what a beautiful day it is here in boklyn. it's sunny, but it's a little bit chilly. and we're all ready for tonight. i'm don lemon at the site of tonight's presidential debate here in brooklyn, new york. wolf blitzer getting ready for tonight, great questions for both candidates. he's going to be moderating this debate. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you so much for joining us. i'm don lemon in for wolf. getting ready for tonight. just eight hours from now. eight hours from now. hillary clinton and bernie sanders will take to the stage. they're going to grapple in their final debate before the all-important new york primary on tuesday. it's a face-off that comes at a very crucial juncture in this campaign, as you look at pictures of inside of the hall. and on one side, you have hillary clinton, who has won more delegates. more popular votes. and more states. and then on the other side,
you've got bernie sanders, who has won eight of the past nine contests. in other words, this is about math versus momentum. and in the past few days, both campaigns have ramped up their attacks, hitting each other harder on character and on policy. take a listen to this. >> our job is to stand up to these powerful special interests, not to take their money. >> under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in new york, senator sanders has had trouble answering questions. >> i don't think you are qualified if you have supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement. >> seriously, i've been called a lot of things. over the years. but unqualified has not been one of them. >> she may have the experience to be president of the united states, but in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking. >> i get the feeling that the gentleman running against hillary is running harder
against president obama and me than the legislation in trickle down economics. after he's been a democrat a little longer, he'll get used to it. >> joining me now is cnn correspondent, chris frates and senior media correspondent and host of "reliable sources" which i watch every sunday, were brian stillt stelter. if there are fireworks on stage tonight, what do you think it's going to be over? >> i think listening to this campaign, it's gotten a little bit nasty. you've bernie sanders questioning hillary clinton's judgment. her qualifications. but when you look at the topics, kind of three big areas. the iraq war, you have trade, and then you have wall reet. on the iraq war, of course, bernie sanders has continued to try to make that an issue, pointing out that hillary clinton voted for that war, that he voted against it. that he heard all of the same intelligence that hillary clinton did, and he made a better call. of course, that plays very well with democrats, that he's trying to get out that liberal base.
also on trade, he found after michigan where he did very well, that was a good issue for them. he's been hitting hillary clinton, saying she endorsed these trade agreements that cost millions of americans their jobs. and so continued to hear her defend her positions there. she has said in the past that nafta was a mistake. the other thing that will be interesting to watch is wall street. of course we've heard hillary clinton and bernie sanders go back and forth on this issue before. sanders talking about how she's taken six-figure checks from wall street firms. she can't be the person who is going to rein in wall street and he's the only guy who could break up the banks. hillary clinton, of course, i think she'll be able to talk about what is your plan, bernie sanders, to break up the banks? he had trouble in the new york daily news editorial explaining that. i would look for her to go after him hard and saying what are the specifics in how you would do that. >> and they're going to be fighting, talking about wall street and on wall street, basically, right? right across the river. brian, you know clinton has --
they definited eight times before. >> right. >> this one is being called the battle of brooklyn. so as we take a look at this, this is a video of our cruz time lapse, crews setting up the stage. explain how this debate seems different because of the backdrop. this is the money capital of the world and also the media capital of the world. >> that's right. which means even more of a mike scope on this debate. a media walk through here in the greenhouse. sam foois wanting to make this a new york debate. when i say media capital of the world, it matters because it means this debate is going to be amplified more than other debates. for example, 700 reporters credentialed to be here. that's less than 500 for the past debates in march. it's been more than a month since we have seen a debate. i think there is pent up interest and curiosity about what happens tonight at this debate. and then as you mentioned, we're really right across the river from downtown manhattan, lower man at an from wall street. i do wonder how sanders will work that into his arguments and how clinton will work it in as well. >> it's beautiful. cnn all along the river here.
