Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: October 31, 2017 Guest: Frank Figliuzzi, Michael Balboni, Jim Cavanaugh
BILL BRATTON, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: With that community, still many issues are concerned. Some of that has certainly increased with the issues over the last several years on the efforts of immigration.
Those are unresolved dilemmas at the moment and some of the tension between the federal government, the local police, the so-called sanctuary city issues. Those are still very contemporary and have not yet been resolved.
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, "MTP DAILY": All right. Bill Bratton, former police commissioner of New York City and, of course, Los Angeles, as he mentioned, among other things. Commissioner Bratton, thanks for coming on.
That`s all I have for tonight. Ari Melber, though, is going to pick up our coverage of this breaking news story happening in New York City. Ari, it`s all yours.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, THE BEAT: Thank you, Chuck. And our coverage of this deadly attack in New York City does continue right now. A cowardly act of terror against innocent people. That, according to New York City`s mayor, warning the city to stay alert.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: And I want to ask all New Yorkers to be vigilant. We ask all New Yorkers to live by the idea, if you see something, say something. Tell an officer immediately if you see anything unusual.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That from a security briefing that finished just moments ago. The first lady is also in New York, tweeting out her support, saying "My heart breaks for NYC today. Thoughts and prayers as we monitor the situation."
Here`s what we know at this moment. A man driving a Home Depot truck on to a bike and pedestrian path went on to apparently murder eight people this afternoon and injure another 15.
The latest details from the NYPD.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES O`NEILL, NYPD COMMISSIONER: After the collision, the driver of the truck, a 29-year-old male, exited the vehicle, brandishing two handguns.
A uniformed police officer cited the first precinct, confronted the subject and shot him in the abdomen. The subject was wounded and transported to a local hospital. A paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered at the scene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And on this video, you can actually see the suspect moving through the street, apparently with one of those guns, essentially fake guns. This was in broad daylight. The video appears to match what law enforcement have described, a youngish male, either late 20s or early 30s, with a Middle Eastern appearance.
NYPD now has the suspect in custody. Senior law enforcement officials telling NBC News this was believed to be an intentional act and is now being investigated tonight by the NYPD as a possible terrorist incident. I repeat, the NYPD tonight, this Halloween evening, after this harrowing event, with eight dead, is investigating this as a terrorist incident.
Eyewitnesses were shaken immediately this afternoon over an attack occurring, we should note, just blocks from the World Trade Center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guy got out with a biker jacket and a stripe, started shooting up the place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I got out, I saw two gentlemen laying right there in the bike lane with tire marks across their body. You could tell that they`re not here no more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many gunshots did you hear?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over five. It was very fast. It was one after another.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: This is an unfolding terror investigation at this hour. I`m Ari Melber, live in our newsroom in New York.
And I want to bring in now Jim Cavanaugh, the retired ATF special agent in charge and Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI.
Jim, this is a sad and tough day for New York. Walk us through what you made of the briefing we heard from authorities, what we know at this hour and whether, as we always ask in a situation like this, whether people have reason to be afraid?
From what you`re hearing and what we`re learning, this appears to be a closed incident in New York.
JIM CAVANAUGH, RETIRED ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Well, people have reason to be alert, Ari. That`s what I would say. I think it seems like it is a closed incident. As the hours tick by, things get safer when we don`t have a quick follow-on attack. But it pays to be alert all the time and into the evening. Some other actor could be inspired.
I think what we got out of the news conference is the police are pretty sure. They are on a terrorist lead here. The behavior, the long crime scene, 7 to 14 blocks in a pedestrian area, the rental truck, the crash into the school bus, coming out with the BB guns or paintball guns, the yelling Allahu Akbar, all this is consistent with other terrorist attacks around the world.
MELBER: Jim, let`s take two of those pieces of evidence that you raise here as people digest this incident. Not what people want to be hearing about, obviously, on a Halloween evening, a time of celebration typically around the country for families and certainly in New York City.
We`re looking at some of these overhead scenes, 6:04 pm. Eight dead, 15 injured. Two of the deaths were pronounced dead at the hospital, according to NYPD.
And you`re citing two pieces of evidence. One, those types of pellet guns, as you mentioned, on the scene. And two, accounts now from law enforcement and witnesses of the yelling of Allahu Akbar. Walk us through both of those pieces of evidence.
CAVANAUGH: Well, we`ve seen terrorists around the world use fake guns, real guns, but we`ve seen them use hoax bombs as well. We`ve seen these vehicle attacks.
This guy was clearly suicidal, Ari. He knew he would be confronted by the police eventually if he is mowing everybody down. He knows he`s holding handguns. He knows what police officers will do in a situation like that. They`ll shoot him.
So, is he an inspired actor on the Internet? I think that`s very likely. We don`t know.
Is he a one-off guy? Not a directed attack by a real direct connection to ISIS or Al Qaeda? More likely, it`s an inspired attack. He`s a mad dog - lone mad dog doing this attack.
So, I think they`re on their game here. They`re going to get his computers. They`ll be searching his apartment. And they`ll be interviewing him. And they`ll be singing like he`s on a Broadway play because he`s trying to tell them why he did this and give all his reasons. And that`s why he`s yelling in the street, his reasons for his mass murder.
MELBER: Right. So, you`re speaking to not only the potential motive, but also what we know about this suspect. Limited at this hour because of the way he spoke out.
I have Frank with me and Jim with me. But I want to ask you to stay with me because we now have unfolding here in what is a breaking news scenario. Ron Allen on the phone who is actually very close to the scene in lower Manhattan.
Ron, where are you and what do you know?
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I`m just at the end of the bike path just two blocks from the World Trade Center. I`m actually in the middle of a crowd of students from Stuyvesant High School.
The school very close to the scene of the attack. And they`re all leaving the school now. They were hunkered down and they were there on hold. But they`ve all been streaming out of the school and walking down across West Street, wearing Halloween costumes and so forth. And it`s quite a scene out here.
We`ve also seen a lot of parents with their kids coming into this neighborhood. West Street is something of an urban highway and the bike path lines it. But it`s also a residential neighborhood. There`s a lot of apartment buildings, condominiums here. So, a lot of families live in this area, which is why, of course, there is a bike path here because it`s a recreation area that is heavily used, especially - even during the middle of the day. It`s around 3 o`clock or so when all of this started happening.
