tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN July 24, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PDT
good morning, i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me. we begin with breaking news. tragic news. new details in just the past few minutes about the shooting rampage inside a a lemieux vee meter. police identified the gunman. here's the police chief. >> the shooter is john russell houser. he's a white male 59 years of
age. he previously resided in the state of alabama. he's kind of a drifter. he's been in lafayette since early july as far as we can tell. >> we have also learned more about the victims. ed joins us live with that side of the story. >> reporter: good morning, carol. disturbing details in this latest briefing from authorities here in lafayette as they describe as you heard the name of the gunman 59-year-old described as a drifter from alabama. . they also say they found at a nearby motel he ae arrived here in the lafayette area less than a month ago and found wigs and disguises in his hotel room. investigators here in lafayette have been working throughout the night fanned out across the city not only working at the theater in processing the crime scene here but also going to that motel and speaking and looking through the room and speaking to
the people who were in that area to try to piece together a motive in all of this. . but authorities do say that they believe that john russell houser came here with the intention of trying to get away alive, but it was two officers that busted into the theater there and right as they did that they say houser turned the gun on himself. but authorities here believe that houser intended to try toes cape from the theater alive. >> we found wigs and glasses and disguises in his room. his vehicle had a switched license tag on it. it was parked right outside an exit door of the theater. it is apparent that he was intent on shooting and then escaping. what happened is that the quick law enforcement response forced him back into the theater, at which time he shot himself.
>> reporter: now i want to talk about the victims in this case. two women were killed in the shootout there. nine other people were wounded. one of those victims is still in critical condition. two others have already been released. >> just so sad. supposedly authorities said they searched a nearby hotel. what can you tell us about that part of the investigation, ed? >> they have been there since 4:30 this morning. it's believed that's where the gunman has been living here in the lafayette area since early july we were told. he's been described as a drifter. so they are trying to piece together exactly all the places that he's been or how he's been moving around. that's obviously something they are looking at. they have been there at that motel and that's where they found the wigs and disguises and
tried to talk to anybody who might have been in contact with him over the last few weeks since he's been here in the lafayette area. >> ed we'll get back to you, thank you so much. emerging from the horrors of the theater attack, tales of heroism, one involving two school teachers enjoying their last day of summer break. listen to governor bobby jindal. >> out of tonight's tragedy you're beginning to hear stories of self-sacrifice. one teacher jumped on top of the other and may have saved her life. she took a bullet that could have hit her in the head. she was injured and shot but not life threatening. she was one of the ones being discharged. the second teacher was able to it pull the fire alarm and help to save other lives. two friends together, one jumps in the way of the bullet.
she saves other people's lives. >>. just unbelievable. you want to bring in the parish president in lafayette, louisiana. welcome, sir, thank you for being with me this morning. >> thank you for having me. first of all these teachers how incredible is that? >> it's amazing how heroic people can be in such extreme circumstances. obviously, they just show what human nature is all about. >> have you been able to talk to any of the vicktims thus far? >> no, actually, i just landed here in lafayette at 5:30 this morning. an airplane was sent to me in chattanooga. so i'm just getting back and have not had a chance to get my feet wet yet. >> so you were in chattanooga and go home in an emergency situation to deal with a
terrible shooting in your own city. >> right, yeah we're staying in north carolina where they had no cell service and very little wifi so we had my family to the smokey mountains. my son stayed at the cabin and said have you heard what's going on in lafayette. it was the first news i had of it and had no cell service. so i went to an emergency service center and got communication and arranged for a flight to come pick me up. >> although we should be used to hearing about tragedies like this somehow they always surprise us. did this one surprise you? >> of course this is any place usa. we're hosting the louisiana louisiana association with elected officials. my message to mayors around the country, this can happen to anybody. this wasn't somebody from
lafayette. it was, as you heard, a a drifter. we don know why he randomly potentially picked lafayette. came here a couple weeks ago and commenced this horrible act of tragedy. you can't explain it. there's no human ability to explain how somebody does something like this. we'll continue to piece this together. the police departments are doing a great job. all the agencies are working well o together. my role is to work with the victims and the community. we're the happiest city in america. we'll be the happiest city again. we're hurting right now because the people here are our families and frinds. we're going to work with them and our community will come together strong for all their families. >> i just want to put a picture up of one of the victims. this is 33-year-old jillian johnson. we believe she was sitting in front of the gunman when she was shot. she's one of two people killed
inside that theater. nine others injuries one of them critically. some of them remain in the hospital this morning. can you give us an update about the injured? do you know anything more about them? >> i know two have been released. i think there's one that still has -- they are all serious, but one that is still life threatening injuries. but that's about all i have heard myself. >> joey durel, the parish president for louisiana yet, thaung for being with me this morning. thank you so much. we'll have more on the shooting throughout the hour. up next i'll talk to a man whose daughter was in the same row as the gunman. >> buying. popcorn at the concession stand when a whole group of teenagers running out telling everybody to run for their life.