>> it's unusual to have a debate here. and by the way, one more point. this might be the last debate. we don't know for sure. because there is one that's tentatively scheduled for may. there is nothing on the books after tonight. clinton would like this to be the last debate. we'll see if that's true or not. but this could be the last time we see these two candidates on stage. >> all right. thank you, chris. thank you, brian. i appreciate -- see you guys later on, especially here on cnn. we'll be watching you. all right so the sanders campaign isn't just taking aim at hillary clinton burks the democratic primary process in general. here is jane sanders on "new day" just this it morning. >> i just don't think it's very democratic. i mean, the fact is that a lot of people that might want to vote for bernie here in new york, unless they registered as democrats last october, they're not going to be able to. unless they're new voters. that is crazy. we're bringing in so many new people into the party, and yet the party is slamming the door on those voters. >> and you know, for his part, sanders also slammed the way the
primary calendar is set up. here he is speaking on the nightly show with larry willmore. >> one can argue -- why does iowa go first, new hampshire go first? but i think that having so many southern states go first, it starts reality, as well. >> joining me is brian fallon, press secretary for hillary clinton. hillary for america. and brian, what's your response, the sanders campaign basically saying the democratic primary distorts the process, distorts reality, and it's -- alienates potential voters? do you agree with that? >> it's hard to understand exactly what he's trying to get at. because by every measure, hillary clinton has outperformed bernie sanders where it counts, which is at the polls. if you look at the raw popular vote in terms of the people that have cast their ballot in all of the primaries, hillary clinton exceeds bernie sanders vote total by 2.4 million people.
it's not close. she's won more states, more pledge delegates, so every standard, she is outperforming him at the polls, at the ballot box. i think that's what counts. >> 2383 is what get to the convention. jane sanders is saying she doesn't believe that's going to happen. do you think there's going to be a brokered convention like they're predicting on the republican side? >> absolutely not. because there has been so much speculation on the republican side, trying to introduce that theory, and to the discussion here on the democratic side, we're confident that we will clinch the nomination well ahead of the convention. i think most observers agree with that too. based on the extremely large delegate lead we have already. and then based on some of the states still upcoming, including new york here, next tuesday, we expect to add to that delegate lead in new york, and in the states on the 26th. so i don't think that there's -- zero chance, i think, of a brokered convention on the democratic side. >> tad did i convene, here's what he told the daily beast about the increasing attacks. he said, quote, if you go to new
york, and you have someone who is tough and aggressive and someone who is not going to engage, the tough and aggressive candidate wins. we're determined not to be the victim here. basically, he is saying he's not going to be pushed around by the clinton campaign. what's your response to that? well, he shouldn't want to be pushed around and i don't think he has been. if you look at this back and forth that developed a couple weeks ago where the sanders campaign -- bernie sanders himself outright called hillary clinton unqualified, that was an unprovoked attack on her. hillary clinton -- >> he did walk it back. >> he did. but he was the one that introduced that into the conversation. and ever since then, he's only repackaged those same criticisms using different words. so he is now in the last five days questioned her qualifications, questioned her fitness for office, questioned her credibility. this is a far cry from what senator sanders said several months ago when we started this campaign, that he would resist any personal negative attacks. but if what he's been saying in the last few days doesn't count as a personal attack, i don't know what does. and that's why i think increasingly, you see campaign surrogates on behalf of senator
sanders taking their cues from his rhetoric and increasingly, you see unwanted and unwarranted personal attacks coming from some of his main surrogates. >> the secretary spoke in front of civil rights activists yesterday, followed her husband clashing with black lives matter and then the joke some deemed insensitive with mayor de blasio the other day. does the secretary need a do-over on some of these issues, do you believe? >> no, i think this is -- the support of the african-american community which both campaigns are actively seeking here in new york. >> it's interesting she's been criticized for it but has the majority support. >> but that is support we will never take for granted. we know we have to earn and reearn it. and that's why we're campaigning so heavily on the issues that matter most to voters from criminal justice reform to economic opportunity to education. hillary clinton has put these issues at the forefront of her campaign. what i think was a strange comment in the last couple days -- you played it -- the lead into this segment was
senator sanders questioning the calendar by suggesting that quote unquote southern states have tipped the balance in terms of the nomination process. i don't know what point he's making there. i don't think the democratic primary electorate in those quote, unquote, southern states is conservative. it's certainly diverse. i don't know if he's making a suggestion that with respect to the diversity of those states and their placement on the calendar. but to answer that point even further, you know, two of the first three states that participated were caucus states in iowa and nevada. those are states -- caucuses he has largely been favored in. and those two states we beat him. >> do you think this is something? because, again, this week those three things that i mentioned, i mean, they were talked about a lot in the press. the thing with the mayor is interesting, because many people did not find it to be an issue, except for either bernie sanders' supporters or people on the right who just don't like hillary clinton. do you think that that was an issue that was made up by people who just don't like hillary clinton? >> well, honestly, i don't feel that's my place to say. if somebody did take offense to that, that's their purgative,
that's their right. i wouldn't question that. and obviously, what the mayor has said and we agree with it, no offense was intended to anyone that might have suggested that that was -- that that comment wasn't appropriate. the mayor has defended the comments, said that the goal there was only to mock himself. and so we defer to the mayor there. obviously, no offense was intended to anyone. >> do you think that by bernie sanders going over and meeting with the pope -- are you worried this will get on the edge with catholics or hispanics or any one group? >> i don't think so. i think we are continuing to reach a wide audience here in new york. and i don't think we'll have any problems mobilizing the voters that we will need to win on tuesday. you know, some have questioned whether the sanders campaign leaving the state of new york during this critical stretch three days out from tuesday's primary is wise. he'll leave that -- i'm not going to second guess their scheduling decisions. we're going to be campaigning intensely here right up to the wire. we want to run through the tape and because we think that new york is going to be a very decisive state, i think it's make or break for senator
sanders. he needs to win here in order to truly still have a path remaining to the nomination. >> brian, thank you. see you tonight. thank you very much. and coming up, bernie sanders speaking to a major civil rights organization in new york. the day after hillary clinton spoke to the same group. can he sell his message to the american -- african-american community? and -- the trump campaign heads to capitol hill for a strategy session. >> we talked about 1237. and i can tell you, we got to 1265 in a conservative way. and i think we all know that that's the key. ♪ some people know how to make an entrance. ♪ to thrive under pressure. ♪ to reject the status quo. and they have no problem passing the competition.
