tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 11, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
so i don't know, i wrestle with it, to be honest. >> it's a wonderful book, people should read it. thanks for talking to us. >> appreciate it. >> the book again is "the rainbow comes and goes, a mother and son on life, love and loss." that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper turning you over to one mr. wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, rigged system? donald trump returning to the campaign trail after several days off, he's now lashing out at the gop calling the delegate selection process rigged and comparing himself to bernie sanders. we're standing by to hear what trump will say next at a rally that's about to get under way. gestapo tactics. trump's convention manager goes even further than his boss accusing ted cruz of using gestapo tactics to win all of colorado's delegates. is cruz playing by the rules? and what strategies are all of the gop campaigns using right now in new york?
supporting the -- fresh fighting on the democratic side, hitting each other over qualifications and judgment. now clinton is attacking sanders immigration record. is the new harsh tone working out this on the campaign trail? can sanders overcome hillary clinton's lead in new york? and un-burden. a top espionage official defects from the kim jong-un regime leaving the spy regime that's behind numerous kidnappings, assassinations and cyber attack on sony pictures. will he reveal some of north korea's most closely regarded secrets? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following the race for the white house and a bitter back-and-forth between the trump and cruz campaigns. donald trump' convention manager
now accusing ted cruz of using, quote, gestapo tactics to win all 34 delegates in the colorado primary and trump himself is calling the system rigged and crooked. we'll be listening to hear what else he has to say at a rally tonight in new york where the primary is now just eight days away. we're also following what could be a devastating breach for north korean dictator, kim jong-un. we're just learning that a top intelligence officer from the top spy agency defected and is now in south korea's hands, possibly revealing details of kidnapping, assassinations and cyber attacks carried out by the kim jong-un regime. much more this hour with our guests, including trump campaign national spokeswoman, katrina pierson. our correspondents, expert analysts are also standing by with fast-moving developments on these fast-moving stories. let's begin with sara murray. she's in albany, new york, with the trump campaign for us. sara, trump is holding a rally there in a little while.
is he expected to keep hammering away at this idea that the republican party's nomination process is rigged? >> reporter: well, wolf, that's certainly what we will be listening for. donald trump has touted himself as this fantastic manager, negotiator, the kind of guy who will surround himself with smart people if he's elected. now that he's getting outorganized on the ground by ted cruz in a number of states, he is protesting and in true trump style, he is doing it very loudly. >> because nobody knows the system better than me. >> reporter: from immigration to campaign finance to his own bankruptcies, donald trump has always said he knows how to work the system. and he'll work it from the white house. >> and one of the things i always say, i know the best negotiators. >> reporter: but up against the complex process of wrangling delegates, trump is coming up short and crying foul. >> what we have going is a movement. so what they're trying to do is subvert the movement with crooked shenanigans, all right? we're just not going to let it happen. >> reporter: even warning the
republican party that voters might revolt. >> and i say this to the rnc and i say it to the republican party, you're going to have a big problem, folks, because there are people that don't like what's going on. >> god bless the great state of colorado. >> reporter: after being shut out of the delegate chase by ted cruz in colorado this weekend, trump's new convention manager is likening cruz's campaign tactics to those of nazi germany's secret police. >> you go to these county convention and see the gestapo tactics. >> that's a strong wor. >> reporter: today cruz swatted back. >> donald has been yelling and screaming, a lot of whining, and the latest thing he seized upon is when people vote against him, they're stealing the election. it's a really odd notion. what is this democracy of which you speak? >> reporter: the texas senator feeling increasingly confident.
and arguing if the convention goes beyond one ballot, he'll emerge victorious. >> if we go into a contested convention, we're going to have a ton of delegates. let me tell you, in that scenario, i think we will go in with an overwhelming advantage. >> reporter: today cruz jokingly wondering how trump has even made it this far. >> a lot of people have speculated that when he launched the campaign it was on a lark and he found himself surprised that his brand of reality television attracted a lot of attention. >> reporter: meanwhile trump is facing blowback from boston after the globe's editorial board published this faux front page, quoting deportations to begin under president trump. trump shot back. >> the whole front page is a make-believe story, which is really no different from the whole paper for the whole thing. >> reporter: now, wolf, we know the trump campaign wants to avoid a contested convention. they want to show up in cleveland with 1237 delegates,
but there are a number of contests coming up where these unbound delegates will be at play once again. we will see if donald trump can get a little bit more organized with the help of his new convention manager. >> sara is in albany, new york. let's go to sunlen serfaty who is joining us from irvine in california. it's going to be an all-out battle between cruz and trump certainly when california holds its primary in early june. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. ted cruz holding his first rally here in california, already looking ahead to june 7th, as you noted. that is the last primary on the nominating schedule. ted cruz really today making a big point to play up how pivotal he sees california, telling the voters here, this crowd, saying that they could decide the nomination and potentially lead the way towards a path forward and really make a big point of sending a message to the nation beyond california. so interesting comments from ted cruz today. he also, of course, did launch
into a long and mocking critique of donald trump's complaints over the rules of the delegate nomination process to make a point over his own campaign's strength. here is more of what he had to say here today. >> now, in response, donald has been yelling and screaming. >> whining, not winning. >> a lot of whining. i'm sure some cursing. and some late-night fevered tweeting. all the characteristics i would note we would want of a commander in chief. and the latest thing he seized upon is when people vote against him, they're stealing the election. it's a really odd notion. what is this democracy of which
you speak? wait, wait, you mean voters get to vote? no, no, no, no, no. no, no, no. >> reporter: to that point the kro cruz campaign really did seem to be playing up their organizational strength, not only here in california but across the country, touting from the stage a series of statewide endorsements here in california. also you heard senator cruz there talking about it and the co-chair of his campaign from the stage here just a short while ago saying that they are the only campaign that's already prepared, that's already organized for the state to be one that greatly matters now in this nominating process, wolf. >> thanks very much, sunlen serfaty reporting for us. the national spokeswoman for the trump campaign, katrina pierson, is joining us. katrina, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> you just heard the cruz campaign is openly saying that a contested convention is their best shot of winning this nomination. is your campaign confident you
can get to 1,237 before cleveland? >> we are absolutely confident, wolf, that we will get to 1,237 by california. you know, it's interesting that the cruz campaign is laughing and joking. meanwhile you have millions of republican voters right now who are tearing up their registrations as we speak. i really want to clear up something with regard to the voters voting. that is not what is happening, because the problem is when donald trump wins a state, the voters have voted, but yet the party system comes in on the back end on the delegate selection process to award delegates to other people. that's the problem. >> katrina, i saw a video of one guy ripping up his republican registration. i haven't seen millions of republicans doing it. where do you get that number? >> there are millions of republicans right now who are saying this is not going to work. we have voters in louisiana, you have voters in tennessee who all are experiencing this right now and many of them are threatening to leave the party. and that's not bringing the
party together. and back to colorado, we're talking about the rules. of course mr. trump knows the rules, the campaign knows the rules. however, they changed the rules in colorado this past august after mr. trump came out, was on top and was not fading as everyone thought. they decided to scrap the election. that's not a democratic process. there was no election in colorado. >> but the cruz campaign, they were on the scene, they were doing what they were doing to play by the rules in colorado. did the trump campaign miss an opportunity? >> the trump campaign had paid staff on the ground in colorado, but here's what people miss about the, quote unquote, system. 3800 people competing for essentially less than 40 spots. it wouldn't have mattered if trump would have had a thousand people on the ground because the state party already decides who they want the delegates to be. so yes, a trump supporter may get elected at the county level, but as this pyramid system replaces itself throughout the