But at this point, there are still a number of ambulances here. We saw the last of the injured taken away about an hour or so ago. The police have the area still sealed off. There doesn`t seem to be any sense of alarm or concern from the authorities, as if they are trying to find something or find anyone. Things have really taken a dial down over the last hour or so.
But I think people are trying to get their heads around what`s happened here.
MELBER: Yes. Ron, speak to that point because we are looking here at live images from the scene. We`re seeing the authorities, NYPD and other plain clothes police and authorities in suits. And some of this is also file footage.
But a lot of what we`ve been looking at, Ron, are scenes that look under control and we were showing our viewers a briefing from authorities that very clearly made the point that, while it is good to be "alert," the governor of New York is encouraging people in this city to continue on as normal tonight.
So, while this is a harrowing attack with eight dead, what the mayor described as innocent deaths, your view of matching on the ground that you`re not seeing anything like an open crisis on the ground?
ALLEN: This is New York City, Ari. You live here and this is what you live with every day. The threat of this and people get on with it. And that`s what the message was from the mayor and the governor.
If you see something, say something. It sounds so cliche, but it is so important. And that`s what people are doing. There are Halloween parties all over the city tonight. Big gathering, kids in the streets. My daughter is out there with her classmates.
And so, parents are concerned, but they`re going to get on with it. I`m sure there are some people who will hunker down and stay at home, but the streets here are alive. People are getting on with their lives. And the authorities have roped off the area, cordoned off the area where they`re doing an investigation.
But in some areas, traffic is moving back along and people are getting on with it. And I think also people are still trying to digest this a little bit.
Remember, when this started to unfold some time ago, it seemed like a much more innocent thing. But the idea that there has been a terrorist attack in this city where eight people have been killed and many more injured, and the numbers may increase, as always is a possibility in these situations, I think that`s stunning to a lot of people.
It is something you need to get your head around. And so, I think there`s going to be a lot of caution tonight. There`s going to be a lot of concern tonight. But New Yorkers are determined to get on with it. And that`s what I think we`re going to do here.
MELBER: Ron Allen reporting live from lower Manhattan with that view on the ground. Thank you. And I think we`ll be relying on your reporting here he on MSNBC as we continue to track this event.
I turn now to NBC`s Pete Williams, a journalist who has been through many of these crises and tracked the federal law enforcement response. Pete, what can you tell us tonight?
Well, a couple of things. First of all, have to be said about the investigative work that`s going on right now. Number one, authorities believe they know who this is. They have a driver`s license that was on the man who was shot when he was taken into the hospital.
They believe that the driver`s license that they have is - matches the person that you see here in this video that is believed to be the person who drove the car - the truck down the bike path and fired the shots from his BB gun.
They say he is a 29-year-old man. We believe he has been living - or lived at one point in Tampa, Florida. The driver`s license is Tampa, Florida. We believe that he entered the US in 2010 as an Uzbek national and is here as a lawful, permanent resident. Has a green card.
We frankly have heard several different versions of his name with different spellings. So, until we`re absolutely 100 percent certain of which is the right spelling, we`re going to hold off on saying the name until we`re absolutely certain.
We think we have a good idea. But the point is, the federal authorities and the New York authorities think they have a good idea.
So, what will happen now? Number one, he rented this truck. So, that`s a very big investigative lead. They`ll be going back to the Home Depot where he rented the truck, looking at the forms that he filled out, questioning the people who were there when he filled out the forms.
Secondly, it`s very hard to travel anywhere in America without leaving a trail. So, they will now try to trace his steps. And I mean that metaphorically. His movements leading up to the moment of the attack. They will build a reverse time line here.
And they have a lot of things they can look at. They can look at surveillance camera footage in New York City. They can look at surveillance cameras on all the bridges and tunnels that lead into Manhattan. They can look at credit card receipts, toll receipts, motels, that sort of thing to try to trace his movements leading into New York City. So that`s, if you will, starting on the Manhattan end and going backwards.
On the other end, if that turns out to be Tampa or if he was living at another address in another state, they will try to then work forward from those places. They`ll trace his movements from there. They`ll talk to friends and family. They`ll trace his social media. They`ll look at people he was talking on.
And then, of course, one of the big differences between this and some of the other recent attacks that we`ve been through is, he survived the attack. So, authorities will try to question him and very often surprisingly, even in terror attacks, people involved in these situations do end up talking.
So, a big question, of course, is why. Was he self-radicalized? But the more pressing question is, is there somebody out there? Did someone help them with this? Did someone suggest this to him? Did someone give him money? Did someone drive him into town?
All those questions, they are going to try to answer. And it is simply too soon to know the answer to any of those questions tonight.
But the point is here, there`s a very rich line of investigation to follow from many different directions that will involve NYPD on the local end, with the help of the FBI on the other end.
MELBER: And, Pete, when you see authorities refer to this as a terror investigation, coupled with the reporting you just shared with us, walk us through what that means and how they got to that point and whether we should infer that means this ultimately is likely to be deemed, at least in the eye of the federal authorities, a US terror attack here in New York City tonight.
WILLIAMS: Well, as a practical manner, it seems like journalists and politicians are always more interested in that label than law enforcement people are.
I mean, they`ve got their tasks. They`ll go at it. The FBI will help out. They`ll share this jointly with NYPD. So, I don`t think there`s going to be any jurisdictional battle here about who takes the lead.
As to why it is a terror attack, what you heard the police commissioner say is exactly what we`ve been told for two simple reasons.
It follows the pattern of recent terror attacks. It`s what terror groups have asked people to do. And secondly, many witnesses have said that when the man jumped out of the truck, he yelled out Allahu Akbar, God is great in Arabic, and that`s also - but it`s simply those two things.
Until they get any information from him or any information from the searches of his social media and his home, there is no way to corroborate that. So, it`s just what you see is what they see as well. And that`s why they have to assume that this is it.
And it seems pretty obvious at this point that`s probably what it`s going to turn out to be, but they can`t say for certain until they run it down.
MELBER: Right. NBC`s Pete Williams, thank you very much for sharing the latest with us. Incredibly helpful on a difficult night in New York City.
