Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: April 3, 2018 Guest: Nick Akerman, Francesca Chambers
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: This certainly, as you said earlier in our cover the beating heart of Silicon Valley. These jobs are coveted. People are recruited from all over the world to work at a campus that Cara (INAUDIBLE) described earlier in our coverage as airy, as highly desirable. And the fact that, and I know we say this every time, that if it could happen there, it really could happen anywhere.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: The 6:00 hour has arrived here on the east coast for folks tuning to see. My colleague Ari Melber, we sadly, remain in breaking news coverage, because of the story that has compelled our attention. That is a workplace shooting at the You Tube headquarters in San Bruno, California, just south of San Francisco.
Among those covering it for us, our own Tom Winter who has been kind of out fact gather and listening to among other things, all the police frequencies on the scene.
Tom, are we able to report that, not all the all clear being sounded, but something close to that, that it's no longer an active scene?
TOM WINTER, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes. I think that's a perfect description, Brian. So at this time, right now it appears that the scene is only active only from the standpoint of going through the facility, double checking as the police chief said on this air moments ago. And making sure that there's nobody else that's been injured, that they are not yet aware of. But at this point it appears that they believe that they know who the suspect is. That she is deceased and it is from a gunshot wound, a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
What we don't know is this woman's identity. And to a point that we were making earlier, we don't yet know what type of weapon that this woman had. It is very rare, Brian, for a woman to be involved as an active shooting as the shooter. It's a small percentage, according to the FBI's latest data, as far as women who have been involved in modern day active shootings. So that goes back several decades.
And so, this is not something that we normally see. And the other thing is, about 45 minutes ago, you and I were speaking on the air, and I said there were no reported fatalities. I was obviously referring to innocent victims and not the shooter. That appears to still be the case. And we know that - at least one person is in critical condition, and several others are injured. That one person in critical condition is a man.
At this point, we are still trying to figure out from talking to law enforcement sources, we have had some suggestions of what the motive is, but we haven't been able to kind of lock that in just yet.
One thing that we are hearing at this point, there's nothing to suggest that this was some sort of a terrorist attack, that this person had a specific ideology, and that's why they did the shooting today. But that's preliminary information, obviously subject to change. But that's what we're hearing, police do not believe that is the motive. But as far as the reason why this woman did what she did today, that's still a little bit unclear and is obviously going to take law enforcement some time to make sure they have all the right answers and they have talked to all the people that they need to.
WILLIAMS: Hey, Tom, before I let you go, any -- we just mentioned, we don't have an answer from the chief on the weapon used. Do you have anything?
WINTER: No, Brian. We are not getting anything through our normal law enforcement circles, through the folks that we normally talk to. We can tell you that ATF is on the scene. They put that out there. And then as you noted some time ago, the FBI is also on scene. So, I would suspect by the next briefing we will start to get some of those details and start to get an identity into this woman, was she an employee there and might she have a criminal history. So those are some of the things that we are still waiting to hear about and some of things that we hope to update you with.
WILLIAMS: Just a note for our control room. We should take the wording moments ago, and perhaps change it to earlier, because this was -- a lot of the scenes we are showing were very early on when people were entering with guns drawn. It's not an accurate depiction of the You Tube campus right now.
We are again - we are just of that time when the all clear has been sounded. I as just reminded because this is in the bay area or think of it. Senator Dianne Feinstein, her career, of course, marked by gun violence. She became mayor because of an assassination. Congresswoman Jackie Spieir, whose district You Tube is in, shot miraculously survived in Jonestown Giana as gunman opened fire on our NBC television crew, as they were on a congressional visit to check on a cult that have formed just prior to the Jonestown massacre.
They were trying to leave. And everyone there ended up being killed. Jackie Spieir, miraculously shot multiple times on the tarmac of that airport. So she knows from gun violence.
Pete Williams I know has been on the phone and is now off the phone.
Pete, did you grab anything?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, just to enlarge on the point we just made a moment ago, Brian, which is this is more and more looking like the woman who came there came with a specific target in mind. Sounds like a domestic dispute that played out at the You Tube headquarters. That's the impression that we are getting right now from the initial investigating work that the law enforcement people have done.
In other words, this woman came there because she had a specific target in mind. And that would square with the details we have from the hospital of the shooting victims, of one male, who is in critical condition, he seems to be the most seriously wounded. So it would seem logical that she came there to attack a man at the You Tube headquarters. One woman was shot. And then another woman was seriously wounded, whether these were other targets or simply people who were collateral damage to her attack, we don't know.
But that's more and more what it's sounding like, is this is not in the category of the kind of shootings that have become all too common, where someone just goes in, fires a lot of shots to create the maximum amount of carnage, draw attention, make a statement, God knows what. This is a pervasive kind of thing that goes on in the United States all the time of someone trying to settle a score with a firearm.
WILLIAMS: Let me take that information right over to Clint Van Zandt.
