tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN March 26, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
belgian police have announced their first charges in connection with this week's terror attacks in brussels, a man only identified as faycal c. has been charged with terrorist murder. two others are facing charges of participating in a terrorist group. we're also learning that the former belgian ambassador to the united states, andre adams, died in the brussels attacks. cnn national correspondent phil black is in brussels. so, what more can you tell us about the death of the former ambassador and these charges? >> reporter: let's start with these charges, fredricka. after days of dynamic police work, lots of raids, lots of arrests, around nine or so, we're now hearing a number of them have been charged. and one of the charges is, indeed, pretty serious. as you said, a man identified by the authorities here as only faycal c., the letter "c," they're not saying his full name just yet. he's been charged with a series of offenses, including terrorist murder and attempted terrorist
murder, because of the attacks that took place here in brussels last tuesday. what the authorities here are not saying specifically just yet is just what they believe his role was. but those particular charges indicated it was a pretty direct part that he must have played in the bomb blasts that killed people, both at the metro station in central brussels and out at the airport as well. interestingly, this is a man who was arrested yesterday outside the office of this country's federal prosecutor. we're not sure why he was there or what he was doing, but he was picked up, and that arrest has resulted in the prelate serious charges. we're seeing a number of arrests, as i say, a number of lesser charges, involvement with terrorist activities, both here and relating to another attempted plot that was broken up yesterday in france. and yesterday, you may recall, there was an arrest, a very dramatic scene where a man was detained at a tram station here in brussels after being shot in
the leg. the authorities tell us now that his detention has been extended as he receives medical treatment and also is interrogated further, fredricka. >> meantime, phil, we're learning a little bit more about the two, two of the brussels attackers were on a u.s. watch list. can anything be, i guess expounded on that, whether european authorities did or did not know enough about them and how they could be on a u.s. watch list, even if european authorities didn't seem to have a close watch on them? >> reporter: well, it points to what can only be seen as another missed opportunity. these two brothers, they were on a u.s. watch list, but here, the authorities said they were known for criminal activity, but not for terrorist activity. one of these brothers was also deported from turkey as the result of suspected terrorist activity. so, what you can bet the authorities here are talking about is intelligence-sharing,
not just here, but other countries as well. this has been one of the big issues to come out of these most recent attacks. we've heard it before. it is now front and center again. countries very quickly sharing intelligence, doing so efficiently and chasing down leads to ensure that possible threats are dealt with before they result in the sorts of scenes that we've seen again here in this european city over the last week. fredricka. >> phil black, thank you so much. appreciate that. let's talk with our panel. david rhoda is a pulitzer prize-winning journalist and editor for reuters. and kanta imedi is author of "in the land of invisible women," an opinion writer and critic of islamic fundamentalism. good to see you as well. and cnn contributor michael weiss, who's written the book "inside the army of terror." all right, let's begin with the latest, michael, in terms of the arrests made and that this person, faycal c., is thought to
have more direct involvement. what more can you shed on this? >> look, the network we're dealing with spans brussels and france. it's much larger, i think, than law enforcement had originally calculated, particularly right after the paris attacks. there was a belief that this was only a ring of about 30, maybe 35 people. now that number is, i think, dramatically expanding. reports suggest that isis has trained up as many as 400 fighters and dispatched them back into europe with the express purpose of conducting terrorist operations. i would suspect, actually that number's a bit higher. internally within the isis organization, i can tell you this, foreigners, europeans in particular, french-speaking europeans, to be ultra specific, are ascending through the ranks of isis's security apparatus. they're now essentially dominating their foreign intelligence wing. they were the guys that conceptualized the paris attacks, presented it to abu bakr al baghdadi, and now because it was a spectacular
success, had been awarded with these promotions. so, the emphasis now with isis is essentially to do what they've done in syria and iraq in europe. they want to take the war to the west directly in western territory. >> so, konta, how confident are you that this arrest, this charge is accurate and that authorities will probe him better than they did the paris suspect, salah abdeslam, who is now no longer fighting extradition to france? >> i think the stakes are very high for belgium, and i believe they will be accessing all of the expertise they can. so, i don't have any lack of confidence that they will not examine this. but i think that one of the things that comes through that we must understand is this is a global conflict. the united states has been somewhat removed from problems in europe concerning islamism, and the unfortunate death of the american ambassador makes it that much more personal, just as it did of the two american citizens we heard about yesterday. so, i have no reason to lack
