tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN July 18, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
hello again, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the death toll increasing in the chattanooga shooting rampage. randall smith, a logistics specialist with the u.s. navy succumbed to his injuries this morning. he becomes the fifth fatality, along with four u.s. marines. lance corporal squire wells, sergeant thomas sullivan staff sergeant david wyatt, and sergeant carson holmquist. earlier, i spoke to the mayor of chattanooga about how his town is coping with this tragedy. >> i think that we're putting back the pieces of our broken hearts. that's something that we can only do together. last night, we had a vigil for the community. we had a huge turnout. most everybody involved in public service, people from throughout our community, we came together and started the healing process. >> and then i understand you did
spend some time with the family members of the sailor randall smith, who has since passed. what was that time like with the family at the hospital? >> well when i went to the hospital, there were numerous people there who were injured. got to talk to some of them. in deference to their privacy, i would say that nothing has been officially confirmed with that family, and they're in our hearts and prayers today. >> all right, let's check in with cnn's boris sanchez in chattanooga. tell us more about the community and how so many people continue to stream right behind me to lay flowers mementos notes. >> reporter: there's been a huge outpouring of support. when we arrived, there were only about a dozen flags here. now there are hundreds upon hundreds, hundreds of people coming out to show support, leaving notes of kindness and condolence to the families of those killed. meantime, steps being taken
across the country to arm the men and women who work at these recruitment centers. the governors of arkansas louisiana, and now texas moving to allow those men and women to carry arms to defend them in case of another attack. we're also hearing of the investigation into the shooter is moving forward. we're learning more about the sailor who was shot on thursday and passed away last night. randall smith. his step-grandmother telling cnn the whole family is still in shock over what happened. >> because he was never, you know shipped over there anywhere where the fighting and all that was at. you think, it's not going to happen to your family. but by god, it can. it can happen anywhere. >> reporter: so difficult to hear her speak out like that. we've also seen a large presence of veterans here at this memorial. i spoke to one this morning who said the shooter is a coward and caught heroes off guard.
>> it's like he stabbed me in the heart. it still hurts. it hurts bad. i've lost people to different wars. and it's all i can think about is what happened to them. why they died. why we have our freedoms. and these boys died at the same time. >> those sentiments being echoed by a lot of people i've spoken to. they say they're accustomed to hearing about terrorist attacks and large cityies in places overseas, not a quiet community like this. they're shaken that something like this happened in their own backyard. a mix of pride and pain here fredricka. >> indeed. all right. thank you so much. we're now seeing states take action to beef up security at recruitment offices. you heard part of what boris was saying. the governor of texas saying he will authorize the army of
national guard% personnel in military officials. rick scott relocating guardsmen at the state's six store front recruitment offices to the nearest florida national guard armory. i spoke to the governor last hour. >> we can be armed at our armories and we will be armed at our armories. so we will not reopen our store fronts until we are very comfortable that they're safe. but at our armories all of our qualified guardsmen are going to be provided arms. for after hours, we're going to the ones that don't have concealed weapon permits. we're going to accelerate their ability to get a concealed weapon permit for personal protection when they're not on duty. but we're going to do -- we're going to make sure that in florida, our national guardsmen are safe. >> in oklahoma governor mary
fallon gave an order throughout the state. joining me right now, jonathan gilliam juliette kayyem and a fellow at the institute for social policy and understanding. good to see all of you. >> good to be here. >> jonathan, i wonder if i can get your reaction first. i spoke with juliette earlier on the florida governor's executive order. in your view, relocating all national guardsmen to the national army and people who are working the recruitment centers to be relocated to the national guard armory. what's your reaction to that? >> i think it's a great idea. i think it's absolutely horrific that it had to -- this incident had to happen in order for that to occur. look this is the united states defense department that overwatches all these things.
we plan -- i'm a veteran. we plan. we do standard operating procedures. we have war plans. we can take our soldiers and entire war plan and go over and fight an enemy. but we can't harden our soft targets here our government soft targets? we have to wait for five people now to be killed? that's absolutely ridiculous. and the other thing that i think is ridiculous even though these politicians are jumping onboard now and doing a good job of that now, they should be ashamed of themselves that they had to wait this long. especially in the light of all these threats coming out. i don't need to wait and neither do these politicians for the terrorists to make a threat. i already know what a soft target is. come up with ways to fix these and mitigate them way before the attack happens. and we won't have this. we'll have a dead terrorist and that's it.
