Sen. Rubio reacts to Fort Lauderdale airport shooting

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 6, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  We're getting a few more details on the shooter.  

Court records show that Santiago had some minor brushes with the law -- this is coming from The Miami Herald -- when he lived in Alaska, including a $1,000 fine for driving without insurance and another infraction for driving with broken taillights.  

An Anchorage landlord apparently evicted him last year for failure to pay rent.  He was carrying some form of military I.D.  We don't know that -- if it was legitimate I.D. or exactly his I.D.  He is suspected of being a former U.S. Army soldier, though, from the New York metropolitan area.  

All right, we're going to get a little bit more of that and what he might know, Senator Marco Rubio from Florida.  

Senator, thank you for taking the time.  


CAVUTO:  Have you learned anything, Senator?  

RUBIO:  Well, as has been happening often in these events, the information flow into the press is about as fast as for government officials, knowing you have multiple agencies now involved.

The FBI at this time has no reason to believe that it's an act of terrorism.  Obviously, they haven't ruled anything out yet.  And they are going to treat it as such until that's been ruled out.  

But, basically, the information which I have asked and has been confirmed is that he was a passenger on an inbound flight.  There are conflicting reports.  One agency told me it was a domestic, but not continental United States flight.  Another agency, a local agency, said it was a flight coming in from Canada.  

But irrespective, he was a passenger who flew in, went to the baggage claim, and then at some point loaded a weapon and came out and fired.  And I think what they're trying to figure out now, obviously, is twofold.  One is, is there anybody else involved?  Is there anything else going on at the airport?

Because there's always the fear that the one tactic is designed to draw in law enforcement, and then the other, a secondary attacker, could then target law enforcement first-responders.  So, they want to rule that out and then, of course, try to figure out what was behind this.  

And so that, I think, it's going to some time until it's more forthcoming and we understand all the facts about that.  

CAVUTO:  What little we do know, Senator -- and you know, obviously, this as well -- is that he came out of the restroom once he got his gun again out of the case, and armed it and then started shooting at this baggage terminal.  

The baggage terminal, as is the case in most airports, I guess that's the same here in Fort Lauderdale, is outside the security perimeter.  

RUBIO:  Right.  

CAVUTO:  Already, we have heard calls for maybe baggage terminals should be within the security perimeter.  Way too soon to jump to those type of conclusions.  But what do you make of that?  

RUBIO:  Well, first of all, if you talk to law enforcement, the agencies I have spoken to, the bottom line is that he didn't have to get on an airplane and fly to Fort Lauderdale with a handgun in his bag to carry this out.  

He could have just driven up in a car, parked, walked in and done the same thing, perhaps with an even deadlier result.  So, again, it's -- the reason why we prevent handguns on aviation is to prevent hijackings or commandeering of the airplanes and the like.  

But, at some point, no matter where you set up the perimeter, there's going to be somewhere that is outside that perimeter.  And there will be people there.  So, that's why this is not -- they're going to spend some time trying to figure this out, because it doesn't -- you don't have to -- if you wanted to shoot up the Fort Lauderdale terminal outside the perimeter, you didn't have to put it in a bag and fly all the way here.  

You could have just driven up or what have you.  So, it's -- or he could have done it wherever he came from.  So there's a lot here to figure out yet still.  And I think it will take some time.  And certainly people should reserve judgment and learn all the facts before we start proposing regulations and legislation.  

CAVUTO:  Yes, that is true.  You bring up a good point, though, what his interests might have been in Florida.  Do we know any of that, if he hails from Alaska or he once lived in Alaska?  There's very little we know about him.  

But do we know, or do you know, or have you heard of any Florida connections yet?  

RUBIO:  No, I haven't up to this point.  

And one of the things about it is, his name is not necessarily rare. Esteban is a very common in that -- in Spanish.  And so -- and his last name is not unique either.  So, I imagine there are multiple people.  If you just did a public search, it would take some time to narrow that down.  

Obviously, if they have his identification, he is on the passenger manifest, it will be a lot quicker for law enforcement.  But at this moment, that work is ongoing.  

