Scalise on Vegas shooting, his view of the Second Amendment

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," October 3, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "THE STORY" HOST: There is breaking news in the Las Vegas investigation tonight. I'm Martha MacCallum and this is THE STORY in Las Vegas. And here on Capitol Hill. Two American cities to struggling to process extreme violence. In Vegas, chilling new video, the shooter's room in disarray at Mandalay Bay, his twisted work coming into focus tonight. His girlfriend is now a person of interest, 45 of his victims are in critical condition tonight. Just a short time ago, we heard from the Clark County sheriff.


JOSEPH LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, CLARK COUNTY NEVADA: We received a call at 10:08: p.m. The best of our estimates and video review, he continued to fire at a progressive's successive rate for approximately nine minutes. There were cameras located in outside of the room and inside of the room. All I know is the Philippines, and currently, she's a person of interest. I don't have complete answers yet. So, I anticipate a substantial amount of information to come in, in the next 48 hours.


MACCALLUM: Wow. More on that in a moment. And here on Capitol Hill, a new beginning for shooting the victim and Majority Whip, Steve Scalise. We are with him for an exclusive interview as he entered the room for his first legislative meeting, nearly four months after a gunman nearly took his life. They were happy to see him.



REP. STEVE SCALISE, R-LOUISIANA: My old spot right here.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: If we are whipping a hard bill, we'd say do you really want us to get Steve Scalise to call you?


MACCALLUM: In a moment, Scalise's story, his take on Las Vegas, and his surprising comments on the battle over guns in this country. But first, Trace Gallagher in Las Vegas with breaking news from there tonight. Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Hi, Martha, I will tell you that Sheriff Joe Lombardo was very unhappy. Those pictures of the guns inside the hotel room were released to the media. We can tell you it shows some of the 23 weapons inside that hotel room but the sheriff did acknowledge that at least one of those weapons -- and we've heard it's more than that -- was modified with something called a bunk stock. And what that does is it allows the trigger to fire automatically -- we're talking about somewhere between 400 and 800 rounds per minute.

You mentioned the cameras found inside and outside the hotel room. We should note, while we give you this information, that room service and maid service was going in and out of that room for the entire four days that Stephen Paddock was in there. Cameras were mounted inside the room, one of the cameras was even mounted outside the room on a service cart in the hallway. Here's the sheriff, listen.


LOMBARDO: I'm not aware of any transmission but there were cameras. There were cameras located outside of the room and inside of the room along with the firearms. I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody.


GALLAGHER: Yes. A picture of the police coming down the hallway, we have not been told exactly what is on the cameras inside the room, what they've documented. The sheriff is also doubling back on the girlfriend, Marilou Danley. Remember, she is now considered a person of interest, he said that today. She was definitely a person of interest. But moreover, they are actively trying to bring her back from the Philippines so they can thoroughly question her. They clearly believe that she lived in this house with explosives and weapons and that she knows more than she's letting on. It comes on the same day that we learned that Stephen Paddock was sending tens of thousands of dollars to the Philippines.

It's unclear exactly who he was sending it to, it's thought to have been towards the girlfriend. And we are also learning that today they raided the house or finished cleaning up the house in Reno, Nevada, and what did they find? They found another cache of weapons. They found a lot more ammunition and they also pulled out more electronics and more computer hard drives. The sheriff says they're in the process now of scrubbing all those electronics of all those hard drives. For the first time today, he said they still do not have a motive for the crime but he is very confident they soon will have one. Martha.

MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you so much. Here now with more, Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a CIA Trained Intel Operative and Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. He's been in contact with sources in law enforcement. Tony, good evening.


MACCALLUM: What you make of this today given what we now know?

SHAFFER: Well, look, I think it's shaping up to be a very deliberate act of terror. This is beyond dispute. The question becomes a motive. Everybody seems to be searching for a motive. Martha, I would argue, most of the clues of the motive is right in front of us. First off, this individual parallels in many ways by age and by predisposition of being unstable the shooter who attacked Congressman Scalise back in June. The Hodgkinson attack, very similar age, they're both considered unstable, and so in many ways after talking to both a psychological professional and some other folks in law enforcement, there are a lot of parallels there.

