tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 13, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
bryant was drafted straight out of high school in pennsylvania back in 1996 and at the time was the youngest player in nba history. a courtside seat at kobe's curtain call may cost you $20,000 tonight. top notch tickets to see the warriors chase basketball immortality are on the market for a mere $10,000. be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter or tweet the show. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, dirty trick. donald trump goes to war with the gop saying the republican national committee is out to keep him from getting the nomination and that the rules are stacked against him. trump says the republican national committee chairman, reince priebus, should be ashamed of himself. i'll talk to priebus, that's coming up. secret meeting. megyn kelly, the tv news anchor who's been the target of some of trump's sharpest attacks is spotted slipping into trump tower in new york for a secret meeting with the republican front-runner. is trump ready to make peace?
is kelly's boss calling for a truce? on the march. bernie sanders joins a picket line in brooklyn telling striking verizon employees their company is, quote, trying to destroy the lives of working americans. tonight, sanders and hillary clinton both picking up big union endorsements on the eve of their cnn debate. and russian warning? shocking new video shows russian jets aggressively buzzing the deck of a u.s. navy destroyer multiple times, coming so close the commander says it was dangerous. so what's behind this risky maneuver? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the republican front-runner at war with his own party. donald trump accusing the republican national committee of conspiring to prevent him from getting the nomination and says the rules are, quote, stacked against me. calling out rnc chairman reince
priebus by name, trump says it's a disgrace for the party, but priebus tweets that the nomination process has been known for more than a year and it's up to the campaigns to understand it, adding, quote, give us all a break. i'll speak with reince priebus, that's coming up. and ted cruz who's a master of those same rules and used them to corral delegates is appearing at a rally in pennsylvania right now ahead of tonight's cnn town hall in which he'll appear with his family. meantime, trump may be mending fences with megyn kelly. sources say the two met today at trump tower. the fox news anchor has been the target of some of trump's most bitter insults. and extraordinary video images show russian fighter jets buzzing a u.s. navy destroyer. one coming within 75 feet of the american ship. the u.s. used the simulated attack as dangerous. i'm speak with adam kinsinger who flew missions in iraq and afghanistan. our correspondents, analysts and
guests will have full coverage of all the day's top stories. let's start with cnn political reporter sara murray. sara, the republican front-runner taking direct aim on the republican party and we're learning the trump campaign also making some significant staff changes. what's the latest? >> that's right, wolf. the trump campaign said they were staffing up and now we are beginning to see that. they are bringing on rick wiley who was scott walker's former campaign manager when he was running for president. he will be the new national political director of the trump campaign. this is an operative with a lot more field experience than many of trump's current operatives. he also came under some fire with walker for what people felt like was excessive spending. the other thing the trump campaign is doing, a little more d.c. outreach but so far that does not apply to the rnc. it's war within the gop. >> i know that it's stacked against me by the establishment. i fully understand it. >> reporter: donald trump, the party's front-runner, telling cnn he doesn't believe the republican national committee even wants him on the ticket.
>> you're saying you don't think the rnc wants you to get the nomination? >> no, i don't think so, i really don't. >> do you think they're actively working against you? >> i don't see it. it's not like i have 15 miles of proof. >> reporter: it's clear trump, still smarting over his loss to ted cruz in colorado. >> how are they stacked against you? >> because the republican party in colorado wanted cruz. or maybe they wanted somebody other than trump. i don't think anybody really wants cruz. why would they want him? >> reporter: but rnc chair reince priebus appears to have hit his limit saying on twitter nomination process known for a year and beyond. it's the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. complaints now? give us all a break. the campaign's heated tone not going unnoticed by trump's kids. >> it's a vicious industry of paul particult politics. >> reporter: he shared the stage with his four kids and his wife. >> for me, i think the way he
raised me, the way he raised tiffany, it's a testament to the fact that he believes in inspiring women, empowering women. >> reporter: melania trump wasn't about to defend her husband's late-night twitter habits. >> do you ever want to say hut the mobile device down, that it's 2:00 a.m. and you're tweeting? >> if he would only listen. i did many times. and i just say okay, do whatever you want. he's an adult. he knows the consequences. >> reporter: meanwhile trump may not be making peace with the rnc, but he just might be trying to put to rest another rivalry. >> megyn kelly is a lightweight. this is a lightweight. this is not a reporter. >> reporter: today fox news anchor megyn kelly was spotted walking into trump tower for a meeting with her number one critic. now, a senior republican strategist tells me the reason we're seeing this more intense pushback from reince priebus is because he felt like trump just went too far by calling the party corrupt, especially in
light of the fact that priebus feels like he has gone out of his way to try to run a transparent process this year. wolf, it should be a very interesting interview you have ahead. >> thank you very much, sara. and reince priebus, he'll be with me, that's coming up here in the situation room. this will be his first interview since donald trump's latest attacks against the republican party. ted cruz, meanwhile, he trails donald trump badly in new york polls. he's in pennsylvania right now. he's hunting delegates ahead of that state's big primary one week after the new york primary. tonight cruz and his wife will take voters' questions in a cnn up to hall. sunlen serfaty is joining us live from the cruz rally in erie, pennsylvania. so what's the latest on that front, sunlen? >> reporter: well, wolf, senator cruz just started speaking here. today is all about looking ahead. looking ahead to the primary here in pennsylvania that will take place on april 26th where polls do show him well behind donald trump and also john
kasich. it's interesting that while this part of the campaign, this state-by-state traditional slog to get to the 1237 delegates, as that reaches on, there's also this other track of the campaign going on where the campaigns are really heating up and intensifying their positioning ahead of a potential contested convention. the cruz campaign today tapping former virginia attorney general ken cuccinelli to lead up their campaign's delegate efforts as they position themselves potentially towards a contested convention. also this comes after the trump campaign recently tapped paul manafort. there was an interesting and notable shift coming from senator cruz today. he went after paul manafort, the trump campaign's convention manager, in a radio interview just moments ago. he said in part, quote, donald trump just hired an individual to be a loead person on his campaign who was a paid lobbyist for saudi arabia to lobby against moving the embassy to jerusalem. so that was certainly notable. not the fact that senator cruz was opening up his profile but
