tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN January 26, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
happening now -- menacing the moderator. donald trump comes out swinging following up on his complaints in our one-on-one interview about what he considers unfair treatment by megyn kelly at the first republican presidential debate. now trump asking his supporters for advice. if they say boycott, will he sit out the big debate? unstoppable. . camera catches ted cruz warning evangelical pastors about trump's growing momentum and the republican front-runner may be unstoppable if he wins in iowa. can cruz stop trump? i'll talk with the senator's top adviser. concern growing about the likelihood of a new terror attack. one report says the threat level in europe is the most serious it's been in ten years. this comes just as we're seeing new suspicion that isis can krac crankous fake passports. jail break, stunning, new
details about a daring escape compared to the shawshank redemption. are police any closer to foining three dangerous fugitives? what's the connection between one escapee and iran? i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news of the presidential race. awaiting news conference where donald trump is expected to reveal what he's calling powerful endorsement. comes as his his closest rival, senator ted cruz, warning trump may be unstoppable if he wins mond's iowa caucuses. also seeing very ominous, new warnings about the threat of isis terrorism, like the multi faceted attacks in paris. the organization says danger level is at its highest level in
more than a decade. also monitoring an under the radar threat emerging here in the united states. our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories. breaking news in iowa. as we await donald trump's announcement of another major endorsement, senator ted cruz warning trump may be unstoppable. sunlen serfaty following the cruz campaign for us. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, wolf, ted cruz here ratcheting up the warnings, telling evangelicals here in iowa if they want anybody other than donald trump, time may be running out. ted cruz's final pitch framed as dire warning. sounding the alarm among conservatives. >> if donald wins iowa, he right now has a substantial lead in new hampshire, if he went on to win new hampshire as well there's a very good chance he could be unstoppable and be our
nominee. >> reporter: ted cruz now casting himself as the under dog, in a private meeting with evangelical pastors making his final pitch not about himself but about how he is the best chance to stop donald trump. >> even if you're thinking about another candidate, simple reality is, there is only one campaign that can beat trump in this state. >> reporter: that stark characterization of the race underscores the pressure and urgency of the moment cruz is feeling in iowa. >> no states a must-win. we're all in in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, and all in in nevada. i believe we will compete and do well in each of the first four states. >> reporter: cruz campaign out with a new tv
ad, trying label trump as fenny conservative. >> i lived in manhattan all my life. my views have different than if i lived in iowa. >> reporter: using trump's own words against him. >> would president trump ban partial birth abortion. >> i'm pro-choice in every respect.
>> reporter: the race dead even between trump and cruz, but nationally, trump holding his biggest lead of the race yet. new cnn/orc poll showing no one within 20 points. this comes as donald trump goes
on the war path, bringing a scorched strategy against ted cruz in iowa. >> my new battle is with a gentleman named ted cruz. because got to speak the truth. got to speak the truth. canadian. the man from canada. >> reporter: unloading on cruz. >> he's a liar. that's why nobody likes him. that's why his senate people won't endorse him. that's why he stands on the middle of the senate floor and can't make a deal with anybody, look look a jerk. >> reporter: renewing views with megan kelly, days before she's set to moderate the debate. >> megyn kelly's biased against me. she knows that. i know that. everybody knows that. do you think she can be fair at a debate?
>> reporter: fox news responding back to that statement by trump tonight with a tongue in cheek statement of their own saying that they've heard that the ayatoll ayatollah, putin, plan to treat trump un fairfairly if he becom president. if he thinks the debate is hard, how will he handle the white house? >> sunlen serfaty, thank you. the endorsement donald trump is about to reveal. what you learning, sarah? >> reporter: well, wolf, over the last week, ted cruz has attacked donald trump on immigration, he's attacked donald trump on his values, and now trump has come up with a shrewd way to take back that narrative. he's going to be joined today by immigration hard-liner sheriff joe arpaio of arizona. that's his second big endorsement of the day. he also picked up an endorsement from liberty university president jerry falwell jr. that's the kind of thing that could boost trump with evangelicals in the hawkeye state a state where the
evangelical vote is very important and where people had questions after donald trump has stumbled. it was liberty university he called the new testament book 2 corinthians instead of 2nd. he never asked god for forgiveness and called the communion the little wine and the little cracker. it's interesting to see if the pair of endorsement is enough to rebut the attacks we've been seeing against cruz -- from cruz against trump here in the hawkeye state. >> so we're going to see sheriff arpaio there with trump at some sort of photo op before the rally? is that what you're hearing? >> reporter: we are expecting to see sheriff joe arpaio. donald trump planning tonight taking questions from reporters before the rally. so joe arpaio could be with him and field questions. and i don't know if you can tell behind me, two claires on stage. two microphones, it possible we could see them together on
stage. maybe fielding questions from the audience. we'll have to see if that pans out. the rally should start soon now, wolf. we should get the answer shortly. >> i know you're going to be there as well. thanks very much. we want to follow up on what we heard all of this very significant in the race for the white house. the republican contest in iowa. especially according to all most recent polls very, very close. two front-runners, donald trump and ted cruz. an insider's look at the race for the republican presidential nomination. i'm joined by alice stewart, senior communications adviser to senator cruz, cruz for president campaign. thanks very much for joining us. i know that senator cruz told iowa pastors, we just heard it, if you don't stop trump in iowa, he might be unstoppable because he looks like he's going to do well in new hampshire, south carolina, does cruz believe that if he loses, let's say, iowa and new hampshire, trump will be the republican nominee?
>> absolutely not. we're looking at a long-range strategy here, wolf. and the key to the clip that was just played, this was a last-pitch call, call to action for evangelicals at a meeting last night. it important to take that into context. key word, he said, if donald trump were to win iowa. and the purpose was to appeal to the evangelicals who are very supportive of ted cruz and urge them to go out to their congregation and those in the faith community. and if they want someone who represents their values and views and stand up for the same views that they believe in, they need to stand behind someone that has been consistent on the issues that are important to them, that goes for traditional marriage, that goes for the life issue, that goes for faith and family. donald trump has been on both sides of the issues and they want someone that people in faith community want someone who has been a consistent candidate, not just a conservative on the
campaign trail. what ted was saying make sure you get behind the religious faith leader who will not only win iowa but we've got a long-range strategy. we're not a single state strategy campaign. we have a great organization in new hampshire and south carolina. ted has done significant campaigning in the s.e.c. primary states, georgia, alabama, and all throughout the s.e.c. primary states. we're looking at a long-range strategy. we raised $50 million to execute that strategy. that's important. >> hold on for a moment. >> a tremendous organization here. >> but the senator himself said, if, and you're right, if trump were to win in iowa he might be unstoppable. he used the word unstoppable in the meeting with pastors. the endorsements for donald trump are coming in from the arizona sheriff joe arpaio, and jerry falwell jr., president of liberty university. that's very significant because it was liberty university in virginia where senator kroourz
announced his presidential bid. are these endorsements of donald trump a slap in the face to senator cruz? >> well, liberty university is also where donald trump referred to as 2 corinthians. but the point here is that we rolled out this morning the fantastic endorsement of former texas governor rick perry. talk about someone wknow about securing the border, rick perry is stellar as well as promoting a state into tremendous economic prosperity he's out here on the trail, with us all day today throughout the night and next several days campaigning for ted cruz. and also, i'll give you a -- we have a fantastic endorsement coming out this evening that shows the tremendous support that ted has with those in the faith community and we look forward to getting that announcement out and having a lot of these people come out on the trail with us. we have glenn beck over the weekend here in iowa out there campaigning. in the key, conservatives realize now is the time to
unite. and that's exactly what they're doing. >> who is the person that's going to endorse norsenator cru tonight? >> we can't say who it is. it is someone that has a tremendous voice in the conversation movement. someone that will be helping us out on the campaign trail in iowa. it's very important to in this. this is acompetitive race. we're in a tough competition. there are people that line up with donald trump, people that line up with ted cruz. but the key is, we are pleased with the people that are lining up with us because we're seeing true, consistent conservatives lining up, as we saw last week in the national review, we had 22 prominent conservatives outlining the case, why donald trump should not be the next president of the united states. why he is not good for conservatives and not good for the united states. we're having key conservatives outline the case why donald trump is not the one that should begin the nomination and solid conservatives, like here in
iowa, you know the importance of congressman steve king, and steve days, on the trail with us because they want to stand behind someone who can win iowa. >> a major disappointment to senator cruz that jerry falwell jr., president of liberty university, has now endorsed donald trump and sheriff arpaio as well. donald trump is mincing no words. going after senator cruz. listen to what he told me in our interview yesterday. >> you have to make deals. you have to get along. that's the purpose of what our founders created. and ted cannot get along with anybody. he's a nasty person. you don't see that. even when he was supportive of me, i kept saying, watch what's going to happen. he started it, i finished it. he started getting bad at the debate. and he tells lies. >> says hoos a lie somewhere nasty person. your response. >> my nephew said he'd get his
mouth washed out with soap. it's not about calling people names. ted cruz is not going to insult his competitors, not going to put someone else down. however he will say, if someone will say fault statements of him or misrepresent his record, he's going to stand up. he's going to fight back. and he's going to show policy differences between the two of them are stark because while we have donald trump on one side calling him names and insults, what ted cruz is doing is pointing out donald trump's record, not the least of which the ad you recently played with donald trump acknowledges, he has new york values, supported traditional gay marriage and abortion. and worst of which, the worst thing he's possibly said was the people of iowa were stupid. you can't get much worse than that, now campaigning acrossee eye trying to get these people to caucus for you and you're inferring they are stupid. secondly, there's no place for that in this race.
