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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  November 15, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PST

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colbert: hi! i'm your host, smokey colbear. filling in for smokey, 'cause after 75 years of... smokey bear: only you can prevent wildfires. colbert: turns out there's much more to say. nearly 90 percent of wildfires are caused by us humans being careless, dumping our used barbeque coals willy-nilly. i guess the song was wrong... we did start the fire. that's why i respect mother nature and her trees, whether coniferous or new car scented. go to to learn more about wildfire prevention. chris cuomo is off tonight. welcome to a special hour of "a.c. 360." tonight there's breaking news in the impeachment inquiry. a new witness agrees to testify if subpoenaed. mark sandy is his name. according to congresswoman jackie speier, he's one of the officials who signed the hold on
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military assistance to ukraine. and of course it is the withholding of that aid that lies at the center of the case against the president. sandy may be equipped to speak to that. he'll testify behind closed doors on saturday. tomorrow it will be the ousted ambassador to ukraine, marie yovanovitch, who president trump told ukraine's president was, quote, bad news. the most important witness may turn out to be david holmes on the phone call he allegedly overheard. that came to light in surprise testimony yesterday from his boss, bill taylor, the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine. here's what he said. >> a member of my staff could hear president trump on the phone asking ambassador sondland about the investigations. mr. sondland told president trump the ukrainians were ready to move forward. following the call with president trump, the member of my staff asked ambassador sondland what president trump thought about ukraine. ambassador sondland said president trump cares more about the investigations of biden,
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which guiliani was pressing for. >> again, testimony will happen in executive session meaning off camera, which means we may have to wait for the transcript to learn what he said. it is clear he could say a lot, we simply don't know. so there's that. there's house speaker pelosi today using the word bribery to describe what the president allegedly engaged in, obviously a word that is in the constitution, specified as an impeachable offense. in all, plenty to talk about. joining us, democratic congressman denny heck. thanks for being with us, congressman. the use of the word "bribery" is that because just from a messaging standpoint quid pro quo is sort of not easily understood and bribery is in the constitution? >> i think it's because of what he did. you can call it bribery, extortion, shakedown of a foreign country, soliciting their assistance in a campaign in clear violation of federal law. >> how important is the testimony of ambassador yovanovitch tomorrow, with republicans saying she has no
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knowledge of any possible involvement by the president. is it about kind of laying out the whole story writ large? >> foundation, we're pulling on the strings. here's what people will see tomorrow, anderson. they'll see the best of the best. they'll see one of america's top diplomats, somebody who over a 33-year period of time increasingly rose in responsibility not because she was just broadly respected within the foreign service corps but because she was beloved. that's the best america has to offer. and the way that she was treated -- remember, the president didn't just say she was a bad woman, he said ominously, threateningly, she's going to go through some things. so we'll learn about why that is. interestingly, i think what we've got going on here is a potential confluence of both the political self-interests of the president, getting her out of the way so he could do his deed in ukraine, but also potentially, we don't know this yet, some financial or economic interests on the part of mr.
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guiliani and his two associates. >> guiliani has for years had business interests in ukraine. he's been trolling for business, he's had contracts there as well. he may still have eyes on ukraine as a potential business place. also now this person from the omb, that's going to be on saturday if i'm not mistaken. do you know where that's going to lead? do you know much about that? >> no, but we know what we want to find out, which is where did the direction come from to withhold the aid and what were you told at the time that you were told to put a stop on it. that's what we hope to find out. >> taylor, i believe, i think it was taylor on a call with somebody from the omb and somebody on the call said this order came from the president, the aid has been stopped. that's when taylor learned the aid had been stopped. that's important because you're not getting a bolton, you're not getting a mulvaney as of now. >> right. he's prohibiting them from talking, as a matter of fact.