the fact that he was opening up not against another candidate, but another candidate convention manager really speaks, wolf, to this moment, this phase that we're in in this campaign where all the campaigns are really positioning themselves, preparing for the potential of a contested convention. wolf. >> it's a critical moment indeed. all right, thank you. sunlen serfaty reporting from erie, pennsylvania. joining us now, adam kinsinger of illinois. thanks for joining us. as you probably know last night in our cnn town hall donald trump dramatically escalated his fight with the republican national committee, basically accusing the rnc of conspiring against him in these primaries. do you think that's happening? is that possible? >> no, of course not. honestly, trump is like the whineyest so-called tough guy i've seen in a long time. you know how to republican a rice. you have to go out and win the votes. we haven't seen anything like
this because usually by now there's a well-known front-runner. this is how it's played. nothing is new, nothing is a surprise. ever since donald trump decided to run for president, he's been throwing threats out, saying he's not treated fairly. it's just constant -- i can't imagine if he's commander in chief or president, you know, having to deal with the stresses of the office every day and not being able to go and just complain about it. it's unbelievable. >> as you know, the party, the republican party chairman, reince priebus, tweeted last night. nomination process known for a year and beyond. it's the responsibility of all the campaigns to understand it. complaints now? give us all a break. but trump says the system is broken. even if you don't agree with his assertion that it's rigged, is the system broken right now? is it fair that the candidate with clearly the most votes and he's got two million more votes than cruz right now potentially could be denied the nomination? >> well, you could ask the same thing of the electoral college in general, where you can have
somebody that loses the popular vote but wins the electoral college. i'm happy as a republican to get together with fellow republicans and have a discussion about how we ought to change it in the future, but it's unfair to ted cruz and other candidates that understand what the rules are, have played by the rules, to now say we're going to have those rules pulled out from under us. many of us have been the case frankly since the beginning of the republican party. the understanding that you have to have delegates, the understanding that you have to earn the support of those delegates, and that's how you go on to win the nomination. nothing is a surprise, nothing is new. i think donald needs to take a little less effort complaining about the fact that he lost wisconsin and a little more effort into winning delegates and winning the nomination. he's in the lead for goodness sake. he need to go out and do what needs to be done to win the nomination. >> in federal elections, national elections, they're governored by the constitution. this is the republican party. shouldn't the rules be more
democratic than some party leaders coming together and dictating who the delegates should go to? that's the allegation you hear from trump. >> well, i don't think that's what's happening. a lot of these delegates are selected state by this is what donald trump it's not really indicative of who we should be electing as president of the united states. >> you make the point that in
the past when someone is ahead overwhelmingly with the most delegates at this point, clearly the most votes at this point, the party consolidates and rallies behind the front-runner. that normally is the case. i've covered a lot of these elections. why isn't that happening now? why isn't the party rallying around the clear front-runner, donald trump? >> there's a couple of reasons, number one because he just attacks everybody and says it's not fair and complains. the other issue is he makes outlandish statements. when you say that you don't really see the purpose of nato but then try to walk it back and say i just think other nato members need to pay more, and your reactions are things that are pretty outrageous. it's hard for people to consolidate behind him. plus, the other issue is this is still an open fight. by now in past elections you've got an idea of who would have a majority of the delegates going to the convention. we don't know that now so it's a very open process. people still have to have their voices heard. we have some states in front of us still. it's a process that's playing out. it hasn't been pretty, but it's
how it's done. >> is it fair that the convention rules can be completely rewritten by the rules committee the week before the convention starts in july in cleveland? >> is it fair? i don't know. it's just how it's done. people -- each state elects two members of the rules committee. the rules committee comes together. this is where if donald trump wants to get the nomination, he has to play at this level. he has to have the grassroots effort put together to ensure he gets his people on the rules committee, to ensure he gets his delegates that are unbound after the first round. if he can't play this game, if he can't play this nominating process, i have a hard time seeing how he can put together a grassroots network to defeat hillary clinton. i think he was relying on this media strategy, getting on tv all the time, saying things to get him headlines and that worked to a point. now you've got to get in depth and play hard ball and i hope he starts doing that for the party instead of attacking people
unfairly. >> he's way ahead in the popular vote and way ahead in the delegate count. he's clearly the front-runner, yet he's complaining about some of the states. you're a good republican, take a step back. what does it tell you about your party that the republican presidential front-runner at this late stage, it's april already in this presidential contest, is fighting with the head of the republican party over twitter, in television interviews, et cetera? >> i don't know what it tells me. it's definitely a new environment and donald trump is very good at playing to that. he's good at the new media. he's good at using twitter and saying things in the media that will generate follow-up headlines. look, our party is coming together and figuring out what it is we stand for. do we stand for a strong america that has a mission in the world to be an example of self governance that's compassionate or are we just going to say a lot of things out there and not really know what our front-runner stands for. look, as a republican it's somewhat concerning, but i do respect the voters in this process. you know, there's a lot that
still have to have their voices heard and are probably pretty excited to go do that. >> stand boy, congressman. we have more to discuss. we're also getting in some stunning new images here into the situation room of russian jets buzzing a u.s. navy ship. we'll play those images for our viewers. congressman kinzinger, he's a pilot, he will assess. thank you for calling. we'll be with you shortly. yeah right... xerox predictive analytics help companies provide a better and faster customer experience. hello mr. kent. can i rebook your flight? i'm here! customer care can work better. with xerox. wait i'm here! mr. kent? (gasp) shark diving! xerox personalized employee portals help companies make benefits simple and accessible... from anywhere. hula dancing? cliff jumping! human resources can work better. with xerox.
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party and donald trump, the republican presidential front-runner. stand by for that interview, his first since all of this occurred. right now we're back with republican congressman adam kinzinger of illinois, he's a u.s. air force pilot and flew missions in both iraq and afghanistan. congressman, we're just getting in these really disturbing, incredible images, the video of russian warplanes buzzing a u.s. navy destroyer, the uss cook, in international waters in the baltic sea. you served as a pilot in the u.s. air force. how dangerous is this kind of situation where these fighter jets actually come within 75 feet of the cook? >> yeah, it's very dangerous. two points on that. number one, 75 feet is actually really close. and this isn't typical operating procedures. if you want a show of force, it's usually not at 75 feet. and the other issue is they were basically simulating a strafing run on our navy ship.