I turn now to California Congressman Eric Swalwell who serves on the house intelligence committee. Congressman, we`re seeing this. Our reporting showing what US and New York authorities have been saying that this looks like terrorism in New York City. Your response.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Good evening, Ari. We`re all New Yorkers today. We`ve been with New York before. We`re with them tonight, and especially the families who lost loved ones today.
It looks like terrorism, Ari. You look at - it looks like some planning went into this. The direction that this driver drove in the wrong direction in a bicycle-rich area.
It`s also Halloween. And I don`t think you can discount that if you look at prior attacks. That`s relevant. Bastille Day was a similar method of attack in France. And, of course, this method was used in London and Barcelona and even at Ohio State University.
MELBER: Congressman, you think it is not a coincidence potentially that this happens on Halloween night in New York City?
SWALWELL: Well, it`s something that needs to be run down. There`s a Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village tonight, not too far away from that area. And sometimes, American holidays, or holidays across the globe, are used as days to launch attacks because more people are out.
MELBER: In that spirit, Congressman, I want to read to you something just coming into our newsroom as we`re report on this attack in New York City today. Eight dead. Suspect in custody.
And the New York City Halloween Parade will "go on as planned".
MELBER: This is from the New York City mayor`s office. Your response to that?
SWALWELL: Good. We`re not going to be scared, whether it`s in New York City or any other corner of America. We`ve been attacked before. We`ve honored the dead, but we are resilient. And I don`t think this is going to shake us.
MELBER: And, congressman, your view then of where this all heads? This looks to be, if it does land as a terror incident, the highest body count terror incident in the United States in all of 2017.
As other reporters have pointed out, there is the question about how you prevent anything? And we`ve had reports in New York about how people here don`t live as if you can get the threat down to zero.
And speak, if you will, based on this early setting about what Pete Williams was reporting that this looks to be a legal foreign national, which is something, of course, the authorities look at when they`re trying to figure out motive and the trail.
SWALWELL: If this was indeed a terrorist attack, it just demonstrates again that this method of attack, using a vehicle, a truck, is going to continue to be a threat for all of us.
In law enforcement, we have to give them every resource to understand if individuals are planning or plotting, but it`s also neighbors who may see something unusual who really need to alert to that and pass it along to law enforcement. That may be the greatest intervention opportunity that we have.
MELBER: Congressman Swalwell on House Intelligence Committee, digesting and reacting to this and echoing, I think, what we`ve heard from other authorities and leaders here in New York that people will go on tonight as we still process the horrific attack. Thank you for joining our breaking coverage.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
MELBER: If you`re just joining us, it is 6:18 pm on the East Coast. Eight dead in this attack and over a dozen injured.
NBC`s Pete Williams was part of our breaking coverage just moments ago before Congressman Swalwell was speaking to us. And he was talking about leads that NBC reporters have been chasing down together and trying to figure out who this suspect is that`s in custody and where this goes from here.
He mentioned that there wasn`t quite, just within about five minutes ago, confirmable information. We now have breaking news coming out of our world headquarters here in New York.
NBC`s Tom Winter also working the case. Tom, what is the latest?
TOM WINTER, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIONS REPORTER: So, Ari, we feel pretty comfortable right now from law enforcement sources in identifying the suspect of this terrorist attack. It is Sayfullo Saipov. Again, that`s Sayfullo Saipov.
He was born in February of 1988. He is identified as an Uzbekistan national. He came into the United States in 2010. And that`s the information that`s coming off of an identification that was found on him at the scene and police feel confident that they`ve matched that to the person himself who carried out this terrorist attack in New York City today, killing eight.
Right now, they are working down leads as far as any sort of contacts that he may have had. Does this individual have any sort of contacts tied to, say, a terrorism list somewhere? Any prior contact with law enforcement? So, that`s where the investigation stands literally right now.
In addition to that, they`re trying to track down where this truck may have been rented from. They, obviously, have the license plate of the truck. But where that license plate is from, and we`re aware of that information, is not necessarily where the truck was rented from. It`s kind of a corporate address.
So, think of it this way, when you go on vacation and you rent a rental car from Hertz or Avis, you may rent a rental car in Massachusetts, but it`s got a license plate from Louisiana.
Certainly now, they are going to try to track down and work with Home Depot, we`ve already got the statement from that they are cooperating in this investigation, try to find out where that truck was rented from, to try to start to build the chronology here.
The immediate chronology, this attack, according to Commissioner James O`Neill, happened at 3:05 today in New York City. Where that attack occurred and where it ended up, they`ve got enough cameras there. They have tremendous angles of the immediate moments leading up to the attack and following it.
From here now, they`ll start to use license plate readers. They`ll start to look at all the various camera systems that are part of the lower Manhattan intelligence initiative that the NYPD has, the domain system, to try to track back, OK, if this truck wasn`t from New York City, when did it come in, where did it come in from, and start to go back in time to track when this person initiated this attack especially and where they`re coming from.
So, that`s the latest that we know from the investigation, from people that have been directly briefed on it, from myself and from my colleague Jonathan Dienst. And that`s where we`re at right now.
MELBER: Fresh reporting here coming into our newsroom, as mentioned, from Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst.
I want to you stay with me because you`re basically reporting out the who. And to some degree, the where. At least with the trail here.
And I want to bring back into our conversation Frank Figliuzzi, a former counterintelligence senior official with the FBI. Because, Frank, some of those clues that Tom is reporting out go to the why. Walk us through, in your experience doing FBI and intel, what happens now?
So, first, two quick comments. New York City is the best positioned city in America to deal with something like this, largely because they`re the most targeted city in America.
Secondly, while in most cases like this, early information is often wrong information, it`s clearly appearing that we have a treasure trove already of intelligence to follow because we have a subject in custody.
So, here`s what`s going to go on behind the scenes. It`s going on right now. There`s a joint operations center that`s already been formed, well- rehearsed. FBI, ATF, Marshals, NYPD, all hands on deck. They`ve rehearsed this.
But behind the scenes, that address on that driver`s license is already likely under surveillance by an FBI team in Florida or wherever else that address is coming back to, all known addresses.
