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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 11, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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"race for the white house" sunday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. that's it "the lead." i'm jake tapper. tune into "state of the union" this sunday morning. john kasich will join us. it all starts at 9:00 a.m. eastern. right now i turn you over to brianeannianna keilar next doore situation room." happening now, dignity and division. opposite ends of the republican spectrum on display at the state funeral of nancy reagan and the rowdy donald trump campaign rally. the gop front-runner ordering multiple protesters thrown out. why are there security concerns surrounding trump's rally tonight? odd endorsements. ben carson throws his support to donald trump and marco rubio urjds ohio voters to vote for their governor, john kasich, in next week's primary. will his desperate effort to deny trump's 66 deallegates succeed? bernie sanders and donald
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trump are both railing against trade deals that cost jobs. how did they wind up on the same page? and russian hit job? a medical examiner now saying a former top aide to vladimir putin died of blunt force trauma in a washington hotel room. why did his family blame his death on a heart attack? wolf blitzer is off today, i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room." we are following the republican race for the white house. the candidates back on the campaign trail after a surprisingly civil performance in the cnn presidential debate, but that surprise decorum was nowhere in sight at a donald trump rally in st. louis a short time ago. dozens of protesters were kicked out of the event. trump and his rivals fixed on next week's primaries and the make-or-break contests in florida and ohio.
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we're following the growing mystery surrounding the death of a former top aide to russian president vladimir putin. the man found dead in a luxury washington hotel of what his family said was a heart attack. now the d.c. medical examiner says he died from blunt force trauma to the head. we are covering all of that and more this hour. our guests including darrell issa, a member of the house foreign affairs committee, and our correspondents and expert analysts who are also standing by. i want to begin now with the republican race. the candidates now in crunch time with five major primaries just four days away. jim acosta is in chicago for us. jim, donald trump is holding a rally there tonight. tell us about it. >> that's right. donald trump is looking like a candidate who can't be stopped. he emerged from the cnn debate without a scratch and picked up a big endorsement today from ben carson as trump's rivals are throwing out some creative ideas to slow his momentum before the next primaries this coming
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tuesday. trying to close one more deal, this time with the republican party, donald trump is urging his gop skeptics to embrace his movement. >> this doesn't get talked about in the press, the love that's in these rooms. it's love. >> trump picked up the support of one former rival, ben carson, who says he's seeing a new side of the real estate tycoon. >> there are two different donald trumps. there's the one you see on the stage and there's the one who's very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. >> i probably do agree. i think there are two donald trumps. i'm a big thinker. i have my ideas and they're strong and typically they have worked out. >> reporter: defeating just one trump is enough for marco rubio who took the step to suggest his supporters in ohio vote for john kasich. >> clearly john kasich has a better chance of winning ohio
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than i do. if a voter in ohio concludes that voting for john kasich gives us the best chance to stop donald trump there, i anticipate that's what they will do. >> reporter: ted cruz chuckled at that approach. >> i'm just laughing because it's the washington establishment's last gasp. let's divide things up, let's play games. it's real, real simple. how do you beat donald trump? you beat him. >> reporter: but rubio is point to the cnn debate as proof he's still a viable contender, especially after he slammed trump for defending that incendiary comment that muslims hate the u.s. >> i mean a lot of them. i mean a lot of them. >> the problem is that presidents can't just say anything they want. it has consequences here and around the world. >> reporter: trump seems more concerned about kasich, unleashing this new attack ad. >> john kasich has been an absentee governor, spending most of his time everywhere but ohio. >> reporter: the gop front-runner again brushed off concerns about the violence flaring up at his rallies, even after one of the supporters sucker punched a pro petester.
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>> we've had some violent people as protesters. these are people that punch. these are people that are violent people. >> reporter: in st. louis security hauled off more demonstrators, and trump says he doesn't mind the spectacle. >> can i be honest with you? it adds to the flavor, it really does. makes it more exciting. i mean isn't this better than listening to a long, boring speech? >> reporter: and there are more concerns tonight about security at trump's rally coming up in chicago. progressive and civil rights groups here in the city say they will be protesting trump's rhetoric on immigration. trump's event will be held a few miles from president obama's home here in chicago, and i can tell you right now i've been outside this arena where this event is going to take place later on this evening. there are police circling this entire arena gearing up for what could be a night of trouble here in chicago. >> we'll be watching, jim
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acosta, thank you so much. with ted cruz trailing donald trump by 100 delegates, he's trying to convince voters he's the only one that can take on the billionaire businessman. sunlen serfaty is following the cruz campaign. what is the strategy in these final days before tuesday? >> reporter: it's all about trying to push this into a two-man race for ted cruz. like a broken record, we will continue to hear him argue that he is the only viable candidate that can take on donald trump. he's largely been ignoring his rivals. he did that again today as he campaigned here in florida and he went right after donald trump, laser focused on donald trump criticizing him for his debate performance saying trump offered no solutions to any of the problems that were discussed and also trying to present trump as not a real conservative, saying that he's more in line with the democratic base. here's what he said earlier today. >> i believe it's simple.
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government is the problem. donald keeps saying he'll negotiate better deals. he agrees with barack obama and hillary clinton on everything they do, he just says, well, they don't negotiate a good enough deal. he'll do it better. no, the problem isn't that we need a better deal maker. the problem is we have too much government. >> reporter: and also interesting that ted cruz today was asked about this idea that donald trump said that he does not want to engage in any more primary debates. ted cruz was asked and carly fee reapa jumped in his place as she was campaigning with him and he said, look, it's because he's scared and told donald trump to man up. >> fighting words. all right, so tell us what marco rubio and ted cruz are saying about this possibility of a unity ticket? >> this is fascinating to watch, they both get questions that they could potentially band up and team up to form this ticket that could be a fierce force against donald trump. marco rubio was asked about it here today in florida and he
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flat-out denied this is a possibility. he told cnn's dana bash that it's something out of "house of cards" and he's had no conversations to this idea. ted cruz similarly had a very similar response in recent days when he's asked. he says, no. no conversations. and very similar to rubio, he said it's kid of like a drama on tv, very clear that right now they are very focused on their campaigns. we've been talking about do-or-die stakes for marco rubio here in florida coming up tuesday. >> all right, thank you so much. i want to get more now with republican congressman darrell issa of california. he's a member of the house foreign affairs and the judiciary committee and he is supporting marco rubio, important to note, congressman. thank you so much for being with us. i know you watched this debate last night. your candidate had a really strong showing, but is this too late for marco rubio? is this something he needed to do sooner? >> well, the early returns show that in florida rubio is
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winning. so the early returns look good and they have been voting, it's about 13%, 14% of the vote that's already in. but i think talking about last night, i was there in the audience. what i got to see is i got to see marco being marco. i saw him calmly going through, using less words than trump, but in fact getting the target right on what we should do with cuba, what we should do with isis, what our stance should be in protecting our allies in the middle east, including especially israel. and because this was so substantive, because they were actually talking issues, what you saw was you saw donald trump showing he doesn't understand our relationship with israel, he certainly doesn't understand the cuban dynamics, and time and time again in issue after issue, even social security, he kept saying he would simply do it better. you know, one of the challenges that marco faces with donald trump is he's using democratic lines. you know, the problem with government is it isn't run well enough. this is where marco rubio and cruz and john kasich as people
