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AT THIS HOUR

Tillerson Days Seen as Numbered as Foreign Crises Roil; Trump Asks for Military Options at "Much Faster Pace"; Mueller Team Speaks with Man Behind Dossier in Russia Probe; Trump Administration Rolls Back Obamacare Birth-Control Mandate; Fight Continues for Hospitalized Las Vegas Shooting Victims. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired October 6, 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] REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I don't think the president has done much to help him.

I think, frankly, Ana, Mr. Tillerson hasn't done a lot to help himself inside the State Department. There are plenty of dozens of positions left unfilled and he hasn't done a good job in terms of communicating inside the lifelines with our ambassadors and diplomats and career foreign service officers about what the goals and objectives are and connect all the parts of the State Department. I just haven't seen that kind of dramatic leadership out of him at foggy bottom.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Is that what you're hearing from other sources of yours inside the State Department, they aren't getting the information that they're seeking?

KIRBY: Yes. That's exactly right. I mean former colleagues that I know that are still there, they do express some frustration that there doesn't seem to be real solid aggressive assertive leadership coming from the seventh floor at Foggy Bottom and feel disconnected and feel like their secretary of state is disconnected from them and what they're trying to do around the world.

CABRERA: Let's listen to something the president said yesterday that perked a few ears.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options when needed at a much faster pace. I know that government bureaucracy is slow but I am depending on you to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: The way I interpret that is he's not happy with the work they're doing. How would that be heard by the senior military officials in that room.

KIRBY: I think it was probably a bit of a gut punch to them. It's always the commander-in-chief's prerogative to correct the way his military leaders are conducting their operations, running their organizations, you know, budgeting and resourcing. He is the commander-in-chief. It's within his right to say if he's not happy about something they're doing. But typically, that's done in private. I never saw President Obama, you know, try to chastise military leaders in public that way. They don't need that. And I think that was incredibly inappropriate for him to do that with the cameras in front of them and all that.

Look, when you reach that rank, when you reach that level, I was in the Navy some 30 years, you're very sensitive to making sure that you are continuing to earn the trust and confidence of your superiors, whoever they are. In this case it's the president himself. And you're very attune to that, to making sure you've got that trust and confidence. When the president says, you need to do something faster or better and that I'm not happy with how you're doing it, they're going to begin to question their own -- do I have that trust and confidence, am I still doing a good job. That's, you know, again, all that's fair in private, but you shouldn't be doing that in public. One of the first lessons I learned as a young officer on my first ship was, praise in public, criticize in private. I wish that the president would do the same.

CABRERA: Rear Admiral John Kirby, thank you as always.

KIRBY: You bet.

CABRERA: Still ahead, President Trump called it totally made up stuff. But we're learning the author behind that infamous dossier had a real meeting with the special counsel's team of investigators. The exclusive details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:37:02] CABRERA: We are learning exclusive new details about the Russia investigation. CNN has learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team met with the ex-British spy who authored the controversial dossier on Russia's collusion during the election.

CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz, is joining us now. He broke the story along with Evan Perez and Pamela Brown.

Shimon, what are you learning?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN JUSTICE & CRIME REPORTER: That's right. We believe the meeting -- we're told the meeting took place over the summer. Bob Mueller's team traveled overseas and met with the former British spy who, as you say, put together this somewhat controversial dossier which talked about Russian possible Russian collusion/. And basically, what we've been told is that, during the overseas trip, Mueller's team met with him. We don't know what was discussed in the meeting, what was learned in that -- in those meetings, but previously Steele, the man who put this together, has met with the FBI and has provided them some information on the sources he used to put the dossier together to compile the memos.

Now it's all about whether or not Steele is going to meet with congressional investigators. They had earlier in the week expressed interest in meeting with him. He has not ruled that out.

CABRERA: As far as the intel community, how do they view this dossier and its validity?

