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

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facebook. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer who is right next door in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. disqualifying. former republican presidential nominee mitt romney says donald trump's failure to release his tax returns is, quote, disqualifying for a modern day nominee and suggests a hidden bombshell. will the tax flap overshadow critical gop unity meetings tomorrow with the house speaker paul ryan? delayed gratification. hillary clinton has her eyes on november, but bernie sanders says he's in it to win it. and as he pulls off another primary win, is he pulling hillary clinton to the left? putin's parade. russia's president flexes his military muscle and takes some
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pot shots at the west. what the u.s. and its allies are about to answer by activating a powerful defensive weapon. and prince's pills. we're learning more about the pop star's last days amid new searches of his home and new clues that all was not well in the time leading up to his death. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following breaking news. the former gop nominee, mitt romney, drops a bombshell saying donald trump's failure to release his tax returns must mean he's hiding a, quote, bombshell. romney says it's disqualifying for a modern day nominee to refuse to release his tax returns, warning that could conceal, and i'm quoting him now, conflicts of interest and inappropriate associations. all that comes as a badly divided gop is pinning its hopes for party unity on tomorrow's
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crucial meeting between trump and the house speaker paul ryan. ryan is one of many mainstream republicans who so far have not been able to bring themselves to back trump, and trump may be making it even more difficult by making it clear he has no plans to release his tax returns until an irs audit is complete. the multimillionaire insists there's nothing to learn from his returns. also, russia's slavladimir putin is using a military parade to take a swipe at the united states and its allies, but the u.s. and nato may give putin something to complain about. they're just hours away from inaugurating a brand new missile defense system in europe. i'll speak with shawn duffy. our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of all the day's top stories. let's begin with jim acosta. jim, trump's tax issue threatening to overshadow his
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meeting with paul ryan. what's the latest? >> that's right, wolf. so far donald trump and house speaker paul ryan are saying all the right things ahead of their face-to-face meeting tomorrow here in washington, but the man who ran for president with ryan on his ticket four years ago, mitt romney, is ratcheting up the pressure on trump to release his tax returns. romney just posted a scathing message on his facebook page saying the audit trump keeps talking about should not stand in his way. and donald trump just moments ago tried to clarify the issue with a tweet. one day before what some in washington have dubbed the paul ryan primary and donald trump's meetings with top republicans, the speaker of the house is preaching party unity. >> we have to be at full strength so that we can win this election and that is why we have to go through the actual effort and process of unifying. >> but trump just gave gop lawmakers a new reason to worry, telling the associated press he will defy campaign tradition and refuse to release his tax returns before the november
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election, citing an ongoing audit, saying there's nothing to learn from them. it's a shift from his earlier comments when he seemed to leave the door open to making his tax information public. >> i will absolutely give my return, but i'm being audited now for two or three years so i can't do it until the audit is finished, obviously. >> but last week, trump started to dig in his heels, suggesting the irs could be out to get him. >> i say to friends of mine, how often are you audited? very wealthy people. >> do you think it's political? >> i would say yeah. i would say yeah. >> the irs is doing this? >> i don't know. >> trump has deflected the issue for years. consider how he answered the question in 2011 when he was considering a white house run then. >> we'll look at that. maybe i'm going to do the tax returns when obama does his birth certificate. >> if he sticks to his guns on his taxes, trump would become the first presidential candidate to fail to release his returns since 1976. even richard nixon released his taxes while he was under an audit. mitt romney, who faced pressure to make his tax information
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public four years ago posted a message on his facebook page telling trump to tear down that tax wall. saying it is disqualifying for a modern day presidential nominee to refuse to release his tax returns to the voters. >> i predict that there are more bombshells in his tax returns. >> trump is also standing his ground when it comes to his past comments on john mccain, whether being a captured p.o.w. makes you a war hero. >> after i said that, my poll numbers went up seven points. >> no, i understand all that. >> some people liked what i said. but i like john mccain. in my eyes john mccain is a hero. >> and trump's plans to temporarily ban muslims from entering the u.s. >> i'm thinking about setting up a commission, perhaps headed by rudy giuliani, to take a very serious look at this problem. >> just some of the reasons why republicans like paul ryan want to get to trump better. >> i don't really know him. i'd rather have a conversation in person than through the media, no offense. >> just a few moments ago,
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donald trump posted a tweet on twitter trying to clarify this issue. we'll put it up on screen. in my interview with the associated press, i told the a.p. to my taxes are under routine audit and i would release my tax returns when that audit is complete, not after the election. so donald trump, wolf, trying to say in that tweet that he was never really saying he was not going to release his tax returns until after the election, he's saying it's because of this ongoing audit that's under way. the clinton campaign has only begun to seize on this issue. just today hillary clinton said she and former president bill clinton have released 33 years worth of tax returns. the last eight years are on her website. we should point out, donald trump is not legally precluded from releasing his tax returns while they're under audit. he can legally do it right now. >> although he says his lawyers have advised him not to do so. they say that could complicate the audit, thanks very much, jim acosta, for that. let's bring in our cnn political reporter sara murray. sara, trump had previously said he was looking forward to releasing his tax returns.