>> do you believe his actions were undetectable or were there some flags? >> in this case it doesn't look like any sirens going off. obviously the investigation is going to take longer. i don't think it would trigger necessarily any warning bells. a lot of them travel to jordan whether they're arab or muslim. a place like jordan is an ally in the war on terror. so it's not like it's yemen. going to yemen would trigger some flags. so it is very likely that this investigation may be limited for his own radicalization as well as how he got the weapons. as i was saying before how horrific this attack was. they were not sophisticated. it was a guy buying a lot of weapons and killed our military
when they were not ready, not able to respond. and so it wasn't sophisticated in the sense of 9/11 or even the boston marathon bombings. >> so is this leaving you with a feeling that this is -- these are the hallmarks of today's terrorism, that it might involve a lone wolf, it may involve someone who is so unsuspecting it may involve someone who has left no trail and it leaves someone trying to figure out how could this have been avoided and how do you better protect soft targets or any or all places now in the united states? >> sure. it's a paradoxical result of american-muslim communities, organizations institutions condemning extremelyism condemning extremism. one of the unfortunate consequences of that zero tolerance policy has been that vulnerable young folks, usually young men who are confused or
grappling with hard questions about their identity or politics, don't have a place to talk to people they can trust. instead they go online. we've seen this not just with radical muslims but the internet becomes a surrogate authority and they find red call websites and radical materials that push them in that direction. we don't know the details with mohammad youssuf abdulazeez, but it looks very possible that that's what happened there. >> it looks like something happened in between that yearbook joke -- some people interpret it as a little tongue-in-cheek about his comment right there. you know my name causes national security alerts. but then fast forward. clearly, there was something that happened in his life to make him want to unload on u.s. military personnel in particular.
>> that quote, i bought a t-shirt with that same quote on it. and what makes me reflect on this is how did we go in such different directions? i work on countering radical extremism. and from what we know so far, he appears to have been radicalized in some way, shape, or form. how do you deflect them? how do you stop them? they're being increasingly reticent about expressing their views because they know that raises red flags. they know they can't talk about this in mosques because there's no tolerance. it becomes even harder for them to find them before they try to do something. >> it sounded like you wanted to interject on something. >> i think that's right. i think this idea that there's this stereotypical radicalization process of which we can mend it's just not true.
there's too much going on in both the social media spaces, but obviously within disenfranchised members of different communities. some of these guys are converts. some are very religious. others later in life started going to mosques. but there's no typical person. people in law enforcement talk a lot about there's only so much law enforcement can do. there's only so much surveillance. eventually it's going to take communities, family members and others to begin to try to give space for a dialogue. there's not enough surveillance to cover what we need to find. >> all right. we're going to have to leave it right there. juliette kayyem thanks to all of you, appreciate it. still ahead, how personal drones affected the firefighting effort at a massive wildfire in california. we'll talk about that next.
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at progressive.com. parts of a scorched interstate are reopening today in california. the flame jumped interstate 15 in san bernardino county and sent terrified drivers running from their cars and then up a hill to safety. 20 cars and two semi trucks were destroyed and dozens more damaged. firefighters also had a hard time fighting the fire because five personal drones were flying in the area for 25 minutes. the fire department sent out this tweet telling people to stop. cnn's dan simon is covering the fire for us from san francisco. how are they doing now? >> reporter: they're making good progress. it's only 5% contained, but they're not dancing like yesterday. truth be told, i think we'll be seeing more situations like this
as the price of these drones continues the drop. they're now cheaper than iphones in most case and they're fun to fly, but they can be a great hindrance to firefighting efforts. in this situation yesterday, you had people flying these drones at least five of them and for a good 15 to 20 minutes or more the helicopters could not douse those cars with water because you had a situation where the helicopter, you know, could collide with one of these drones and that could be a real tragedy. so the message out today is please do not fly these drones, they're really going to have to embark on a public education campaign, because it can be very very dangerous. >> right. all right. thanks so much dan simon. appreciate that. still ahead, donald trump goes after u.s. senator john mccain questioning his status as a war hero. but now trump is already trying to change his tune. what's he saying now? next.