Clint, based on your experience, your reaction to what Pete just said that appears to be the preliminary information surrounding the shooting?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Brian. I know, none of us want to get ahead of this. But when you start to put these numbers together, I agree 100 percent with Pete, that's what it's going to look like now. You and I had talked earlier and I had mentioned a study of mass shooters, of 96 mass shooters, only two of those were women at the time. And of course we can all harken back to the December 2015 San Bernardino shooting, where 14 were killed 21 wounded by that husband-wife team.
But you know, in a situation like this, Brian, whether it's our schools or our workplace, we think because we have an entry badge or a magnetic door lock, we are safe. And unfortunately, that doesn't prove to be the case. Just like the commissioner there, when I worked with my clients on violence in the workplace, you know, we reduce it to three words, run, hide, fight.
But you realize how much distance is covered in just those three words. And I'm sure all of these employees when they heard those gunshots, and I heard one person suggest they had heard eight gunshots, Brian, well, to you, to me, to others, that's going to suggest likely a semiautomatic pistol. That would be consistent with a weapon that a woman could bring in some type of bag or purse or something else.
But realize, she had to get through those entry doors that may have stopped police from getting in because she was either allowed to come in, she walked in behind someone else, she had a badge. But in a recent year, Brian, we have had over 400 workplace homicide. That was a 15 percent increase from the year before. So we have a lot of people with emotional, the psychological challenges that are looking for violence as a means of conflict resolution. And unfortunately, schools and/or the workplace are places that they choose to act this out.
WILLIAMS: I'm looking at Bill Bratton here in our studio, whose career has spanned everything from Boston cop to the New York City police commissioner. And I'm watching you taking all these information. What are you thinking?
WILLIAM BRATTON, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, what's being described is the complexity of life in our society today with all the potential threats. It is what being shown on the screen is the complexity of what's happening right now at the You Tube campus. All these moving parts, but there's moving parts at the hospital, this moving parts at the home, moving parts at a lot of homes that we have those other victims. Many families who maybe or not heard from their love ones because they have not access to phones and they have been locked behind in the office when they fled. Worrying, is that my loved one at the hospital. So there's still so much, while the incident is over in the sense of the violence, the ripple effects we talked about earlier continue to spread and expand.
WILLIAMS: Think of all the people who are driving too fast right now, shaken up, heading to this area to pick up a loved one, heading to this area because God forbid the loved one had to leave their phone inside, they got a sketchy message, we are all OK. There's going to be a command post, there's going to be a community center, we know all this because this follows a perverse muscle memory in 2018.
BRATTON: And tomorrow they will have the counselors coming in to assist the people who need that emotional assistance. Now those ripple effects just keep expanding. And unfortunately, in our society today, they become all too common place, all too well known to all of us.
WILLIAMS: Kara Swisher, as we mentioned, executive editor of Recode and a veteran journalist covering all things Silicon Valley.
Kara, I was saying earlier that, you know, You Tube was part of the story after Parkland when they decided to ban a category of video dealing with gun how to videos.
KARA SWISHER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RECODE (on the phone): Right.
WILLIAMS: How are they looked at as far as where all the progressive kind of Silicon Valley big employers stack up?
SWISHER: How are they looked at? I mean, they are part of Google, obviously, and Google has been a big part of Silicon Valley for many years. You know, they have a separate campus from Google. They are kept separate since they were bought several years ago. And so, you know, it is a very - I have been there, I mean, just there recently. I spoke in front of the employees there. It seems like a great workforce. Obviously, they have been in the news a lot lately around the Russia issues around Russian (INAUDIBLE), You Tube, like the election an some a lot of stress on that. And around (INAUDIBLE). Some of their You Tube creators have been in controversy. So it's a little tougher place to work from a content point of view. But in general, it's considered a great workplace.
WILLIAMS: And because you are in and out of employers like this, and campuses like this, talk to us, especially those who are used to kind of the east coast traditional office building security.
WILLIAMS: What is the security like? What do you first encounter? What do you continue to encounter as you go through a building like that?
SWISHER: Well, it depends on the campus. I mean, some campuses like Apple is very locked down. It is very hard to get through. And you have to go through multiple security to get through especially their new building.
But in general, most campuses feel open. You can walk right in to most campuses. They are like walking into, you know, I don't know, Princeton or Harvard or wherever. Just, you can walk right in.
And getting into the buildings is relatively easy. You can tailgate behind people. I have done it many times. The main visiting areas are rather large and lovely. There is always food or drinks, and things like that. Very colorful most of the time. Very comfortable place to be. But it's very open. And that is the one the thing. They are always experimenting with ways to work and workspaces. And (INAUDIBLE) at one point. People like (INAUDIBLE). You know, they experiment all the time. And so the You Tube headquarters is very colorful. It's very open. It's actually on the street, compared to most campuses. It's unlike most campuses. And they have some offices across the street. So a streetscape, essentially. Not a suburban one, but it's a streetscape. And it is a love campuses. But it is quite open. Again, I was just there. I walked in. I walked into the cafeteria without being stopped by anybody.
WILLIAMS: Tell us about the number of employees. How does this campus stack up against the truly big ones, the Googles, the Apples, the Facebooks?
