Virginia Officials Update on the shooting incident. TRANSCRIPT: 5/31/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us, for ALL IN this evening.
“THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
HAYES: You bet.
MATTHEWS: Have a good weekend.
Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. We are following a number
of stories from around the country tonight, including this terrible
developing news out of Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach is a fairly big coastal city at the southeastern tip of
Virginia obviously right on the beach. It is on the border with North
Carolina. It`s got a population of over 400,000 people. It`s a good size
This afternoon, just past 4:00 p.m., a suspect described as a long-time
city employee, a current employee, walked into one of the town`s municipal
buildings and opened fire. Officials tonight say the shooter killed 11
people across multiple floors of that building. I have to tell you we are
hearing reports that the death toll may rise from 11 to an even higher
number. Another six people were injured and taken to the hospital.
With 11 people killed, this is the largest number of people killed in a
mass shooting since November. Which itself is a remarkable thing to have
to say. November 12th, people were shot dead in a bar in Thousand Oaks,
As of right now, we know the death toll is 11 in Virginia Beach. This is
the mayor of Virginia Beach, Bobby Dyer.
MAYOR BOBBY DYER, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: This is the most devastating day in
the history of Virginia Beach. The people involved are our friends,
coworkers, neighbors, colleagues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That is the mayor of Virginia Beach.
The chief of police of Virginia Beach says the suspect worked for the
Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities. The chief says the suspect
stepped into the building that houses that public utilities department for
the city among other city offices. He says the shooter then fired
indiscriminately. Again, 11 people shot and killed on multiple floors of
that building, six additional people shot and injured.
When police officers responded to the scene, and they apparently got there
fairly quickly, the gunman reportedly starting shooting at police officers.
The gunman is now dead. He was shot by police.
One of the six people wounded in the attack was himself a police officer.
We believe it was a male police officer, although, we`re awaiting
confirmation on that. But that officer was apparently saved from more
serious or fatale injury by virtue of the fact he was wearing a bulletproof
So, we do not yet have official identification of any of the victims or the
shooter himself. The FBI and Virginia state police have joined the
investigation tonight. Over the course of this hour, we expect to hear
more from officials in Virginia Beach. We`ll bring you additional
information as we get it.
Specifically, I should tell you, that we are expecting a police press
conference less than a half hour from now, towards the bottom of the hour.
We will take that live when it happens. You will want to stay with us for
the latest information on that ongoing and terrible situation in Virginia.
While we await that news conference, which, again, will happen some time
this hour, let`s talk about some of the other news breaking tonight,
including surprising news from the courts that has to do with one of the
senior figures from the Trump campaign who`s currently awaiting sentencing
on felony charges. You might remember this time last week we got word of a
new indictment related to the Trump campaign. This man was the head of a
small bank in Chicago that was supposed to be a bank that catered to
Now, during the Trump campaign, he turned his bank, instead, into the bank
that allegedly bribed the Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. And you
might remember some of the story telling from Manafort`s trial. Manafort
was in a sticky wicket financial speaking during the campaign.
He went to this little bank in Chicago that specializes in loans to
veterans. Manafort isn`t a veteran, but he asked for loans that he
financially probably should not have been approved for. Bank employees
objected to his loan applications, but the head of the bank, Stephen Calk,
interceded and said that Manafort should get the loans. Even when Manafort
was caught falsifying documents to support the loan applications, even when
he admitted to misstating his assets and liabilities, he said it was all
fine with him. He green lit those loans all the way.
Now, why was Stephen Calk so excited to give away so much of his little
bank`s money to Paul Manafort who, again, was not a veteran and who was
asking the bank for so much money, Manafort would ultimately become their
single largest borrower and he would lose the bank millions and millions of
dollars. Why was Stephen Calk, the head of that bank, so psyched to do
Well, according to the indictment against Calk, he was so psyched to do
that because Manafort was accepting these millions of dollars in loans from
Steven Calk`s bank basically as bribes because Manafort was hooking Steven
Calk up with the Trump campaign. This is the part that was pitiful, right?
I mean, you remember our earlier reporting in this show about the document
that Stephen Calk sent over to Paul Manafort listing all the perspective
roles he might want in the new administration. That`s literally how he
spelled it, perspective and then rolls like dinner rolls or summer salts.
The list of his perspective roles in the Trump campaign or the Trump
administration included ten different cabinet positions, wow, or ambassador
to any number of these 18 awesome countries, starting with the U.K., second
place France. I mean, sky is the limit, right? This guy was giving the
Trump campaign chairman millions of dollars. Why shouldn`t he be able to
be deputy secretary of defense or secretary of commerce for them?
But the specific job that Manafort led this guy to think he was getting in
exchange for these millions of dollars, he really thought he was going to
get was secretary of the army. We know that because at one point Mr. Calk
reportedly called the Pentagon asking them why he wasn`t getting his
briefings already given that he was the incoming secretary of the army. He
assured them, in fact, that he had his whole senior staff all ready to go.
Who should they call to get their names on their doors?
I mean, it is pitiful this whole sorted allegation. But it happened. They
really did try to do it. I mean, bribing the Trump campaign chairman
wasn`t like a con. It was kind of a good investment for a while. I mean,
Manafort really did get Stephen Calk a gig on the Trump campaign as an
economic adviser to the campaign. That happened.
And Stephen Calk really did get a high level job interview at the Pentagon.