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i could have been shot. i didn't know where the shooter was. i don't know if he could have gone into. our theater and shoot us. i was just so afraid. >> president obama is on his way to kenya right now addressing security issues across the region. but he's faced with security issues here at home. the president has been briefed on shooting and in a cruel twist shs the tragedy comes just hours after he called a lack op common sense gun laws the most frustrating part of his presidency. michelle kosinski is live in kenya with more for us.
>> reporter: kenyans were upset over the last couple days with the world talking about potential security concerns. people here are marveling that what the president is being briefed on right now is the security concerns of regular people in public places in america. you look at over the last couple of years that shootings have happened in malls, theaters schools, you name it. it is a problem. what to do about that problem is the debate right now. president obama expressed his frustration over trying to do more to prevent these things in an interview with the bbc last night. as you mentioned this happened only hours before a shooting happened yet again. >> the one area where i feel that i've been most frustrated and most stymied is the fact that the united states of america is the one advanced
nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common sense gun safety laws. even in the face of repeated mass killings and if you look at the number of americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it's less than 100. if you look at the number that have been killed by gun. violence it's in the tens of thousands. >> so in that interview, he also said that he wasn't going to be stopped from trying to do more. so that would have to be in the form of an executive order. how far that would go remains to be scene. the white house hasn't been giving much in the way of detail on what they want to do on this issue and when it could happen. when you look at 2013, after the newton shooting at the school the president enacted nearly two
dozen executive orders on gun control but they were fairly weak. they did things like try to share information among agencies put limits on background checks but a lot of these were stymied by legislation. that kind of had them going nowhere. when you look at congress's attempts to limit the president, it's pretty tough. most recently they put in a a rider to an appropriations bill for the department of justice that would limit the president's attempts to try to stop ammunition from being sold in certain quantities. things like that. i think most interestingly one thing the president tried to do in his last round of executive orders was to allow the cdc to do studies on gun violence. just studies. but the cdc hasn't wanted to do that out of fears that if they studied gun violence in america that congress would try to cut certain funding. that's the kind of impass that the president faces and to say
that this would be an uphill bat toll try to change things it's putting it very very lightly. >> it's a sad world when you can't even do a study without fear of repurr cushion. that's ridiculous. michelle kosinski i'm sorry to lay that on you. michelle kosinski reporting live from kenya this morning. i appreciate it. we just got cell phone video in from inside the theater. this was taken by somebody who went to the movie last night in lafayette. you can see that they are attending to an injured person on the ground. i'm seeing this for the first time along with you. they are trying to carry that person to get some sort of help. you can hear the emergency vehicles arriving in the background. we assume they are hearing that person to a vehicle that might be able to take them to the hospital. nine people originally taken to the hospital. one of them in critical condition. the parish president just told me that two of those injured
have been released from the hospital. that's good news. but everybody says the psychological scars will live on forever. later this hour we're going to check in with the lafayette police chief. he'll tell us more about the 59-year-old drifter that just opened fire for no apparent reason in this movie theater. i'll be right back. ♪ the staff at this beautiful resort . . . will stay with you forever. ♪ especially if you don't leave. ♪ you got it booking right. booking.com booking.yeah if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla apremilast. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has
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police have identified the gunman who opened fire last night killing two young women and injuring nine other people. this is the man. 59-year-old john russell houser. police describe him as a drifter and say he just came to lafayette earlier this month. he saw police and went back inside and shot himself to death. we'll have much more on this. first, you want to bring in randall man, he responded to the scene. also his 21-year-old daughter was inside the theater in the same row as the shooter. randall joins me on the phone. good morning, sir. >> good morning. >> first of all, how is your daughter daughter? >> she's doing okay. very traumatized. she made a comment that she was just thankful that the shooter did not pick one of the theaters that had a children's movie.
