tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 29, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
next door in "the situation room." thanks for watching. >> happening now, battery charge, donald trump's campaign manager charged with mess demeanor battery allegedly grabbing and pushing a reporter all caught on video. trump is accusing the reporter of grabbing him and asking if he can press charges. hear live from trump. facing the voters, three republican candidates, one crucial state, and a room full of voter asking very hard questions about the real issues in the campaign. counting down to a critical moment in the fight for delegates. and the republican nomination. terror messages, the fbi cracks the code, finally gaining access to secret information inside a cell phone belonging to the san bernardino terrorists. are there clues that may stop the next terror attack? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
this is cnn breaking news. >> following breaking news, another very unexpected twist of the presidential race. moments ago, donald trump insisted he will stick by his campaign manager, who trump says is being unfairly and very seriously maligned. corey lewandowski turned himself in this morning and was charged with simple battery. police released this video which trump said his campaign supplied which appear to show him pushing michelle fields. trump says lewandowski is quote absolutely innocent of the charge. trump is hoiling a rally this hour and will take questions from wisconsin voters and cnn's anderson cooper at a cnn presidential town hall later tonight. correspondents, analysts and guests there l. have full coverage of the top stories. cnn's jim acosta, at a trump rally in janesville, wisconsin, right now. what is trump saying about the
charge against corey lewandowski, his campaign manager? >> reporter: right, wolf, donald trump just finished taking questions from reporters at an impromptu news conference here in wisconsin after he landed in the state. the gop front-runner is standing by corey lewandowski, calling him a fine man. here's what he had to say a few moments ago. >> i think if you look at it, he was trying to block her, that's the way i view it. she's grabbing me and asking questions. she's not even supposed to ask questions. the press conference lasted a long time, like 45 minutes, and i was leaving, and she runs up and you can see, there are pictures where -- i can show you some, i have some in the other room -- there are pick doors where she's grabbing my arm and i'm going like this trying to get her off. it's a disgrace. i'm shocked by it. i'll stick by people. it not even politically good for me to do but when somebody's
maligned so unfairly as that, i will stick by you. >> reporter: now donald trump is supposed to speak at this rally at any moment here in wisconsin. as you can hear he's doing heavy duty damage control after corey lewandowski was arrested and charged with battery. police in florida released this surveillance video to make their case donald trump's campaign manager, corey lewandowski, broke the law, when he grabbed a reporter earlier this month. this notice to appear in court issued to lewandowski states, probable cause exists to charge lewandowski with one count of simple battery. the reporter grabbed by lewandowski, michelle fields, is feeling vindicated moments after trump tweeted lewandowski my campaign manager and a decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. look at tapes, nothing there. she fired back -- my story never changed seriously, just stop lying. for weeks the breitbart reporter pointed a photo showing bruises on her arm and this audio of the
alleged incident. >> is that corey? >> yeah. that was insane. you should have felt how hard he grabbed me. my gosh of. >> reporter: the spokeswoman countered sometimes campaign events get physical. >> this is no different, for example, when i am in the middle the scrum and get smacked around by television networks. i don't sue the tnetwork. >> reporter: interrupt stood by his campaign manager. >> everybody said nothing happened. perhaps she made it up. >> reporter: lewandowski tweeting to field you are totally delusional. i never touched you. as a matter of fact i have never met you. after the arrest the trump campaign and lewandowski's lawyers released identical statements saying lewandowski's absolutely innocent of the charge. he will enter a plea of not
guilty and looks forward to his day in court. he's completely confident he will be exonerated. coming on the heels of outbreaks of violence at trump events and the recent war of words over the candidates' wives. >> this is the consequence of the culture of the trump campaign, abusive culture when you have a campaign built on personal insults, on attacks, and now physical violence, that has no place in a political campaign, it has no place in our democracy. >> reporter: that's completely inappropriate. it could have been one of my daughters, for that matter. i think i've said what i have to say, which is if it was me, if i was in the circumstance, i would take some sort of action, either suspension or firing. >> reporter: now the trump campaign insists lewandowski was not arrested and in fact a mugshot was not taken but the jupiter police department handling the case say he was and
as for trump, a spokeswoman for the gop front-runner says he will continue on with his plans to speak at this rally that's coming up here -- scheduled to come up here in a few moments and participate in the cnn town hall later on this evening. >> thank you. as we await the start of donald trump's campaign rally in wisconsin, let's go to sara murray, she's at site of tonight's cnn republican town hall. that's in milwaukee. sarah, you've been on the road with trump as a reporter. now for several months. trump insisted, once again, his campaign manager did nothing wrong, insists the misdemeanor charge says nothing about the culture of his campaign. what was your react? you surprised by the latest development? >> reporter: you know, i'm not surprised by it, wolf. we've seen that donald trump has been fiercely loyal to corey lewandowski and corey lahas bee fiercely loyal to donald trump in return. corey started with the trump campaign when political
operatives were refusing to take the job. they thought donald trump was a joke, they thought his campaign would go nowhere. we've seen after michelle fields made the initial allegations that corey was standing there off stage next to donald trump when he was holding press conferences. trump recently thanked corley publicly after election night. we have continued to see donald trump remain defiant in the allegations and plans to back him up no matter what. we saw that in the gaggle when donald trump said i don't discard people. >> you're where the presidential tonight hall will take place with all three remaining republican presidential candidates. how do you think this might be addressed whether the voters stand up and ask questions about it, whether anderson asks questions about it. clearly, they all have strong views. >> reporter: that's a great question. i think it's clear that because it has become a story, donald trump will have to address it,
whether it comes from the audience or whether it comes from anderson cooper. i think trump has given us a preview he plans to say michelle fields grabbed him first and overblew the incident and overplaying her hand. the challenge terrtrump is to t issues matter to voters and whether he can prove to voters this is not emblemic 0 huh he runs his campaign. this is a narrative that donald trump has tried to be beating this unfavorability among women voters generally. that's something people in wisconsin say could hurt him here. his goal, going into tonight, has got to be move beyond the narrative and make his case to come out on top of ted cruz here. >> sara murray at republican presidential town hall that will start at 8:00 p.m. eastern. joining us now, in "the situation room," one of donald trump's key supporters, thanks
very much for joining us. how big of a problem is this charge against corey lewandowski for the trump campaign? >> i think at first when we first heard this, there was a lot to digest. i think the initial response would have been better if corey would have said i'm sorry in a tweet instead of causing the firestorm in the tit tat battle. now that we've had a few hours to review it, there are inconsistencies starting to come out. the daily mail just did a story they're posting anonymous member of trump's secret service campaign is saying details saying that fields touched trump twice and warned not to by agents to stop. and lewandowski had to be a step in. she crossed between agents after being told not to. if that's true, that might back up why corey decided to step in.
also, you want to look at possibly looking at inconsistencies of the photos. look at video you played it shows her shirt is being pulled like the top of her shirt which would suggest she was pulled on the top part of the arm yet the pictures she tweeted was on her wrist, on her forearm. there are questions that still are going to need to be out there. those people anti-mr. trump has already made corey be guilty and that whole idea of being innocent until proven guilty seems to be out of window. >> if the reporter, michelle fields was on two occasions reaching out inappropriately touching donald trump and she had been warned -- we don't know if it true -- but warned by the secret service agents don't do that, isn't that their job to prevent her touching a candidate not the campaign manager? >> you have to wonder why corey's reaching across a secret service agent.