PROKUPECZ: That's right. So last year, you know, during the -- while they were investigating this, there were some people in the intelligence community who were able to verify some portions of the dossier. Now, the most salacious of details that are in the dossier have not been corroborated. But the other details in the dossier the U.S. intelligence community and some of the senior leaders of the intelligence community believe they were able to somewhat verify. Some of those weren't shared within the classified report that they wound up compiling, you know, on Russia meddling because there was concern that if they put that in that report they would have to reveal some of the sources and methods and they just did not want to do that.

CABRERA: Shimon Prokupecz, thank you for that reporting.

Up next, we are returning to Las Vegas. The city remembering the lives and legacies of the 58 victims of the concert massacre as many of the wounded are still fighting for their lives in the hospitals. Up next, one mother's struggle to cope as her daughter remains in a coma.

But first, this week, "CNN Hero" was 17 when a drunk driver slammed into her. But in losing her leg, she gained the power to lift others up with her transformational support group and fitness programs. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: Once we lose a part of our body there is just so many questions, will I be able to work again, how will I take care of my children?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's strange to learn how to walk. It's a new world.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: Part of my job is to remind people that we are so much more than just a body part. We can either lay down and let our circumstance overtake us, or we can stand up and take charge.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:40:11] CABRERA: To read more about Mona and the other "CNN Heroes," head to CNNheros.com.

We're back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: This just in, the Trump administration has rolled back Obamacare's birth-control coverage mandate, a vow the president had made to his conservative base. Let's bring back White House reporter, Kaitlan Collins.

Kaitlan, fill in the details.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: A blow essentially to the Obamacare mandate. It essentially lets a broad range of employers stop offering free contraceptives through their health care plans if they have a reasoning based on a moral conviction. The quote is, "a sincerely held religious or moral objection" to this.

This is something, a very hot topic that religious groups have long opposed, Ana, as you know. A lot of those groups are groups that supported the president throughout the election.

Now this is something that has been talked about for some time now, the possibility of this happening.

We've already heard back from women's rights, health care groups, that are pushing back on this. We can expect more of that today with this breaking news we just got.

CABRERA: All right. Kaitlan Collins, at the White House, thank you.

Now I want to head back to Las Vegas. It has been five days since the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. And many of the wounded are still fighting for their lives. And 172 victims, in fact, are still in the hospital.

CNN's Scott McLean is joining us from Las Vegas.

Scott, you have a powerful and emotional story about one of the families who has been impacted in such a huge way.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. There are 29 victims today listed in critical condition across two hospitals. One is name Tina Frost. She was shot in the face. She's currently in a coma. Her long-term prognosis is unclear but her family is expecting a very long and slow recovery.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[11:45:16] MARY MORELAND, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: She has her whole life in front of her and with one incident, we have a nightmare.

MCLEAN: For Mary Moreland, the Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas has been a dark place. Sunday night, her 27-year-old daughter, Tina Frost, was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with friends and her boyfriend, Austin, when bullets started flying. Tina was shot near her eye. She's been in a coma since that night.

MORELAND: It's very hard when I first saw her, it was all I could do to keep composed, but she's a fighter and it doesn't matter what she looks like. It matters in here. So we're coping.

MCLEAN: In the chaotic aftermath, an unidentified concert goer she knows only as Shane helped Austin take her to the hospital. (on camera): What do you want to say to him?

MORELAND: Thank you for saving my daughter's life.

MCLEAN: Frost lost her eye, Moreland says, and there are still bullet fragments in her head.

UNIDENTIFIED PHYSICIAN: Some people may not ever recover, but in some of the people, you know, I would say that, you know, give it a year.

MCLEAN: Originally from Maryland, Frost now works as an accountant in San Diego. Her sister says she had it all.

RACHEL MORELAND, SISTER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: Even growing up, I mean I kind of use the phrase she was a little bit of an all-American girl. Always has a ton of friends, did well in the soccer field, played college soccer, you know, moved to California, was an accountant. I mean she has a very good life.

MCLEAN: As Frost's family prays for good news, they're not alone. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $390,000, more than seven times the original goal.