multiple elections that they have, they eventually get their own people, which is exactly why politico reported the same thing is already happening in indiana, a state that has not voted yet. >> but you know that there were a lot of complaints that the trump people who were on the ground in colorado, they missed deadlin deadlines, they misspelled names and didn't really know what they were doing. that's a huge skbaembarrassment isn't it? >> if you were on the ground you could see there were pictures of ballots that people have showing how their delegate number was left off and others were printed twice. so not only were trump delegates left off the ballots, their credentials were conveniently lost and found after the fact so there are some shenanigans going on even when you are following the rules. >> but donald trump is the author of "the art of the deal." he knows how to make deals and knows how systems work. shouldn't he and his team have been better prepared for what happened in colorado and could
presumably happen elsewhere. >> it wouldn't matter how many people we had on the ground if the rules aren't being followed by everyone. when the system is rigged and was rigged in this case from august in the state of colorado, even when you're following the rules and you are making deadlines, if the county party says -- or the state party says we don't have your paperwork, even though you filed it and they find it after the fact, don't you think that's a little suspect? this is what we're running into. >> are you going to file a complaint now? >> there are complaints that are going to be filed and i believe mr. manafort alluded to that. >> will your campaign be able to work for delegates if it does come down to a contested convention? everyone seems to believe that the cruz campaign is so much more better organized, more experienced people with a lot better ground game, as they say. >> well, the senator has been running for president for a couple of years now so he should be organized. but as far as this magical ground game, what is the excuse for losing seven states that he was supposed to win to donald trump. donald trump has won 21 states.
ted cruz hasn't even won ten. so so much for that ground game. we're very confident we are going to achieve those delegates by california. >> your convention manager, paul manafort, accused ted cruz's campaign and used these words of engaging in, quote, gestapo tactics after the clean sweep of is that characterization, gestapo tactics, really appropriate? >> well, you know, it's not just our convention manager. i mean even kasich's people were talking about some of the tactics that were being used in michigan, for example. they used the word strong arm which essentially is the same thing. there are a lot of delegates that are receiving let's just say interesting phone calls from people that might sound intimidating, so we're going to find out, aren't we. >> is it appropriate to use the word "gestapo." i assume you know what the gestapo did. >> it is a word to define exactly the type of malice that is involved with going after some of these delegates in a very hostile and devastating
way. >> katrina action you know what the gestapo did in world war ii. that word should not be used to talk about the tactics that the cruz campaign engaged. that was inappropriate, right? >> you're talking about a campaign that doesn't care much for political correctness. >> but it's inappropriate -- you don't use the word "gestapo" to talk about a political campaign in the united states. that gives the gestapo too much credit, right? don't you wish you would have taken that back? >> where was all this concern when mr. trump was being called hitler? no. this is just another situation where it is a word to determine just how hostile this has gone on in these states for these delegates. i think it was a word that lets everyone knowing exactly what he was talking about. >> so you don't want to back away from that word, gestapo? >> no. and the kasich campaign also talked about strong arm tactics. >> strong arm tactics is one
thing but the gestapo, you know what they did. the millions of people, especially jews, who were murdered. >> yes. he was talking about exactly the same thing, the strong arm tactics that the cruz campaign was using, the intimidation and a lot of people feel a little hurt by that. >> stand by, katrina, i want to continue this conversation. >> thanks, wolf. >> there's a lot more to discuss. much more with katrina pierson, right after this. hyeah?m. we've got allstate, right? uh-huh. yes. well, i found this new thing called allstate quickfoto claim. it's an app. you understand that? you just take photos of the damage with your phone and upload them to allstate. really? so you get a quicker estimate, quicker payment, quicker back to normal. i just did it. but maybe you can find an app that will help you
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republican presidential candidates donald trump -- candidate donald trump is lashing out at the republican delegate system calling it crooked and rigged. as ted cruz closes in on trump and the party possibly, possibly faces a contested convention. we're back with the national spokeswoman for the trump
campaign, katrina pierson. katri katrina, i assume you saw that "washington post" story over the weekend that did a long analysis of donald trump's charitable donations over the years. their analysis found although donald trump has donated gifts, he's never really contributed any of his own personal money. i assume you saw that story. your reaction? >> well, there is personal money and there are gifts and there's times and there's property. there are a lot of ways to be charitable over the years. when you consider everyone in the race, mr. trump -- the trump family in general has been more generous when it comes to charity and gifts than everyone combined. >> because i remember in january when mr. trump skipped that fox news debate, held a rally instead to raise money for various veterans charities, he said that night he would contribute $1 million of his own money. has he done that? >> yes. in fact more than half that money has been put out to the 22 -- not even just the 22 organizations that were on the
list but to even more. >> but specifically did he write a check specifically for a million dollars of his own money? i know that many other people contributed funds to help veterans, but i wonder if he already contributed that $1 million out of his own personal account? >> yes. that money is in the bucket and it's not to one organization. it was separated between all the other groups. >> he also made this past weekend, he visited the 9/11 museum in new york and donated $100,000 to the museum. i assume that's $100,000 in cash, not in gifts, right? >> i haven't seen the form but i'm assuming it is in cash, yes. >> so i guess the question is knowing that that "washington post" story was coming out, there has been some speculation that's why he decided to make the $100,000 in cash, if you will. is there a connection, as far as you know? >> no, not at all. mr. trump has been very charitable over the years. there is plenty of proof for that before, wolf, before he became a presidential candidate
seeking votes. mr. trump has been doing things for people his whole life, including his whole family. we have a family that has dedicated themselves to charity through time, gifts and money and even building wings for hospitals for children with cancer. this thing that trump is not charitable -- compare that to the other candidates. >> well, he has a lot more money than the other candidates. he's a billionaire. >> he's also known for being extremely charitable to people and he's not even seeking public attention for. mr. trump doesn't even talk about the tens of thousands of people that he's given to individuals just for being a good person and doing the right thing. you never hear those stories. >> one final question, katrina. the fact that two of his kids who are old enough to vote, they didn't register in time as republicans in order to meet the deadline to vote a week from tomorrow, what happened here? >> you know, i'm not quite sure. but i do know that when you're
running a multi billion dollar company and raising a family, you do forget those things. that's just what happened. there's a lot to keep up with there. >> katrina pierson, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. >> stay with cnn all this week as the republican presidential candidates, their wives, their children, they will take questions from new york voters in three town halls over three remarkable evenings. tonight john kasich and his family. tomorrow night donald trump and his family. wednesday night ted cruz and his wife, all starting 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. much more right after this. u a
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. he was off the campaign trail for a few days but now donald trump is back and lashing out at the republican delegate system and rival, ted cruz, who took all 34 delegates at the colorado republican state convention. let's dig a little deeper with dana bash, our cnn politics executive editor mark presston and ana navarro. dana, a new poll out shows trump still holding an impressive lead in new york state, he's at 54%, kasich is at 21%, cruz is in third place at 18%. could trump realistically walk away a week from tomorrow with all 95 of new york's republican delegates? >> is it possible? yes. is it probable? i'm going to say at this point no because of the complicated way that new york administers its delegates.