They`re writing a search warrant. It is probably already signed by a magistrate. FBI SWAT teams are already suiting up for a tactical entry into his known or believed residences, wherever they are in the country. If it is Florida, that`s where they`re staging.
FBI bomb techs are going to deploy forward to those locations because of the risk that they`re boobytrapped. So, this is a carefully orchestrated plan that`s going on right now.
MELBER: Tom, do you want to speak to that and how that matches what authorities are doing?
WINTER: Well, it syncs up perfectly with what authorities are doing. As Frank said, we have some mutual friends in common. This is a well- rehearsed and a well put together operation.
The FBI unfortunately, because of the amount of terrorism that we`ve had in this country, this has become a well-oiled operation. So, you have the investigation on the ground. They`ve got to try to figure out where did he get this pellet or BB gun that he had? They are, obviously, working on the truck, as I just mentioned.
And then on top of that, they are going to try to look and figure out exactly where he was immediately before this. Is there another location that they need to look? Is there evidence that that location that they need to look into?
And then, to Frank`s point, at his house in Florida, they`ve got to search that house. There is a concern for federal agent safety. Is there some sort of explosive device or something there that they need to look at or look into, just to make sure there`s nothing that`s going to harm them? And then, they need to start to gather evidence.
And these days, as we well know from these investigations, it is about the electronics. Did he search for something on his computer? Was he self- radicalized? What type of literature was he looking at? What type of publications online was he looking at? And what`s on his cell phone assume that they may have recovered one at the scene? If not, what was his recent Internet history.
The ability to gather this information and download it and research it is something that is part of the FBI`s CART team. So, that`s their computer analysis team that`s going to look at this and immediately start to develop an electronic profile of the person who did this attack today.
MELBER: You talk about a profile. Frank, you have an individual that is from somewhere else and then is now here in New York today, killing people, likely legally murdering them, if the suspect information checks out.
And, obviously, as we still as a city process that and mourn those deaths, there`s always the question of, did this person, from a law enforcement perspective, come here to do this or did they just happen to be from somewhere else, like so many people in our country and like so many American citizens, and then later turn along the line turn to crime or terror as some people do?
I`m not asking to you diagnose the answer with this individual at this early hour, but walk us through how authorities pursue those avenues and why that can or cannot matter.
FIGLIUZZI: So, this is where the FBI`s joint terrorism task forces come in. Remember, the FBI is both a law enforcement agency and an intelligence agency. So, they are right now on the phone on secure phones, to Ft. Mead, Maryland and NSA headquarters and Langley, Virginia, and CIA headquarters, and they`re asking to scrub all files, all electronic eavesdropping.
Has this guy ever come across the radar screen before? The FBI and NYPD are checking their internal indices? Have we ever interviewed this guy? Has there ever been a complaint?
The other interesting thing is, has he ever been under surveillance? One of the worst-case scenarios that we discussed frequently when I was assistant director was the worst nightmare for a surveillance agent, to be covering a possible subject and watch them play something out.
What happens? Do we have lethal force authority? These two officers who took this guy out are heroes tonight. What I`d like to know more about is, was this a coincidence that they were in the right place at the right time or was there something more to this?
MELBER: Frank, thank you as always. I`d like to come back to you later in the hour, if you can hang with us. Same for Tom Winter.
I want to bring now in Evan Kohlmann, a senior partner at Flashpoint, which tracks terrorist groups. He`s also an NBC terrorism analyst and thus someone that many of our viewers are familiar with on sad nights like this as we look at what should be a celebratory night and what for, hopefully, most of America still will be.
But, Evan, we look up at you and we figure, OK, something bad has happened. In this case, eight killed, over 12 injured, and authorities digging in on what our reporters have been talking about, what looks to be a terror investigation. Walk us through what we need to know.
EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST AND SENIOR PARTNER, FLASHPOINT: Well, look, so far there haven`t been any claims of credit or responsibility from ISIS or anybody else really. Nothing credible.
And if you look at the facts so far, what we know what happened here, there`s very good reason to believe that, if this is ISIS inspired, that`s probably the extent of it.
Number one, ISIS just put out a whole magazine just a few months ago where they talked about how easy it is to get firearms in the United States and how anyone looking to carry out a terrorist attack should get themselves a whole bunch of firearms.
This individual failed at that. The most that he was able to procure was a pellet gun and a paint gun, which by ISIS standards is not very successful. I mean, this is a group that was boasting how easy it is to get real firearms in the United States.
Number two, if you know where this attack took place, I happen to know this very well. I use this path very frequently. The portion of the exercise path that was selected here is among the least populated areas of this path.
If this individual had instead of going south, had gone north, there would be dozens and dozens of people killed and wounded at this point.
So, if this was a terrorist attack, it possibly was, why was it so poorly planned if this was ISIS? Why was this person so poorly equipped if this was ISIS? Rather than using a vehicle like was used in Nice, which was a massive truck, this was really just a glorified pickup truck.
MELBER: Well, let`s pause on the analysis you`re doing. And you`re citing something that former Commissioner Bratton and other law enforcement experts have been speaking about during our coverage on NBC, that this may echo or overlap with a type of vehicle based murder or terror attack that we`ve seen in Europe.
But you`re making a distinction, that while it overlaps with that, it doesn`t appear nearly as effective as some of those attacks?
KOHLMANN: It was very poorly planned. Look, honestly, carrying out a vehicle attack is not something that you have to have a PhD to do. Being a murderer does not require a PhD.
But if you compare this to other attacks that have taken place in London and Nice and elsewhere, this does not appear to have been well planned. Now, we don`t know for certain.
And it`s fair to say, if this individual is really from the west coast of Florida, there have been individuals from this area that traveled over to Syria to join groups like ISIS. And we don`t necessarily know where all these folks are. Very specifically, this area.
However, if this was ISIS planned, this reflects very poor conceptualization by the group. If this is really them, they really are on their last legs because as much as this is terrible and awful and what we can see is the most graphically successful terrorist attack in the US this year, again, if you look at the area that this took place in -- and not to mention the fact that there`s Halloween Parade tonight here in New York City with hundreds, maybe thousands of people on the streets. This guy went off -- chose a bike path that was half populated in the middle of the day when there was nobody there. Now it is close to the World Trade Center but not really. I mean, this is five, six blocks away from the World Trade Center. It`s across a four-lane highway and a major divider. So it`s not really next to the World Trade Center either.