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and sleep train's 100-day low price guarantee. sleep train's interest free for 3 event is ending soon. ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ oh boy. donald trump doing it again. stirring up major controversy. this time with remarks questioning u.s. senator john mccain's record as a war hero. listen. >> he's not a war hero. >> he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people that weren't captured, okay? you don't believe in that?
he's a war hero because he was captured. okay? and i believe perhaps he's a war hero but right now, he said some very bad things about a lot of people. so what i said is john mccain, i disagree with him that these people aren't crazy, and i speak the truth, he graduated last in his class at annapolis. so i said nobody knows that -- i said he graduated last or second to last. he graduated last in his class at annapolis. and he was upset. i said, what for telling the truth? you're not supposed to say that somebody graduated last or second-to-last in their class. because you're supposed to be very nice. folks i want to make america great again. we don't want to listen to his stuff with being politically correct. >> mark preston was there. he's live right now. ames iowa. oh boy, mark. what this is
>> no doubt. for that moment in time where donald trump was aiming all his fire at senator john mccain, it is now boomeranging back on him at this point. also from the democratic party. donald trump has tried to address those remarks in several different ways. he's put a statement out. he's actually put a note out on twitter. he also had to say this on camera after he left the stage. >> john mccain has not done enough for the veterans in this country. and when john mccain called 15,000 people to talk about illegal immigration, he calls them a bunch of crazies, he's doing a great disservice to this
country. >> if a person is captured they're a hero unless they're a traitor like bergdahl. he was captured he's no hero. but you have to do other things also. i don't like the job that john mccain is doing in the senate. because he's not taking care of our veterans. >> now, fred you have the back story now with john mccain and donald trump are in a little bit of a war. john mccain has not said flattering things about donald trump. and we have vice versa donald trump saying some pretty tough things about john mccain. now, donald trump trying to claen it up clean it up, but there's no doubt that this is overshadowing donald trump's run for the president. >> let's show the tweet from donald trump saying captured or not, all our soldiers are heroes. then there is a reaction coming from the campaign trail. we know that former texas
governor rick perry has already released a statement calling for trump to withdraw from the race saying this "his attack on veterans makes him unfit to be commander in chief of the u.s. armed forces and he should immediately withdraw from the race for president." also apparently, it is really lighting up social media. there are people of all walks who are saying things. penn gillette saying this. now trump is attacking war heroes? he should have stuck with attacking trash like me. at least that's safe. and louisiana governor bobby jindal saying this. after donald trump spent six years in a p.o.w. camp he can weigh in on john mccain's service. senator claire mccaskill saying this. will the rnc speak out about trump's disgusting slam against p.o.w.'s? senator lindsey graham is also saying something. let me see that. if there was ever any doubt that donald trump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid
statement should end all doubt. it wasn't that long ago that donald trump said i'm going to win this race. there was a feeling that he was in it to win it. now it just seems like he's in it to lose. there's some other reason why he's in it with remarks like this and reaction like this. >> fred no doubt. literally, he walked off the stage saying he was going to be the next president of the united states. he feels like he did very well here in iowa. i have to tell you, yng he did very well. just to clear something up as well. claire mccaskill the democratic senator, the republican national committee has weighed in on this controversy a short time after donald trump making those comments. the rnc calling john mccain a hero period. so the rnc weighing in. the republican party now standing behind senator john mccain. i have to tell you as well you have to question who is really the big winner in all of this. it might very well be jeb bush
because jeb bush has been the one who's been this campaign. now it seems like that fire is being directed right at donald trump. >> earlier you were talking about him being conspicuously absent and i'm sure he's really glad about not being there about this time. rnc saying john mccain indeed a hero. does this send a real indicator to the rnc saying donald trump, you may have gone too far? >> the rnc can't do that and won't do that because they don't feel it's their place to tell a candidate to get in the race or get out of a race. but just them weighing in so quickly does say something. right now it is july of 2015. it is not february of 2016 when this race really will matter. >> incredible sequence of
events. mark preston, thanks so much. coming up a friend of mohammad youssuf abdulazeez tells cnn the accused -- the chattanooga gunman changed when he returned from the middle east. so just who is abdulazeez? at to do when you're stranded in a city and you need a last minute hotel? a priceline tonight only deal! stuck out on the range? nowhere to rest your beard? choose from thousands of hand-picked hotel deals at the very last minute. only on your phone. only from priceline. milk has 8 grams of high-quality protein. which could be the difference between just living life. and milking it. start every day with the power of protein and milk life.