Let's look at the target as well. It was a politically selected target. I think the target is being selected -- and let me say this is the perception based on the available information -- the perception was, there's going to be a lot of pro-gun folks there, Trump supporters at this concert. So, therefore, I believe the perception was by the shooter, by the individual who did this, by Paddock, that this was a legitimate target of political expression. Martha, this may be something people don't like to understand, but the very reason that Hodgkinson did what he did, and I believe Paddock did what he did is that the left is now encouraged the use of violence as an extension and use of political speech.

And this is what we have to be very careful about, the slippery slope. The idea here that somehow violence can become part of someone expressing themselves, and I think that's the real danger here. Let me put something else out there: there was no violence perpetrated against Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton during the run-up to the selection. So, this has become a feature of desensitization by the left, the Kathy Griffin beheading -- fake-beheading the president, things like this, I think, are what's pushing a lot of folks to believe now that somehow violence is an acceptable piece of their -- is political justified.

MACCALLUM: Is politically justified.

SHAFFER: Exactly.

MACCALLUM: We will see. I mean, it's an interesting theory. The other part of this is, you know, that ISIS claimed responsibility twice. And we talked to Catherine Herridge about this last night. He does not line up in any way to be the typical sort of recruit for ISIS, a 64-year-old man. But does that hold any water with you?

SHAFFER: Yes, two points to that. First, they talked about the video. I think we're going to get a lot of clues of that video. The sheriff himself during his statement today use the world radicalization. We're checking for radicalization, so they've got to go through that very thorough, obviously, the electronics. The second factor, to your point, the FBI dismissing terror within the first hours in the investigation was completely insane, the FBI has no way of knowing. I mean, for goodness sake, the special counsel has been investigating the president's team for a year looking at Russia collusion, how does the FBI come to a conclusion that there's no terror link, especially now, Martha, in light of the hundred thousand dollars transferred to the Philippines? I'm sure he wasn't sending that money for water buffalo preservation. So, I think --

MACCALLUM: Well, he may have been sending it to his girlfriend.

SHAFFER: That's the other piece.

MACCALLUM: Who was living there, and that's the other piece. We don't know if she's Filipino or not, we don't know what her background is.

SHAFFER: But she's been upgraded to being a person of interest, which means that she's of investigative importance to the whole thing.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, we understand that she is coming back and she comes back voluntarily that tells you a little something, doesn't it?

SHAFFER: Right, it does. But again, we believe that her work with him, that being co-located with him, she would know everything intimately, Martha, about what he was doing. You cannot get past having a houseful of guns by someone who is not in the military, has no previous record of wanting to do things with guns, all of a sudden, he buys these. And we are talking about, I've been told an estimate of $100,000 worth of high-end weapons.

MACCALLUM: Unbelievable.

SHAFFER: So, it's -- clearly, something's there.

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

SHAFFER: Thank you, ma'am. Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much. Always good to talk to you.

SHAFFER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Coming up next, this.


MACCALLUM: Inevitably questions about the second the amendment is raised by what happened in Las Vegas, it happens almost immediately. Have you, your experience of your own, and what you saw in Las Vegas, has it change how you feel about any of that?


MACCALLUM: House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise, answers that question in our exclusive interview today about how he feels about the rapid politicization of this tragedy and of his own shooting. And she has now, as we said, considered a person of interest, she is becoming quite the talk in this investigation today, the girlfriend of this of the suspected Vegas gunman. We go into the mindset of this killer with former CIA Interrogator, James Mitchell.


LOMBARDO: This individual was premeditated, obviously, premeditated. The fact that he had the type of weaponry and the amount of weaponry in that room, it was preplanned.




MACCALLUM: How have you all been doing this without him? You want to be right in the room, and today you are, and so how does it feel?

SCALISE: It feels great. This is something I've been looking forward to for a long time.

RYAN: We had a big vacuum which is now filled because of Stevo, that's what we call him, Stevo is back. It's a great day for us.


MACCALLUM: So, that was Steve Scalise, his triumphant return to the important weekly legislative meeting where he says he's determined to whip the vote to see through significant tax reform. He's the first to tell you that he would not be alive today if it were not for these men. We had the privilege of bringing them all together again for the very first time since the awful moments on that ball field earlier today.


