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Trump to Meet with Tillerson Amid "Moron" Claims; Killer Shot Guard 6 Minutes Before Firing on Concertgoers; Trump: ESPM Ratings "Tanked" Because of Jemele Hill." Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired October 10, 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: Joining me, CNN's Jim Sciutto, with more details on this.
Jim, there's been so much speculation that Tillerson's days are numbered. What are you hearing right now?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Listen, if you look at recent history in the Trump administration, there's been a lot of it because there have been a lot of departures. When disagreements with senior administration officials become public or accusations of backbiting, sniping, back stabbing, when they become public, that person tends not to last long. Look at Sean Spicer. Look at Reince Priebus. And certainly, with Tillerson, a lot of these disagreements, not just the comment allegedly calling the president a moron, but disagreements on issues of policy, how to respond to North Korea, et cetera, for instance, the focus on diplomacy. So those things, if we look at past experience, don't bode well for the current secretary of state.
I had the opportunity yesterday to ask former DNI, James Clapper, what his sense was. This is someone who served multiple administrations, Democrat and Republican, at multiple levels. Here's what he had to say. And I have to say, it was not a sanguine prediction from Mr. Clapper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I would hope he would. But I think it's going to be increasingly difficult for him to with the president kind of undercutting what he's trying to do. I think Secretary Tillerson has the right instincts about, particularly, with respect to, say, North Korea, that exploring what the potential paths are diplomatically, and I think that's the only way ahead. So, to me, Secretary Tillerson is a voice of reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Voice of reason there. Certainly, an endorsement from DNI Clapper. And you hear that from others, both currently serving and the past administration. But again, as Director Clapper said there, when those disagreements become public, it's difficult to see how the two can live in the same administration, so to speak.
BOLDUAN: Yes, so to speak, absolutely. They got to be on the same page and they're not in the same book.
Jim, great to see you. Thank you so much.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Joining me to discuss this further, political scientist and head of the Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer. And CNN global affairs analyst, Tony Blinken. He also served as deputy secretary of state under President Obama.
Great to see both of you.
IAN BREMMER, POLITICAL SCIENTIST & PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, EURASIA GROUP: Yes?
BOLDUAN: -- what do you think? You heard from DNI Clapper there. A lot of folks think his days are numbered. Do you think he should -- Tillerson should stick around as long as he can? Do you think he can be effective now that the president, in an interview, is questioning his I.Q.?
BREMMER: No. But I don't think he was effective before then. In that sense, it's different from our chief of staff, very different from secretary of defense. I think that Tillerson's made his name most on saying he was going to cut the diplomatic corps, reduce the budget. That was his highest priority. Congress didn't let him do it. Even if that is what you wanted to have done, he wasn't effective in executing it.
Mattis, secretary of defense, is revered in the Pentagon and by the armed services. Tillerson is not. And while I think very highly of Tillerson, I've known him for a long time, I don't think he's effective at all in this administration. Respectfully, I don't consider him to be one of the adults that's keeping the United States from crisis or World War III. There are others who could be more effective in this job. And I think Tillerson should go.
BOLDUAN: The timing -- I guess the time of it is one question I have for you, Tony. What is more troubling, a secretary of state that doesn't have the confidence or isn't effective because he doesn't have the confidence of the president, or a vacancy right now?
TONY BLINKEN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Kate, I think there's a larger problem here and it goes beyond Secretary Tillerson. There's been some speculation that the president has been engaged in an elaborate good cop/bad cop routine. And I think what we're seeing with the president is a rogue cop. The administration speaks with one voice, except for the president, on issue after issue. Whether it's North Korea, where virtually everyone, including Tillerson, has tried to get them to calm the rhetoric, he's ratcheted it up. On Iran, stay in the deal, the president wants to pull out. On the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Tillerson and others are trying to calm it, the president is adding fuel to the fire. Of course, on Russia, the president is the only one in the administration who denies that the Russians were trying to influence and affect our election. So this -- even whether Tillerson stays or goes, there's a larger problem, which is the disconnect between the president and virtually everyone on his team.