hello, and thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the people of chattanooga, servicemen and the family of a navy seal are all mourning the loss of one of their own. randall smith a logistics specialist with the u.s. navy passed away from injuries he sustained during the shooting rampage in chattanooga, tennessee. he is the fifth victim of the shooting. his death was confirmed by his step-grandmother. smith was shot three times in the attack at the navy operational support center and in the wake of the tennessee
killings that began with a drive-by shooting at a recruiting center near a civilian store front, texas now will be arming national guard personnel across the state. florida is locating store front facilities to national guard armories. four u.s. marines were also shot in tennessee in this week's attack. lance corporal squire wells, gunnery sergeant thomas sullivan, staff sergeant david wyatt and sergeant carson holmquist. there are more questions than answers at the moment. investigators are looking for a motive that could have been sparked during a trip mohammad youssuf abdulazeez took to the middle east. a friend of abdulazeez tells cnn that he was certain "something happened over there and wasn't the same when he came back to the u.s.." abdulazeez's boxing friend spencer manning tells cnn's investigation unit that he spoke briefly with abdulazeez at a fast-food restaurant just two
weeks ago. >> there was absolutely no red flags. i wish i could give you a better answer. no red flags at all. just a normal guy. >> other coaches and friends of abdulazeez say they too are baffled how the man they described as kind became a killer. federal authorities are carefully analyzing an online blog that is believed to be linked to the chattanooga shooter and may hold some clues about his motivation. joining me right now to discuss is the founder and president of the american islamic forum for democracy and licensed psychologist eric fisher. good to see both of you. one post complaining about life on earth and another urges people to follow his or theic islamic figures. what does this mean to you? >> i think the most important part is the part that he talked
about wanting to establish islam on earth. basically it's a supremacist type mantra. at what point are we going to abandon this sort of symptomimymptomsymptomatic following of violent extremism. and begin to look at ideology. his blog clearly shows a supremacist mindset. if our homeland security was looking at dominant establishment of the islamic state just like the iranians or saudis, this doctrine is major. in the cold war, we had specialists looking at communism and soviet spremsy. . today we can't even talk about it because we're so focused about that last step. he had some violent streaks with mma and his dui. but the bottom line is he was part of islamic extremism. he was not omnly a terrorist, but was part of a global war. until we engage in this we're
going to continue this whack a mole program. >> how do you analyze, especially when you hear from friends who say they didn't notice anything. this radicalization. this might be an example and there really are no outward changes. >> i think we have to really make it clear that this subject is about radicalization. and we have to see what happened psychologically. if this history is true that he grew up in an abusive family and he witnessed abuse and/or was abused and learned to keep that secret, that is a key factor in how he could live an ideal self where the outside world only saw what they were supposed to see and have a whole different real and feel self-internally about how he really felt about the world. that allows somebody to be able to put on their chameleon outfit and play different roles in different situations. and because he might not have had an outlet because it was so
potentially forbidden to talk about how you really felt in the outside world, it allowed for the whole inner world to bubble up and develop and his hatred to be hidden. >> i see you nodding on that, but i also believed to be written by abdulazeez saying this. we have a certain understanding of islam, and keep a tunnel vision of what we think islam is. what we know is islam is everything is not and we don't have appreciation for other points of view and accept the fact that we may be missing some important parts of the religion. >> if we're going to engang muzge muslims we need to engage mu muslims that think we need to reform. most muslims -- we just finished our holy month of atonement and we're celebrating our holidays. the reason he acted out on the last day of ramadan is he