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woman snoring take the roar out of snore. yet another innovation only at a sleep number store. what a great day in brooklyn. as i said earlier, it's sunny, but it is a bit chilly. but this is nothing for new yorkers. we're just hours away from the cnn democratic debate here in brooklyn. and take a look now inside of the debate hall. they're getting ready. they're almost ready. i can say people start streaming in at any moment now. days away from the primary this happening as hillary clinton and bernie sanders prepare to sharpen their attacks just a
short time ago, sanders spoke to the national action network's 25th anniversary national convention. listen. >> you elect me president, you're going to have a president who is prepared to take on the billionaire class, not take their money! >> hmmm. so let's discuss this now. i'm joined now by linda socksewer, co founder of the muslim democratic club of new york. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> you know in the last couple weeks the rhetoric has really changed. it's become a bit nastier. what kind of strategy? what's bernie sanders' strategy tonight, do you think? >> bernie sanders is going to keep doing what he's talking and talk about income inequality and has continued to be consistent on the issues he speaks of and we're hoping he does the same and brings it home for new york. >> we heard earlier from one of his -- one of the surrogates saying if you come to new york, you have to be aggressive. the aggressor wins in new york.
>> that's kind of our style in new york. i don't think that bernie sanders has been an aggressor. he has been able to motivate and make thousands of new yorkers have come out to his rallies. he's been from buffalo to rochester to brooklyn to the bronx. i mean yesterday in washington square park, 30,000 people came out for bernie sanders. it was amazing. >> so it's gone from 20,000 to 27 to 30,000. lots of people -- >> there was lots of people. we have pictures of people on side streets. i was there. it was huge. >> do you know scherr lien mclean? >> our first lady. >> chirlane mckrary, first lady of new york city, hillary clinton supporter. i want you to listen to what she had to say. >> i think the tone will be respectful. but i think that bernie is getting a little desperate. so i expect that we'll hear the volume be pumped up a little bit. now hillary is a great candidate. he's battle-tested and i expect they're really going to be addressing some serious issues tonight.