BREMMER: I think that's right. But if I was going to disagree with Liddle Tony on one point here --
BREMMER: He's bigger than I am. I can say that. Like the Corker/Trump dynamic. I'm not sure if he's a rogue cop or out there saying stuff that isn't actually policy. Tony is completely right that Trump has been saying lots of things. But if you look at what policy has actually been so far --
BOLDUAN: But who is to believe -- if you're an ally, in any sense, blowing up right now -
BOLDUAN: -- and you spoke to many of them --
BREMMER: Yes. I do.
BOLDUAN: -- who do you believe?
[11:35:57] BREMMER: They were very worried six months ago. Now, they increasingly -- and I saw so many when they were here for the United Nations' General Assembly meeting months ago. They're all saying, look, we don't pay attention to the tweets, the media does, but we recognize that that's not where policy is going. Now, if Mattis were suddenly gone, I mean, if suddenly we actually saw policy. So you think about Syria, you think about Afghanistan, there was a lot of talk of America First, we're not going to do this stuff. Turns out, we're even expanding. And it looks kind of like Hillary Clinton's policy would have been. NATO, obsolete. Actually, kind of sticking with NATO. North Korea, going to bomb them. Actually, no, we're leading the U.S. multilateral process.
BOLDUAN: U.N. --
BREMMER: With the U.N.
BREMMER: So I think Tony is completely right that there is an enormous difference between what Trump is saying, with what the Americans are doing, everyone else in this administration. But I would suggest so far on most foreign policy and national security issues, Trump is more to be seen than believed.
BOLDUAN: More to be seen than believed.
BREMMER: That's right.
That's what you're hearing from allies.
BREMMER: So far.
BOLDUAN: Tony, another meeting happening today, which I'm fascinated, which we could be there for. The president's meeting with Henry Kissinger. Any moment now, hopefully, we will get video of that. Could be the first time we could hear from the president since a multitude of his feuds have erupted. What do you think the advice is to the president on his foreign policy tweets, like those against North Korea?
BLINKEN: I would love to be able to borrow into Secretary Kissinger's mind to see what he really thinks. And I would hope the president doesn't challenge him to an I.Q. test. That probably wouldn't end up very well.
Look, I hope Secretary Kissinger is counseling the president on ratcheting down the rhetoric with Kim Jong-Un. Here's the problem. I think Ian is right that a lot of people are discounting what the president is tweeting. I worry Kim Jong-Un will take it seriously. And in particular, there really is a danger that he bombasts us into some kind of conflicts because Kim could misinterpret what the president is saying in terms of the threats he's issuing, on an almost daily basis, to sort of feed his own paranoia that we're out to change the regime. I hope Secretary Kissinger counsels him on some restraint in the way he talks about these problems, and then, in trying to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with it. That's exactly what we need now.
BOLDUAN: But the comprehensive strategy, the tweets, I know you don't believe him, but Trump, in this new interview, when he asked about when he said Tillerson was wasting his time, asked if he was undermining, and he said he was wasting his time, I'm not undermining him, I'm strengthening authority.
BREMMER: Tillerson was on the way back from China, trying to get more engagement with the Chinese when Trump said that. It undermines Tillerson's relevance, especially when the Chinese don't know, are they are supposed to be talking to Jared, who had been setting up the Xi Jinping Mar-a-Lago meeting.
BREMMER: Or was it somebody else. Kissinger himself was undermined in China. He had -- when Trump first won, he was talking to Jared, he talking to Trump. He then goes to China to let the Chinese government know. And Kissinger's revered in China. BOLDUAN: Yes, of course.
BREMMER: Says, I'm the guy, I know this, everything is OK, meets with Xi Jinping. The next day is when Trump got that phone call with the Taiwanese president. Kissinger was incensed. He was undermined. He came back. But ultimately, Trump is still the president. Kissinger is going and talking to him.