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who have had to make things work realize it's just not so. the fact is you do not change government boy saying let's work harder. there are good people in government who in fact are enforcing too much a government with too many laws and that's where there's a real difference between marco rubio's understanding of what we need to change to move america forward, including fixing social security for the next generation, something that last night donald trump totally botched. >> i want to ask you, you said the early returns are good for marco rubio, but when we look at our polling, our latest cnn/orc poll has rubio trailing trump by 14%. he recently had this event in hialeah which is a place sort of near to him that i think people are surprised that he didn't get a bigger showing. what does he need to do here in the final days to change voters' minds? >> first of all, he needs to remind people that when cnn said he was dropping out they wre mistaken and you need to drive that message, that's an
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important part of it. but let's just understand -- >> to be clear, congressman, we did not say that. we said advisers were discussing. so there's a difference. >> okay. here's the difference. it wasn't true clearly said and there was no one willing to come forward and say, yes, this was the advisor. but the reality is marco rubio has never lost a race in florida. the people of florida have returned him first obviously to the assembly and then as speaker, now as senator. and on election day we believe that the early returns, this early voting will be exactly what happens. and let's understand, "the washington post" had it about seven points down. in all fairness, donald trump has never hit that top line number between polling and actual elections, so his 38 is probably 34 or 35. is it going to be close? yes. did marco rubio do something extraordinary and it was the right thing to do, recognizing that john kasich is very
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qualified and in fact should be -- should win ohio, he said to his voters, go ahead and support him, he's a good man and he's not donald trump. he understands the issues. i'm just sorry that cruz didn't see it that way and that he's in florida trying to convince people to vote for cruz when in fact in florida a vote for cruz is a vote for trump. >> but i want to ask you about that because this is pretty extraordinary, a candidate who says basically don't vote for me, vote for this other guy who has a better chance of besting this other guy. that happens so rarely. if he isn't thinking of an end game that might include dropping out of this race, why is he doing something like that that a lot of people are saying is a desperate move? >> it's not a desperate move, it's pragmatic. you have three candidates left. in a head-on-head with donald trump, all three candidates would beat donald trump. the problem is we don't have a head-on-head. if we're going through this process of multiple candidates in which you don't have a second round in any of these states and
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they're not proportional, then in fact there has to be a certain amount of work a state and win it if you can. now, it would be better if ted cruz would drop out and realize he's not a uniter, he's a divider. it would be better after ohio if john kasich said i don't have a path forward and dropped out. >> but cruz has won -- >> that's not the way our system works. >> he's bested marco rubio so many times, why would he drop out? >> well, you know, you can say bested. i didn't say he bested or he didn't. what i said was, and you can hear it every day, ted is a lot like president obama. he seems to understand it's my way or the highway. there's not a uniter there. i backed -- i called up marco rubio and said i've worked with you, i know who you are and i've listened to you on the campaign trail. i want a uniter. i want someone who bring our party and country back together again and that's what the voters of florida are doing is giving
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their 99 delegates to marco rubio because he is a uniter. and when he comes to cleveland, whether or not he has a clear majority at that point or not, the delegates on the second round are going to be looking and realizing that they need to pick the uniter out of the crowd. that's a process that hasn't happened in a while, but it's clearly possible it could happen here. >> congressman, stay with me, i have many more questions for you. you just said that ted cruz should drop out and i certainly want to follow up on that after a quick break. germae group. i wore lederhosen. when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all. 52% of my dna comes from scotland and ireland. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at
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florida voters will likely decide the future of marco rubio's presidential campaign here in next tuesday's primary. he really has to win his home state for his campaign to remain viable, but polls show that he is trailing donald trump by
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double digits. we're back with republican congressman darrell issa of california. i want to ask you about what i thought was a pretty extraordinary moment last night where rubio said he really regrets his attacks on donald trump. he actually said his kids are embarrassed by it. do you think that this may have really cost him, even could have cost him the nomination that he aband onned his sunny optimism? >> certainly he does regret it and he said it and has been forthright about it. the thing is donald trump can't be embarrassed. he'll say anything about anyone and has. and that's what's different in this race is you have somebody who regrets appropriately that he got caught up in, if you will, trumpism, in punching back the way donald trump has punched and he's owned up to it and we're moving on. that's the difference of a thinking person who has at least a little bit of humility. and remember there's nothing that will bring you both power
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and humility more than being president of the united states. having great power and recognizing that that responsibility is something that nobody is truly up to and you've got to be able to listen and digest dozens, sometimes hundreds of different views if you're going to make the right decision on behalf of your country. this was a practice of george washington, of abe lincoln and others where they understood that they had the absolute last authority but they didn't assume that they had all the right answers. that's what we're looking at in florida. if you want somebody who listens, who brings people together, who's a uniter, or do you want somebody who tells you he knows it all, he's the greatest and has done the best. if donald trump were the second coming of jesus christ, i don't think he could be more self confident than he is. the fact is this is a man who doesn't listen to anybody and that's one of the reasons that many, many people who don't agree on the candidate agree that donald trump shouldn't be
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the nominee. >> but if he is the nominee, which there is clearly a better chance that he is the nominee than any of these other republicans in the field, would you support him? >> would you? >> you are a republican, sir. this is your party. would you support him? >> the fact is, we will go through a process and we will unify behind somebody who we would like to have beat hillary. look, hillary clinton in my view should be wearing an ankle bracelet. it's very, very clear -- >> so then you would support -- you would support donald trump over hillary clinton? >> there's no question at all if those are the two names on the ballot, i'll be voting for our nominee. would i prefer a uniter? would i prefer experience? would i prefer somebody who can heal the wounds that barack obama has created in our culture and in our country and in our world? absolutely. and that's why i sought out and have been working for marco rubio. because on foreign policy, on
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national defense, he's been doing the kinds of work to prepare him for this. and, you know, we talked about brokered convention before the break. remember that william seward had 37% of the delegates going into the convention in 1860 and abraham lincoln only had 22%. but by the third round they had picked what they felt was a uniter for their party and that's the first republican president. it's not unusual to have elections give you a mixed message and delegates find a uniter. >> but if it's not unusual, but i hear you quoting -- you're citing 1860, so obvious lly thi is somewhat unusual. you've said before you think this could be a contested convention. do you think that's more likely? >> well, it would be a contested convention. it hasn't happened much lately, that people talk about 1976 when reagan contested unsuccessfully
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or dewey or others. but it used to happen with some regularity about every 20 years. in this case what's unique that hasn't happened in a while is we haven't gotten down to two candidates fairly early of the and if you don't get down to two candidates, you ending up with an odd situation, one in which the person who can solidify 25% or 35% of the vote might be the person who cannot get the rest of it. in this case, the only person who loses to hillary clinton outright in every poll head on head is donald trump. well, cruz more or less breaks even and kasich or particularly rubio can win. >> congressman, thanks for being with us, we certainly appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, dr. ben carson endorses donald trump, but what did he mean when he said there are two different versions of the billionaire businessman? plus more on the rowdy trump rally that saw dozens of protesters arrested.
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we have details about security concerns surrounding trump's rally tonight. >> if you're a little bit rough, do you see the abuse the police were taking back there? they were abused. the police should be suing them, it shouldn't be the other way around. it's a fact. kind of like social media equals anti-social. hey guys, i want you to meet my fiancée, denise. hey. good to meet you dennis. some people have to travel for work. hi there, looks like you've had a long day. pull up a crate! some people get to travel for work. i'm really looking forward to this spinach salad.