MACCALLUM: Steve, what goes through your mind when you see these guys?

SCALISE: Oh, man, it's great to see them all here together, we got a whole lot of individual conversations but each one of these guys had a role in helping me be here. And obviously, Brad had the background to help make sure to stop the bleeding enough to where I could make it to the hospital alive. But, you know, Mike Conway was there just right there behind first base talking to me, giving me assurance that help was on the way, and then Jeff called my wife right after the shooting to let her know firsthand what had happened so that she didn't have to see it on T.V.


MACCALLUM: It was remarkable. They're quality guys and we're going to show you that very special sit down in its entirety tomorrow night. Also, need to mention that Congress is now shoving a bill that would have eased restrictions on silencers. So, given the news from Las Vegas, we ask the majority whip how he felt when he learned that he was targeted by a man who was there that day to kill Republicans and whether being shot by a semi- automatic has changed his thinking about gun control.


MACCALLUM: So, you have been a register Republican since you were 18- years-old. What was your first reaction when you learned that James Hodgkinson shot you because you are a Republican?

SCALISE: You know, I don't think that anybody has a rational justification for carrying out that kind of attack. I mean, he came out just really with an intention of murdering as many Republicans as he could that day, and I don't know what his motivation is, and, you know, whether mental illness was involved or not, I can't even answer that, but I really don't focus on that.

I mean, I had to focus on getting better and I'm a person who typically doesn't dwell on the past and on negative things that happen, because, you know, frankly, if you're dwelling on that you're not focusing on the things that you can get done. Ad I think it's an honor to be a member of Congress and we've got real challenges, clearly, but I want to do something about it and now I have that ability again and that's where I want to focus my energy.

MACCALLUM: P. Williams said, you know, we can never know what drove Scalise's shooter, but he told us what drove him, he said -- he had a list of Republicans. What do you think about that?

SCALISE: You know, nobody in the right frame of mind should think like that. And look, we have a divided nation on a lot of big, important issues, but when you fight over these issues, you know, that's one of the things that's great about our country. I mean, our country started with big divisions and in many cases, two-party systems for people were on very different sides but you never make that personal. There's never a rationale for making those disagreements personal. And so, you know, when I look at that, I say, you know, nobody has a justification to take their political differences and try to carry out some kind of illegal act or harmful act based on that.

MACCALLUM: So, obviously, you saw what happened in Las Vegas, and you are part of a club, an unfortunate club of people who know what it's like to be shot at. What's your reaction when you see this heinous, horrific massacre? That another crazed gunman, a 64-year-old man, from five football fields away with 23 guns -- 19, I think, in the room -- raining down on innocent people?

SCALISE: It just, you know, it just touches your heart. The first thing I think of is to pray for those people that are still fighting for their lives in the hospitals in Las Vegas. And you can imagine with hundreds of people that were shot, with dozens that have already died, there are still some people fighting for their lives and we ought to pray for them, we ought to pray for the people who lost their lives and what their families are going through, but also for the people who are still in the hospital.

You know, what I called for because I saw it personally, is you see a big drain on the blood supply. And so, you know, luckily, there are a lot of people showing up at the blood banks in Las Vegas, but the people asked me what can I do about it. People all around the country can go to their local blood bank and there's a need there, and I'm somebody who experienced that personally that luckily the blood supply was there so that I could really be alive today.

MACCALLUM: Inevitably, questions about the second amendment are raised by what happened in Las Vegas. It happens almost immediately. Have you, your experience of your own, and what you saw in Las Vegas, has it changed how you feel about any of that?

SCALISE: I think it's fortified it, because first of all, you've got to recognize that, you know, when there is a tragedy like this, the first thing we should be thinking about his praying for the people who were injured and doing whatever we can to help them, to help law enforcement. We shouldn't first be thinking of promoting our political agenda. And I think we see too much of that where people say, oh, OK, now you have to have gun control. Well, first of all, look at some of those bills, those bills wouldn't have done anything to stop this. I mean, the gunman actually cleared background checks.

