tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 6, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
>> country singer and two-time grammy winner and let's just call him what he is, a legend, merle haggard, known as country music's outlaw hero died today on his birthday in his northern california home. he was 79 years young. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. "the lead" starts now. thanks, brooke. pull up a chair, grab a traditional slice of new york pizza from sparro's, because this is going to be good. "the lead" starts right now. turning point, a ted cruz win pushes the republican party closer to a convention cage match. but could donald trump's home state end those new york values crush that possibility? >> no sleep till brooklyn. bernie sanders keeps rolling with his seventh win in eight contests, but is clinton's math more powerful than the sanders' mo? plus americans now in
striking distance of north korea's nukes. the scary claim and whether the threat now is real. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. call it a shellacking, call it what donald trump might call it, a shlonging, whatever you call it, he got his "make america great" hat handed to him last night in wisconsin, making it less likely that he will be able to achieve the magic number, 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the republican nomination before the convention. so trump is currently huddling with his delegate advisor in new york today while a victorious ted cruz looks ahead to new york's primary, today trying to explain just what exactly he meant when he accused trump of having new york values. cnn chief political correspondent dana bash is live in new york where republicans are campaigning today. dana, are there any signs that
mr. trump's loss might prompt him to make some changes in his campaign? >> well, you know very well, jake, that donald trump exceeded everyone's expectations, maybe even his own, by doing things his own unconventional way, but the campaign is clearly entering a new phase where he needs some new blood perhaps to do some things the old-fashioned way. the unlikely current hero of the gop establishment arrived in new york riding high after his big wisconsin win. >> it culminated four states in a row in the last two weeks where we have beaten donald trump over and over and over again. we won men, we won young people, we won every income group. >> reporter: as much as ted cruz calls his victory a turning point, privately cruz sources and anti-trump strategists admit the next several contests are more likely to go the billionaire's way. not just trump's home state of new york, but also pennsylvania, maryland, connecticut, delaware
and rhode island. a new poll in the empire state from monmouth university shows trump with a sizeable lead at 52%, followed by john kasich in a very distant second at 25% and ted cruz dead last at 17%. >> we started off with 17 people. i've now got two left. i call them the leftovers, right? >> reporter: still, the trump campaign appears to be weighing new moves to avoid squandering his new terrain, possibly giving paul manafort a better role. such a move could mean sidelining the embattled campaign manager corey lewandows lewandowski. >> corey, good job, corey. >> reporter: fierceful loyal to trump and trying to get the billionaire to the top of the heap. >> i go out, i campaign, we win, we win. we get the delegates. >> reporter: and the man who became front-runner following
his gut and shooting from the hip is planning something unusual for his campaign, a series of policy addresses. aides say he's planning to give speeches in the coming weeks on issues from education to the u.s. military. despite trump's moves to be a more traditional candidate, he is still, well, trump, issuing a blistering statement aimed personally at cruz after his double-digit defeat in wisconsin saying ted cruz is worse than a puppet, he is a trojan horse being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination. today cruz shot back. >> he likes to yell and scream and insult and curse. and his statement last night was consistent with that. >> reporter: jake, you remember when ted cruz first went after donald trump in this campaign and he did so by talking about trump's new york values. well, surprise, surprise, now that cruz is right here in new york asking new yorkers for their vote, it's a bit awkward. he was pressed about that comment at a press conference
earlier today, to which he answered, no, no, no, no, no, he didn't mean republican new yorkers just liberals with names like weiner or de blasio or cuomo. jake. >> dana bash, appreciate it. joining me, advisers to donald trump and ted cruz campaigns. chad sweet and trump senior press representative, hailey baumgarner. >> hailey, let me start with you. donald trump said he had a good feeling about wisconsin. what happened? >> well, what happened was -- is lyin' ted and the establishment base as well as all the super pacs gathered millions of dollars to spread false advertising. it was a complete intimidation and lie to voters. >> chad, let me take you back to this moment. i think you'll remember this. play this sounding, please. >> i think most people know exactly what new york values