The truth is, is that it`s a very strange target for ISIS to pick or any terrorist to pick. And everything about this so far, if it is terrorism, says that this was some kind of homegrown attack that may or may not have been inspired by propaganda on the internet. And it is true that there is plenty of ISIS propaganda out there as well as al-Qaeda propaganda which is translated into the Uzbek language. So it would have certainly been you know, within this person`s grasp. There have been other people here of Uzbek origin that have been prosecuted for trying to either join ISIS or al-Qaeda, this is all true but nothing about this, nothing about this so far says that this was the work of an organized terrorist group. Everything suggests this was the work of a wannabe who had a very poor conception about what exactly to do and simply was very unfortunately lucky in this case in terms of what he was able to carry out.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Well -- and Evan, you make an interesting point and a scary one, quite frankly, although we`re not here to scare. We have been reporting that authorities are said this incident is considered close, the suspect in custody. But you make the point that if you want to drive a vehicle into a crowd, this Halloween Parade which is planned for later tonight and is ongoing would obviously logically dictate be a much larger crowd. What I want to do here for viewers is take a little bit of a reset. Our rolling breaking coverage continues but it being 6:30 p.m. here on the East Coast, what we are doing reporting live is eight people killed in this attack in New York City this afternoon, over a dozen more injured.
Authorities have the suspect who NBC News is now identified and in custody, believed to be an Uzbeki national who rented a vehicle from Home Depot and drove it into this small crowd killing those eight people, entered the United States authorities believe in 2010. They also have documentation of him and our experts have been explaining exactly how they`ll be tracking down those leads. To join me now for more reporting and analysis on all of this is the former Counter Intelligence Officer, Malcolm Nance, Evan Kohlmann stays with me whom I was just speaking with. Frank Figliuzzi from the FBI, previous experience there in counter intel and Ron Allen who we heard from earlier by phone is now live on camera on the scene. Ron, what is the latest on the ground?
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ari, I think people are still digesting what has happened and in true New York mindset, just getting on with it. Earlier, I was standing over close to the bike path and there was a huge crowd of students coming out of Stuyvesant High School, the school that was essentially on lockdown for a time very close to the attack. Many of them were just in Halloween costumes and they were going off on their evening of trick or treating and getting on with their lives. I think that`s the mindset here. Whether this was an organized attack or this was a lone wolf, whatever it was, I think the mindset in New York is that this is -- this happens in New York, it could it happen in New York and people are not going to be cowed and or deterred by it.
Obviously, people are going to be vigilant. They`re going to -- you know, the old cliche of see something or say something. I also want to just point out that the area where this attack happened, that bike path, for the most part, it is very well protected from the sort of thing and that there is a guardrail or a path or a barrier that lines much of the -- much of the route but there`s an opening at the intersection where a vehicle, perhaps this one could have driven up and become a battering ram along the way. But many of the streets of this part of Manhattan are -- do have barricades. They don`t have one here that I can show you but there is protection from this sort of. Of course, you can`t do everything possible to eliminate this kind of an incident.
But I think here in the streets tonight, people are out, people are in costume. There are these huge gatherings everywhere, around town, Halloween parties, many involving kids. I`ve talked on a number of people here who we saw them coming after school and at around 3:00 or 3:30, parents bringing their kids home from school. This is a commercial area, it`s a tourist area, it`s also a residential area. New York, everything happens in very small confined spaces so there`s a lot of life going on here and people are just kind of getting on with it. These Halloween parties will be gearing up as the hours descend on us. It`s 6:30 or so in the East and it`s going to get later.
I know my daughter and a lot of her classmates are going to a party and people are concerned but of course, they`re not going to be terribly -- they`re not going to freak out and get crazy about all this. I think people are going to try and keep in perspective what`s happened, be very concerned, very vigilant but of course just try to get on with and it and of course try to know everything we can about what happened so to prepare, to prevent the next one. And that`s where we are. Authorities are telling people, be vigilant and get on with your lives. That`s what -- that`s what we see happening here on the streets of New York tonight. Ari?
MELBER: All right, Ron Allen on the ground there close to the scene, stay with me. You`re echoing from what you`re seeing in your reporting and what people are feeling, something we`ve been hearing from a lot of experts. Malcolm Nance, I want to bring you back into this conversation because earlier Evan Kohlmann was talking about why the evidence suggests this would necessarily be a high level orchestrated foreign attack based on what indicators we have. Other experts have said it`s also just very early beyond the authentication of the individual to make any such leaps.
And in our reporting here as journalists, we`re reflecting that guidance. That`s where we would stand -- that`s where we stood as of a few minutes ago but Malcolm, there is one government official that is not necessarily displaying that same approach. Let me read to you the latest statement from the President of the United States which says, "We must not allow ISIS to return or enter our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!" That`s from moments ago in his second tweet that has come in the last hour in apparent response to what is the unknown situation in New York.
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, not extraordinary and should have been expected. But for the most part, you know, let me go back to some of the analysis. Evan made a very good point and about the question of organization and whether this was supported. We just don`t know whether there`s a backstory or someone who may have given this individual information. How do you even know about the west side highway bike path unless you`ve driven there before? I`ve actually been right at that intersection, Canal Street in that bike path. It appears to me that you know, based on my initial analysis, he was following a GPS. But someone could have told him, this is where you go.
There were hundreds of intersections down Canal that he could have gone through and done the exact same thing. So that sort of lends some credence to the fact that it was amateurishly planned or planned at a very low level, you know, from someone who may have seen it or looked at Google Earth and considered that a very heavily populated area. And as we all know, further up that bike path, or a few blocks down towards the World Trade Center, he would have gotten more people. So that being said, when it comes to a terrorist individual or a cell, we have no idea when they are planning to go. They have a no -- a go-no go mindset that is very hard to predict.
MELBER: So what you`re -- what you`re saying in the most measured way possible is that the best thing to do in this instance at this hour would be to ignore the President`s apparent reference to suggest or tie this to ISIS because we just don`t know.