>> this issue of the senator cruz being born in canada. trump calls him now a canadian. but it's resonating. i'm sure you saw the monmouth university poll, national poll, and it showed that about a third of the people in this poll did have some questions about whether or not ted cruz is a natural born citizen eligible to be president of the united states. they were asked, is ted cruz a natural born citizen. 12% said no. 24% said they were unsure. is this issue resonating and hurting senator cruz? >> not at all. and what we're hearing from the people of iowa, once they have heard the explanation that ted is a natural born citizen and 100% eligible to run for president, they put it aside. they realize this is a candidate donald trump, the polls come out, showing ted ahead. he pulls out the citizenship attack and it doesn't work. the people here in iowa realize
they understand that ted cruz is eligible to be president. they're asking him about what he's going to do to fight immigration, create jobs. every time he talks about his opposition to common corps and doing away with the department of education he gets a standing ovation. the monmouth poll says one thing, it's a national poll. there are no national contaaucu next week. not only is ted eligible to run for president. we're going to 30 stops directly, talking, connecting with the people of iowa. ted is able to convey he understands what they're going through, understands what it takes to put food on the table and gas in the tang, and he's doing how you win iowa. this is how -- this happened past two cycles, one-on-one directing with the people, convague the message to the people. we have resources to also execute a nice air campaign with ads this week that show ace
stark contrast with our record and donald trump. >> that monmouth university poll was of republicans, a third whom have doubts whether senator cruz would be eligible to be president of the united states. we'll continue discussions down the road. alice, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. stay with us, standing by to bring you donald trump's news conference. he's going to reveal his latest endorsement. live coverage coming up.
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following breaking news, donald trump getting ready to reveal a powerful endorsement, as we await his news conference. let's turn our attention to the democratic race out in iowa. senior political correspondent brianna keilar joining us now. latest on the democratic front. >> reporter: hillary clinton and bernie sanders campaigning f furiously in the final week before the iowa caucuses. bernie sanders trying to snag some of clinton's union support, and clinton looking to the past as she tries to convince iowans to help make her their future president. >> one of the areas that i've been particularly interested in is the area of children. >> reporter: the clinton campaign out with a new documentary-style ad in iowa. >> no matter where they're born, no matter to whom they are born -- >> reporter: trying to show kas a decades-long commitment to women and children. now bernie sanders looks to rally union support. >> this is a fight that we
cannot afford to lose. >> reporter: also lowering expectations ahead of monday's caucasus, saying he isn't likely to repeat president obama's 2008 showing. >> do i think in this campaign we'll match that? i would love to see us do that, i hope we can. frankly, i don't think we can. but obama did in 2008 was extraordinary. >> reporter: the front running candidates building on their cnn town hall appearances, final prime time appeal before iowans caucus. >> we need a political revolution. >> you have to have somebody who is approven, proven fighter. >> reporter: a news fox news poll shows cln with a slight lead over sanders with democratic caucusgoers. but a cnn/orc poll shows sanders lead, a sign how close the race is here. >> i voted against the war in iraq. hillary clinton voted for the
war in iraq. >> reporter: but clinton, taking a softer approach after recent sharp attacks on sanders, and she's embracing president obama. >> i had the opportunity when he asked me to serve as his secretary of state, and not only was a great working relationship but turned into a real friendship. >> reporter: she found herself answering a blunt question about her character. >> i've heard from quite a few people my age that they think you're dishonest. >> i've been on the front lines of change and progress since i was your age. i have been fighting to give kids and women and the people who are left out and left behind the chance to make the most out of their own lives. >> reporter: some revisionist history on both of their parts, bernie sanders touting how he has fought for wall street deregulation, glossing over a vote that deregulated wall street products and paved the way for the financial crisis.
hillary clinton talking about how she supported lgbt rights for decades, no mention of her support for the defense of marriage act or recent conversion to support same-sex marriage. >> david, an assistant editor at "the washington post," cnn politics editor, mark preston and david chalian. you're out in iowa. react to that moment when hillary clinton was asked whether she was dishonest by that young questioner there. did she show the passion as a fighter she needed show last night? >> without a doubt, wolf. u think it was one of the best moments hillary clinton has had on the campaign trail this entire cycle. and in fact, she's been charged a question about sort of the enthusiasm gap with bernie sanders, many times in interviews, in other town hall settings. but this was her best answer, by
far, in addressing that because she did it in with her own passion and energy for the reason she's running for president. i think that was a very successful moment for her at a time when she really needed to up-end this narrative that bernie sanders is having all of this momentum and big crowds and what have you and she's in trouble in iowa. you know it's a close race in the polls and she needed that moment and deliver on it. >> senator sanders showed a lot of the passion and fight going after hillary clinton on several issues but did the senator get specific enough when it came to his own policies? >> well, the criticism about bernie sanders is that he's not offering out proposals and not backing up with how he would get there. the criticism is that he would never be able to get there. certainly in a divided washington congress, divided in a very divisive environment in washington. that's why you'll be hearing over and over again the idea of pragmatism versus the heart. and bernie sanders has been the
heart of the campaign. last night he was specific when he was talking about where he was on certain issues, specifically iraq war, income inequality, contrasting them with hillary clinton. bernie sanders was trying to show differences with hillary clinton last night. again, wolf, not a question about will he give you details about his proposal. the question is, are proposals even viable to get through anything in washington, d.c. >> david, hillary clinton certainly touted her ability to get things done. listen to this clue. >> i'm going to be just giving them all bear hugs, whether they like it or not. we're going to get together, talk about what we can do. maybe we can get something done together. if not, maybe i can find that slice of common ground. >> but election season, so much anti-establishment out there, the bear hug and all of this working together, that is going work in a democratic contest. >> yes, she's got this tough situation. she's almost got a situation
that she had in 2008 against obama, right? democratic-based voters see her as confident, smart experienced but she doesn't excite them the way obama did in '08. she has to play the experience card because that's. of the few cards she has. >> 74-year-old sanders exciting a lot of young people. iowa state university in ames, iowa, a big, big crowd there. david, the iowa race, very tight right now between sanders and clinton. will a good get out the vote strategy really make all of the difference monday night? >> without a doubt, wolf. you know that iowa is all about ground game. remember what the caucuses are. asking folks to show up to a local neighborhood meeting and publicly discuss and declare allegiances over an hour and a half or two hours on a cold monday night than requires a level of commitment and a sophisticated organization to get those people out to those
caucus sites around the state. hillary clinton's campaign has invested a ton of money and time, they studied that obama 2008 model and put in an organization across the state to try to accomplish what they couldn't eight years ago. bernie sanders, who also has been clearly organized in the state but riding the more organic enthusiasm is having to prove that he's more barack obama, sophisticated turnout operation, than howard dean when the enthusiasm fizzled when it came to folks showing up to caucuses. >> stand by. we'll get a lot more. awaiting donald trump's announcement of his latest endorsement. going back live to iowa for his news conference. we'll see what he has to say. stand by for that. also ahead -- caught on camera. part of double bombing as isis continues its terror campaign. the pentagon preparing to station hundreds of u.s. trainers near the front lines of the fight. we have new information.
