to lay their loved ones to rest. at the same time, they are searching for answers trying to make sense of something so senseless. >> funerals starting in a few hours here in orlando. polo, thank you so much. president obama and vice president biden spent most of the day yesterday in orlando. as he has previous mass shootings, nine times before this one, the president consoled victims and survivors' families. offering support to another grief-stricken city. the president and vice president laid roses at a memorial to the victims. they met with survivors and families members and medical staff and staff from the pulse nightclub. the president said he can offer them few promises of change. >> today, once again, as has been true too many times before, i held and hugged grieving
family members and parents and they asked why does this keep happening. and they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. they don't care about the politics. neither do i. >> the president's visit offering some comfort to a city deep in mourning today. maybe it will be for some time. as this mother who you are about to meet, her son died in the massacre. she told cnn's don lemon that sympathy, even from president obama, only goes so far. >> yes, he came and like i said to him, thank you for coming and being compassionate to this community. what can you really say? you know, his words will not make me feel better and it is definitely not going to bring back my son. i was just happy he was showing
compassion. you sit there and you hear people talking, but you don't know what they are saying because my mind's focused on when i get home and i got to start making funeral arrangements. i'm worried about what church and this and that. you know, my nightmare hasn't even begun yet. >> with me now to talk about how the city is coping is paul brinkman. senior business editor of "the orlando sentinel." this city has the distinction and classification of a terror target. that means something more rhetorically, especially after this. what does it mean? >> so, the department of homeland security provides funding to various metropolitan areas it considers to be terror targets. they have an annual evaluation
process for that. orlando hasn't gotten any money since 2014. it did get money in 2014. since then it has been deemed a low risk target. >> you think about an iconic city. disney here. you have the parks. you have to yhousands, tens of thousands a year to these entities. is it unexpected it hadn't gotten money before 2014? >> yeah. congress member john mica has asked the process be investigated as to why orlando did not get the money. there doesn't appear to be why it was considered to be a low risk threat. new york got $178 million. los angeles and chicago each got $68 million. miami and ft. lauderdale got
several million. >> orlando, before now, of course, a low risk target. what does that mean to the people? not the money, but living in this environment where they are a terror target. >> the money is used to equipped local law enforcement to make sure they have the right tools to deal with these things. that's the largest part of it. >> is there a feeling that is different here knowing it is a terror target? >> for sure. >> talk to me about that. >> it shattered the next we are not a terror target. the key issue is was the shooter actually coordinated by, you know, some malevelent influence? >> there is no evidence thus far this was isis directed, but certainly after that call and
with a what we have seen on facebook now. paul brinkman, thank you for being with us. paul brinkman with "the orlando sentin sentinel." president obama pleading for gun control measures. will that actually happen? these calls have come after the nine previous attacks. what is happening in washington and being said on the campaign trail? we will address that coming up in a moment. e ranc with a fresh, you'll be surprised it doesn't crunch. hidden valley cucumber ranch. just one of our delicious ranch flavors.
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after spending time with families who lost loved ones if the massacre. there will be two bills from democrats and republicans to make it harder to buy firearms. it will limit sales to terror almo suspects. none has a chance of passing. let's discuss this with political reporter tal kopan. i want to talk about something trump said yesterday. he has been consistent in the days post orlando to say gun control is essentially trying to take your guns away and abolish the second amendment. he is pinning that right on hillary clinton. listen to him. >> i just watched president obama. [ crowd boos ] >> and he does it a lot. he does it a lot because we have
one after another. tragedy after tragedy. it's a tough situation. but he's largely, to a large extent, he's blaming guns. [ crowd boos ] >> and i'm going to save your second amendment folks. [ crowd cheers ] >> totally. and hillary wants to abolish the second amendment. remember that. >> he does well, tal, with that line on the campaign trail. he really does. fact check here. hillary clinton wants to regulate the second amendment the way other amendments are regulated. free speech for example. do you see this dominating the campaign trail here and i don't think we're going to see really any realistic passage of gun control. the four bills we are expecting today. >> it seems like the gun control debate that occurred from the tragedy is probably the one that
is short lived. you know, the filibuster that we saw this week accomplished actually getting votes on some of the bills. as you said, we don't expect any of them to go anywhere. the two sides are still far apart. the nra says it is willing to agree to some things and democrats say they are not willing they want to sure to vote for anything the nra agrees to. we see the divide continuing. once these votes happen, like many other tragedies, we witnessed in the country, it is likely theonversation will fade. what seems to be the more salient point that politicians may likely return to as we saw in san bernardino is the question of terrorism and reach in our country. i think that's probably what we will see lingering weeks to months. >> interestingly. i point out charleston was a year ago today. nine people gunned down by someone who is a white supremacist. that was one year ago today.