are. >> i am from new york. >> you're from new york so you might not, but i promise you in the state of south carolina they do. >> a poll in new york taken before the results last night show senator cruz in third place behind john kasich 35 points behind donald trump. does senator cruz regret his comment about new york values? >> look, i grew up in texas, but i went to college at columbia and lived in new york city for over 12 years. believe me, if you're a conservative in that state or republican, you know exactly what senator cruz is talking about. it's exactly what frankly donald trump said himself in an interview with tim russert when tim was asking him about liberal things such as even partial birth abortion and he basically said, look, i do agree with abortion with no limitations, including partial birth abortion. i live in manhattan, i've grown up in new york, i have new york values. so it's not hard to figure out. new yorkers have suffered under liberal policies from cuomo to
weiner, et cetera, all know exactly what the senator is talking about and are excited to have a candidate like trooued c to offer a much better solution. >> healy what do you think? >> i think excited is a drastic thing to say anything about ted cruz, especially him campaigning in new york. there could be nothing further from the truth. i really equate him to thing agory that mr. trump reads during some of his speeches, the snake. ted cruz is a snake in the grass and will stop at nothing to slither his way into the white house and steal the nomination. >> healy, let me play some sound of you. roger stone said about republican national convention delegates and what he was calling for, what trump supporters might do at the convention. let's play that. >> we're going to have protests, demonstrations. we will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those
delegates who are directly involved in the steal. if you're from pennsylvania, we'll tell you who the culprits are. we urge you to visit their hotel and find them. >> find the culprits. it sounds like this could get really ugly. does that plan from roger stone of the trump campaign's approval? >> i think that a lot of tertiary people throughout this election cycle make statements. no, that's not from the campaign. if anyone is having violence, it's the protesters who stand outside who harass, intimidate and cause physical harm to our supporters, and our focus is winning the votes in the states coming up and getting enough delegates to where a contested convention won't be the problem. >> chad, let me ask you, how will it be able -- how can ted cruz unite the republican party if he goes into the convention and neither he nor donald trump
has the magic number of dealts, 1,237, and somehow even though trump has more, theoretically, cruz ends up with the nomination. how are you going to be able to get all those trump supporters who feel like the nomination was stolen? >> jake, he's doing it, he's uniting the party already. five of the former contestants -- candidates for president have all come and joined him, whether it's carly fiorina, rick perry, lindsey graham, scott walker, et cetera. they're all coming to senator cruz. what we just saw, for example, in the last four races, if you think about utah, there were over 40 delegates available. he won 40 out of 40. trump got zero. then you go to colorado, the latest opportunities there. six dilelegates up for grabs. cruz got 6, trump got zero. then senator cruz got 18, trump got 1. last night in wisconsin where as
you said senator cruz crushed it. we got 36 delegates, trump got 6. if you just look at what's just happened, i know people keep saying how do you get to the 1,237. the reality is you have to get to a high percentage and they say that's impossible. if you look at the numbers by my math those last four states, that's 100 delegates senator cruz has accumulated to trump's 7. that's a 94% win rate. so think about that when you look at the context of uniting the party, bringing people together. if you look at the exit polls, i just encourage everyone to go to cnn's election center website, you'll see there across multiple demographics, evangelicals, nonevangelicals, urban, suburban, rural, millennials or over 65 where he beat trump by over 11 points, again and again and again the senator is uniting the party across all different groups and he's excited to continue doing that in the
coming contests ahead. >> thanks, chad, appreciate it. healy, appreciate it. thanks so much. 1,237. that is the magic number. now that it looks more and more likely republicans need to plan for a contested convention, what will that mean for the candidates? will it hurt the party in the general election? we'll look at that after this quick break.