there are pockets of new york, congressional districts, where either john kasich or ted cruz could very well walk away with three of the delegates. and that is the strategy. i was up in new york last week on the campaign trail with ted cruz, for example. he was in upstate new york working very hard in an area where there is no way that a democrat could win, for example, or even that donald trump is that popular right now. so if donald trump does that, you know, it's almost game over but it's hard to see him pulling that off. >> donald trump gets 50% plus one he'll get 18 of those 95 delegates and then three delegates for each of the 27 congressional districts. but i think you need at least 20% of the vote to be eligible to win those congressional districts. that's why if these numbers hold out and cruz is below 20%, he might not be eligible to get even one delegate. >> that is true.
but in this poll he's below 20% statewide and so i'd be interested to see if they did break it down per congressional district, i'm not sure if they got that granular. >> mosark, the cruz campaign swt all 34 of colorado's delegates this weekend. does that show that they are prepared for a fight at a possible contested convention? >> i think it's fair to say the trump campaign wasn't prepared for the situation they're in. in many ways they built the second story of a house without digging out the foundation first. what we've seen with the cruz campaign is they have methodically gone along and followed the republican national committee nominating rules. it's as if the trump campaign didn't know that those rules existed or they thought that donald trump was just going to sweep in and pick up the 1,237 delegates. now, either way they are in a situation right now where they now need to win 57% of the remaining delegates in order to win the nomination.
is that possible? maybe, but it's unlikely. i think we're going to go into a contested convention. that's why it's so important that ted cruz has been out and his campaign has been out really trying to win over these delegates, specifically when it comes to a second ballot out in cleveland that we expect would happen in july. >> what does the trump campaign, mark, need to do going forward to make sure it does a better job fighting for those delegates? >> they need to get people into these states when they have mini state conventions and district conventions that are hatchippen where they actually choose their loyalty towards a candidate. what happened in colorado is exactly what happened and the cruz people got their people on the slate for when it comes to july. but they have brought on a very well respected hand to try to do that, a delegate wrangler in many respects, paul manafort, so we'll see how this plays out but i think we are in for a political knife fight as we head
into cleveland. >> ana, ted cruz is saying his best chance to win is at a contested convention. he's still lacking a lot of crucial support among republican senators, large part of the republican base or establishment, whatever you want to call it. what will he need to do to have the party unite behind him? >> you know, wolf, i have two good friends who ran for president and had a fair share of republican senators and congress people backing them and now they're back in miami sitting there watching this race develop, so i don't think ted cruz needs to worry right now or spend much of his energy courting republican senators or republican elected officials. i do think he does need a lot of the donors, he does need to attract more money. he is going to be running against a guy who is a self-funding billionaire. he needs to be able to fund his machine. he has got an expensive machine. he's got very good ground operations, very good data mining operations and
organization. all of that costs money. i think ted cruz needs to show, number one, that he can win. number two, that he's got the organization. but he also needs to show more dimensions to himself. a softer side. we all know he's capable of causing obstruction. now we also need to know that he's capable of making a deal, that he's capable of getting things done, that he's more than just a guy who can filibuster on the floor of the senate. i want to know that he's going to have an agenda, a positive vision for the country. that's what i want to hear from him. >> it's interesting, dana, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says he's going to write a letter, a memorandum to all men and women of the united states military to stay out of politics this time around. that sounds a little extraordinary. i assume it's reacting to some of the controversial statements we've heard from some of these candidates? >> well, barbara starr, our correspondent at the pentagon, said exactly that. but it's not just that the candidates are making
controversial statements, it's that men and women who are in the armed forces when they're on tv, when they're doing interviews, they're being asked about it. now, i don't think that that historically probably is that unusual. maybe what is unusual is that this election year, it just -- there's such passion. you know, it's always a big deal whomever the commander in chief is for the armed forces, but you know from your time at the pentagon and at the white house and on the campaign trail, wolf, there is a rule that when you're in you know foeuniform, you don. it's not so easy if you are doing an interview and you are being asked about what's going on on the campaign trail. it is extraordinary that the chairman of the joint chiefs is going to write this, but clearly thinks it's necessary. >> there's a lot more coming up, including some pretty dramatic developments happening on the democratic side in this race for the white house. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back. (avo) how much protein does your dog food have?
with the new york primary just eight days away, hillary clinton and bernie sanders are sharpening their attacks. they're taking swipes at each other on everything from their records to their experience to their judgment. our national correspondent jason carroll is covering the democratic race for us. jason, we're seeing a big increase in some negative rhetoric. what's the latest? >> reporter: that's something that might be expected given how critically important this state is to both candidates. clinton says that she has the
numbers going forward. sanders says he has the momentum, something clinton, he says, does not of and that's not the only thing he's saying about clinton. hillary clinton says she's ready for thursday's debate on cnn but she cast doubt about whether bernie sanders is. >> i have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in new york, senator sanders has had trouble answering questions. >> reporter: and hitting her opponent on his immigration record. >> i think our records are very clear. i started co-sponsoring the dream act back in 2002 or '03 and i consistently did that. senator sanders by contrast was supporting vigilantes, the so-called minutemen on the border. >> reporter: on cnn's "state of the union" sanders turning to her judgment. >> i have my doubts what kind of president she would make. >> reporter: but clinton not responding in kind. >> do you have doubts about what kind of president he would be? >> no, i don't.