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when i spoke to him last week i asked him about his tax returns and he said i look forward to doing it but i'm under audit. i'm going to wait until that audit is complete, citing what his attorneys have told him. what else are you hearing on this? >> wolf, i think the interesting thing about this and what we saw from donald trump tweeting today, he said he would release his taxes when the audit is done. there is nothing that indicates that the audit will for sure be completed before the election, so it's still possible we won't see his tax returns until after the election. but the other interesting thing is we have asked donald trump and his campaign a number of times why they don't release tax returns for prior years, years that aren't being audited, and they have dodged this question. even though, as you were hearing from hillary clinton, she said she's made three decades of tax returns available, trump could potentially go back five years, three years, let's say, and release returns from those years and so far his campaign has made no effort to do that. i think it's likely he's going to continue to face scrutiny over this issue. >> as you know, sara, he also
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indicated that in the general election campaign that's now beginning from his perspective, now that he is the nominee, he will continue to rely on big rallies which helped him a lot over the past year instead of some of the more targeted turnout operations. what are you hearing on that front? >> well, this is sort of vintage trump, isn't it, wolf. this is really the strategy that sort of brought him to victory in the primaries was this idea of touching down in every state and getting free media and not paying for polling, not paying for the analytics we saw other campaign use, for instance, the cruz campaign or president obama's campaign. he actually said in this associated press interview that obama's data structure was overrated. now, i do think we are going to begin to see somewhat of a shift in the general election. dana bash has already been reporting that the trump campaign is working with the rnc to do a little bit of voter modeling. i think the rnc has a lot of this infrastructure already in place so that means the campaign has to do less of it on their own, but it will be interesting
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to see if they really do stick with this belief that you can go essentially light or have no analytics and still eke out a victory, wolf. >> we'll see what happens on that front as well. sara murray, thank you. joining us now, republican congressman sean duffy of wisconsin, a former marco rubio supporter. he's been sharply critical of donald trump in the past but now says he'll support trump in the general election. is that right, congressman, you are now onboard the trump train? >> listen, donald trump won my district. he's our nominee. i think it's important to unify around our candidate. listen, i don't like all that donald trump has said, but i know that donald trump will be better for the economy and better for our national defense than hillary clinton will, so i'm going to work for him and support him. >> do you think he should release his tax returns even though they're still being audited in recent years? >> i don't know the specifics of his audit. all the same, i think that hillary clinton should release
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all of her e-mails and the transcripts of her speeches to big banks and wall street. transparency with all these candidates so american voters know who they are and where they stand on issues is incredibly important on both sides of the aisle. >> you saw the mitt romney statement that was just posted on facebook. among other things, romney said it is disqualifying for a modern day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters. he then says the potential for a hidden, inappropriate situations with foreign entities, criminal organizations or other unsavory groups is simply too great a risk to ignore. that's a pretty strong statement from mitt romney, who has made it clear, by the way, he has no intention of supporting trump. >> i have the utmost respect for mitt romney, he's a great guy. but that's like nancy pelosi calling on hillary clinton to release her e-mails and the transcripts to wall street. i don't know what he's doing. it seems a little like sour grapes. this is indicative of the fact
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that a lot of republicans across the country didn't like the tactics that donald used to win the nomination. he went nuclear, donald did, on a lot of republicans that a lot of conservatives have a soft place in their heart for and i think there's some residual frustration and anger at donald. i think that's coming through with mitt romney's comments, not just today but also in the speech he gave several weeks ago about donald trump. the key to all this, though, as republicans is you have to recognize that this is your candidate. donald trump is your candidate and you only have a choice between hillary clinton or donald trump. you have to decide who will be the best candidate to lead america forward. and i think for conservatives, the only choice that you have is going to be donald trump. and so i think there has to be a healing and a unification. wolf, you talked about this meeting that's going to take place tomorrow here between paul ryan and donald trump. i'm hopeful that it's going to be a positive meeting. but the good sign is that both
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of them are on the same page saying they have to get to know each other, number one. number two, we have to unify the party. number three, we have to beat hillary clinton. that is a great first step in getting paul ryan on board and through paul ryan i think you get a lot more conservatives, at least in the punditry class, to get on board for donald trump. >> that's a big issue right now. congressman, do you understand why senator marco rubio, the man you once supported for the republican nomination, now says he still doesn't have confidence in donald trump as commander in chief of the united states having his fingers on the nuclear codes, but still, because he made a commitment, because he made a promise during one of those debates, he will go ahead and support the republican nominee. i guess the question is, how can you support someone that you don't have confidence would be a good commander in chief with his finger on those nuclear codes? >> yeah, you know, i didn't understand that analysis either. i think obviously marco rubio
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thought that donald is better than hillary. but what i know about donald trump is the guy is a winner. whether he's a winner in business, he's shown he can win in politics. i think he's going to do everything that he can to win as president. one, keeping us safe, keeping our economy growing, making sure we secure our borders. and so it's that history that donald has that gives me more confidence that he is going to be a sound commander in chief an bring more prosperity and deal with these threats overseas, whether isis, iran, russia, china. i think that he'll navigate them well because he likes to win. and dealing with these issues will be a win for donald trump and a win for america. >> speaker ryan, who like you is from wisconsin, you know him well. he's meeting with trump tomorrow morning as we pointed out. how do you bridge the gap, though, between what speaker ryan is saying and what trump has to say. for example, on issues like immigration, you know, deporting 11 or 12 million undocumented immigrants in the united states, trade, the wall with mexico, the
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temporary ban on muslims coming to the united states. can you -- can these two guys work those kinds of issues out? >> yeah, i think so. if you look at 30,000 feet, you might see some division on those issues but if you look a little closer, there is a lot of unity. republicans believe that we should secure the border. paul ryan believes in that and so does donald trump. now, it might be do we do it with a wall or some other means. i don't think paul ryan believes that you can legitimately deport 11 million people but you should be able to identify who they are and decide whether they get to stay or go back home. none of us agree that you should make people citizens, but there's a conversation after you secure the border that you talk with whether you give them some form of legal status. so there's a lot of agreement there. we don't want to see folks from parts of the world that don't like america, that breed radical extremist views come into america without being vetted. i think there's unity on that point but there's not a complete ban on muslims. i think that donald trump has
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walked that point back. and on trade, paul ryan is a free trader. but donald trump also believes in trade. what donald has been saying, though, is you need to do good trade deals. good trade is good for america and i think paul ryan would agree with that. so there's more in common here that these two guys as they meet tomorrow, maybe it's our republican beer summit in the capitol, can come out closer to being on the same page and unifying the party and that will be a good thing for, i think, conservatives and republicans around the country. >> they're going to be meeting around 9:30 tomorrow morning. it might be a little bit too early to have a beer, even if you're from wisconsin. a little too early to have a beer. congressman, stand by. we're going to talk about the economy, the national debt. is donald trump abandoning some conservative traditional policies. much more with congressman sean duffy right after this.
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a little more you. ultimate flora probiotics. our break news, the former republican presidential nominee, mitt romney, says donald trump's failure to release his tax returns is disqualifying for a modern day nominee and suggests a hidden bombshell that's overshadowing at least in part tomorrow's crucial meeting between trump and the house speaker, paul ryan. we're back with republican congressman sean duffy of wisconsin. congressman, there's also the issue of the debt that seems to distance donald trump from traditional republican positions. as you know, trump says the u.s. would never default because, as president, he could just have more money printed. how does the republican party resolve a statement like that? >> you and i might have heard that statement differently. when i heard him say that, i thought he was saying you can't default because you can print money. i don't know that he was saying we should print money or monetize our debt. if he was, i give great pushback.
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we don't want to see a mass of policy that increases inflation substantially across the country. that would be a bad thing add a lot of us conservatives in the house have pushed back on the federal reserve for their quantitative easing which was basically printing money to buy u.s. debt and mortgage bonds. so i think there was some misunderstanding, a true misunderstanding of what he was saying and the explanation. wolf, what i think is important, though, is there has in the recent weeks been a lack of clarity on the points donald trump has made and he's had to come back and reclarify the statements. i think that goes to the point that he's not spending enough time with the policy people and more with the political people. if you're going to be a successful president. if you're going to get paul ryan and the conservative movement on board, you have to understand the policy that is going to make america great again. the ideas that you have to implement through congress that he'll have to sign. and so i think he's making
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mistakes because he's not putting enough time into, you know, getting up to speed on the policy that's going to help us grow the economy and grow our military and keep us strong again. if he spends more time there, i think that will do wonders for him in his outreach to conservatives. >> and i know, i assume you'd love to meet with him, sit down and have some good conversations with him as well. when i spoke to donald trump last week at trump tower in new york, i had this exchange with him on a subject close to your heart, namely puerto rico, and its enormous financial problems right now. listen to the exchange we had. >> should the u.s. bail out puerto rico? >> no, i don't believe they should. i don't believe they should. i think puerto rico is better if they don't because they'll cut the bonds, they'll cut them way down. they have far too much debt. i will tell you, puerto rico has too much debt. you can't just restructure. you have to use the laws and cut the debt way down and get back to business because they can't survive with the kind of debt they have. >> what's your reaction? i know you're working on this enormously important issue. >> yes.