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watching tvs get sharper, oh remotes, you've had it tough. bigger, smugger. and you? rubbery buttons. enter the x1 voice remote. now when someone says... show me funny movies. watch discovery. record this. voila. remotes you are back. the x1 voice remote is here. x1 customers get your voice remote by visiting donald trump back on the campaign trail after a notably civil performance in the cnn republican presidential debate, but a different scene at trump's rally in st. louis where protesters disrupted the rally multiple times. police say that about 35 people were arrested. >> get 'em out. get 'em outta here.
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isn't it great to be at a trump rally? really. it's more fun. we'll have to stop for a couple of minutes. we'll have a good time. >> let's get more with executive editor mark preston. we also have the host of smerconish, michael smerconish, jeffrey toobin and national political reporter, rebecca berg. this is sort of a new thing where we're seeing where donald trump is embracing these incidents. some of these are even violent incidents but he's saying this is part of the fun of campaigning. >> he is. last night he was asked about this in the debate and he said he doesn't condone any sort of violence, of course, but he also didn't really take responsibility for what's happening at his own rallies. we should note that this is really the only place where there is violence breaking out, where we're having these protests. ted cruz's rallies, marco rubio, all these other candidates not
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having these problems. donald trump will say he has bigger crowds, but his rhetoric has a very defined us versus them quality to it, bad protesters who don't like america versus good american who say support donald trump, and so there is certainly an argument to be made for him fueling this activity at his rallies. >> jeffrey, as you look at this, what do you make of this? >> well, it's going to get worse because it's in the interests of both sides to keep escalating the situation. the protesters really hate donald trump and they really think he is a toxic presence. and it's quite clear that trump is enjoying this process and his supporters love the fact that this is part of his anti-political correctness. you know, don't coddle protesters approach. so it's just heading for something very ugly and nothing looks like it's going to stop it. >> and that's really the question, right, michael?
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does this escalate beyond what we're seeing? do you think that this is -- we're just going to see more of the same or do you think this is going to reach a fevered pitch? >> well, it's in nobody's best interest if there's outright violence but i agree with jeffrey that right now it suits everyone's objective if it stays just at about the boiling point. you know that line that he loves to utter -- if you were to say what is donald trump's campaign slogan, i'm probably not going to say "make america great again." at the top of my mind when i think of trump now it's "get 'em out" and it has the intended meaning of not only who's disrupting his event but, of course, all those who are here illegally because he wants them out as well. >> mark, i want to ask you about another development that is really just fascinating today. marco rubio just seems to have given up on ohio in order to focus on his home state of florida where he's trailing trump in the polls. here's what he said earlier today. >> i suspect that a voter in ohio that doesn't want to win
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ohio may very well conclude that the best way to stop him in ohio toys vote for john kasich and i respect that. i'm focused on florida right now and i'm telling the people in florida the truth. a vote for ted cruz or a vote for john kasich in florida is a vote for donald trump. the only one with a chance to beat donald trump here is me. >> when is the last time you saw something like this happen during a presidential election? >> it's just amazing the situation we're in and the time we're in in the campaign. six, seven months ago we would have never been talking about this and never thought we'd be in the place we are right now. what's really interesting, though, is marco rubio's an knowledgement that you should vote for john kasich in ohio to stop donald trump is the second major development in this in many ways because we saw mitt romney come out and say anyone but donald trump. you now have marco rubio, a principal in the race right now, trying to push his supporters in ohio to go with john kasich.
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in many ways, you've got to wonder what is marco rubio's long game right now. is it survival for the presidential race or is his long game to say that he was trying to help protect the republican party as we're heading into tuesday night right now. the polling shows that donald trump has a very good chance of defeating marco rubio here right now. there's been a lot of talk about marco rubio perhaps running for governor or at least looking at it right now. and this might be part of that play if that's what he's thinging. >> rebecca, mark brings up this idea, is it survival. which does make many people wonder when they see marco rubio saying, hey, vote for kasich in ohio. some people think it's desperate. i just talked to darrell issa and he said, no, it's pragmatic. but it gives this feeling of a survivoresque kind of game show gaming quality to all of this. >> right. he's just trying to outwit, outplay and outlast all the
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other candidates, as jeff probst would say. it's completely strategic and not the way we usual low see this game played. usually at this point we're down to two, maybe three candidates that are viable and one clear front-runner. we do have a clear front-runner but one that is potentially unacceptable to most or many people within the republican party so we have this very interesting situation on our hands. it will be interesting to see if voters respond to this call for what we would consider extra teamingic voting as opposed to voting for the person they actually prefer, especially when there isn't the ad money behind this call to action that you would expect for full saturation. >> all right, guys, stay with me. we have much more to discuss and all of this political drama going on. we'll do that after a break. they say you shouldn't spoil your kids.
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hillary clinton and senator bernie sanders face the voters of ohio in a cnn presidential town hall this sunday. then tuesday's primaries will be our next gauge of how long it could take to settle the race for the democratic presidential nomination. cnn's jeff zeleny in chicago following bernie sanders' campaign. this is a fight, jeff, even though hillary clinton has a pretty hefty delegate lead that could be a long way from being settled. >> reporter: no doubt about it. you know as well as anyone the longest this could go is the california primary. that is june 7th. so about three months from now or so. now, she does have the lead in pledged delegates.
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almost mathematically impossible for bernie sanders to catch up. but that doesn't mean he's getting out of the race. even she said she can't blame him. hillary clinton and bernie sanders settling in for the long haul. >> on tuesday, as you know, there are going to be five primaries, including a very big one here in north carolina. stand up, fight back, and tell us that our government belongs to all of us. >> reporter: sprinting from north carolina to ohio to illinois, sanders had the campaign trail to himself today, trying to keep the democratic race alive. >> last tuesday, everybody had agreed that hillary clinton was the sure winner of michigan. well, it didn't quite happen that way. >> reporter: for an afternoon at least, clinton stepping back into her role as former first lady to celebrate the life of nancy reagan. ♪
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a reminder of clinton's singular position on the political stage, sitting between laura bush and roslyn carter, preferred to as mrs. bill clinton in the roster of dignitaries. she told nbc's andrea mitchell that mrs. reagan paved the way for her and all first ladies. >> this role is really, you know, so unique. everyone brings to it up until now her perspective, her experiences. you have to figure out how to support your husband and his agenda, his presidency, but also find a role for yourself. >> reporter: but this weekend clinton will be campaigning hard in states voting tuesday. she's leaving nothing to chance, not even in her native illinois. >> i feel particularly kind of a little emotional. i am a child of chicago. >> reporter: she told us she knows this democratic race has no quick end in sight. >> can you understand, though, why senator sanders wants to stay in this race until the very end, until california.