The Trump campaign was well wired to pay off arrangements like this.
Calk`s indictment shows how Manafort sent Jared Kushner, also transition
official number one, he sent Jared Kushner a recommendation that Mr. Calk
be appointed secretary of the army. The second day, Jared Kushner in fact
forwarded this recommendation to three other representatives of the
transition team recommending, in fact, that Calk be considered.
Remember, this is a time when Manafort was kicked off the campaign because
what was revealed about his secret ties to Ukrainian oligarchs and Russian
interests. Apparently, he`s still deciding who`s going to be secretary of
the army. Manafort, after he contacted Jared Kushner, apparently felt that
things weren`t going fast enough so he contacted transition official number
two to arrange, in fact, an interview of Stephen Calk to be secretary of
According to the Calk indictment, this was while Manafort had another $6.5
million in loans pending from Calk`s bank, and apparently, he really wanted
to hurry that money along. Quote: Transition official 2 advised Manafort
that another candidate was likely to be nominated for secretary of the
army, but agreed to arrange for Mr. Calk to be interviewed for
undersecretary instead, undersecretary.
So he didn`t get to be secretary of the army in exchange for bribing Paul
Manafort. But he did get an interview to be undersecretary, the number two
civilian job in the United States army. Because, according to prosecutors,
that`s what he believe bribing the Trump campaign chair would pay for.
Quote, after the $6.5 million loans closed, as arranged by transition
official 2, Calk in fact interviewed for undersecretary of the army. The
interview took place on or about January 10th, 2017 and was conducted by
three representatives of the Trump transition team`s Manhattan offices.
So we got that indictment last week. That indictment last week is about
what you could apparently get from the Trump campaign and the Trump
transition if you paid bribes to the Trump campaign chairman during the
campaign. That was last week. Today, we got newly unsealed documents
related to Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn who is now
awaiting sentencing. They also pertain to Flynn`s business partner who
served as a senior official in the Trump transition and who is himself
currently awaiting trial.
These new documents show that during the campaign, not only was the Trump
campaign`s top national security secretly on the payroll of another
country, but the deliverables he was expected to produce for that foreign
paycheck included statements by the Republican presidential candidate
defending that foreign country and publicly raising questions about a
citizen of that country who lives in the United States that that foreign
country wanted to smear. They were complaining – that foreign country was
complaining that Flynn hadn`t delivered on that yet because apparently
Flynn was secretly being paid by that foreign country to make that happen.
I mean, we knew before that Flynn was paid by that foreign country. He was
paid by Turkey to do things like write op-eds defending the Turkish
government and attacking this guy they wanted extradited who live in the
United States. Flynn definitely did that for money. He compared the guy
to Osama bin laden and then cashed the check for it.
But now we know he was also paid to get presidential candidate Donald Trump
to make pro-Turkish statements and to raise questions about the same guy
they wanted smeared during the campaign. And because of these newly
unsealed documents today, we also know he was paid by that foreign country
during the campaign to try to find, quote, lakes/trails to the Clinton
Foundation and the Clinton campaign as well to try to link this Turkish guy
in the United States to terrorism, right? They`re calling him a new bin
Laden. They want to link this Turkish guy living in the United States to
terrorism and then they want to link him to the Clinton campaign to hurt
So that particular tactic against Clinton during the campaign, that was
bought and paid for by the government of a foreign country, a government of
Turkey, through its paid secret agent who was Trump`s national security
adviser and through the number two guy running the Trump transition on
intelligence issues, who was also secretly employed by that foreign country
the whole time.
I mean, Attorney General Bill Barr doing this new interview with CBS where
he said it was inexplicable, maybe short of treasonous that the FBI might
have wanted to take a look at anything involving the Trump campaign, yeah,
I can`t imagine why they wanted to do that. I mean, the campaign chairman
quit after it was revealed he was on the payroll of Ukrainian oligarchs and
Russian interests. The Justice Department now says he was accepting
millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for selling off one of the top
civilian jobs in the U.S. Army.
One Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page was believed by the FBI to be
an active agent of the Russian government and they took their suspicions to
a federal judge to prove it. Another Trump foreign policy advisers had
weeks of advanced notice that the Russians stole e-mails before anybody
else publicly knew that. And his national security adviser, his top
national security adviser during the campaign, the guy who he eventually
named national security adviser in the White House literally was a secret
paid foreign agent during the campaign and beyond.
And then the Russians started helping that campaign and members of the
campaign and the candidate`s family started taking secret meetings with
emissaries from Russian government. Yes.
How dare the FBI take a look at that! They must have been anti-Trump
fanatics. Why would anybody see anything suspicion in those events?
That`s deep state wahooism.
Anyway, so the number two guy on intelligence in the Trump transition, the
guy who brags on his LinkedIn page to this day about his role in selecting
the CIA director during the Trump transition, he is now awaiting trial.
It`s due to start this summer. That`s where we got these new details today
from the court about what Turkey thought they were getting from him and
from Mike Flynn, from the people they were paying on the Trump campaign and
the Trump transition.
Flynn himself is awaiting sentencing. He`ll be back in court before the
judge in his case in a couple of weeks. But on that point, as of tonight,
I think it is also fair to say that Flynn is awaiting what we expect could
be a brand-new explosion of temper from the judge in his case, and it won`t
be the first time.