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donald trump is spot-on. we don't want to have taxpayer money to go to puerto rico to bail them out. i don't want wisconsin taxpayers to spend my money there. this is a bill we're going to put down tomorrow. we're going to put in a control board to get the finances under control but number two, they have no mechanism for restructuring so we're going to allow a forum for which the bondholders on the island can negotiate their debt. if they can't come to a joint resolution, they can access the courts and have the courts help them resolve the debt. it's true, they have too much debt. what you see is when you have massive debt, it creates a lack of investment on the island, which creates poverty. there's 45% poverty rates on the island of puerto rico. if we don't act right now, that is going to only get worse. more people are going to flee the island and come to the mainland. and so i'm hopeful that we're going to get a bipartisan bill
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that comes out of the committee and out of the house that will go to the senate. i hope neither side plays politics with this because this is about the real pain taking place in puerto rico right now. this is a good bill that republicans and democrats have worked on. bondholders have seen it and many of them have bought into what we're doing because it's fair and the right thing to do. i thought donald got that one right. >> sean duffy, the congressman from wisconsin, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. coming up, our political experts getting ready to weigh in on this plus a whole lot more. should donald trump release his tax returns now? what can we expect when he meets with house speaker paul ryan tomorrow morning? later, authorities return to prince's home, this time with a federal search warrant. we have new details on the investigation.
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our breaking news, mitt romney, the former gop standard bearer, says it's disqualifying for a modern presidential nominee not to release tax returns. he suggests a hidden bombshell in donald trump's failure to do so. trump says he won't release his returns until an audit is complete. let's bring in our experts. rebecca berg, national political reporter at real clear politics. cnn chief political analyst, gloria borger. s.e. cupp and cnn politics executive editor, mark preston. would it be without precedent? i know it goes back to the '70s, for donald trump to continue to refuse to release his tax returns? >> he would be the first nominee since 1976 not to release his taxes. ironically, a lot of people will think it was ironic that it was richard nixon in '73 who first challenged his opponent and said you've got to release your
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taxes, this is important. he was being pressed on a tax issue. so he released all this is taxes. since '76, it's actually become something that candidates generally do as a matter of course. >> you saw the statement from mitt romney. >> yeah. >> which is a tough statement, among other things. hidden inappropriate associations, raising the possibility with foreign entities, criminal organizations, other unsavory groups. wow, that's a strong indictment potentially of donald trump by mitt romney. >> yeah, but this is what you want to know when you're nominating a president. and i'm sure he'd have the same to say about hillary clinton and her ties and cgi, the clinton glebl anywhe global initiative. this is the stuff you want to know. >> but he's raising criminal organizations. what evidence does he have that donald trump was involved with criminal organizations? >> i don't think he has any evidence. i think he is suggesting that it is completely out of bounds and unacceptable for a person running to be the president of
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the united states to keep that information hidden. what i'm hidden inexplicably from trump supporters is that it's none of our business and that is truly a truly terrifying and very undemocratic defense, i think. >> mark, is there any way trump can be literally forced to release those tax returns, even if the irs is still continuing those audits? >> well, wolf, in a simple answer, no. he's an unconventional candidate that has won or is on his way to winning this republican nomination without any help of the republican establishment. there's nobody that seems to be able to convince donald trump that he needs to run his campaign a certain way or that he needs to do certain things or he needs to be careful about what he says. he really does march to the beat of his own drummer, and i think on this tax issue, he'll continue to do so until he decides that he wants to release this data. >> he has shown some flexibility, rebecca, on certain issues in recent days since he got for all practical purposes the nomination. does that concern republicans on
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some of these core issues? he's sort of moving around? >> it absolutely concerns republicans, wolf. and flexibility, i think, is the generous term from what we've seen from donald trump. he's been wildly inconsistent on many basically core policy issues for republicans, including today. one of his top policy advisers said that he could see trump's administration possibly tackling entitlement reforms once he's in the white house and trump has said he's not touching entitlement so more inconsistencies from his campaign now. it just really shows how malleable he is on policy and this isn't really a focus of his campaign. he's wanting this to be about style, less about substance. i wonder if he's going to be able to maintain that for the whole campaign. >> trump says and he made it clear to me, these are negotiations he's going into. he has this opening bargaining position. he's going to go in, meet with the democrats on the hill, meet with others and eventually they'll come up with a compromise because he says that's the way it should be done.
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>> but who are we electing? who are we nominating? >> malleable is one thing. negotiating is one thing. but having a set of beliefs is something else. i think what concerns republicans like s.e., i don't want to put words in your mouth. >> go ahead. >> is this question of how conservative is he? what does he really stand for? and who is he? and, you know, to bring this back to the tax issue, i think that we have all gotten used to a certain transparency, whether it's on the issues, this is what i believe, this is what i would do if i became president, not i would negotiate, but this is what i believe in. as well as on things like your taxes, which tell you a lot about a person, about potential conflicts of interest, about where you give charitable money, where your money has come from. you know, we've grown accustomed to transparency in our electoral process. >> and we generally ask for more of it in our administrations. the current administration has faced criticism for its opacity. the prior administration faced
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criticism for its opacity so the idea that some of this is none of our business is kind of frightening. >> mark, the key question is the big meeting tomorrow between donald trump and the house speaker, paul ryan. what's your analysis? are they going to come out with their hands together or is there still going to be a problem, the speaker still refusing to endorse him? >> i think they're going to come out and won't be holding hands but will have made progress to getting to the end goal of speaker ryan and other republicans getting behind the donald trump candidacy. here is the issue right now for republicans. okay, even if they don't like donald trump, he is still going to be at the top of the ticket. if donald trump goes into the november election, does nt get any help from the republican party, gets slaughtered, okay, gets slaughtered, that is going to have ramifications down ballot. there's a good chance then republicans could lose control of the senate. there's a good chance they are going to lose a substantial
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number of seats in the house of representatives, so even though they don't like donald trump, there's going to have to be some coming to jesus moment to try to protect their own interests in congress. >> you think they're going to come out working together or still split? >> i know that paul ryan really wants to get on board. he wants to help donald trump help him to get on board so that's an earnest overture. but i would just caution, you know, after every time that donald trump slammed the rnc and then went into a meeting with reince and came out to saying everything was great, he went right back to slamming the rnc so any detente achieved is probably temporary. >> i think paul ryan's concern is really his caucus. i think he not only has exhibited a certain amound t of candor, saying i'm not there yet, but he's given his caucus a place to go. some members if they don't believe comfortable endorsing trump, there's the ryan agenda that he's provided.
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but i've heard from some members who say i don't see how he gets to yes and ends this. i think they have to do something together, because as you point out, he is the nominee of the party. >> it may take more than one meeting. >> conversations would be good. >> conversations are always good. all right, guys, stand by. coming up, what's behind vladimir putin's latest show of military force and how a new move by nato could push tensions even higher.