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standing by to hear from donald trump. he's out there in iowa now. live pictures coming in. he's about to join the podium there with a major endorsement. we'll hear what he has to say. live coverage of that coming up. don't go too far away. there's other news we're following. new video from isis, security officials now on edge. they're worried that the terrorists are planning an attack similar to the one that killed 130 people in paris. new report finds that al qaeda affiliate terror group might pose a greater threat to the united states. let bring in our chief national security correspondent, jim
sciutto. he's got details. >> well, in effect what you're seeing here, a case where both isis and nusra pose a threat but different ones. new report finding that nusra is most capable of catastrophic 9/11-scale attacks on u.s. soil, drawing on all resources and personnel of core al qaeda in pakistan and around the world. at the same time, isis continues to the most immediate threat with unparalleled ability to inspire lone wolves but also direct and carry out coordinated attacks abroad, like we saw in paris. >> reporter: a violent, new isis video featured men who carried out paris attacks, showing final messages. the video ends with ominous, new warning. the terror group will strike britain next. the europepol is the most severe in a decade. isis and other terror groups likely to attempt significant
coordinated attacks similar to paris. >> a willingness and a capability to carry out further attacks in europe and of course all of the national authorities across europe are working to spreent that from happening. >> reporter: tonight it's a different group sounding alarms in washington. the al qaeda-affiliated al nusra front. a greater capability to carry out catastrophic 9/11-scale attacks on u.s. soil. drawing on resources of core al qaeda in pakistan and around the world. like isis, al nusra controls swaths of territory in syria and attracted scores of foreign fighters. still, european and u.s. officials see isis as the more immediate threat and terror group is expandingite presence in the west. with training sites inside europe and the ability to manufacture their own passports at will. one alarming example, the isis-en spired man who attacked a police station in paris last month. >> the person who intended to
attack this police station had passports of seven countries, various alias names and criminal record in three member states under different names. >> reporter: now, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the crisis in syria and iraq, europe is rapidly elevating its border controls to make sure that terrorists don't slip in, pretending to be refugees. the u.s. is aware isis has capability to make authentic looking syrian passports. >> part of the territory happened to have a building where syrians process passports. think have the means to print them and fake them. >> the report made a surprising point, europe faces a greater militant threat, not from in -- rather from inside its borders than terrorist posing as refugees. isis now established an external actions command in effect, its
own military division for carrying out attack as broad. this has become a new focus of the group and building cape ability to do this. and the fact is, they even have training camps now inside europe. so while the paris attackers were trained in syria, some attackers for future attacks might be trained at home. >> isis, al nusra, al qaeda affiliate, huge problems for the u.s. and the entire world. jim sciutto. the fight against isis in the middle east. a mass grave containing more than three dozen victims, that grave discovered in the liberated city of ramadi. a grim reminder as iraqi troops, american training forces prepare to retake other cities from isis. barbara starr has been following latest developments in the middle east. what are you learning? >> tonight, looking at another possible, significant expansion of u.s. troop presence in iraq, and it comes as biggest fight against isis may be about to
unfold. >> reporter: two bombs ripped through the city of homs in western syria, killing more than a dozen, injuring as many as 100. first, a booby trapped car exploded at a government collect point. then, as people rushed to the scene, a sue iicide bomber detonated a vest in the crowd. all targeted an area where many residents belong to the same sect as al assad who's regime made gains in the days against isis. in ramadi, west of baghdad, isis brutality unearthed. a mass grave of isis victims, about 40 pbodies discovered irai says captured operate everybodies confessed to the location. the fight is about to get more intense. the next looming battle is from
mosul. iraq's second-largest city. the pentagon is making plans to send up to 400 additional trainers to help 24,000 iraqi troops get ready for urban warfare in the city. even talk of u.s. military advisers moving closer to mosul's front lines. >> they're going to have to be able to clear buildings. they're going to have to be able to secure large areas, large office buildings, institutions like mosques, hospitals, schools. >> reporter: defense secretary ash carter openly now pressuring the gulf allies to do more against isis. his most blunt remarks to date, in an interview with cnn's fareed zakaria. >> you want major arab troops involved. so nar you have almost none. >> the great irony, countries of the region are -- made the least
contributions to the counterter isil coalition including gulf countries. >> carter is desperate, and urgently trying to get the middle east allies to contribute more troops. that's the way he can keep u.s. troop numbers down. in the coming months, just, of course, as the presidential election season heats up and all of this can become a very hot issue. >> barbara starr, thanks very much. joining us now here in "the situation room," will herd of texas on the security homeland committee and and a cia clandestine officer as well. stand by. i want to assess. also, we're awaiting donald trump, he's about to have a news conference out in iowa. make a major announcement of another endorsement, live coverage coming up as well.
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britain. how credible is a threat like that? >> take isis seriously. we've underestimated them before and targeting britain, it's because they think they have a chance to doing something. all of europe needs to be prepared. the reports you'll have about them being able to produce fake travel documents, this is something that all of the european union needs to be mindful of, needs to change the way they're checking travel documents. they're a clear and present danger. we can't forget about isis in libya, too. as they lose territory in iraq they're looking west and regrouping in libya. one of the things i learned as an undercover officer in the cia you don't let bad guys have an area where they can train and equip and plot against us. >> isis clearly wants another par paris-style attack in britain. paris attack killed 130, injured hundreds more.
can they do that here in the united states? >> we have to be prepared for that. we have seen one of the biggest areas -- i was on a committee that looked at foreign fighter travel, and one of the things that we learned that our european allies are not checking travel documents against known watch lists. european allies aren't sharing enough information on suspected terrorists. being able to get through europe to come to the united states is a possibility and that's something that we need to be girding against. >> this notion that al nusra, al qaeda affiliate, in syria right now long term bigger threat to the united states. you buy that? >> it's definitely a threat. right now we should be look at all of these organizations and have a policy within the united states that we do not let terrorists organizations operate and train and equip without unincumbered. we need to be serious as al nusra with isis a group not talked about al shabaab out of
east africa. they are a threat -- they have a capability to launch attack in the us and and the interest in doing that and all three. we need to make sure that ultimately we have a policy that our enemies fear us and allies trust us. >> see if the iraqi military's up to the task of retaking mosul as some other areas, at least in the short term, not very upbeat, we'll see what they can do. more u.s. troops heading aadvis >> awaiting donald trump. we'll go to iowa as he's getting ready to make a major announcement. another important person who has decided he should be the next president of the united states. stay with us.