now, i give a lot of congratulations, i guess, a lot of shoutouts to the commander for exercising discipline in this situation. had this been a real strafing run, we would not have known that until after this first pass so this is very serious escalation. it's also worthy to note there was a polish helicopter on board. in 2006 i was in kyrgystan and they would do this but not at 75 feet and we knew they were just showing off, versus this, which is an extremely dangerous escalation. >> this is the fighter jet within 75 feet of the uss cook. take a look at how close it is, how frightening that must have been for the members of the crew. they had to make a really critical situation within a few seconds what to do about that. as you point out, poland, a nato ally, they had a helicopter not very far away. how much will this incident escalate current tensions
between russia and the u.s., the nato alliance, if you will? >> well, it risks a very dangerous and very deadly escalation. look, america is stepping up its commitment to nato, stepping up its posturing against the russians because the russians have shown themselves to be untrustworthy in europe as they continue to infiltrate their neighbors and occupy some of their neighbors between ukraine and georgia. these are the kind of things that could lead to an accidental shooting war which could broadly escalate. our navy sailors have to defend themselves. if at any point they feel that this poses a real threat, you may have a situation where we shoot a russian plane out of the sky and you have an escalation. this is very danger game vladimir putin is playing. he's trying to flex what relatively little muscle he really does have, and i think he's playing with fire. >> congressman kinzinger, thanks very much for joining us. >> you bet, wolf, see ya. >> we'll have more on this developing story. also coming up on the race for the white house. lots going on. new information coming into the
our top story right now, donald trump at war with the gop. the republican presidential front-runner says the rules are rigged against him. i'll speak with the party chairman, reince priebus, that's coming up. right now joining us, ana navarro, rebecca berg, the national political reporter at real clear politics. our senior political analyst, ron brownstein. he's a senior editor at "the atlantic." and cnn political director david chalian. ron brownstein, donald trump clearly blasting the rnc right now saying in an interview with
the hill newspaper that the process, in his words, is a disgrace for the party and that the rnc chairman, reince priebus, quote, should be ashamed of himself. but he's still the front-runner. how unusual is it for a republican presidential front-runner at this point to be saying that the system is rigged? >> it is as unusual as many other things about the donald trump campaign, which is to say unprecedented. look, i think there's a lot of questions you can raise about whether many of the nonprimary systems that are being used are conducted to a standard of excellence that is required in an election where every delegate and every state counts. i think there are going to be questions like that after this primary is over. but the idea that this is specifically rigged against donald trump is kind of ludicrous on its face and is a very high-risk, i think, gamble for him to be making this argument. on the one hand certainly it does reinforce the us against them narrative that has energized a lot of his supporters. on the other hand, if he falls
just short of the first ballot majority, which many think is a likely outcome of these primaries, he is going to need exactly the kind of people he's attacking to come to his side and get him over the top. to say that the party is conspiring against him isn't exactly. i think the normal way would be you try to make friends and influence people. >> reince priebus is clear low fi -- clearly firing back. he said last night give us all a break. how stunning it to you that the chairman of the national committee is in such a fight with the presidential front-runner. >> as ron said, it is kind of unprecedented. listen, reince priebus is in a tough spot because he has really tried to be committed this entire time to a pretty transparent and open process, making sure everyone sort of understands the rules of the road. so he clearly wants to push back on that, and yet donald trump is clearly trying to work the refs and pump up his supporters and i'm not sure it is the best thing for reince priebus every day to be in a back and forth,
to and fro, with his open party's front-runner for the nomination. so i understand priebus' impulse to want to make sure everyone knows that the rules of the road are clear, but i don't think any rnc chairman, this one included, really desires to be in a daily to and fro with their own candidate for the nomination. >> i think you're right. ana, the latest polls in new york show trump with a massive lead, well into the double digits. what happens if trump does win massively in new york, let's say gets all or most of the 95 delegates in new york state, will that change his argument? >> oh, i think you will see donald trump be donald trump. i think you will see him tell us all how beautiful it is to win, how beautiful new york is. i think you will see him be critical of the rnc still because it's almost like he can't help himself. if we've learned anything about donald trump in the last ten months, it's that, you know, much like the stages of the
moon, the ocean tides, this man is cyclical. every so often he's got to get into a fight with megyn kelly, he's got to get into a fight with his poenlopponents, he's g cause controversy and get into a fight. this time the fight is with the rnc. i completely agree with david. i don't think reince priebus wants to do this, but it's not an impulse. i think reince priebus has no choice. he has got to defend the integrity of the process. what else is he going to do at this point? if donald trump wins, if he wins big, you're going to hear him celebrate. i think it is incumbent upon ted cruz to accept the treaties from john kasich and think about a strategic coordinated approach to new york. ted cruz cannot win. the important thing is keeping donald trump from the 95 delegates. it's time those two start working together. >> once again, my live interview with reince priebus is coming up in a little bit here in the
situation room. rebecca, we got to see a rather different side of donald trump at that cnn town hall last night when he was there with his family. all this comes as cnn is now reporting that trump and the fox news anchor, megyn kelly, they met quietly behind closed doors and trump tower in new york today. what's your read on these latest moves? because there's some suggestion trump may be trying to make some amends, maybe soften his image. >> sure. and we've seen donald trump try to do this at different stages in the campaign, right? he has tried to soften his tone at various junctures and then we'll go to his rallies and be just as aggressive as he always always been, just as bombastic, and so it is like ana said, he really is cyclical. maybe you could even call it inconsistent. so he can try to soften his image, but then reverts to his very natural showmanship that we have seen throughout this campaign. so my question would be can this last? is donald trump focused enough
on softening his image in the long term or is this just a phase for him, and we'll see. >> we certainly will. david, several republicans say they're now planning on skipping the republican convention in july in cleveland. what does that say to you about the state of the republican party right now? >> i think the republican party is pretty stressed out at the moment, and you can see that when our manu raju talked to these folks on the hill about whether they're going to show up on the convention. they even bumped into jeb bush and he said he didn't expect to be there either. listen, this is a party that is trying to figure out a path from here to november knowing that it is at this very tense moment where it could be breaking out into open chaos on the convention floor, where the nominee may be somebody that clearly is going to bring down the rest of the ticket in certain places. so if you are up for election for a senate seat in a pretty
contested battleground state and it's a risky election for you to begin, with i don't think tying yourself to any of the chaos in cleveland is probably a good idea, which is why some of these folks are going to stay away. >> stand by, everyone stand by. i also want to remind all of our viewers to stand by to watch tonight's special cnn town hall with republican presidential candidate ted cruz and his family. please join anderson cooper in new york tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. once again, we're standing by to speak live with reince priebus, the chairman of the republican national committee. we're also getting new information on the democratic race for the white house. much more coming up right after this. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have. i'm not contagious. see me to know that... ...i won't stop until i find what works. discover cosentyx, a different kind of medicine for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
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call for a free quote today. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. bernie sanders is in new york tonight. he's trying to make up some ground on hillary clinton with a familiar tactic, a massive star-stued rally right in the heart of manhattan. our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is joining us live from the sanders event at washington square here in new york. it's not far from nyu. jeff, it looks like that crowd is getting bigger and bigger. what's the latest? >> reporter: it is, wolf. the crowd is growing, much like senator sanders has been seeing all week across new york. he has literally addressed more than 25,000 people by our count just in the last four or five days or so. that could double tonight here in washington square park. you can see the crowds behind me that are gathering. there's going to be a concert tonight and then bernie sanders is going to say why he's the best choice for new york.
from the union hall -- >> it is too late for the same old, same old establishment politics. >> reporter: to the picket line. tonight, bernie sanders is fighting for new york, saying it's not too late to slow hillary clinton's march to the democratic nomination. >> we're on a roll and your support today is enormously important to taking us a step further. >> reporter: on the eve of their first debate in five weeks, clinton is striking back, hoping to fortify her lead by maintaining a strong edge over sanders with black and latino voters. the best way to fire up democrats, donald trump. >> and i have said frequently about donald trump, basta. enough with the prejudice and bluster and bigotry and all of the appeals to fear and anxiety and anger. >> reporter: and today clinton proposed creating an office of
immigrant affairs to help newcomers navigate bureaucratic red tape. >> despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, america's long struggle with racism is far from finished. and we are seeing that in this election. >> reporter: see is working to keep a diverse coalition of voters on her side in next week's new york primary. >> i'm running this campaign to knock down all the barriers that stand in the way of people getting ahead. >> reporter: for clinton to get ahead and move beyond the lingering democratic contest, she's hoping for a big win in new york, to expand her delegate lead over sanders. "the daily news" put its thumb on the scale for clinton in an editorial today calling her a super prepared warrior realist. diminishing sanders as a fantasyist who's at passionate war with reality. but sanders picked up an endorsement from jeff merkley. >> he has been in the
battlefield fighting clearly on these issues in a way that i think is the boldest, most powerful voice. >> reporter: sanders also won support from the new york transit workers union. >> i am grateful to have the support of this fantastic union. thank you so much. >> reporter: he is winning over thousands of new yorkers, one big rally at a time. and urging democrats to follow their convictions. sanders is also turning to democratic party history. visiting the home of franklin and eleanor roosevelt in the hudson valley. he said americans need a new leader to stand up to the special interests. >> people that he called the economic royalists. the people that i would call the billionaire class today. >> reporter: now, the sanders campaign is also hoping for some help from the occupy wall street movement. they are working hand in hand with the campaign trying to get voters out across the city and the state. wolf, just a few moments ago, hillary clinton also met with those striking verizon workers here in midtown manhattan. she'll be holding a rally of her own tonight in the bronx.