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in the democratic presidential race, hillary clinton isn't talking about her latest loss to senator bernie sanders in the west virginia primary. instead, she's looking ahead to a general election matchup against donald trump. our senior washington correspondent, joe johns, is following the democrats for us. joe, hillary clinton also trying for a big finish to this primary season. >> that's certainly true, wolf. after his big win in west virginia, bernie sanders was not only running hard today, his campaign was using some attention-grabbing tactics to describe the race. a fund-raising letter calling polls that show hillary clinton running neck in neck with donald trump in battleground states as scary and terrifying and suggesting a clinton nomination would be courting disaster to protect the status quo. hillary clinton is still waging a primary fight. >> i believe if we do what we need to do in the next few weeks, we will have a big
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victory on june 7th that will take us all the way to the white house. >> reporter: but these days it's her likely general election opponent that's getting most of her attention. >> i believe with all my heart that we are better than the campaign that the presumptive nominee for the republican party is republicaniunning. >> reporter: that has bernie sanders vows to stay in the race, touting a 15-point win in the west virginia primary. >> and let me be as clear as i can be. we are in this campaign to win the democratic nomination. >> reporter: but he acknowledges and uphill climb in the delegate count, with clinton now just 148 delegates shy of clinching the nomination. >> i say to those superdelegates in the states where we won landslide victories, listen to the people of your state. >> reporter: and sanders is not backing off his attacks, criticizing clinton for taking
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donations from the family that owns walmart. >> so i say to alice walton, maybe instead of donating $300,000 to secretary clinton, pay your workers a wage that they can live on. >> reporter: as the democratic contest carries on, sanders is pulling clinton to the left on a range of issues, including trade, immigration and the minimum wage. the most recent case, health care, with clinton putting fresh emphasis on a proposal to expand medicare coverage boyy allowing people to buy in early. >> i'm also in favor of what's called the public option so that people can buy into, you know, medicare above a certain age, which will then take a lot of the pressure off the costs. >> reporter: clinton is also facing increasing attacks from the republican side. >> she lied to me. >> reporter: trump posting an instagram video slamming clinton's handling of benghazi. >> i don't know why that's funny. >> reporter: clinton firing back
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at trump today for his refusal to release his tax returns. >> my husband and i have released 33 years of tax returns. we've got eight years on our website right now. so you've got to ask yourself, why doesn't he want to release them? >> reporter: meanwhile today, vice president biden said on abc he's confident hillary clinton will be the nominee. house democratic leader nancy pelosi said she wasn't ready to endorse anyone, but that the next president, whoever she may be, will be one of the most qualified people to ever enter the oval office. >> that was a quote from her when she used the word "she." thanks very much, joe, for that. coming up, new muscle flexing by vladimir putin's military. will new moves by nato provoke him even more? also, investigators return to prince's home. this time with a federal search warrant. we have new details about what they're looking for.
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russia's fut putin is cloaking in imagery from soviet days using a spectacular military parade to take fresh shots at the united states and its allies. brian todd is looking into this. what are you learning? >> reporter: tension between putin's government and the united states are at a boil. we're told in a few hours a new missile defense system installed by the u.s. and your even allies will be activated in romania. that's certain to anger vladimir putin, more provocations could be coming from the russians who have shown a massive display of their fire power.
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vladimir putin in his element. ♪ >> reporter: victory day in moscow, commemorating the soviet union role in the defeat of nazi germany. it is also the russian president's moment to show off the new military, the one he spent billions to overhaul. poo putin is eager to display it. they tilt their heads in indifference and a battalion of female soldiers come out in white skirts. >> he is trying to harken back to when the country was united in common purpose to fight a common enemy. that's the symbol of world war ii and that's what he is relying on. again, for many russians who were raised in the soviet period, this is what they
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understand. >> reporter: at least twice putin uses a charged phrase from the cold war. comrades. >> what's he trying to project? >> putin is trying to appeal to all of the positive elements of russia's past, imperial and certainly soviet. >> reporter: projections of power and masculinity of his political life blood. he loves to be shown playing exhibition hockey, though he recently took a tumble on the ice. he couldn't resist one salvo. >> double standards and those that nurture plans are impermissible. >> reporter: it was looked to be a swipe against the u.s. this is in the wake of several close calls which u.s. officials view as dangerous. a russian jet barrel rolling a u.s. military aircraft. and this russian buzzing of the uss donald cook, a move seen to show putin's anger over forces
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and maneuvers in eastern europe. thursday, nato inaugurate rates a missile defense system in romania which russia is protesting. u.s. and nato officials say the deployments are defensive, a reresponsibility to putin's aggression in crimea and ukraine. >> it is a dangerous moment in the relationship between the united states and russia. president putin and his colleagues used rhetoric about the possibilities of limited nuclear war. president putin said in response to some of the things emanating from the white house maybe the united states has forgotten we are a nuclear power. >> reporter: experts say look for both sides to ratchet up tension more and more. putin is likely to send troops and nuclear war heads to nato's doorstep. in that victory day parade, putin unveiled a mysterious unit of the military called the national guard, designed to protect him in the attempt of a coup attempt. >> brian todd, thank you.
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we're getting new details about the investigation into what led to prince's unexpected death last month. our justice reporter evan perez has been working his sources. evan, what are you learning about the doctor who treated prince in the days leading to his death? >> talking about dr. michael issue enberg, he saw him at least twice in the weeks lead to go his death. at the pace lee park compound on the day of his death, the dea and those assisting in the investigation with local authorities, they want to know more about the relationship between dr. shoe enberg and members of prince's inner circle as well as his relationship with prince. we are told that they're doing more investigation to figure out where these pills came from. we are not saying that the doctor is the source of those pills. as a matter of fact, his attorney, amy connor sent a
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statement saying he is cooperating with investigators. at this point investigators have not found any indication that prince had a valid prescription for the opioid pills found in his home when he was found dead. they're also saying they don't believe it was doctor shopping. instead what they believe is the case that perhaps drug runners we talked about on the show, people who obtain the medications illegally, perhaps those people were responsible for providing the pills to prince. they're still waiting for any indication that the pills played a role, waiting for toxicology. >> is this all leading to some criminal case? >> increasingly the da is bringing more of these cases. used to be they didn't do these types of cases, we believe that's what they're pursuing in this case. >> evan perez reporting for us, thank you very much. the hidden epidemic of prescription drug abuse and how to stop it are the subject of an anderson cooper 360 town hall,
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prescription addiction, made in the usa. dr. sanjay gupta joins him for that town hall, 9:00 p.m. eastern. coming up, mitt romney now says donald trump's failure to release his tax returns is, quote, qualifying for modern day neiman suggests a bombshell. will the tax flap overshadow his unity meeting with house speaker paul ryan? with 5-door versatility, advanced hybrid technology and dynamic sport-tuned suspension... it has a side for every side of you. ♪ the lexus ct. it's up for as much as you are. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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shoshow me more like this.e. show me "previously watched." what's recommended for me. x1 makes it easy to find what you love. call or go online and switch to x1. only with xfinity. happening now. breaking news. trump's tax trouble, presumptive presidential nominee donald trump under fire for resisting
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calls to release tax returns. one of the sharpest critics mitt romney saying it disqualifies from being the republican standard bearer. republican rift, the party struggling to unite behind trump. house speaker paul ryan facing growing pressure from within to endorse the billionaire business man. will the meeting do anything to move the gop closer to unity? wave of terror. isis claiming responsibility for a series of bombings that killed more than 90 people. the terrorists taking advantage of a security vacuum to wage multiple deadly attacks today. what's their next target. america's secret wars, the pentagon deploying special forces to take on isis and al qaeda in small operations around the globe. the u.s. military footprint rapidly expanding. is this the future of american warfare?