if miss feels was going to be assaults and in some sort of trouble, why wouldn't that secret service agent step in to protect her as much as mr. trump or corey from that happening? you had hundreds of people in the room. we did not get video for at least 24, 48 hours of this event happening. let me say, michelle fields is a great reporter, she pushed, she is a very, very aggressive report somewhere does a great job. if she was pushing, in fear and going to -- her life was in turmoil or danger, don't you think somebody else would have stepped in and said that's not right? there's enough men and women that should have said something if it was that dramatic enough to warrant a charge. last year in 2013, 23,000 cases reported of significant injury due to assault at work. i wonder if those of 23,000, how many filed police reports and how many just because of a few bruises on the job. >> let's listen to donald trump just moments ago aboard his
plane he was answering reporters' questions. he said this about the bruises. >> i think when people see that tape and they take a look at that tape and take a look at the initial statement, before she knew she was on tape, take a look at that, you take a look at her initial statement, it sounded like she got thrown out of a building. you take a look at that, excuse me -- >> she did get bruises. >> i don't know if there were bruises from that. how do you know those bruises weren't there before? >> that's what the police said. >> i don't know what the police said. i'm not a lawyer. >> you heard what he said, he's not a lawyer. how do you know the bruises were from when lewandowski grabbed her, touched her arm? your reaction. >> we don't know either way. but in this case, i do know both people involved. just like in the previous interview with amanda carpenter who i respect so much who brought the idea, this is not just slandering me, this is not politics, you're slandering my
family, i'm a wife, i have children. this has gotten so dirty. the same thing said for corey. corey is an amazing father of four children and amazing devoted husband if you get to know him. a man of faith. so you know, that shows how sad this whole political campaign has gone, it's not just going after the candidates. we're now trying to attempt to smear families and destroy families and that is not the republican party i belong to. i hope this is the last incident in both candidates. both senator cruz and mr. trump to say, put this aside, go back to foe cutting on issues because it's not about us, it not just talking us. we're destroying families now that are not only going to affect people but children for generations to come. >> we showed pictures of the bruises on her arm she tweeted after the incident. she says those were done by corey lewandowski. he originally insisted he never touched her, he tweeted, at michelle fields you are totally delusional. i never touched you.
i have never met you. video shows he did touch her, right? >> there was -- there was close proximity until you zoom in. as i said, i wish corey would say whether or not it happened it's unfortunate, i apologize if i did that. in this case apology would have gone a very long way. unfortunately, i know apologies and apologetic administration does not resonate well in the trump campaign, whether warranted or not. >> stand by. more information coming in. we'll take a quick break. we'll be right back.
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standing by for a donald trump rally in janesville, wisconsin. live pictures there trump's campaign under fire tonight after a top aide charged with misdemeanor battery. trump is defending his campaign manager, telling him to never settle the charge. talking about corey lewandowski. back with scottie nell hughes. this is not the first time, as you know, that corey lewandowski has faced accusations of being overly aggressive. also in march, after this first incident, lewandowski was caught on camera appearing to grab a protester by his collar during a rally in tucson, arizona. we're showing viewers pictures. we will show video of that in a moment. there it is right there. so, i guess the bottom line question, lewandowski now a liability for trump? >> well, i don't know about a liability. point this out, yes, prior to
secret service coming on lewandowski was part of the body men, people that helped secure mr. trump going from place to place. and he does -- i'll be the first to say, he has a bit of a hot head sometimes but that's because look what his background was. he was a state trooper in new hampshire, he does have law enforcement training and i think once you have that kind of train, it's hard to put that away. that's what makes this interesting and why this is controversial, wolf. now he is a campaign director. this is not something traditionally you see amongst the campaigns as campaign directors out in the crowd talking with people, interacting whether positively or negatively. the trump campaign, it been nontraditional. it hasn't followed the same stereo points and every other presidential campaign has. there's good and bad with that. corey, this is going to change how much the media can be part of any presidential campaign going forward. next time mr. trump decides to do a casual walk through, which
could be a nightmare for secret service agents, a casual walk through to say hi to folks, next time he will second guess that and be afraid there's not as much availability to press after events like this. >> senator today and governor john kasich reacted to the charge against lewandowski today. listen to this -- >> it's a very sad development and this is the consequence of the culture of the trump campaign. the abusive culture when you have a campaign that is built on personal insults, on attacks, now physical violence. that has no place in a political campaign, no place in our democracy. >> i don't know this guy. i don't know exactly what happened. my understanding is that the report is that he grabbed somebody and that's frankly totally and completely inappropriate. it could have been one of my daughters, for that matter.
look, i think i've said what i have to say, which is if it was me, if i was in the circumstance, i would take some sort of action, either suspension or firing. >> go ahead. your response? >> of course, this is another glob of mud that they can throw at the candidate, the front-runner, and hope they can continue to smear him. if this person's name was mitch fields, do you think that this would be an issue? do you think there would be police reports? is it because there's this smear against mr. trump as being anti-woman or having an issue with women, when you look at the facts he does have more women at top of his organizations, the more he has first female project manager built his sky scraper in new york and we've seen what he has done to glorify his owner daughter in the business world, well deserved actions speak louder than worlds the other guys are trying to use against him. >> the police report, the charge, which was filed today,
jupiter, florida, concluded with these words, and i'll read them to you, based on the above-described investigation, probable cause exists to charge corey lewandowski, and they cite his date of birth, wit one count of simple battery, in that he did intentionally touch michelle fields, her date of birth, against the will of michelle fields. that's not -- that's the police making that accusation, that charge. i'll give you the final word. >> and that's a simple accusation to make right there. information i think it's obvious. she would not want him to pull her a from mr. trump when asking a question. the question, was she supposed to be there in the first place in should she have been there pushing mr. trump or was she already warned, please stay away, this is not the time, we're trying to get him out. actions have quconsequences. we'll find that out in court. >> thank you. watch later tonight, 8:00 p.m. eastern, anderson cooper moderates the cnn republican presidential town hall. the final three republican
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right now but protesters have shown up. we'll have coverage of this. janesville, wisconsin hometown of the house speaker, paul ryan. also counting down to tonight's cnn republican town hall in milwaukee, wisconsin. that's not too far away. following breaking news, donald trump strongly depending his campaign manager, corey lewandowski, who is facing a misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly grabbing and pushing a proper reporter. ted slamming the abusive culture of utrump's campaign. sunlen serfaty is joining us. what else is he saying? >> reporter: wolf, senator cruz is calling it sad and unfortunate, really not mincing words at all. also trying to portray this as a pattern of the trump campaign, one that he basically is saying comes from the top down, it comes from donald trump himself. but senator cruz is making a very notable, important, very quick pivot as well. as he's talking about the drama
of today and around the trump campaign pivoting back to issues and saying, look, my campaign is talking about opportunity, my campaign is talking about jobs. so really trying to paint a clear contrast between the two leading campaigns right now. and this is awe real recalculation of strategy ta we've seen from the cruz campaign on the ground here in wisconsin laser focused on the issues. today in his campaign event this morning, senator cruz debuted new branding of the campaign events with big words up, bold, caps, saying jobs, freedom, security, trying to refocus on the issues. kro cruz campaign sees an opening as one candidate focused on the issues. >> donald trump arriving at that rally. showing an overhead shot in janesville, wisconsin. how crucial is wisconsin for ted cruz? it's one week from today, next tuesday. >> well, that's right. it is crucial for ted cruz