SWISHER: It's really small. I don't know how many people are there, but it can't be more than a couple of hundred people. I don't know. There could have been more there. There could have been more offices in the area.
The San Bernardino is their main campus. He does some facility in Los Angeles is quite large. But compared to the Google campus, the Facebook campus, is quite small. And it is purposely kept that way. It supposed to be at much smaller united, even though it's an enormous platform that has him p impact throughout the world.
It is not a very big campus. And it very casual. It is a super casual place to hang out. I mean, the CEO, Susan Wojcicki, and I were just down in the cafeteria eating. You know, there's not a lot of, you know, the more important executives are somewhere else. She's in the office right among the other employees, as often the case in internet companies.
And so, it's a very open plant. And I think it will be interesting to see the impact. I'm writing a story on this because most campuses are designed to be open and accessible and fun to work at.
You know, sometimes people make fun of them, they are juvenile. There's a slide, and you think it's a You Tube campus, people slide down, and things like that. They have toys, bouncy balls, things like that which is, it's funny and quirky, but it's very common.
WILLIAMS: Well, they also work incredibly hard. They work incredibly long hours. They are more creative than most. They require kind of downtime that may look like downtime but is actually collaborative discussion going on.
WILLIAMS: I get it. And I can't wait to see what our management says when I put in for a slide.
SWISHER: Yes. You are not going to get one, Brian.
WILLIAMS: OK, you are right.
Hey, Kara Swisher, it is always such a pleasure to be able to talk to you television. Thank you for taking my numerous questions about this.
SWISHER: No problem.
WILLIAMS: We are looking at now, this collection, this is earlier. Earlier two police officers running toward the You Tube campus. It has calmed way down. This happened at the kind of end of lunch hour today, San Bruno, California. Report of shots fired. All too common.
We got the first indications from local police scanners that there had been a report of shots fired. Local law enforcement descended on this complex of buildings you see here. You see it is right up against a kind of a wild land area. There is a driveway/fire break in the back of the building where we have seen employees congregating. All of it is supposed to be environmentally friendly and green. You have probably noted the fact that the roof has grass growing on it and the three main buildings. But it's very much like a residential campus and we heard Kara say, there were great pains taken for employee comfort, and to be part of the culture in Silicon Valley and to note the fact that they have younger than average, more creative than average employees.
I would also note, though, we are looking at a death toll of one so far. And that is believed to be the female assailant. We have people in hospitals that are badly wounded, and we need to pray for and keep in our thoughts.
Remember, the ripple effects. All of the people you see, that's responding law enforcement. They all leave home and family to come and respond. All the people you see here, these are You Tube employees whose only act today was to come on the work. They have now heard the sound of gun fire, many of them, they have been patted down, everyone is assumed to be a suspect until proven otherwise. Even if you look for all the world like an innocent You Tube employee.
This is a trauma that will be with them always. They can now say they were connected to a workplace shooting. And so that's what we need to remember. Beyond the dead and injured, that this spreads exponentially into a community.
My friend and colleague Stephanie Ruhle is about to take over our live coverage from San Bruno, California - Stephanie.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Brian, when I watched this, think about You Tube's campus, think about the type of people who work there. It is the opposite of an oppressive environment. When you heard Kara Swisher describing this campus. You joked about this idea that there's a slide, and there's not a slide, but you know that those You Tube founders were focused on their employees and to have their employees love there.
So to read these eyewitness account, so to hear from people who were having lunch on the patio, when suddenly they hear noises never thinking it could be gunshots.
WILLIAMS: Yes. That's exactly what happened.
RUHLE: It is amazing, stunning and upsetting. I want to bring in Shaun Henry, former FBI executive assistant director.
Shaun, as we are processing this news out of San Bruno, California, it's all too familiar these mass shootings, but this one is quite different, we haven't seen one on a corporate campus, we haven't seen one with a female shooter, what's your take on all of this?
SHAUN HENRY, FORMER FBI EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: You mentioned two things that are unusual. You see it happening in a corporate environment, and to see a female involved, where you have got multiple gunshot victims. That is highly unusual.
I want to go back, Stephanie, some of the things you were covering there with Brian about the campus, the open campus. I have spent a lot of time in Silicon Valley in the last few years. And that is the kind of environment these companies want to portray. They want it to be open and wants to be park like, really a vey free of restrictions. You see the employees that are leaving, they are wearing shorts and t-shirts, certainly, not the type of Atari you would see in Midtown, Manhattan on a daily basis.
So it's that an environment that is free and liberating. And you know, an environment like that, you have got a lower level of security, I think. And certainly the employees' attitude are such that they are not thinking this is going to happen. They are going about their day. They are in a creative area, a creative space and it's all about, you know, innovation. And that environment today turned out to be tragic for a few people.
RUHLE: Shaun, let's listen to this together. Just moments ago we got in the dispatch call from operators to local police after receiving the 911 call. Listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have shot fires in the area of 901 cherry avenue. We are receiving numerous 911. So far nothing seen, just heard only. And we have one occupant saying that people are running out of the business.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like it's coming from You Tube.