since then, numerous shootings. including san bernardino. >> sadly too easy to come up with examples. >> let's talk about john mccain and the kerfuffle over the blaming president obama and orlando. listen to what mccain said. >> barack obama is directly responsible for it. when he pulled everybody out of iraq, al qaeda went to syria and became isis and isis is what it is today. thanks to barack obama's failures. >> he since clarified the statement. he said i misspoke. i did not mean to imply the president was personally responsible. to clarify, i was referring to the national security decisions that led to the rise of isil. not the president himself. what do you make of that, tal?
>> one of the things that struck me about the kerfuffle of the mccain comments is the difference with the traditional politician and donald trump. i was thinking earlier in the week when trump made comments insinuating something about president obama. saying there is something there. when asked to clarify, he didn't really take the opportunity to be precise. he said i think people know what i can say. this is an example of someone who said something they shouldn't. it gives reporters a headline they don't want written about them. he quickly took to qutwitter. he regranted interviews to clarify. he was talking about policies. i'm not sure how much the distinction matters except for the headline type of thing of whether someone is personally responsible instead of policies. it is clear he was in full walk-back mode. >> tal, we will talk about the
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new information on the orlando club massacre. the gunman texting with his wife during the attack. what did she know? plus, were warning signs missed? what one gun store owner told the fbi. and president obama embracing victims' families demanding stricter gun control. will anything change? welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> i'm victor blackwell. breaking news about the orlando shooting. were the warning signs missed? this as president obama helps the traumatized city recover. we learned that the gunman omar mateen texted with his wife
during the attack asking if she had seen the news. the fbi investigating what the wife, noor salman, knew about her husband's deadly plans. it is too soon to know if she or anyone else will take charges. we are learning more about mateen's visit to the gun shop where he tried to buy military-grade body armor. something the store doesn't sale. the store says they reported the suspicious activity to the fbi. joining me now is cnn's polo sandoval. >> good morning, victor. we know the gunman used his phone to search facebook during the actual shooting. now the information suggesting that the phone was also used by the gunman to text his wife. law enforcement official telling cnn about two hours into the shooting itself, the gunman actually texted his wife, noor salman, two hours south of here
asking if she had quote seen the news. noor salman responded by calling her husband, but by texting and texting her husband quote i love you. eventually, though, the calls were not answered and texts were not answered and police showed up at her home early on sunday morning according to the police chief and told her what happened. that leaves the question how much did she know? she told investigators that her husband mentioned launching some form of attack. the question is was it this actual attack planned and will she be the first person to face charges? a grand jury will have to weigh the evidence to see if she is the first person to be arrested and charged in connection with the pulse nightclub shooting. we are getting details about the gunman's efforts to actually obtain that body armor. moments after the shooting happened, we learned he tried to
purchase level three body armor. now the gun shop is coming forward saying there were several individuals who initially come into the store and tried to purchase police equipment. investigators did follow-up on some tips from the gun shop and later determined it was legitimate purchase. they were actually foreign police officers trying to make a purchase. they were closing that case and a personnel at the gun shop then said there was another individual that had seemed suspicious. trying to purchase level three body armor and several rounds of ammunition. they felt it was the gunman in the case. the m they did not have the necessary information to follow-up on the investigation. i want to you hear directly from one of the individuals at the gun shop and you can hear for
yourself what the person told cnn's drew griffin. >> our salesman got concerned about it and just informed him we do not have this body armor. at it tithis time he pulled awa got on the cell phone. when he was on the cell phone, he had a conversation in a foreign language that was more concerning. he came back and was requesting ammo. he wanted bulk ammo only. at that time, he declined any business and he left the store. we had no link. no contact. we didn't know who he was. we did contact the authorities and let them know we had a suspicious person in here. >> so you are hearing from personnel at the gun shop while the investigation did not produce a lot of results. you are hearing from the gun shop owner who heard something suspicious and somebody trying to purchase some of the body armor as well.