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we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we are following breaking news. the exploding controversy over donald trump and his refusal to release tax returns now. one of the sharpest critics, 2012 presidential nominee mitt romney calls that decision disqualifying. romney goes on to say, i am quoting now, there's only one logical explanation for trump's refusal to release his returns. there's a bombshell in them. but trump tweeted he will release his returns when irs audits of them are complete. the tax controversy comes on the eve of an important meeting with house speaker paul ryan, now facing growing pressure from within to endorse trump. something ryan said he's not yet ready to do.
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all eyes will be on the republican party headquarters tomorrow when trump sits down with ryan and the party chairman, reince priebus. we are also following a deadly wave of isis terrorism. multiple bombings that killed more than 90 people. single deadliest strike, a car bomb that killed at least 60 in a market. the terrorist targeting shiites and taking advantage of a security vacuum that's opened in iraq amid political turmoil. we are covering all of that and much more this hour with our guests, including republican congressman and donald trump supporter darrell issa, and correspondents and expert analysts are standing by. sarah murray has the latest. sarah, it is becoming a big issue in the trump campaign right now. what's the latest? >> reporter: that's right, wolf, it is hard to see it just going away. hillary clinton seized on this, pointing out she released decades of tax returns.
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donald trump's campaign seems to be dodging the question of why if current returns are under audit why he doesn't release previous years. he appears to be poised to rewrite the political play book on another issue. he is bucking tradition again, refusing to release tax returns which he says are still under audit. he tells associated press there's nothing to learn from them and took to twitter to add i told ap my taxes are under routine audit and i would release my tax returns when audit is complete, not after election. the returns shed light on a candidate's effective tax rate, charitable giving and investment income, issues that tripped up politicians in the past. earlier this year trump suggested it was a matter of months before he would release his returns. >> i have one of the world's most complicated tax returns, it is a massive return.
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i will get it done as soon as i can. >> reporter: now the business man isn't budging, the latest reason claiming he can't release them because they're under audit. >> i will absolutely give my returns. but i am being audited now for two or three years, so i can't do it until the audit is finished. while i am under audit, i am not releasing my tax returns. no lawyer would let you do that. >> reporter: it is an excuse many experts balked at saying it wasn't likely to cause additional problems. others say it may make sense as a legal strategy to keep taxes under wraps. as for the irs, it says individuals are free to release their own tax information. richard nixon did just that, releasing his returns when he was under audit in the 1970s. now hillary clinton is jumping on that reluctance to release returns. >> when you run for president, that's kind of expected. my husband and i released 33 years of tax returns. we have eight years on our
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website right now. so you got to ask yourself why doesn't he want to release them. >> reporter: he does a sharp about face after he talked about mitt romney for failing to not release them sooner. >> i think mitt was hit badly by this thing with the tax returns. i believe he should have said i am giving them april 1st or soon. >> reporter: this year the tables have turned and it is romney questioning what trump is hiding. >> i predict there are more bomb shells in those returns. >> reporter: taking to facebook to write it is disqualified for a modern day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters. while trump may never win over romney, he is still looking to patch up things with paul ryan tomorrow on capitol hill. even though the house speaker said he is not quite ready to endorse trump, he insists he's still pushing for party unity. >> what we're trying to do is be
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constructive as possible for unification. we finished one of the most grueling primaries in modern history. it will take some work. that's the work we are dedicated to doing. >> reporter: donald trump has taken an unconventional approach to pretty much everything. here's another thing to add to the list. he told the associated press he thought president obama's focus on data during his campaign was overrated. he said his secret to success in november will be focused more on trump's personality and list on analytics. >> sarah murray in new york. thank you. let's get more with senior white house correspondent jim acosta. jim, mitt romney says there's no reason trump can't release tax returns right now. what are you hearing? >> that's right. donald trump is trying to send the message there's no controversy over the tax returns, that they will be released as soon as he is no longer being audited. the question is whether that would happen before the november election. trump says yes, and the trump campaign is not showing signs of panic over this.
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one trump aide said they believe the public absorbed his business dealings good and bad. the last gop nominee says not so fast. another sign of public animosity between the gop leaders. romney hosted that blistering facebook message we are talking about saying trump has run out of excuses. saying mr. trump saysesque audited. so? there is nothing that prevents releasing tax returns that are being audited. further, he could release prior yeerts not under audit. there's only one logical explanation for mr. trump's refusal to release them. a bombshell in them. that warning comes a day before the nominee is scheduled to sit down face to face with paul ryan. we know that. there are a slew of other leaders lined up in the house and senate in separate meetings across the capitol.
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we know he met with pro-trump house members, talking to sources on capitol hill, it is clear how important the meetings are for trump tomorrow. i am told many lawmakers are waiting to see how these meetings pan out before they come out and publicly endorse donald trump. as one aide told me, members are all over the place on this, breaking from decades of campaign tradition, refusing to release tax returns wouldn't be helpful. >> thanks very much. let's get more on this. joining us republican congressman daryl ice a awe. a member of the foreign affairs committee. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. >> did you go to the meeting that jim acosta was talking about? >> no, i don't, i didn't go to it. i see speaker ryan regularly and know him who intends to and endorse and bring this together. i was on the phone with donald trump a few minutes ago, he told
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me i won as a rebel, now it is time to bring us together, be a union fieer. i know he has the same intention for tomorrow's meeting. >> how does he plan to do that? what's his strategy, what did he tell you? >> we didn't talk strategy, we talked current events. one of the advantages they have, these are two good people with independent followings. sometimes those overlap, sometimes don't. with donald trump, he has been able to say follow me or get out of my way. with paul ryan, he had to say help me get to 218 even though we don't agree on anything. they're coming from two different stand points, but both want to get it done. some distractions you're going to keep reporting on, but let's think about it. mitt romney in 2012, in january released a teaser. he was already the presumptive nominee. a teaser. he didn't release his tax
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returns until september before the election. so it is not unreasonable for donald trump to take a little time, perhaps wait until after california and final primaries, say most of them to do it, but he is right about one thing. i have been audited. the same people working on this audit, perhaps dozens of people, are the same that have to cull them before releasing them. >> he could release irs returns from previous years that are no longer being audited. >> it is not a question of papers being audited, you're right, you could look at older papers. but remember, before you throw them out there, there's personal identifiable information and things get redacted. all of that would have to be done. >> one conversation with donald trump, did you discuss whether or not he will release the tax returns? >> he intends to. >> what exactly did he say, do you remember? >> he said i intend to but i have to get past this.