Shooter, another party says they spotted someone with a gun.
Suspect came from the back patio. Again we have a report of a subject with a gun. They heard seven to eight shots being fired. This will be from the You Tube building.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: And there we have it, the dispatch call.
Commissioner Bill Bratton still with us. You have heard calls like that so many times?
RUHLE: And does it surprise you?
BRATTON: In today's world, unfortunately, it does not. It's become very common place, much too common place, much too frequent. It sets the stage for what officers going toward, they get very minimal information. They are going to a large facility, not knowing quite what they are getting into. And it's one of the reasons why it takes so long to try and put this together, because the initial confusion, excitement, fear, the unknown, it takes a while to put it together. And fortunately, this event seems to be of the scale that has come together very quickly, now it's a matter of determining the exact circumstances, what was the motivation.
RUHLE: Shaun, walk us through how they put these puzzle pieces together. I'm just receiving word from a colleague that two sources say the suspect, the female gun person was in her mid-30s, so we mentioned it earlier when we hear of these types of shooting. It's very rare that it's a woman. So we don't know if she was an employee, if she had a target when she went into the building?
HENRY: You know, when you see a shooting like this, the first thing I think about when it's on a campus or in the corporate environment is a disgruntled employee, that would be the default, but certainly there's an awful lot of investigation here.
I think Stephanie, now that you have got a suspect who has been identified presumably, the dead woman has been identified by the police. They are going to do a very, very, thorough interview of everybody who may have known her. Certainly any co-worker, if in fact she was an employee there, going through her HR personnel file, neighbors, people that were friends of hers, they will be executing a search warrant. I imagine on her home or her vehicle, looking at digital media, social media, any of the contacts that she's got. So they will do a thorough investigation at this point.
Now that the initial situation is resolved and the crisis is over, they will do the investigation to try and determine what the motive is, what brought her to the campus this afternoon and caused the death of this individual, Stephanie.
RUHLE: Today's crisis is over, but those You Tube employees have to go back to work, if not tomorrow, in the coming days. What will be the step for the company? What do they need to do?
Earlier we spoke to Kara Swisher of Recode. And she was sort of walking us through that campus, and not unlike many others, it's a relatively open campus, much like a college atmosphere which is what people like these days.
HENRY: Yes, that is right. Those campuses are wide open. There are hundreds of thousand, if not more than a million square feet of space there, multiple buildings covering acres of land.
I think what they will look to do is crisis counseling for employees. There will be people who be traumatize by this on the heels of what we saw in Florida just a month ago, and now this hitting so close to home.
There are going to be people who will be traumatized, who are going to be overwhelmed. There will be a lot of anxieties. So typically in type of situation, they bring in crisis counselors.
I also want to mention, Stephanie, that a lot of companies are doing active shooter training now for their employees. Much the way we do fire drills and the like. They do active shooter training as we have seen happen in high schools and universities around the country in the past few years.
That certainly is not something they are going to do tomorrow. But going forward, I imagine there will be other companies in the bay area that will be taking on that type of training, looking to ensure that if there is an event such as this they will be able to avert it, Stephanie.
RUHLE: I do want to share, President Trump sent out a message via twitter about 30 minutes ago. Was just briefed on the shooting at You Tube's HQ in San Bruno, California. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved, thank you to our phenomenal law enforcement officers that first responders that are currently on the scene. I certainly echo that sentiment. When you look as a law enforcement officer, you know, in those videos, again, running toward the action, running toward the crisis, it's stunning, we are so fortunate to have those brave men and women.
I want to bring Frank Figliuzzi. He is a former assistant director at counterintelligence at the FBI.
Frank, from everything you have seen so far, what is your assessment?
FRANK FIGLIUZZI, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, we rely on the data. And that data, we have about active shooter in workplace. Well, as in general tells us the root cause, number one cause is a domestic dispute that spills into the workplace. So I always kind of operate from that assumption first, and it may be what we're seeing here.
Secondly, I have lots of questions about corporate culture at You Tube and many corporations in Silicon Valley, whether or not it was indeed conducive to providing employees as Shaun Henry has sad workplace violence, active shooter training. I work with many corporate clans. And there is a variety of culture, Stephanie. Some would say this is too unpleasant to deal with in our workplace. And others saying, no. I want to rehearse. I want table top drills. I want employees to understand the warning signs and indicators and I want to open up reporting so people can tell us their concern about a co-worker. So that there will lot of study and introspection around this and I'm sure throughout Silicon Valley tonight.
RUHLE: So is it a time when that should be the responsibility of corporate America? Should those corporations be having active shooter drills, should they have hot lines open, you know? That's not an area of expertise you see in many corporations.
BRATTON: There is no question that the number one priority for any corporate CEO should be the safety of his or her workplace. And today the trend, the pattern, the expectation is they are planning for an active shooter, that they are teaching their employees the warning signs and indicators, but equally important, after you train, you better have a reporting mechanism in place that allows employees to feel comfortable to bring those concerns forward. And you need to act on them credibly.