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i think what's happening here is we're beginning to line up the people that the president is going to throw under the bus. i'm predicting there's a good chance he's going to throw under the bus ambassador sondland, acting chief of staff mulvaney, potentially rudy giuliani. and the closer they get to him through those people, the more disposable, the more dispensable they will become to him. >> it is a common refrain from the president, you know, oh, i didn't really know that guy. it was michael cohen. >> evidently he knows no one. >> the impeachment investigators are going to hear from the aid to ambassador taylor behind closed doors tomorrow. will that transcript then very quickly be released or go through a review process? >> i don't know the timeline but at some point it will be. i think i read a news story today that there was actually a second aide sitting at that table. so we really don't know the
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significance of it until we hear from him. we do know that he overheard the president make reference to investigations. i actually think the news story for the time being is that an ambassador to the united states actually sat in a public setting in a restaurant on an unsecured cell phone call with the president of the united states violating every national security protocol. >> in ukraine. >> imaginable. i would bet a large sum of money were it legal that the russians actually listened in word for word on that call. it is a gross violation of national security protocol for him to have done that. >> an ambassador would normally go to the embassy to a secure location to talk to the president. >> you know that. >> congressman heck, i appreciate your time. >> you're welcome, sir. >> thank you for coming in. appreciate it. our panel is back this hour. joined by ross garber who teaches impeachment law at tulane university law school and all the regular folks are here as well, which we're very appreciative of. ross, do you think democrats, are they boxing themselves in with labelling this as bribery,
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that that's the charge? >> so on the one hand, it is true bribery is right there in the constitution. often impeachment, one of the big debates is what is a high crime and misdemeanor, does it reach that level. bribery is in the constitution. i was surprised to hear speaker pelosi go there. >> why? >> because bribery is also the subject of lots and lots of technical case law. there are statutes, there is cases, it's a very legalistic term, number one. number two, i don't think bribery has yet been established. i'm keeping an open mind. but bribery requires, among other things, corrupt intent. we have to know for bribery what is in the president's head. and so far for some of the reasons that we've talked about we don't know that. remember, we're talking about impeachment. it's the political nuclear weapon. and so the proof of all of those things has to be very high. so i was surprised to hear speaker pelosi now say the word "bribery." >> without hearing from somebody
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who talked directly to the president, can you ascertain intent? >> yeah, you can look at circumstantial evidence and potentially see intent. but i think it's one of the reasons why the republicans are pointing out -- you know, they're calling it hearsay. i think what they're really getting to is that we're not yet seeing a lot of information about what the president was thinking and what the president was saying. >> and there's a reason -- i mean, john dean, there's a reason for that that we are not seeing that because we're talking about bolton, we're talking about mulvaney and the white house is not allowing it. >> apparently they don't want to appear. i think somebody like bolton, if he wanted to come up and show and testify, he could do it. there's nothing the president can do to stop him. >> he's apparently going around making paid speeches. >> if you have the right number of dollars, you can get him to appear, yes. but he'd have to go to court literally and get an injunction to stop him. on the bribery point, bribery wasn't even the code when the founders wrote the constitution. there was no real case law at
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that point. i'm not sure all that case law follows an impeachment proceeding. >> oh, yes. you're right about that. to be clear, impeachment is largely political. but we both know that once the word "bribery" is mentioned, we're going to hear a lot about all of those elements. >> as a defense. >> and this is the problem of the democrats really wanting to push this through pretty quickly before the election versus allowing the legal route to continue with bolton and if it's mulvaney and the rest of them in court because they want to get this done before january. if they want bolton and they want mulvaney, chances are they're not going to be able to get it. so it's kind of a bad choice for them. >> but if you have evidence that the president directed most of this, he directed guiliani, he directed mulvaney on a variety of issues, if you have that kind of information, even though you may not have obvious intent or obvious evidence, isn't that persuasive? >> yes.