this goes with what law enforcement tell people here if you see something, say something. obviously in this case, police are still looking into what happened down the street from where we are, victor. >> polo, thank you so much. president obama and vice president biden spent most of thursday in orlando as he has after previous mass shootings, the president consoled victims and survivors and families. offering support to a grief-stricken city. the president and vice president here laid roses to the victims. they met with the survivors and family members and medical and emergency personnel and staff with the pulse nightclub. afterwards, he said he could offer few promises of change. >> today, once again, as has been true too many times before. i held and hugged grieving family members and parents and
they asked why does this keep happening. and they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. they don't care about the politics. neither do i. >> president obama's visit offering some comfort to a city deep in mourning today. as this mother whom you are about to meet, whose son died in the massacre told don lemon that condolences, even from the president of the united states, that only goes so far. >> yes, he came and like i said to him, thank you for coming and being compassionate to the community. but really what you can really say? you know? his words will not make me feel better and definitely not bringing back my son. so i was just happy that he was showing compassion, but you sit there and you hear people
talking but you don't know what they're saying because my mind's focused on when i get home i have to start making funeral arrangeme arrangements. i'm worried about what church and this. my nightmare hasn't even begun yet. >> with me now how to talk about how the city is coping with the aftermath of the tragedy is paul brinkman. he is an associate with "the orlando sentinel." from what you hear from the people here, are they satisfied with what they heard from the president? >> i think they're glad that he came. we talked to several people. one woman drove 30 minutes down here. she said she wanted to show support for the victims and turn out for the president.
another source we talked to said he felt safe while the president was here. >> because of the security that comes with the presidential visit? >> yeah and i guess the fact that the commander in chief and all resources and everything were here during that time. people lined the streets. there wasn't a lot of public event or interaction. >> let me ask you about that. this is the tenth time the president has come to console a community after a mass shooting of this sort. there is no major event for the president. i have not heard of one planned by the city for people to gather and grieve together and remember those killed? >> there was a vigil down in front of the performing arts center downtown. there were people there. that was the event that the city
officially sanctioned and official security surrounding the area. there was an immediate demand for vigils here on sunday. the city put out a statement saying, you know, let's hold off on the vigils because our police staff is so strained. there were some makeshift memorials downtown sunday night and others at churches and high school. >> much of the healing will happen on a smaller scale. we know of course there are questions about what will happen with pulse nightclub. we understand there is going to be some memorial. paul, thank you. in days, the senate is set to vote on gun control measures. what are the measures and will they pass? we will have that next. i just hx
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the notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense. those who defend the easy acc s accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense. >> that was president obama after spending time with families who lost loved ones in the orlando massacre. on monday, the senate will vote on four bills. two from democrats. two from republicans. it would make it harder to buy firearms. the proposals include ban on weapon sales to terror suspects and closing gun show loopholes. none has a realistic chance of passing. i want to discuss this with political reporter tal kopan. joining us live from washington. gun politics back into the election cycle by another
tragedy. you know, this happens every few months. is this time going to be any different? >> well, it's real hard to make the case that it is. you know, this time we are actually seeing some gun votes get scheduled, which you may consider progress, but it is a lot of showmanship. both sides picking a couple of bills they think look good for them and that no one expecting any of them to pass. it is not really is effort at genuine law making. it is throwing things at the wall and hoping that on some chance people will come to your side. the problem is both sides are far apart. everyone can say terrorists should not have guns. but you have to put that into statute and people can't agree. >> let's listen to donald trump blasting hillary clinton and the president on this renewed discussion about gun safety.
listen. >> i just watched president obama. [ crowd boos ] >> and he does it a lot. he does it a lot because we have one after another. we have tragedy after tragedy. it's a tough situation. but he's largely to a large extent, he's blaming guns. [ crowd boos ] >> and i'll save your second amendment, folks. i'll save your second amendment folks. totally. [ crowd cheers ] >> and hillary wants to abolish the second amendment. remember that. >> that's a line that gets a lot of attention on the campaign trail. she wants to regulate the second amendment with the way other rights are regulated. it works to donald trump's base here when he says that. >> certainly.