You know, Stephanie, inevitably, when we start interviewing people, co- workers, friends, we always hear the same answer. I knew something was going to happen. I thought something was going to happen. She was a concern of ours. And people are learning that these suspects don't just snap. And that's what you teach employees that there's a continuum of behavior that takes you for an aspirational thoughts to actually acting out. And if you can intervene in that flashpoint before something happens, that's what you need to teach your employees to do.
RUHLE: Let's bring in Tom Winter from NBC's investigative new reporting team.
Tom, what do you know?
TOM WINTER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Stephanie Ruhle. We are getting a little bit of new information from myself, my colleagues, (INAUDIBLE) and Jonathan Deeds.
The reporting is that police at this point in their investigation and it's early on in their investigation, say that a woman in her 30s who eventually died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound approached an outdoor patio and dining area around lunchtime today and began to fire. At this point, multiple senior law enforcement officials tell us here at NBC News that they believe that the motive behind the shooting is a domestic-related dispute or some sort of domestic-related incident. The senior law enforcement police are saying they don't think this has any connection to terrorism in any way at this point of the investigation.
So the normal assets that are needed to conduct a terrorism investigation, those assets aren't being summoned at this time and they believe this is some sort of a targeted type shooting that's what consistent with what Pete Williams was alluding to earlier. And obviously, Frank Figluizzi was alluding too earlier. And so, at this point, I think it's important whenever we have one of these type of shootings to say that we are not dealing with a terrorism incident and to perhaps shine a little bit of light at this point on what the motive is.
And again, I'm not sure I mentioned it before, but the young woman appears to be in her 30s in age. We don't know whether or not this woman was an employee at You Tube, so that's something that we are still trying to still trying to get ourselves and report on out. And we also at this point don't have a sense of what the weapon is. Obviously, the law enforcement on the ground is probably familiar with that at this point, but the folks we are talking to haven't been able to glean any insight into that.
So Stephanie, that's what we have at this time.
RUHLE: And while -- we don't know if this woman was a You Tube employee. Was she someone that was identified? Is she a familiar face to anyone on campus?
I'm not sure, the investigators on the ground, those are the exact type of interviews they are conducting. But at this point there hasn't been any information about her identity that has been put out in the more broad law enforcement circles and police have not said that On the Record at this point. So it's not something that - it is not information that we have that we're in a position to share at this point.
RUHLE: I just want to read that our audience again, because it's important, especially for those who have friends or family in the area, multiple senior law enforcement officials are telling NBC News that the You Tube shooter is a woman in her 30s, she approached an outdoor patio and dining area around lunchtime today when she began to fire. And at this point, the law enforcement officials say they believe the motive behind this shooting is a domestic-related dispute. I want to bring Shaun Henry back. Shaun, just moments ago, Frank was just saying the number one priority for CEOs is to keep their employees safe. And the thing that we learn after so many of these shootings is that there were warning signs but people simply just don't know how to act on those signs. Do you agree with that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think that Frank is right theoretically. I think that many CEOs, I mean, that's certainly a business function. From the corporate security side and Frank is a consultant in this space, I do security work as well, we impress upon boards of directors and CEOs, senior executives that they have to ensure that this is their top priority, that their people, the people who innovate for them, the people who generate their revenue, the people who are creative, they've got to be protected, and it's all about the people, the intellectual property, and the facilities, the people being the primary priority for everybody in that -- in that organization. There has to be more training and it's just the world that we live in. I do believe that there are some organizations that are less attentive than others, not commenting at all on this particular issue because I don't know what Youtube has in there training cadre but this is something that has to be done on a regular basis because the world we live in today, there are terrorist incidents, there are -- there is access to guns, there are people who have violent streaks and we've seen these types of shootings, at schools, at fast food restaurants, at places of worship. This happens regularly and people have to protect themselves. And from a corporate perspective, it really starts with the leadership of that organization, holding that in high regard, ensuring that their employees are trained, ensuring that they got the resources put in place to help provide that training and to ensure that there are multiple layers of defense including how to get into the building, card access, video cameras, etcetera. The types of things that people would expect to try and make the building safer. That is -- especially in Silicon Valley, it's a tough act to balance, becase it is a very different kind of -- that campus mentality and that innovative mind and it's not consistent with the security measures that need to be put in place, Stephanie.
RUHLE: That is true, people there do like an open, creative environment. But after a time, or after an incident like this, safety must come first. You know, you said just a moment ago, this is the world we're living in. But as we look at the images on the screen right now, they were taken earlier today. None of those people thought they would be going to work today having their lunch on the patio or in the cafeteria or at their desk, hear gunshots and then be running out of the building, without their badge, without their phone. You're looking at those people with their hands on the back of their heads, then being patted down before they leave the premises. It is stunning, it's something no one considers when they leave for work. And I want to mention one other piece of news that's just in. I just spoke about the shooter, a woman in her mid-30s. We have some more information about the victims. San Francisco General Hospital says it has received three patients and does not expect any more. One male, age 36 is in critical condition, one male, age 32 in serious condition, one female age 27 in fair condition. We are giving you updates on this Youtube shooting. We're going to stay on top of this, it just took place this afternoon in the San Francisco area. We'll keep you posted on any developments. We're going to take a quick break, when we return, we'll be discussing the other breaking news today. The first sentencing in Robert Mueller's probe and new comments from Donald Trump about Vladimir Putin.