confident, but the temperature and the crucible in which this battlefield is unfolding is really intensifying. >> and global, indeed, you know, qanta. so, david, given that the recent activity, you know, within months, has really been mostly in europe and it has highlighted a problem of intelligence-sharing between countries, whether it be belgium and france, and now there was also some raid activity in germany -- do you believe that this now allows for a bigger springboard for better cooperation between european countries as well as, of course, the investment that the u.s. has to make in what is taking place in europe and making sure that it doesn't spread further, that there aren't more incidents like we've just seen? >> it sort of demands better intelligence cooperation in europe. there's talk about creating some kind of european intelligence agency. interpol is a law enforcement agency. they're supposed to coordinate these things now, and clearly, that's not adequate enough. there is a german politician
talking about the need for standardizing the kind of data european countries feel they can collect from people in terms of surveillance, storing it maybe in some sort of common way so that it can be searched. it's a huge problem, and there has to be a more aggressive response to it. and a column, a story earlier this week -- there was a senior american intelligence official in belgium on a visit after the attacks in paris in november, and the belgians simply refused to meet with the american counterterrorism official. they said they were too busy. they may have been chasing this very large network that michael talked about, but it was sort of a surprise. american officials have had better cooperation from other european countries than they got recently in belgium. >> so, michael, is that perhaps an example of a microcosm of the problem between u.s., european intelligence agencies, or is this an anomaly? >> no, i think that's right on the nose.
"the daily beast," we ran a piece earlier this week kricitia senior cia official who said that dealing with -- and it was european countries in particular -- dealing with them when it comes to jihadism is like dealing with children. they're in a complete and utter statement of denial. this has been on their doorstep for decades, even before 9/11 with the infiltration of clerics, veterans from the afghan/soviet conflict going back to the late '80s, setting up shop in broad daylight in city centers of cosmopolitan world capitals, and preaching this sort of extremist ideology and recruiting and cultivating guys who go on to then set things off. abdel hamid abu yud was in molenbeek where tl wl there was a notorious preacher who again had fought in the red army and was there handing out cash disbursements to fighters who wanted to go to syria and join isis. so, absolutely, it's a european
problem, and the americans are deeply frustrated with their counterparts. and the question i keep hearing is, well, look, how many wake-up calls can you have? you had 7/7 in london, the madrid bombings, you had paris, and now brussels. how many more terror attacks will it take before they really strengthen their counterterrorism game? >> all right, michael weiss, we'll keep it there. qanta, i know you've got something to add on to that. we'll see all of you, david, qanta and michael, in a few minutes. we'll continue this conversation, particularly highlighting what is happening predominant.codominantly in man communities in europe and even here in the u.s., the challenges they are facing. also coming up next, exclusive, new video of the apartment where the alleged paris attacker was hiding out. we're taking you inside salah abdeslam's hideout. plus, the battle between ted cruz and donald trump, well, it's personal. their feud over a tabloid report, straight ahead. we stop arthritis pain,
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welcome back. authorities questioned him for just two hours, and according to french affiliate bfmtv, salah abdeslam, the alleged paris terrorist who evaded authorities for four months told authorities that he only had a minor role in the november attacks in paris. when requestioned following tuesday's bombings in brussels, abdeslam refused to answer, but belgian authorities say he was indeed planning new attacks when he was captured. also this morning, cnn has obtained exclusive, new video of the apartment where it's believed abdeslam was hiding. the apartment is less than two miles from the stock exchange, where the memorial for the victims of the brussels attacks is. and you can see the broken windows where the massive raid
went down. here's cnn's kyung lah with more. >> reporter: down these concrete stairs into a basement, a small room cluttered with clothing, tarps, electronic equipment, a rare view into the hideout of a terrorist, salah abdeslam, the key surviving suspect in the paris attacks-been on the run for four months, the most-wanted man in europe escaping capture, despite a massive international dragnet. this exclusive video obtained by "out front" was recorded the day after abdeslam was captured in molenbeek, the neighborhood where he grew up, and givens us a glimpse into how he eluded capture for so long. pizza boxes and multiple bags of other half-eaten food delivery containers clues to how long abdeslam hid here. the room contained no furniture other than a fold-up chair, some shelves and a storage bin. in the hallway, blood on the floor. and elsewhere in the apartment,