NANCE: Well, you don`t know whether it`s ISIS. And let me tell you al- Qaeda is pushing the exact same ideology. They are older, deeper and longer in this game. However, we do know one thing that`s empirically you know, supported. ISIS had one of the largest numbers of Uzbek populations in the Salafi`s terrorism in South Asia and the Middle East, even in Syria. But until we do get real hard intelligence on this individual, these are a little preemptive. And you know, I know that`s going to be tied into politics and immigration at some point, but you know, the guy has been here since 2010. We saw the same problem that happened with the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston. These people self-radicalized and it could have been an American who was formerly Catholic two weeks ago just as easily as it was a person from South Asia.
MELBER: Frank go ahead.
FRANK FIGLIUZZI, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR COUNTERINTELLIGENCE, FBI: Look, what people don`t know if the FBI has over 60 offices abroad and one of those -- one of those legal attache offices covers Uzbekistan so it`s going to be a late day for those folks. And they`re waking up or hitting the Uzbeki government offices, the family members need to be interviewed. They`re going to pull files there. So this is an international investigation at this point. The other thing is, what can we learn from the lack of sophistication of this attack? It is unsophisticated and so I`m going to -- I`m going to go out on a limb here and say there`s going to be a mix of mental health issues, and maybe some perceived motivation. But this is not somebody who spent a great deal of time planning a sophisticated attack.
MELBER: I want you to stay with me. This has been an unfolding scene and now we have some new sound coming in from a witness around that scene in New York today. Let`s play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women and children running toward me. That`s when I heard one of the girls yelling that (INAUDIBLE) there was a man with a gun. And I turned around to get away but around 30 seconds to a minute later I heard gunshots. And that`s when I got interested and I turned around to go see what happened. And at that point, I saw a man lying on the ground who appeared to have been shot. And right next to him, there was another man who was being arrested. (INAUDIBLE) the man is on hands and right next to him was the white pickup truck that Home Depot logo is on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That`s just some of the new sound we`ve been getting there from an incident there in lower Manhattan that took the lives of eight innocent New Yorkers, an act of terror according to the Mayor of New York in remarks to (INAUDIBLE) still as we`ve stressed under investigation. I want to bring in here on set Michael Balboni. When you talk about the unique threats facing New York, you`re an individual that has been an expert on this and a leader and a legislator leading the Homeland Security Committee I should say in this state. What do you see here today?
MICHAEL BALBONI, FORMER NEW YORK HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: What is fascinating from the early perspective, you`ve been rightfully stressing the fact that it`s an ongoing investigation. You really shouldn`t jump to any conclusions. But the things that jump out at me is how the New York City Police Department is going to react to this. It is Halloween. This was done around a school. The question becomes, what is the -- what was the targeting? Was this a random target? He rents the truck in Jersey and then drives here? Just imagine what`s going through his mind. Is he just looking for any type of gathering of individuals? Is he looking for a school bus? Is he looking for a school? I think that a lot of things are going to hinge upon. What one of your analysts said is, is there kind of a mix of radicalization and mental health issues? But the real challenge now is copycats. We`re taking --
MELBER: On mental health for you, what is the indicator or tip there that this was done so oddly although it`s taken the lives of eight innocent New Yorkers, again to paraphrase the Mayor, but at a security level which is the analysis that you all do, and do sometimes in a cold way, it could have taken a lot more lives.
BALBONI: Yes, but he had a paintball gun and a bb gun. So what does that indicate? That he`s going to get out of the vehicle and do what?
MELBER: What does it indicate?
BALBONI: It indicates that he didn`t really have a plan. And maybe he wanted to commit suicide from the Police officer shooting him, that he wanted to --
MELBER: The theory of the case being that having a fake gun that looked like a real gun would lead that?
BALBONI: Perhaps. I mean, again, this is all speculation but it leads to a sense that this is not someone who has appeared to be the training of someone who has been overseas and has military training. This is some random act where he picked an intersection and has gone after individuals in the easiest way possible. Now, we`ve seen that around the world. We`ve it obviously in Nice, and Germany, and London. But one of the things that we also going to take a look at is what kind of impact would this have around the communities? This is still Halloween night. And as one of your reporters talk about is you know, there`s lots of parties going on. So for the NYPD, they have to do is they`ve got to lock down the city but yet still let people enjoy the celebration. It`s an enormously tense moment for them while they do the investigation and that`s why there`s such a rapid pace on this investigation right now.
MELBER: Stay with me. Frank, on the Halloween point, how confident are authorities when they say we`re going to continue if they had something akin to much more specific intelligence or warnings, presumably they would act on that in contrast to what they`ve said tonight.
FIGLIUZZI: Yes, so look, here`s what`s probably going on now to FBI headquarters. They`re trying to make a decision on how to advise field offices and Police Departments around the country on handling security for Halloween night. And I would not be surprised if an adviser is going out in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security suggesting increased vigilance and patrols tonight because the copycat factor, absence any other intelligence that this is part of some larger event, just the copycat factor alone is cause for concern.
MELBER: We`ve been mostly in our broadcast really focused on the who, what, where, and when, and what we can glean out of this event in New York City. I want to broaden our lens here as our continuing coverage goes on and bring in NBC`s Hallie Jackson who`s live at the White House. Hallie, I can tell you pouring into the newsroom right now are something that`s become a bit of a sad ritual, the statements of solidarity appreciated as they are but sad to see because you are talking about a global terror threat. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, new statement, London stands in grief and solidarity "with the great city of New York tonight."
A statement from a Leader from another city plagued by violence of a range of kinds. Chicago Mayor Emanuel, we stand in solidarity with New York City in the wake of this horrific attack. The prayers of every Chicagoan are with the victims and the families in New York in this difficult day. The leader of the minority party in the Senate in the town you`re in Chuck Schumer, also new coming into our newsroom, thoughts with the victims and their families. Of course, he`s also a New York Senator. As the investigation unfolds, it`s critical that we learn what we can from this incident. The scourge of terrorism he says, unfortunately still with us and we must remain vigilant. What reporting do you have and what are you hearing there from the lawn of the White House?