So, to promote some kind of gun control, I think, is the wrong way to approach this. And frankly, what I experienced was when there was a shooter, we had -- luckily, we had Capitol Police there with their own guns. Every single day in America, regular citizens that just have a passionate belief in the second amendment that has their own guns, use guns every single day to protect themselves against criminals, and those stories never get told are hardly ever told but that's a different side of the story that I think is important. People use guns way more to defend themselves from criminals and criminals using guns to hurt people.

MACCALLUM: I understand what you're saying, but then, there's the argument that gun manufacturers are advertising in their catalogs, semi-automatic guns, everybody knows that those can be converted. We now know more about it than we used to, some of us, after what happened in Las Vegas, you can go online, you can turn that into an automatic weapon, which is illegal in this country. So, I think a lot of people look at that and say there must be, perhaps, something, some effort that can be made so that these kinds of weapons can't fall into the hands of a madman, a madman like the one who attacked you and your fellow congressman, and a madman like the one who attacked those innocent people in Las Vegas.

SCALISE: The one thing we've seen over the years is that a lot of these mass shootings involve people with mental health issues. I can't speak to whether or not the Las Vegas shooter had mental health issues but a lot of these gunmen do. We actually addressed this in Congress just a few months ago. We passed a bill called the 21st-Century Cures Act that had a major reform of our mental health system. We actually created a new position in DHH, the assistant secretary of mental health.

That person, she just got installed two months ago, so this office is very new, we put money in place to focus on mental health. That's really where the biggest problem has been. And Congress actually took action in a very bipartisan way to address that. We need to make sure that that office gets implemented the right way because that really can solve and I think to stop some of these future mass shootings by addressing the real mental health problems in this country that drive people to do things like this.

MACCALLUM: So, you're as strong on the second amendment as ever?

SCALISE: Absolutely.

MACCALLUM: You talked about the division that we see in this country, and we all feel that. You know, you can have friends that it's hard to have conversations with about politics today and a lot of people think that that trickles down from the president. There was a woman, who as is a lawyer, was a lawyer, she got fired from CBS. And after Las Vegas, she said, she had no sympathy for the country music fans because they were most likely gun-toting Republicans.

SCALISE: I think that's disgraceful. I'm glad she was fired because there's no place in our society for that kind of hate. I mean, that is hate. And no matter which side of the political spectrum you're on -- you know, what I tell people, I mean, I'm a conservative, I have strong beliefs that go back to when Ronald Reagan inspired me to be a Republican. Fight passionately for the things you believe in, in the ways that our country allows under the Constitution. I mean, we're the best example in the world of a democracy where people actually get to go out and debate freely -- freedom of speech, the ability to fight for your issues at the ballot box, or on the house floor during the vote, but that's the way it should be settled. For people who think that violence is the answer to a political disagreement is wrong.

MACCALLUM: A lot of people, a lot of Republicans, in particular, are really frustrated with this Congress, and you may have been frustrated from your hospital bed at times. They want to see health care pass, they want to see tax reform. They were promised that if they elected a Republican president, and the sweep that they saw on the Hill was going to mean huge changes. Having gone through your experience and learned how short life can be, does it give you -- has it changed you at all in terms of your message to your colleagues?

SCALISE: Well, I'm probably an impatient person in general in terms of what I want to get done and I can't get quick enough, but this process in Washington works very slow and that's what frustrates all of us. But one of the things, I mean, you talked about tax reform, we have to deliver on tax reform and I really do think we can get that done by the end of this year. You want to talk about something that'll actually create jobs again, and rebuild our middle class, this tax reform bill that we're working on will do that quickly and you can see all of the money that's on the sidelines. All the jobs that went overseas, that can easily come back if we make our country competitive again. We're going to get that done.

MACCALLUM: But you've already got Freedom Caucus folks saying that they want this to be deficit neutral, they don't want to add to the deficit. You've got folks on the other end of the spectrum saying that they want to see bigger tax cuts, you're going to have a tough time pulling this together.