i don't have anything negative to say about him. >> reporter: despite polls showing clinton with a commanding lead in the empire state, sanders telling new york voters today he can win with their help. >> if we can win here in new york state, i believe we are on our way to the white house. >> reporter: sanders taking his fight to the airways with a new ad voiced by actress susan sarandon. it's focused on fracking, a key issue for upstate new york voters. >> bernie sanders is the only candidate for president that opposes fracking everywhere. >> reporter: his campaign also charging a super pac backing clinton is partially funded by fossil fuel lobbyists. >> bernie, he can't be bought by them, because he's funded by you. >> reporter: looking ahead, clinton sees the path to the nomination and says her team isn't making plans for a contested convention. >> i intend to have the number of delegates that are required to be nominated. >> reporter: clinton is out with
a new ad too, focused on donald trump. >> donald trump says we can solve america's problems by turning against each other. it's wrong and it goes against everything new york and america stand for. >> reporter: telling reporters today she can take on trump while still fighting sanders. >> i think i can both walk and chew gum at the same time. >> reporter: and that she wants to draw the starkest distinction between herself and trump. >> trump's rhetoric, his divisiveness, his incitement of aggressive behavior, even violence, is absolutely unacceptable and needs to be called out. >> reporter: and, wolf, sanders saying that he feels pretty good when it comes to new york, pennsylvania and california. i mentioned that to some of his supporters out here and they acknowledge that if they want to take their political revolution forward, they're going to have to do much better than pretty good come primary day. wolf. >> jason carroll in beautiful
buffalo, new york. say hello to all those great buffalonians out there. president obama stood by hillary clinton regarding the use of her private e-mail server. listen to what he said on fox news. >> i continue to believe that she has not jeopardized america's national security. now, what i've also said is that, and she's acknowledged, that there's a carelessness in terms of managing e-mails that she has owned and she recognizes. but i also think it is important to keep this in perspective. this is somebody who served her country for four years as secretary of state and did an outstanding job and no one has suggested that in some ways as a consequence of how she handled e-mails that that detracted from
her excellent ability to carry out her duties. >> mark preston, how unusual is it for a sitting president to offer such strong support for a presidential candidate? there are some suggesting he should have stayed out of the whole issue of the current fbi investigation into her private e-mail server. >> wolf, i think it would be difficult for president obama not to weigh in at all. obviously this is a very big issue or has become a very big issue not only politically but how the state department and going forward and how they handle classified information. we shouldn't be surprised, though, that he would come out and defend hillary clinton. he has always been by her side. interestingly enough, we don't even hear bernie sanders very much making an issue of this. the question is as we head forward and if he becomes the democratic nominee, how much will we hear republicans banging this drum heading into november. i suspect we'll hear it a lot. >> i suspect you're absolutely right. dana, hillary clinton seems to be addressing herself toward a
general election, maybe against donald trump or ted cruz, but is that premature right now? >> you know, it's a very deliberate strategy. the fact that as jason pointed out in his piece that she's talking about it on the stump, she's got a new ad focusing on donald trump, she is trying to make the primary go away, even though it is very much still alive. she's trying to signal to democratic voters, to the base, look, guys, we need to focus on the republican party because -- and the general election because it's coming up before we know it. but good luck with that. you know, the new poll that you talked about today out has her winning right now in new york, but not by as much as you would think given the fact that she represented the state in the senate for two terms. >> you know, mark, let me get back to you. talk about this nbc news/wall street journal poll that just literally came out a few minutes ago. take a look at these numbers.
it has hillary clinton at 55%, bernie sanders at 41%. is that a big enough a lead that she can start focusing on a general election let's say against trump? >> i think in many ways it's a smart strategy for her to try to put her focus elsewhere as opposed to getting into a battle with bernie sanders on every policy issue. the reason i say that is because she doesn't want to seem like she is fighting bernie sanders on issues that could upset his base. she's going to need these voters to be by her side come september, october and especially in november. so when hillary clinton says she's focusing on trump action i think some people might say she's being disrespectful to bernie sanders, but in some ways it's probably a good way of deflecting what could possibly be a worse scenario and that is going head to head and perhaps as we've seen over the past 24, 48 hour, these very personal fights that are starting to erupt. >> guys, stand by. i want to remind our viewers to please join us thursday when
hillary clinton and bernie sanders will face off for the final time before the critical new york primary. i'll be moderating cnn's democratic presidential debate live from brooklyn thursday night, 9:00 p.m. eastern only on cnn. dana bash will be joining me in the questioning as will errol lewis. it will be an exciting, potentially historic defect. coming up, a top official defects from north korea and its spy agency. will he reveal some of kim jong-un's most closely held secrets?
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light on the country's notorious spy agency. cnn's brian todd is working the story for us. the north korean official is now in the hands of south korea. what do we know? >> tonight south cran officikor officials are debriefing this man who they say was an intelligence officer who made it across the border. given this man's stature and notorious secretive unit he came from, he could be a gold mine of intelligence and could help the south koreans head off an attack. experts say if true, the high-profile defection is a devastating breach for kim jong-un and a huge coup for western intelligence officials. the north korean officer's name hasn't been released but a south korean official tells cnn he was a senior colonel in a notorious secretive branch of kim's regime, the rgb. >> it's a particularly nasty organization. it's not only involved in gathering intelligence through infiltrating agents in to south korea but involved in all the
terrorist kind of operations that north korea is involved in. they've conducted kidnappings assassinations. >> reporter: the rgb also led north korea's only direct attack on american soil, the hack of sony pictures entertainment in the fall of 2014. an attack allegedly carried out by the reconnaissance general bureau's large stable of cyberwarriors including those working for a unit called bureau 121. north korea has denied involvement, but analysts say that hack, along with the rgb's secret raids across south korea's border are two of the programs this top colonel is likely being questioned about. >> they've done midget submarines, sent infiltrators in, sent assets in, what we call agents. they'll debrief him on what assets are now in place in south korea. what are their tasks? where are they? >> reporter: tonight south korea is not saying how the colonel made it across the border last year or why he chose to defect. kim's alleged bloody purges of
deputies he deems to be traitors have instilled fear in koreans. last week 13 north korean restaurant workers made their way to south korea from an unnamed country in asia. how dangerous is it to defect for anyone? >> from this colonel down to the restaurant workers? >> it's extremely dangerous. if he has a family, they very well may be in a gulog right now. they may be being tortured. often diplomats when they're stationed overseas are forced to leave behind an anchor child. one of your children has to remain back in north korea as a hostage. >> reporter: one former north korean spy who defected to the u.s. told us she never felt safe from the regime, even after she left. >> translator: yes, i have to look over my shoulder. i do feel it's unsafe. however, i don't regret what i do. i feel it's what i have to do. >> reporter: now that north korean defector told us she lost her entire family when she defected and north korean agents
inside the u.s. once threatened to kill her. the colonel who recently defected will likely be targeted by korean asanss and the south koreans will have a huge challenge keeping him safe. >> you were just told another harrowing story about a defector. >> this former military intelligence officer once handled north korean defectors and told us once in an intelligence briefing he was told when a north korean diplomat once defected overseas, agents from the regime immediately killed that man's family at the diplomatic residence and they buried them in the back yard of that residence. any defection seen as a betrayal and they go after them very severely. coming up, donald trump about to hold a rally in new york. he's been slamming ted cruz and the gop delegate system. what will he say tonight? we're going there. stay with us.