A couple of weeks ago, the judge in the Michael Flynn case ordered the
government, ordered prosecutors to release three sets of documents related
to Flynn`s case. The first was the transcript of a voice mail that one of
the president`s lawyers had left for Flynn`s lawyer around the time
everybody started to realize that Flynn was going to plead guilty and
become a cooperator. We had seen bits and pieces of the transcript of that
voice mail in the Mueller report, in the section on potential criminal
obstruction of justice by the president.
The pieces of that transcript in the Mueller report read, and I remember
reporting this at the time right after the report came out, that voice mail
read like a kind of mafia-esque threat to Michael Flynn through his
attorney saying, hey, we know what you`re cooperate. We want to know what
you`re going to give them on the president. I mean, the or-else was
silent, but it was implied. I say that this is sort of a mafia-esque thing
as it appears in the Mueller report because it literally starts with the
president`s lawyer saying, let me see if I can`t state it in starker terms.
Have you ever had like a pleasant conversation, a nonthreatening
conversation with somebody that started that way? Maybe if you had a
painter. I could paint this for you in starker terms.
Anyway, so we had seen portions of that voice mail. We had not seen the
entire thing. But two weeks ago the judge in the Flynn case ordered
prosecutors to make that full transcript public. That was the first thing
he ordered to be made public.
The second thing he asked for, the second thing he told prosecutors to
release to the public were the transcripts of Flynn`s calls with the
Russians, the transcripts of Flynn`s calls about sanctions with the Russian
ambassador during the presidential transition. These are the calls that
Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about.
The third thing the judge ordered to be released to the public was all the
portions of of the Mueller report that have to do with Michael Flynn. The
judge said anything about Flynn that`s redacted in the report needs to be
unredacted for the public. Now, anything blacked out of the report about
Flynn, remove those blackouts, show the public.
So, those were the three things. Those were not three requests from
Flynn`s judge. Those were three court orders for the voice mail, for the
calls with the Russians and for unredacting the Mueller report.
Well, today was the deadline for prosecutors to hand that stuff over. And
it kind of didn`t happen. The first one happened. Prosecutors did turn
over the full transcript of that voice mail from the president`s lawyer who
we now know is John Dowd.
Now that we have the full transcript, it does paint a clearer picture of
how the president`s attorney was in fact calling over to Mike Flynn,
calling Flynn`s lawyers to ask what Flynn knew about the president. And
what he was going to tell prosecutors about the president and how Flynn
should know how the president felt about him.
I mean, it does not change the tone, but we get more of it. Quote: I
understand your situation, but let me see if I can`t state it in starker
terms. Who talks like that?
It wouldn`t surprise me if you have gone on to make a deal with and work
with the government. If there is information that implicates the
president, you know, we need some kind of head`s up just for the sake of
protecting all our interests. Remember what we have always said about the
president and his feelings for Flynn, but, well.
We know from the Mueller report what happened after that voice mail. I
mean, we can now see the full transcript of it. We know from Mueller`s
account, around – describing the incidents around that voice mail, we know
what happened. Here is how Mueller describes it. Flynn`s attorneys
returned the call from the president`s counsel. Flynn`s attorneys
reiterated they were no longer in a position to share information under any
sort of privilege.
According to Flynn`s attorney`s the president`s counsel was indignant and
vocal in his disagreement. The president`s counsel interpreted what he
said to them as a reflection of Flynn`s hostility towards the president and
that he planned to inform his client, meaning he planned to inform the
president of that interpretation.
Flynn`s attorneys understood that statement to be an attempt to make them
reconsider their position – meaning, reconsider their decision for Flynn
to start cooperating with the government. So, needless to say, trying to
intimidate witnesses, trying to prevent witnesses from cooperating with the
government, that is how you explain obstruction of justice to three-year-
olds. That`s why that was part of Robert Mueller`s investigation into the
Well, now, we have the full transcript of this voice mail. This is CNN and
their excellent justice reporter Katelyn Polantz headlined that news
tonight. Quote: Transcript released of Flynn voicemail from Trump lawyer
showing possible attempt to obstruct. And that`s exactly what it is.
This is really interesting. That voicemail transcript, that was only the
first of three things that the judge ordered the government to hand over
today. The other two, the transcripts of Flynn`s calls with the Russians
and the Flynn portions of the redacted Mueller report, prosecutors
basically took that order from the judge and said no. No, your honor,
you`re not getting that. I didn`t even know you could do that.
I mean, today prosecutors told the judge they wouldn`t give the judge the
transcript of Michael Flynn`s calls with the Russian ambassador. They
wouldn`t give those transcripts to the judge or to the public, nor would
they turn over anything else from the redacted Mueller report that talks
about Flynn. They told the judge in a written motion that all of the
information in the Mueller report relating to Michael Flynn has already
been redacted, every word of it.
And that those other calls that he asked for, the ones between Flynn and
the Russian ambassador, talking about sanctions, this is a strange
argument, prosecutors basically told the judge that he shouldn`t want to
see those because they`re not relevant. They`re not relevant to Flynn`s
sentencing, which is the portion of this case that they`re in now.
I mean, this is weird, but this is what prosecutors said to tonight in
explaining to the judge why they weren`t handing over the transcript of
Flynn`s calls with the Russian. This is the exact quote from them. The
government is not relying on any other recordings of any person for
purposes of establishing the defendant`s guilt or determining his sentence.