certainly in the math here. he has to keep pace with donald trump in terms of the delegate counts that's important to strategy overall. but certainly it is much more crucial, i would argue, for the momentum. the campaign is entering a phase where there's a big gap between the primary contests. they're not going to come as fast as we've seen them in recent weeks and months. this grabbing hold on that momentum coming out of wisconsin so important for any candidate but for ted cruz as he's trying to argue that he is alternative to donald trump. he has to walk away with firm grasp of the argument that he's the alternative as he's trying to argue that republicans are rallying behind his campaign. >> thanks very much. sunlen serfaty reporting for us. showing viewers live pictures of protesters outside the rally in janesville, wisconsin, donald trump is now on the scene, speaking shortly there. joining us now in "the situation room," our cnn political
commentator ana navarro, our politics executive he editor, mark preston, peter bin heart in a joey jackson. this charge against corey lewandowski. >> it certainly hasn't been a good day today for donald trump. but it's still unclear how much it's going to hurt his campaign. he's had several other controversial instants that happened over the past six or seven months and seems to come out stronger. he held a news conference with reporters on the plane, he's going to stand by corey lewandowski. even though it might not be politically good for him, he's going to do it. he doesn't leave people behind. this is the tone and rhetoric that gets the donald trump supporters to stay with him and stick with him. the concern that if i was in the trump campaign i would be worried about those centrists
republicans who might be going towards his campaign but now seeing incident like this and might be having second thoughts. >> strong defense of donald trump of core corey lewandowski of his campaign manager. >> he's taking a page out of the donald trump play book, what -- >> of his own page book. what he's been doing for the last ten months, he does not back down, he does not apologize, admit mistakes. he continues on and barrels on. i think it's time to be a unity candidate. he could be the republican nominee. he's got to figure out a way to bring republicans like me into the fold. >> is that doable? >> with me, probably not. but with others, probably yes. in the same way supporters will double down with this kind of attitude some of us who are his opponents will double don't in opposing him when we see this kind of violence, this kind of
reaction, this environment that this campaign promotes and has enabled for months. it over and over again that it's happening and distressing for those of us who love democracy, love the process, to see things that frankly we see in places like cuba and latin america but not the united states. you don't man handle reporters, you don't man handle protesters when you're part of a campaign. >> peter, i'm anxious to get your reaction, especially what you think the loyal base among conservatives, republicans, independents, maybe so-called reagan democrats when he shows this pierce loyalty to his campaign manager. >> his base has been loyal since he began running last year. the problem is that even though as his base has remained with him, the rest of america has become increasing will i hostile. his -- the level -- disapproval levels amongst women are approaching 70%.
so, in a republican primary, especially when he doesn't have to win majority of the vote and when he's running against ted cruz who has a lot of his own problems in winning among moderate nonevangelical voters in the north, sure, he may be able to win wisconsin and win the nomination. where a lot of smart republicans have come to terms with is that this is repelling so many people who are not his core supporters, that his chances of winning the nomination, hillary clinton is beating him with white women. mitt romney killed barack obama with white women. if donald trump cannot beat hillary clinton with white women, and right now he can't, he has no shot of winning the general election. >> talk about the law, joey. you're a lawyer, a legal analyst. you have taken a close look at video, the police they say there's probable cause there to file the charge, what they call simple battery though there may have been a little touching going earlier from her to him and all of that. what's your analysis.
is there legal basis to charge corey lewandowski with misdemeanor simple battery charge? >> certainly a legal basis. the issue is whether or not it will stick. like politics law's about competing narratives that carry the day. so the prosecutor's narrative is what the statute says, the law says battery is when you touch someone and don't have consent to do so. that represents a problem for him in this instance. there's no requirement in the statute that there be any injury, so bruises or no bruises become irrelevant. the law's more complicated than that. and the defense perspective, would urge a judge or jury to evaluate. what was the purpose of the touching? should she have been in that particular location? was she there, was she authorized? was she getting too close to the candidate? should she have been getting to close to the candidate? did he have a need to touch her to remove her from him? in addition to purpose it urged
upon a judge or jury to evaluate the severity, a simple grab. are we going to put people in jail for grabbing each other? would we all not be in jail? whether it's required under statute or not, what was the severity of this? bruising and you're reporting it three days after the fact? those are narratives coming in to play. in response to the question, certainly probable cause but as a mat or of standard practice and prosecutorial discretion, should the prosecutor be moving forward in the instance in a case like this? >> police recommended. one point i want to get your expertise, joey, in the complaint that says incident occurred friday march 11th, she waited until tuesday, march 8th, she waited three days. the defense argue that's a problem going forward with the case. what do you say? >> certainly will. from a prosecutor's perspective it doesn't matter if i went on friday and happened tuesday,
it's the first opportunity she went to present the charge. it of no moment she waited three days. of course the defense's position is you claim the bruising. now, on the one hand, bruises develop in three days and the other hand, how do we know those bruises are legitimate and the result of what he did? not that bruising at all is an element of the charge, meaning no bruising is required but it goes to credibility. if it was offensive, if you were not consenting to it, if it was outrageous, why would you not report it immediately? i end where i began. it's competing narratives in law. what narrative will carry the day? that's going to depend upon ultimately how it moves forward. >> everyone, stand by. there's more to assess. let's take a quick break. we'll be right back. (vo) beyond natural grain free pet food is committed to truth on the label. when we say real meat is the first ingredient,
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standing by to hear from donald trump, getting ready to address a rally in janesville, wisconsin, stay tuned for that. the democratic presidential candidates, also campaigning in the crucial midwestern battleground of wisconsin. our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny's on the campaign trail. on the democratic side, what's the latest? >> reporter: well, wolf, hillary clinton weighing if a few moments ago to reporters in lacrosse saying the ultimate responsibility for corey lewandowski rests with donald trump.
for the tone and the rhetoric of the campaign. of course, by now, hillary clinton hoped to be focusing on donald trump or the republican nominee. but of course she still has a hot race on her hands with bernie sanders. >> reporter: the democratic fight for wisconsin is on. as hillary clinton tries to look ahead, bernie sanders is working to block her path. >> we won, have won 6 out of the last 7 elections, often by landslide victories. that's called momentum. >> reporter: wisconsin battleground will help determine the strength of sanders' argument to stay in the race until the end. in the badger state today, it seemed like groundhog day. clinton and sanders making familiar cases. >> i'm going to keep talking about this. >> reporter: for clinton, it was on guns. >> i pledge to you, if i'm so fortunate enough to be elected president, i'm going to keep talking about it and acting on it and working. >> reporter: appearing with mothers of gun violence victims,
and suggesting sanders is weak on the issue. >> there are a lot of powerful lobbies, don't get me wrong, wall street, drugs, big oil, nothing is more powerful than the gun lobby. >> reporter: his rival was too close to wall street and big campaign contributors. >> i'm not wasting my time going to rich people's homes begging them for campaign contributions. i'd rather be here with you in appleton than begging billionaires for their money. >> reporter: in the middle of it all a raging debate over debates. sanders calling for another debate before april 19th new york primary. >> i don't know why the clinton campaign is afraid to debate in new york. >> reporter: the clinton campaign calling it a publicity stunt for a candidate locked in second place. perhaps, but that's what clinton did eight years ago. >> i'll debate any time, anywhere. look, i'm so sleep deprived it
doesn't matter. any time, anywhere. i'll show up. >> reporter: back then, barack obama declined. like she's doing now. a few moments ago, wolf, she did tell reporters in lacrosse our campaign is open to debate. no details set yet. it all hinges on what happens in wisconsin, the key primary one week from today. bernie sanders is coming here to a rally to the wisconsin state fair grounds he's been doing big rallies across the state and thinks wisconsin could be a winning place for him next tuesday. >> thanks very much, jeff zeleny reporting to us. note to viewers, stay with cnn, a special interview coming up with senator bernie sanders, that's later tonight, 7:00 p.m. eastern on erin burnett out front. standing by to hear from donald trump. he's about to speak at a campaign rally in janesville, wisconsin. we'll be right back.