>> she said bernie sanders is desperate. >> i absolutely don't think that bernie sanders is desperate. we have seen him win seven of the last eight states. this is where he was born and raised in if brooklyn, new york, just like me. he's creating a new voter community, young people all over the state are so excited and we can't wait until they go to the polls on april 19th. >> last night a supporter of sanders made this rerk, okay? listen to this. >> i agree with secretary clinton that medicare for all will never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo. medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate democratic whores who are beholden to big phrma. >> all right. so sanders did condemn the comment in a tweet, saying, that interest song's comment was inappropriate and insensitive. there is no room for language like that in our political
discourse. do you think that bernie sanders went far enough with that and why didn't -- why wouldn't he say something last night instead of just tweeting? >> i think he definitely has distanced himself from those types of comments not welcomed in our campaign. but i also want to look at his record. he has always been ally of women's reproductive rights. this is unacceptable and bernie sanders immediately distanced himself from this type of rhetoric. >> do you think that's enough? do you think just a tweet is enough? because people are saying, why didn't you say something last night? and instead of just tweeting about it today. you had every opportunity. >> if people understand how rallies work, senator sanders shows up. he wasn't there physically while dr. song was speaking. but absolutely looking at his record, he's always been a fighter for women's rights in this country. >> i have to go. but are you okay with him leaving the campaign trail to go to the vatican? >> i think that is going to be a spiritual revival for him in the campaign. >> thank you. >> thank you, don. thank you so much. >> thank you very much. we're just days to go until this critical new york primary are and trump's tirades against
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not so much where they focus on voters, but delegates. let me explain. this morning, the trump campaign met with lawmakers on capitol hill in a bid to try to win over support and avoid a brokered convention. but at last night's cnn town hall, ted cruz slammed the campaign's tactics, saying it's not wooing delegates, it's intimidating them. >> donald and his team, it's almost like they are subjects in a clinical course on psychology. in the last few weeks, donald's team, roger stone, his chief political adviser, was threatening to out the hotel rooms of delegates who dared to cross trump, so they could be intimidated. they're acting like union boss thugs. >> with me to discuss just about every cnn commentator and -- panelist, including bakari sulers, who supports secretary clinton, bill press, who supports bernie sanders, charles
blow, "new york times" op-ed columnist. jeffrey lord, a donald trump supporter, and finally, margaret hoover, of two gop presidential campaigns. goodness, gracious. and we're done. now the debate starts. jeff, i want to start with you about this intimidation factor. colorado's gop chairman, and delegates in indiana, say they are receiving threats for not supporting donald trump. indiana has even decided to keep its delegates secret now. it's not clear if the threats are coming from the trump supporters, but ted cruz certainly thinks they are. how do you respond to that? >> first of all, the indiana -- the indiana trump chairman has rejected this flat out. as do i. as any sane person. there's no place for violence in american political life, period. that's it. one thing i'm saying this for my friend charles over here. in 1976 -- >> when he says my friend, here it comes. >> in 1976 -- >> when reagan -- >> when reagan -- exactly. exactly.
that's exactly right. i was waiting for it to get to this. in the reagan-ford battle, they did exactly that. they sent people to delegates' doors, to knock on doors and converse with them about the -- >> converse -- >> roger stone himself has told me that what he's talking about is that. >> but this is in 1976 and this -- >> wait, it's not. >> no, it's not. some people may think it is. because i hear his name invoked so much. here's what donald trump tweeted. a big protest march on friday afternoon. don't let the bosses take your vote. he's calling on his own party corrupt. is this not intimidation here? >> no. no. before i came out, i was reading about the 1912 republican convention. theodore roosevelt was doing this. >> now we go back to 1912. >> well, i wasn't there. but i'm told by ohio state department of history, that's exactly what they did in 1912.
there's nothing new here, don. when you want delegates, you go -- >> it's not? see. >> there is a new interesting dynamic that's going to happen in the event of an open convention in the modern era in 2016. everyone is going to know in real-time what's going on. if they try to strike deals, if there's bribes, if there is any shenanigans, people knocking on hotel room doors. >> these will be everywhere. >> someone will be tweeting about it. and this convention is going to move so fast, lightening speed votes could be switched in a heartbeat. so i think anyone that thinks they're going to get away with any kind of intimidation with this bright light shining on everyone -- >> agreed. >> deadly mistaken. >> but the idea of shenanigans, you know, is debatable, right? the entire -- what this -- this campaign is doing is shining a very bright light on the way that people are actually nominated when people do not get the absolute number of delegates they need. and this is the way it has been done. and in -- if you look all of the contested kind of brokered
conventions, they incentivize, they, you know -- they, you know, give -- >> incentivize. that's an interesting way of putting it. >> you know, invite people to the white house if you have a sitting president. do all sorts of things. because, you know, we -- the nominating process as a completely democratic process. it is not. it is not constitutionally protected. it's not part of that system. >> because private organizations -- >> it's a private organization, and they have opened it up to give voters a voice in it. but they are not necessarily bound by what those voters say. and that is the hard truth that america is -- >> hang on, though. listen to reince priebus and i'll let you respond. here's reince priebus and he fired back. listen. >> i believe this is some frustration that has bubbled up, and, look, the rules are there. i know people get frustrated, and they're disappointed when things don't go exactly the right way. i think when people are frustrated and upset, they say
things that they regret. >> so he's downplaying trump's threats a little bit. should he be taking them more seriously? >> i want to make the distinction, i think we all have to. no room for violence, no room for this intimidation, if you will. but there's a lot of room for pressure and lobbying and talking to people. these delegates, they run for delegates, and guess what? they're in the big league here. and they have got to be ready to -- people will try to persuade them, even if they're committed to somebody else. even on the democratic side, the regular delegates. not the super delegates. just have to fairly reflect. that's what the words say in the rules. so they could change their position. so i think there is a little bit of whining going on on the part of some of these cruz people or trump people. look, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. grow a pair, deal with it. >> margaret. >> i don't know if you were watching last night, but i think bakari made a good point on the show -- our show last night when he said that the rnc is playing with fire. >> it's a gamble.