shattered glass, all a reminder of the violent end to abdeslam's time as a fugitive. abdeslam shot in the leg trying to escape, had sprinted into the street out of the apartment when officers shot him. captured, say authorities, not because someone turned him in, but because abdeslam made a mistake, using a cell phone the police were tracking. in the wake of the brussels attacks, police arrested nine people in the last 24 hours, a stepped-up response to the attacks. but the inability to capture abdeslam for so many months in belgium highlights the challenge security forces face here. molenbeek is a working-class neighborhood, an immigrant community home to many law-abiding muslims, but it also represents a separate culture to the larger european one it resides in, one that terrorist recruits use to their advantage. >> it is true that a small but not insignificant
fringe in brussels, in belgium, that does sympathize with isis, offering the terrorists opportunities to get some kind of help. >> reporter: security officials have long known that the local communities are key in identifying terrorist suspects, especially those that traveled to syria and returned to europe, but that video certainly shows that there is still a lot of work to be done. kyung lah, cnn, los angeles. all right, moving now to politics, the race for the white house in this country. a very personal feud brewing in the gop race. next, how donald trump is responding after ted cruz blamed him for a salacious report. >> it is a tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from donald trump and his hench men. every insurance policy has a number. but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. for those who've served and the families that have supported them,
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planting what cruz is calling a "tabloid smear." >> let me be clear, this "national enquirer" story is garbage. it is complete and utter lies. it is a tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from donald trump and his henchmen. >> all right, let's get to cnn politics reporter jeremy diamond, joining us from washington, d.c., with the very latest on this. jeremy, how is the trump campaign responding, because this is like a tennis match, you know? it's going back and forth. >> reporter: well, fredricka, we're seeing this race once again cascade into political mud-slinging. just days after donald trump went after heidi cruz, we're now seeing this "national enquirer" story, and donald trump quick to respond to ted cruz's accusations. he said in a statement, "i have no idea whether or not the cover story about ted cruz in this week's issue of "the national enquirer" is true or not, but i had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it, and have not as of yet read
about it." so, that's a pretty classic triumph pa trumpian statement, a statement in which he also says he hopes the allegations aren't true but points out that "the national enquirer" has been right on some occasions. >> so, on tuesday, another cnn town hall and the three gop candidates will all be on stage there, and it's likely this will come up, whether they're being questioned about it or whether a candidate takes the opportunity. how do they do this? how do these candidates, you know, make a statement, clear the air on it, you know, put this issue to rest without at the same time turning off voters? >> well, i think we saw pretty clearly that ted cruz is not afraid to kind of delve into this issue. you know, he could have pretty much put this to bed by saying, you know, i'm not going to dignify this story with a response. but instead, he thinks that, certainly, this is a winning territory for him, you know. it comes just ten days before wisconsin is going to vote. it's a pretty pivotal primary contest during which you have
millions of dollars pouring into the state from super pacs, from the campaigns, all seeing this as a pivotal contest in the effort to stop donald trump from his path to the nomination, mainly because it's about momentum, you know? after wisconsin, you have another two weeks before the next contest in new york. so, certainly, ted cruz or donald trump could come out of this contest with a little bit of momentum at their backs. >> all right. jeremy diamond in d.c., thank you so much. so, it's been more than nine months now since donald trump announced his bid for the republican nomination. and since then, trump's media coverage has been almost nonstop. let's talk more about this with cnn senior media correspondent and host of cnn's "reliable sourc sources," brian stelger, who's dedicated his whole show tomorrow to the media coverage of donald trump. so, brian, who's to blame or gets the credit? is it donald trump for tossing it out there and all of the media outlets kind of jumping on board and kind of lapping it all up, or is he just a masterful, you know, planner and, you know,
media mogul, so to speak? >> he certainly the producer of his own show, and he continues to prove that time and time again these past nine months. but this time tomorrow on "reliable sources," we want to look at the quality of the coverage as opposed to the quaunlt of the coverage, because when i went back and looked at the coverage from june, when he actually came down the escalator and announced he was running for president, he was largely dismissed. there were a lot of people on this channel and other channels dismissing him, downplaying his chances. and i think more importantly, dismissing the support that he had, dismissing the voters. i think we've seen a lot of that change in recent months, but we wanted to take a look back. so, i spoke with the editor of "time" magazine, nancy gibbs, and here's what she says about whether she thinks trump was missed. >> it was missed by everyone. it was missed by the media, it was missed by the party, it was missed by their donors. i think seldom have so many people been so wrong so consistently about so much. and it wasn't just wrong at the outset it was -- you know, if