engaged in a supremacist mantra that america was anti-islam that he wanted to establish the islamic state. and he called the prophet not only a spiritual leader, but a political one. he said the friends of the prophetprof prophet had to act and act now. he said don't let the scholars misguide you. so we need to learn from this. that it's not just about violence. it's about the pool, the mantra the global movement that includes hundreds of millions be it the brotherhood, the taliban, or isis that fuel this mantra that they want to establish islamic states around the world. and that's what we can learn from his blog. >> and if you think about some common denominators whether it's the tsarnaev brothers whether it's this young man, the notion that many of these young men who have been recruited or radicalized whatever the language is that you want to choose, we're talking about early 20s as well. that is one common denominator that has been cited in terms of is this a point in which there is a frustration of you know
maybe people didn't necessarily see anything while they were in their high school years, but now they're out in the real world, so to speak, and are exhibiting these frustrations or internalizing these frustrations in a very different way. >> well it's kind of like a seed that's planted early on. and, you know, when we get used to certain things in our culture, we start to lose our moral compass in ways. and i think we have to look at here the importance that -- a lot of -- what happened to me with him is he started to lose his way. he was losing his identity. he couldn't seem to hold a job or find a job in his field that he wanted to be in. he then had his drug issue, his dui arrest which if you look at osama bin laden and many of his colleagues, they lived a life of excess in the western culture, and they then blamed the western culture for them losing their pathway. >> right. you heard that with those who flew the planes in 9/11. >> exactly. he seemed to do the same thing. he started to blame the culture for his own inner struggles.
i say the outside world is a reflection for something you have to learn within yourself. it's not about blaming the world for our issues in life. it's about for us to see the pathway. what bothers me is that here we have an institution in religion that's supposed to come from a place of unconditional love that becomes shrouded in so much hate. >> his point is that it didn't come from within himself, though. he hopped on a train of islamic supremesy.e supremicism. >> all right, thanks so both of you. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back.
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martin dempsey made an unannounced visit to baghdad today. he held a question and answer period with the troops addressing their concerns about boots on the ground and the rise of isis. the trip, coming on the heels of one of the single deadliest attacks claimed by isis in iraq at least 120 people killed in the suicide car bombing. sunlen syria faterfaty joins us from the military. >> reporter: chairman dempsey spoke at length to the troops and he spoke about the threat in the ongoing threat against isis. and specifically he really focused on the operation to retake it. he did seem pleased when he spoke about the pace they're making. he said the objective is to deny isis the ability to either
withdraw or reinforce. he asked his commanders whether they needed additional forces or advisers on the ground with the iraqi forces and the answer was no. >> defense secretary ash carter heading to the middle east tomorrow. he'll travel to israel saudi arabia and jordan. what is it he's hoping to accomplish? >> reporter: they're dispatching the secretary of defense to the region, and his first job will be in israel. we've heard from the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu over the last week since this deal was announced. he called the deal a stunning historic mistake. certainly part of ash carter's visit will be meant to reassure him. hear out the prime minister.
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in exactly one week first lady michelle obama will kick off the 2015 special olympics world games in los angeles. and organizers have tapped a grammy award-winning singer songwriter to perform the olympic theme song "reach up l.a." which, of course she co-wrote. that sounds so good. of course you'll remember her for her duet with michael jackson "i just can't stop loving you." garrett also co-wrote jackson's hit "man in the mirror." isn't that great?