BOLDUAN: Let's see what comes out of that meeting. We'll stand by for that.
Ian, Tony, both of you, liddle and big, great to see you. Thank you. Next time, put you around the same table and then you can really get in a fight.
Coming up for us, stunning new details that we are just getting in about the Las Vegas massacre. Police now say that the shooter attacked a security guard minutes before he turned his fire on the crowd below. This is a change in the timeline than what police originally thought. What does this change about the investigation? We will go live to Las Vegas. We will be right back.
[11:43:02] BOLDUAN: A new timeline, escape plan, new interviews with investigators, just some of the new details coming out overnight about the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Police now say that the gunman actually shot the security guard a full six minutes before beginning his attack on concertgoers far below the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay last weekend, of course. That is different from what investigators actually first thought about the timeline. What does this now mean for the investigation?
Let's go over to Scott McLean. who joins me now from Las Vegas.
Scott, what is this new timeline and what does it mean?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate. Well, the Clark County sheriff here says this is a minute change to the timeline, but it raises a pretty significant question, which is, why did the suspect stop firing down at those concertgoers? We know that it wasn't because of police, because they didn't arrive on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel where he was until two minutes after he stopped firing. We also know now, based on this new timeline, that it wasn't the security guard that made him stop either.
Originally, the theory was that Jesus Campos, the security guard, arrived on the 32nd floor and was shot by the suspect, but that his mere presence there distracted the shooter and stopped him from shooting down on the concertgoers. That is no longer true, though, because, as you pointed out, he was actually shot by the suspect, engaged by the suspect, a clear six minutes before that shooting actually started in the first place.
So it is still true that he went up to the 32nd floor because of an alarm set off by an open door. It still may also be true that he gave police information on where exactly the suspect's room was. But that does not answer the question as to why the suspect stopped shooting in the first place -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Fascinating stuff.
Scott, I appreciate it. Thank you for the update.
With me to discuss what it means, CNN law enforcement analyst, Art Roderick, former assistance director of the U.S. Marshall Service.
Art, what Scott was laying out there for us, he shot -- he shot the security guard before he started firing. What do you -- what does that change here?
[11:45:08] ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALAYST: You know, I know the sheriff said it's a minute change in the timeline, but the reality of it is it's a change in response from law enforcement, from the initial response. Because here you have an individual, he gets shot, the security guard gets shot, he calls it in, and you think you have a confined area where a shooting has occurred, so that changes response from law enforcement. You're still going to get a pretty good response, but it's not going to be the response that you would get with an individual shooting into crowd of concertgoers. It does -- it does mess up the timeline quite a bit. So now I think what the sheriff has to do is come back and account for what was occurring in that five-minute time frame. We've heard he was possibly drilling into the wall. The security guard reported hearing drilling. I think -- over the weekend, I listened to some interviews from some of the SWAT team members that got in. They said he was trying to brace the door. So I mean, there's still a lot of questions to be answered. And he really hasn't come up with any real evidence as to what the escape plan was and how he knew there was an escape plan.
BOLDUAN: There's that. And also now a question of what made him stop shooting, right? Because there's so many magazines, so many guns in the room. But now we know it definitely was not the security guard that stopped him from shooting in the crowd after, I believe, again, it was 11 minutes he was opening fire. How important is that answer? What made him stop shooting?
RODERICK: We don't even know if he had broken the windows at that point in time because he had to smash through the window first with a sledgehammer in order to get a field of fire. We don't know if he was trying to do that in the interim, was trying to re-brace the door. I mean, the sheriff has to come back and account for those five minutes, what occurred between the time that Campos was shot and the time that he started shooting into the crowd. And then you have to add on --
BOLDUAN: Then you add in the time he was shooting in the crowd and what made him stop shooting, and what eventually made him stop shooting, because that initially was thought that was the security guard.
RODERICK: Right. BOLDUAN: It's unknown.
RODERICK: And we don't know. And we don't know if his weapons jammed. He had some jammed weapons in the room.