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>> of his intent? >> the question is going to be why. i think what we're going to start hearing more of is that the president was actually motivated by corruption issues in ukraine and that he believed rightly or wrongly that the biden situation was emblematic of past corruption and that he believed there was potentially issues of interference in the 2016 election. true or not true, i think the question is did he believe it or not because the framers thought about including maladministration in the impeachment provision. they decided not to do that. >> so what does that have to do with holding up the money, though? in other words, say you can't prove what his intent was in that sense. can't you just say, well, but he still held up the money? >> well, if you hold up the
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money for the good of the american people, for the good of the u.s. government, that's a trade that happens all the time. >> i'm curious, the argument from democrats certainly is that this had nothing to do with the national interests of the united states. >> well, i mean the problem -- the only way that that could be true would be if there actually had been some sort of actions on the part of joe biden that were corrupt. it's just been debunked over and over and over again, the position that he took was in fact the position of the world community. so it is kind of crazy making honestly to continually hear about this because it's something that has been so clearly debunked and yet they keep coming back to it. and what is -- what is trump's interest in biden? let's see, how hard do we really have to think about this. trump's interest in biden is that he is a potential rival. >> also, the people that trump is using for this policy, this great concern about corruption, is rudy giuliani and all the
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people that rudy giuliani is promoting have been let go because of corruption that marie yovanovitch was working against and the embassy wouldn't even allow them a visa. >> the worst fact that trump has had in this entire ordeal is the insertion of guiliani into the middle of it. when you are dealing with an unappointed, unelected person who is affecting policy decisions that should be affected by appointed and senate-confirmed ambassador and your own white house staff, it is from the beginning the absolute worst fact. that is terrible judgment. now, is it impeachable to have terrible judgment when you insert idiots into a process? i don't think so, but it doesn't look great when you have him in it. take him out of it and you have intent and you and have have a disagreement about this. trump will argue that the sitting vice president of the united states has admitted that it's bad to be over there dealing because he's already
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promised to do it again if he gets elected. >> it's not corrupt. >> they don't have to argue it's illegal. they just have to argue it was bad judgment. >> you can hold up aid to a country that they're using to defend themselves against russia because something that happened in the past you didn't like? >> the other problem, scott, with what you're arguing here is that the timeline here. there were two years when donald trump was not raising his concerns about joe biden and hunter biden. it wasn't an issue for him until joe biden announced he was going to run for president. so that sort of makes you scratch your head. >> a, we don't know when it became a concern for him yet. b, you just said you can hold up aid to a country for fill in the blank. ask that about any administration. ask the obama administration -- there are many reasons why -- >> this is also getting really old, this one right here. you can criticize the obama
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administration for bad policy, if that's what you want to do. >> yes, yes. >> if you want to say it's a bad policy. but it does matter why you do things. so if barack obama had held up that aid for a corrupt reason, then he should be impeached. >> because he wanted some dirt on mitt romney. you would have been outraged. >> i also have a question here. you say inserting rudy giuliani. do we think -- does anybody here think rudy giuliani was acting on his own? >> no. >> does anybody here think that he didn't talk to the president of the united states about what he was doing? >> well, one of my big questions about him is whatever the president told him to do, then did rudy giuliani tell the president all of the other interests he has in this region, because i have a feeling he was into stuff that maybe the white house didn't know been and the white house is going to have -- >> and when the president finds out rudy was making money off of him -- >> rudy giuliani had turkish clients and the president was pushing turkey policy. we're going talk about this. we'll take a quick break and talking about turning the hearings into political punishment for democrats. also sondland's phone call was in russia's backyard. was the conversation overheard?
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we'll be joined by someone who truly knows from his old job. and later, a shooter opened fire at her school.
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we're talking tonight about new witnesses, public and private in the impeachment inquiry. also hearsay and bribery. reporting at "the washington post" a number of republican senators are pressuring leadership on whether to keep a senate trial. the reason being it would potentially keep six democratic senators all candidates pinned down from weighing in. in a few moments a former director of the white house situation room weighs in on the revelation that gordon sondland in ukraine was talking to the president on what was potentially a nonsecure cell phone. back now with our own situation room, would it be smart, gloria, politically for republicans to drag out the senate vote on this, the senate hearings on this, because all the senators have to be there? >> yeah.