you think about those first weeks of coverage, it was almost like a continuous obit. >> it is true. a lot of the coverage was about this campaign dying, when, in fact, this campaign was just being berthed. i would say there's been a change in recent weeks and months with reporters seeking to understand what's going on at the grassroots level. jeremy diamond, who you just heard from, has been on the trail, and many other reporters as well, really speaking to voters directly and understanding it. but i think this is a case of a disconnect, a disconnect between media elites, the kind of people who make decisions about front-page stories, and about newscasts. and then the average voters, the average viewers watching this program, who might think trump has a lot of important points to make. so, we're going explore that in more detail tomorrow on "reliable sources." >> is it that the spectacle upstaged the duty of digging? >> i think you're making an important point, the cameras were always trained on trump and not so often his supporters, right? and i'm part of this. whenever i hear him speaking every time in a rally, i am
absolutely captivated by it. he's very, very wise about how to use television to his advantage. but i think what's been missed too often -- not all the time -- but too often in the coverage is why he is appealing to many of the voters out in the country, you know, in the republican electorate and among independents, who in the past have not voted republican. that's been the important and really interesting story here. what is it about trump that appeals to these voters? and too often in the coverage, they're treated like an exotic species instead of ordinary viewers, ordinary voters who are interested in democracy. so, definitely seen a change in recent weeks and months, but when you go back and look at the clips from last summer, there's some embarrassing clips we nund we're going to show tomorrow. >> all right. we look forward to seeing it. brian stelter, what a tease, huh? that's the kind of stuff that will make people tune in, isn't it? don't miss a special edition of "reliable sources" tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern. >> thank you. >> because we're all trying to figure out, how did this happen? how did we get to this point? >> that's why it's news, right?
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of your retirement today! welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield. breaking news out of belgium. police have announced the first charges in connection with the terrorist attacks. faycal c. has been charged with terrorist murder. two others face charges of participating in a terrorist group. we're also learning the former belgium ambassador to the u.s. was one of the people killed in the brussels attacks. i want to bring back our panel now, david rohde, cnn global affairs analyst. qanta ahmed, author of "in the land of invisible women" and cnn contributor michael weiss, who's written extensively on isis. all back with us. welcome again. qanta, you wanted to respond to
the frustration exhibited between u.s. and european nations on intelligence-sharing or lack thereof. >> yes, i think one of the things that we have to notice is that islamism is truly established in europe. this is not a sporadic or isolated problem. this is something that has become entrenched, and it thrives in europe for several reasons. of course, we have very fluid borders in europe. i'm a european, and that's been to the great benefit of this economic federation, but we also have secular liberal democracy, just like here in the united states, in whose oxygen islamism can really thrive. that's why the cooperation of ideas can develop. so, it's almost not useful to think about it only as a european problem. this is a problem all liberal secular democracies must confront and do so together. >> michael, you also have said there have been a lot of wake-up calls, i mean, just in recent years, but is the problem those wake-up calls are going
unnoticed or is it this lack of collaboration at the root of why there seems to be an advantage that isis or terrorist groups have on their constant evolution and strategizing or seemingly outsmarting intelligence authorities? >> well, let me speak from personal experience. i lived in the uk for about three years, beginning in 2010. and i remember very specifically someone referring to the kind of climate there as one of being a hotbed of cold feet. and what he meant by that was policies that state multiculturism, which had allowed the ghettoization of immigrant communities -- and by the way, we're not talking about people who have come over from foreign countries -- by and large, these guys, these jihadis, foreign fighters, tend to be the children of first-generation immigrants who were well educated and lived in well-off circumstances. the two from the uk in recent