RUHLE: Welcome back, I'm Stephanie Ruhle. You're watching MSNBC and we are monitoring the breaking shooting news in the bay area. But we're going to take a turn now to the other breaking news today. The Russia probe and Special Counsel Robert Mueller bringing down the hammer today. Mueller getting his first sentence. Lawyer Alexander van der Zwaan, tied to Paul Manafort and Rick Gates getting 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine for lying to the Mueller investigators. This as President Trump insists he's good with Putin today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I could have a very good relationship with Russia and with President Putin. And if I did, that would be a great thing. It's a real possibility that I could have a good relationship. I think I could have a very good relationship with President Putin. I think. It's possible I won't.
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RUHLE: He thinks. With me now, former Watergate Prosecutor, my friend Nick Akerman, MSNBC Terrorism Analyst Malcolm Nance, CNBC Editor at Large John Harwood. To you first Malcolm Nance, in a vacuum, it could be fair and constructive for the President of the United States to say he wants to have a good relationship with another world leader. But in this case, given that we know there was Russian interference in the last election, we have reason to believe Russia will try to interfere in our last election and that we know poisoning took place in England just several weeks ago. Put into context for us what one should think when the President in a purely positive manner should say yes, I think I could have a great relationship or a good relationship with Vladimir Putin.
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: You know, Donald Trump says that he is the master of the art of the deal, but you know, you can't begin a deal with an opponent across the table that you have a slavish devotion towards. Donald Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin is baffling simply because many people will not recognize the fact that for some strange reason that has yet to be resolved in the media, he has -- how can I put it -- he has almost a bromance going with him. The United States was attacked, as you said, in our most fundamental democratic process. They interfered with our elections, they carried out weapons of mass destruction attack at our closest NATO ally. They continue to interfere all over throughout cyberspace and Donald Trump says this is where he's at his finest. I don't know how we're going to be able to process this.
RUHLE: Donald Trump also said today that no one has been tougher Russia than he is. He then looked to the audience and said, you're all nodding because you know it's true. And he said, only very stupid people would disagree with -- wait, we'll wait on that because that's a two-parter but Nick, how does the President actually say nobody's been tougher on Russia?
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Because he's living in a totally make-believe world. He has not been tough on Russia. He has not said one bad word about Vladimir Putin right through the campaign, right up until now. Despite the fact that we have this poisoning in the U.K. a couple of weeks ago and he joined this effort by the other allies to kick out diplomats. That wasn't really -- I mean a really hard --
RUHLE: And he's not really kicking him out if you can swap in different ones?
AKERMAN: No. Right, I mean, it doesn't really make a difference. What really would hurt is if he kept certain people out and he extended the sanctions and put more sanctions on Russia to keep out certain of these oligarchs. That's where it hurt. He is not doing anything where it really hurt Russia to be doing what they're doing. There is this is no deterrent effect being leveled by our President. It's really very disturbing.
RUHLE: If Donald Trump is not doing anything to truly hurt Vladimir Putin, is Robert Mueller doing anything to truly hurt Donald Trump? Because today's sentencing, one could say, is it a big deal. It's 30 days, it's $20,000. Van der Zwaan can blow his nose with 20 grand. Why is it a big deal?
AKERMAN: It's a big deal because he's spending time in jail, he did it for lying about things that he actually revealed after the fact.
RUHLE: And this guy, as a Skadden Arps lawyer knows what happens when you lie to investigators. He's not a novice.
AKERMAN: No, you wind up going to jail and you lose your law license. I mean, what's so unusual about this particular case is, in most instances, people who plead guilty are cooperating and they're trying to get credit for cooperating so they can bring down their sentence. Here, it doesn't really look like his cooperation has gone beyond what he may have already done in the grand jury and what he may have already testified to. Very unusual, I mean, you don't see Flynn being sentenced at this point, you don't see Gates being sentenced any time soon. They're looking to testify in a major conspiracy trial where they're going to get lots of brownie points for having cooperated and be able to bring down their sentence.
RUHLE: Then what is Robert Mueller's motivation here? Because Van der Zwaan isn't the only lawyer in the mix. Donald Trump has a cadre of lawyers, some who have quit but who've had to stand up and say a lot of things that haven't made a whole lot of sense. Is Robert Mueller trying to send a message to them? He too could be in trouble?
AKERMAN: He is sending a message that when you deal with the Special Counsel's Office, you tell the truth. You don't dissemble, you don't makeup things and you don't destroy evidence because if you do, we're going to come after you and you're going to serve time in prison.
RUHLE: Malcolm, what's your take on what's happening in Mueller world?