welcome back to "the lead." staying with politics and a growing challenge for donald trump to hit 1,237. that's the number of delegates needed for a republican candidate to secure his party's nomination. here's the breakdown right now. trump has 746 delegates, ted cruz has 510. this is after his wisconsin win last night. john kasich trailing with 145 delegates. the next big contest is april 19th. the delegate-rich new york primary. but there's another key date emerging on your calendars. july 18th. july 18th is the beginning of the republican national convention and that could usher in a new round of campaigning as an open or contested convention
looks increasingly likely. let's talk about that possibility and what it will mean with cnn delegate analyst mike shields. he's a former chief of staff for the republican national committee. thanks for being here, mike, appreciate it. so ted cruz is already prepare for this fight. listen to him during this victory speech last night in wisconsin. >> either before cleveland or at the convention in cleveland, together we will win a majority of the delegates and together we will beat hillary clinton in november. >> likely for him in cleveland it would have to be. what should candidates, cruz, trump, kasich, what should they be doing to prepare for this possibility? >> i think they are now and i think the trump campaign is now trying to get up to speed, which is an indication they believe this might go to cleveland as well. let's just say it isn't mathematically over yet. >> he needs something like 64%,
65% of the rest. >> there's only five winner-take-all states left out of the 17. now what they're doing is running sort of two campaigns. one to voters, to try to get as many delegates as they can and the other to actual delegates. they are the people who will vote on the floor in cleveland. there's going to be a ballot. there's going to be a second ballot and delegates are unbound so you have to run a campaign to those people to get them to vote for you. after last night you're seeing that's under way on two tracks. >> and what are you allowed to do when it comes to winning over the delegates? are you allowed to cut them a check or offer them a job? >> that would be reported as an expenditure so we're sort of in new territory. you can't bribe someone to vote for you but a vote in a convention is a little bit different you're going to see wooing. you'll see people being asked to parties, being invited with event, you'll have surrogates going and campaigning to them. i think you'll cross the line -- unless you hire them and
actually bring them onto your staff, paying them will be something that will have to be reported as an expenditure and then the press is going to get ahold of that. >> now, this happened in 1976 most recently, very intense fight between ronald reagan and incumbent president gerald ford. how nasty and bitter did that get? >> that's sort of the last time that we've been faced with a front-runner who went into the convention but didn't have enough delegates. of course what happened there was reagan saw it as an opportunity to cut a deal so there wasn't a floor fight there. it was something where they had agreed to be endorsed. for reagan to come on and be introduced by ford, that propelled his candidacy. so some of these situations can turn out to be a planning for the future. this has been a pretty bitter campaign but there's a lot of turns still to go. >> thank you so much, mike shields our delegate analyst. thanks so much. sticking with our politics lead, after being civil, the democrats are starting to sound as if they're taking a page from the republicans and they're
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i mean it's just ludicrous on the face of it. you know, i have -- >> welcome back to "the lead." hillary clinton literally lol, laughing out loud, during an interview earlier today. why? clinton was responding to what the campaign manager of her rival, bernie sanders, said to me in response to the clinton campaign may start becoming more aggressive towards sanders. both campaign been, especially
pulling their proverbial punches, knowing that whomever wins will need the other's supporters. starting today, secretary clinton is raising more pointed questions and launching tougher attacks on whether sanders even understands the basics of one of his fundamental campaign promises, for example. joe johns is traveling with former secretary of state hillary clinton. he joins us now from philadelphia. joe, just in the last few hours clinton seems to be really taking on a tougher tone. >> reporter: definitely a tougher tone, jake. but reprising some of the themes she has touched on in the past, the clinton camp making it clearer than ever that they'd like to close this thing out if they can and start spending their money on the republicans, but it's also evidence of something else. they need a big bounce-back win after the losing performance in wisconsin. hillary clinton is ratcheting up her attacks on bernie sanders.