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to awesomeness! to watchathon!! big is back. xfinity watchathon week starts april 18. the greatest collection of shows free with xfinity on demand. happening now -- trump stumps again. after several days off, donald trump returns to the campaign trail with a vengeance accusing the republican party of rigging the system. tonight, a new poll gives him a massive lead over his opponents in new york where trump is about to hold a rally with supporters. we're standing by to hear from the republican front-runner. shadow campaign. trump is winning in the polls but may be losing a crucial battle behind the scenes. trump's convention manager is accusing ted cruz of using ges tappo tactics to win over the delegates he'll need. does his comparison to the nazi
secret police cross the line. questioning her judgment. bernie sanders recalibrating his attacks on hillary clinton after first saying she was unqualified for the presidency. sanders now says clinton lacks the judgment for the job. clinton sunleashing attacks of her own. will the two democrats escalate their feud at cnn's presidential debate this thursday night? and another paris attack. the suspect who fled the scene in the brussels airport bombing confesses to police. he says he and his fellow terrorists had been planning a much larger attack in paris before moving up the time frame. is the french capital still in the crosshairs? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> the breaking news after a day
of leveling brutal accusations at his party and opponents, donald trump is about to address a rally in new york where a new poll shows him with a 33-point lead over his nearest challenger. his anger aimed squarely at the republican primary process which he calls rigged and crooked. trump's campaign is busy attacking his fellow candidates as well as convention manager slamming ted cruz for using geztapo tactics. john kasich is also going after cruz's methods alleging strom-armed tactics at the state convention in michigan. kasich and his family will appear on cnn tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern with town hall voters. also a suspect in the belgium bombings is spilling secrets to investigators. he says that paris, not brussels, was the original target but they decided to
change plans after a member of their cell was arrests. we're joined by senator james ritch of idaho. and our koerncorrespondents, ans and guests will have full coverage. let's begin with sunlen serfaty. what's the latest? >> reporter: as this race moves closer to a contested convention, the question is really about having a solid organizational base and being able to manage the rules to win over delegates. donald trump right now is being outorganized, and tonight he's claiming the system saying it is rigged. >> it's a crooked system. it's a crooked system. >> reporter: outraged over being outmaneuvered, tonight donald trump is going on the offensive. >> we've got a corrupt system. it's not right. we're supposed to be a democracy. we're supposed to be -- we're
supposed to be you vote and the vote means something. >> reporter: as trump rails against the gop delegate selection process, ted cruz's campaign is demonstrating its organizational strength. >> the latest thing he seized upon is when people vote against him, they are stealing the election. it's a really odd notion. what is this democracy of which you speak? >> cruz's campaign winning a clean sweep in colorado this weekend, picking up all 34 of the delegates at stake in the state. but trump is crying foul. >> what they're trying to do is subvert the movement with crooked shenanigans. and we're just not going to let it happen. we're not going to let it happen. >> reporter: trump's new convention manager taking it one step farther. >> you go to these count trie conventions and see the geztapo
tactics. they're not playing by the rules. >> reporter: but they made no specifics about what those tactics may be and the cruz campaign is firing back rejecting those charges as sour grapes add, quote, we are winning because we put in the hard work to build a superior organization. this as the texas senator is no longer downplaying the chances that the race will be settled at the convention this july. >> the odds of going to a contested convention in cleveland have become much, much higher. >> reporter: cruz openly admitting a contested convention could be his best shot. >> in that scenario, i think we will go in with an overwhelming advantage. i believe the first ballot will be the highest vote total donald trump receives, and on a subsequent ballot, we're going to win the nomination and earn a majority. >> reporter: meantime the boston globe launching an attack on the gop front-runner publishing a satirical opinion on the front page warning readers about the
deeply troubling risks of a trump presidency. trump brushing it off and blasting the newspaper. >> they made up the whole front page is a make-believe story which is really no different from the whole paper. the whole thing is made up. >> reporter: in the midst of all this focus on the organizational strength of each campaign it turns out two of donald trump's children will not be able to cast their vote for him in next week's new york primary. both eric and ivanka trump missed the deadline to switch from democrat to republican. now donald trump reacting to that news saying they were both unaware of the rules and for that they feel very, very guilty. >> i'm sure they do. thanks very much for that, sunlen. let's go to sara murray following the trump campaign in albany, new york, right now. what can we expect to hear from the republican presidential front-runner? i see the crowd beginning to
gather behind you. >> we're expecting to hear from donald trump in a few minutes. we'll be looking for him to hit ted cruz. he's been hammering him hard in new york. we'll also see whether he vents more of his frustration over the way the process has been playing out and whether he directs more of that to the republican party. he just had a meeting a few weeks ago with officials from the rnc. they were kind of trying to mend fences. these are important relationships, impoorrtant interactions to maintain. last night trump took a much sharper tone toward party officials. we'll see if he keeps that's up. >> trump's convention manager paul manafort is insisting that trump will get the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination by june. how realistic is that? >> i spoke to a number of people involved in convention organizing and contested conventions. they've pegged donald trump's odds at clinching 1237 before cleveland at around 50/50.
they also give a sense of why we're seeing paul manafort come out and say we're going to get the delegates we need before we get to cleveland. when i talk to these folks, and these are reportedly republican party insiders, if they say donald trump is out there and it goes to a second plt, you are pretty much guaranteed to have this be anyone but trump. you're seeing reck nigss of that within donald trump's own campaign. that's why they are pushing so hard to get what they need before they get to cleveland. that's probably going to mean winning over unbound delegates as well. >> sara murray in albany, new york. we'll stand by to hear from donald trump. joining susrepublican senator james ritch of idaho. lots to discuss. thanks for coming in. >> glad to be here. >> trump says the people of colorado had their votes stolen, if you will, taken away, implying the cruz campaign is bribing delegates if you will.
you know the republican rules. is trump right? did ted cruz go beyond the acceptable, if you will, to get all those delegates in colorado? >> first a disclaimer. i'm not a surrogate for anybody but having said that, for whatever reason, there seems to be this myth out there in the american public that somehow the nominating process belongs to the government or belongs to people. this is a republican process. we're not in the process of electing a president. we're in the process of selecting a candidate to represent the party in the election that will be held in november. in november is when you have a government-sponsored election to elect the president of the united states. until then, it is governed by a private entity that is protected by the first amendment, freedom of association. they can write whatever -- >> are you okay with a bunch of republican elites if you will, establishment basically coming up with a decision to go ahead and allocate these delegates for the convention?