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>> well, i stayed in the race until the very end and, look, i think everyone has to run his or her own campaign, i respect that. if we go to the end, we go to the end, just as i did in '08. >> reporter: as their democratic fight goes on, she and sanders are fixating on another rival, donald trump. >> the american people in my view will not support a president who insults mexicans, who insults muslims. >> reporter: he's becoming a rallying cry to fire up the democratic faithful. >> i've been getting messages from a lot of the leaders that i know from around the world. and their message basically is what is happening? >> reporter: in florida today trump had words of his own about democratic voters. >> we're going to have democrats for trump. we're going to get tremendous numbers of democrats. >> reporter: if trump is the republican nominee, clinton says his lore may not be as impressive as he thinks. >> look, i've gotten more votes than he has. ike if you really analyzed it, a
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pretty narrow base. we'll find out. if he gets nominated, we're going to have a very vigorous election if i'm the nominee. >> reporter: this has been a primary campaign. >> we'll wait and find out. >> reporter: now, an unusual retraction today for secretary clinton herself. while she was in simi valley attending the funeral for mrs. reagan, she praised the reagans for leading a national conversation on aids. she was quickly criticized on that. she released a statement, while the reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for alzheimer's disease, i misspoke about their record on hiv and aids. for that, i'm sorry. this of course is a big issue in the gay community for how the reagans reacted to the aids crisis in the 1980s. >> a rare apology and that was a rare interview that you snagged with her. thanks so much. i want to bring back our political experts to talk about
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the democratic race. mark, i know that you're learning some changes really to the messaging that we're going to be hearing out democrats the next few days. what's going on there? >> well, first of all, we're here in miami, florida, right now and the candidates are not here. florida right now is in the rear-view mirror as the candidates had moved up, certainly bernie sanders, up to north carolina but it's really moving into the industrial midwest. hillary clinton will join him there tomorrow. the fight is right now on these blue collar voters. now, bernie sanders' campaign has been saying over and over again this is where they start to gain momentum. we saw that happen in michigan with the surprise win. now they have to do well in missouri, illinois, and of course ohio. missouri might be their best chance of winning right now. hillary clinton, though, expect to hear this messaging over the next couple days. net delegates. even if bernie sanders is able to win two or three of these states, will he receive more delegates than hillary clinton? that is going to be the messaging or part of the
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messaging out of the clinton campaign. also expect her to talk about the fact that her economic policies are more realistic. bernie sanders, though, will say that he's a fighter for the middle class. expect to hear a lot about trade and of course cnn's up to hall on sunday night. this will be in full force and certainly as they make their pitch to the voters heading into tuesday. >> and that's a town hall that we're going to see in ohio. i think some people are looking at bernie sanders' upset in michigan and wondering is he going to do this again in ohio. do you think it's really a possibility? >> well, size matters. he needs to win big states. more than half the delegates are going to be allocated from just six states and two of them are, to mark's point, illinois and ohio. and the issue is where can he replicate michigan? where is there a state that maybe he's down 20 in the polls that he can pull off with a lunch pail crowd, primarily white voters, and the sanders campaign has highlighted those two states and we will know tuesday night. >> rebecca, bernie's chances in ohio, how do you see them,
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especially when the polls in michigan were so different than the outcome? >> i see his chances as very good there, brianna, because when i look at what he did in michigan, especially on the issue of trade, so hitting hillary clinton really hard on his past support for free trade agreements, helping to craft tpa and waffling on the transpacific partnership, that really worked for bernie sanders in michigan with these white working class voters who fear that their jobs are being shipped overseas. if he's able to continue hitting her on that message in ohio, i think it could be very successful. >> final word to you, jeffrey. with sanders talking about staying in the race here, what is he hoping to get out of this, if he cannot catch up to clinton in the delegate count? >> let's give the guy a chance, he just won michigan. >> he did. >> he's doing fine. hillary clinton's big slogan is net delegates? boy, that's almost as pathetic as marco rubio saying vote for the other guy. i mean, you know, can i just say
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one thing thing. ronald reagan let tens of thousands of people die of aids and hiv before he uttered a word about the crisis, so to praise him was pretty outrageous. she was right to apologize, even in the context of a funeral where people are praised rather than, you know, honestly appraised. >> that's a really good point that you make there. jeffrey toobin, michael smerconish, mark preston and rebecca berg, thanks to all of you. be sure to watch the cnn presidential town fall with tv1 this sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. i'm sure it's going to be a great one. coming up, a one-time ally of vladimir putin found dead at an upscale hotel right here in washington, d.c. was this a heart attack or a hit job? also ahead, north korea searches for a missing submarine while the pentagon worries about
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what its crew may be up to.
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we're learning shocking new details about a death here in washington. turns out that a former aide of vladimir putin did not die of a heart attack. let's get the latest from cnn's brian todd at the hotel. brian? >> this is right out of a cold war spy novel. the family of this former aide to vladimir putin said he died of a heart attack. but new information tonight from the d.c. medical examiner's office really elevates your mystery and raises many more
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questions. a power broker in moscow connected to vladimir putin found dead in a washington hotel room. when mikhail lesin's body was discovered in november, his family told russian media he died of a heart attack. tonight the d.c. medical examiner's office says lesin died from blunt force injuries to the head, neck, or the sew and extremities. >> more than likely based on the injuries he was involved with something physical with someone and what i would do as the detective on this case is to first determine where it occurred. >> reporter: according to some media reports, there were no signs of forced entry or foul play in lesin's room at the dupont circle hotel and there are questions about whether he was injured before he entered the hotel. the d.c. police, the lead investigative agency did not respond to cnn's multiple requests for details. we pressed the hotel for information on witnesses and surveillance footage. they wouldn't give it. lesin's background raises suspicions. he was a long-time advisor to vladimir putin, one-time head of the russian government's media arm. a u.s. senator called lesin one of the kremlin's top sensors.
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he later headed g ed gazprom me which controls several russian media stations. in 2014, senator roger wicker asked the justice department to investigate lesin for money laundering and corruption. wicker claimed lesin acquired $28 million worth of property in california. lesin denied it. the justice department referred the case to its criminal division and the fbi, but it's not clear if there was ever an nef investigation and neither agency would comment to cnn. from opposition leader boris nemtsov to former kgb spy alexander it wial sa sander litvinenko, how did he end up dead? >> if there's no signs of foul play or forced entry, i want to determine if it occurred there. he could have been assaulted outside the hotel. came to the hotel. passed out and died. but if that's the case, someone had to have seen him enter the
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hotel. >> a russian official who we spoke with would not comment on whether mikhail lesin might have been murdered. would not comment on the money laundering accusations. when we asked about any possible connections between president putin and less sin's death, this official said those kinds of speculations are inappropriate. brianna? >> brian todd for us on that very mysterious story. i want to say we're standing by for a donald trump rally in chicago. will there be more trouble with protesters just like we saw at today's earlier rally in st. louis? and also the latest on the search for a missing north korean submarine and whether its mission could pose a threat to the u.s. sfx: rocket blasting off sfx: (countdown) 3, 2, 1 rocket at ally bank, no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like bill splitting equals nitpicking.
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happening now, civility or civil war? republicans go from the calm of the cnn debate to the chaos of a donald trump rally interrupted by protesters, trump goes on the attack. strange allies saying they buried the hatchet, ben carson endorses donald trump and calls on the gop to let the political process play out. and marco rubio invites republicans in ohio to vote for john kasich if they want to stop trump. the u.s. is watching carefully as north korea searches for a missing submarine. as kim jong-un makes nuclear threats, is his sub lying at the bottom of the sea or sneaking up on the west coast? and saying good-bye. rebsive thes of families past and present are among the dignitaries bidding farewell to former first lady nancy reagan. we want to welcome viewers around n the united states and around the world.