wolf. >> thanks very much, lots of rallies going on in new york. let's get back our experts for some analysis. ron brownstein, as you see bernie sanders holding another major rally in new york, there's going to be a huge crowd there tonight. and obviously very impressive. hillary clinton still, though, weigh ahead of bernie sanders when it comes to actual votes. we did some checking. right now the raw vote, clinton has more than 9,300,000. bernie sanders 6,900,000. she's at 56%, he's at 42%. here's the question. why can't he turn these huge crowds he's getting, often a lot bigger than hillary clinton's crowds, into actual votes? >> well, i think he has in many cases. what he hasn't done is be able to win the big states. that is the source of her vote advantage. the passion for sanders, i think you see most clearly reflected in his dominance of caucuses, which require a lot of organization and require people to put in a lot of time.
bernie sanders has advanced further than probably his campaign expected. he started with young voters and white collar liberals and he expanded way beyond that. he's won white voters in nine of 11 states outside of the south in the exit polls, every state except iowa and ohio. in national polling he is essentially even with hillary clinton, which is something that is virtually unprecedented for the candidate trailing in the delegate count this late in the race. but what he hasn't done is two things. he has not crossed the threshold with self identified democratic voters. they still prefer clinton by big margins and he has not cracked the african-american community at anything better than a 2-1 advantage for clinton. the coming states for the rest of april are at the intersection of those two trends. they tend to be closed primaries with big african-american populations in places like new york, pennsylvania, and maryland. so he's got a tough few weeks ahead of him before he gets back into better sailing in may. >> once it heads out west. as you know, david, bernie sanders, he struggled to answer
some questions in that editorial board interview with the "new york daily news" about his plan for banks and more. how important will it be for him to be much more specific tomorrow night in that presidential debate in brooklyn with hillary clinton? >> well, i think the sanders folks are clearly aware that the clinton campaign has used that "new york daily news" editorial as a weapon at the end of this campaign in new york here and i have no doubt they're coming prepared to answer questions to put some meat on the bones. we're starting to see them roll out some more in-depth policies around wall street and the banks, some of the things that he left a little vague in that "daily news" interview. but i expect that senator sanders feels prepared to offer specifics, but not -- he's not going to do it instead of. he'll do it in addition to. he still is one of the most on message candidates with his broad appeal, economic populistic appeal that has been working for him and i don't think he's going to get off of
that to get down in the weeds time and again. >> everyone stand by. just to remind all of our viewers, tomorrow hillary clinton and bernie sanders, they will face off for the final time before the critical new york primary. i'll be moderating cnn's democratic presidential debate live from brooklyn tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. coming up, donald trump says the head of the republican party should be ashamed of the gop's delegate selection process. the chairman, reince priebus, he will respond to donald trump during a live interview with me. that's coming up in "the situation room." plus american officials fear north korea's kim jong-un may be preparing to launch a missile with far more power than his regime has ever tested before. let's celebrate these moments... this woman... this cancer patient... christine... living her life... loving her family. moments made possible in part by the breakthrough science of advanced genomic testing.
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north korean dictator kim jong-un has dramatically expanded his nuclear and missile capabilities during his four years at the head of the regime. and american officials fear kim jong-un could be planning an unprecedented show of force. brian todd is tracking the latest developments. what are you learning? >> reporter: new concerns about kim jong-un's nuclear weapons and his missile capability. just minutes ago the top military commander in charge of shooting down any north korean weapons that are fired toward the american homeland said the probability of kim being able to hit the u.s. with a long-range missile will likely grow. it's got america's top spies and commanders watching closely tonight to see what the violent young dictator will do next. tonight, cnn has learned
america's intelligence and military leaders are watching kim jong-un with growing unease. fearing the young north korean leader with questionable stability and a penchant for violence may have now perfected building a nuclear weapon and may be preparing to test it. cnn has learned kim's regime could be preparing to launch a mobile ballistic missile. something it has never done. one long-range missile which officials believe the north koreans could fire could hit american territory on guam or the allusian islands. >> a scary scenario is north korea may launch its icbm. we've just learned they've tested the icbm engine. it may have new fuels that give it far greater energy and range. and with that range, the km-14 can possibly reach washington, d.c. >> reporter: the north koreans would first have to flight test that missile which they likely haven't done yet. but the concern is they're accel
rating their nuclear weapons and weapons capability under a leader becoming more war-like each week. a u.s. intelligence official saying kim is challenging his international rivals with provocative and threatening behavior. could he be ratchet up his weapons program because he's under threat from inside? >> kim has to be under enormous pressure from political and military elites. he has to demonstrate that he is a credible strong, unifying leader. he's trying to do this by having unprecedented weapons. he's killing people. he's eliminating opponents, and that incurs a price. >> reporter: a top senator on the intelligence committee asked by wolf is kim is rational said unequivocally, no. >> the kinds of things he's doing, you'd wonder whether they have a death wish. >> reporter: most analysts won't go as far as saying kim is crazy, but they worry in his zeal to fight off his enemies and project his power, he'll miscalculate. >> he is potentially reckless.
he is divorced from reality. both of those attributes could contribute to war. so we don't have to make a judgment psychologically as to whether he's crazy or sane. he's dangerous. >> reporter: tonight there is real concern among u.s. officials and analysts that another provocative move by kim is imminent. less than 48 hours away, the birthday of kim's grandfather, kim il-sung, the founder of north korea who the young kim is said to be obsessed with emulating. many of kim's bold moves recently were designed to show north koreans he is of equal or greater stature than his grandfather. >> why is he so obsessed with his grandfather and not his father? >> that's a very good question. experts tell us his father kim jong-il, the man in the middle here, is associated with failure. the north korean famine, the loss of russia's huge support,
the collapse of the nuclear deal with the u.s. they all happened under his father kim jong-il. a failure in so many eyes of north korea. but the grandfather is known for establishing north korea, for attacking his enemies in south korea and for a time when north koreans were actually better off economically than south koreans decades ago, a time when north koreans were not starving. >> interesting stuff. brian, thank you very much. coming up, donald trump is at war with the gop saying the republican national committee is rigging the rules to deny him the presidential nomination. trump says the party chairman reince priebus should be ashamed. just ahead, reince priebus will join us live. he will respond. wheat? in purina one true instinct grain free, real chicken is always #1. no corn, wheat or soy. support your active dog's whole body health with purina one.