And I want to be very cautious, because I don't want to go any further than what they have gone in terms of making any sort of revelations.  But I have yet -- I have not heard anything in the media that is inconsistent with what they have told me so far.  

CAVUTO:  Senator, you have been very patient.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention this intel report that came out now and is being shared with the media today and with Americans that Vladimir Putin did indeed have a role and aspired to influence the election. Whether that tipped it to Donald Trump, there's no way of knowing.  

But what do you make of that and that Mr. Trump, who had a chance to be briefed on the same matter, confirmed that Russia certainly tried to influence the election, but obviously he didn't share the belief that he did -- but what do you make of these latest reports that are coming out?  

RUBIO:  Well, I will say three things.  

And I recall, back in October, when I was on the ballot and these revelations came out, I refused to discuss WikiLeaks.  And I said it was the work of a foreign government.

I would say three things.  Number one is, I do not believe Donald Trump was elected because of this.  I don't believe it tipped it one way or the other.  Number two, they didn't hack the election voting system.  Number three, there's no doubt in my mind and has never has been any doubt in my mind that there was -- the Russian government, under the Putin government, undertook active measures to influence and/or manipulate American public opinion and to sow chaos in our electoral system.  

And if you look at where we stand today, you have got some Democrats questioning the legitimacy of the Trump presidency.  And you have the president-elect of the United States questioning the intelligence agencies.  

That sounds to me pretty chaotic and destabilizing.  And that is the role and the goal of these active measures that Russia has undertaken and -- throughout Europe, interfering in the electoral processes there.  And I believe that was part of their aim here.  And I have never had any doubt about that.  

CAVUTO:  Do you think that Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to be president more than he did Hillary Clinton?  

RUBIO:  Well, it's difficult to ascribe motive, because I don't know Vladimir Putin.  

I would say to you that I'm not sure they were interested in the ultimate outcome.  I think that they most certainly -- their number one goal was to create doubts about our electoral system and its credibility.  

I think the secondary goal was to create chaos and animosity (INAUDIBLE) because the more of that exists in the United States, the weaker they believe we are made by it.  

So, having people out saying that Trump's stole the election is part of his goal.  And having people questioning Hillary Clinton, had she won, would have been part of his goal.  

So, again, I think their overriding goal was to sow chaos, instability, and undermine the credibility of our electoral system.  How he feels about the actual outcome is something I can't answer.  

CAVUTO:  Finally, sir, and I know you have to go, this was the formality today of Donald Trump being certified in Washington as the next president of the United States.  But it was a little bit of a dust-up, to put it mildly, where Joe Biden apparently had to make it official and just say it's over, despite protests from both elected members, Democrats largely, and protesters who snuck into the well of Congress today to stop this from happening.  

How do you think this settles the matter now?  There are a lot of people who still are going to be kicking and screaming on this thing two weeks ahead of Donald Trump getting sworn in.  

RUBIO:  Well, again, I remind people about 2000, where that happened as well.

And ultimately I thought you can focus on three or four House members that decided to make a show of it and a couple people who went into the gallery and started screaming.  

CAVUTO:  Right.  

RUBIO:  The bottom line is that a Democratic vice president stood there today, ran that process was it was supposed to be run and announced that Donald Trump had sufficient votes in the Electoral College and is now going to be sworn in as the president of the United States, and that not a single member of the United States -- and that includes Bernie Sanders, who ran himself, and Elizabeth Warren and others -- not a single one of them signed on to any petition to disqualify him.  

So, the election is over.  The time has come to govern and to run this country.  And in about two weeks, Donald Trump is going to be sworn in as president of the United States.  And I hope we will have a period of time here where everyone can work together to get things right in this country.  

And we will have another election in two years for Congress.  But until then, I think we should focus on fixing the problems that are confront of our country.  And I hope that's what will happen.  

I understand this will be a handful of people that are going to want to be on the news and get their name out there, but I hope the rest of us will focus on doing our job.  

CAVUTO:  Senator Marco Rubio, thank you very much.  We appreciate you taking the time.  

RUBIO:  You got it.  Thank you.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  


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