Nor are there any other recordings that are part of the sentencing record,
which kind of seems like refrigerator poetry. That`s beside the point.
But, I mean, what they`re telling the judge here is no, your honor, court
order, smourt order. You can`t see that.
And this is kind of wild for a few reasons, right? I mean, first of all,
it makes you wonder who is overseeing the Flynn prosecution at the Justice
Department now? Has that changed?
Also, judge`s orders are not optional. When a judge orders you to do
something, no matter which side of the case you are on, you have to do what
the judge says. That`s the point of the judge. They decide all the things
about the case, full stop.
Prosecutors in particular usually try to avoid running afoul of a judge,
particularly a judge they may have to appear before lots of times in the
future. Just on its base, it is a bold move by prosecutors here to refuse
to turn over documents that the judge explicitly asked for. But it`s also
kind of hard to wrap your head around why those calls between Flynn and the
Russian ambassador are irrelevant to the proof of Flynn`s guilt or to
I mean, when Mike Flynn made those calls to the Russian ambassador during
the transition, they talked about U.S. sanctions on Russia. Mike Flynn
went on to lie about those conversations. He told FBI agents that he
didn`t discuss sanctions on those phone calls with Russia. That`s the
crime he pled guilty to, right? Lying to the FBI about those phone calls
and what he talked to the Russian government about.
And so, presumably, if you are the government lawyers prosecuting this
case, if you are trying to prove, right, that Michael Flynn lied on those
phone calls, right, he`s guilty of that, he lied when he said he was not
talking about sanctions, wouldn`t the transcript or a recording of what
actually happened on those phone calls kind of be the spine of your case in
terms of demonstrating Flynn`s guilt? This was a shock tonight in the
Flynn case. It is still totally an open question as to what the judge will
do about this now that the prosecutors and his court appear to be denying
his order without much of an explanation.
I mean, judges are not told no all that often. I`m not sure what exactly
is going to happen next here, but I bet, based on which judge this is, it`s
going to happen fast.
More ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: It was just eight days before President Trump was inaugurated when
David Ignatius at “The Washington Post” broke the news that there had been
secret communications during the presidential transition period between
incoming Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn and the Russian
ambassador. As Ignatius wrote at the time, quote: What did Flynn say and
did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?
Well, despite multiple denials from multiple people in the Trump
administration that Flynn discussed sanctions on his calls with the Russian
government, a month later, “The Washington Post” would report that Flynn
did discussion sanctions with the Russian government on that call. Flynn
was subsequently, ultimately, fired as national security adviser and he
ultimately pled guilty for lying to the FBI about that call.
But for over two years, we have been curious to get more information about
what exactly Flynn said when he had that conversation with the Russian
ambassador that he and so many other people in the Trump transition
publicly lied about. The call has been described in the Mueller report and
court documents. That`s all we`ve had, is vague descriptions.
A couple of weeks ago, a federal judge demanded that prosecutors post a
transcript of Flynn`s call with the Russians on the public docket. The
deadline for doing that was today. In a development I don`t think any of
us saw coming, prosecutors today basically refused the judge`s order to
hand over that transcript. They told the judge they don`t think that
transcript was relevant to Flynn`s guilty plea or to his upcoming
And I`m not a lawyer, but that seems weird, right? We know clearly from
court documents that Flynn`s discussion about sanctions with the Russians
was absolutely 100 percent definitely at the root of Flynn`s guilty plea.
That would seem to be utterly relevant to the determination of his guilt.
Why would prosecutors refuse the judge`s order to hand over the transcript
of that call? And what is likely to happen now?
Joining us now is Devlin Barrett, national security reporter at “The
Mr. Barrett, it is really nice to have you here. Thanks for making the
DEVLIN BARRETT, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Sure.
Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: Let me ask you a real basic, almost logistical question first. Do
we know that there are transcripts of Flynn`s call or calls with the
Russian government? Do we know that those calls were caught in U.S.
BARRETT: We do know that, but we only know that from sources because those
transcripts are still classified. That`s the heart at what prosecutors
have decided to do here.
MADDOW: When you say that prosecutors – I mean, it is hard for us to
discern what prosecutes have decided to do here because to me, a non-
lawyer, reading their explanations to the judge as to why they`re not
handing over that transcript, it feels like legal refrigerator poetry.
They never say we`re not giving you this, judge, because it has classified.
Or we`d like to talk about this ex parte or we`d like to, you know,
litigate this some other way. They say this isn`t relevant, you understand
that, right, nudge, nudge, wink, winch.
What do you understand what they`re doing here?
BARRETT: I think the point is this, even the existence of these
transcripts, even the existence of these phone calls, the recording of
those phone calls – look, the entire world knows these calls happened.
The entire world knows that they were recorded by, you know, on intercepts,
but the problem for the prosecutors is that they have never publicly
Even if you look at the number of the court filings in this case, even in
those filings at moments where Flynn says to the investigators, I know you
guys probably recorded this anyway, that part is redacted in those
documents. So the government is in this position of not acknowledging
these recordings exist. And then the judge says you have to make them
The trick is that the judge does not have the authority on his own to
declassify stuff, so the prosecutors are doing a kind of dance. It may be
too coy, it may be too cute. And here`s a real problem for them, Judge
Sullivan does not dance.
BARRETT: Judge Sullivan is a hard headed guy who wants what he wants, and
he wants it right away. So the notion that Judge Sullivan is going to
quietly go away just because the prosecutors come up with a little
linguistic dance around this issue I think is very unlikely.