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all of them have to be there. it's supposed to be six days a week. and you have six senators running for president. so it would keep them out of iowa. i think joe biden might be happy about that. >> that is the counterargument. >> yeah. >> if joe biden is supposedly your biggest adversary, depending on what poll you listen to. >> on one hand, sure, i can see them trying to play that game. on the other hand if you don't have a really good case to make about the president of the united states and you can't, as scott pointed out earlier, say what he did was great and fine, then do you want to spend all that time on the floor of the senate, and people would pay attention because it's a different arena than they're used to and it's a very somber environment and people -- >> wow, that sounds like
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must-see tv. you are really selling it, gloria. >> i know. >> six days a week? >> they can't get to iowa. >> that's the thing. >> but on the other hand if you don't have a great argument and drag it out, it could be a problem. >> i just don't see what's in it for the republicans to drag this out. the issue would still be before the country. is the guy a crook, should he be knocked out of office. it seems to me they want to get past this pretty quickly. now, they need to have some formal proceedings, but i would think it's in their strong interest -- >> the one thing to remember about this process, and i've heard senator mcconnell talk about this, is once it starts, he's not in control anymore. you know, a lot of conservatives say can't you just broom this, get rid of it. a lot of democrats have said, oh, he'll never let -- once it starts, the senators are jurors. they have to sit there and can't talk. the senate majority leader said to me this is the thing i have the least control over. the chief justice is in the chair, the impeachment managers get to make a case, the president's lawyers get to put on a defense and it could take a while. it's not like the senators are up making arguments themselves. >> jen, there's a report in "the washington post" citing ukraine's interfax news agency that quotes the ukrainian foreign minister as saying that
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his conversations with ambassador sondland never included an explicit link between military aid and investigating the bidens. some republicans are pointing to this as proof basically that there was no bribery/quid pro quo. is that wrong? >> i'd remind people that the ukrainians have their own audience and own objectives. this is a new administration, a president who came in who was a comedian doing imitations of the past president just six months before he became elected. they need to prove that they can deliver and they're not going to be manipulated by the big powerful united states so i don't know that they're reliable narrators on this. >> at that time the argument you use -- because the president and many republicans have pointed out just today as well saying, the president of ukraine have said there was no problem with the call. is that the same argument that you would use, he doesn't want to look weak in front of his electorate? >> yes. his skepticism about whether he
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could deliver on military assistance. it hadn't been delivered. he needs to present himself as strong and prepared for the job and that doesn't help you do that. >> isn't there also a chance he's doing it for trump? the point is they can't afford to have -- >> scott, there has been -- a lot of reporting by "the new york times" was talking to unnamed ukrainian officials who are officially saying they came close to giving in, to caving on this and launching some investigations because they were so desperate for the aid. >> look, it seems like everybody who says something that helps exonerate trump in this case, there's a reason why they have to do it. we can't believe them. everybody who comes forward and says we've got to impeach trump, well, they have been imbued with superpowers of truth and honesty. we have the two top people in the ukraine saying i was never pressured on the call and sondland never hassled me about this and never made this explicit link. you can say what you want about their motives but these are their public statements on the record. they did talk to our president and the ambassador over there. >> and we've all seen the
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transcript where he was pressured. >> but you can't substitute your opinion for his publicly stated state of mind. >> but we saw the transcript where it showed i want you to do me a favor, though, after he brought up military assistance. if that's not being pressured, i don't know what else. also he told other officials he felt pressured who have testified. >> do you want to listen to the president of ukraine on this who stands to lose everything if donald trump hates him? or do you want to listen to everybody else who's testifying in this country, diplomats, potential -- >> it's not like president trump would use that against the president of ukraine moving forward. >> no -- well -- you never know. >> david, so far have there been any -- i know people say the testimony by taylor was a bombshell about this phone call. do you think the democrats should feel confident in how things are going if impeachment is what they want?
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>> i don't think they should feel confident. i think we need to see this further develop. i'm curious what the ratings were yesterday. how many people watched? i think 13.5 million people between 10:00 and 4:00. that's a respectable number but nowhere near what the mueller audience looked like. it's nowhere near what happened in nixon's case. it was gigantic. i think their persuasion is yet to be done, i think. >> everybody, thank you. i'm going to speak to a former top level white house intelligence official about why in his words that call between president trump and gordon sondland was, quote, insane.
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what has raised a lot of eyebrows about the reports of president trump discussing the bidens and ukraine or just investigations with his ambassador to the eu isn't just the potentially incriminating
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things that may have been said. again, we don't know exactly what was said to gordon sondland, we'll hear it next week. it is also the manner in which the phone call reportedly occurred. the phone call between the president of the united states and a top diplomat didn't occur in a secure setting, it was in the open in a restaurant in a country teeming with russian intelligence and could potentially be heard by anyone around. at least some of the people at the table heard it apparently. my next guest calls the security ramifications insane. larry pfiffer served as chief of staff to cia director michael hayden. larry, thanks for being with us. when you first heard that gordon sondland, ambassador to the eu, had a phone conversation with the president apparently on a cell phone at a restaurant in ukraine, were you surprised? >> yes and no. i mean you saw my reaction. i described it as insane to a certain extent. >> insane, because why?