we don't exactly know where donald trump himself stands on some of these questions about he tweeted something about meeting with the nra and making sure that terrorists could not get weapons and people on the terrorist watch list couldn't either. that is a little bit of a departure from the conservative talking points. once again, the devil is in the details. we don't know exactly what was discussed with the nra and when he met with them and what exp t specifically he means about closing the loophole over the terror watch list. he wants to protect second amendment rights, but we are waiting for the details on what he means and whether he supports any limitations on the rights. >> tal, let's talk about bernie sanders and the video he released last night. i want to listen to it and see where bernie sanders is in the democratic race right now. >> the major political task that together we face in the next
five months is to make certain that donald trump is defeated and defeated badly. and i personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time. >> in a very short period of time. he is not endorsing hillary clinton. he says he will campaign against donald trump and define that role in a very short period of time. what does that mean? >> you might have to ask bernie sanders to explain that one. one thing we have seen over and over again is we can really parse his words and look between the lines here. he is simply not ready to say he is out of the race and say he is behind hillary clinton. these surface level reading is he is still looking for leverage and the discussions about the democratic platform. the second he capitulates to her, then he loses a little bit because the more they sort of want him to fall in line, the more concessions they may be
willing to make. at the same time, this primary has been bruising. there has been a real sense that it has gotten personal at times and the candidates have been personally emotional or invested or offended about what has come up. it is not unreasonable it will take him a little bit of time to wind down and be ready to close ranks and be fully behind his opponent. >> and hillary clinton racking up the endorsements. oprah winfrey and william armitage. we will continue to watch that. thank you, tal. nice to see you. 50 minutes past the hour. the cia warning the obama administration's strategy to fight isis is not working. what dozens of state department officials are now demanding. that's next. of pchow complete with the four cornerstones of nutrition including high quality protein. now our family is complete.
breaking news at this hour. iraqi troops recapturing the government building in central fallujah from isis. the head of the iraqi federal police force announcing on facebook troops raised the iraqi flag over the mayoral building. the joint command claims counterterrorism forces captured a neighborhood inflicting heavy losses. they are fighting to take the main hospital. cia director john brennan offering a sobering assessment of the campaign to defeat isis. coalition forces failed to disrupt the ability to carry out the inspired terror attacks. brennan says isis continues to adjust the strategy to remain operational with support from a global network. he says the lone wolf attackers challenging. more than 50 state
department officials want the obama administration to carry out strikes against the assad regime in syria. they signed a policy claiming a leadership change is the only way to defeat isis. the dissent channel is where they can offer views without reprisal. a member of the british parliament murdered in england. 41 jo cox killed outside a library leaving a meeting in the town of leeds. cox was a rising member in the labour parties. 51-year-old thomas mayer is the alleged shooter. the brexit vote has been post
up poned. police say no motive has been established yet. time for an early start on your money. good start to markets. asian stocks closed higher. stocks in the u.s. barely moving. the dow snapping the five-day losing streak. the s&p and nasdaq higher. smith & wesson selling more guns than ever before. a 22% increase of sales through the end of april. it is typical for gun manufacturers to see a spike in sales after mass shootings. consumers fear tighter gun laws will limit the gun laws. after the shooting in december in san bernardino, sales jumped 61%. 57 minutes past the hour. disturbing details in the orlando gay club massacre. "new day" picks up the story.
he was texting with his wife when he was barricaded in the bathroom. >> the harrowing moments in the club. >> you can smell the blood. it was so much blood. >> we had information he was going to put explosive vests on four people. >> grieving family members ask why does this keep happening. i'm going to save your second amendment folks. >> donald trump talking the talk, but he ain't walking the walk. >> president obama. he is blaming guns. >> we don't act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this. is going after the second amendment how you stop terrorism? no. he was not doing well. we could tell. >> meatloaf collapses on stage. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> good morning. welcome to "new day."
it is friday, june 17th. chris is off today. look who is here. david gregory. who let you in? >> i was delivering chris's laundry as i do most morning. it is great to be here. i wish it weren't on such a horrible week. good to be here. >> i know you will add levity. we have a lot of news. new details about the orlando terrorist. law enforcement source tells cnn the deranged killer and his wife texted during the rampage. we are learning more about the killer's long history of behavior issues. this as president obama rips gun control after meeting with families of sunday's attack. can congress get anything done when they vote next week? let's begin our coverage with polo sandoval in orlando. polo, good morning. what do you have? >> reporter: david, right now, there are several families preparing to say a final farewell to loved ones.
victims in the last week's shooting. that search for answers continues as day six of the investigation is getting ready to get under way. meanwhile, investigators are learning the killer not only used his mobile phone to browse facebook, but text his wife as well. two hours into the three-hour orlando shooting terror attack while hold up in the bathroom, the killer exchanged text with his wife he authorities say they also tried calling him several times during the rampage but he didn't answer. this, as chilling new video from inside the gay nightclub surfaces. it was taken by a survivor as the killer passed inside one of the club's bathroom. flightened club-goers huddling together hoping they wouldn't be next. this