MADDOW: Also, it occurs to me that federal judges at all sorts of levels
but they must deal with classified information all the time. I mean, it`s
not that classified information only comes up in the FISA court. It comes
in all sorts of different court cases I would imagine.
BARRETT: It absolutely does.
MADDOW: So, if this is a classified material, wouldn`t you expect the
prosecutors to essentially go into classified material mode and deal with
the judge about it on those terms? I think that`s part of what also seems
BARRETT: Yes. But I think you have to think this is the first salvo of
this back and forth. I think it is likely that the judge will come back
and say something to the exact point you are making, look, guys, you know
what I ordered. What is the issue? What is the deal? You know what I
And then you may see, I think one realistic scenario here is you may see a
sealed letter at that point where you have more of a, let`s call it, an
honest but closed door conversation about this material. But a lot of
times when classified issues come up in the courts, what ends up happening
is there is long back-and-forths between the agency that possesses the
classified information and wants to keep it secret and a judge who, you
know, debates or considers, you know, pressing the government further to
Again, a judge can press them to declassify, but it is ultimately the
agency`s call. And so, in a lot of these cases where classified
information comes up, there is a long back and forth. And this may be the
beginning, the first round of a long back and forth over this.
MADDOW: The person who probably has most at stake for the length of that
back and forth is Mike Flynn, who doesn`t technically have a sentencing
date yet. He`s got a joint status report in a couple of weeks on June
14th. If there is going to be wrangling between the prosecutors and the
judge on something like this or even potentially on the other thing they
didn`t hand anything over on, which was this issue of whether or not there
is other Flynn-related material that`s redacted from Mueller`s report, if
any of this stuff goes into that long back-and-forth you are describing
there, do you expect that would push Flynn`s ultimate sentencing off
BARRETT: Again, that`s up to the judge. This is a very particular judge
who has a very particular reputation for demanding more than some other
judges would demand from the government. So, it is up to the judge to
decide if he doesn`t like these answers and if that means he`s going to
hold up the sentencing for it.
Remember, one of the big unknowns here, though, and I know we`re focused on
the particular Flynn-Kislyak conversations we know about, one of the other
things we don`t know about is how many other conversations like this were
recorded because that`s also in what the judge ordered to be made public.
And that may be an even bigger problem in the eyes of the prosecutors. But
to be clear, we just don`t know how large a group of calls that is.
MADDOW: And even if the judge does come to an accommodation with
prosecutors about him getting to see that classified information for the
purposes of informing his own sentencing decision, that doesn`t necessarily
mean that even the judge would be empowered to release that information to
the public even at that point.
BARRETT: Right, right, exactly.
Devlin Barrett, national security reporter for “The Washington Post”, thank
you for helping us sort this out. You have made more sense about this to
me than anybody else who has talked about it all day. Thanks a lot.
BARRETT: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: Much appreciated. All right. We`ve got much more to get to.
It`s a busy news night.
I will tell you, it is right now about half past the hour and we are
awaiting a press conference from local authorities who are expecting to be
providing an update on the shooting today that took place in Virginia
Beach. As far as we know at this point, the death toll from that shooting
is 11, six people in addition to the 11 killed were shot and wounded, an
incredibly tragic day in Virginia Beach. It happened late this afternoon.
We haven`t heard much from local authorities, but we`re expecting a
We`re going to take a quick break and we will come out of that break and
get back live to this press conference if it starts while we are away.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: As I mentioned, we are awaiting the start of a press conference in
Virginia Beach where local authorities are expected to brief what happened
today in the mass shooting there. That was due to start at 9:30 p.m.
Eastern Time. It hasn`t started yet. We`ve got eyes on that. They`re
starting a little bit late. We`ll let you know when that gets going.
But there is another story that we`re watching tonight because, frankly,
this one was very, very much down to the wire. It was down to the wire,
but as of tonight, all 50 states in the United States of America still do
have at least one legal abortion provider, at least for a few more days.
The great state of Missouri has one remaining abortion clinic. And today,
they were hours away from the state government rescinding their license as
of midnight tonight.
Had that happened, Missouri would have the dubious distinction of being the
first American state with zero legal access to abortion since Roe v. Wade
prohibited states from banning the procedure back in 1973. But Missouri`s
Republican controlled government has been chipping away at Missouri women`s
access to abortion wherever they can.
Their latest effort has been to try to put the last clinic in the state out
of business tonight at midnight. But this afternoon, a judge gave
Missouri`s last clinic a retrieve in the form of a temporary restraining
order blocking the state from rescinding that license. So, Missouri`s one
and only abortion clinic can stay open and can keep providing services, at
least until Tuesday when they will be back in court.
The judge was careful to say the court wasn`t passing judgment on the
merits of a controversy. That will happen on Tuesday when the judge holds
a hearing to consider Missouri Governor Mike Parson`s request for an
injunction to shut down Missouri`s one and only abortion clinic, the state
hopes for good.
Joining us now is M`Evie Mead. She`s director of Planned Parenthood
Advocates in Missouri.
Ms. Mead, thank you very much for being here. Appreciate your time.
M`EVIE MEAD, DIRECTOR, PLANNED PARENTHOOD ADVOCATES IN MISSOURI: Thank you
for having me. I want to say my heart goes out to the community of
Virginia Beach. That`s just awful.