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we're taking you back now to iowa for the breaking news. there you see live pictures, donald trump about to reveelg his latest high-profile endorsement from the controversial sheriff joe arpaio of maricopa county in arizona, the county that includes phoenix. let's go back to our political director in iowa. trump will appear. he's going to do a news conference first then speak at a rally second, is that right? >> that's right. i'm standing here in what is the main gymnasium in marshalltown, iowa, at the high school here, wolf. if you look behind me, see sheriff joe arpaio of maricopa county is addressing this crowd right now. clearly it's a big endorsement that donald trump wants to tout. sheriff joe arpaio is telli ini crowd he's been fighting as a
hardliner against immigration policy for quite some time and thrilled donald trump has now taken this issue to a spotlight that it has never seen before in presidential politics. as you know, it's one of the major driving forces of trump's support and this crowd is loving what they're hearing from sheriff arpaio. >> trump is getting a major endorsement from jerry fallwell, jr., the president of liberty university in virginia, that's important as well. >> it is, because that's a real play for the social conservative set. donald trump unveiling two endorsements today while he's campaigning here in iowa. one focused on the social conservative set, one focused on the immigration issue. these are two key constituencies that make up a key part of the republican party that donald trump wants to make sure gets out and caucus on monday night. >> it's embarrassing for senator cruz because he announced his race as running for the presidency at liberty university. i'm sure he wanted, david, he wanted jerry falwell jr.'s endorsement as well. >> there's no doubt about that. and his campaign promises to
roll out some more social conservative endorsements this week here in iowa, but that falwell one is a big one, wolf, and ted cruz certainly wanted is. >> all right. we'll stand by for that. david will be with us, don't go too far away. coming up, as we reported donald trump collecting a pair of major endorsements. we'll have live coverage. the latest. also from the highly controversial sheriff being revealed this hour. joe arpaio. he now supports donald trump. he wants him to be the next president of the united states. (air horn, trap door opening)
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get a major endorsement from one of the most controversial lawmen in america. with new polls affirming trump's commanding lead, will he sit out the next debate just days before the iowa caucuses? lowering expectations. bernie sanders now saying he can't replicate the coalition that propelled barack obama to the white house back in 2008. but hillary clinton continues to struggle in iowa on the heels of cnn's democratic town hall. can she pull off a win in next week's caucuses? i'll ask her campaign spokesman. faking a crime. new details of a shocking story. a small town police officer whose shooting death sparked a massive manhunt and made national headlines before it was ruled a suicide. what started the downward spiral that led to his stunning fall from grace? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
this is cnn breaking news. >> right now, we're following donald trump in iowa, we're awaiting the start of the first of two rallies he scheduled tonight as he campaigns -- as his campaign goes overdrive, into overdrive ahead of the iowa caucuses now just six days away. trump picking up two endorsements and maintaining a commanding lead in our newest national poll. bernie sanders and hillary clinton, meanwhile, are are also back out there on the campaign trail after facing tough questions in our cnn democratic town hall. their race is tighter than ever tonight in iowa. we're covering that and much more this hour with our guests including clinton campaign spokesman, brian fallon, and correspondent, expert analysts, they're also standing by. let's begin with the latest on the gop race. our political reporter, sara murray, is in iowa for us tonight. sara, it's become a battle there between donald trump and ted cruz. what's the latest? >> reporter: that's absolutely right, wolf. over the last couple days, ted
cruz has attacked donald trump on his values and on immigration, and now donald trump is looking to take back the narrative. picking up two key enforcements as he campaigns across iowa. donald trump on offense. even as a new cnn/orc poll shows him with a 22-point lead nationwide. and picking up a pair of endorsements today. from evangelical leader jerry falwell jr. and arizona sheriff joe arpaio. but in iowa, it's a tossup between trump and ted cruz. a new quinnipiac university poll puts trump at 31%. and cruz at 29%. trump is hammering home his latest attacks. raising questions about cruz's eligibility to be president. telling wolf -- >> i don't want to knock anybody, but he's got a lot of problems. he's got a problem with his canadian birth, he was born in canada. it's a real question.
>> reporter: and even beginning to refer to cruz as the canadian. >> the canadian. the man from canada. >> reporter: but trump isn't limiting his attacks to cruz. he's also reigniting his feud with fox news' meagg megyn kelld of thursday's debate. >> megyn kelly is biased against me. >> reporter: after telling wolf he might skip the event. >> if i think i'm going to be treated unfairly, i'll do something else. >> reporter: cruz firing off a warning in a closed-door meeting with pasters. if he doesn't stop trump, no one will. >> it is an absolute dead heat, went on to win new hampshire as well, there's a very good chance he could be unstoppable and be our nominee. >> reporter: and using trump's own words against him in a new campaign ad. as he tries to blunt trump's momentum in iowa. >>
i am pro-choice in every respect. >> and what does trump think about iowa? >> how stupid are the people of iowa? >> donald trump, new york
values, not ours. >> you know, my views are a little bit different than if i lived in iowa. >> reporter: trump insists his views have changed. >> i'm pro-life, 100%. he knows it. everybody knows it. >> reporter: and dismisses cruz's latest round of ads as lies. >> he really does lie. he's so nervous. i mean, i saw
him the other day. he's so nervous. he is such a mess. his polls have gone down like i've never seen polls gone down. >> reporter: while trump and cruz lock horns, marco rubio at 13% in iowa is looking to capitalize. >> donald is not running as a conservative, in fairness he never said he is. donald trump is running as a populist. >> reporter: taking swipes at trump and cruz while casting himself as the field's true conservative. >> time and again i think you've seen ted as a very calculated political operative, says one thing in one place and does something differently. >> reporter: donald trump kicks off his event in marshalltown,
iowa where, he'll be joined by sheriff joe. first trump will take questions from reporters. we'll bring the latest to you any minute, wolf. >> you're going to be there, sara, at the news conference. >> reporter: we'll be here. >> the two chairs on the stage, the two men will formally address the rally. i assume there's another big crowd as well. get ready. we'll come back to you. i want to bring in sunland, traveling with the senator cruz campaign. talk about the growing and bitter rivalry between these two top gop candidates. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. i think you get the sense from the cruz campaign that they really feel the urgency of the moment right now. ted cruz really feeling the pressure of these polls here in iowa, showing him neck in neck with donald trump. that really the shadow of everything that he's doing and saying out here on the campaign trail. really in large part doing more to dictate his final message to iowa voters than his campaign would like in the end. as we've seen him all day on the
campaign trail try to counter some those trump endorsements with his own today. he traveled throughout the state with rick perry, former texas governor, who endorsed him yesterday. rick perry on the stump for him drawing a clearer contrast with donald trump saying that cruz is the true conservative and this is the catchphrase for this campaign right now. as they started to draw this distinction with trump. te message that they want iowa voters to listen to is that cruz is a true conservative. so they're really, really drawing this line in the sand painting trump as a phony conservative, a phony evangelical and that was why this statement that ted cruz made last night in front of those iowa evangelical pastors saying, look, if you want to have anyone in this race except for donald trump, now is the time to get on board, really making the case, wolf, he is the one who can stop donald trump in the end. wolf? >> sunlen serfaty covering senator cruz. thanks so much. we're following the big race
on the democratic side, hillary clinton and bernie sanders fresh from the cnn democratic town hall. they are locked in a very, very tight race right now. our senior washington correspondent, jeff zelany is joining us from st. paul, minnesota. bernie sanders holding a rally there. he must feel confident if he's not in iowa, for example. >> reporter: he sure is. he's going to be in minnesota just north of iowa, of course. we drove up here today, actually. bernie sanders i'm told is going to be filling this crowd behind me here, some 10,000 people. it's not a detour, it's a key part of his strategy showing he can win other states beyond iowa. of course, minnesota is a super tuesday state. that comes on march 1st. of course, iowa come s even before that in six days and hillary clinton there on the ground today showing new signs of confidence. >> bernie! bernie! >> reporter: bernie sanders and hillary clinton back on the campaign trail today, a bounce in their step -- >> thank you. >> reporter: -- and a reality check for the six-day sprint to