happening now -- breaking news. ashamed. donald trump calls out the chairman of the republican party saying reince priebus should be ashamed of the party's delegate system which trump claims is stacked against him. trump now in an all-out war with the gop. is he willing to blow it up? the chairman reince priebus will join us live. making peace. trump holds secret talks at trump tower in new york with his nemesis. megyn kelly. the subject of some of his most scathing attacks and tweets. the unexpected meeting described as an on again/off again meeting set up by kelly herself. what is she asking trump to do? thousands expected to turn out to show their support for bernie sanders in new york. hillary clinton holding a dueling event across town. all of this on the eve of the
cnn democratic presidential debate in brooklyn. can sanders overtake clinton's lead of delegates before next week's primary. bragging terrorists. isis losing ground in syria. now launching a new propaganda offensive putting out pictures of the brussels and paris attackers. the isis threat prompting a rare visit by president obama to cia headquarters. what's next in the u.s. war against the terrorist forces? 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. >> we're following the breaking news in the extraordinary and escalating war between the republican party and its presidential front-runner donald trump. the billionaire businessman now saying gop rules are, quote, stacked against him. and trump is calling out the party chairman reince priebus by
name saying priebus should be ashamed. priebus is about to join us live for his first interview since this unprecedented political clash. and we're also standing by to hear from donald trump. he's about to hold a rally and possibly lob more verbal bombshells at his own party. we're also counting down to tonight's third and final cnn family town hall. ted cruz and his wife heidi are about to take questions from new york voters ahead of the state's critical primary now just six days away. and there's more breaking news. president obama making a very rare appearance over at cia headquarters this hour to discuss isis. he's meeting with top national security advisers. all this comes as the u.s. is weighing its next steps in the war against the terrorist forces. we're covering all of that. much more this hour with our guests, including the republican national committee chairman reince priebus and our correspondents and expert analysts are also standing by. let's begin with cnn's sunlen
serfaty. you have more on this latest development, this war as it's being call, between trump and the gop establishment. this simmering disagreement over delegates seems to be completely boiling over. what's the latest? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. it absolutely has. donald trump is increasing his outrage over the nominating process. the head of the rnc is intensifying his pushback of the front-runner. this feud and battle between them now escalating tonight to new levels. >> you don't think the rnc wants you to get the nomination? >> no, i don't think so. >> reporter: the feud between the front-runner and head of the republican party is erupting into an all-out war. >> because of all the shenanigans that goes on. >> you call them shenanigans. those are the rules. >> i know the rules very well but i know it's stacked against me by the establishment. i fully understand it. >> reporter: donald trump taking his criticism of the gop nominating system's rules to new
heights. now accusing the republican party of conspiring against him to prevent him from winning the nomination. >> they changed the rules a number of months ago. the people in -- >> about eight months ago. >> well, it's not very long ago. >> you had a lot of time to prepare -- >> you know why they changed the rules? because they saw how i was doing and they didn't like it. >> reporter: trump is making it personal calling reince priebus out by name, telling a newspaper that priebus should be ashamed of himself. priebus quickly firing back saying that the trump campaign should have known the rules tweeting nomination process known for a year and beyond. it's the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. complaints now? and taking a shot at the front-runner quip, give us all a break. senator cruz on the trail in pennsylvania today continuing to mock trump's outrage over the nominating process. >> any time the people vote against donald, he screams the voters are stealing the
election. >> reporter: and setting the expectations sky high for trump in new york's primary tuesday. >> donald is looking pretty strong in new york. it's his home state. you would expect him to do well in his home state. and if donald doesn't get north of 50% in his home state, i think that's widely going to be seen as a crushing loss for him. >> reporter: this as trump today sat down with fox news's megyn kelly whom he has taunted and antagonized. the two meeting face to face at trump tower in new york. meantime at cnn's town hall, the trump family trying to soften his image. >> i'm incredibly proud of my father. i'm amazed and truly in awe of what he's accomplished. and what he's accomplished throughout the course of his life. >> reporter: though admitting that they have tried to referee him at times. >> still tweet -- >> i did many times. and i just say, okay, do whatever you want. he's an adult. he knows the consequences. >> reporter: trump conceding that he's not ready to fully be
presidential yet. >> two more people i have to take out. and when i take them out, i will be so presidential, you won't believe it. >> reporter: all this as the trump campaign does seem to take more poignant steps now at trying to play the insider game a little more. today tapping at gop insider rick wiley to do their national political director and also are set to have a series of congressional outreach meetings tomorrow in washington, d.c. wolf? >> sunlen, thanks very much. let's get more on all of this. the chairman of the republican national committee, reince priebus, is joining us live. thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> so donald trump says you should be ashamed of yourself for the republican delegate selection process. he says it's rigged. what do you say to that allegation? >> well, i mean, it's clearly not. you know, look. all the candidates have the rules of the game, and they have
actually all been participating in the rules. so in the case of colorado, all of the candidates were participating. let me just say in colorado, it wasn't just a weekend state convention. the convention system which is used by some states, not a lot, actually started a month ago in precincts where 60,000 people participated. then it went to the county. then the congressional districts, wolf, and then to a state convention and the candidates all participated at every single step of the way. there were no complaints about that system. at least in colorado. the second thing i'd say, wolf, is that the rnc doesn't subscribe for the states what states individually want to do with how they allocate their delegates. these are decisions that each of the states make under our rules, those decisions have to be submitted by october 1st of 2015, which they were. and by the way, the consequence
of not submitting a plan by aucts 1st of 2015 is that you'd then have to use the same delegate plan used in 2012. >> let me just interrupt. but i understand all these rules are very complex and all the state republican parties and have different rules. but he specifically said you, and you are the chairman of the republican national committee. you should be ashamed of yourself for what's going on. how extraordinary is that? >> you know, i have no idea historically how extraordinary that is. given the year we have, you know, i honestly don't take it all that personally. but i do have to respond, though, when a campaign says that the rnc is, you know, rigging the rules. just not the case. the rules have been set. they are in place. they're not going to change in these states. and they are the same, for the next state of new york, they're all out there.
everyone knows what the rules are. i have to respond, though, if the party of which i'm the chairman of is getting attacked, especially when it's not true. >> he's clearly attacking not just you personally but he's attacking the republican party saying it's out to prevent him from getting the republican nomination. i know you met with him a couple of weeks ago in washington. have you reached out to him? have you tried to call him? i know you're exchanging tweets with him. you're tweeting. he's tweeting. why not just talk to each other and see if you can fix this. >> well, of course. and the campaign and rnc are talking every day. >> why not you? why don't you just pick up the phone and call trump and say, you know what, donald, this is getting out of control? >> right, and i do agree with that. so we'll do that, i'm sure, because we talk a lot. i talk with all the candidates a lot. we will.