MADDOW: Thank you for saying that. And I should just say to our viewers
that that press conference gets started, I may have to hit pause on our
discussion, in which case we`ll come back to it, just we don`t know exactly
when that`s going to get going.
I saw your press conference today with your colleagues at the clinic
talking about the government`s action and the court`s action today. What
is your basic understanding about how this is going to unfold over the next
several days and what`s going to happen on Tuesday?
MEAD: Right. So we have a temporary victory here with a temporary
restraining order that will stay in place until the judge issued another
ruling. So, he set Tuesday as a hearing on the preliminary injunction.
That would be our injunction, seeking injunction against the state so that
we can keep the license in place that would have expired tonight at
midnight. And, so, we`ll just have to wait and see how those arguments go
and then just be waiting on pins and needles for that judge`s ruling.
MADDOW: I wonder, because of this prospect that if your clinic is shut
that Missouri would have zero legal abortion providers within the entire
state, I wonder if that eventuality itself might ultimately be seen by the
courts as an undue burden on Missouri`s women`s access on abortion, which,
of course, is protected by Roe versus Wade. Whether regardless of the
individual fights that are going on with this governor trying to shut you
down, whether or not the disappearance of the services provided by your
clinic itself might put the state in violation of that federal court order.
MEAD: That is a great point, and what Governor Parson has done is
weaponize the health department to try and do what many states are trying
to do through the legislature. He`s using the regulatory process, however,
to ban abortion and put the government between women and their doctors in
this important, key health care decision-making process.
So, I think the courts could find that and that it clearly, in our view, is
unconstitutional. But you can see many states are in this political race
to get to the Supreme Court to change that standard. And what your viewers
need to know, I think, do know, is that that political race has costs. It
has huge legal costs that we`re seeing play out in Missouri right now. But
more importantly it has tremendous human costs on the lives of the people
who are seeking health care who will no longer be able to access it.
MADDOW: What do you think will happen to your patients and to your broader
patient population throughout Missouri if your clinic is forced to stop
providing abortions, if your clinic is forced to shut down and there is no
legal place to get abortion anywhere in the state. What do you think women
will do? Is there a post-Roe, post abortion rights plan for the state?
MEAD: So, there is a plan. And what people need to know is that Planned
Parenthood will do its best to make sure that all people get access to the
health care they need. Missouri already needs to go through tremendous
medically unnecessary and horrible hurdles to access abortion. And, of
course, it is only available at one abortion center that`s still licensed
to provide care in this state. So, should that center lose its license,
there will be an emergency plan to help patients access health care outside
of the state.
And – but people do need to know that already, Missouri is facing
tremendous challenges. We know those challenges impact people further away
from the urban areas, rural Missourians, people with less incomes with less
ability and flexibility to move across state lines and take the time, the
child care, the days off work to access abortion.
So, what Governor Parson is doing is absolutely negatively impacting all
people of Missourians, certainly the most vulnerable are the hardest hit.
MADDOW: What you`re describing, you mentioned the legal fight and the
expense around the legal fight. What you are describing there in terms of
the emergency plan, if there needs to be a railroad effort in Missouri to
try to help women get out of state to get to places where they can access
abortion care because they can`t get it anywhere in the state, in addition
to seeming dystopian and radical, it also sounds really expensive.
It sounds like you are already in a very expensive fight right now and it
sounds like the future might be expensive, particularly if the court
succeeds in shutting you down. Is that right for me to discern that?
MEAD: Yes. There is significant costs all around. As I said, yes, there
are financial burdens that people will bear and that I want to say that I`m
super appreciative of all the folks who have stepped up and tried to
increase their ability to donate or give. But I think the most important
cost and the ones that we want to center are the negative impacts on
people`s lives. This is a safe, legal common medical procedure, and we
should not be erecting these tremendous barriers because they have negative
consequences on people`s lives.
That`s the thing people really need to remember. Think about what you
would do when you were sitting down trying to get regular medical care and,
all of a sudden, a politician, Governor Parson, comes barging in and says,
no, you can`t get that care. What does that mean to a woman who has been
raped? What does that mean to a woman who is trying to finish her
education? What does that mean to a woman who is facing terrible diagnosis
about her pregnancy?
That`s what – those are the costs I`m really concerned and that
Missourians are flooding our phone lines with.
MADDOW: M`Evie Mead, the director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of
Missouri, I really appreciate your time tonight. Please keep us apprised
over the next couple days.
MEAD: Sure. Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. Thank you.
We`ve got much more ahead tonight. I believe we have now started the press
conference in Virginia Beach`s about tonight`s earlier shooting in Virginia
Beach. Governor Northam is at the podium. You can see the governor
surrounded by local officials. Let`s go right there now.
At the podium here, as I mentioned, that`s Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
So his left shoulder, that`s the governor.
GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: This is a horrific day for the
commonwealth of Virginia. Our hearts ache over the senseless violence that
has been inflicted upon the Virginia Beach community today.
My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left
home this morning and will not return tonight. They were all someone`s
child. And many were someone`s parent.
They were heading into the summer weekend. That they should be taken in
this manner is the worst kind of tragedy. Their families are facing
painful loss and grief. They each leave a hole in a family, in their
neighborhood, in this community and in our commonwealth.
We mourn with their loved ones. But sympathy doesn`t fill that hole. We
must take care of these families.