the iowa caucuses. >> ultimately next monday night it's all in your hands. in pressure. >> reporter: sanders after comparing himself to barack obama's victory eight years ago tempering expectations today. >> obama in 2008 ran a campaign which is really going to stay in the history books. do i think in this campaign that we are going to match that? i would love to see us do that. i hope we can. frankly, i don't think we can. >> reporter: living over the race is president obama, and clinton holding him tight at last night's cnn town hall meeting. after sanders raised questions about her judgment and vote for the iraq war. >> i think the american public has seen me exercising judgment in a lot of other ways. i went to work for president obama and he ended up asking me to be secretary of state. it was because he trusted my judgment. >> reporter: an air of confidence from clipt clinton face to face with a young sanders supporterser. >> i don't see the same enthusiasm from younger people for you. >> i've been on the front lines
of change and progress since i was your age and withdrew hav y have somebody who's a proven, proven fighter, somebody who's taken them on and won and kept going and will do that as president. >> reporter: it's the same argument she's making in a new ad. >> our children's future is shaped both by the values of their parents and the policies of their nation. >> reporter: a sharper tone from sanders, taking clinton to task on her record. >> i led the effort against wall street deregulation. see where hillary clinton was on this issue. why did it take hillary clinton such a long time before she came into opposition to the keystone pipeline? >> reporter: it's a deadlocked race heading toward an uncertain finish. with clinton trying to win over sanders supporters, offering prai praise, when asked to watch one of his commercials. >> i think that's great. i think that's fabulous. i loved it. >> reporter: sanders struck a serious tone as he walked a
clinton one. >> the presidency is the toughest job in the world and she's the one leader who has what it takes to get every part of the job done. >> reporter: he sprang out of his chair to answer cnn's chris cuomo. >> this calls for a standing up response. >> okay. >> you know, i do think i have the background and the judgment to take this very, very difficult job of being president of the united states. >> reporter: so, of course, bernie sanders is making that argument here in minnesota tonight as well as when he returns to iowa tomorrow. at this part of the campaign, wolf, with just five more days, meaning tomorrow, both sides are working on mobilization. they feel they already persuaded their voters. they're trying to get them out to the caucuses next monday night. the sanders campaign has some 15,000 volunteers on the ground, i'm told, fanned across iowa. the clinton campaign has a lot as well here. this is closing very close in this campaign. at this point we don't look at what polls are saying, we look at what the candidates are doing. hillary clinton is closing
confidently here. not talking about bernie sanders nearly as much. she feels that the wind is at her back now. wolf? >> jeff zeleny with the sanders campaign out there in minnesota right now. they'll be in iowa tomorrow. thanks very much. joining us now is the clinton campaign spokesman brian fallon, thanks very much for joining us. first off, i want to get your reaction, speaking for the clinton campaign, the anticipated endorsement of donald trump momentarily sheriff joe arpaio of arizona. jerry falwell jr., the president of liberty university. what do you bamake of those endorsements? >> the endorsement of someone like sheriff arpaio represents a doubling down on the harsh rela rhetoric on donald trump. you see establishment republicans resigning themselveses to the prospect of a trump nomination and i think in turn that means the stakes are higher for democratic caucusgoers in iowa when if comes time to make their decision next monday, do they want to send hillary clinton forward to stand up to republicans like donald trump
and protect the gains we've made under president obama such as the affordable care act, the executive action on, yes, immigration, and potentially nominating multiple supreme court justices? i think hillary clinton is the one that we want to send forward in this nominating contest. she has the record of achieving proven results on the issues that keep people up at night. >> donald trump keeps raising this issue about hillary clinton, he says, he said it to me yesterday, he doesn't even know if legally she'll be able to run for president if the fbi, the justice department, comes down on her because of the private e-mail server. you used to be a spokesperson, what do you say to donald trump when he makes those assertions? >> as a former justice department spokesperson, i have no idea what he's talking about. donald trump will continue to hurl personal insiults and say what he's going to say, catering to the primary voters whose support he's seeking at the current time. if we're in a general election and hillary clinton wins the nomination as we hope and think
she will, the contrast will be clear between her and either donald trump or someone like ted cruz and that's why, again, i think the stakes that will be on the line for iowa caucusgoers who will make mare choice on a democratic side next monday loom so large and you see increasingly in these final days republicans are trying to put a thumb on the scale and put bernie sanders forward over the mump. you see a $600,000 outside expenditure by joe ricketts, a known republican businessman, trying to help bernie sanders in these final days. i think that's because republicans fear the prospect of hillary clinton being in the final matchup against somebody like donald trump. >> brian, i want you to stand by. we have a lot more to talk about. what's going on in iowa, then new hampshire, what happens if hillary clinton were to lose in iowa. stay with us. a lot more coming up. we'll be right back. i was super irresponsible with credit cards. shopping, going out all the time... i knew it was time for experian. they gave me tools to see what helps
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once again, we're standing by to mere from donald trump, he's about to make an announcement that sheriff joe arpaio of maricopa county in arizona will endorse him. we'll hear what they have to say. stand by for that. there's only six days before the iowa caucuses. tonight, bernie sanders and his campaign, they're trying to lower expectations of a repeat of the 2008 obama campaign victory in iowa. we're back with clinton campaign spokesman, brian fallon. brian, what happens if hillary clinton loses iowa? >> well, wolf, it's a long road to the nomination in any case, and we've always planned multiple different pathways to the nomination, but in terms of iowa, we feel very confident in the organization that we've built there. hillary clinton's there every day this week doing events. we've had leaders from some of the top progressive organizations campaigning with her this past week. in terms of planned parenthood,
the human rights campaign, labor organizations that represent more than 10 million workers across the country. and in these last couple days, i think you have seen a shift in rhetoric from the sanders campaign, they were the ones that predicted victory in iowa not too long ag ago. their seen your adviser said a strong showing was absolutely necessary for them. in recent days, they've seemed to walk that back. people can draw their own conclusions from that, i guess. >> what does it say, brian, hillary clinton is having such a hard time, let's say, in iowa, and bernie sanders is way ahead in new hampshirhnew hampshire. that may be understandable since he's from neighboring vermont. she's having such a hard time with someone who's been an independent senator, not a democratic senator, independent senator, 7 74-year-old systemic socialist. why is she having such a hard time? >> i look at it differently, wolf. i think the tightening you're seeing in this contest is quite natural and probably was inevitable. you saw even back in the spring that democratic voters were expressing their desire to see
tough-fought contest, even before they knew who all the contestants would be, if you will. but what i do think has happened in the last couple weeks is senator sanders has moved fr from -- into a viable contender status and as that has happened he's started to come under scrutiny and as more scrutiny comes, i think people are asking questions, rightfully, and so that's why you've seen him have to walk back some of his positions, long-held positions on issues like gun safety, on the details of his health care plan, et cetera, et cetera. >> brian fallon, thanks very much for joining us. the press secretary for the hillary clinton campaign. there's sheriff joe arpaio with donald trump, the arizona sheriff, endorsing trump. let's listen in. >> great patriot. and it's just easy to endorse him because everything i believe in he's doing and he's going to do it when he becomes president. i met donald six months ago in
phoenix. introduced him then. 30 days ago back in phoenix, introduced him then. and it's my privilege and honor to help them, do endorse him today for president of the united states. so, thank you very much. >> joe, thank you. well, i want to thank sheriff joe. this is a man when we talk about borders, this is a man that believes in borders and getting his endorsement means a lot to me and he called and he said he'd like to do it. he's actually wanted to do that for quite some time. we said, let's hold it for a little while because we're looking at the world and seeing what's happening. we're seeing a lot of bad things happening and he's the kind of guy we want on our team. he's tough, he's strong, and he's smart and he's done an amazing job and he's got a great, great following of people that absolutely love him and revere him, and joe, i would like to really thank you.