i take that as a great first step and sign for her coping with this had. >> the theater next to where the shooting happened "minions" playing so there were lots of kids and they had to run out and their parents are having to have a hard conversation with all of them this morning. you responded to the scene. did you know your daughter was inside? >> yeah i learned about it from my daughter. she and her friend were attending the movie. i live a half mile from the theater. when they got out, they immediately drove to my house and burst in telling me the story. so i grabbed my keys and was getting to my car. that's when i started hearing sirens. it was that early in the process. i got to the theater where there were just a few police cars at the time. there were a couple ambulances on the scene already and i helped coordinate some of that. >> how did your daughter tell
you this went down? >> she said that she was sitting in the same row. they were second from the top row of the theater and that they heard a couple pops. weren't sure what it was. and then they started to notice muzzle flashes. that's when they knew something was happening. she immediately hit the floor and so didn't see a whole lot more after that. she and her friend made their way out and they did comment people were panicked to get out but were helping each other. it was not a mob scene. people just getting out as quickly as they could to get away from the shooter. >> it's hard to know how one would react in a situation like that. i think he fired that gun 13 times. >> that's what i'm hearing as
well. we're just so fortunate. i was here early on and saw the police arriving, multiple agencies. our team everybody responded so well the. the theater patrons were traumatized and fairly calm and cooperative and it's a shame it had to happen. it's fortunate to have the first responders and the medics to be able to handle something like when it does happen. for me it's strange, i'm dealing with a professional level but then these things all the time whether it's a mass casualty incident but you never think of how close to home it could have gotten. >> absolutely. it was a 59-year-old guy. he was seeing the movie "train wreck" which is not the normal movie a 59-year-old guy sees. he was a drifter.
he had certain disguises in his hotel room. he came from alabama. it's just so strange. >> it is. the thing that stuck out to me and i saw this movie last week. he sat there for 20 minutes in a very funny movie. obviously the audience was laughing maybe that made him angry. but why did he pick that movie? it's strange he would choose a comedy to do that. he doesn't fit the profile of what you'd think. >> randall, thank you, and i'm glad your daughter is okay. i appreciate your being with me. good morning i'm carol costello. the justice department is being asked to investigate whether
sensitive information was mishandled while hillary clinton was secretary of state. the doj is being asked to look at the private e-mail account clinton used. >> this originated in a story in the "new york times" that reported that the request was made for a criminal inquiry into secretary clinton's handling of possible classified material with that private e-mail server as secretary of state. now the times is saying that the justice department was asked to investigate whether sensitive information was handled. that's what our sources tell us. the inspector general has asked the justice department to see if the handling of the e-mails was improper because it seems as if perhaps the state department did not classify certain information and secretary clinton might have used that. it might be the suggestion now. now a spokesman for secretary clinton said in a statement
contrary to the initial story that has already been significantly revised, clinton followed appropriately practices in dealing with classified materials. we remember clinton exclusively used that private e-mail server saying that was easier for her. those revelations have dogged her presidential campaign. she did turn over 50,000 pages of e-mails to the state department. asked for them to be made. public. the state is reviewing them to make sure no sensitive information is released. they have released about 4,000 pages so far. but it's important to note that at least one of the e-mails in question was deemed classified after clinton's use of the private account became known. now they are saying perhaps hundreds of these e-mails might have contained information that was not properly classified at the time. >> thank you so much. coming up next i sit down with an exclusive interview with
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we're following developments from the theater shooting. we'll talk more about the investigation in a minute. we have to talk politics so let's talk donald trump. he took his fight to the border where he met with officials and spoke with law enforcement during a four-hour swing. but mr. trump did not offer any specifics a about how he would solve the issue aside from his plan to build the massive wall along the mexican border. he also addressed the interview with the hill where he would consider a third party if the republican party isn't fair to him during the primaries.