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>> well, an individual in a position like ambassador sondland was in, operating in and out of ukraine, would have and should have been given briefings about the counterintelligence threat that exists in that region and in that country. either he didn't get briefed, he got briefed but forgot or he got briefed and didn't care. none of those are very good answers. >> so he should not have had a phone conversation with the president of the united states in a restaurant in ukraine on a cellphone? >> that would definitely not be my advice. >> how would he normally have a conversation if he was to have one with the president? >> normally he would go to the embassy. i can't imagine he was far from the embassy. >> a secure room? >> a secure room, secure telephones. the sense i have from the reporting so far is he was using just a normal cell phone. some people have said to me, maybe he was using signal or whatsapp and that's secure. well, as a government official i'm going to want to go with secure communication provided by the u.s. government. number two, your call is only as secure as the space you're
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sitting in. you're in a ukrainian restaurant talking at a voice loud enough to people around the table to hear. who knows who else is listening. clearly you're being targeted by foreign intelligence services while you're in country. >> these are all u.s. officials at the table, they would all pretty much be on the radar -- >> absolutely. you don't know who else is in the restaurant. you don't know who is being paid by the russian government or some other government to keep tabs and listen in. and there's technical means. pretty exotic technical means where somebody across the room, their voice can be listened to and maybe even the sound coming out of the ear piece of the telephone he's talking to. and that's above and beyond just the potential of signals intelligence intercept being done by the russians or other governments. >> does the president using a cell phone, that -- there's been a lot of reporting on president trump and his sort of interest in just having his own phone that he can just use and call.
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>> right. >> would that be a secure phone and, therefore, even if you're calling to a nonsecure phone, does that matter? >> again, you can have the most secure communication from this phone to this phone. but if you're talking in a ukrainian restaurant, you've negated all that great, wonder. exquisite technology that perhaps you have. but the sense i have he was not talking on a secure device. even if the president was on a secure device, that would not work. >> and this is something which anybody, certainly -- he is a political -- he is a donor to the president's inaugural, that's how he got the position. he was also a businessman i guess before that. but even somebody like that would have been briefed and should have known better? >> absolutely. should have been briefed, should have known better. as i said before, either ignored it or didn't care or he wasn't briefed, and somebody should be
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in trouble for that. what i will say, though, working in a place like the white house, people who come to government around an administration, you have people like me who spent 30 years in the intel business who come steeped in security knowledge. but then you have people who come from academia, the corporate world, the political world and those folks arrive day one. they're going to get all these briefings, hear all this stuff about security, and then they're being told by the president to run 150 miles an hour to meet his objectives. and so one of the constant challenges for a guy like me running the situation room or for our security officer on the staff is just to be constantly reminding these people. and i'm sure the same happens at state department where you have these political appointees coming in from outside. they need to be constantly reminded about the need to maintain this security hygiene. >> fascinating. larry, really appreciate it. >> thank you very much. the other big story that we are watching tonight, the deadly school shooting in california. up next i'll talk to the sheriff leading the investigation. also a student forced to hide during the incident. we'll be right back. o the post e they use all the services of the post office only cheaper get a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to and never go to the post office again.