These horrific tragedies test our souls. Grief doesn`t pass quickly. It
lasts far beyond these coming days. And these families will need support
in the months and years to come.
I`m also praying for those who were injured in this tragedy and hoping for
their full recovery. Along with the pain of their own injuries, they face
a loss of their coworkers and their friends. I want to commend the local
and state law enforcement officers, the first responders, the medical teams
and all others who acted swiftly to respond to this situation.
Their actions likely saved lives. And they have experienced scenes and
injuries no one should ever have to face.
My thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families. To them
and to the city of Virginia Beach, I offer the full support of the
commonwealth of Virginia. Tonight we are all about Virginia Beach.
I`d like to turn the podium over to our mayor of Virginia Beach, Mayor
MAYOR BOBBY DYER, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: Today is Virginia Beach`s darkest
hour. A senseless crime happened and imposed tremendous grief upon the
people of Virginia Beach, the commonwealth and this country.
When we get through the shock of it all and we get through the details that
we must go through over the next day or two, I believe that our community,
Virginia Beach, along with our neighbors and our other cities and Hampton
Roads and our commonwealth and our country will be there for not only the
families, because that`s when they`re going to need us going forward, but
we`re going to show that Virginia Beach is a city of resolve and dedication
and, you know, we are going to be there for all the families, the friends
and our community in a big way.
And for that I thank you, and I would like to turn this over to the chief
for an update.
CHIEF JAMES CERVERA, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: As I said earlier
this evening as we are able to gather more information, we will give that
information out. So this is the additional information that I have at this
time. Again, it would probably change a little bit and it may increase as
we move forward as we`re investigating this case.
Right now, we have a team of investigators detectives from the city of
Virginia Beach being assisted by forensic technicians from the FBI and the
state police and processing this most horrific scene. We are in the
process of identifying the victims and making notification to their
I can tell you we do have an additional victim to report. We now have 12.
One victim succumbed to the injuries on the way to the hospital.
We also have four additional victims being treated at area hospitals, and
we have reports that others may have self-transported. So as we get more
information on that, we will begin to release it.
Our process is always to notify family members prior to releasing names.
We do know who the suspect is. We have not been successful in notifying
certain family members. Once we are able to do that, we will release his
name once. We`re going to mention his name once. And then he will be
forever referred to as the suspect, because our focus now is the dignity
and respect for the victims in this case and to their families.
I can tell you that when the initial call came out of an active shooter in
building two, building number two in our city houses information
technology, planning, public works and public utilities, plus a printing
operation. This building has a potential of having over 400 city workers
at one time or other in the building. When the original call came out,
immediately four officers responded, two were seasoned veteran supervisors
from the detective bureau. We have two K9 handlers assigned to our special
They immediately made entry into the building. Due to the sound of
gunfire, they were able to locate the floor on which the suspect was
committing his carnage. They immediately engaged with the suspect and I
can tell you that it was a long gun battle between those four officers and
We recovered a .45 caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines that
were empty at the time. The suspect was reloading extended magazines in
that handgun firing at victims throughout the building and at our officers.
I want you to know that during this gun ballot, basically the officers
stopped this individual from committing more carnage in that building.
When suspect went down due to his injuries, our officers then immediately
rendered first aid, as they were removing him from the building to the
waiting EMS personnel. And I need to say that a second time. Even though
he was involved in a long-term moving gun battle with these officers, when
he went down, they did what cops do and they rendered first aid to this
individual. He succumbed to his wound.
We have found victims on all three floors of the building, as well as one
victim who was outside in a vehicle. Right now, as many as 90 people have
sought support from the family assistance center and again, we are in the
process, our goal now is to identify everyone in that building as quick as
we can so we can make the proper notifications to the families of those
Do you have any questions?
REPORTER: Chief, you were saying outside the relation to the victim
outside? I mean not the relation but what you say was the vehicle –
CERVERA: An individual was in his vehicle when the suspect shot him.
REPORTER: Chief, there are reports that this was a disgruntled employee.
Had he been recently fired? Were there any indications of workplace
CERVERA: I have no information at this time as to the background of the
individual other than he`s a city employee. Again, as we work through all
of this, we`ll be able to give more information at a later time.
REPORTER: He was current up until the shooting.
CERVERA: That`s correct.
REPORTER: Chief, I`m trying to understand what you`re saying. So, he
started shooting victims outside before entering the building?
CERVERA: There was one victim outside. He entered the building. He was
armed with a .45 caliber handgun that had a suppressor on it.
REPORTER: Can you talk about the magazine?
CERVERA: I`m sorry?
REPORTER: Tell us about the magazine.
CERVERA: They were extended magazines. In other words, they have more
ammunition than a regular magazine.
REPORTER: Chief, in terms of the numbers, 12 people were killed and then-
the go up man was the 13th person who was killed?
CERVERA: We have 12 victims. And a deceased suspect.
REPORTER: Thank you, sir.
REPORTER: Chief, were any of the victims targeted or was all of this
CERVERA: At this time, I can`t comment on that as we work through the
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) victims name please?
CERVERA: I cannot give you that because we are in the process of
identifying the victims.
REPORTER: I just want to make sure we`re straight on the number of victims
who were taken to hospitals. Could we just get the sum total of that
number, as well?
CERVERA: Well, I originally reported we had 11 victims. We have an
additional one victim did not – succumb to the wounds on the way to the
hospital or at the hospital. I am told we have four others at the hospital
right now going through surgeries.