RODERICK: He might have been moving back and forth to each window which would have taken a little bit of time. I'm sure he had weapons stashed at each window, that he would run from this window to that window and start firing.
BOLDUAN: Art, you mentioned the escape plan. The sheriff went into detail of what leads him to believe that there was a real escape plan --
BOLDUAN: -- in place. Are you skeptical of that?
RODERICK: I am. Because if he's bracing that door like the SWAT team members have said, who actually got into the room first, then how was he going to get out? It seems like he might have thought he might have got away, and had plan B, C, or D, but whether he really knew he was going to be able to get away or not, I just don't think so. I think he had a plan to possibly get away, knowing that the probability of him actually getting out of that room was probably zero.
BOLDUAN: Probably zero. We see how it all now ended. Of course, still the question that doesn't seem like we get closer to the question of why, what led to all of this. That's still remains out there as well.
Art, great to see you. Thank you so much.
BOLDUAN: Any moment for us, we'll be heading back to washington. We're going to hear from President Trump as meets with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. This is the first time the president speaks to cameras since he launched into his war of words with Republican Senator Bob Corker. What is the president speaking about with the former secretary of state? What are his words now for Republican Senator Bob Corker? And also, what does he have to say about his I.Q. test and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Stay with us.
[11:52:48] BOLDUAN: We are waiting right now to hear from President Trump, meeting in the Oval Office with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. But also, this will be the first time the president will be speaking to cameras since his war of words erupted with Republican Senator Bob Corker. "Adult daycare" coming from Corker and now "Liddle Bob Corker" coming from President Trump. That's not all the president is doing this morning. He is still going
after the NFL on Twitter also. "Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our anthem, flag and country? Change tax laws"
Then the president got more personal, attacking ESPN host, Jemele Hill. This comes after ESPN suspended Hill for tweets calling for -- her tweet -- on a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys and their sponsors and advertisers after owner, Jerry Jones, reportedly said, if folks kneel, they will be benched.
I want to bring in CNN senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, host of "RELIABLE SOURCES."
Great to see you, Brian.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: You, too.
BOLDUAN: I guess, where are things with this right now, I guess, is where we can start.
STELTER: Trump versus the NFL, week three. This is almost like a parallel to the actual NFL season. And the NFL just responded to the president, saying, we don't have a tax-exempt status. We don't get big tax breaks the way you are claiming. The league gave that out, for the most part, in 2015. It was always paying taxes on the revenue. But Joe Lockhart, NFL spokesman, coming out this morning, saying, the idea that we receive a tax break is not true.
On the facts there, the NFL challenging the president, as we head into another week of NFL games.
BOLDUAN: It seems that the president and now the vice president want to stay on this. This started once again with the vice president over the weekend leaving the Colts game because the 49ers were kneeling. This had kind of gone away.
STELTER: It was fading away again. That's why -- in fact, remember, only nine players were kneeling when President Trump brought this issue up a month ago, and then we saw coordinated protests by many NFL players, really anti-Trump protests. Again, then it started to fade away as well. The NFL does not want this to be a big issue on the table. But Pence brought it up over the weekend. And President Trump now going after ESPN and Jemele Hill again. Every time you see him criticizing either an athlete or, in this case, a prominent African- American host on ESPN, there is a racial component to this story. At least, that's how a lot of people perceive it. We've seen lot of Hill's colleagues standing up for her, questioning the suspension, and saying, why is it that Jemele Hill violates the social media policy -- which is true, she did -- why is it that policy is so important to ESPN, but the leader of the free world is the most impulsive tweeter of all? It's a strange situation.
[11:55:27] BOLDUAN: There is juxtaposition there.
BOLDUAN: Let's see what happens next. The president seems to not want to give it up at all.
STELTER: He is relishing these fights and Jemele Hill's suspension gave him another chance to --
BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Brian. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, we will keep an eye to the White House where the president is meeting right now with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. New tape will be coming in soon. We will bring that to you.