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tonight surveillance video of the deadly high school shooting in southern california is being looked at by authorities. they say it clearly shows the moment that a student pulled a handgun from his backpack and opened fire. the 16-year-old girl, 14-year-old boy were killed. three other students were wounded. the accused gunman shot himself, is listed in grave condition. the attack began before class at saugus high school in santa clarita just outside los angeles. just before air time i spoke with sheriff alex villanueva. sheriff, you're standing in front of the hospital where some of the students who were wounded
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today were taken. first of all, what you tell us about how they are doing tonight? >> there were six students that were injured. four of them were transferred to this hospital. two in critical condition have since passed away. the third in critical condition is currently still at this hospital. the other one has been treated and released. >> at this point what are you able to tell us about exactly what happened today? obviously it's an ongoing investigation. >> the suspect, who was a student at the school, walked into the center, the quad area where the juniors typically are at. he was just standing in the middle of the quad really not saying or doing anything. he had a backpack on. at one point he took off the backpack, he retrieved a .45 semi auto pistol, shot one round, fired at one student. injured that student. and then appeared to clear some sort of jam in the weapon and then fired an additional four rounds at four other students
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before turning the gun on himself. that ended it all in 16 seconds. >> just in terms of police response, i mean 16 seconds from start to finish, obviously no way law enforcement can respond that quickly. what was response like? >> well, the response fortunately was extremely quick. it was a matter of seconds. we had three off-duty law enforcement officers who had just dropped off their kids at the school, and one deputy, a detective from our department witnessed students running away from the scene. he circled back and entered the scene. let me give you their names. it's going to be detective daniel finn from the santa clarita sheriff's station detective bureau, officer shawn yanez and officer gus ramirez from the los angeles police department. all three of them were the very first peace officers who entered the campus, went to the scene,
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found the six students injured with bullet wounds and immediately began life-saving measures. they saw a weapon there, and within a minute of that, then the first responders from the station arrived on scene as well. >> it's a testimony to those officers and to their training that they were dropping off their own children at this school, realized something was going on and immediately went toward it. do you have a sense of motive at this point? >> well, we do know that today is the suspect's birthday. he turned 16 today. father is deceased in 2017. we don't know what kind of inner turmoil is going on. all of the evidence, we're doing search warrants right now at the residence of the suspect. we have a very large crime scene at the school that's going to take from today till tomorrow to process thoroughly. so a lot of information. we'll have to go through his social media, his footprint to see what we can scrub and exploit out of that. >> yeah. you said in your press
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conference earlier today that you, quote, hate to have saugus be added to the names of columbine, parkland, sandy hook, but it's a reality that affects us throughout the nation. something we're going to have to deal with. i'm wondering what message that you have for the community there tonight? >> if you see something, say something. if you have your own inner demons and turmoil you're going through, seek help. people that are 24/7, they're on social media monitoring what everybody is saying and uttering every thought, you have to take them seriously. when something outrageous is posted on social media, take action. let somebody know so we can do a thorough threat assessment. we've been able to prevent some of these catastrophes from happening because we intervened and we were able to stop a threat before it became realized. >> sheriff villanueva, appreciate talking to you tonight. thank you so much. >> thank you, anderson. a junior at saugus high school she was on campus during
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this morning's attack and joins us now. trinity, thanks for being with us. i'm glad you're okay. can you just walk us through what you heard, what you saw, what happened this morning? >> yeah. so this morning it started out like any other normal morning. we decided not to practice this morning for some reason. i couldn't be more thankful for that. but this morning went by and we just -- we heard running and screaming out of nowhere. >> were you in a classroom? >> no. i was in the band room. >> you were in the band room. and there were other students there as well? >> yeah. >> and when you heard running and stuff, did you know right away what was going on? or how did you find out what was
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going on? >> we found out by -- well, the first gunshot that went off, and the screaming. at first we thought it was a really big joke. we were all in shock. and by the time i actually looked into the practice room, the lights were off and there was nobody around. and so that's when we all ducked down behind speakers and closets and anything that we could find really. >> and how long were you inside before you were able to get out of the school? >> probably about like i'd say a good two hours maybe. >> obviously -- is this something that -- i know there had been drills at the school.
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are those drills you had participated in? >> yeah. these drills happen almost every -- every month we have them about one to two times a month. >> wow, that's a lot. how are you holding up? >> it's still really shaky. i would say there's a lot of emotions that i know that i can speak of behalf of all of my peers, that we're all kind of going through. it's going to take a really long time to process everything. >> trinity, i know it's difficult to talk about and i really appreciate you taking the
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time to talk to us. i hope you and your friends are doing well and getting -- just taking the time you need. i hope you get some sleep tonight. >> thank you. >> all right. you take care, trinity. trinity mercurio. up next, someone that i've come to know over the years, to admire. she knows firsthand the loss of a child after a mass shooting. sandy phillips has a message on grief that she uses to help support those whose loved ones are killed in mass shootings like the one today. we'll talk to her ahead. if you have medicare, listen up.