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counterterrorism officials digging into unanswered questions to recent attacks in the united states and europe and frustrated by a missing piece, data from cell phones and computers belonging to the terrorist attackers. classified new hacking techniques could be giving investigators a huge boost. brian todd is joining us. he's got details. what are you learning? >> wolf, tonight the fbi is taking the offensive in two high-profile electronic counterterror operations. law enforcement officials tell cnn the bureau with the help of an outside hacker timely broke
into the phone of one of the san bernardino shooters, syed farook and tonight across the atlantic, belgian officials have enlisted the fbi's help in combing through the computers and phones of suspects in the brussels attacks. belgian officials scrambling to track the terror cell that struck in brussels could not access some of the data on laptops and cell phones they confiscated in raids. tonight, they're getting crucial help from the fbi. u.s. officials telling cnn computers, hard drives, cell phones of brussels suspects are being combed through for clues by the bureau. >> think of the phone or the computer as sort of a memory card, right? so it's going to link investigators to everyone they were in contact with, what websites were they looking at, how were they devising their plan? >> reporter: "the wall street journal" reports a laptop computer seized in brussels led investigators to a nephew of two brothers who blew themselves up in the suicide attacks last week.
"the journal" reports they found traces of explosives in the nephew's hair and clothing. the fbi could help the belgians crack the terrorists' cell phone security codes. that could be even more critical tonight since analysts say belgian authorities are at a disadvantage with human intelligence. >> the level of the intelligence within the community of jihadists, those circles here, it's poor and they admit as much that they don't have the resources to really get inside these communities which are, if you like, almost hemetically sealed off from the rest of society. >> reporter: meantime tonight, the fbi is claiming success in a terrorism case on american soil. the fbi was able to break into the iphone used by san bernardino shooter syed farook. they did so with the help of a third-party hacker not with apple's help even though the bureau had been battling apple in court to get the company's help. law enforcement officials are not saying what they found on a farook's phone.
apple wants to know how the phone was breached. >> the company is gambling no one else will discover this information and use it to attack apple's customers. i personally feel like the government should report this information. cyber security is more important than the fbi surveillance capabilities. >> so well the fbi share those hacking methods with apple? law enforcement officials are not commenting on that to us and they're not revealing the identity of the third-party hacker who helped the fbi break into syed farook's phone. wolf? >> really amazing fascinating stuff. brian, tracking the brussels suspects could be difficult because they're using lower-tech methods to communicate, right? >> always seem one step ahead here, wolf. terrorists know law enforcement is getting better at tracking and breaking encryption. sometimes they meet in person to communicate, use couriers and after the paris affects those
terrorists had sometimes communicated with primitive prepaid phones activated shortly before they were used and tossed. >> interesting stuff, amazing stuff i must say and maybe why relatives are involved in operations as well because they can talk amongst themes. brian todd, thank you. coming up, donald trump is about to speak. we're monitoring protests outside that rally. they're beginning to develop. you're looking at live pictures right now. we're going to have details. much more coming up. it begins from the second we're born. because, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. it needs to be earned every day. using wellness to keep away illness. and believing a single life can be made better by millions of others. as a health services and innovation company optum powers modern healthcare by connecting every part of it. so while the world keeps searching for healthier we're here to make healthier happen.
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>> week before that state's pivotal primary. right now, he and his gop rivals, they're preparing to make their pitches at a cnn town hall event. and hijacked. the harrowing hours that airline passengers and crew members were held hostage before their frantic escape with one person fleeing through the cockpit window. tonight, we have new details on the motive and fresh questions about airport security. 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. >> let's get to the breaking news tonight. donald trump's strongly defending his campaign manager corey lewandowski who now stands charged with simple battery against the reporter. we heard trump just a little while ago say lewandowski is being treated very unfairly and the gop presidential front-runner's disputing reporter michelle field's account of what happened. police in florida released new video of the incident at a campaign event this month. field says lewandowski yanked her left arm after she asked trump a question leaving her bruised. trump says fields grabbed him and lewandowski simply was trying to block her. the trump camp says lewandowski is absolutely innocent and will be exonerated. but trump's opponents say it's an example of abusive behavior that's part of the culture of his campaign. right now, we're standing by for a trump rally in wisconsin. right in the midst of this latest new controversy.
i'll talk about all of this with trump supporter, amarosa manigold, joining us live along with kcorrespondents and analyss as we cover the breaking news. up first, cnn's sunlen serfaty in wisconsin covering the republican race for the white house right now. sunlen, trump spoke at length to reporters about the charge against lewandowski. update our viewers. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. with reporters, donald trump making it very clear that he is standing by his campaign manager, calling him tonight a fine person and casting his role as what he describes more of an intermediary in this controversial incident and trump tonight making new charges saying this reporter put her hands on him as he tried to leave the room and ask him a question. and even alleging that he will potentially bring charges. donald trump tonight jumping to his campaign manager's defense. >> i'm sticking up for a person because i'm not going to let a person's life be destroyed over
somebody that we have on tape. >> reporter: trump offering his support following the arrest of corey lewandowski on charges of simple battery. stemming from a march 8th incident where me grabbed the arm of reporter michelle fields. the moment in question was capture on newly released police video. fields wearing a light colored jacket is seen in the clip approaching trump but appears to be pulled from behind by lewandowski. trump today calling the charges unfair, saying lewandowski is being maligned. >> i told him, i said you should never settle this case, you should go all the way. i think they've really hurt a very good person and i know it would be very easy for me to discard people. i don't discard people. i stay with people. >> reporter: the trump campaign also issuing a statement saying, "lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge. he will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. he's completely confident that he will be exonerated." trump's rivals are not holding back. ted cruz denouncing the alleged violence.