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wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keilar and you're in the situation room. breaking news, donald trump tangles with hecklers at a campaign rally and we're standing by for another trump event amid growing concerns about security. after taking a softer tone against his rivals in cnn's republican debate last night, donald trump went back on the trail today, patting himself on the back for acting "presidential" during the debate. but when he was interrupted at a rally in missouri, trump taunted protesters as they were dragged away. trump got the backing of former rival ben carson who called trump more reasonable than he appears but in a bid to deny trump the delegates he needs to win the nomination, rubio today invited ohio republicans to vote not for him but for john kasich in tuesday's winner take all primary. and kim jong-un is missing one of his submarines. the u.s. is watching as north korea's navy searches for the vessel. it disappeared even as north korea threatens a nuclear strike
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and works on its ability to launch missiles from underwater. our correspondents, analysts and guests have full coverage of the day's top stories as we wait for what could be another chaotic donald trump rally we want to get the latest on the republican campaign. cnn's sunlen serfaty is in miami. sunlen, there were strange developments today. >> that's right, brianna. remarkable moves in this political chess game. in an effort to stop donald trump. meanwhile, the front-runner is trying to look and sound like a general election candidate, rolling out today the endorsement of ben carson. >> i think it's time to end the debates. >> donald trump is signaling he's ready to move beyond the primary battle, throwing cold water on the idea of more debates. >> how many times do you have to give the same answer to the same question? >> reporter: the gop front-runner also rolling out the endorsement of dr. ben carson. >> much more reasonable person than comes across. >> the one-time rivals burying
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the hatchet. >> they're two different donald trumps. there's the one you see on the stage and there's the one who's very scerebral. >> reporter: that characterization is one that trump is two minds about. >> i probably agree. i think there's two donald trumps. i don't think there's two donald trumps, there's one donald trump. >> reporter: the carson announcement comes on the heels of the cnn debate. >> i cannot believe how civil it's been up here. >> reporter: trump's rivals are taking a hands-off approach highlighting issues on differences over personal insults. rubio rebuking trump for his comments to cnn that islam hates us. >> there's something going on that maybe you don't know about and maybe a lot of other people don't know about but there's tremendous hatred and i will stake with exactly what i said to anderson cooper. >> i'm not interested in being politically correct, i'm interested in being correct. >> reporter: trump is urging the party to unite behind his candidacy. >> i just say embrace these
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millions of people that now for the first time ever love the republican party and unify. be smart and unify. >> reporter: his opponents are not having it. marco rubio is encouraging voters in ohio to support john kasich if they want to stop trump. >> clearly john kasich is -- has a better chance of winning ohio than i do and if a voter in ohio concludes that voting for john kasich gives us the best chance to stop donald trump there, i anticipate that's what they'll do. >> reporter: saying he is the only option for defeating trump in florida. >> if you want to stop donald trump in florida, any vote but a vote for me is a vote for donald trump. >> reporter: ted cruz is still trying to present himself as the only viable option to derail trump's march to the nomination. >> i'm just laughing because it's the washington establishment's last gasp. let's divide things up, let's play games. it's real, real simple. how do you beat donald trump? you beat him. you beat him at the ballot box.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: with kasich and trump in a tough battle for ohio, trump is launching a full-scale attack on the ohio governor, releasing this new television ad today. >> john kasich has been an absentee governor, spending most of his time everywhere but ohio, especially michigan, the latest disaster in his failing presidential bid. >> reporter: that ad also comes after donald trump released two ads here in florida attacking marco rubio this week. he has predicted that he will win florida. he will win ohio, trump says. of course, those pivotal races are do or die for john kasich and marco rubio coming up tuesday. brianna? >> sunlen serfaty in miami, thank you so much. after what he called an elegant debate last night donald trump was back to presiding over a raucous campaign rally today, mixing it up with protesters. police say there were 32 people arrested there in st. louis and another trump event is coming up shortly in chicago. folks already in the room for that as well as cnn's jim acosta who was there. it's really a difference here of
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night and day. >> that's right. it could get inelegant later on tonight here in chicago, brianna. donald trump has not even started speaking here at this arena on the campus of the university of illinois at chicago and there's already a group of protesters led out of this venue that happened a few months ago. there are security concerns here in chicago tonight. police officers are already out in force around this arena where donald trump will be speaking in an hour from now. civil rights and other progressive groups say they are planning protests for tonight's rally. trump, by the way, is offering no apologies about the scuffles that are breaking out at his events. earlier today he said the demonstrations make his speeches more exciting. trump is blaming protesters, even after one of his supporters sucker punched one demonstrator earlier this week in north carolina. here's how trump defended himself and his events at last night's debate. here's what he have to say. >> we have some protesters who are bad dudes.
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they have done bad things. they are swinging, they are really dangerous and they get in there and they start hitting people and we had a couple big strong powerful guys doing damage to people, not only the loudness, the loudness i don't mind but doing serious damage. >> reporter: we should point out, brianna, my cnn colleagues and i have been to a lot of these rallies and we have not seen any evidence of protesters becoming violent despite what donald trump had to say last night. >> so when he's talking about a protestor swinging, for instance, there's really nothing to back that up? >> that's right. he is trying to bolster his case by saying there are protesters who are to blame. he seemed to reference this rally that occurred in las vegas lans mon last month where a demonstrator was removed by security. that was where donald trump said he wished he could punch a protestor in the face. here's donald trump appearing to talk about that particular rally
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earlier today. here's what he had to say. >> we've had some violent people as protestors, they're not just people saying, oh, these are people that bunch, these are people that are violent people and the particular one when i said i'd like to bang him, that was a very vicious -- he was a guy who was swinging. very loud and then started swinging at the audience. and you know what? the audience swung back and i thought it was very, very appropriate. >> now, brianna, we went back and looked at the video from that rally and talk to security officials for that event and there was no evidence the protestor was talking about that he was behaving violently. there's an announcement made at every rally that people should avoid touching these protestors, but trump seems to enjoy pumping these people up. getting back to north carolina,
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that man who was sucker punched by a supporter in the crowd, he was not swinging or instigating, he was cold cocked by a supporter in the crowd he didn't see coming. >> jim acosta ahead of the trump rally in chicago. we have some live pictures coming to us from outside of that event. as you can see, a number of protestors there outside of this trump rally. joining me to talk more is donald trump supporter and tea party activist scottie nell hughes of usa radio networks. scottie, you heard jim's report right there, donald trump is saying things that aren't true about some of these protestors. what do you make of that? >> i don't know if it's not necessarily today. you had today black lives matter organized outside of st. louis. and brianna, you have to wonder why are they starting to get worse and worse and worse? it's like we're feeding sharks right now. and they're getting worse. what started off as one or two people within these crowds now it's like they're setting out to create disruption at these events and these aren't people
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that are necessarily obviously for donald trump. their whole goal is to get media attention and to sit there and show there's some sort of clash between the two groups and it's working so how do you stop it? i can tell you right now, secret service agents on the ground are doing an incredible job considering what they're facing. local police, local law enforcement, even the people there that just want to be a part of the political process that want to hear from a man they potentially could support as president of the united states. why aren't we calling out protesters for being rude and lacking respect? that doesn't mean they deserve to have any violence against them, don't get me wrong. and mr. trump i know believes the same thing. but at the same time, this has got to stop. i would not go to a hillary clinton rally or a bernie sanders rally or any other rally to create disruption. why can't these people still show the same respect to mr. trump and his supporters as well? >> but you know what he's say ing is not reconciled with what you're saying.