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i think the nuance as a businessman, someone that knows donald trump and paul ryan, paul ryan can do his on the back of an envelope. you know where his income comes from. when you look at donald trump's, it is much more complex, the team of auditors are working with the irs and do i expect him to give some older ones? yes. mother jones is still complaining mitt romney didn't release everything from 2012. you can never satisfy everyone. tomorrow's meeting between the speaker and presumptive nominee donald trump is about them coming together on policies for a common good, one in which donald trump made it clear he intends to raise money to retain a republican senate and house so he can get things done. >> you think he should release tax returns. you support that. >> i think he should and i think he will. there's no law, it is a tradition. i think it is important we all
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know the press loves this because it is -- >> look at mitt romney who was republican nominee, he says it is disqualifying for a modern nominee not to release tax returns. >> mitt right now needs to get over the fact that in fact somebody he didn't pick won. i was a marco rubio person. i was on the campaign trail for four months. donald trump is a good man. he wasn't my first choice. mitt romney is in the same boat. we need to unify. i think we're coming together and it is important we all come together. we've come together over more controversial candidates in the past including gerald ford and including hw bush. >> in that statement he released, says while not a likely circumstance, he said the potential for hidden inappropriate associations with foreign entities, criminal organizations, or other unsavory groups is simply too great a risk to ignore for someone
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seeking to be commander in chief. >> he is talking about hillary clinton's foundation. >> he is talking about donald trump. >> sounds like the clinton foundation to me. >> this is the nominee from four years ago, associations with criminal organizations, those are strong words. >> well, again -- >> that's not the media, that's mitt romney. >> he is a constituent of mine, he is frequently in san diego. he is a good man. we all knew even though he lost the election he is a good man, but he needs to start looking at the positive side which is the direction that donald trump and 23 or 24 cabinet officers will take america versus the direction that the alternative would be. once he focuses on that, he'll realize we have much more in common. that's what tomorrow's meeting between ryan and trump is all about. it is about planning a strategy for unity of a republican party that's going to take america in a better direction.
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>> you've come around, you support donald trump, you used to support marco rubio, you were active on the campaign trail, and dismissive of trump at that time. want to play a clip. like a lot of republicans, words are coming back now. listen to this. >> there's a lot about trump when you look at it, you start saying wait a second, is he even a republican. do his initiatives support the republican side or the economic side. i'll give you one. it is an important one. he went out of his way to bash george w. bush and make an issue over we shouldn't be here, we shouldn't be there. you know what, the next president of the united states is going to inherit all the strengths and weaknesses, mistakes and successes of his two predecessors, and the fact is we are engaged around the world in a fight against isis. we are engaged in trying to get the muslim world to reject extremism, shi'a and sunni.
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and donald trump wants to say we're going to build a wall on that one, too. that's not going to work when we start narrowing to two or three people having real discussion with donald trump about whether he has a plan or just a bully pulpit, and i mean bully. >> you're smiling. you remember those words. what has changed between then and now about your assessment of donald trump. >> perhaps it is a little like george hw bush and voodoo economics before he was the vice president, the fact is donald trump is not if you will an expert on foreign affairs, not expert on military operations. he's a businessman. now that he has won the nomination, he has to build a team of advisers that will help him on this. he is going to have to look at both military and current experts to build a team. i expect like he builds other
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businesses, i don't think he was a bricklayer, but his buildings got built. yes, i would have preferred some people with experience in foreign policy. i think, wolf, we both know we are living in one of the most dangerous times in history. having said that my job is not to support the nominee, it is to make the administration work. that means supporting a team that -- >> donald trump is a republican? >> i always said he is a republican, he is not your easy to understand republican, not from this wing or that wing. >> a clip we played, raised the question is he even a republican. you asked that question yourself. >> perhaps it was sour grapes. hillary clinton went to his wedding, i didn't. he has been a businessman, he donated generously to democrats to help him.
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he makes no bones about it. he is transitioning to business man as i did 15 some years ago. it is a transition. it will be a quick one. he is going to have to do it during the campaign and in the few months after election before he is sworn in and it is tough. you look at somebody that's been smart and successful in everything from running beauty contests to building casinos and high-rise hotels to in fact reality tv, he has shown himself to be somebody that learns. >> congressman, i want you to stand by, if you can. he made an issue of self funding his campaign. but no longer. he is about to start raising money, maybe a billion to get elected president of the united states. much more with darrell issa after this. it immediately neutralizes acid and only gaviscon helps keep acid down for hours. for fast-acting, long-lasting relief,
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breaking news tonight, the former republican presumptive nominee mitt romney slamming this year's presumptive nominee slamming donald trump and his refusal to release taxes so far. romney says it is disqualifying, speculates there must be a bombshell in trump's return. trump responded saying he will release returns as soon as an irs audit is complete. we are back with darrell issa of california, trump supporter, member of the foreign affairs committee. he seems to have changed his mind about self funding political campaigns. until now, he was self funding the effort to get the republican nomination but no longer. listen to this. >> i am self funding my campaign so i don't care. i'm doing what's good for you. i am self funding my campaign.
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in other words, i'm not bought by special interests and lobbyists that have these guys totally in their pocket. >> i am self funding, i am putting up my own money, okay? is that smart? i don't know. i always say i never get enough credit for that. >> no longer. now he says he's going to go out and raise money, maybe a billion dollars together with the republican party to fund his effort to become the next president of the united states. is there a flip, a flip flop, contradiction? >> it is a businessman put up more than 10 million to get it started, who flew around in his own jet, in his own helicopter, his own expense. i think donald trump has lived up to a contribution greater than any of us and probably anyone watching has ever given to any candidate. >> michael bloomberg when he ran for mayor, he spent like $100 million of his own money to fund his campaign. >> but michael spent it three times. each time he spent vast amounts of money. >> he can afford it, he is a
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multi billionaire, too. >> as mayor, he was running for one job. as president of the united states, he's bringing a team on board, a president and vice president, but he's going to be helping to make sure the house and senate win re-election, and some of those races only cost 1, 2, $3 million. when you have 435 house seats and 100 senate seats, a third of those up, 34, you have an awful lot of very expensive ones. when donald trump says he is going to raise money, he is going to raise money for the team, for rnc and senatorial committee. >> he is not going to self fund any more. >> i think you're going to see, i can't judge for sure, i think you're going to see donald trump continuing to throw in money to move around, to take care of if you will his campaign. as you set up offices, there's no office. i spent a lot of years doing it, no office elects a president, there's a regional office, like
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in orange county, my district, that will have that seat and house and senate races there. that team of operation is where money will be raised, and there are thousands of them around the country. and helping the volunteers who volunteer to help all of the republican party. that's the team effort that's unity. >> i wonder if donald trump is going to go to fund-raisers to raise money for himself and other republicans. obviously until now he refused to do that. he has given money. democrats, republicans, all sorts of candidates. listen to the vice president, joe biden. here's what he said today about donald trump. >> i understand what it means to compete in a heated election contest, but, but by insulting our partners throughout the hemisphere, by tarring all immigrants with a sean oh phobic