NANCE: Well, I think Nick is absolutely right. Let me talk a little bit about Van der Zwaan, Van der Zwaan is now a convicted federal felon. He -- you know, 30 days in jail, he can no longer -- if he goes overseas, he can't travel into the United States without having to put that on his -- on his visa application.
RUHLE: I believe he's getting deported after this.
NANCE: Yes, well, you know, and that's great. He can go back to his father-in-law who's a Russian oligarch. But you know, I think Mueller is really making a point, not just to him, but as you said, to those other lawyers, to everybody else. This could just be the first count for many of these people as lying to a federal investigator. It's all the other things that they are hiding and we clearly see there are a lot of people hiding things. The sentences can only go up from there into years as we've seen with Paul Manafort.
RUHLE: Well, they're not going to be able to hide as much as they want. John Harwood, let's talk about the memo and what we learned about what Robert Mueller is allowed to investigate. Because Paul Manafort was trying to take a case saying Mueller has gone too far, it is outside of what he should be focusing on looking into Manafort and now his dealings with Ukraine. But now we've learned based on that memo, Rod Rosenstein said, oh no, we can go there and a whole lot of other places based on that black down information across the entire page.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC EDITOR AT LARGE: Of course he can go there and he is going there. Look, Robert Mueller is not respecting or bound by anything that Donald Trump has said is a red line. He is pursuing Trump's business dealings and he's going hard as my colleagues just indicated, using cooperation from Rick Gates, the Deputy Campaign Manager who was involved with Manafort in the criminal activities that Manafort has been charged with, also involved in the presidential transition, and much later with the Trump campaign and transition than Paul Manafort was, but he also has cooperation from Michael Flynn, who was National Security Advisor in the White House. I think Robert Mueller is just getting started with charges here. We don't know yet what awaits Jared Kushner, what awaits Donald Trump Jr. or what awaits the President himself not only on potential obstruction of justice, but also on the underlying issue of cooperation with the Russians, which as we've discussed on this show before, we know that the Trump campaign sought to cooperate with the Russians, that's why Donald Trump Jr. accepted and set up that meeting at Trump Tower with Paul Manafort, with Jared Kushner and himself and the Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
RUHLE: So Nick, walk me through, how can the President stay on this line, it's a hoax, it's a fraud, Robert Mueller and his team are Democrats which we already know Robert Mueller isn't --
AKERMAN: Is a Republican.
RUHLE: Is a Republican. If we talk about who's giving more money to Democratic candidates, Robert Mueller or Donald Trump, the answer would be Donald Trump. But can he continue this line that this is a witch hunt and a hoax when you've got Alex van der Zwaan who's been sentenced today, you've got four other people who pleaded guilty and this point?
AKERMAN: Yes, I mean, it's currently a witch hunt. You've got four wizards now that have plead guilty, right? You've got one who's been sentenced to jail.
RUHLE: Your Harry Potter time --
AKERMAN: Yes, and you've got Lord Voldemort who's still out there and that's the person who ought to be concerned.
RUHLE: Malcolm, walk us through, we know the President likes to say it's a hoax, it's a witch hunt, but can he really do that now that things are going deeper and further? And can members of the GOP leadership who by the way don't have any ties to this so they could come out and say something?
NANCE: Well, you know, he -- when Donald Trump speaks about the witch hunt, he is not talking to the American public that knows anything about this. He's talking to that very hardcore slice that refused to believe a word of this. I was just in a rest area the other day and I heard a guy watching CNN and literally saying fake news, fake news. I mean there is -- his gaslighting has been world class. I mean only done better by Vladimir Putin. And he has gotten a segment of the American population to believe that whatever comes out of his mouth is the truth. The question is, when it finally comes down and Mueller you know, finishes his investigation, will the information be so damaging, so horrible, that the Republican leadership will have to give up this pretence that there's nothing here to see? Donald Trump can say it all day that he wants, you know, the law is going to have a completely different say at the end of this.
RUHLE: Well, you're not talking a fair fight, the only one who does it better is Vladimir Putin. He often does it topless and in front of a White Bengal Tiger. So he's got some extra added bonus. John Harwood, we're talking about President Trump's base Malcolm was saying who have believe him no matter what. Talk about the different group of people who don't necessarily believe President Trump but they don't seem to mind all of this, the market, investors, CEOs that continue to walk with President Trump, as they see indictments like this, people pleading guilty, how does the beat go on and they say no big deal, deregulation and tax cuts work for me?
HARWOOD: Well, a couple of points, Stephanie. First of all, the President's base, yes, he has a strong grip on his base but that base is smaller than it used to be. He was at 39 percent in Gallop's weekly average released yesterday. So that is not an impressive number and it's smaller than he started his presidency with. Second of all, different groups in the Trump voting coalition are responding to different things, so you have investors who may not be spooked about Russia as long as they're getting their tax cuts and seeing the economy going on a smooth path, but if they think that the tariffs that the President's imposing, and he just announced new targets for Chinese imports this afternoon, they are going to react to that and that's -- when he starts hitting their pocketbook that's a problem.
RUHLE: But let me just ask --
HARWOOD: Other members of the Trump base have different concerns over immigration and that's why he was talking about sending the military to the U.S. border today.