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he's embracing the drama. you said you don't think there should be any physical violence against these people. he's talked about punching them in the face. that's not what he's saying. >> he said it once and it was an expression. of course he wouldn't want someone to get hurt but you have to understand the frustration right now. you have people that have waited for hours to get into that room to see mr. trump. there's thousands waiting outside for that one spot. you have people dereceiceiving security and are making it look like they're one of them and instead of being someone who wants to help, they're coming in to create disruption and turmoil and it's working and unfortunately brianna we set it get worse and worse and worse and i don't know how to stop it. /wish there was a simple solution. you have to realize, there are thousands of people at these rallies, there are tens upon
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thousands of people here. it's hard to make sure every one of them is honest and legit when they say they are there to be a supporter of mr. trump or at least or to hear him out on what he has to say. >> i want to ask you about something donald trump has been saying. he stood by his comments about islam. he said a lot of the 1.6 billion muslims hate the u.s. here's what he said. >> mr. trump, let me start with you. last night you told cnn "islam hates us." did you mean all 1.6 muslims? >> i mean a lot of them. [ laughter and applause ] >> do you want to clarify the comment at all? >> i've been watching the debate today and they're talking about radical islamic terrorism or radical islam but i will tell you, there's something going on that maybe you don't know about and maybe a lot of other people don't know about but there's tremendous hatred and i will still with what i said to anderson cooper. >> so donald trump doubling down
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on those comments there. but previously he's talked about how he has muslim friends. so this seems like a departure from that. what's he trying to do here? is he feeding off some of the fears that we know americans have? >> we know they don't have fears. there's also a battle within the islamic community themselves, a difference between the good and the bad ones, the people that have come to america as refugees are trying to escape their fellow muslims that are trying to kill them and they're coming over here and those that are come here legally we need to protect them as well as our own american citizens and you go to a lot of these countries that they have escaped from and there's very few christians over there as well so my question for you right now is do -- you know, don't -- when he speaks about those muslims, the muslim community themselves are having to figure out the good from the bad and how do you identify them? he properly stated, it's not an easy identifier. so until the islamic community themselves starts looking at themselves and saying this is
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bad, when you have mosques speak out there that there might be terrorist activities among their member, then you have to paint a broad brush until they actively step out and start turning in some of the rotten within their own groups. >> i want to ask you how this connects to some of -- and i want to point out these are live pictures coming to us from chicago. this is outside of the donald trump rally that is going to be getting under way shortly. you can see a lot of people there upset with various different issues. you can see mexico there on that sign. scottie, he says this about muslims, what he said last night, and at rallies you see disruptions where he's saying "get them out. get them out." he's talking about being a unifying candidate. somehow that something that unifies people? this kind of language? >> but those people are never going to vote for donald trump anyways. they're obviously not going in there to listen to him. we're never going to be able to win them over. their whole goal is to go over there and be rude and disrupt and cause chaos and turmoil -- >> if he's president he would be there president. >> he would be their president.
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i hope they would give him a chance. just a few weeks ago on the streets of chicago we saw black lives matter protesting their own democrat mayor rahm emanuel. these are people that are obviously not happy and instead of sitting there and going for headlines and being inciting i hope they will look deeper into the issues and maybe they will find out mr. trump is more of a unifier and wants to bring business within their communities, wants to bring corporations into urban america and actually rejuvenate the economy within these areas and then maybe you wouldn't have these protests. instead it seems like they're going along with these top -- talk about low informed voters, they're going with these top little soundbiting and getting angry and creating disruption and it's not going to help. >> i cover a lot of rallies and mostly i cover democrats. there are protesters at a lot of rallies. there are protesters at a lot of events. sometimes candidates will say, you know, let them be heard and that's part of the process. ings have the ability for a protester to speak their mind. but this back-and-forth
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ratcheted up fever pitch that is happening isn't happening at other rallies. >> i cover rallies both sides as well. have you ever seen it literally focused on one candidate so much at every rally now? there's going to be protesters and they're getting worse and worse and worse because they know they'll get the media attention. what they don't realize is this is having a reverse effect. this is showing -- this is the anti-politically correct crowd is going this is what we've been fighting. it's almost like the squeaky wheel gets the attention and that's what they're doing but there's still four other wheels on the car that is making the vehicle move forward. >> stick around, we have more to talk about. donald trump is leading in the polls in ohio and florida but these are essential places for him to win if he is going to push forward towards the nomination. we'll talk about that next. and at progressive, we let you compare
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is. you are looking at protesters outside of a donald trump rally chanting "we want bernie." that after dozens of arrests at a trump rally in st. louis. we're back with tea party activist scottie nell hughs of usa radio networks. big tuesday coming up here scottie that we need to talk about. these are all-important races, florida, ohio, delegate-rich contests. he needs these, right, if he's going to secure the republican nomination? >> he definitely needs them. it's funny we're having to go to
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ohio and florida as do or die sedates for two of these candidates. mr. trump will roll on regardless of whether he wins or not. and as i'm sitting here looking at these protesters and you're seeing what he's up against, he's getting hit from all sides. he's getting hit with those from his own party because he's shaken the establishment. these guys are obviously upset with him yet we've never found out what do they want in their protests? what are they wanting from mr. trump? they keep offering these problems, i look at these signs, so they want bernie, go to a bernie sanders rally. it's real simple. what are you actually out there protesting mr. trump for? have you made an appointment or scheduled to meet with him before you schedule these protests inside and outside of his events. so he is getting hit from all sides, brianna. that's why it's very important that ohio and florida, that we hurry up and get ready and get the deal sealed so we can fight the other side which is where i think the real battle will be.
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>> doesn't he really -- you say if he doesn't win ohio or he doesn't win florida he'll chug ahead. doesn't he need to win these states if he wants to avoid a contested convention. >> definitely. if he wants to avoid a contested convention, he duds. he has to win both. that seals the deal. it will be almost impossible for mathematically for anyone to catch up with him. if he doesn't win, it's not the end of the world. he's set much better than the other republican candidates and this goes into this great rural 40 of the republican convention that we've been talking about on whether or not we can have a contested convention if you have to win eight states or not. if mr. trump wins ohio and florida, it's going to be pretty hard to deny him going into the republican convention that nomination. and if it does, it definitely will be a great slap in the face of many americans. so i think that it will be -- i think he's looking great the polls in both of those states. >> historically, it's so important to win ohio. we see that. no gop has won the white house since 1960 without winning ohio.
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what's his pathway to victory if kasich beats him? >> well, he still continues on. kasich -- this would be the first state that i think kasich has -- and this is the first one he would have won or done well in besides being second. you're looking at mr. trump who's done better in this whole process than any other republican candidate in modern day history so the fact we're not already celebrating him being our nominee shows the contention that we have within the republican party. but you know what? i think he still will win ohio. he definitely will come in second but right now the people of ohio have to remember and this is coming out more and more that governor kasich when he was a congressman voted for nafta. one of those agreements that moved several corporations out of ohio and took those jobs outside of the united states. the people of ohio are hurting probably more on main street than any other strait within the midwest. soy think as people are reminded while he might have done some decent things as governor, as a congressman he sold out his own people and signed a trade deal that took jobs outside of them
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and put them in foreign lands. that right there is very important and people don't forget. >> all right, scottie hughes, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. just ahead, strange bedfellows in the gop campaign. ben carson now backing donald trump. and marco rubio tells ohio republicans to vote for kasich. what are the gop game plans ahead of tuesday's crucial contests. and on the democratic side, could bernie sanders turn anger over trade deals into another upset victory on tuesday?