>> it's a very sad development, and this is the consequence of the culture of the trump campaign. the abusive culture. when you have a campaign that is built on personal insults, on attacks and now physical violence. that has no place in a political campaign. it has no place in our democracy. >> reporter: trying to cast it as a pattern with trump's campaign. >> it is a really unfortunate development but i do think it helps clarify for the voters what the trump campaign is all about. >> reporter: and john kasich says that's a pattern his campaign would not stand for. >> if it was me, if i was in this circumstance, i would take -- i would take some sort of action. either suspension or firing. >> reporter: fields filed a police report three days after the incident. released today, it reveals that she told police that, "she felt someone yank her left arm. she fell back but caught herself from falling." the report also noted that
fields showed police her left forearm which revealed bruising from what appeared to be several finger marks indicating a grabbing injury. fields posted a photo of the apparent injury in a tweet two days after it allegedly occurred. she also spoke about the incident in tv interviews. >> obviously no one wants to be touched and violated like that. i would just ask him to put himself in my view shshoes and if i was his daughter. >> reporter: lewandowski, tweeting at fields, "i never touched you, as a matter of fact i have never even met you." attacking her credibility calling fields an attention seeker who is totally delusional. and corey lewandowski turned himself in this morning in jupiter, florida. the trump campaign denying he was arrested. he has been released and his court date is set for may 4th, of course, all of this unfolding just one week, wolf, before the crucial wisconsin primary. >> very dramatic. all right, sunlen, thank you. the charge against corey
lewandowski is creating a lot more controversy for the trump campaign as the republicans face wisconsin voters in a cnn town hall later tonight. our political reporter sara murray is at the event site for us in milwaukee right now. sara, how will the campaign navigate all of this tonight? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. donald trump is going it have to come out here and deal with this issue and i think in this gaggle he held with reporters earlier, he gave us a preview of how he was going to do this. he sort of started to turn some of the blame around on michelle fields and suggests maybe she was overblowing this incident saying that it was impossible to say where those bruises on her arms may have come from. >> when people see that tape and they take a look at that tape and take a look at her initial statement before she knew she was on tape, take a look at that, you have to see it, you take a look at her initial statement, it sounded like she got thrown out of a building. you take a look at that and you -- excuse me? >> she did get bruises on her
arm. >> i don't know if they were bruises from that. how do you know those bruises weren't there before? >> that's what the police -- >> i don't know what the police said. how do you know those bruises weren't there before? i'm not a lawyer. she said she had a bruise on her arm. i mean, to me, you know, if you're going to get squeezed, wouldn't you think she would have yelled out a scream or something if she has bruises on her arm? take a look at her -- take a look at her facial expression. her facial expression doesn't even change. so, you know, you say bruises, how did they get there? who put them there? i don't know that he put them there. >> reporter: now, as usual when donald tru donald trump encounters controversy, he's not backing down from it. his challenge tonight is going to be to pivot from that to other issues voters in wisconsin want to talk about, questions they have for him. right now he is locked in a tight race here with ted cruz, ted cruz may have the upper hand. it he's hoping to sway people tonight, he has to set them at ease about this controversy and field other questions. >> lots of questions out there.
sa sara, thanks very much. donald trump just started speaking at this rally in janesville, wisconsin. i want to listen in briefly, hear what he has to say. >> right? and i said, i can't believe it. then i have millions of votes more. he says, i'm the only one that can outvote him. i'm saying, but i have, like, millions of votes more. i'll tell you something, so important. there is something happening. it's like a movement. it's incredible. it's a movement. and we're part of the movement. it's not me. i'm a messenger, to be honest. i'm a messenger, and this is something that's so special and so amazing and it's on the cover of "time" magazine, it's on the cover of every newspaper. it's something that has never -- that has maybe never happened and they're saying it's a phenomena. sometimes they say i'm a phenomena. i'm not. the message is what we want. we want jobs. we want jobs. we want trade deals that are smart deals, not stupid deals. you know, wisconsin, i wrote
down some notes. look, i thought -- it's one of those things. look, i wrote down some notes and it's like, it's like devastating. so walker came out today, i wrote down notes about wisconsin. [ booing ] look, he certainly can't endorse me after what i did to him in the race, right? but look at this. by the summer of 2015, wisconsin was facing a $2.2 billion 2-year budget deficit. that's terrible. by the way, this is out of books. this isn't trump. this is out of books. total state debt $45 billion. maybe somebody is going to tell me that is wrong. $45 billion, very high, one of the higher ones. 20,000 fewer people in labor force in wisconsin than seven years ago. even though population has grown by 100,000. so your population is higher and now i wouldn't have done this,
but would he endorse cruz? am i going to say he's doing a great job? he's not doing a great job. he comes in in his motorcycle jacket. big harley. i love harleys. right? the motorcycle guys like trump. they really like trump. [ cheering ] and he doesn't look like a motorcycle guy to me. i'm sorry. i'm sorry. unemployment rate, well, they say -- that can't be possible. unemployment rate they have down 20%? that can't be possible. what? is it 20%? effective or regular? i mean, just -- effective unemployment rate, 20%. hey, this is out of the big book. 800,000 food stamp recipients. middle class hit very, very hard due to loss of manufacturing jobs. these are the stats, right? you know about this, right? it goes on and on.
wisconsin has lost 15,000 net jobs to mexico since nafta. now just so you understand, kasich is running also. we forget about him. he voted for nafta. both of them want tpp. tpp, trans-pacific partnership. both of them want trans-pacific. that will make nafta look like a baby. and wisconsin will be hit so hard. you a motorcycle guy? i bet. am i right? do they love trump? i don't even know why. i'm not big with the motorcycles. but the motorcycle guys love trump. look, i love the disabled veterans and the veterans. we're going to take care of our veterans. you know that, right? we're going to take care of our veterans. what is it about trump that they like? i'm serious, we went to hilton head, we went to different places and there were hundreds, hundreds of bikers out there. beautiful bikes. lots of harleys, right? lots of harleys.
but made in america. but beautiful, beautiful bikes. what is it with the motor -- why do they like me? tell me. [ inaudible ] who said that? i love it. i don't know what it is, but they like me. i feel good with them. i feel safe. i got out, i took a picture. secret service went crazy. i said, these are great people. don't worry about it. listen, i appreciate it, fellows. i appreciate it. i know. just keep you free. we're going to keep you free. i'm going to keep you free because we're getting rid of isis. we're going have good borders. we're going to have borders again. we're going to have borders again. >> all right. we're going to keep monitoring donald trump. looks like he's getting into a stump speech right now. we'll monitor what he's saying. let's take a quick break. much more on the breaking news right after this. ♪virgin islands nice ♪ ♪so nice
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welcome back. we're joined now by donald trump supporter amarosa. we're talking about the breaking news. the charge of simple battery filed against donald trump's campaign manager, corey lewandowski. amarosa, thanks very much for joining us. what's your take -- >> good to be here. >> -- on corey lewandowski being charged? >> you know, because it's a legal case, i certainly can't comment. what i will say about it, if it does distract from the campaign from the mission that donald trump has, then donald trump will have to deal with it. i listened very closely when you just showed the remarks that donald made about being loyal, about standing by corey. we'll wait and see. donald trump is very loyal if corey becomes a liability, like donald did back in august, he's going to have to clean house. >> he has the famous catchphrase. once heard it yourself, "you're fired."