RUHLE: But how is it that investors have the ability to compartmentalize how they view the administration? If things go -- are getting hotter and hotter, if people are getting indicted, those are real risks and investors have to focus on all sorts of geopolitical risks. Isn't a risk that your president is being investigated? Why doesn't the market care about that?
HARWOOD: I absolutely agree with you, Stephanie. And it's been a mystery to me why and market has not taken those things more seriously as it's gone on. I've talked to people who manage money and they say -- I say what happens if Trump is forced from office because of the Mueller investigation and the answer was, well, that would be a short-term blip. Then Pence would be in there and things would calm down. People are looking more to the fundamentals of the global economy of which the United States is a big part rather than the drama itself in Washington as a driver. But I do think the disruption that you would get from a more serious Mueller probe that endangers the Trump presidency, I don't see how the markets could avoid taking their measure of that and reacting to that if that, in fact, does materialize. And by the way, if Democrats are on the verge or in a good position to potentially take over the Congress this fall, if they take over the Congress, the Trump Administration is going to be in jeopardy. Let's just face that fact because Mueller is going to continue doing his work. We don't know what he's going to come out with. But Democrats would try to impeach President Trump if they take the Congress.
RUHLE: And at the end of the day, investors like strong corporate earnings and low-interest rates and President Trump is not responsible for either one. Gentlemen, thank you so much for that very important conversation. Stay with me. Coming up, today, President Trump floated a new idea for the border and it would mean using the military. We'll have those details next.
TRUMP: In speaking with General Mattis, we're going to be doing things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we're going to be guarding our border with the military.
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TRUMP: Well, there you go. President Trump floating a provocative new idea using the military to guard the border. Later, he was asked to clarify exactly what he meant.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you clarify what you meant about having the U.S. military guard the U.S. border along with Mexico.
TRUMP: The Mexican border is very unprotected by our laws. Hopefully, the Congress will get their act together and get and create some very powerful walls like Mexico and like Canada has and like almost all countries have. We don't have laws. We have catch and release. You catch and you immediately release and people come back years later for a court case except they virtually never come back. So we are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States. We have a meeting on it in a little while with General Mattis.
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RUHLE: Francesca Chambers is the White House Correspondent for the Daily Mail and back with me my friend John Harwood. Francesca, there are many crises that need to be dealt with but this doesn't appear to be one. So where did this idea come from?
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, DAILY MAIL: Well, it's not entirely clear where exactly this came from other than the caravan that the President has been tweeting about for the last several days of the Honduran migrants who are making their way through Mexico to the U.S. border. The President has been fixated on that in tweets saying that not only do we need the border wall but also saying today that he could cut off aid to Honduras and other countries like that such as Guatemala or El Salvador, they would be in that category. Then he says that he might put the military on the border as you played back for us there. He was asked about that in a press conference. He didn't really have any other additional details on that. So certainly we're all waiting to see what branch of the military he might be talking about, how many members of the military he might be talking about and the President saying today that all of that will come up in a meeting with General Mattis and others this week. He could also pay for his border wall as he said last week with funding from the Pentagon although lawmakers are saying both of those things are no go. So we'll wait to hear more on that for sure.
RUHLE: OK, well, Mexico is one of our closest allies. They're one of our top trading partners but it seems that we're not treating one another that way at least at this moment. The Mexican Ambassador responded to the U.S. by saying it's certainly not something the Mexican government welcomes. Where is this relationship going? We know we've got a presidential election coming up in Mexico and there's a very anti-Trump candidate in the lead.
CHAMBERS: Well, and President Trump will be going to the summit of the Americas next week and this is very important now because there, there will be those presidents from the countries that I just discussed including Mexico and Mexican President Pena Nieto has not been to the White House yet because of this relationship and these back and forths between him and the President. So we'll be waiting to see if they'll have a meeting there.
RUHLE: John, is this all about his base?
HARWOOD: I think so. I think the President's frustrated that first of all, he's been unable to get funding for his border wall, and by the way just to be --
RUHLE: But John, his base in Texas would say this is not a crisis. We don't need a wall.
HARWOOD: Oh, no, it's not a crisis at all. Definitely is an import -- I mean, immigration levels are way down. But this is something the President used to get votes in the campaign. He promised that Mexico was going to pay for the wall. Of course, they're not. And the other reality is, the wall's never going to be built, OK? So let's put -- make that clear. But he's trying to make it look like it's going to be built. So now that he got only a billion and a half dollars for this wall, which is largely to restore or rehabilitate existing fencing. He's trying to say A, it's being built and B, if it isn't built conservatives, I'm going to put troops on the border to protect you. This is to create the illusion of action and toughness but as you suggested, it is a dangerous thing to do to put U.S. military forces on the border with an ally like that.
RUHLE: A dangerous thing to do. We're going to keep following the story. Francesca, John, thank you for joining me. Thank you for watching this evening. That does it for me. My friend Ari Melber will be back in this seat tomorrow evening and I will see you tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END