memory. but it's a combination of all of these things, isn't it? you know, lack of coordination. after the 7/7 bomb aelings, eurn intel services were saying, as bad as it was, we're not going to see it happen, coordinating attacks. we'll probably see more stabbings or gunfire attacks. well, paris put paid on this notion, didn't it? there was a supposition, almost a hubris, that they thought they could interrupt these networks themselves better than before, and obviously, that's not the case. added to which -- and this is something we keep coming back to, and i think it makes the current environment more dangerous than at any point since 9/11 -- you now have two very strong, very internationally minded jihadist organizations on the planet, al qaeda and isis, isis being a former subsidiary of al qaeda. they are trying to compete with each other through blood and gore and corpses. and this is the cold war that is being fought within the ranks of
transnational jihadism, and of course, it's being fought out, the battlefield, as it were, is europe, and it is going to be north america before long. so, you have this increase in numbers, an increase in viable and well-funded and sophisticated organizations, more than there were before, and then as i keep banging on about the geopolitics of the region. i mean, there's been this collective nervous breakdown. sunnis feel, almost for the first time since, you know, certainly since the end of the first world war, as though they're an embattled minority, that they are everywhere besieged by this international conspiracy led by the u.s., russia and iran and shia proxy or, you know, affiliate organizations. this is the isis narrative, and it sells like you wouldn't believe. >> and so, david, it seems that every country in this global war is perplexed about how to get ahead, how to stop it before it happens. at the same time, as we look at these attacks, whether it be in belgium or in france it highlights a number of problems. we just heard michael spelling it out, talking about
intelligence-sharing, links to syrian refugees now as well, and the feelings of cultural ice lace and disenfranchisement, as michael put it, the ghettoization, particularly, of some people. so, how does any nation, david, kind of get ahead of it or put the frustration into something proactive? >> well, in the united states, this presidential election, i mean, i want to be honest, this is going to be a major issue. as soon as this happened, donald trump was out there calling for, you know, no muslims to be allowed in the united states. you know, ted cruz was talking about having police patrol predominantly muslim neighborhoods. hillary clinton was opposing that. i spoke with a former senior counterterrorism official who just left the obama administration. they're not worried about sort of large numbers of sort of cells from isis being able to infiltrate the united states, but they are very worried about lone wolves, people who watch these online videos who feel alienated, carrying out attacks in the united states. that's already happening in
europe on a much larger scale. so, i think there has to be, you know, much better coordination between nations. a very tough intelligence and law enforcement effort. but i'm not sure that sort of marginalizing muslims in general in an election season wihere th rhetoric is going to get really forceful is going to help. that's my concern in the united states. >> and qanta, what are your concerns in terms of the race for the white house, the rhetoric, the dialogue, those, you know, professing to have some ideas or solutions about how to stop isis or address terrorism? >> so, thank you, fredricka. i fully agree with my colleagues. this current, crude discourse, particularly coming from the gop, is so disheartening. we have massive global problems here. our precious democracy is threatened. in the united states, muslims are very well assimilated, economically well off. we're not ghettoized. we're very concerned about progressing. europe is more disadvantaged, particularly in the last two to
three decades, the way i see the difference between my parents, who were muslim migrants, and muslim migrants now that are involved in some of these issues. but we have two solutions. there's an entire school of thought, rationalist islam, the islam of reason. there's a beautiful book written by turkish scholar "islam without extremes," which talks about how we can empower civil and pluralistic islam and we can do that here in fellowsships, universities, institutions, if we free our programs of petrochemical dollars coming from patrons of islam. and the thing we do bheest in t united states apart from a primacy in war-making, we have a primacy in movie-making. i was listening to the french journalist held hostage by isis for ten months talking about the need to create new narratives. we should be working, muslim intelligence and scholars, with hollywood, with creating ideas
and figures with whom muslim youth can relate that truly do exist but are just not exposed so that we can start to seduce the youth into other directions. and a final thing is, i want the united states to care about what's happening in europe, because unfortunately, we have a major culpability in our inaction concerning what happened in syria. we stood by for five years while that country was dismantled and butchered. of course, it was going to become a vacuum in which jihadism could develop and then spill over into europe. so, we have a particularly unique responsibility in this that we need to address. >> all right, we'll leave it right there. qanta ahmed, david rohde, michael weiss, thanks to all of you. i appreciate it. all right, still ahead, why our next guest says candidate ted cruz is the real radical in the gop race. we'll talk about that right after this. we give you relief from your cold & flu. you give them a case of the giggles.