>> what's i'm okay with is that every state, indeed sometimes every precinct does it differently. we started in iowa. i was there in iowa caucusing for senator rubio. and we had -- we went to a number of different precincts. and the rules are different. >> would you like to see the republican party move towards one person, one vote, instead of having all these convoluted systems, different rules all over the place? >> that's the government. no. i think the party ought to be able to write its own rules and not just the national party but the state parties, county parties and precinct parties all write their own rules. this is americans doing what they do best. >> it's okay in some states you have a primary and majority rules. that's how they allocate -- >> absolutely. >> other states they just have a little convention. people show up and they decide. a small percentage of the republicans in that state. >> if you drill down into each of those states, there's a
reason they have the rules they do. and everybody is aware of the rules. they haven't changed. >> should the rules be changed? >> i -- >> you like it the way it is? >> absolutely. in idaho, we do it with an election that is handled very similar to a regular election. but four years ago, we did it by a caucus. and there's people who grumble about it and people who were happy about it. but we're free. we're free to do it the way we want. >> was it appropriate for paul manafort, the convention manager, to use the words geztapo tactics in going after the way the cruz campaign is getting the delegates? >> it was naive. this is politics. this is what you do in politics. you go out and try to persuade people to vote for you or vote for your candidate. and you can call it geztapo. if they use that word -- >> geztapo tactics is the way -- >> that's was -- in world war ii, you know what the geztapo
did. >> whoever uses a nazi metaphor first loses. >> that should be a rule. you don't -- you don't use words like that given the sensitivities involved. >> no question about it. >> you agree that was inappropriate? >> when people are not winning, they get stung and say things that probably in retrospect they wish they hadn't said. >> last time you were here, we had an exchange about whether or not you're going to endorse any of these three remaining republicans. i'll play a clip of that to remind you of that exchange. so far you're only, i think by our count, the third senator, republican senator, now effectively on this program that's come out and endorsed cruz. lindsey graham and mike lee -- >> did i just endorse? >> you sort of says you prefer
him over the -- >> i do. >> that's sounds like an endorsement. >> i guess that depends on your definition. >> have you now fully endorsed senator cruz? >> i'm no different. by process of elimination, i think ted cruz is the one that will do best for the party in november. now i don't consider that an endorsement. we may be able to get out the dicti dictionary. >> can we say you've endorsed -- >> you said that. >> you says you like him better than kasich or trump. >> and that's what's you ought to say. >> a lot of people have added your name to the list. three senators who have, quote, endorsed. >> i doubt that's going to sway the race one way or the. >> you aren't taking it back? >> i think we had a good exchange. you use the word endorsement. i didn't. we'll go forward as -- >> you still have some qualms about ted cruz? >> we can do it again. there's three people in this race. if you do it by process of
elimination, it comes down to cruz. stand by. more to discuss. i want to get into some other issues. much more with senator risch after this. all across the state, the economy is growing, with creative new business incentives, and the lowest taxes in decades, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in buffalo, where the largest solar gigafactory in the western hemisphere will soon energize the world. and in syracuse, where imagination is in production. let us help grow your company's tomorrow - today - at business.ny.gov when you didn't know we had hundreds of thousands of places to stay all over the world. or that we searched billions of flights to get you here. a few weeks ago, you didn't even know where here was. now the only thing you don't know,
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his sleep number setting is 25. call geico and see how much you could save on homeowners insurance. we're standing by to hear from republican presidential front-runner donald trump. he's getting ready to speak with his supporters at a rally in albany, new york. let's discuss more of today's news with senator james risch of idaho. president obama, as you know, yesterday in that interview with fox news, he described hillary clinton's e-mail practices saying, quote, there's classified and then there's classified. do you believe it was
appropriate for the president to weigh in on this current fbi investigation into her private e-mail server? >> interesting you used the word appropriate. i was going to start by saying it's inappropriate. there's an investigation ongoing by the justice department. the justice department is headed by the attorney general who is answerable to the president of the united states. if he gets up there and says, look, this is a foregone conclusion, she didn't do anything wrong. where is the fairness? where is the objectivity? what he should have said is there's an ongoing investigation. i'm not going to wade into this. but he gave them a clear clue and a clear direction as to where they should take this. it was totally inpromote. >> he says there's classified and classified. there's confidential, secret, top secret, secure, compartmentive. there's different levels. is that what he was referring to? >> i think he was trying to get the investigation moving in a
direction he'd like to see. but if it's class fid, it's classified. and if is subject to very clear and certain rules that anybody who deals with this material will know in a second if they look at a piece of paper that's got information on it, they will know whether that's classified or not. >> even if it wasn't marked classified? >> clearly. we get lots of material that is not marked classified but we know it's classified. >> as a member of the intelligence committee? >> yes. >> we get information the same way the president and secretary of state does. >> when you go into that secure room and read classified information it clearly says classified. >> sometimes it does. sometimes it doesn't. there are people who you get things from that you know what's they are giving you is classified. >> you have to be careful and disseminate that information. >> very careful. let's talk about what happened in brussels over the weekend. they arrested the man with the white jacket and hat on. there was a much bigger plan to
go after paris but after the arrest of another member of his cell they decided to accelerate their timeline and go after those targets in brussels at the international airport. what else is he saying? >> well, i think pretty much the belgians have released what he is saying. they do it a little differently than they do in other places. but there's a lot of information that's come out of this. none of it is -- >> is this guy cooperating? >> he is cooperating. and beyond that, he is cooperating. >> i assume the belgian authorities get this information, they share it with their allies, including the united states. do they? >> well, they have rules in belgium that are a little different than other places. but these matter do have a way of getting passed to other agencies. it is being disseminated amongst the european intelligence community. >> so i assume the united states gets access to that at some point? >> we'll get access to that information. that's correct. >> are there other plots by this
cell in the works right now? >> i am not aware of any specific plot. from a general standpoint what this whole scenario has -- should teach people is that these -- this planning is going on. that there is plotting that's going on. there is a very difficult environment on the ground in europe right now because of the substantial population of people that they have who have traveled back and forth from syria and who have actually fought with isis and then come back to live in the communities in europe. it is a different situation than we have here. >> if these guys are not cooperating, i think they have three of these members of the cell in their custody right now. potentially a bonanza of information could be made available. >> hopefully. >> senator risch, thank you for coming in. we're standing by for donald trump. he's about to speak to a rally in upstate new york in albany. a nasty feud with the republican party and his gop rivals.
plus, the democratic candidates are changing tactics ahead of next week's crucial new york primary. that's a week from tomorrow. bernie sanders now questioning hillary clinton's, quote, judgment and says he has doubts about her ability to do the job. how is hillary clinton fighting back? we'll be right back. everhas a number.olicy but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. for those who've served and the families that have supported them, we offer our best service in return. usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life.