HALLIE JACKSON, MSNBC ANCHOR: So let me go through a couple of things here, Ari. So number one, I think what has stood out for example in some of the statements we`ve seen from the Capitol have been the phrasing of an act of terror or linking this to terror. President Trump so far including in a tweet just within the last maybe ten minutes or so has not explicitly called this an act of terror but did seem to link this to ISIS. And I want to read you what he said. He said we must not allow ISIS to return or enter our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough! This comes after a first tweet in which he said, NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely, adding, not in the USA. In past --
MELBER: And Hallie --
JACKSON: Go ahead.
MELBER: Let`s just pause in the point although as an interviewer, I don`t know if it`s exactly where you were going or not. But I want to make sure we pause from the point that that alone is quite different from the way most White Houses --
JACKSON: That`s exactly right.
MELBER: Go ahead.
JACKSON: No, no, you`re making the right point here, Ari, because typically we would see a statement that is not quite as perhaps emphatic as this one is. But let me just put it in the context of this administration. This is similar to what the President has tweeted in the past including by the way, about, for example, some of the attacks in London that you just referenced of course from reading that statement from the London Mayor. Now, in some of those incidents, specifically the two attacks in London, the President has tried to link this to his travel ban which has raised someday questions here in Washington. That is obviously not the case at this point here tonight, Ari, but I think, and I appreciate you sort of stopping and making that point here because while this is something, and I would say the tone that we have seen from President Trump in the past, it is not necessarily typical for previous administration.
That said, the President came out via his Press Secretary with the White House releasing a statement early on saying he`s receiving multiple briefings, sending thoughts and prayers to those affected by this. So right now, that`s what`s happening at the West Wing. I`ve been told that the President has been updated multiple times. Although we`re not sure quite how many about what has been unfolding in New York City. And let me just make this other point too here. First Lady Melania Trump is in New York today. She had been there for previously scheduled meeting. Trump Tower is about four miles from where this happened in Lower Manhattan at this bike path here. And of course, while something like this is horrific for any President, for this President, it does hit particularly close to home, Ari.
MELBER: And the last question I`ll ask is, what hangs in the backdrop? I mean, today was another day that was incredibly unusual --
MELBER: -- in the place you`re standing. A press briefing that seemed to be almost, I would say, a sad self-parody of trying to change the subject as the representative of the President held forth on whether slavery was defensible or not in response to comments made by the Chief of Staff assuming they want to talk about anything than the other law enforcement challenge, the Russia investigation. This is the first day since the indictments and the guilty plea all became public yesterday. Can you just as a final thought before I let you go, Hallie, walk us through the day in the life you`ve seen there --
JACKSON: The backdrop -- yes.
MELBER: -- and whether it -- whether it feels any different or kind of more stable now as they are reminded that there are so much responsibility on a night like tonight?
JACKSON: Let me just sort of step back and say from a broad context point of view when it comes to what this White House is dealing with this week alone Ari, we`ll walk through that which is, number one, what you -- it`s referenced today which is not just comments creating controversy from the Chief of Staff but sort of more notably, the indictment and the plea agreement from the Special Counsel triggered by that Special Counsel investigation. You`ve got by the way policy happening domestically with the President and Republicans working to roll out this big tax cut plan, what they hope to be their signature legislative achievement of the Fall. Tomorrow, and then two days after that, you have the President leaving for a critically important trip to Asia and we cannot sort of understate the importance of that trip.
Multiple countries over the course of 12 days, this is going to be significant on a foreign policy front. All of that is happening now as this -- what the New York City Mayor has called act of terror unfold in Lower Manhattan. From a news perspective, of course, every day at this White House is a busy one from that front, Ari. But I will say that time and time again we`ve stood here and we`ve talked about terrible attacks. Attacks that have taken lives similar to this here in the United States and around the world.
MELBER: Hallie Jackson reporting from the White House, thank you very much and we appreciate it. Our experts are staying with us and in moments I believe, we`re going get a local reporter who has been also working the story for us, Jonathan Dean who has an update on the suspect`s record. So we are efforting to get that here within our hour. We`re not taking any breaks. I want to bring back in Mike Balboni to our coverage. First of all, do you have any thoughts about what Hallie was mentioning and what is I think a struggle at times like this? You have -- you have these deaths in New York, you try to make sense of it, and you kind of have to do a workaround and as I have been reporting, either kind of neglect or put to the side a statement from the top of the federal government which at best seems to overreach the ISIS reference beyond what our own sources are saying the authorities have, which is they don`t -- they don`t have that kind of I.D. for this subject yet.
BALBONI: I think that a lot of people struggle with the concept of how much information does the White House get immediately? And they have this expectation that instantaneous, and it`s not. And one of the truisms of any type of emergency scene is the first reports are usually wrong. It`s just -- talk to an emergency manager, any police officer, that`s what they`ll tell you. So to talk from Washington D.C. about an incident that happens, you`re ultimately going to have some missing information immediately.
MELBER: So you`re saying less from there tonight would be better?
BALBONI: I think it`s always good to have as many facts as you can before coming out with something. But here`s the other thing. There`s certain events that happens a lot that you just simply can`t explain. The randomness of this, there was really -- think about the victims` families. How are they going to come to grips with the randomness of this? It`s the statistical abnormality that you could be in place that has -- in a city of 8 million people and this is what happens, and you`re on a beautiful sunny afternoon?
MELBER: Well, you speak to that. That`s the humanity of this Malcolm. You were mentioning being down there at the bike path, New York is the kind of town where you hear about something like this that is this random and this massive, and the calls and the texts are coming in because a lot of people know a lot of people and anyone could be downtown near a bike path in the afternoon.
NANCE: Yes, you`re absolutely right. As a matter of fact, I got almost a real-time notice and photographs and people who were down there, there was video out within minutes of that happening. There`s still media coming in right now. But for the most part, looking back on the profile of the individual, we now know is from west -- you know, Western Florida. It really strikes me that this person didn`t know New York City as we talked about a little earlier. You know, there were -- I mean he could have gone to 42nd Street, he could have gone to other places, it`s almost as if someone suggested this spot and he GPS his way over to that spot and then took that strip of road, which is like La Rambla, you know, in Barcelona and carried out that attack.