come here. thank you very much. okay. questions? [ inaudible question ] >> no deals. no deals. joe never asked me for a thing. sarah palin never asked me for a thing. we got a tremendous endorsement today from, as you know, jerry falwell from liberty university. jerry's a terrific man. respected by everybody. and i will tell you that what was so beautiful about it, no deals, jerry didn't say, oh, could i do this, could i do that? joe didn't say it, sarah didn't say it. we don't make deals. we don't make deals. not with fox, not with anybody. we don't make deals. you have a deal maker for the country. the country needs somebody that knows what they're doing because we're a country that is adrift. we're a country that doesn't know what they're doing at the top. when you look at the iran deal, when you look at the bergdahl
deal, when you look at any single thing they're doing, we're adrift. we have no idea what we're doing as a country and it's a problem. [ inaudible question ] >> well, that's okay. that's their opinion. look, i'm pro-life. that's their opinion. if they want to do -- hey, all i can tell you is this, as you know, i'm pro-life. i've been pro-life for a long time. [ inaudible ] and i said, what did i say? you didn't read it. read the full statement of what i said. read the full statement. no, no, you're not reading the full statement. go ahead, get out the full statement. read it. [ inaudible ] i know. i remember tim russert very well. he's a friend of mine. he was a good man. no, no, read the full statement. okay. look, they're going -- they have their choice. they can do what they have to do. i'm pro-life. they can do what they have to do. there will be many people that will be voting for me, that i can tell you. [ inaudible question ]
>> well, i questioned ted cruz. i mean, i questioned him very strongly. i don't even think based on things i've learned over the last few days many lawyers are coming out saying he doesn't even have a right to run, he can't run because he was born in canada. you've seen it, sara. they say ted cruz because of the fact he was born on canadian soil, he cannot run for president. now, the first thing that's going to happen, if he ever got the nomination, which i don't think will happen, but if he ever got the nomination, the first thing that's going to happen is the democrats are going to sue because there's a very real question as to whether or not he is able to run as to whether or not he's entitled to run. as you know, laurence tribe said it's not a settled matter which is a big problem, but other people have come back saying this is a -- he doesn't have the right to run. [ inaudible ] >> you say you haven't -- >> we're convincing them. every poll says i'm ahead. you know, we'll see what happens. i have bonded with the people of
iowa. i'm in iowa today. i've bonded. the evangelicals, when i get jerry falwell who just endorsed me today who's a phenomenal man from liberty university. when jerry called up, i was so happy to get that endorsement and he put it out just a little while ago. but i've really bonded with evangelic evangelicals, the tea party and the people of iowa. we'll see what happens. >> this week -- >> who's that? >> senator -- going to be campaigning for senators cruz and senator rubio brought up your marital infidelities on twitter earlier this week. is that something iowans, particularly evangelicals should consider as they head to the caucuses? >> i appreciate the nice question. i think everybody knows about me. yes, yes? >> your pro-life position on abortion prevails, what should the penalties be for a woman who has a position or physician who performs one? >> i don't want to talk about that right now. everybody knows my views and my views are very plain. go ahead.
yes? >> thursday night's debate you said you're tired of them playing games with you. >> i told fox you should give money to the wounded warriors. i'm not a fan of megyn kelly. i think she's a third-rate reporter, frankly, not good at what she does. they could do a lot better than megyn kelly. i'm going to make a decision with fox but i probably won't bother doing the debate. they picked me as number one. not only number one, number one by far. probably i won't be doing the debate. i'm going to have something else in iowa, do something where we raise money for the veterans and the wounded warriors. we're going to do something simultaneously with the debate. most likely i'm not going to do the debate. i didn't like the fact they sent out press releases toying, talking about putin and playing games. i don't know what games roger ailes is playing, but what's wrong over there, something's wrong. but when they sent out that press release talking about, i said why are these people playing games? most likely i won't be doing the
debate. [ inaudible question ] >> see, the point is with me they're dealing with somebody that's a little bit different. they can't toy with me right they toy with everybody else. let them have their debate and see how they do with the ratings. i told them, give money to the wounded warriors, give money to the veterans. they're going to make a fortune with the debate. let's see how many people watch. we'll have our own event, raise some money for the wounded warriors. we'll raise money for the vets. when they sent out the wise-guy press releases a while ago, i was set to do the debate. i came here to do the debate. when they sent out the wise-guy press releases a little while ago done by some pr person along with roger ailes, i said bye-bye. okay? go ahead. >> are you afraid to debate -- >> no, no, no, excuse me, just so you understand. i've done six debates. i've done six. according to every single poll, i've won every single debate. and probably the last one more than any of them. so every single poll has me
winning every single debate. i've done six of them. and now you say, when does it stop? how many debates do you have to do? the democrats are finished with their debates. is that a correct statement in they're finished. they don't have anymore debates. the republicans go on forever and ever and ever with debates. we have people on the stand that have 0%, that have 1%, that have nothing. so it's time that somebody plays grown-up. and then when i see a press release written by a child, like i just saw, i said what do i have to do? why do i have to make fox rich? let me make the wounded warriors rich. let me make the veterans rich. >> are you worried that's going to effect your chances? >> pretty close toer revocable, yes. >> do you think that will -- >> i think i'll two great in iowa. i love iowa. i don't think iowa's going to care. i don't want to be used -- look, this country needs somebody who's a deal maker, this country needs somebody who's going to make great deals with russia and china and japan where they're
sending us millions of cars and what do we get, okay? what do we get? we have deficits with these countries. we need people that know what they're doing. we don't need babies. when they send stuff out like that, they're not dealing with a baby, they're not dealing with a baby. we'll see. >> share your concerns about the debate -- >> i don't care, i think the opponents are wonderful people. i know a lot of them. i think they're wonderful. let's see how they do with the debate. let's see how many people watch, okay? let's see how many people watch. i said give money to the wounded warriors, i said give money to the veterans. megyn kelly is a lightweight. this is a light weight. this is not a reporter. this to me is a lightweight. megyn kelly shouldn't be in the debate. i don't care about megyn -- when megyn kelly didn't ask me a question, she made a statement last time, i thought it was inappropriate. everybody said i won the debate. everybody said i won the last debate. they said i won all of the deba debates. we've had six debates now. why should the networks continue getting rich on these debates?
give some to the wounded warriors, making a fortune. let's see how much money fox is going to make on the debate without me, okay? all right. let's see. yes? >> mr. trump, with sheriff joe here giving his endorsement, a lot of people question the feasibility of your deportation plan and he has raised some concerns as well last september. is that something you would seek his advice on? >> i would seek his advice. he's been a tremendous person in terms of not only deportation, in terms of creating a border. i have the toughest plan in terms of border. nobody close. i'm building the wall. and now other people are saying we want to build a wall. where were they? where have they been? we're talking about building a wall, we're talking about bil building a strong border. sheriff joe understands that probably better than anybody because he's done a great job and he has been given very little resource. and so i think the representation of having sheriff joe on my side was really great. something i appreciated very
much. >> who do you seek advice from on immigration matters? what are -- >> we have other people. we have other people. i feel very strongly that immigration -- we have to stop illegal immigration. when i announced i was running for president, i did this on june 16th, i brought up illegal immigration. this would not even be talked about if i didn't bring it up. wouldn't even be talked about. right now it's the biggest subject and now it carries over to isis and all of the things that are happening with the migration and syria and people coming in that we have no idea who they are. we have no idea who these people are. they could be isis, they could be -- we don't know. it's got to stop. we owe $19 trillion as a country. we have people running our country that are incompetent. they don't know what they're doing. we have to create a strong border. we need security for our country. we cannot allow that to happen. >> mr. trump -- >> what would be your timetable -- >> for what?
>> if elected, what would your timetable be? building a wall -- >> i'd start right away. you know what i'd do, i'd get the bad dudes out immediately. we have gangs right now that are made up in los angeles and different places that are made up 100% of illegal immigrants who are rough, tough dudes. they would be gone so fast, the local police know all about it. they know who they are. they would be gone so fast. say it again? >> do you believe you would need congress' approval to either build a wall or -- >> i probably would. i'll get congress' approval. i get along -- my whole life i've been dealing with politicians. that's what i do. i deal with politicians. politicians are fine. bull but now it's time to do it a lot better because these politicians have sterned tout be turned out to be call talk, no action. they talk. all they care about is getting re-elected. we need to get our deficits down. we need to bring our country back. we're losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade with china. we're losing tremendous amounts
of money in trade with japan. we do so much for everybody else, you look at south korea, i have friends in south korea, i have deals in south korea, i have buildings in south korea. but we have 28,000 soldiers on the line, 28,000. what do we get out of all of this? >> do you need congress' approval before trying to deport -- >> i would speak to congress. i would at least speak to congress. >> -- funding to carry out that -- >> we're losing a tremendous amount of money. right now we are losing so much money each year because of the illegal immigrants. people that are in our country illegally. hundreds of billions of dollars. people don't realize that. they say, oh, well, of course it's a lot of money to build a wall. first of all, mexico is going to pay for the wall. the reason mexico is going to pay, a lot of people think like some of the politicians, you can't really get mexico -- of course you can. they're making a fortune off the united states in terms of trade. >> deportation, right, so on the funding -- >> they are going to play for plenty.