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in his home state of new york. he's about to hold a rally with his supporters in albany. first let's dig deeper with our political expert, former obama adviser david axelrod. our chief political analyst gloria borger. david swerdlik and ryan lizza. he's a washington correspondent for the new yorker magazine. donald trump is lashing out at senator cruz after cruz won all of colorado's delegates in that state convention this weekend. is this a smart strategy for trump? >> look, in the short term i think it makes a lot of sense because what donald trump is saying plays into his brand, which is that the establishment of the republican party, i.e., ted cruz is trying to rig this election against trump. so what's it does in the short term is it motivates his voters. and motivates his base and gets people out there and maybe
motivates some of his supporters to try and become delegates to the convention and get on the rules committee. in the long term, however, trump's got a problem, if he can't figure out how to, you know, get his delegates committed to him on the convention floor because the rules are the rules. they're not going to change. can't change them in the middle of the game. he has to figure out a way to win once he gets to the convention if it's contested as it looks like it's going to be. >> senator cruz dominating the behind the scenes fight for delegates. he likes his odds on the convention floor. listen to this. >> donald's path to 1,237 is almost impossible. it means the odd of guessing to a contested convention in cleveland are possible. i believe the first ballot will be the highest vote total donald
trump receives and on a subsequent ballot we'll win the nomination and the majority. >> he's acknowledging a contested convention is his only path to the nomination. >> what i think is becoming increasingly clear is that ted cruz can't win on the first ballot and donald trump probably can't win on the second, third, fourth or any subsequent ballot. and that's the nature of this race. donald trump needs to win on the first ballot. i think ted cruz is right and wants to get close enough so he's within hailing distance and can persuade some of the unbound delegates to go toward him. once it goes to a second ballot, it's very unlikely that donald trump can win. and that's coming into sharper focus by the day. >> certainly is. david, trump released a video, shared a video hosted by one of his supporters in colorado. a colorado delegate reacting to
senator cruz's clean sweep of the delegates there. watch this. >> this is a copy of my republican party registration. and republican party, take note. i think you'll see a whole lot more of these. i've been a republican all my life, but i will never be a republican again. what do you think is going to happen when millions more like me do the exact same thing? good-bye gop. i will not be forced to vote for somebody that i don't want to. >> is this a sign of stuff to come if trump is denied that nomination? if he gets close but doesn't get over the majority? >> probably the sign of more
videos to come. i hope it's not a sign of chaos and conflict at the convention. but, look, here's the thing. that is in line with the sentiment of many trump supporters, right? they feel the establishment, the republican party establishment, establishment on both parties has betrayed rank and file voters. the colorado republican party decided on these rules. even if he has a point there's a superior way to choose delegates, primary or even a caucus, rather than having a party convention, those are the rules. >> majority in a new poll, ryan, of republican voters say the party should give trump the nomination if he has the most delegates going in, even if he doesn't necessarily go over 1,237, the magic number. does that narrow the chances, the result of this pole presumably for cruz? >> i think what it means is a lot of voters because we haven't had a contested convention don't really understand the rules of the game. and all these candidates going
in knew the rules of the game. the delegates at the convention choose the nominee. most delegates are bound by their state results. if you win the primary, the caucus, those delegates go to the convention and have to vote for you on the first ballot. if you haven't won enough delegates and caucuses then you don't win on the first ballot. this poll reflects the fact a lot of people don't quite understand that. and as a democracy, we think whoever gets the most delegates at the end of the process should get the ballot. the rnc has to do a better job educating the american public about what their process is or this lack of understanding is going to continue. >> wolf, i think it also depends on what the margin is, right? i think if, say, hypothetically, if donald trump were to go into the convention and he sort of was 50 votes shy of 1,237, i think it would be very hard to deny him the nomination because i think he could wrangle those
50 votes. but if it's more substantial margin, then it gets more and more difficult for him. so i think the game right now for trump is, can he find a pathway, no matter how narrow to get close to the 1,237, even if he can't cross the finish line because then he has a better case to make, i think, to the convention delegates. >> between june 7th and the convention, it's a big period of time, a big group of delegates that are free agents, and that will be a wooing process. >> fife weeks, six weeks. >> stand by. we have a lot more to discuss. stay with cnn, by the way, all this week as the republican presidential candidates, their wives, their kids, they take questions from new york voters in three town halls over three remarkable evenings. tonight, john kasich and his family. tomorrow donald trump and his family. wednesday, ted cruz and his wife heidi all starting 9:00 p.m.
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to the empire state. jeff zeleny is following the campaign for us. he's in port washington, new york, for us. what's the latest, jeff? >> hillary clinton may be running television ads against donald trump. on the ground here in new york, she's aggressively going after bernie sanders on everything from immigration to guns to how prepared she is to be president. she said i can walk and chew gum at the same time. >> hi, everybody. >> reporter: hillary clinton started the day with one rival on her mind. >> trump's rhetoric, his divisiveness, his incitement of aggressive behavior, even violence, is absolutely unacceptable and needs to be called out. >> reporter: from the campaign trail to a new campaign commercial. >> donald trump says we can solve america's problems by turning against each other. >> reporter: but in her fight for the new york primary, clinton's fixation on trump is about a far more pressing rival,
bernie sanders. she's hoping to show democrats she's the toughest candidate to take on trump. but sanders is focussed squarely on clinton, reminding democrats they have a choice. >> i will be damned if we'll see the american dream die. >> reporter: traveling in upstate new york today, sanders said voters should think big and not take no for an answer. >> what may have been considered unrealistic or pie in the sky just a few years ago has now been achieved in new york because you made it happen. >> reporter: at a diner in queens, clinton raised questions about how prepared sanders is for the job. >> i have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in new york, senator sanders has had trouble answering questions. >> reporter: she called out his vote against immigration reform in the senate. >> i started sponsoring the d.r.e.a.m. act in 2003.
senator sanders was supporting vigilantes. the so-called minutemen on the border. >> reporter: and tried to portray sanders as soft on guns. >> the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in new york come from vermont. so this is not, oh, you know, i live in a rural state. we don't have any of these problems. >> reporter: clinton is bracing for more attacks from sanders on her ties to wall street. >> let it happen. i have a plan that will actually work. senator sanders couldn't even answer questions about whatever his plan is. >> reporter: a shift in tone from her appearance sunday on cnn's "state of the union" where clinton downplayed her differences with sanders. >> i don't have anything negative to say about him. >> reporter: but sanders has plenty to say about clinton. >> i have my doubt about what kind of president she would make. >> reporter: a new ad today
raised questions about her ability to stand up to corporate interests. >> bernie can't be bought by them because he's funded by you. >> reporter: sanders is fighting hard for new york and there's good reason for that. a new monmouth poll said he's behind by some 12 points. the clinton campaign believes it could be closer than that. the next eight days are critical. she was asked if she was surprised this race was going on as long as it did. she said i stayed in this race until the very end in 2008, i'm not surprised at all. but this time she hopes for a far different conclusion. >> the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll has her behind by 14 points. we'll see what happens. the most important poll a week from tomorrow. let's get some analysis right now from our political experts. gloria borger still with us. senator sanders has shifted his attacks on hillary clinton. he's now questioning her overall
judgment rather than her qualifications. her judgment to become president. will this shift resonate better with voters? >> i think it was silly when she said he wasn't qualified to be president. whatever you think of hillary clinton, whether you agree with her or disagree, her resume is her resume. and she's been secretary of state. she's been a united states senator, first lady. so the resume question needs to be off the table. i think he refined it because he realized he misspoke. in questioning her judgment, it allows him to go to the issues which he disagrees with. allows him to talk about the war in iraq or her support for previous, you know, trade deals. one thing that struck me in watching jeff's piece, though is that hillary clinton sometimes wants to be above the fray and say, well, you know, there aren't huge differences between me and bernie sanders and we're not like those republicans.