There were hundreds of other venues. He didn`t seem to know anything at all about the Halloween parades, or Halloween for that matter even though he`s been here. This one is going to get a lot of scrutiny the JTTF and the FBI as to why he chose that spot. And as we like to say, the target is the tactic, right? Whatever you`re going to choose to attack, you`ve got to bring the right weapons system and you`ve got to bring the right tactics to make it effective. And in this case, he -- it`s almost as if it was random.
MELBER: Wow. Malcolm, stay with me. I turn now as promised to WNBC Chief Investigative Reporter John Dean. Anyone who lives in New York, as many of us do in this newsroom know John for his sourcing and for tracking down some of these really tough stories. I know, you`ve been busy from looking at a lot of your reporting and notes coming in over our (INAUDIBLE). Walk us through what you know, and what I`m seeing brand new from you and Tom Winter regarding prior interactions with law enforcement by the suspect.
JOHN DEAN, WNBC CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: First important to stress is law enforcement and intelligence officials say this guy was not on the radar screen when it came to terror, but he did -- he worked as a truck driver and had some traffic infractions in the past, but nothing that would suggest as of now that he was going to carry out any sort of terror attack here in New York. Again, Sayfullo Saipov, he`s an Uzbeki who came in 2010 into the U.S. He flew in through JFK and apparently won a Green Card lottery and spent some time in Florida. There were three states now taking a hard look at him, New York where the attack happened, New Jersey, Passaic County which is about 20 to 30 minutes from here, where he apparently was living, spending some time working there, and also Tampa, Florida because he has that Tampa Driver`s License.
So they are looking into what warning signs, if there`s any electronic media, anything that suggests he was inspired or he was in contact with anyone that may have encouraged him to carry out this type of attack. Again, witnesses told police he was screaming Allahu Akbar as he got out of that Home Depot pick-up truck carrying two fake guns when he was shot by a police officer who happened to be on duty right nearby. Shot in the abdomen, he survived. So they will be questioning him at great length about why he decided to carry out the attack. Intelligence officials and the Governor telling us that this appears to be the work of a lone actor, that there was no evidence of any broader threat or broth at this time. But we know in New Jersey right now, police and FBI agents are going to Home Depot locations and to addresses that they have for him in Passaic County trying to track down what else they can learn about this suspect.
So again, no indication that he was plotting anything, at least he wasn`t on the radar screen, but what they find in his apartment and how he was able to pay for this truck that I guess is $19 for the first 75 minutes and a few bucks extra every 15 minutes after that that he rented from Home Depot and that he apparently drove it from New Jersey into New York and targeted the bike path as well as a little school bus that was carrying disabled children. And three disabled children were hurt when that pick-up truck smashed into that school bus in what police say was a deliberate act, not only running down the pedestrians, and the bikers on that bike path, but targeting the kids on that school bus before emerging in that vehicle.
MELBER: The -- your sources -- your sources believe that aspect of this attack was also deliberate?
DEAN: Yes, they believe that he deliberately drove that truck right at the school bus when he saw it. That`s what we`re being told.
MELBER: Jonathan, I want to read to you from some of the reactions pouring in. Again, this being a major event and a major terror event according to authorities, an apparent terror attack is the language we`re seeing. President Bill Clinton who of course has kept an office in New York and whose spouse was a New York Senator posting New Yorkers see this attack for what it is, an attempt to sow fear. We stand against terror as we grieve for the victims and we thank the NYPD. He writes on the current government`s side, the Acting Press Secretary at DHS notes that the acting -- excuse me -- the acting -- the acting Homeland Security Elaine Duke, I should mention says this is an apparent act of terrorism that occurred this evening in New York City. That`s the language there.
I want to thank Jonathan Dean for joining us and let him go continue to work his sources. And Malcolm Nance, and excuse me, I should say Evan Kohlmann, when you look at that in that language from the DHS, a little more restrained, but I would say still based on covering these things, I don`t know as much as you do, it seems pretty swift here, based on any of the indicators they have that the Feds and New York authorities here using this language, either calling it an act of terror or an apparent act of terrorism, the very similar language from DHS. Evan?
KOHLMANN: Yes -- no, look, it`s definitely terrorism. It sure looks like he had ill intent. But do you really believe that this individual was so sophisticated that he somehow evaded NSA surveillance, he somehow evaded any detection of what he was doing and he traveled to a terrorist training camp in Syria and then came back? No, obviously not. I mean, the target that this guy went after, the means that he carried it out, everything here suggests that this guy was in the too sharp. The fact that he killed and hurts so many people was a very, very sad and tragic thing and unfortunately, that`s part of you know, people carrying out terrorist attacks in an urban area, it`s not that difficult to kill and hurt people.
But everything about this tells us that this individual was a lone wolf, was deluded, probably didn`t have any contact will be a terrorist group. Again, ISIS has told people living here in the U.S. that they -- it`s very easy to get guns, and this guy wasn`t even able to achieve that, something that they said was extremely easy to do. He got -- instead of getting a big, big truck like what we`ve seen in Nice -- again, he got glorified pick up ride. This guy is a truck driver, he doesn`t know that? Everything here tells you this is not someone who was trained in a terrorist training camp, not someone who`s on a first name basis with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This is a wannabe at best.
MELBER: And thank you, Evan, for your reporting. Jim Cavanaugh, I`ll hand the final word to you. Evan mentioning the odd situation with the lack of actually lethal firearms, you, of course, worked at the agent of firearms, your thoughts.
JIM CAVANAUGH, RETIRED ATF SPECIAL AGENT: Well, I think Evan is very right on every aspects as I think he usually is. He`s very deep in these guys has and that`s a great intelligence assessment. What this guy could do with the two bb guns, he still could carjack somebody, throw them out of their car, take another car and run over more people. So you can`t discount the fact that it was a bb gun or a paint gun. The NYPD patrol officer that shot him, stopped him but he could have carjacked yet another car and run over yet more people. I totally agree it`s likely a mad dog lone inspired on the internet, actor, looser, coward.
MELBER: Jim Cavanaugh, thank you as well. Coward being a theme that we heard from the governor of New York as well in that official briefing.
My thanks to all our reporters all over New York City, Washington and our analysts.
I`m Ari Melber signing off from our newsroom here in New York. But our breaking news coverage on this story continues now on "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews.
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