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we are standing by for another trump event in chicago. this is the outside of the event. these are live pictures of protestors who are already there waiting outside. i want to bring in cnn's senior political analyst ron brownst n brownstein, a senior editor at the "atlantic." we also have cnn correspondent ryan lizza and rebecca berg from real clear politics. so trump was asked about his position on violence, we're seeing just the anti-trump fervor there outside of this event in these live pictures. he was asked about his rallies at his press conference in florida this morning. you were with there, what did you think of what he said? >> well, he said essentially what he has been saying, that he doesn't condone violence but he's really not taking responsibility for it, either.
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he thinks because these are big rallies, lots of people, of course there are going to be bad eggs and he's not surprised and that these people are seeking media attention and taking advantage of the big platform that he has. so it's controversial. he's the figure head of his campaign as hillary clinton and others running in this race have pointed out, you set the tone for your campaign and donald trump disagrees, apparently. he thinks that his supporters are setting the tone in this case. >> we've seen this video of this trump supporter in a cowboy had punching a protester at a rally in north carolina. the man has been charged with assault. you've covered a number of presidential elections. what do you make of this kind of violence? >> i was at a lot of trump rallies in december and january and some of them there was violence, some of them there isn't. as rebecca pointed out, it starts on the top. if you set a tone as a
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presidential candidate that does not tolerate violence in any way at your rallies i guarantee trump supporters who are very loyal to him and seem to respect him won't hit protesters. has trump been doing that? no. what did he do last september in alabama where he said that someone should be roughed up, a protester who was kicked and punched. the next day trump was asked about it he said the person should be roughed up. >> the punch in the face comment, right? >> yes. yeah. he backed -- every once in a while he backs off and goes back and forth and plays game but then he's also said when his security guards said someone might throw tomatoes at you at this rally, there was that weird episode and he promised supporters in the audience if someone had a tomato and you punch them i will pay your legal bills. that is not a candidate who is telling his supporters to refrain from violence. that is someone incouraging violence. so it trickles down to his supporters and campaign aides so
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this famous guy with the cowboy hat punches a protester on the way out, everyone cheers. now corey lewandowski, the campaign manager, is accused in a criminal police report in jupiter, florida, of grabbing a reporter, bruising her arm and the trump campaign, of course, has denied this but it would not shock me if your candidate is sort of laissez-faire about violence at his rallies, the campaign manager might thing it's okay to do that. this trickles down to some of the supportsers. i saw one of the trump supporters on our air watching the guy deck that african-american in the face and he sat there and said "oh, that was great. for a 78-year-old man, he's got a good punch." that is outrageous and it all starts at the top with trump. >> ron. i hear you, you're humming. >> yeah, i've been covering presidential campaigns for 30 years. the language donald trump has used about the protest and the response is unprecedented.
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ryan has said he has many comments at the podium and it's precisely why so many republican leaders are concerned that trump could stamp the gop if he is the nominee as the party of racial backlash. particularly to the millennial generation, which is about to eclipse the baby boom as the single largest group of eligible voters, the most diverse voters in american history. one in which tolerance and indplugs all polls are key values for them and one in which donald trump is facing an unfavorable rating of 70% plus in every national poll. so this is just about an extraordinary moment for the gop. trump in every respect is steam rolling toward the nomination precisely as every warning light on the dashboard, as i said yesterday, is blinking red in terms of him as a general election candidate and you have the sense of his campaign in some ways spiraling out of control at these rallies and a candidate who is not doing nearly enough to reel it back
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in. how concerned are they that sths is shattering the party? >> very brianna. you have to look at the growth amend opportunity 3r07b8g, the so-called republican autopsy they published after the 2012 election which is all about pushing the party in an direction that was more inclusive, more sympathetic and people thetic to what voters are dealing with. reaching out the groups like hispanics and pim in ways the party hasn't done before and just in general broadening the party's message to win general elections and what donald trump has done is he has essentially taken the growth and opportunity project and ripped it to shreds and done it -- and succeeded at the same time. so this is completely a panic situation for the republican party because everything that they wanted out of this election, all of the ways they wanted to change their party, many of them thought for the
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better for the benefit of the party in the loerp, donald trump is doing exactly the opposite. >> democrats raising issue, ryan. democrats on the homeland security committee in the house, a republican-led committee, but they're asking the department of homeland security about security following these violent events. >> i think it's a real gray area and hopefully maybe a little bit of pressure on dhs can help people get clarity on what is the secret service's role at this events. i remember this in the 2004 campaign, believe it or not, when john kerry first got secret service there was a big complaint in the press that the secret service were using -- were being used by the campaign to keep us away from the candidate and you know what it's like. you know knew happens. >> get off that chair. >> and it's a gray area and the incentive on the campaign part is once they get secret service they want to use that as a buffer between us and the candidate
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candidates. >> sometimes a reporter who is being told to get away. so the question is are they the muscle, what is it? >> absolutely. >> ryan, ron, rebecca, stick around. we have much more ahead including ron who has a fantastic article in the "the atlantic" about the trump coalition he has built. we'll talk about that ahead.
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we're following breaking news in the race for the white house. the bernie sanders campaign just won a major legal victory in ohio. a judge has issued an order that allows 17-year-olds to vote in tuesday's critical primary which could give sanders a leg up. our senior washington correspondent joe johns has details. tell us about this, joe. >> reporter: hey, brianna. well, bernie sanders was just in toledo and as he was leaving the buckeye state he got information about a big victory for his campaign. the judge in the franklin county court of common pleas has said that he will allow 17-year-olds who will be able by the november general election to vote in the primary. this is something the bernie sanders campaign had been
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pushing to try to get the secretary of state in ohio has issued a direct i saying that shouldn't happen and he also says he intends to appeal that court decision. the bernie sanders campaign put out a statement saying in part "this is a huge victory for 17-year-olds across ohio, their votes for presidential nominees will count when they vote in either tuesday or over the weekend in early voting." so we'll see what happens over the weekend with that. meanwhile, bernie sanders was here in raleigh, north carolina, earlier today hoping to recreate some of the magic that put him over the top in michigan. [ cheers and applause ] tonight, bernie sanders is hitting three states up for grabs tuesday, rallying supporters in north carolina, ohio and illinois. >> we win and do very well when there are large voter turnouts. let's have north carolina help lead this country toward a political revolution. let's have a huge, huge turnout!