incredible music. i have been a fan for years. joining us from los angeles. >> thank you so much. and me too you. >> fantastic. you have incredible staying power. you've just been and done so much in the music industry. but what is different about this? being part of the special olympics, quite extraordinary. >> it is. it's my second opportunity to co-write the theme song for the opening ceremony. and the theme song "reach out l.a." is conceived by the davis ellen advertising agency whose client toyota is an official sponsor of the special olympics and i was invited to write the lyric and the melody with my co-writers and producers from the davis ellen agency. >> wow, so what do you think of when you're trying to come up with this material? what are you envisioning? i mean this is a great up beat kind of tune of course. it makes you excited about l.a.
who isn't? but what is it that you envision, you know when you put those -- you know the pen to paper and the thoughts to words, all that good stuff? >> well, what i think about is the subject. the subject in this piece are the special olympians. they are so amazing. the energy that think bring to this whole ceremony is just awesome. and the work that they had to do to get to where they are is so much -- it's magnified by the fact that they are often plagued with emotional and physical disabilities. so the fact that they persevere and power through and are champions, it just is so heartwarming. and i was just -- all i had to do was just convey that in a melody and a lyric and it was really -- when you think about the olympians, it's really easy. >> oh yeah. they are so inspiring. that really speaks to the pace
of this music. it's up beat. it's exciting. it just makes you envision reaching. so you have worked with so many incredible artists. michael jackson. say no more. madonna. quincy jones. i know when i hear a michael jackson song i'm just kind of like aw michael. what do you think of given your very close relationship with him with all of this music? what do you think of when you hear his music? what kind of memories come about for you? >> oh here we go. there's not a day that goes by -- even when i'm not trying to think about him. i could pull up next to somebody in the car and the window's down and he's on the radio. i can walk into a department store. he's in the air. i can walk into an elevator. he is omnipotent. he's everywhere. and i don't even want to think about him sometimes. he's always present in my life. so i'm happy to have that memory with him. i was really lucky to spend the year and a half that i spent with him on the "dangerous"
tour. i'm just proud to be associated with him in any way really. >> and quincy jones, i had the honor of interviewing him a couple of years ago. he too is like bigger than life when you hear music produced by him. much of michael jackson's music produced by him, but other artists, too. what do you think of? where is he in your memory bank? >> quincy is my mentor. he's the one that discovered me. he's the one that introduced me to mr. jackson. he's the one that introduced my song to michael. so i am forever indebted to quincy jones. and he's the guy that i co-wrote these special olympics songs for the shanghai olympics in 2007. >> you are just nonstop! >> i'll stop when i die. >> so what is next? what's on the horizon? >> i'm writing an autobiography. i'm making an album that is to coincide with the book that i'm
writing. and other than the book and this special olympics project, i am so stoked to meet flotus. >> yes, you are. >> the first lady of the united states. i can't wait. >> i'm sure she is really excited to meet you, too. because you're an incredible american talent. >> oh come on you know it. you're amazing. thank you so much. great seeing you. all the best. >> thanks for having me. >> awesome. >> appreciate it. >> no problem. in the next hour donald trump. yes. he'll be talked about some more. because he just went after u.s. senator john mccain. >> he's a war hero. >> he's not a war hero. >> he's a war hero. >> he's a war hero since he was captured. >> is he backtracking now? we'll take a look. ♪ irresistible moments deserve irresistibles treats. new from meow mix with real salmon
officials say boston marathon bomber dzhokhar tsarnaev has been moved into the super max, the nation's most secure federal prison. tsarnaev was being held in florence at a separate prison in colorado. a federal jury sentenced tsarnaev to death in may for his involvement in the 2013 attack. banks in greece will reopen on monday after being closed three weeks during the financial
crisis. a deal was reached this week to give greece nearly $100 billion. right now, greece owes more than $300 billion to its creditors. with so much more straight ahead i'm fredricka whitfield. thanks for hanging out with me today. anna cabrera is up next. you are in the cnn newsroom. thanks for joining us. i'm anna cabrera in for poppy harlow. we begin this hour with donald trump. he is at the center of yet another controversy. this time going after senator john mccain over his record as a war hero. and the moment that's under fire came during an appearance at the family leadership summit in iowa. watch. >> he's not a war hero. >> he's a war hero. >> he's not a war hero.