>> i did. >> let's listen to what he had to say about discarding people earlier a couple hours ago when he landed in wisconsin. >> please. >> i know it would be very easy for me to discard people. i don't discard people. i stay with people. that's why i stay with this country. that's why i stay with a lot of people that are treated unfairly and that's one of the reasons i'm the front-runner by a lot. if you look at that tape, he was very, very seriously maligned and i think it's very unfair. >> does it concern you at all that this could undermine his campaign, potentially harm his presidential candidacy? >> it does. it concerns me greatly because we're talking about corey instead of talking about what's happening in wisconsin, what's happening with the economy, what's happening with jobs. i mean, donald trump was leading by a great margin up until these recent e events. i will tell you if he loses wisconsin, you won't have to worry about corey any longer because he'll become a liability and donald trump will get rid of
him. >> get rid of lewandowski, he'll blame corey lewandowski if he loses wisconsin, is that what you're saying? >> absolutely. wisconsin will be a test for corey. if he's disstatracting away fro what's important. donald trump has a town hall on cnn, he should be focusing on that instead of his energy on corey. it's incredible to me that's what we're discussing today instead of focusing on the voters there in wisconsin. >> most traditional presidential candidates, you're a branding expert, i'm sure you'll agree, under circumstances like this the campaign manager is charged potentially with a crime, even though he's innocent until proven guilty, they would say at least take a leave of absence for the time being, deal with this, you're a distraction to the campaign. not donald trump. he's not a tralditional candidate. >> he's not a traditional candidate. from a personal standpoint, he's incredibly loyal. he's a great -- incredibly loyal and a very great friend to have, but in this case when we're so close, i mean, we're so close to
seeing him become the republican nominee, anything can tip the scales. and this might be that issue. so we have to watch it very closely. if it effects him, i don't know, he may be hearing those famous words. >> what would you advise corey lewandowski to do? he's obviously staying on as campaign manager. that's what trump wants. should he take a lower profile, not walking around camry rpaign rallies, getting involved talking to reporters? >> corey is an experienced political operative. i can offer him this. it all comes down to optics and how it looks to folks on the outside. whether he's right or wrong, whether he did or didn't, that's not what's important. the optics of this does not look good and does not reflect well on donald trump's campaign. >> omarosa, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> don't miss cnn's town hall later tonight. the three republican presidential candidates there in wisconsin. please join the moderator, anderson cooper, tonight at 8:00
p.m. eastern. only here on cnn. just ahead, more on this new controversy hanging over the donald trump campaign. will the gop front-runner back down in his defense of corey lewandowski if there's any political fallout? >> very, very sad day in this country when a man can be destroyed over something like that. and you just look at that tape throughout the whole process and you see how unfair it is. your path to retirement... may not always be clear. but at t. rowe price, we can help guide your retirement savings. for over 75 years, investors have relied on our disciplined approach to find long term value. so wherever your retirement journey takes you, we can help you reach your goals. call a t. rowe price retirement specialist or your advisor ...to see how we can help make the most of your retirement savings. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. ♪
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we're back with the breaking news. donald trump now says he's advising his campaign manager not to settle the new misdemeanor charge he faces. corey lewandowski is now formally charged with simple battery against a reporter in an incident at a trump campaign event back on march 8th. trump spoke to reporters about the allegations after he landed in wisconsin for a campaign rally. our senior white house correspondent jim acosta has been traveling with donald trump. he's in janesville, wisconsin, for us right now. jim, trump clearly is not bowing to pressure to fire lewandowski, is he? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. donald trump is speaking behind me right now. he began this rally going right after ted cruz, going right after wisconsin governor scott walker who endorsed cruz earlier today. but donald trump is standing by his embattled campaign manager corey lewandowski who's traveling with the gop front-runner today on his trip
to wisconsin. earlier today, it was announced that police in florida have charged lewandowski with simple battery after he was caught on a security camera grabbing breitbart reporter michelle fields at a campaign event earlier this month. the trump campaign and lewandowski's lawyers say he's innocent and trump, himself, defended lewandowski at an impromptu news conference earlier this afternoon with a small group of reporters as he landed here in wisconsin. trump called lewandowski a fine man. here's more of what he had to say. >> it says nothing about the campaign. i think if you look at it, he was trying to block her. that's the way i would view it. she's grabbing me and asking questions. she's not even supposed to ask questions. you know, the press conference lasted for a long time, like 45 minutes. and i was leaving and she runs up and you can see, in fact, there are pictures where she's -- i could show you some, i actually have some in the other room. but there are pictures where she's grabbing my arm and i'm going like this trying to get her off. i think it's a disgrace that something like that could take place and i'm shocked by it and i'll stick by people and i know
it's probably not even politically good for me to do, but when somebody is maligned so unfairly as that, i will stick by him. >> you're going to stick by corey, but will his role change at all in the campaign as the case unfolds? >> well, i hope not. i think it's really unfair. it's a very unfair thing to a person. i was watching some of the television coverage and a lot of people on television saying how could somebody be charged for that? i mean, they see it. again, i'm the one that gave the tapes. nobody else gave the tapes. the tapes were from me and they see it and see what took place and it's so minor and if you look at her initial statements before she knew we had tapes of her, she was talking about being pulled down, dragged down, something to that effect. all of a sudden when she saw there were tapes, she changed her tone a little bit. i think it's a very, very sad thing and i think it's very unfair to a good person. he's got a family. he's got four beautiful children. i think it's very, very unfair to a man with a wonderful family back in new hampshire who gets,
what, a criminal situation over that? in fact, some of the reporters are saying a number of them tweeted, but some said, wow, that was minor compared to -- you get pushed around, you get shoved and she was grabbing me. >> reporter: now, the trump campaign insists lewandowski was not arrested but the jupiter police department in florida says technically he was as he came to receive a notice to appear in court. we should mention there was no mugshot taken of lewandowski and asked whether lewandowski will stay on as campaign manager, trump campaign spokesperson told me, yes. as for ted cruz and john kasich, both of their campaigns, of course, have seized on these charges, wolf, saying they're reflective of the candidate at the top of this campaign. no question about it, lewandowski at this point is breaking that old campaign rule that the staff should not be the story, wolf? >> he is the story right now. all right, jim acosta, thanks very much. let's bring in chief political correspondent, dana bash. chief political analyst gloria
borger. senior political analyst, ron brownstein, senior editor your "the atlantic." and "washington post" assistant editor, david swerdlic. is it smart, gloria, for donald trump to stick by his man, if you will? >> i think donald trump when backed against the wall like this defended somebody he believes who has been very loyal to him and it doesn't matter whether it's smart or not, wolf, it's what donald trump wants to do. i think politically, the conventional wisdom would be throw this guy under the bus, you don't need this kind of discussion before the wisconsin primary which is going to be a very tough fight for you. and i think trump sort of figures, you know, corey got him to where he is and he's going to stick with him. that could change but right now he's going to stick with him. by the way, the whole context of this is within this question about the melania/heidi cruz