>> i'm a republican i'm a conservative i'm running, i'm in first place by a lot it seems according to to the polls. i want to run as a republican. i think i'll get the nomination. we'll see soon enough, but. i think i'll get the nomination. the best way to win is for me to get the nomination and run probably against hillary clinton. >> trump went on to say that despite the controversy swirling around his remarks about mexico he thinks he'll win the hispanic vote handedly. i sat down with the new york city mayor o to talk about his visit to the vatican and climate change and i'll share that in the next hour. i was also compelled to ask the mayor about new york's own donald trump. let's just say if mayor de blasio had his wish new york would never do business with the donald again. >> i don't think he represents the values of new york city. he's from here but he doesn't represent the values. this is a place that believes in
including every kind of people in our society. >> he says he loves hispanics. >> obviously his comments about mexican-americans were derogatory and inappropriate. there's been more outrage across the country about them. i would simply say he's gone far from his roots here because this is a city we would never tolerate that language. >> will you do business with donald trump in the future? >> not if i can help it. i think he has set a very negative tone. that's even before what he said about john mccain. you don't have to agree with john mccain to think that statement was outrageous and inappropriate. senator mccain is a war hero period and should be respected as such. i think donald trump has inval invalidated himself as a public figure. we will not seek out business with him and his companies. we will certainly look for other options. >> i know that your office is
reviewing contracts to see if you can get out of them. is that review complete? >> it's not complete. i don't think there's a construct to get out of those contracts but we'll look for every option. >> why do you think so many people are attracted to donald trump? what is it about him? >> i would differentiate him from things he's saying. there's a subset of american people that are very frustrated about some of the reality we face. and unfortunately, try to blame. immigrants who are not the root of the problem. we need to have a better conversation in this country. the best thing we can do for the economy is comprehensive immigration reform. it would be economically strengthening. >> not building a wall? >> not building a wall. so the conversation needs to address the fact that many americans are economically very frustrated. they have seen their families fall behind. they are looking for answers and someone to blame.
immigrants are not the problem. the problem is income inequality. the problem is the concentration of wealth and power and the fact that too many policies don't help working people. that's where energy should go. someone like trump tries to whip people up and blame immigrants as the root of the problem. they are not the root of the problem. >> he also blames politicians because he says i have enough money to do things. nobody can buy me. everybody should be grateful because i'm an independent person and i'll do what i want. i'm not controlled by the lobbyists and a lot of people like when he says stuff like that that. >> i don't know how many. i'm sure some people find that appealing. i think giving more power to an extraordinarily wealthy person would take us backwards. >> even though he says his wealth gives him independence? >> his wealth gives him a perspective to continue policies that have failed for the american people. he's the ultimate example of trickle down economics.
he believes someone like him having a lot of wealth is the best thing for the economy. the reverse is true. we have seen wealth concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and had a negative impact on how many people are unemployed and what kind of wages they have. trickle down economics has failed. we need a government that understands for most working people they have lost ground in the last quarter century that needs to invests in infrastructure raise wages and benefits focus on working families. guarantee things like paid leave and sick leave. it's what we have been working on through an agenda. it's a platform that progressives across the country have put forward to say these are the building blocks of a more fair economy and a way u to address what's become rampant inequality in this country. you saw the pole a month ago that pointed out that income
inequality is deep in the minds of people across the region and across the party. they want to see a more fair economy. we who believe in a more progressive option have to make clear that folks like trump are just going to take a bad situation and make it worse. >> he runs a third party candidate. will you applaud? >> i don't practice punditry. the fact is we need. a progressive candidate who will talk about the changes this country needs economically. >> mayor de blasio. joining me now is the co-chair of the veterans for trump coalition of new hampshire and a marine corps veteran and a supporter of donald trump. good morning, sir. >> good morning, thank you for having me. >> did you hear my interview with mayor de blasio that just played? >> i did. i was kind of wishing i could be