SCALISE: That's what makes my job so fun. As a majority whip you work with all of the coalitions and you pull them together and you find a way to hit that sweet spot on the bill that accomplishes what we want to do, and that is to lower taxes for families and rebuild the middle-class and create jobs. We'll also bring together the various factions within our Republican conference to get the votes to pass the bill. That's what we're working on right now and I'm so glad to be back here at this time because I know how important it is that we get this time.

And if we get this done, I do think it gives us more momentum to go into next year, which is still all in the same Congress, and then go back at health care. And still, those problems are going to get worse. Obamacare is only going to get worse. Let them figure out a way to get done what we started this year. We still have time to achieve even more big things, but if it starts with tax reform, I think that's a big win in and of itself, it creates momentum to get other big things done.


MACCALLUM: So, don't miss part two of our exclusive interview with Congressman Scalise and his three heroes. They talk about that fateful day and they weigh in on the gun debate in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre as well. We'll hear from all three of them. That is tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m., right here on "The Story."

And still ahead here tonight from Washington, D.C., the battle over guns now heating up again in America. Constitutional Law Attorney, Jonathan Turley, tells us the facts. And now, the girlfriend is a person of interest, $100,000 spirited away to the Philippines and a gambling habit, how does all of that add up? Former CIA Contractor, Dr. James Mitchell, with his take on the mind of this particular criminal.


MACCALLUM: Breaking new details tonight on a huge weapons cache, including explosives. The biggest gunman had on hand 23 guns in his hotel suite, another 19 firearms at his home in Mesquite, Nevada, and five handguns and two shotguns at the Reno property. They found loads of ammunition, electronic devices, explosives at the homes as well. Plus, there are reports that the shooter turned his rifle into an illegal automatic weapon that could fire hundreds of bullets within a minute. Chris Michael is the owner of Dixie Gun Works at -- in St. George, Utah, and he remembers selling a shotgun to this gunman earlier this year. Chris, good evening, thanks a lot for being with us tonight.


MACCALLUM: How did you figure out that you knew this guy?

MICHAEL: I just remembered his name when I saw it on the newsfeed yesterday morning.

MACCALLUM: So, tell me what that triggered for you, what your memory was of him, what you sold him?

MICHAEL: You know, it triggered just remorse knowing that I had sold him something that could potentially be used in this kind of a situation. I ran basically to the shop as quick as I could just to, kind of, look and get the facts so that I could be as helpful as possible to local and federal agencies.

MACCALLUM: And what kind of gun did you sell him and do you know whether or not it was used?

MICHEL: You know, at this point in time I don't. It was just a shotgun, you know, used for everyday hunting purposes.

MACCALLUM: You know, when you here and you see what he potentially did to this rifle, or to one of the rifles that he had that allowed it to shoot perhaps hundreds of bullets within a minute, that kind of adapting to a machine gun is illegal, right? So how did people get access to these parts that allow them to do that?

MICHEL: So the part that he supposedly used to make his rifle be able to shoot like that is used for hunting purposes all the time, or for sporting purposes more or less. It's more of a novelty item and you can walk into a number of different sporting goods stores, pick it up or on the internet you can buy it, and just adapt it to your firearm.

MACCALLUM: Isn't it illegal to use an automatic rifle?

MICHEL: It's illegal to own if you do not have the right classification or taxed stamp, yes, it is.

MACCALLUM: OK. All right, Chris Michel, thanks for your story tonight. Good to speak with you, thank you for being here.

MICHEL: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: So here now to help us understand the law, the second amendment and gun rights is Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor and constitutional law attorney. Jonathan, welcome, always good to have you on the show.


MACCALLUM: You know, a lot of talk obviously about how this could happened, how do people get their hands on these weapons, there ought to be a law as sort of, you know, the immediate response. The problem is there is a law, right?

TURLEY: Well, there is. I mean, first of all, you start with the second amendment, which limits what you can do in limiting the right of ownership, but there's still room there. The Supreme Court has said that there aren't any absolute rights including the second amendment so you can have a reasonable limitation. In 1986, before that opinion was ever handed down, the congress outlawed machine guns, that weapons that have an automatic fire component. And that was a crime, still is a crime. Now whether you use something like this bump stocks or other things to get around the law is something congress can look at. If you use a bump stock technically you're not in possession of an automatic weapon, you're making a semiautomatic perform like an automatic. And so many people have identified that is something they want to look at. But many of the proposals that are being made would either be unconstitutional or they wouldn't have changed the outcome here.