dispute, questions like that. i think this is not going to help him with women one but bit doesn't seem to bother trump. >> loon douse ewandowski initii touching the reporters michelle fields, he called her delusional. and clearly he touched her, we can see on the video. there was some touching that was going on. that's why the police formally charged him with battery if you will. in the end is it going to make much of a difference, you think, in the short term, one week from today, wisconsin? >> i mean, we'll find out when wisconsin voters vote next week, wolf. i think, right, the trump campaign would have been on a lot firmer ground if they tried to come up with a story earlier on where they had said, okay, this incident was exaggerated, not as michelle fields says it happened. their statement initially was it was entirely false. as you said lewandowski tweeted she was delusional and it comes out again, forget about the criminal liability, at least something happened based on that video. it backs up michelle fields at least in part, backs up my
"washington post" colleague who reported it out. the idea that trump's initial response -- the trump campaign's initial response was just to deny it i think was maybe politically damaging. >> the jupiter police department in their formal complaint, their charge, they concluded based on the above-described investigation probable cause exists to charge corey lokor corey in one count of simple battery, he touched michelle fields against the will of michelle fields. normally, ron brownstein, you and i have covered a lot of these campaigns. when a campaign manager or somebody on the staff gets into trouble, you know what, they take a leave of absence because the candidate doesn't want to be burdened by that. not donald trump. >> no, this is really i think the trump treadmill. i mean, throughout the campaign whenever he gets into trouble, or has a backlash against his remarks, he always feels he has to double down. it's what he feels he has to do, i think, to satisfy a base that is attracted to him largely
because he does violate normal political norms. because he says things in public that other candidates won't say and it has worked for him in the sense of building an extraordinarily strong connection with a piece of the republican coalition. there is unquestionably a price. when you look at his vote within the primary, among, for example, college educated republicans, much lower than his vote among non-college. even more when you look toward the general election and the kinds of numbers he's facing in terms of unfavorables among millenni millennials, minorities, college educated white women, historically high numbers. again, this is the kind of treadmill that he's on. he is reinforcing his hold on his piece of the party but also deepening i think his distance with other elements of the electorate. >> dana, as you know, ted cruz was very critical of donald trump following the news of the charge against corey lewandowski. today. but just last week, cruz stood firmly when i asked him about his commitment to support trump if trump winds up being the nominee. listen to this exchange i had
with him. >> very quick yes or no. if trump is the nominee, will you support him? >> i have said many times, yes, that's a commitment i made. as we started on moving the embassy to jerusalem, when i say i'm going to do something, i do exactly what i say. let me be clear, trump is not going it be the nominee because that hands the election to hillary. we're going to beat trump. what we are seeing, our campaign has beaten him now nine times all over the country. >> since that if recent days as you knows, dana, he seems to be backing away somewhat from that commitment to support trump should he be the nominee. are you sensing that? >> reporter: a little bit. i think that it's probably most fair to say that it's harder for him to say that in the wake, in the days and hours after his opponent has said what he has said and the back and forth has been going on about his wife. when push comes to shove, if donald trump is the nominee, it's hard to imagine ted cruz saying no, i'm not going to
support him, i'm going to vote for hillary clinton or even somebody who is a public servant saying that i'm going to, you know, sit on my hands and not vote. you know, a lot of these candidates when they have been asked along the way, will you support the nominee? they say, well, it's not going to happen because i'm going to be the nominee. that's their message, that's their rhetoric, that's their line. they have to say that. they're in this way deep. i think in ted cruz's case, he genuinely believes that. especially now that he and donald trump are the two viable candidates and he firmly believes that at the end of the day, the republican electorate and maybe more importantly the republican delegates at the convention in cleveland won't make donald trump the nominee. >> and gloria, i know you've been talking to your sources about this possibility of a contested convention in july. republican convention in cleveland. what are you hearing? >> well, i've been talking to some of the other campaigns. the two other campaigns who are going up against trump, and,
look, they believe that what we're seeing today and this question about women supporters and his overall 74% unfavorable rating among women will convince delegates, they're hoping, will convince delegates that on a second ballot they ought to go the other way. and the difference as one adviser to kasich said to me, the difference between the electorate in republican primaries who don't care about electability at all, we saw that in our exit polls, the difference between the people at the conventions and those people is the people at the convention are state party officials and they care about winning and they care about the down-ballot races so when it comes to a second ballot, they're going to be more likely or so the hope goes of these other campaigns, they're going to be more likely to vote for somebody else other than trump because they really want to win. they don't just want to make a point or send a message, and so that's their hope. we also heard today that marco rubio is hanging on to his
delegates and so that, again, you know, adds more fuel to the sort of anti-trump -- >> that's why the trump people say it's so important they get the 1,237 guaranteed on the first ballot. >> exactly. >> they don't spr have to worry about what happens on the second, third, fourth ballot in cleveland. everybody stand by. we're an hour and 20 minutes away from the cnn republican presidential town hall event in wisconsin with all three gop candidates. it begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. we'll be right back. it takes a lot of work... to run this business. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost. now try new boost® compact and 100 calories.
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we're back with our political team and the breaking news we're following of the simple battery charge against donald trump's campaign manager. meanwhile top aides to hillary clinton and bernie sanders are speaking about that as well as the democrats charge into battle for the next two presidential contests. let's go to cnn's national correspondent, suzanne malveaux. suzanne, tough criticism from trump's opponents in both parties tonight. >> absolutely right. for trump's critics, this is low-hanging fruit. the clinton and sanders campaign have pounced on trump's own behavior at his press conferences for allegedly inciting violence, encouraging it from the lectern and linking the brawls to having a good time they say he is ultimately responsible for creating this culture that has led to his campaign manager's troubles and it comes at a critically competitive juncture for the clinton and sanders campaigns.
bernie sanders and hillary clinton going toe to toe in battle ground wisconsin. >> we have won six out of the last seven elections. often by landslide victories. that's called momentum. >> reporter: sanders is hoping to complicate clinton's path to the democratic nomination with the win in the badger state next week. the rivals drawing sharp contrast today on issues. clinton going after sanders' record on gun rights at a community forum in milwaukee. >> the fact that gun makers and sellers are immune from liability because of a law i voted against, president obama voted against when he was in the senate, my opponent voted for. >> reporter: sanders is calling out clinton for her high-dollar fund-raisers. >> one of the reasons that we can speak to hundreds of thousands of people around this country is i'm not wasting my time going into rich people's homes begging them for their
campaign contributions. >> reporter: the back and forth comes as the campaigns continue to disagree about adding another debate. sanders' campaign wants one in new york before the state's april 19th primary. >> new york is a pivotal state in this contest. the secretary was elected u.s. senator there twice and what their response was about having a debate in new york was it's a nonstarter. >> reporter: the clinton team isn't biting. yet. >> i think our campaigns are talks about that. >> reporter: one thing the two campaigns can agree on, the controversy surrounding donald trump's campaign manager. both camps seizing on the news about corey lewandowski to blast the republican front-runner. >> i think that every candidate has to be responsible for what happens in their campaign and ultimately the responsibility is mr. trump's. >> senator sanders has been very up front about condemning the kind of what i would call thuggery that happens at many of these trump events.