REPORTER: My math (INAUDIBLE)
CERVERA: Your math would say that we have 12 deceased.
REPORTER: Six injured?
CERVERA: I did. And again, that was the information that I had at that
time. It`s been updated.
REPORTER: Now, it`s ten injured?
CERVERA: No. We have 12 deceased.
REPORTER: Two of the six injured succumbed.
CERVERA: Right, we have 12 deceased. And we have four who were injured.
REPORTER: Four currently going through.
CERVERA: Four, yes, going through surgery.
REPORTER: Chief, police have the opportunity to certainly the shooters
home and have they found anything of interest, any additional weapon.
CERVERA: We`re in the process of continuing our investigation at this
REPORTER: Were any of the weapons found at the scene? There were reports
there was a rifle there, as well.
CERVERA: We`re in the process of continuing. That`s the best I`m going to
be able to tell you at this moment.
REPORTER: Chief, can you elaborate more on the gun battle between the
officers and the shooter?
CERVERA: I can tell you that there was numerous shots fired by the
individual. Shots were fired from various places down the hallway at the
officers at one time. Basically, the ammunition that they had so when we
talk about this kind of a situation and many times when we talk about an
officer involved shooting situation, it may be minimal rounds by the
suspect and by the police officers.
This was well beyond that. This was a long-term, the best I describe it,
it was a long-term gun battle for police officers.
REPORTER: How long?
CERVERA: I can`t give you seconds and minutes because we don`t have a
stopwatch when we`re engaged in this.
REPORTER: Do you have the time of the suspect`s death.
CERVERA: I`m sorry?
REPORTER: Do you know what time the suspect died?
CERVERA: Shortly after we entered the building and confronted him. The
call came right after 4:00 p.m. So, it would be somewhere after that. We
don`t have the exact timeline.
REPORTER: Can you tell us about security around these government buildings
be? How many police that are normally there? Are people allowed to enter
these buildings with weapons?
CERVERA: The individual in question is an employee. He has access to the
building. He came in with a weapon today.
REPORTER: So he would not have been checked?
CERVERA: No, he would not have been.
REPORTER: Was any (INAUDIBLE)
CERVERA: One officer did sustain a wound during the gun battle.
Fortunately, his bulletproof vest basically saved his life. And we did –
he was seen, he was tended to at the scene. But then we then brought him
to the hospital afterwards to make sure that everything was OK with the
REPORTER: Chief, you say suppresser. Is that a silencer or the same
CERVERA: It`s a suppressor. It`s a sound suppressor.
REPORTER: Was the gun recovered legally obtained?
CERVERA: We`re working through ATF at this time. It`s part of our
REPORTER: And has your department recently I know in the past you have
prepared for a scenario like this. I mean, how recently was the last time
you prepared for this?
CERVERA: We train continuously. We train not only as first responder for
police, but we train with fire. And we train with our EMS personnel
because we know that when you have a major scene like this you`re going to
need all first responders in that particular area. We do train extensively
both on what we call tabletop exercises as well as an all hands on exercise
in a building.
So I can tell you that we do train extensively and how many weeks or months
prior I can`t give you the exact number. But our officers and our EMS
personal and our fire personal are highly qualified, unfortunately, in a
situation of that active shooter case.
REPORTER: So, Chief, there were four officers who entered. Who were the
detectives and who were members of –
CERVERA: Of K9, that`s correct.
OK, thank you. Just one final thing, I`ve said it before and you heard the
governor and the mayor speak of it. We have numerous victims and we have
numerous families. Let`s make sure that we keep their dignity and their
respect as the number one piece of news that you`re going to give out. I
know that our local media always abides by it because their lives are
The folks who work in that building, their lives are changed. I have a
number of officers right now who are processing through what best could be
described as a war zone, their lives are going to be changed. Thank you.
MADDOW: That`s the Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera giving an
update on horrific mass shooting that took place today in Virginia Beach.
There was an update on the death toll at the top of this press conference.
The death toll had previously been 11. Chief now saying that the death
toll has risen to 12 because one of the victims who was injured succumbed
to his or her injuries on the way to the hospital.
They have not released identifying information on any of the victims yet.
They say they`re still identifying victims and notifying the families. In
terms of the shooter, the shooter is dead. The police chief said pointedly
that they know the identity of the suspect.
NBC News has also learned the identity of the suspect from a federal law
enforcement source but the police chief says that once they are ready to
release formally name for Virginia Beach, he said they will mention it once
and once only.
He also described what he said was a long moving running gun battle between
four police officers and the gunman than ultimately resulted in the gunman
being shot and killed. He said police officers rendered first aid to the
gunman after they had shot him. But he nevertheless died from his wounds.
At this point, there are four people injured and in hospital and again, 12
people victims of the shooting in Virginia Beach. In terms of the gun, he
wouldn`t answer detailed questions in terms of whether there were multiple
guns but he did describe a .45 caliber handgun which he said was fitted
with a sound suppresser, it`s a silencer, and he described multiple
extended magazines that were found at the scene.
So, we expect we`ll get more information from local authorities. That`s
the latest from Virginia Beach.
That`s it for us tonight. We`ll see you again on Monday.
Now it`s time for “THE LAST WORD” with Ali Velshi, sitting in for Lawrence
Good evening, Ali.
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distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
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