>> you've got to know what you want. you've got to have a plan for getting it. >> reporter: she's trying to blunt sanders' momentum following his victory in tuesday's wisconsin primary. >> we have now won seven out of eight of the last caucuses and primaries. >> reporter: while he has the momentum, the math is not on his side. clinton holds a lead of 229 among pledged delegates. the margin grows to 681 when super delegates are included. >> and i think that a lot of these super delegates are going to be looking around them and are going to be saying which candidate has the momentum. >> reporter: the clinton campaign is hoping to bring an end to the primary fight, launching a new offensive against sanders, looking to disqualify him in the weeks leading up to the new york primary on april 19th. clinton today telling union workers in pennsylvania that sanders' policies are not realistic. >> i am concerned that some of his ideas just won't work
because the numbers don't add up. the number of important areas he doesn't have a plan at all. >> reporter: questioning sanders' party loyalty in an interview with cnn. >> senator sanders by his own admission has never even been a democrat. he never ran as a democrat until he started running for president. >> reporter: sanders also facing scrutiny for struggling to offer specifics on a key part of his agenda, breaking up the wall street banks during an interview with the "new york daily news" editorial board. >> how you go about do it is vlg legislation passed or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine under dodd-frank that these banks are danger to the economy over the problem of a too big to fail. >> but do you think the fed has the authority? >> i don't know if the fed has it. >> reporter: clinton seizing on the stumble. sending the whole transcript to her supporters in e-mail. >> seemed unclear as to whether he understood how dodd-frank
worked, how we would go about breaking up banks. so i was, i think, a little bit surprised that there didn't seem to be a lot of substance to what he was saying. >> reporter: as the race continues to intensify, the sanders campaign firing off a warning shot to its rival. >> are you prepared for a brass knuckles tough campaign, more difficult charges and accusations from the clinton campaign? >> this is what i would say to them, which is don't destroy the democratic party to satisfy the secretary's ambitions to become president of the united states, right? we want to have a party at the end of this that we can unify. >> clinton's response today? >> i mean it's just ludicrous on the face of it. >> reporter: the sanders' campaign has responded to the dust-up in his interview with the "new york daily news" saying it's much ado about nothing. hopefully the candidate will be here tomorrow taking more
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the evolution of cancer care is here. that's definitely something worth celebrating. learn more about precision cancer treatment at cancercenter.com. appointments are available now. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. senator bernie sanders had a big victory last night in wisconsin, so now what? the senator said his victory was proof, quote, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish, but pollsters and strategists continue to say the one thing sanders cannot do is actually win the democratic nomination before the convention, barring, as one pundit said, an act of god or the fbi. joining me now, democratic
congresswoman from hawaii, tulsi gabbard. congresswoman, aloha. >> aloha, jake. >> so congressman david plouffe gave his take on the democratic race writing, quote, i believe hillary clinton has zero chance of not being the democratic nominee. why is he wrong? how is sanders going to become the nominee? >> first of all, we live in a democracy and it's been great to see how in the last seven of the last eight contests that have taken place, bernie sanders has won those contests and won them by significant margins. to me it just shows the american people are responding to his message, the message that he should continue to carry out to people about taking government out of the hands of the very powerful, the very wealthy and special interests and putting it back into the hands of the people. this message of ending these
interventionist regime change unnecessary wars, this message of breaking up the big banks on wall street and ending those risky, gambling measures that have been really carrying such a heavy toll on the american people, that the american people have paid so much for and we've got to prevent from make sure from happening again. >> i want you to listen to something that hillary clinton said earlier today in response to senator sanders' appearance before the "new york daily news" editorial board which a lot of critics have said suggest a certain lack of depth in terms of sanders' highest priority policies. take a listen. >> i think he hadn't done his homework and he had been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hadn't really studied or understood. and that does raise a lot of questions. really what it goes to is for voters to ask themselves can he
deliver what he's talking about. can he really help people. >> your response? >> look, bernie sanders has been very clear in laying out his vision for this country. he's been really opening his heart to the american people, laying out his heart as a servant's heart and where he'd like to go. specifically with regards to the wall street banks, he's detailed exactly what was that cause to the 2008 crash that cost our country over $22 trillion, caused american people by the millions to lose their homes and to lose their life savings. he has pointed specifically to exact steps he would take, a core of which is a point of disagreement between bernie sanders and hillary clinton, and that is the glass-stegall act which would separate those risky investment banking practices from the commercial day-to-day banking that consumers rely upon in their everyday lives.