wolf, this is going to blow over. this is -- i believe this is some frustration that has bubbled up, and, look, the rules are there. i know people get frustrated and they're disappointed when things don't go exactly the same way. i think when people are frustrated and upset, they say things they regret. certainly one thing that's true is that the rules are not being changed in order to injure or benefit anybody. they are what they are. they are in writing. they are available to anyone that wants to participate. and state by state, they aren't that complicated. >> so far, if you do all the math, add up all the votes that's have occurred in the primaries and caucuses, he's about 2 million votes ahead of ted cruz right now. a lot more pledged delegates. should that make a difference in this process right now? normally a front-runner like that, the party would consolidate around the front-runner and move on. >> but it does make a
difference, wolf, because donald trump has a lot more delegates. he got a lot more votes and has a lot more delegates. so it does make a difference. at the end of the day, you need a majority of delegates on the floor of the convention in order to be the nominee. in the case of 2012, rick santorum dropped out and then and only then, when mitt romney was alone, and the only person that could actually get the majority, did we declare that mitt romney was the presumptive nominee. so we might have a ways to go before that happens. and when we do, we're going to submit the nominee, whoever it is, 100%. >> if he doesn't get that nomination on the first ballot, and it's possible he might not, and he loses on the second ballot, how worried are you that there will be millions of republicans who voted for him who will be so angry they will feel this was stolen from them? >> well, there were millions of people that voted for rick
santorum and newt gingrich in 2012. the point is you have to have a majority. we have never had a nominee of our party that didn't have a majority. we've never had a president that didn't have a majority of the electoral college. you don't know what's so complicated about a majority in the united states of america when our country was founded on the concept of a majority. there's not going to be any bending whatsoever on that rule. >> because he says he has a majority of the actual votes. you are talking about majority of the actual delegates that are needed to win the nomination. >> he has a plurality of the votes, of the actual vote count, but you have to have a majority of the delegates. and so that's what the rule is. you know, i'm sorry i can't change the concept of a majority in the united states of america, nor would i want to. >> reince priebus is the
chairman of the republican national committee. lots going on. we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you very much. >> you bet. thanks, wolf. just ahead, a key trump supporter reacts to what we just heard from the national republican chairman. scottie nell hughes is standing by to talk more about that.
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life feels a little lighter, potency probiotic, livelier, a little more you. ultimate flora probiotics. the breaking news this hour, the republican national committee chairman reince priebus pushing back forcely against donald trump. he just gave us his first interview since trump called him out by name over the gop delegate system. the republican front-runner claiming the stakes are against him right now. the system is rigged, he said.
we're standing by to hear from trump directly. he's about to hold a rally in pittsburgh. first reaction from one of donald trump's key supporters, scottie nell hughes. thanks very much. go ahead and respond to what we just heard from the republican national committee chairman. >> listen, i think something we can all agree upon, including chairman priebus is voters and votes should matter. and time and time again we're seeing multiple examples of issues happening in the state primaries and caucuses that seem to show a little bit of reason why people and mr. trump is not trusting the process that's going on. starting off at the beginning with iowa. one campaign publicly say another campaign has dropped out. we know that was false. go down to louisiana. we're finding out where mr. trump received a majority of the popular vote and yet we're finding possibly more of the delegates are going to go to another campaign. on top of that, the rules committee, which is mainly apointed by that executive committee, that establishment party of louisiana, is going to
put five of the delegates on their rules committee representing the other campaign. let's go to colorado where we can sit there and talk about all the discrepancies on the ballot. but immediately afterwards we saw something come out on the colorado gop twitter feed that said we did it, #nevertrump. we never found out who put that out there. the blame game. but it's time and time again we're finding these episodes which said there's a reason we're having this idea of doubt happening amongst the different state political parties. >> you saw the reince priebus tweet when he said nomination process known for a year-plus, beyond, it's the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. complaints now? give us all a break. did the trump campaign fail to do its homework? >> i don't know about failing to do their homework. they've not beefed up their staff like the other campaigns. that say consequence of not taking public pac funds and having these bloated campaign dollars they can buy and
literally put 1,000 people on the ground. i'd give a lot of credit to the cruz campaign. they did a phenomenal job getting organized within colorado. they started a year ago knowing what the process was going to be. but in the end, you're looking at even here in tennessee when it comes to picking these delegates, these superdelegates or at-large delegates, you're finding trump supporters being replaced by anti-trump people who have publicly said they don't like mr. trump that will be going to the convention in cleveland as trump delegates. that's why people have suspicion of the process. >> is it appropriate for the republican presidential front-runner, scottie, to actually pick a fight with the chairman of the republican national committee to say he should be ashamed of himself and that the rnc is rigging the system? >> well, i think out of every controversy there comes opportunity. and right now chairman priebus has an excellent opportunity with mr. trump and all of these new supporters of the republican
party that have come in with these -- this amazing voter turnout we're seeing. to say, okay, guys, we need to make sure we include you in this process. don't feel like the same reasons that made you stay at home in the past or go over to the democratic party keep you engaged no matter who the nominee is. if it's mr. trump or somebody else. so is it appropriate to go back and forth? that's called politics. now is how both of the men handle it. you heard chairman priebus he does talk to mr. trump like the rest of campaigns. in the end it's going to be unity that's going to bring this party together eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later. >> senator cruz is calling donald trump a whiner. does it concern you that by complaining about the delegate process like this, donald trump could be seen as a sore loser? >> is it really whining when you are pointing out the truth? pointing out these inconsistencies that are happening in the appointments of at-large delegates or just simply called the truth? there's a reason we've had low voter turnout in the past, why
the republican party and all politicians for that reason have very little trust up until now that they'll do the right thing. mr. trump has literally opened the door and in the one great part about it he's not a politician. he doesn't have all these rules and orders and like we saw last night in anderson cooper's great town hall. his family said we're not a political family. this is new to us. that's one of those appeals a lot of people have about mr. trump and his campaign. they can relate to that. right now chairman priebus if he's not going to sit here and put the pressure on the state parties to be doing the right thing, he should be trying to figure out a good plan to keep all these folks engaged so that in november they'll still turn out to vote for whatever the nominee is. of course, i want it to be mr. trump. >> scottie, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. just ahead -- ted cruz, he's taking swipes, new ones, at donald trump as he prepares to take voters' questions along with his wife heidi at cnn's family town hall later tonight. plus, bernie sanders and hillary clinton. they are holding dueling events
priebus should be ashamed of the process that's trump claims has been rigged. >> the rules are set. they're in place. they're not going to change in these states and they are the same for the next state new york. they're all out there. everyone knows what they are. i have to respond, though if the party of which i'm the chairman of is getting attacked, especially when it's not true. >> this was his first interview, the chairman, the first interview since trump blasted the gop rules in that cnn family town hall last night. >> and because of all the shenanigans that goes on -- >> you call them shenanigans. those are the rules. didn't you know the rules? >> i know the rules very well but it's stacked against me by the establishment. i fully understand it. >> sara murray is in pittsburgh for us where trump is getting ready to hold a rally. this is a pretty remarkable situation, sara. what's the latest? >> reporter: a senior republican strategist told me the reason
you're seeing reince priebus push back is that trump overstepped wlep he called the party corrupt. i think he came out and defended it publicly on cnn. the other thing interesting that priebus mentioned was saying this saul going to blow over. and he has good reason to think that. it's because donald trump, if he is the nominee, is going to have to work closely with the republican party. he's going to rely on them for field organization. he's going to have to work with them on fund-raising. there's good reason for republican officials to believe this will soon pass. the question is whether trump will let it go around or continue to hammer republican officials and reince priebus here in pittsburgh. >> we'll hear what he says. that's coming up. let's dig deeper into all of this. joining us gloria borger, cnn politics executive editor mark preston, s.e. cupp and david