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princeton university. julian, you wrote a piece for cnn.com and said cruz has "practiced an aggressive smashmouth style of politics that has sometimes made trump look tame." what do you mean by that? >> well, on many levels, he was really the extremist in the race before trump got into the mix. so, in terms of his ideology, he's been very far to the right, closely aligned with the tea party on issues like immigration and gay rights. he's also had advisers -- he has advisers who are quite extreme on issues like islam. and then just in the way he practices politics. he was the leading obstructionist in congress and took steps that many people even on capitol hill thought were a bit too much in promoting the views of the minority. so, it's quite remarkable to see this political makeover he's undergoing in the last few weeks. >> so, larry, does it seem as though the gop kind of found itself a little flat-footed,
they didn't think about the big picture for so long, it didn't want to throw its support behind anybody publicly, and now you've got some of the former candidates who throw their support behind somebody they really haven't even liked, but they feel like, well, we've got to go with one of them. so, how damaging, potentially, is this for the whole party, for the whole picture? >> while things can change overnight, it just seems likely that the republicans are headed for a meltdown, some people say a crack-up. i tend to think meltdown is more like it, a meltdown in cleveland. and whoever's nominated, i find it very, very difficult to imagine they can bring this party back together for the fall. the history of this election ye year, the longest chapter is going to have to be entitled "miscalculations on the right," because the republican party misread this from the beginning. they misread trump. apparently, they also misread
cruz. but it's a mess for them, no question about it. >> all right, well, speaking of chapters, how about this experiment from you, julian? you make another point saying "and when it comes to radical political obstructionism, nobody has done it better than senator cruz. earlier this year, the "washington post" gave him the title of obstructor in chief. he has been one of the champions of congressional practices that bring washington to a halt." so, do you see him continuing to behave in that manner, you know, kind of filling that definition of obstructionism, and at the same time, gain traction on the way to the white house? >> well, i think he would continue to do that, and he probably would do that as president as well. he is a politician who believes that the process can be used and can be employed in these ways. he's done it through congress, and i'm sure he would do it in the white house. and if there is a brokered convention, i think he would be the kind of politician willing
to take pretty extreme measures to get the rules and the delegates his way. this is his brand of politics -- >> what do you mean he would do it from the white house? because you know, the obstructionism or the criticism is talking about how, you know, he was helping to lead congress working against the white house. if he were in the white house, how would it be the other way around? >> well, my guess is he would aggressively use executive power in ways that circumvented the legislature, really stifled them. he would do that. >> and larry, how do you see it? >> well, julian may be right, perhaps that's what he'll do if he ever gets in. but i think it's just a very difficult election year for both of them. and the incredible thing to me, fred, is that in the beginning of this election cycle, when you talk to republican leaders, mainly the ones in office, including the senate, they would name two republicans they absolutely did not want to see as the gop nominee for president, donald trump and ted
cruz, the two finalists. >> right. i was going to finish your sentence for you, the two that we have here, you know two out of the three. interesting. all right, larry, julian good to see both of you. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thanks, fred. >> all right, the next big gop prime vaey in wisconsin, april 5th, and one week before, on tuesday, the candidates will face the wisconsin voters in a cnn town hall. that starts at 8:00 eastern tuesday, right around the corner, right here on cnn. meantime, democrats are getting ready to caucus today in three states, and bernie sanders has been pushing hard for votes in washington state. next, i'm talking to washington's governor about sanders' chances in that state. audi pilotless vehicles have conquered highways, mountains, and racetracks. and now much of that same advanced technology is found in the new audi a4. with one notable difference...