on the other hand, she does attack him, and she says he wasn't prepared to answer the question about wall street reform when he had that interview with the new york daily news and his position is wrong on guns. i think you either contrast yourself or you don't, but it's kind of hard to have it both ways. >> david, hillary clinton is running this new ad in new york that attacks donald trump by name. watch this. >> he says we should punish women who have abortions. >> there has to be
some form of punishment. >> that's mexicans who come to america are rapists. n that we should ban muslims from coming here at all. >> donald trump says we can solve america's problems by turning against each other. it's wrong, and it goes against everything new york and america stand for. >> with so much at stake, she's the one tough enough to stop trump. hillary clinton. >> i'm hillary clinton, and i approve this message. >> david, hillary clinton is
running against senator sanders, not
donald trump in next week's democratic primary in new york. how does she hope this ad will help her? >> well, i think it makes some sense to attack a guy who democrats hate rather than a guy democrats like. and so going after donald trump has a reverberative effect in the democratic race. she's also setting herself up as the one big enough and tough enough to take on trump who they see as a big threat. she's suggesting sanders has been less than sure-footed, creating questions about whether he's prepared to take on donald trump. one thing i'd add, wolf, is on the sanders side of the strategy, he did something over the weekend. he started attacking both bill and hillary clinton very strongly on aspects of bill clinton's administration. welfare reform in particular. because bernie sanders' big problem is he cannot break through or he hasn't yet with
minority voters, particularly african-american voters. and if he's going to succeed in pulling off an upset in new york, he has to do much better than he has in the past with these voters. so that's a shift in his strategy. >> certainly does. all right. you know, ryan, president obama said in this interview with foc news over the weekend, his biggest regret over these past 7 1/2 years was not following up on the removal of gadhafi from libya. what the u.s. should do afterwards. hillary clinton was the secretary of state during those days as well. you and i remember travel -- >> i was going to say. >> i remember your article in the new yorker leading from behind. is this going to come back to haunt her in a general election? >> we were on those trips with her when she went to france and egypt and did all the tough diplomacy to get a use of force resolution through the ump.n. a to put together a coalition. it all ended in tears. the original mission to protect benghazi, which was under an
imminent threat from gadhafi's forces was justifiable use of force and the administration has a lot to be proud of to go in and do what they did to protect benghazi, but the follow-up was not what it should have been. and i think the democratic primary, it's not really much of an issue but in the general election, it's going to be a big one. >> suspect you're right. this thursday, hillary clinton and bernie sanders will face off for the final time before the krcritical new york primary. i'll be moderating cnn's democratic presidential debate live from brooklyn thursday night, 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. just ahead, donald trump about to speak at this rally in new york. he's back on the campaign trail after a notable absence, lashing out at ted cruz and the gop. plus, new developments in the brussels terror investigation. we're learning the city brussels was not the terrorists' original target.
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chilling new details emerging right now from the brussels terror investigation. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is gathering details. >> we're learning they were planning to target the euro 2016 soccer championships, which is on the scale of olympics with multiple games in multiple cities over weeks. what is clear is that the group felt great freedom to pick and choose targets across europe.
mohammad abrini arrested on friday telling investigators his terror cell was planning an attack on one of the biggest sporting events in the world, the euro 2016 soccer championships. he is the man in the hat caught on video at the airport. >> translator: the investigation has established that the group that hit belgium had originally intended to strike france again. it's further evidence of the high threat to all of europe. >> reporter: investigators believe the terrorists scrapped plans to attack paris a second time after the arrest of salah abdeslam lettered them that police were getting closer. they then set their sights
nearer to home in the devastating attacks at the brussels airport and metro station that followed just four days later. >> it's what does he know about the next attack. >> reporter: there is growing evidence that the brussels cell was directed by isis in syria. a computer found in a garbage bin last month contained an audio file of a conversation between the bomb maker for the paris and brussels attacks and a isis operative in syria. on the same computer, police found a file indicating that the cell considered targeting the la defense shopping mall in paris, as well as a catholic association. investigators have now identified five members who played a direct role in both the paris and brussels terror
attacks. >> the network as we have come to realize includes dozens of people, and we may not be at the end. >> reporter: european authorities do believe they have made substantial progress in arresting what remains of this vast terror cell, but the fact is they don't know for sure how far it extends. what they do know is that there are many more cells still intact in europe and operating today. >> thanks very much. finally tonight, a very disturbing trend is taking hold in afghanistan. soldiers trained by united states military and funded with american tax dollars, they are defecting to the taliban. nick paton walsh has this exclive report. >> reporter: you know a war is going badly when your enemy is right in front of you. the white flags are of the
taliban. they are that close. it used to be nato that shot from the positions near the vulnerable city. hundreds of americans and britains died many in the town where these pictures show the afghan army recently in heavy clashes. but now afghanistan is quite quickly washing the city fall.w because of men like these. soldiers from the afghan army who america spent billions training who say they've defected and joined the taliban. they're edgy. >> translator: i did 18 months of army training and took an oath to serve this country, but the situation changed. the army let us down, so we had to come to the taliban, who
treat us like guests. >> reporter: their carry their old uniforms, ids, and wallets to get their old army wages. now both use their training and experience to train the taliban. >> translator: i decided to leave the army when my dead and injured comrades lay in our base, but nobody took them to a hospital. my army training is very useful now as i am now training taliban fighters with the same knowledge. >> reporter: men who have seen the tide turn and voted with their feet. it is the undisputed heartland of the fight. the capital could fall at any day. that gives you a sense of how much on the fence the taliban are and what could happen in the summer fighting season ahead.
this is the center of the key town of the taliban sites. tense, yet teeming. some visit briefly from areas that the taliban now control. it's a bit too soon to say whether people are happy with the taliban. the bazaar is now full of people while it used to be empty. that's because the security was bad and some people avoided the government's forces. others fled to its outskirts. >> translator: my first memory is how a wedding party was hit by a mortar, killing a large number of women and children. >> translator: the police left after the fighting intensified and told me to move to a vacant corner of the village. but the bullets followed so i fled here. >> reporter: just over a year since nato stopped fighting, and here the taliban's white flags are closer than ever.
>> very disturbing developments in afghanistan. remember, you can always follow us on twitter. please tweet me at wolf blitzer. you can tweet the show. join usere in "the situation room" tomorrow. until then, thanks very much for watching. next, donald trump appearing live this hour after losing more delegates in colorado. trump charging the system is corrupt and rigged. is hillary clinton getting ahead of herself? donald trump's years in a military school. his classmates remember his passion for baseball and good-looking women. let's go "outfront." >> good evening. i'm erin burnett. outfront tonight, the breaking news. donald trump about to speak live to thousands of supporters in albany new