swerdlik. mark, react to what we just heard from reince priebus. >> reince priebus is being put in a terrible position. as head of the republican party, wolf, or republican national committee more specifically, he has to defend the accusations being made against him. specifically, his organization. now one thing about reince priebus right now and i've known him for many years, he san honest broker. when he talks about the rules being laid out well before this race was really into high gear, he's absolutely right. donald trump clearly is upset at what is happening right now in ted cruz having built an organization that is able to go out and able to win over these delegates and donald trump hasn't done so. reince priebus as well for all the criticism of donald trump, we should say this. he inherited the rnc in 2011 with a $23 million debt and has since turned it around. while that is not favorable right now to donald trump, the facts are the facts. >> gloria, trump sort of
jokingly said last night he doesn't mind the rules in the states he's won but still argues the overall system is rigged. does it hurt his legitimacy if he wins within a system he's basically accused of being crooked? >> right. you can't have it both ways, wolf. the system is illegitimate and you win, do you disqualify your own candidacy? i don't think so. what we're hearing from trump is a big wink, right? he says, look, the states that i win are okay. the states i don't win and don't get the delegates i deserve are not okay. and listening to trump at our town hall last night, you know, it seems to me that he understands that he's playing for big stakes here and that when he says i talk to my family differently from the way i speak when i'm at a rally, like the rally you're picturing here, he
says this is a game, and i've got to eliminate my opponents, and then i'm going to be presidential. so i think what trump is trying to do is stir the pot, get his base rallied and at some point, i think particularly if he's well on his way to getting the nomination, he and reince priebus, the republican party, are all going to have to stand under the same banner. and i think he kind of gets that. but that's not the fight he's having right now. >> that's a good point. david, trump's criticism of the rather complex rules governing delegate selection sort of -- i think it's fair to say resonates with a lot of voters out there the criticism trump is leveling. is this really the issue the republican national committee wants to choose right now to push back against trump? >> well, i think trump has actually made it a little easy on chairman priebus to push back once trump opened up with these
accusations that's priebus should be ashamd with himself over the rules. once he goes with the attack, chairman priebus has the option of coming on, being relaxed and saying, sorry, donald trump, but the rules are the rules. this really is not about colorado, the ted cruz campaign getting the best of the trump campaign in tennessee or north dakota. this is about conditioning trump supporters for the fight ahead so if we get to july, get to the republican convention and donald trump is short of the requisite number of delegates and loses on a first ballot, his supporters will already have in mind this idea that the deck was stacked against them, the playing field wasn't level and hopefully he'll be able to put pressure on the party establishment. >> a lot of those pledge delegates are going to be free agents on the second round. they can do whatever they want. s.e., as you also know, the fox news anchor megyn kelly visited donald trump today at trump tower in new york. possibly reaching out to discuss
some sort of truce. listen to what trump told me about their feud back in march. >> they want to have a primetime special on fox network where megyn kelly interviews me. i say what's in it for me? what do i get out of that? you're going to get ratings. what's i do get out of it? they want a primetime special. she should do somebody else and i'm telling you, if she didn't do me, watch what happens to her. >> all right. they clearly both have a lot to gain by calling some sort of truce after months of rather bitter fighting. why now? what do you sense is happening? >> well, i'm not sure that it was a truce that was reached. and if it was, i don't know how long it would last. keep in mind, donald trump met with reince priebus just a couple of weeks ago and they talked about coming together and chairman priebus said, look, we're trying to help you, but it doesn't help when you attack us on a regular basis. trump left that meeting.
great, we're all going to come together. look where we are today. so i'm not sure that truces really exist in trump land. i think there's momentary detente when there might be something that's mutually beneficial for both parties. but i wouldn't be surprised if at a later date trump unleashed on megyn kelly again. >> gloria, what's your analysis of this meeting between trump and megyn kelly? >> i don't know really anything about how it came to be. i think, clearly, as s.e. points out, this has been a problem in many ways for donald trump, more than for megyn kelly. and i think that it's in his interest to meet with her and probably in her interest as well. i mean, she is a nonpartisan journalist, and it doesn't do anybody any good to be having a running fused with a presidential candidate and it doesn't do him any good either. i think it's in their mutual self-interest.
as s.e. says, let's see what transpires as a result. >> let me get your analysis, david swerdlik. the trump cam ppaign hired anotr veteran insider to help delegate selection. it looks like they're trying to reach out. is it too late, though, because it's sort of late in the game to get that ground game going. >> well, i don't think it's too late but it is a realize and a recognition on the part of the trump camp that where they've had advantages in other areas, donald trump has 100% name i.d. he's been able to dominate a 17-man field. now that's we're down to a three-man field and he doesn't have some of those same built-in advantages, they need infrastructure. they've come to the realization that's hiring paul manna poafor hiring wiley they've been able to run and gun and now they have to take a time out and draw up a
real game plan going into the convention. >> guys, stand by. we have more to assess. also to our viewers, cnn later tonight, please join us for the final in the series of remarkable family town hall meetings. ted cruz with his wife heidi. they will take questions from new york voters ahead of that state's crucial primary next week. anderson cooper will host. it starts at 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. much more coming up, including the latest developments on the democratic side. what's going on between bernie sanders and hillary clinton? ♪
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xfinity lets you download your shows from anywhere. i used to like that song. the battle for new york rages tonight between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. this on the eve of the cnn democratic presidential debate. and just six days ahead of the new york primary. our senior washington correspondent joe johns is covering the democratic race for us. both clinton and sanders have campaign events in new york city tonight. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, wolf, hillary clinton's event gathering here in the bronx. bernie sanders' campaign planning for a huge event in washington square park this evening. long lines already gathering there. now all of this coming at the end of a day in which both of the candidates weighed in on a major labor disagreement between a union and an enormous telecom
company. hillary clinton meeting with protesters outside a verizon store today after bernie sanders visited a picket line this morning where thousands of verizon workers were striking over contract disputes. >> this is just another major american corporation trying to destroy the lives of working americans. >> reporter: both competing to pull in last-minute endorsements to boost their support in new york. >> i am honored. i am grateful to have the support of this fantastic union. thank you so much. >> reporter: sanders earning an endorsement from the new york transit workers union as well as an endorsement for the first time from one of his colleagues in the senate. senator jeff amerimerkley telli manu raju -- >> it's bernie i'm endorsing because he's been in the battlefield fighting clearly on these issues in a way that's the
boldest, most powerful voice. >> reporter: but hillary clinton is firing back with support of her own. winning the endorsement of the new york daily news editorial board which released a scathing interview with bernie sanders last week that's made him seem unprepared. the daily news writing that clinton's proposals are shaped for the world in which we live and called sanders utterly unprepared and a fant cyst at passionate war with reality. she announced her plan to create an office immigrant affairs and once again hitting the republican front-runner. >> as i have said enough about donald trump, enough prejudice and bluster and bigotry. >> reporter: another key voting block for clinton, african-americans. she's leading sanders by 37 points among likely black voters and trying to sidestep the new york land mines of race and politics. clinton in a speech talking
crime, playing it safe with wording she's used before. >> reforming our criminal justice system and ending the era of mass incarceration. >> reporter: after "the new york times" call on her to more fully explain her position on the controversial 1994 crime bill her husband, president bill clinton, signed while in office. and clinton renewing her commitment as an ally to the african-american community. >> throughout this campaign and then as president i'm going to keep fighting to break down. my door will always be open to you. you will always have a friend and a partner in the white house. >> reporter: if the polls are right, the sanders campaign is looking at a steep climb until tuesday. however, the fact of the matter is the campaign has said even keeping it close would send a huge message and shake up the race.