>> right. >> he has supported and promised to implement this 21st century glass-stegall, something that elizabeth warren and john mccain have co-sponsored in the senate, something i have co-sponsored to the house and that is core and central to making sure that these banks that are even bigger today than they were prior to the 2008 crash are no longer allowed to pit their risky practices on the backs of the american people. >> but congresswoman, is the lack of detail that he was able to speak to in that "daily news" editorial board one of the issues hillary clinton is hammering him on is breaking up the big banks and not doing the diligence on how he would achieve that. the man who helmed the council of economic advisers during president obama's first term chimed in too tweeting if main policy is break up banks and regulate wall street, how can you not know what's legal or what regulators would do? sanders' interview is disturbing. >> i think that those criticisms
frankly are ridiculous. we elect a president based on the vision they lay out and their commitment to carry out that vision. there's two mayin things a president will need. one is to carry out the vision that the american people entrust with that responsibility and the second is to have the tools and abilities to work with others and the good judgment to carry out that vision. i would challenge any candidate running for president to say that they know the exact and specific detail of every piece of legislation that they want to get passed, every single treaty, every single agreement with other countries or other countries' leaders. we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. so bernie sanders has laid out clearly his vision. generally the way that he plans to carry out that vision knowing that he's going to have to work with others to be able to make that happen. >> all right, congresswoman tulsi gabbard of hawaii, aloha, thank you so much, appreciate
it. >> aloha, jake, thanks. joining me now, senior spokesperson for the clinton campaign, karen finney. thanks for joining us. you heard congresswoman gabbard just now. any response? >> well, sure. all due respect to the congresswoman, no one is questioning senator sanders' commitment to the issues or passion for these issues, but let's just take, for example, when we talk about wall street reform and why the details actually matter. when you look at the plan that secretary clinton has put forward and a number of outside independent analysts has pointed this out, she talks about shooerz how we need to do it. one is the shadow banking system and going after more consistently all of the various ways that there is still risk in the system. so i think it is a fair criticism when asked the question to senator sanders how would you break up the banks, what is your -- not just your vision, but what is your plan, i
think people want to know that our leaders, they have vision, they have passion, they have commitment, but they also have a plan. and a degree of understanding about the various factors that would go into something like breaking up the banks. >> that's fair enough, but what would you say to the sanders campaign officials who would say his vision is more important than your details because secretary clinton has such close ties to wall street, whether it's the hundreds of thousands of dollars she was paid by goldman sachs or the donations she continues to get. how would you respond to that? >> well, i would say that's a very convenient attack and they have made it many times and yet, a, she's the person who many outside independent analysts have said has the toughest plan and goes after things like systemic risk, which senator sanders doesn't, and, b, they have never once been able to point to any actual proof to suggest -- to support their allegation suggesting that somehow secretary clinton is
beholden to wall street. and c, i would remind people that she actually went to wall street in 2007 when she was a senator and was calling them out for what they were doing. so -- and, by the way, you've got hedge funds running ads against secretary clinton, and i would say they're doing that because they're afraid of the idea that she would actually become president and they know this is a woman who, and particularly here in new york, let me tell you something. folks in new york know when hillary clinton says she's going to do something, she gets it done and she delivers results. so i'm assuming that's why they're running ads against her. again, it's an unsubstantiated sort of allegation from the sanders campaign and i understand why they want to make it. >> so your campaign and secretary clinton are being more aggressive against senator sanders as this campaign has continued. ed rendell, former governor of pennsylvania, big clinton supporter, earlier today said, quote, i think the clinton campaign should turn down the rhetoric because we're going to
need a large percentage of those bernie sanders' voters to be for secretary clinton in november. are you at all concerned when a supporter as steadfast and stalwart as ed rendell is saying, hey, tone it down? are you at all second-guessing? >> you know, i am actually more concerned when the campaign manager, senator sanders campaign manager, knowing the facts about the math and the reality of the calendar would accuse secretary clinton of being too ambitious. i always thought that was a good thing in someone who would be running for president that that we want a little ambition. also remember it was just two weeks ago we read that it was senator sanders campaign that was poll testing various lines of attack against secretary clinton. she was asked today questions about that "daily news" editorial board meeting and she responded to those questions. and i think questions, for example, about senator sanders' commitment to the democratic party were raised in an