MORELAND: I would throw it all away to have my daughter back. It's overwhelming.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLEAN: And I just checked that GoFundMe page. It's up to around $425,000.

Frost's mother wanted to make clear just how grateful her family is for this amazing outpouring of support and for all of the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital.

As I explained in the story, she wants to find this man she only knows as Shane to personally thank him for what he did -- Ana?

CABRERA: So heartbreaking, so bittersweet. She's alive, but what she has to endure is not fair.

Scott, thank you for that.

Throughout the week, we have been reading the names of those who lost their lives as we've learned their identities. The Clark County coroner has released the names of all 58 victims. Here are the final seven. Andrea Castilla, 28 years old. Keri Lynn Galvan, 31 years old. Patricia Mestas, 67 years old. Austin Meyer, 24 years old. Carrie Parsons, 31 years old. Brett Schwanbeck, 61 years old. Teresa Nicol Kimura, 38 years old. These are the faces that should always be remembered. They range in age from 20 to 67. They were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, and grandchildren. They were loved.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:42:49] CABRERA: Let's head to a really beautiful place. The place that has become a center of debate after an American conservationist purchased millions of acres of land. We are talking about South America's Patagonia region. He purchased this land to protect the wonderful creatures and plants that, as you imagine, the locals were not on board.

Billionaire Doug Tompkins, the founder of from the North Face, is the guy who bought up the land. He died in a kayaking accident in Chile in 2015

And Bill Weir, the host of CNN's "The Wonder List" travels and takes a look at the special place firsthand. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This amazing place is home to the smallest deer on the planet, the most agile and intelligence cat, the puma, over a thousand different kinds of moss and ferns, and big trees that were alive a thousand years before Christ walked the earth. All of which appealed to a certain tree hugger from back east, an adventure lover and adrenaline junkie, big river rafter, big mountain skier, and big money maker by the name of Douglas Tompkins.

He dropped out of high school and went west to climb Yosemite's rocks and fell in with a group called the Fun Hogs. Summer of 1968, they climbed into a van in San Francisco, surfed and climbed and skied and kayaked their way all the way to Patagonia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: I'm intrigued, got to say.

Bill Weir is joining us now.

This peaked my interest.

WEIR: Love it.

CABRERA: Tomkins, he started buying up all this land because of his love of the outdoors.

WEIR: Right.

CABRERA: But this was controversial.

WEIR: It was. Imagine if a Chinese national or Saudi prince said, I will buy half of Montana or South Dakota and get rid of the ranches and put back the wild creatures.

CABRERA: We'd say, who are you.

WEIR: Who are you and what are you really up to? The conspiracy theories in Chile, as he started buying these chunks of land, was he was going to melt the glaciers and sell the water to China or create a second Israel for Jews to take refuge after World War III because they couldn't wrap their idea around the idea that he just wanted land for wilderness for wilderness' sake. Some believe half of the world's wild places should be preserved just for biomass and all of us because everything is connected. That would be a lot. So he bought the equivalent of Rhode Island and Delaware combined and gave it to the Chilean people. He said, these are national parks. These are for you. But here's the way to make money off of tourism. He tried to get them to remodel their homes in certain ways that appeal to tourists. So, yes, the locals are gauchos.

[11:55:41] CABRERA: There was mutually beneficial --

(CROSSTALK)

WEIR: Certainly. But he also opposed the dam projects and so they said, look, we are a poor country and we need as much energy, and we love our animals and plants, too, but we need an economy. It was the tension and this idea of what are the ethics of rich Americans coming in and trying to preserve land for all of our sakes.

CABRERA: A lot of layers to dig into. I wish we had more time to discuss it.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Bill, thank you for joining us.

Don't forget to watch this episode of "The Wonder List" tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern and pacific here on CNN.

Still ahead, we are standing by for the president at the White House. Will he offer some clarity after standing with military leaders and hinting about the calm before the storm? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)