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brush, they're actively undermining our prosperity. >> you remember the house foreign affairs committee, you speak to world leaders all the time. is the vice president right? >> joe biden is a friend of mine. i worked with him, trust him on many, many things. when he makes a statement on politics, he has an obligation to point out things that could be better in the worst possible way for republicans and maybe gloss over the other side. this president has been divisive with our foreign leaders. he has insulted both our friends in israel and saudi arabia and egypt. and so there have been foreign policy faux pas that are huge. i think we can all point that out. the fact is donald trump never claimed to be an expert on foreign policy, he's an expert on business. he will have to put together a team, including a secretary of state and others and i believe he will. i am aspirational that he will get better, which is something
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that we hoped for for president obama and he went in the wrong direction. >> if he invites you to join that team, will you? >> i think every republican will do what we can to support the president, including joining the team. i don't have any question we're excited about taking the world another direction, one of peace and prosperity. >> darrell issa, thanks for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead, they have huge differences in policy. can they reconcile them, move the gop closer to unity in the big meeting tomorrow. and the latest on the isis wave of terror that left on this one day more than 90 people dead. you both have a
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we are following breaking political news. mitt romney saying donald trump should be disqualified for not releasing his tax returns. right now, speculating they may contain what romney calls a bombshell. trump says he will release his returns as soon as an irs audit is complete. let's dig deeper with national political reporter rebecca berg, jeffrey toobin, and david which he yen. stunning to read that statement posted on donald trump today. wasn't that your immediate
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reaction? >> yeah. listen, it wasn't all that surprising he feels this way because he has said this before, it harkens back to what he said in utah where he tried to eviscerate donald trump unsuccessfully obviously, but i think, wolf, what you have from donald trump, why this is a tricky issue. i am not sure voters will vote in the fall. i think it is a two pronged issue for him. one, he is selling his business and financial acumen as credentials, that's one of the calling cards that donald trump brings. so to not be ope and show what you put together i think raises questions. two, you give hillary clinton the opportunity to push back on what is one of her greatest have you nerabilities, what is she afraid to so, why do the clintons play by a different set of rules, that's a frame around hillary clinton that she can now push back on the republican
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nominee in a way that may mitigate some of that uncomfortableness for her. >> you know there are tax lawyers, i am sure donald trump has some of the best tax lawyers that say don't release tax returns while the audit is on-going that potentially could be -- lawyers as you know are cautious. >> they are. remember, donald trump has the power to release those tomorrow. there's no legal impediment. >> he says the lawyers say it could undermine the audit that's on-going with the irs. >> first of all, that makes no sense. second, that's private lawyers' advice to him, those aren't government lawyers, that's not an irs obligation. the irs made perfectly clear that donald trump or anyone else is completely free to release anything about his own taxes at his own discretion. so the idea of hiding behind his lawyers is ridiculous and remember, we're also talking about other years' tax returns
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which as far as anyone can tell now, i think there are no audits there. so he could clearly release those as well. he just chooses not to. >> she went after him today, hillary clinton, on this issue. but remember, bernie sanders released one year of his taxes. his wife jane sanders told me the other day she prepares all their taxes, they're not going to release any additional years of tax returns until hillary clinton releases transcripts of her speeches before wall street groups. i assume donald trump started using that argument, i will release tax returns when hillary clinton releases the transcripts of the speeches. >> he could start to use that argument. maybe you just gave him a good idea, wolf. i wouldn't be surprised if he does. certainly donald trump has other ways he can point out hillary clinton as not having been transparent, but as david said, it undermines his argument, makes him look a little hypocritical. and don't forget, donald trump portrayed himself in the past as a par a gone of transparency, trying to hold president obama to account by forcing him to
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release his birth certificate in 2011, encouraging the president to release his report cards from college. i mean, if he is asking that of president obama which many people found to be pretty ridiculous, not releasing something that for the past 30 years presidential nominees have released. >> it is one of the rare moments in the campaign, you include both primaries, where donald trump is on the defense and hillary clinton is on the offense. just for the moment, changing the atmosphere of the campaign in a way that donald trump is not used to. >> you have unique perspective. you worked for him four years ago, tried to get him elected president of the united states. do you understand why he is front and center on this issue? >> look, let me take a step back as a romney operative, look at it clinically. mitt romney is a very complicated messenger on this. i don't see this as a very clean hit by mitt romney. also it is hard to find out what
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his motives are. we are through the primary. >> what are his motives? >> i think it is a bit of the fact that he thinks donald trump is a bad nominee for the party and he wants to continue to point that out. i think one of the big problems he will have, jeffrey, for a lot of republicans, even those that don't support donald trump, the sum of this is it provides aid and comfort for the opposition. it is not clear what the strategic objective of this is and end game other than making donald trump, force him to answer questions that mitt romney himself was forced to answer during -- >> it is a personal issue. >> it is a little personal. you probably have a better assessment. >> the loathing that comes through in that statement. it's almost unfair in mentioning criminal activity. there's no evidence these tax returns include criminal activity. >> says while not a likely circumstance, the potential for hidden inappropriate associations with foreign
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entities, criminal organizations or other unsavory groups is simply too great a risk for someone who is seeking to become commander in chief. that's a pretty stark statement. >> exactly. that's not he should release them, that's a real knife in the back. >> on this issue, there's no love lost between donald trump and mitt romney. donald trump hit him hard over many months, saying he was a loser, should have won the election four years ago, couldn't close the deal. he hit him hard, too. >> there's no doubt. it is still perplexing why mitt romney wants to play the role of harry reid in the election. this is what harry reid was doing to mitt romney, sort of raising speculation without any real information. >> don't forget that mitt romney in his speech earlier this election psycycle, he said dona trump is playing voters for fools. i think mitt romney wants to expose donald trump for what he sees him as. >> at that point, there were
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theoretically other republican candidates who might get the nomination. now that's gone and he is trashing him in a way -- >> he was goading other candidates into doing what they were going to do, more scrutiny on that lack of transparency. >> what's going to happen tomorrow when donald trump and paul ryan get together with reince priebus, chairman of the republican national committee. >> it is in both their interest for this to go well. they want to emerge with a victory here. i don't envision paul ryan walking out with a trump sticker and carrying a flag, ready to endorse kind of thing, but i think it is in their interest, both want to come to a common understanding how to proceed with the relationship going forward. no doubt donald trump wants to get paul ryan's support eventually, i don't think that has to come tomorrow. i think they're going to look for how do we work together, how
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do you, paul ryan, not undermine me as i go through the campaign by withholding your support, and how can i give comfort to you and your members that i am the standard bearer to get behind in the party. >> can they do that? >> i think paul ryan is cognizant that healing is a process, not an event. one meeting is not going to solve a lot of the rifts that have taken place over the course of the primary. i think this is just one step in that process. >> one question that i have, does donald trump really want that? his brand is he is against the establishment. thinks they're losers. he could have reached out to paul ryan earlier but hasn't. >> he's in a different phase of the campaign now. >> we'll see. i'm not sure. >> all right, guys. stand by. we have more to discuss, including the latest on the democratic side in the race for the white house.