wolf, back to you. >> joe, thank you. gloria, senator sanders clearly having a pretty busy day out there on the campaign trail, meeting with striking verizon workers on a picket line. about to hold a large rally at washington square. could this last-minute surge of enthusiasm help close his gap with hillary clinton? >> sure, look. this is -- he's behind by double digits. one of the most recent polls has him behind 13 points. this is about turnout, mobilizing your supporters to get out there and vote in the primary. and i think that's what these big rallies do. they get a lot of press. they're huge events, and if you are bernie sanders, this is exactly what you want to do. you want to hold these huge events to show potential voters, particularly those younger voters who may not go to the polls readily but say look at all these people standing out here supporting me and you might
encourage them to actually get out and vote on tuesday. >> mark, when you look at the cumulative votes, the raw votes in all the primaries and caucuses on the democratic side so far, hillary clinton leads senator sanders by almost 2.5 million votes. you can see the numbers there. she has 9,300,000-plus. he has 6,900,000-plus. so does that mean -- what does that mean in terms of the momentum out there because the raw votes are important but the delegate count clearly more important. >> she does lead in the delegate count by and large for two reasons. she did very well in the south earlier this year in the prim y primary. and also has support of a lot more superdelegates than bernie sanders does. however, bernie sanders is able to put enough gasoline into his campaign to keep it going, that gasoline is the support that we'll see tonight in washington square park where maybe 10,000
people will show up, wolf, to show and rally around bernie sanders' candidacy. and also the small dollar donations he's getting right now. what bernie sanders is becoming to hillary clinton right now is a nag they can't seem to shake. yet for bernie sanders right now, he does feel empowered to continue on with this campaign because he is able to go out and get enough money to keep it going and also when you look at pictures like we are now on the screen where you have thousands of people showing up to hear your message, there's no reason to get out of the race. >> huge crowd gathering for bernie sanders right now in new york. david, hillary clinton spoke before the national action network earlier today. laid out $125 billion initiative that she called breaking every barrier agenda on issues affecting communities of color. how are these new policy details resonating out there with voters? >> well, wolf, as joe reported, she's speaking to issues that are near and dear to
african-american voters. she's trying to, you know, cling tightly to the established african-american leadership like reverend al, and she has that luxury right now because in new york, she's got a huge lead mong african-american voters. and among all voters in new york she has this comfortable lead. what strikes me, though, is how over the last couple of weeks we've seen the sanders and clinton campaign still tied up in knots over how to address black voters. on the one hand the clinton campaign that seems not to be able to talk themselves out of this idea that if you have the senior established old guard black leadership, that should be enough to win the black vote. when you sigh msee missteps lik president clinton last week. on the sanders side, sanders campaign seems to keep going along with this idea that as long as you are as far left as possible, as long as you are the most progressive in the race, then black votes will follow. that is also not the case. both candidates are doing well
among black voters, certainly compared to republicans, but both have to >> the african-american community really has helped hillary clinton a great deal in this contest so far. i assume that's probably going to continue in new york, pennsylvania, down the road, at least here on the east coast? >> probably. i expect new york to go hillary clinton's way with most -- with most liberal constituents both upstate and downstate, but you can sense that she's a little worried probably for the reasons that i think david correctly laid out and she's really starting to go below the belt on sanders on issues like race, suggesting somehow he cares less about the african-american community. he's just showing up now. this is not new. she's suggested he's sexist, that he doesn't care about the victims of sandy hook's
killings. these are real attacks on his character. >> we'll all be watching obviously very carefully. all right, guys. stand by. the stage now set for tomorrow night when hillary clinton and bernie sanders, they will face off for the final time before the critical new york primary. this is the time lapsed video of all the work that's been taking place ahead of cnn democratic presidential debate. i'll be moderating. we'll be live from brooklyn tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. isis launches a new propaganda offensive. what's the next step in the u.s. war against isis? safety doesn't come in a box.
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there's breaking news out of cia headquarters tonight. president obama paying a rare visit there, talking with top national security advisers about the terrorist threat. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is reporting the story for us. what's the latest? >> new momentum in the fight against isis, confident words from the president. part of a broader, more muscular message from officials across the administration. isis core in syria and iraq is
shrinking. iraqi security forces fight house to house. we take a city northwest of ramadi from isis control. as thousands of residents flee the violence, iraqi forces will rid the city of the terror group in days. president obama said that more and more isis fighters are realizing their cause is lost. >> today, on the ground in syria and in iraq, isil is on the defensive. our 66 member coalition, including arab partners, is on the offensive. we have momentum, and we intend to keep that momentum. >> reporter: isis says the u.s. military has lost more than 40% of its territory in iraq and syria and millions of dollars in money blown up by coalition air strikes. pentagon also claims more than
26,000 fighters, including several senior leaders, have been killed. u.s. officials say that isis is fighting force is now at its smallest since monitoring began in 2014. still the terror group remains active. in syria tuesday, isis fighters claimed control of a palestinian refugee camp, and there are growing fears that as isis is pushed back in its strongholds in iraq and syria, the group will launch even more terror attacks abroad following their recent strikes in brussels and paris. >> we must work to prevent the spread of islamic extremism in the first place. >> reporter: attempting to rally its supporters, isis' propaganda magazine praising the cell responsible for the brussels and paris attacks. the alleged european ringleader is showcased in combat gear
holding a bloody knife. the magazine says lacchr -- claims consistent with what investigators have told cnn. there are concerns by showering praise on the terrorists that have already been captured or killed isis may be attempting to cover for other cell members that are still on the run. european authorities believe they are largely dismantled this cell. there are many more isis cells out there in europe. >> underscoring this war, the president making that rare visit to cia headquarters out in langley, virginia. thanks very much, jim sciutto, for that. an important programming note. be sure to watch tonight's special town hall with republican presidential candidate ted cruz and his family. you can join anderson cooper in new york city tonight, 9:00 p.m.
eastern only here on cnn. you can always follow us on twitter. you can tweet the show. be sure to join us right here tomorrow in "the situation room." i'm wolf blitzer. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. breaking news. donald trump's war with the rnc gets personal and chairman reince priebus is punching back tonight. plus, a big star-studded rally for bernie sanders here in new york as his wife jane slams the nomination process. she says it is not democracy. and a worldwide exclusive outfront here tonight. two years after 300 girls were kidnapped in nigeria, is there proof of life tonight? let's go "outfront." >> good evening, i'm erin burnett. outfront tonight, the breaking near