interview that he did last week on a different network with rachel maddow who asked about supporting down ballot candidates and raising money for others in the democratic party, which hillary clinton is the only candidate right now who is raising money both for state parties and as well as for the dnc. i'll tell you why that's important and why i think that's an important distinction. i was just in west virginia over the weekend and there are a lot of democrats down there who want help. they want to turn that state blue. part of being the leader of the party is understanding you've got to help support down ballot races in a place like wisconsin, you know, that state party needs the help if we're going to defeat scott walker. >> all right, karen finney from the clinton campaign, thanks so much. appreciate your time. next thursday on the cnn debate stage it's bernie from brooklyn versus the former new york senator. clinton against sanders just days ahead of the empire state prima primary. wolf blitzer, also from new york, a buffalo boy, he'll
moderate it. the white house is so concerned about the zika virus they are not waiting for congress to approve funding to fight it here in the u.s. where are they going to get the money from? that's coming up. cnn gets a rare and dangerous look at the front lines in the fight to regain control of iraq's second largest city, wresting it from isis. stay with us. (laughing) there's nothing like making their day. except making sure their tomorrow is taken care of too. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. topping our world lead today, president obama weighing options to ramp up the fight against isis in iraq and syria. this coming as cnn gets a rare front line look at the desperate battle to retake the strategic strong hold of mosul, iraq's second largest city, from the hands of isis terrorists. arwa damon embedded with the iraqi army and filed this report. a word of caution, some of the images in this story are graphic. >> reporter: bursts of gunfire and artillery explosions. a constant reminder that the enemy, isis, is relentlessly probing for vulnerabilities in the iraqi army's defenses.
>> translator: isis and especially now, we are on the perimeter of what is their so-called caliphate. they are using waves of suicide bombers backed by fighters. >> reporter: coalition air strikes leveled this building isis militants had snuck into the night before we areceived. the hillside is strewn with the bloated bodies of dead isis fighters. one of them looks particularly young, a teenager, the iraqis say. the general's men only recently recaptured this village and a handful of others. the first tentative steps in the battle for mosul, iraq's second largest city, that humiliatingly fell to isis after iraqi security forces abandoned their positions around two years ago. these are men retrained under new command, forces that will repeatedly be put to the test. will they hold this ground and fight or again flee? key, of course, to the equation is u.s. support.
>> translator: for us, we have enough ground forces. the most important thing is to see ongoing u.s. backing with the air support, advisers and logistical support. >> but not boots on the ground? >> translator: it's not an urgent thing for us right now, boots on the ground. we can liberate our lands. >> reporter: isis has had plenty of time to fortify its defenses in mosul and here, still some 45 kilometers or 30 miles away from the main battleground. deep in one of the hills, a labyrinth. this is not just a tunnel complex, it's actually a tunnel and sleeping quarters complex that has been dug well
underground. winding passages that veer off in multiple directions. this one leads to a small opening, for oxygen circulation we are told. and this is just the start of the impending bloody battle to try to liberate mosul, one that will be a defining chapter in this nation's history and beyond. and, jake, shortly after the iraqi army captured the village you just saw in that report, they tried to advance on another one, an operation that initially seemed like it was going to be a success. but despite the fact that they had fairly intense coalition air support, it ended in failure with senior iraqi commanders telling us right now that in the province along these various different front lines, the iraqi army is holding and what is being describ as a defensive position as they wait for reinforcements to arrive. >> arwa damon live for us in iraq. amazing reporting for us, thanks
so much. please stay safe. u.s. military bases could be in striking distance of a new north korea nuclear threat. details on that chilling warning, straight ahead. acked ts . or put them on a rack. but the specialists at ford like to show off their strengths: 13 name brands. all backed by our low price tire guarantee. yeah, we're strong when it comes to tires. right now during the big tire event, get a $120 rebate by mail on four select tires. when your ford needs service, these are the specialists. at ford.