MACCALLUM: You know, these laws get put into place, and I remember after Sandy Hook there was a lot of discussion about the magazine, the number of bullets that could be fired at once, and I'm not good with this lingo because I don't know that much about the guns except when I'm been starting to work on these stories. So changes get made but it doesn't seem like it matters, it seems like people can pretty much get their hands on anything they want.

TURLEY: Well, they can. I mean, first of all, we have to keep our head about us. I mean, there are senseless acts of violence and it's hard to make sense out of them. We're figuring out what this man was thinking. And you do have illegal possession of semiautomatic weapons. So even if you don't have a bump stocks you can pull that trigger a lot and cause a lot of the damage. And we have to live within the reality that we do have a lot of weapons in this country.

Now there are things that can be looked at that might pass constitutional muster, background checks, for example, might pass the holler test. It is possible to criminalize conversion kits. It's actually illegal to sell a conversion kit. It's just illegal to use it. And so, that is something congress can look at. But the fact is that the opposition to the added gun control law is seen not just from the Republican Party but also the Democratic Party. After the massacre occurred at Sandy Hook it was a Democrat congress that ultimately declined to make reforms.

MACCALLUM: Jonathan Turley, thank you very much.

TURLEY: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Always good to see you. Thanks for coming tonight. So Sheriff Lombardo back at the podium with more breaking news on the investigation into the massacre in Las Vegas.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I assure you this investigation is not ended with the demise of Mr. Paddock.


MACCALLUM: Moments away, the man who interrogated al-Qaeda members after 9/11, psychologist and former CIA contractor James Mitchell has some fascinating theories about this killer. He joins me next. And President Trump in Puerto Rico making his argument for White House response to the hurricane, so how did he do? Analysis, straight ahead.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The job that's been done here is really nothing short of a miracle. It's been incredible.



MACCALLUM: So we're now getting our first look inside the hotel room where the shooter fire hundreds of bullets down on that concert crowd killing 59 innocent people. Including Sandy Casey, a special education teacher, Adrian Murfitt, an Alaskan fishermen, and Angie Gomez, who graduated from high school just two years ago. So when law enforcement broke into this hotel room they found a bizarre and awful scene, assault rifles strewn across the floor, camera set up to capture the carnage inside the room and outside as well. Possible for him to see when law enforcement was on the way. Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge has more on the man who worked for some time to set up this horrific scene.

CATHERINE HERRIGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Sorry about that, Martha. I've been getting contacts -- phone calls from my contacts throughout the evening. We spoke earlier today with two contacts who reviewed the inventory and they tell us the recovered weapons were all high end, AR-15 and AR-10 ranging in price from $1,500 to $3,000 apiece, and with the scope and tripods the value was put at well over $100,000. Fox News is told investigators also have receipts which showed Stephen Paddock purchase an item that takes assault-style rifle so they mimic an automatic weapon. However, it's not clear from our reporting tonight whether the items known as a slide fire or bump fire were on the murder weapon.

We're also told the modification can impact the weapons accuracy making the line of fire more erratic, by all accounts, Paddock was spraying the venue in these images taken today from the upper floor of the Mandalay Bay show forensics teams working to map out the gunfire and where the victims fell. U.S. government officials told Fox News today investigators are doing a full review of Stephen Paddock's travel history, and there also drilling down on his electronics after five search warrants were executed on the hotel, his car and his residency. The sheriff and his team did not rule out other prosecution.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE: We're comfortable that we have the suspect into custody, but something more may come of that investigation. And I want to understand the motivation that you described, OK, to prevent any future incidence. And, you know, did this person get radicalized unbeknownst to us?


HERRIDGE: The FBI has run Paddock's name through all their federal databases and they got no hits, indicating ties to international terrorism. That was really the basis for the statement we've had at that news conference in Las Vegas earlier this week, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Catherine, thank you very much.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

MACCALLUM: So here now with insight into the criminal mind, Dr. James Mitchell, psychologist and former CIA contractor, author of enhanced interrogation, a book that details his time interrogating top al Qaeda operatives. Dr. Mitchel, welcome back, good to have you back on the program again. When you look at this person, Mr. Paddock, Stephen Paddock, what goes through your mind, what does it tell you?