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[ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: bernie sanders is looking to hammer home his argument that trade deals have hurt american workers and cost u.s. jobs. >> we need a trade policy which is fair, not unfettered free trade. american workers should not be forced to compete against desperate people who make pennies an hour. >> reporter: the sanders campaign is rolling out new television ads to drive home the message in north carolina and illinoi illinois. >> only one candidate for president has rejected every disastrous deal, bernie sanders. >> reporter: bernie sanders has been trying to draw a contrast with clinton by highlighting her past praise for the transpacific trade deal and support for past agreements such as nafta, but that populist rhetoric on trade deals appears to be resonating
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in both parties. >> horrible trade deal. how stupid is that trade policy? >> i've always opposed tepee peenchts i came out against the tpp. >> if you look at the average worker over the last 12 years, their salary and pay have done down. >> new jobs in manufacturing pay 50% less. >> in the runup to voting next week in illinois, sanders is also going on the offensive against former clinton aide rahm emanuel, the embattled mayor of chicago. the campaign releasing a new ad that targets clinton's ties to emanuel without mentioning her directl directly. >> if you have a candidate who supports someone like our mayors, you have someone not willing to take on the establishment. >> reporter: hillary clinton was back in her role as former first lady, attending a celebration of nancy reagan's life at the reagan library in simi valley, california. she talked about how reagan affected her time in the white house. >> this role is really so
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unique. everyone brings to it up until now her perspective. you have to figure out how to support your husband, his agenda, his presidency but also find a role for yourself. >> so what does the office of the mayor of chicago think of those ads that are critical of him coming out of the sanders' campaign? it's pretty clear they don't want to weigh in on that right now. the communications office in chicago saying no comment for now. brianna, back to you. >> joe johns, thank you so much. let's turn now to our experts for more discussion and analysis on this. rebecca, you heard joe's report there. this ohio judge, this is a big win for bernie sanders. he's issued this order to allow 17-year-olds to vote in this presidential primary. we've seen the polls of how young people are going for sanders over hillary clinton. could this be the difference for him? >> it absolutely could be, brianna. that's why bernie sanders has been pushing hard for this very decision to be reached. he sees 17-year-olds going to be
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18 at the time of the election not being able to vote as a form of disenfranchisement and obviously one that would hurt his campaign because he does very, very well with college-aged students. he's been campaigning for them specifically, has a big presence on campuses and high school campus, not just college when we're talking about 17-year-olds so this is going to be a huge boost for him i would imagine. >> it's like 4-1 where he pulls in the young people compared to hillary clinton. does he have a shot, do you think, ryan, in ohio? could he do a michigan repeat? >> i mean, look, the michigan polls were -- >> so far off. >> hillary clinton was 20 points ahead and bernie sanders won by a few points. in the michigan exit poll, probably more reliable, bernie sanders won 18 to 29-year-olds 80-20. i have a piece coming out in the "new yorker" next week about the sanders' clinton race and one of the nuggets in there is how obsessed jeff weaver, the
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campaign manager, was in iowa with the 17-year-old vote and obsessed with finding lists that could target 17-year-olds. one thing they did in iowa was they found kids who bought class rings, high school class rings so they could target those kids with sanders' messages so, yeah, they're scrapping for every vote, getting the 17-year-olds out. they'll vote 80 to 20 for bernie so it's significant. >> i want to talk to you, ron, about the article you have in the "the atlantic" about donald trump. i think a lot of people wonder who are donald trump's supporters and you found some really interesting finds here about really what this coalition is, who comprises the block of trump supporters. >> well, it's the paradox that the party lead who are skeptical of trump face. many are worried about whether he can be a viable general election candidate. on the other hand, it's clear when you look at who is supporting him, it's an insurrection from within. it's not a revolt from outside of the party. there are republicans critical of trump who wanted to believe
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that he is being propelled forward by this influx of independent and democratic voters into the republican process. well, there's no question that turnout is up enormously over 2012. 60% higher in the same state, 45b9.5 million votes so far. but brianna, there's no evidence that the composition of that electorate is changing. if you look at the 15 states with exit poll, in eight of them, the share of the vote cast by self-identified republicans is up from 2012 not down. there are only five states where it's changed -- reduced by more than three points or more. if you look at the cumulative result in all of these 15 sates done by the republican polling firm, public opinion strategies, it's unchanged. two-thirds of the voters are republicans. and what that means is that trump is building his coalition primarily from within the existing republican electorate, particularly the blue-collar side of it that no one has ever effectively mobilized this well before and i think what that means is we're seeing both a shift of power within the party toward blue-collar wing of the party which has been the absolute foundation of his support but also that it may be
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tougher to deny him the nomination if he has the most delegates but not a majority because it's harder to make the arguments this some outside in hostile takeover. >> ron, ryan, rebecca, thank you so much for joining the panel where we only allow people with "r" names to give us their political analysis." cnn will be holding a town hall with tv one. you can tune into that on sunday night to see hillary clinton and bernie sanders take these questions straight from voters. there are new developments today in the flint water crisis. michigan governor rick snider is calling for an immediate investigation into the state's department of health and human services. this latest investigation comes as snider prepares to testify in front of the house oversight committee in washington. that will be next week. the citizens of flint are in desperate need of assistance so go to and you can learn more about what you can do to help.
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new tonight, cnn has learned that north korea is frantically searching for a missing submarine. kim jong-un's regime could be using undersea missile launches as a means of avoiding detection. what are you hearing? >> good evening. north korea has everything from little mini subs to much larger, more offensive undersea boats. tonight, what they lost and what capability is at risk is a major mystery. off the east coast of north korea, u.s. spy satellites, aircraft, and ships have been secretly watching for days as the north korean navy searches for its missing submarine cnn has learned from several u.s. officials familiar with the latest information. the regime lost contact with the submarine earlier in the week. it may be adrift undersea or
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have sunk by now the officials say. the u.s. believes the submarine suffered some type of failure during an exercise. the u.s. navy is paying close attention because it knows north korea is trying to perfect launching missiles from undersea to avoid u.s. eyes. >> they're workin on the submarine and we're watching that closely. >> reporter: this as a huge u.s.-south korean military exercise continues. kim jong-un is showing off his military might and defiance shooting off missiles. the crucial item to put on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could attack the u.s. a new alarm sounded by the commander in charge of defending the united states.
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u.s. war plans are based on the assumption north korea may have the warhead. they already have the missile. all leading the military to maintain they have the capability for the strike. >> i assess they have the ability to put the missile in range of the u.s. and canada. >> reporter: the pentagon has been warning that there may not be enough u.s. defensive missiles to protect against a north korean launch as the north korean program grows. the u.s. may need more fire power on its own. >> thank you so much for that report. and before we do go, we'd like to share a few moments from the funeral of nancy reagan. she was laid to rest this afternoon at the reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. there were more than 1,000 people who gathered to pay their
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final respects to the one of the most influential and beloved first ladies. the stories they told reflected a life filled with love, filled with humor, filled with wisdom. first lady michelle obama and former first families filled the ranks there. they offered tribute to a woman they considered a mentor and an icon and a friend. nancy reagan is being buried alongside her husband, ronald reagan. she was 94 years old. thank you so much for watching us tonight. i'm brianna keilar. join us monday in "the situation room." "erin burnett outfront" starts right now.
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next, breaking news. security on high alert at a donald trump rally tonight. protesters gathering in the streets of chicago as the frontrunner is about to speak live. marco rubio says vote for john kasich in ohio. yes, i didn't misspeak. governor kasich is my guest tonight. jeb bush's brother on why he is working, campaigning, and fighting for ted cruz. let's go "outfront." >> good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront tonight" breaking news. protesters lining up outside a donald trump rally. the gop frontrunner about to speak to a big crowd at the university of illinois. it reportedly started forming at 3:00 a.m. this morning. it's now 6:00


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