i'm val, the orange money retirement squirrel from voya. we're putting away acorns. you know, to show the importance of saving for the future. so you're sort of like a spokes person? more of a spokes metaphor. get organized at voya.com. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in our money lead today, the white house warning this afternoon significantly more of the united states than first thought could now be at risk for the zika virus as the mosquito season quickly approaches. the obama administration wants federal, local and state governments to be prepared for more zika virus outbreaks, and it's not waiting for congress to act. back in february the white house asked congress to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the virus which has been
linked to birth defects but that plan has gone nowhere. instead of waiting for the funding approval, the white house will take $589 million that had been designated to fight ebola and instead use that money on mosquito control, research and tracking the spread of sezika. white house officials say the redirected money will not replace the pending request to congress. back to our world lead, a chilling warning today. north korea now has the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a midrange missile. that concerning claim coming from pyongyang's neighbor and likely target, south korea. if true, u.s. military installations in japan and south korea would be within striking distance. let's get right to jim sciutto. jim, is there any evidence to suggest that kim jong-un's regime has mounted a nuclear warhead? >> the administration position in short is no. there are many steps to being truly nuclear capable, miniaturizing is just one of them.
there are some, however, in the u.s. intelligence community who do now assess that north korea probably does have at least an untested nuclear capability. this is the north korean midrange missile, says south korea, now capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. south korean intelligence including that pyongyang's ballistic missile can deliver a one-ton warhead as far as 1200 miles, putting south korea, japan and u.s. military bases in asia within reach of a nuclear strike. north korea's dictator, kim jong-un is already celebrating, posing for pictures near what north korea claims to be the warhead. u.s. intelligence has yet to reach the same conclusion, but u.s. officials say they must assume that pyongyang has at least an untested capability to miniaturize and launch a nuclear weapon. >> it is also committed to developing a long-range nuclear
armed missile that's capable of posing a direct threat to the united states. >> reporter: some nuclear analysts share south korea's more dire assessment. >> i've been very concept al about north korea's capabilities, but the evidence is mounting. they probably have a nuclear warhead that can fit on a missile that can hit south korea or japan. >> reporter: south korea's assessment now shared in some u.s. intelligence circles follows a series of successful tests by pyongyang, beginning with an underground nuke enclosure test in january and followed by four missile tests, including a space launch believed to be a step toward an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the u.s. recent satellite images also show suspicious activity at north korea's nuclear facility that is used to produce plutonium to build nuclear weapons. in response, the u.n., the u.s. and china have all recently imposed harsh new economic sanctions on north korea.
and the u.s. recently flew a nuclear capable b-52 near north korean airspace and sailed a u.s. aircraft carrier near its waters. north korea has continued to make progress towards becoming a nuclear power. >> u.s. policy has failed. we have not stopped them. we've tried ignoring them, we've tried sanctioning them, it doesn't work. >> reporter: defense officials say that the u.s. has already taken several steps to safeguard the u.s. and its allies from a north korean nuclear attack. this includes the boosting the number of ground-based enter september -- interceptors. tributes are pouring in for a country legend. ♪ i'm proud to be an okie from muskogee ♪ >> merle haggard died today on his 79th birthday. he made more than three dozen number one country hits.
haggard's agent told cnn the singer died of pneumonia complications at his home in northern california. rest in peace. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to one mr. wolf blitzer who is next door in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, trump gets thumped. after losing big in wisconsin, donald trump calls ted cruz a puppet and a trojan horse of the gop establishment. up next, new york. trump holds a big lead in his home state but can he win enough delegates to avoid a contested convention? threatening delegates. a key ally says if delegates don't stick with trump, he'll reveal their convention hotel rooms so loyalists can, quote, let them feel the pressure of the american people. momentum versus math. bernie sanders scores a big victory in wisconsin but only nets a handful of delegates. hillary clinton's camp says t