>> reporter: both sanders and clinton are also focused on the daunting obstacles in the upcoming big contest. clinton lost the wisconsin primary by double digits to obama in 2008 and according to recent polls sanders is falling behind 20 points to clinton in new york. wolf? >> all right, suzanne, thanks very much. let's get back to our analysts. th dana, what's your reaction first of all to what both hillary clinton and bernie sanders had to say about donald trump and his latest problems involving his campaign manager? >> reporter: not surprising. you know, it's sort of shooting political fish in a barrel. i mean, this is sort of easy for democrats to go after donald trump on this because it's something republicans can go after and are going after him on. i think that the bigger question is going to be how, you know, hillary clinton and bernie sanders, if they can continue to use this or if it even matters. the other question is whether or
not, you know, if you look at it, bernie sanders is really hoping to win where i am in wisconsin, to continue to do well, to give hillary clinton more of a run for her money than she wants to have or is willing to admit that she has right now and whether you see these things with trump and it reminds democrats, broadly, that a trump opponent could really activate the democratic base even if it is, especially if it is a hillary clinton -- even if there isn't the energy there right now in the primary process for hillary clinton as there is for bernie sanders. >> i'm following on the issue of debates, gloria, what are the chances that hillary clinton and the campaign will reconsider and accept the challenge that clearly the bernie sanders campaign has delivered to them to go ahead, have a debate in new york state before the primary there? >> it depends on what the delegate count is, wolf. >> depends on what happens in wisconsin? >> yeah, exactly. it really depends if she's ahead
and by how much. when you're ahead, you get to set the agenda and decide whether you want to have another debate or whether you don't want to have another debate. part of the strategy in the sanders campaign is push for these debates no matter what, look hillary clinton look unavailable, make her look like she's just running as a presumptive nominee when she isn't a presumptive nominee. and put that on her. >> you know what, donald trump is now speaking about corey lewandowski. his campaign manager. i briefly want to listen. >> with a whole big gang of people, people pushing left and right, left and right. all of a sudden she bolts into the picture. she grabs me or hits me on the arm. in fact, i'm like this with my arm up. and then he goes by and i'm -- i mean, maybe he putouched her a little bit. it was almost like he was trying to keep her off me, right? >> -- so she wouldn't fall. >> like he was helping her. >> yeah, exactly. >> did you see her fall to the ground? >> no. >> okay. because she talked about
falling -- now, after -- i must tell you, her statement changed big league because she said, go to the ground, you know all this. i could read it to you. does anybody want to hear it? i mean, i want to be accurate because i like the press. so before she knew she was on tape, she said, "i was jolted backwards." was she jolted backwards? i mean, if she was, her face stayed the same. "i was jolted backwards. someone grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. campaign managers aren't supposed to forcefully throw reporters to the ground." except she never went to the ground. she never even came -- she never even flinched. she didn't -- you know, if somebody grabs you, even one of the guys, even the bikers, if somebody grabs even a biker or punches you a little bit, you go, whoa, right? i mean, the toughest guy, the toughest woman. look at her face.
it's zero. they're going to destroy a man's life? i have cruz saying, "oh, that was a terrible thing." let me tell you something, folks. if i win, if i lose, i didn't need to do this. i'm doing this because i just had a beautiful grandchild. ivanka. ivanka and jared. beautiful. beautiful grandchild. i'm very proud. it's my eighth. i'm doing this all for them. i didn't need to do this. this is not so easy. and i had no idea, you know, maybe none of us did, you know, i had no idea the message was going to get across. it's a message of competence. it's a message of common sense and a message of competence and i had no idea that we'd have millions of more votes than we had when we had that stiff mitt romney, a total stiff running. who, by the way, he's a dope. he's not a smart person. i'll fell you right now. let me tell you about mitt romney. that was an election he should have won and he lost. he should just go away and let the big boys s do it now, beca
you know what -- >> you get the point of what donald trump is saying. getting back, david, to what he said about corey lewandowski. basically suggesting it was no big deal. the fact she's filing these charge, the police have accepted her explanation of what happened. >> if there is a potential problem for the trump campaign. it's very on brand for trump to have initially denied everything and stood by his guy. he's my guy. i'm not backing down. what's not on brand for trump is the equivocating that he's to doing now. oh, was her arm really bruised. oh, did her head really snap back, did she fall. he's supposed to be the, i tell it like it is, guy. >> let me get a different subject out there. ron bronstein, as you know, judge merrick garland is now being considered, supposedly, for the united states supreme
court. he met with his first republican senator today. they had a formal meeting, kirk, who happens to be up for reelection in illinois. listen to what kirk said to his fellow republicans. >> we need for rational adult open-minded consideration of the constitutional process which judge garland's part of it. he's dully nominated by the elected president of the united states to fill a vacancy which we know exists on the court. we need the open-minded, rational people to keep an open mind. >> are with ebeginning to see the first cracks in the republican wall there? >> i think we've seen the cracks already. wisconsin is a state donald trump should win, 57% noncollege, only 35% evangelical. if he doesn't, i think it will be a signal of something shifting. on this, i do think, look, i've said before, on cnn, that if donald trump is the nominee, or ted cruz is the nominee and they don't look more competitive in
september, particularly trump than he does today against the democrats, i think you'll see a lot of pressure among republicans to try to confirm judge garland before the election. because i think they will believe that they will get a younger, more liberal nominee after the election. the problem is, the question will be whether that will be on offer from the democrats. if they are ahead in september and october, it will be an interesting choice whether they would accept that or believe they could get something even more emphatic op the supreme court after november. >> good point. thanks very much, everyone. stand by. bernie sanders will be a special dpest on erin burnett "outfront" at the top of the hour. stick around. we'll be right back.
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terrifying scenes on the tarmac from an airline hijacking and hostage crisis. tonight, the hijacker is in custody and the passengers and crew of the egypt air jet, they are safe. one person escaped by climbing out of the cockpit window. the ordeal renewing questions, though, about airport security, particularly in egypt. our aviation correspondent rene marsh is joining us right now. i understand there were americans onboard also as well. >> there were eight americans onboard. almost immediately tsa and other u.s. agencies about egan running passengers' names to determine who was onboard and who may be a threat. tonight, cnn has learned the hijacker was a 58-year-old man with a criminal record that includes fraud, fake identity, theft, and drug charges. this is the man accused of hijacking an egypt air passenger
plane, around his waste is what he claimed was a suicide belt. the egyptian hijacker was caught on surveillance camera inside egypt's alexandria airport. he walks through a metal detector and airport security pats him down before he's cleared to board flight 181 to cairo. 45 minutes after takeoff, egyptian nationals takes the 69 people onboard hostage, and warns he's wearing an explosive suicide belt. >> one of the people told us we've been hijacked. but she didn't even say if he was armed or not or who the guy is. >> reporter: the hijacker forces the plane to divert to cypress. >> most flight crews have been trained not to give over the aircraft. the flight crews are to make a safe landing somewhere so a proper tactical intervention can take place, or a negotiation to dissuade this individual from killing anyone.
>> reporter: about an hour afte shall and egyptians onboard are released. but foreigners forced to stay. eventually three more passengers run to safety. one person escapes through the cockpit window. >> in any case, it's not something which has to do with terrorism. >> reporter: the hijacker's suicide belt turned out to be fake. made of what looked like cell phone cases according to authorities in cyprus. they say the hijacker was distraught over issues involving his ex-wife. >> obviously you would like to think even a mockup of a suicide vest could be picked up by security personnel by any airport in the world. >> reporter: the hijacking renews concerns over egypt's airport security. in october a russian jetliner was blown out of the sky, killing all 224 people onboard. a bomb was smuggled onto the plane at egypt's charmel shake airport. egypt insists it's beefed up security since then. here in the u.s., after
september 11th when four aircraft were hijacked, additional layers of security were added, including pilots carrying guns, reinforced cockpit doors. and the tsa was formed, of course. >> to our viewers, thank you. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. next, live from milwaukee, my exclusive guest, bernie sanders, looking for another victory here in wisconsin. we're counting down to a special town hall tonight. donald trump's campaign manager arrested, charged with sim p will battery. does new surveillance video show he's innocent or guilty. he's innocent or guilty. let's go "outfront." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com