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hillary clinton increasingly looking to a november faceoff with donald trump, despite that bernie sanders remains in the race and won the latest democratic primary. senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny joining us from new
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jersey now. jeff, sanders says he's not going anywhere. what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, he says he's staying in the race until the end and there's good reason to believe him. he is softening attacks on hillary clinton, but still making the argument that he believes he's the most electable democrat. hillary clinton is all but ignoring bernie sanders as she shifts focus to donald trump. there are 8 more states that vote on the democratic side, including here in new jersey. >> thank you, new jersey. >> reporter: hillary clinton is moonlighting, still campaigning for the democratic primary. >> if we do what we need to do in the next few weeks, we will have a big victory on june 7th and it will take us all the way to the white house. >> reporter: even as she desperately tries to concentrate on the battle ahead. >> it is pretty clear at this point that we're going to have a real difference in the general election. >> reporter: she's focusing more
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and more on donald trump, but bernie sanders remains a distraction. his west virginia victory tuesday promises to keep the democratic race alive. today in new jersey it was all about the general election. >> i have to tell you how concerned i am with what i hear trump saying. i've said he is a loose cannon. >> reporter: from policy to personal attacks. >> i am not going to respond to the insults and the attacks coming from donald trump in this campaign. >> reporter: but her democratic rival is still on stage, campaigning in montana today he's talking trump, too. >> if you look at virtually every poll taken over the last month or six weeks, national polls, state polls, bernie sanders is the strongest democratic candidate to defeat
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donald trump. >> reporter: sanders' big 15 point win in west virginia earned him only seven more delegates than clinton. it does little to change her muscular lead in delegates. but clinton is moving left, following what voters like about him. the latest shift on health care. saying this week people over 50 should be able to buy into medicare plans. >> i also am in favor of the public option so that people can buy into medicare above a certain age. >> reporter: from trade to minimum wage, clinton is aligning with more liberal conditions, setting up a political test for the fall election. vice president joe biden who stayed out of the fray since deciding not to run last year offered his strongest endorsement of clinton yet on abc. >> i feel confident that hillary will be the neiman i feel confident she'll be the next president.
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>> reporter: but the vice president tempered that somewhat by saying he believes he would have been the best president, he said it was simply not the time for him to run with the death of his son. now, the vice president is behind hillary clinton, the president almost is. the question is when will the rest of the democrats in the states get behind her, and will she win any of these states. she lost the last two. the clinton campaign would certainly like to end this with a win, but she has a lead in pledge delegates, wolf. mathematically speaking, this nomination is essentially hers. >> jeff, thank you. just ahead. car bombs, suicide attacks. we are learning details of a wave of isis terror that killed almost 100 people today. plus, secret wars. expanding america's military footprint. what awaits the country's next commander in chief? t telling people how switching to geico could save them hundreds of dollars on car insurance. but first, my luggage. ahh, there it is.
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we're following today a wave of isis terror. multiple bombings have left more than 90 people dead. jim sciutto working the story for us. underlying the insecurity that the horrible situation that has developed inside baghdad. >> no question. and i spoke to a senior u.s. military official in baghdad today who said this is an attempt by isis to prove that it is still viable. noting in his words that isis has lost every battlefield engagement with iraqi forces for months. that is accurate, but the violence inside the very well-protected iraqi capital was devastating and alarming. it was the bloodiest single day in bad dad in months. here the smoke still rising,
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moments after a suicide attack on a checkpoint killed 12. earlier, the deadliest strike of the day, more than 60 killed at a busy market in a shiite neighborhood. blood soaking the pavement, cars reduced to smoldering. isis quickly claimed responsibility. the attack sparked renewed anger from iraqis already deeply distrustful of their government. today's violence coming days after angry crowds stormed government headquarters inside the capital's heavily fortified green zone. protestering corruption. >> translator: many people were killed and you can see blood everywhere. there were poor people here to earn a living. why did this happen? can this corrupt government tell us why? the people are dying because of this government. >> reporter: today the white house blamed the ongoing political struggle in the deeply divided iraqi government for undermining iraqi efforts to
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fight isis. >> the united states' government has been of the strongly held view that the iraqi government is more likely to be successful in securing the country if they can succeed in uniting that country to face down the threat. that's what prime minister ab abadie has tried to do. >> reporter: devastating losses on the battlefield. u.s. coalition and iraqi security forces have driven isis out of more than 40% of its territory, including once important power centers in ramadi and heat. the result, says the u.s. military, is a isis less capable of large-scale operations on the battlefield. >> much smaller groups really attempting to -- in my mind -- stay relevant and to try to fix the iraqi security forces from continuing to move. >> in terms of terrorism, however, still demonstrating
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enormous capability. i'm told iraqi security forces have not asked the u.s. for help, responding today's attacks but they are focused on one particular danger. isis focusing these attacks on shia neighborhoods, continuing attempt to spark the kind of shia violence. that is it still a risk particularly with the divided iraqi government that iraq faces today. >> a horrendous situation, by all accounts. thanks very much, jim. the war against isis and al qaeda has the united states quietly expanding its military footprint in a series of small wars being waged by special operations forces. our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, is joining us. these small wars, as they're called, playing out in multiple countries. >> reporter: across the globe, wolf, president obama very much relying on special operations forces. but will the next president of the united states do the same? the raging civil war in yemen gave the the al-qaeda affiliate there the ability to move in and take over this southern port
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city of mu californiaa. giving the most dangerous al qaeda group in the region a new place to dig in. in response, the pentagon sent in a small number of u.s. troops to advise and assist saudi and emraddy forces trying to eliminate the al qaeda threat. from the middle east, to africa and beyond, the obama administration is now involved in multiple small wars, fighting isis and al qaeda by using special operations forces. though their numbers are small, using the best-traned troops in the u.s. military is a massive commitment. >> we're helping participants to strengthen their security forces from africa to afghanistan. >> reporter: wars that are likely to outlast obama's presidency. >> the next president is going to get a whole bunch of small wars in his or her basket. >> reporter: in libya, there are an estimated 6,000 isis fighters
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and no central government to fight them. >> we're going to continue to use the full range of our tools to roll isil back from libya. >> reporter: the pentagon planning how and when to move in. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says a top priority -- >> to further develop the intelligence we would need to support operations in libya. >> reporter: in somalia, 50 u.s. troops at remote locations, advising and assisting somali and african forces in the fight against the local al qaeda group known as al shabaab and in west africa, u.s. troops trying to prevent isis in and al qaeda from going toe holds there. charles keating shows just advising and assisting it turn into combat in seconds. keating killed when other navy s.e.a.l.s came under fire in northern iraq. no one suggesting any of these
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small wore wars are going to subside by nauseous day in the united states. a challenge for the next president. wolf? >> all right, barbara, thanks very much. barbara starr reporting for us. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, donald trump tonight refusing to release his tax returns. is he hiding a bombshell. plus, bernie sanders' huge win, 19th states. he says he can get more delegates than hillary clinton. he's right. a cool superstar. you've got to see this. let's go "outfront." ♪ good evening, i'm erin burnett. and "outfront" this evening, breaking news. a firestorm over donald trump's taxes tonight. trump tonight still refusing to release his tax returns. but the presumptive nominee is on the defense, after the associated press reported t

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