JAMES MITCHELL, PSCHOLOGIST: Well, I think that one of the things we have to keep in mind is its early days, right? And so a lot of it is just speculation. But in terms of what we would be doing is we would be doing something called a psychological autopsy. We would be looking into both the content of what he had to say and the way his brain was processing the information. So I'd be interested in ruling out the possibility that he has some kind of a brain injury like a tumor in the section of the brain that controls your emotional regulation or in the section that controls your ability to inhibit these kinds of reactions. Or some kind of a drug induced paranoia or mania, or a mental health problem, or a combination of all three because it can interact with each other.

But my guess would be is probably a mental health problem with whatever he's saying about why he did what he did and who's agreed him superimposed on top of that. And what I would be really interested in and what maybe we can find out from his girlfriend is whether or not he exhibited any signs of a mental health disorder, even if it was undiagnosed prior to doing it. Was he -- did he overreact or slide, was he hostile? You know, was he withdrawn and felt persecuted? That sort of stuff. Because when a person deteriorates, that mental health disorder actually gets exacerbated in it controls who he targets.

MACCALLUM: You know, there was a report this morning from a Starbucks worker who said that he came in all the time with his girlfriend, and that he was often belittling and demeaning to her and that he would talk down to her in a very brusque manner. Obviously, that's the sort of thing that you would want to know from this girlfriend and what that might have been indicative of, perhaps.

MITCHELL: Right. You'll be interested in the content of what he said. But you'll also be interested in, like I said the process of his thinking. Did he think that people could read his mind for example? Was it the case that he believed that the casinos had somehow targeted him specifically to lose money? So his political grievance, or his personal grievance, or whatever it is, is going to be superimposed on whatever what's cooking underneath that was -- go ahead.

MACCALLUM: I want to ask you one other quick question before I let you go, the fact that his father was wanted by the FBI for bank robberies, his face was plastered all over post offices around America, he was a fugitive at one time. Would that have any impact on him do you think?

MITCHELL: Well, there's heritability to, you know, mental health disorders. But like everything else, there has to be the potential and then there has to be the environment that, you know, triggers that potential. And I think that what we're going to find is that there is some-- he's been deteriorating for a long time, but there was some kind of a triggering event that made him go from thinking about it, you know, imaging it, to actually deciding this week I'm going to go load my guns in the hotel room and shoot somebody. But I think it's too early to read into what that is.

MACCALLUM: All right. Dr. Mitchell, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.

MITCHELL: Thank you for having me on.

MACCALLUM: So coming up next.


TRUMP: You know who helped him? God helped him. That's who helped him, right?


MACCALLUM: More of the president's message as he visits Puerto Rico today, and why critics are calling him out tonight. Karl Rove weighs in on that coming up next.


MACCALLUM: So moments ago, President Trump landed back here in Washington, D.C., today he made his first trip to Puerto Rico to view the Hurricane Maria destruction firsthand. The storm hit nearly two weeks ago now leaving 16 people dead, massive destruction, power outages, they're going to be digging out for months and maybe years to come on the island. Here's the president during a briefing with federal and local officials, he thanks the governor, Ricardo Rossello.


TRUMP: Governor, I just want to tell you that right from the beginning this governor did not play politics. He didn't play it at all. He was saying it like it was and he was giving us the highest grades. And I want -- on behalf of our country I want to thank you.



MACCALLUM: Karl Rove joins me now from Austin, Texas. He is former deputy chief of staff under President George W. Bush and a Fox News contributor, good to see you tonight, Karl, welcome.


MACCALLUM: So you have talked about the importance of these moments, of these visits, and sort of chronicled them throughout the course of the last few weeks where President Trump has had opportunities to sort of do the right thing, to say the right words, to be there for people in a number of different situations, how do you think he did today?