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we've been talking about the latest mass shooting in america, this time a high school north of los angeles. it is a scene all too familiar to my next guest. not only did sandy phillips and her husband lose their daughter during a mass shooting, alani, the husband, seven years ago at a movie theater in aurora, colorado, they used that experience to help others in the aftermath of their loss as well. i'm pleased sandy phillips could join me.
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they are also co-authors of "tragedy in aurora: the culture of mass shootings in america." the book out just now. sandy, again, i talked to you obviously in always in the worst of circumstances, but i hope something good can be learned tonight for folks out there. you were just in santa clarita, weren't you? >> yes. we were there for the borderline tragiversary, the anniversary date to support the community and to the survivors out there, and left there to fly to parkland to help some of the survivors here in parkland prepare for the trial. so now it's -- it's happening so frequently we can't cover them all, but we do have volunteers that are up in saugus to help. >> and for people who don't know, that's what you are doing. you are trying to build kind of
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a network of survivors who can essentially respond to other survivors in the wake of a shooting like this. it is a particular kind of grief that's hard to understand unless, i mean, unless you have gone through it. >> it's impossible to understand it unless you've gone through it, and listening to the young people that were on your show earlier, the trauma that they're suffering and they don't even realize they're suffering from trauma, and we know from our own experience that this trauma is a form of ptsd, and it stays with you for a lifetime. so early intervention is incredibly important. so we're actually putting together rapid response teams that would include survives, trauma therapists, police, first responders, so they can go into these communities when it happens, they're prepared to go into these communities and offer
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assistance and survivor support immediately. so that they can start having the help that they need. >> trauma therapy is something that you talk about a lot, and i know you recommend it for a lot of people who have been through something like this, can you just talk a little bit -- you and i have talked about how there's no timeline for grief. that people, you know, who haven't lost somebody often think, okay, you go through those five stages then, you know, you get back to work and your life moves on. it doesn't work that way. >> no. it doesn't. and especially with a trauma like they've gone through. trauma, not treated, eventually will catch up to you. so these young people often think that, oh, i'm okay, i've got my friends around me, i'll be fine, i'll be fine. parents want to make it okay for the kids. so they don't dig deep enough to really get the kind of trauma therapy they need and they often settle for counseling instead of
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therapy. and what ends up happening is years later, it hits them full force. and they don't have the skill sets to deal with it. so it is a form of ptsd and we have seen that with our military coming home. it's the same for these young people. it's the same for any victim, survivor of gun violence. >> your organization,, we have that up on the screen. you also -- >> thank you. >> -- make the point often about that this is not just a, you know, something that you go through for a few months. this is a lifetime of healing. >> oh, yes. this is something you don't get over. you move on from, but you don't move through it and you don't ever leave it totally behind you. it changes your dna.
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>> you move with -- >> trauma changes your dna. yes, you move with it, that's a very good way of putting it, and sometimes it's just a slight wave and other times it's a tsunami. and knowing how to deal with those moments and have the skill sets to deal with that are -- it's just incredibly important to their welfare, long-term welfare and redefining their lives that have been changed today. >> and -- and talking about it, i mean, is it -- it's beyond talk therapy. >> it is way beyond talk therapy. yes, and i'm not -- i'm not a counselor. i'm not a therapist. but i've learned through this journey that we've been on, quite often, talk therapy can actually hurt trauma survivors. so learning emdr, mindfulness, deep breathing, tapping skills, they're all things that help folks when they all of a sudden are in a situation where they
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can tell that their ptsd has been triggered. >> yeah. >> we talked to one survivor who had to pull over the side of the road because she got triggered about something and had to just sit there and do some tapping for a while until she was okay to move forward. >> yeah. sandy phillips, i so appreciate what you are doing. again, the organization, it's good to talk to you, though, i'm sorry it's under these circumstances. we'll be right back. >> me, too, but thank you for having me.
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the news continues right now. let's turn things over for christine romans and dave briggs for "early start." scary to see people running and have them running into your class. and then, like, somebody's on campus. >> another school shooting and a community changed forever. five students shot, two killed, when a classmate opens fire on his 16th birthday. republican impeachment hearings today. but it's the testimony