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in just over an hour, democrats in washington caucus and cast their vote. bernie sanders has been campaigning hard in that state. he held a rally last night in safeco field, home of the seattle mariners. about 15,000 people turned out to hear the vermont senator speak. with 101 delegates on the line in washington state, sanders hopes to do well to cut into hillary clinton's sizable delegate lead. let's talk more about this all important state with washington's top elected
official, governor jay i think so lee. thanks for joining us. >> good morning. good day in washington. >> glad to be there via satellite. what kind of turnout are you expecting there in washington? >> in the words of the candidate that i think will lose, huge. going to be huge turnout today, probably a quarter million people that could surpass any other time in washington history. we are very excited. two excellent candidates. lot of enthusiasm for both candidates out here. whatever is happening, we will have a great candidate: i think hillary clinton will beat trump, but a lot of -- >> bernie sanders has been spending a lot of time in your state. some believe he may do well. 101 delegates up for grabs. it is more proportional, not a
winner take all. but is it your concern that perhaps hillary clinton, he is giving her a run for the money while she has 1200 proposed delegates and still needs 1100 more to clinch the nomination. bernie sanders has just under a thousand. so do you see it conceivable that perhaps he and she could fight it out for some time to come? >> well, first off i am glad we have two great candidates in the race. bernie has unique attributes. he's excited tons of people to get involved in the process, i think it has been good for our party that he's in the race, no question about that. i am supporting hillary, the secretary, her experience. i think she's most likely to beat donald trump in the general election because frankly, the republicans have been throwing stuff at her for 30 years, she's still standing. i think she has the best chance. look, i'm excited about either candidate being the nominee.
at the moment because of the lead of secretary clinton, i think it would be extremely difficult for bernie to go to the convention with the most delegates, but i will just tell you i think this has been a great primary season for the democrats because we have so many people who have now come in for both candidates who have not previously been involved. so i'm excited about today's caucus and excited about going into november. >> what are the issues that you think washington voters there, what's peaked their interest as pertains to the two democrats. >> i think the issues are very much we are united on. moving, continuing to move forward on health care. fighting climate change. and that's of extreme interest in the state of washington. we have seen what climate change and carbon pollution is doing to our state. income inequality is something we feel strongly about attacking in the state of washington. this year we have a strong
minimum wage initiative on the ballot. both candidates are moving forward, want us to move forward on minimum wage increase. i'm excited about that. i think actually we're united on the values that help to make this a fair, more just, cleaner country. and i think both candidates have a vision on how to get there. that's why i'm excited about whoever our candidate will be. i think they'll honor and respect washington state values and that will be good for the country. >> do you think people feel the distinction, the issues you mention, both democratic candidates are proponents of moving in those directions, but do you feel like either of the candidates made a good sell to your washington voters to really offer this is how they distinguish themselves on those issues? >> yeah. i mean, there's some distinguishing features. you know, i have been a proponent of gun safety, certainly secretary clinton has been. there's some issues that
distinguish them. i think this is more issue of who can carry the banner to victory. people get to make decisions when they go to caucuses today in that regard. and we have to win. we cannot run the risk of losing to see the hate filled rhetoric, fear based campaigns of donald trump and other candidates, we cannot run the risk of turning over the supreme court for 40 years to people who in fact would see that to have us go backwards and to appeal to the lowest fears and hate that sometimes arises in our country. that's why we have to put the person in the candidacy who has the best chance of winning this race. so i'm looking forward to that. i think we're going to be in good shape. i can't wait for the caucuses. >> we will leave it there. washington state governor jay inslee. appreciate it. >> you bet. >> stay with cnn for complete coverage and analysis of today's
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