ROVE: I don't think he did anywhere near as well as he did yesterday when he was talking about Las Vegas. I thought that his remarks on Las Vegas were extraordinary. Let's put this in context. This is an island of 3.4 million Americans, 90 percent of them, 13 days afterwards more than 90 percent are without power. Half of them are without portable water. Eighty percent of the cell towers in the country are down, they don't have any communication. And their fuel shortages both fuel to power your car and fuel to power your grills. So people are in desperate shape. And the president -- I think -- it's great when the president goes to a place like this. And it's great when the president shows up because it causes things to happen. And people like seeing their president.

But to say as he did earlier today, quote, every death is horrible, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina. Well, these people are living in something that is just unbelievable. It's sensitive. And then his comment with the governor. Look, the president showed an unnecessary sensitivity to criticism over the federal effort here. He looks like he wants to be praised, so to sit there and say he didn't play politics, and he said right from the beginning we're doing a great job. That was unnecessary. If he simply said I want to complement the governor on the close relationship we had in bringing to bare the might of the United States of America to help our fellow citizens in need, it would have been sufficient. No need to demonstrate a sensitivity about criticism on the federal effort.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. We've just have some breaking news because there's an official death count change in Puerto Rico. It was 16 earlier today, it is now at 34. And Karl, we know that that number, it may continue to rise. As you point out there's so many still dark areas of Puerto Rico that they haven't yet gotten into. In terms of the effort today, the president did seem to be very concerned with how he had done and how he was perceived and that doesn't really -- it's sort of a tenure in a moment like this.

ROVE: Right. Well, look, we sought Saturday when he tweeted out, quote, they want everything -- speaking to the Puerto Ricans, they want everything done for them when it should be a community effort. Again, this is an island, 3.4 million fellow American citizens. It's difficult. It's not like Texas or Louisiana, or Alabama, or Mississippi during a hurricane when you can surgeon people from adjoining states. You have to cover a great amount of air or water in order to get there. So there're going to be difficulties.

And for the president to have the kind of chip on his shoulder that he seemed to have on Saturday, and the kind of sensitivity today, doesn't help him. If he'd gone in and said, look, every death is horrible. But to think and compared to other catastrophes how the people of Puerto Rico pulled together and save each other's lives, we ought to all be grateful for that. It would have been a fine moment. People would have felt great about it, but instead it's like look at a real catastrophe as if it isn't a real catastrophe to the 3.4 million people living in Puerto Rico.

MACCALLUM: Yeah. Just half a minute left, Karl, but tomorrow he goes to Las Vegas, and he really has dealt with such one horrible situation after the other. And so many people, obviously, have been dealing with these things firsthand in their lives. Thoughts on his visit there tomorrow?

ROVE: Well, I hope the tone is the tone we saw on Monday. I've got to tell you, I was so proud of what he said and how he said it on Monday. He gave comfort to those who were in need. I thought his use of quoting Psalm 34 was terrific. I want to see the same tomorrow.

MACCALLUM: We've got to go. We'll be back in just a moment.


MACCALLUM: So we leave you with this part of The Story from today.


REP. STEVE SCALISE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE MAJORITY WHIP: I've got to show you something (INAUDIBLE) since the shooting. That's the best view in D.C., which is right over here. And every day, you know, you'd think you're having a tough day you look out here and it puts it all in perspective what's this is all about.

MACCALLUM: Tell us a little bit about these.

SCALISE: Well, that was the hat I was wearing that day, the University of Louisiana, I was wearing their jersey. And, of course, it was full of blood. They had to cut off the shirt and the pants. And so they sent me a new uniform and I've got that, too, that I'm proud of because, you know, it reminds me of the day but it reminds me that I'm also still here. You see the gavel on the left?


SCALISE: The biggest one is the one when I was chairman of the Republican study committee. But this new one, Paul gave it to me today. That was the gavel the speaker used to gavel in the house when I returned on Thursday.

SCALISE: You have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people's house.


SCALISE: Put the jacket back on, still fits. Get the theme song going.


SCALISE: See you later.


MACCALLUM: And off he went. Tomorrow night the very first sit down with the colleague who came to his aid. A look at a side of congress that you do not usually see. That is our story for tonight, back at it tomorrow night in New York. Tucker Carlson is up next.


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