i have great relationships with mexico. i have great relationships with the mexican people. i have right now thousands of hispanics, and you've seen some recent polls in nevada and other places where i'm leading in the polls with the hispanics. they want jobs. people want jobs. i'm going to bring jobs back from china, from japan, from mexico. we're going to bring jobs back to our country. our country is starving for jobs. we're losing all of our jobs. we're losing our base, we're loosing our manufacturing. china is devaluing its currency making it impossible for our -- it's making it virtually impossible for our companies to compete. and now japan is doing the same thing. japan is killing us with their yen. they're devaluing and you take a look at what's happening to caterpillar versus kamatsu and some of the companies over there. it's brutal. take a look at caterpillar. they're getting killed because our politicians don't know what they're doing and now we have corporate inversions where a lot of people, you just saw the one today, tyko, et cetera, coming
out, maoving to ireland. pfizer moving to ireland. they're leaving the country. we have major corporations leaving the country because our politicians don't know what they're doing. >> but mr. trump, a lot of the people who are here illegally now, they came and overstayed their visas so a wall would not keep them out. how do you prevent that in the future? >> 50% are stopped at the border. 50% overstay. overstay is easy to take care of. >> how do you stop it? >> very simple. it's called management. it's called management. that's right. they fly in, they come in, they're here illegally, they stay forever. can't happen. we either have a country or we don't. we're going to have a country again. it's called make america great. it's going to happen. >> how do you make sure they won't overstay? >> the full sound bite from tim russert you said to him, i'm very pro-choice, i hate the concept of abortion. >> correct. why didn't you read that -- by the way, why didn't you read that before? >> i pulled it up, the wi-fi -- >> why didn't you read that -- >> i'm reading it to you -- >> excuse me, excuse me. >> are you a trustworthy -- >> very trustworthy, more so
than you. you know what, you didn't read the question. see, when you quoted tim russert, you didn't read what you just said. read it again. >> i'll read it out. "i'm very pro-choice, i hate the concept of abortion." >> why didn't you say when you asked the question before that i hate the concept of abortion. >> the question from the pro-life group say you can't be trusted. >> no, no, no, you were quoting tim russert. >> i'm quoting you. >> you were quoting tim and quoting me. why didn't you read my quote the way i said it? >> sir, i tried to pull it up and didn't have wi-fi. >> you got to get wi-fi. don't ask me questions like that. you're not a good reporter doing that. >> is that a cheap shot, are you ready for this race -- >> it's a cheap shot, of course it's a cheap shot. you have guy like ted cruz who's nervous as can be. i looked at him the other day. he's a nervous wreck. his polls are going down the tube. i picked up 11 points on him in iowa the other day in a period of less than a week. he doesn't even know. look, i understand him.
i always got along with him fine. i always waited and waited for him to do, and finally at the last debate he finally started knocking the people of new york in values. i thought it was a disgrace. a lot of people thought it was a disgrace. and i'm not just talking about people from new york. what's going to happen over the next period of time, nothing's going to be nice, nothing's going to be easy, but ted is a wreck, and the reason he's a wreck is he doesn't know if -- he has checked and he's a good lawyer, he doesn't know, himself, whether or not he has the legal right to run and to serve as president. now, how can you vote for somebody when you know the democrats are going to bring a suit? there's a cloud on title. it's called in real estate, cloud on title. here it's a cloud over his head. nobody knows whether or not he can even run for office. i tend to doubt it. some great constitutional lawyers are now saying he doesn't have the right to serve. he cannot run and serve as president of the united states. that's a problem. >> so, mr. trump -- >> i also didn't like the fact that on his financial disclosure
form, a big problem, he's going to be robin hood. he's going to protect everybody. well, he forgot to mention a couple of little facts. the banks, right? he didn't put them in. why didn't he put goldman sachs in? why didn't he put citi core in? he said he forgot. he also didn't know he was a canadian citizen 15 months ago. he's a smart guy. he said, oh, i didn't know i was. he didn't know he was a canadian citizen. so he was born in canada, he was a canadian citizen, and 15 months ago he renounced his citizenship. so he probably has a first. he was the first canadian citizen ever to be a senator in this country, a senator from texas. but he didn't know he was a canadian, see, he was a joint u.s./canadian citizen. he was a canadian citizen. he didn't know that he was a canadian citizen? >> -- temperament, do you think by skipping the debate -- >> no, i think my temperament's
great. i built a great corporation, built a great company. i think when fox sends out their little, like, written by a child about putin, et cetera, et cetera, then i say, let them have their debate, i'm going to raise money during that period of time for the wounded warriors and for the vets, and let fox play its games. >> mr. trump -- >> and i love the debates. i have to tell you. i love debating. i didn't know it. i never debated before. i'm a builder. i create tens of thousands of jobs over the years. i didn't know i'd enjoy debating. and the first debate i enjoyed. even though i thought it was a bad -- you know, i thought she was a bad moderator in the case of megyn kelly, i think she's a total light weight. i have to tell you, i didn't know i was going to enjoy the debate process. i actually love it. if you check grudge and you check "time" and check "slate" and all of the other online polls that judge debates, almost every single -- i think every single poll, but almost every single poll said i won every single debate.
that's not bad. >> mr. trump -- >> will it be fair that you flipped your position between today -- >> yeah, by the way, i never -- i think you could say that, yeah. i think you could say -- sure, it sounds like -- yeah, doesn't it? no, i've never -- no, no, i've never threatened to quit. >> you said the -- >> no, i said with cnn i said i think you should give money to the vets. i've always said that. wounded warriors and vets. you have a question that's a legitimate question? do you apologize? >> do i apologize for reading your words? >> for not reading your words. no, no, for not reading my words. do you apologize for not reading my words? >> i'm appreciative -- >> excuse me, do you apologize for not reading -- >> i apologize that you felt i didn't -- i'm glad i was able to correct the record. >> i didn't ask that. i didn't ask that. excuse me. you quoted me and you took out the main part of the quote. i'm just asking do you apologize? >> even if you hate abortion -- >> okay.
>> mr. trump, mr. trump -- >> go ahead, sara. >> why do you think it's a cheap shot for people to bring up your past infidelities after you brought up monica lewinsky and bill clinton? >> it's not a cheap shot. i've had a very good life. i've been a very good person over my life. i'm a religious person. i'm a good person. i give money to charity. a lot of money to charity. i feel you can bring up whatever you have to bring up. yes, go ahead? >> as someone who opposes abortion, do you consider plan "b," the morning after pill to be abortion? >> i'll give you an answer to that sometime in the future, yes. >> talked to the police chief in marshalltown, said your immigration rhetoric is making his town harder -- >> what can i tell you? i can tell you that most people in the country, most people in the country agree with me and they agree with me having to do with illegal immigration, they agree with me when we mention the words radical islamic terrorism. where the president of the united states refuses to use the term radical islamic terrorism. refuses to use it. why, you'll have to ask him.