in on that conversation and debate him on a few of his subjects. >> what did you think? >> well i would disagree with him on the trickle down economy statement that he made about donald trump. and also on the effects of illegal immigration. he lumps immigrants in with illegal immigrants and that's a mistake. i believe donald trump fully supports and as america does, but the illegal immigration when the first of someone coming into this country is to break our laws that's a problem. >> i think what the mayor meant is that some americans are looking for a scapegoat, somebody to blame their problems on. somebody to blame the economic woes on. and right at the moment it's undocumented immigrants and the mayor says that's not the
problem. the wage gap is the problem. there are other things that factor in. >> and he's correct on that. there are other things. but illegal immigration does effect it. i couldn't compete with companies that hired illegal immigrants that didn't pay taxes and workers comp. so you either hire illegals or lower the wages of your employees. . but he is right. it isn't all illegal immigration. i would agree with him on that. our federal. government has done a terrible job of keeping jobs in this country. i blame trade agreements we got into for allowing our manufacturers to promote him to leave the country and take the jobs with him. and on that i would agree with the democrat from ohio. she was strongly opposed to that when those deals were going through. >> do you know of any policy that would solve the wage gap that donald trump has put forth? >> well he hasn't released his
policies as of yet. i'm sure he's still working on them and he will have the best and brightest working on that. i do know he's really concerned about our trade with foreign countries and as i am as well. we've been on the wrong end of the trade deals for decades. and what we need to do is revisit the trade negotiations we have had like the north american trade agreement. and revisit those so that we can entice manufacturers to bring those good paying manufacturing jobs back to america and employ more americans. >> you're sounding like a democrat. >> you know actually i'm hoping i sound like an american. i think we get a little too caught up on the democrat/republican to be frank with you and forget about what's good for america. what's good for american is going to be good for all
americans. we need to have a sense of fair play for americans in general. i think that's been lost a lot in the political speech on both sides of the aisle. >> i agree. thank you so much for joining me this morning. i appreciate it. still to come in. the newsroom, the lemieux vee theater shooting is raising grim reminders of what happened in colorado three years ago. 24-year-old jessica died in that rampage. her participants join me, next. push your enterprise and you can move the world. but to get from the old way to the new you'll need the right it infrastructure. from a partner who knows how to make your enterprise more agile, borderless and secure. hp helps business move on all the possibilities of today. and stay ready for everything that is still to come.
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there were 453 murders in 2013. 356 victims were killed with some type of gun. now, keep in mind louisiana is a concealed carry state so you can legally carry a weapon with you if you have a license. let's talk about guns in america and, well, we'll try to haveconversation right? who better to have that conversation with is analyst, retired new york city police detective harry howe. thank you for being here. i appreciate it. you're a guy who carried a gun around for a long period of time. >> still do. >> still do. okay. you know what people will say. if only someone in the theater had a gun maybe they could have taken this guy out. >> it's a possibility if they were very close to him. if i was very close to him. in the theater and i had my weapon on me could i have taken him out? maybe. remember you're shooting everybody is running out. do you innocent a person?
so you got to make sure if you can do something like that you're very well trained and know how to shoot. >> how many people are a perfect shot? >> i'm an expert shot. i shot perfect scores every year in -- when i was a police officer. it's a totally different situation when you're sitting there shooting inging at a target or someone is shooting back at you or a tense situation. when a lot of people around you have to not only worry about getting the shooter, you don't want to shoot an innocent person running. >> no. plus the movie theater is darkened. >> right. >> not like it's perfectly lighted. >> you have the movie going. but the main problem is it les. >> say police officers run in there and the shooter is still active in there, you got all people coming towards the exits. you're a police officer. you're going like where's the shooter? where's the shooter? everybody is standing up. you have to find the shooter and then take him out. it's a hard thing to do. >> okay. concealed carry laws should you be able to carry a gun in a bar