but you can't solve a problem until you're willing to discuss the problem. so why, you're going to have to ask him. yes, go ahead. >> evangelicals, in our cnn poll you were ahead of ted cruz -- >> say it loud because i'd like everyone to hear that. >> why do you think ted cruz has not been able to consolidate the evangelical -- >> why is it i'm leading ted cruz with the evangelicals, here i'm leading him, leading him big nationwide, he's a nasty person. people don't like him. senators don't like him. the people he works with don't like him. we can all be rebels. i'm a little bit of a rebel. you have to be able to get along with people. we have to build up our country again. our country is absolutely falling apart. $19 trillion in debt, tremendous deficits. our, believe me, the real number in jobs is not 5.2%. it's probably in the 25%
category because when somebody gives up looking for a job, as you know, they're statistically taken off the rolls. we have to build up our country. to do that, you have to get along, tleat least have to have semblance of something. people don't like ted cruz. they don't like him. when you say, why am i doing better with the evangelicals than ted cruz? they like me better than ted cruz, they understand i'm a christian, a good christian and the evangelicals have figured that out very easily and very quickly. okay. how about one more -- go ahead, tom. >> on the evangelicals, christianity, yesterday cruz alluded to the fact you have a messiah complex. what do you say to that? >> i don't. i want to make america great again. i've had a great life. i've employed tens of thousans s of people. given them jobs, health care. i'm proud of it. built an unbelievable company. when i filed with the fec, all of you people ran down trying to
say maybe he's not as big as people think. turns out it was much bigger. i have some of the great ae sets of the world. i spr very little debt. i have tremendous cash flow. i say that only because that's who our country needs, tom. that's who our country needs. our country needs that kind of thinking. we have $19 trillion, $19 trillion, think of it, trillion, $19 trillion in debt with a horrible budget deal that was just made, horrible deal. that's adding another, at least another $2 trillion. we're going to be at $21 trillion in debt. we're spending money like, like a bunch of people that don't have any clue as to what's happening. we have leadership that's incompetent. we have leadership that in many respects is stupid. when i hear kerry the other day say that, well, some of the $19 billion, okay, some of it is going to be spent -- the money that they got back, the $150 billion, some of it is going to be spent for terror like routinely going to be spent for terror. it's interesting, they ordered, supposedly, i read today,
they're spending all their money in europe, iran, spending all of this money in europe. they ordered 114 airbus jets made in europe. where's boeing? where's boeing? why aren't they buying boeing? why don't we have provisions where they have to buy our product? so when i look at the stupidity of our leadership in this country and that goes from the border, to trade, to health care, to everything, i say, i have no choice, i love my life, i've enjoyed my life, i have a great family, i have a great company, but i had to do this. we're going to make america great again. thank you, all, very much. thank you. >> donald trump basically making it clear, at least for now, he's not planning on participating in thursday night's republican presidential debate hosted by fox. he doesn't like the way fox has been reacting to statements he made including in an interview with me yesterday when he said he wasn't 100% convinced he should attend the debate. he told me he probably will, but
since then, fox he says has been making fun of him, especially the references to megyn kelly, one of the co-moderators of that debate. most likely he says he probably won't be attending that debate. david chalian, that's huge political news right now, donald trump is not on that stage with the other republican presidential candidates, that's going to be very, very significant. >> absolutely, wolf. if the crowd size behind me or the poll numbers weren't evidence enough that donald trump is in total command of this republican nomination race right now, he's now dictating a massive event with this big pre-iowa fox debate threatening not to show up. that is going to be a bit of an earthquake in the race in these closing days. i usually don't make predictions, wolf. i would bet donald trump will end up showing up on that debate stage because i don't think he wants to risk not continuing to be the driving force in every one of these days between now and iowa caucus day on monday.
>> donald trump at least for now suggesting he will not, repeat, not be participating in the thursday night republican presidential debate because he doesn't like the comments, the official statements put out by fox news. let's take a quick break. there's a lot to dissect as a result of this. much more coming up on the breaking news right after this. want to get their hands on. if they could ever catch you. and feeling good, sort of.n and real, and 500 calories or less. the clean pairings menu. at panera. food as it should be.
we're following the breaking news. donald trump just announcing moments ago he most likely, he says, will not participate in thursday night's republican presidential debate hosted by fox. we're getting more reaction, our experts are standing by. the washington correspondent for the "new yorker" magazine, and political commenter ryan, and david chalion is here as well. it's one thing to threaten, but in this particular case, ryan, he said almost certainly he gave the impression he has decided he's going to do an alternative event thursday night to raise money for veterans. and he's not going to participate in that republican presidential debate. he's angry at fox, not only because of megyn kelly, but because of the comments fox news put out after he told me yesterday he probably would attend the debate, but not certain. >> yeah. they mocked him. in the art of the teal, trump has a whole line about how you
have to be able to blow up a negotiation, walk away from the table. he talks about his trade negotiators if he were president would walk away from the table, and the people on the other side of the table would crawl back to the table begging to make a deal. so maybe this is just traditional trump bluffing. as david pointed out before the break, maybe he just wants us to talk about this for the next two days, and he will indeed be at that debate. what makes this a little different is he's promised to do some kind of veterans event. he can't just throw that out there and not to it. and frankly, if he does some counterprogramming event, the other networks, like cnn and msnbc are probably going to be interested in covering that. because they can't broadcast the fox debate. >> either way, trump is going to be talked about for the next 48 hours before that debate. either way, as usual, trump wins. >> david, it's a huge development, i've got to say. when he said it as hard as he
did, he didn't say absolutely certainly, but almost certainly he most likely he said would not be participating in the event, doing an alternative event at the same time. i don't remember a time we've heard that kind of talk. >> that's right. when he has threatened not to show up at debates before, he then said, you know what, i'm the front-runner, i really can't avoid the debate. people would start calling me into question. he's obviously feeling like he's in a different position, a stronger front-runner position than in the fall when he made these threats. prance that's why he's saying, i may deliver on this and not show up. >> there's a risk here, though, if he really does cede that stage to his rivals. marco rubio is moving into third place. does he really want what will still be a large audience to see a bunch of his opponents on that stage? probably attacking trump, trump not there to defend himself and
getting their best opportunity to be in front of a large audience without him interfering? that was the big down side if he drops out. >> david, if he doesn't show up, i wonder if fox would have empty lectectern to underscore donald trump is not attending that debate. it got personal with him not only with megyn kelly, but also with roger ales, the head of fox news. he mentioned his name as well, david. >> he did. those are two titans of the new york business world, trump and ales. and he clearly is having a back-and-forth with him right now out in public. that's going to play out over the next couple days. but to ryan's point which i think is key, it's not so much the empty lectern up there, but if he doesn't show up, fox is probably going to allow all of his opponents to take some shots at him. they're not going to make him feel that can't happen without him on the stage. that is so dangerous close to
the caucuses. >> we'll get more on that obviously throughout the night. i just want to alert our viewers, we just got word from the white house press secretary that president obama will meet with senator bernie sanders tomorrow informally, the white house says, at the white house. we'll follow that as well. there's another major story we're following, a cnn special report later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern, about a smalltown police officer whose death became a national story with a stunning twist. our justice correspondent is here with a preview. pamela, you covered this story extensively from the beginning to the shocking end. update our viewers. >> that's right, wolf. we have learned through the course of covering this story, that lieutenant joe was at that site of his death for nearly 30 minutes before he radioed in to dispatchers. this is based on phone records, the fbi looked at and gps tracking of his car. that raised immediate questions about what he was doing in that time frame.
investigators now suspect he may have been staging his eventual death. his voice on the radio dispatch sounds eerily normal. take a listen. >> i'm on a gravel road at the cement plant. >> it's a marshy area, thick with tall reeds and dense brush. >> all of this was just greenery. you couldn't see through it at all. >> no one can find the lieutenant. >> checking your status. checking your status. >> then a distinctive bang. >> one officer was military
said, i think that's a gunshot. >> officers on site charge into the thicket. >> they all go into the woods, straight down. it took them a little while to get down there, because they were going through some thick brush. they weren't even sure where they were headed. >> and they still don't see the lieutenant. >> shots fired. have you made contact with your officer? >> negative. >> try him on his cell phone, please. >> at 8:09 a.m., the radio transmission, no officer wants to hear. >> officer down. >> that is when they found his lifeless body right near the swamp. initially they believe that the three men he radioed into dispatchers about had killed him in a manhunt ensued. we have learned within a couple of days of his death,
investigators began having doubts he was actually murdered. and then through the course of the investigation, they looked through his personnel file and found startling allegations including a sexual assault lawsuit from several years ago, and then the fbi uncovered 6,500 pages of text messages showing he was embezzling money from an account for the explorer post of these kids he was training to become law enforcement officers, he was stealing money over the course of seven years. and also, wolf, he wanted to take a hit out on the village administrator. so clearly, this is someone who had a dark secret. another life. we're going to be exploring that in the upcoming documentary. >> he was hailed as a hear row at the memorial service. we all remember that. as you point out, there were deep suspicions by some all along. pamela brown, thanks very much for that report. and please, to our viewers, please tune in to pamela's special report later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern, only here on
cnn. you will learn about this case. remember, follow me on twitter, please go ahead and tweet me @wolf blitzer. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. breaking news. donald trump moments ago in a stunning announcement saying he'll likely boycott fox's gop debate this week. hillary clinton fighting bernie sanders in iowa. questions about her honesty haunt her. more breaking news, a massive manhunt on for three dangerous men, convicted of murder and torture. police say they have no idea where they are tonight. where they are tonight. let's go "outfront." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com breaking news. dond trump in a bombshell announme