or movie theater, anywhere you want? >> that's a hard question. you know you have got a lot of bars. i go to south carolina a lot. and a lot of the bars outside south carolina say, you know you're not allowed to bring a gun in. how do they know i have a gun or not? >> only if they have a metal detector. >> right. but they don't. you know? should you be allowed? i think if you're legally obligated to get a license, i don't think there's any problem. should you carry a gun going out drinking? probably not. probably not a good idea. but i'm sure a lot of people do and don't kill anybody so i think that the main thing here is we need to start putting people in jail for committing crimes with guns. >> we do though. >> no not really. i tell you, i have locked up probably hundreds of people with guns and we used to have a one-year mandatory in new york. i never saw anybody do a year for carrying a gun. ever. all right? the jails would be full. we need a mandatory ten years in
jail. if you went -- say somebody went to chicago, new york check the last 100 gun arrests and see what happened to those people. i bet you not too many of them wept to jail for a period of time. >> thank you for your insight. i appreciate it. thanks so much harry. of course the shooting is raising new questions about security at movie theaters across the country. what can be done to keep people safe? jessica died when a gunman opened fire in aurora colorado. you know the story. jessica's parents sandy and lonnie phillips join me now. thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you, carol. >> thank you for having us. >> when did you first hear about the shooting? >> last night. started coming through my twitter feed. and just shook my head. my husband has been predicted there would be another one so you know he wasn't surprised
but i'm always shocked. i'm always shocked that the violence in america continues. and it's escalating. to the point where even most mass shootings aren't covered anymore and it worries me we're becoming numb. >> but, lonnie sandy said you weren't so much surprised. >> well no. you know we're from no notoriety. don't name the killer. maybe show his face once name him. it's working for us. we see now the news media are more in tune with that. it's mass murderers that we have to stop making notoriety as best way to do it if you can stop showing their face saying their name over and over again. it creates a copycat situation and we see this happening over and over again and it's not
going to stop happening. in this country, we have easy access to guns is a main problem. we have the same number of mentally ill people in other countries. we have the same amount of videos in other countries. violent videos. what we have in this country that is not in other countries is easy access to guns. >> carol, it seems like this killer in this theater was definitely a copycat. i mean he started shooting 20 minutes into the film. just like in aurora. he was shooting randomly from what we have been told. too many similarities. and it makes me shake my head every day and wonder when are we going to hit the tipping point and say, enough is enough. and l la has one of the highest death rates by guns murder by guns in the nation. >> second in the nation. >> second in the nation right now. >> yeah. and we illustrated that a few
moments ago. so lonnie when you hear like we always bring up the issue of gun control and talking about guns and what we might do and then it -- then the talk just dissipates or goes away because the gun lobby is so strong you might as well not talk about it. everybody is afraid. how does it make you feel when you hear things like that? >> we are gun owners. sandy took the nra safety course at 10 years old. we have a shotgun. i like to trap shoot. skeet shoot. we are gun owners. we like to consider ourselves responsible gun owners but it wasn't always that way with me. i've been -- had guns i was raised in louisiana. lake charles. my father had a gun. he carried around in a glove box. one time somebody cut him off. he jumped out of the car, grabbed the gun. ran up to the window. the guy looked at him. flipped his badge out and said red, if you don't put that gun
away you're going to jail. get back in your car. that was it. how cavalier was that? and it's gotten a little better but not a whole lot better. we still don't treat guns like they're instructions of death in this country. >> sandy, why do you think that is? >> as a legal gun owner -- well i think you're a legal gun owner until you're not a legal gun owner and you have broken a law. you have killed somebody. you've shot somebody. we have to start looking at this in a much broader picture and saying that there is an issue when almost anyone can get their hand on a gun. this guy evidently had been a felon at one point and gee whiz it was a long time ago. i'm sorry. i don't care how long ago it was. he should never, ever have a gun again. and if we make it so easy and so acceptable that oh you were a bad guy once maybe you hurt somebody maybe you didn't.
you know? you have been arrested for that. you know your officer a while ago made a good point. we need stiffer laws. the second amendment says well regulated and we as a country are far from well regulated. >> thank you both for being with me this morning. very powerful words from both of you. i so appreciate it. lonnie and sandy phillips thank you so much. i'll be talking to the lafayette police chief and a victim of the -- one of the victims' co-workers coming up in the next hour of "cnn newsroom." staying in rhythm... it's how i try to live... how i stay active. so i need nutrition... that won't weigh me down. for the nutrition you want without the calories you don't... introducing boost® 100 calories. each delicious snack size drink gives you... 25 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. so it's big in nutrition and small in calories.