very dangerous game. >> and, yes. i mean, all of these things are true. but what we didn't touch on is, we're not overstating -- we're not making up these claims to violence. there has been violence. there have been moments that have gotten out of control. and that is a reflection on the campaigns, the tone comes from the top. there is a responsibility for the candidates on both sides. and especially on the republican side where we have some new people at the table to behave like adults and were he the president of the united states. and as long as that tone comes from the top and we set that example, then i think we'll be okay. i do think you've listened to how your candidate is running the race. and you take signals. and i think, you know -- i think we're starting to shift, frankly, on how the trump campaign has comported themselves. and i hope that continues. >> listen, let's -- can we talk about corey lewandowski? such a major deal. i've heard a number of people say that they believe that corey lewandowski got a raw deal. >> i think that. >> why do you think that? he's not going to be prosecuted. >> no, no.
i've been in these presidential scrums. they're attention-filled. let us not forget the secret service is a result of robert kennedy being shot to death in the middle of one of these scrums. >> but corey is not secret service. >> i know that. all i'm saying is when you are in these things and you see a hand come out, as she was, at least as i see in the photograph, she is touching the candidate which is against federal law, by the way, you can go to jail for it. your instinct is to do this. >> jeffrey, i think that's a bit disingenuous. let me tell you why, because because i know you. >> if you're asking me -- >> if i reach out to mr. trump -- would you really think i'm trying to harm him? just trying to get attention because i've been traveling on the campaign trail. >> i understand that. but when you read the federal law, it quite clearly says -- >> i think it goes to a larger issue that many people have with the -- with just this whole trump narrative. and that, you know, i think many of us take offense to the notion that you can just put your hands
on a woman anyway. it's just the basic motor. >> any person. >> any person. that's the basic morality. especially coming from the front runner, who is right now the republican standard bearer. >> i have to get to a break. stick around. we're coming back. when we come back, we have a strategy session for tonight's debate between bernie sanders and hillary clinton. we'll be right back. ( ♪ ) ♪ i'm walkin', yes indeed ♪
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call liberty mutual at switch to liberty mutual and you could save up to $509 call today at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. our most advanced formula for joint health and comfort. cosamin -- proven by more research than any leading joint supplement. and we are back with our panel live from brooklyn. location of tonight's cnn democratic debate. hillary clinton and bernie sanders face off, a few hours from now in that hall you're looking at right now, live. it's actually the hall, not don lemon. anyway, the tension really has
grown increasingly bitter on the campaign trail. bakari sellers is back with me, as well. so bakari, i'll give you the first word. last word before the break. do you think the tone is going to be the same on the debate stage tonight? >> i think you're going to see a heightened center. bernie sanders has to come out and draw some delineations and be more aggressive. i think he has been more aggressive. i think hillary clinton is going to pivot and start talking about things that excite the base, like donald trump and/or ted cruz. i think there is going to be a third person on the stage tonight for the hillary clinton. and i expect a good debate. a good debate about the issues. i'm looking to see bernie sanders throw the first punch and i'm looking to see hillary clinton counter punch. >> what do you think hillary clinton's strategy needs to be? because she has to win this. i know she's ahead. by a double digits in the polls. but she has to win this. and i think she has to win it big. >> she -- >> she doesn't have to screw it up. she just has to hold the line.
she's on the safest of territories, right? this is a closed primary. this is a very diverse in terms of large percentages of hispanics and blacks. her lead has held in the polls. i was really surprised she even agreed to do this debate, because one thing -- one thing about bernie's platform, whether or not you believe it can come to fruition, people like him as they get to know him. he gains every time more -- the more exposure, he gets, the more he gains. and the fact that he can make up a lot of ground here. but as long as she holds, she wins. >> exactly right. here's the thing. bakari says there is going to be a third person on the stage tonight, whether it's ted cruz or donald trump. she's been running against donald trump all along. he's been its stage already. and that is the only technique and tactic she's got going for her. because bernie, frankly, has this increasing momentum. 27,000 people in washington square park last night? are you kidding me? and new york city? this is a state where she was the senator.
i mean, her tactic is -- >> but that's what -- that's why i say this is huge for her. we have seen primaries and caucuses where the polls are wrong. right? and then bernie sanders ends up winning or ted cruz or someone will end up winning and you thought the other person had the momentum and lead. that's why i'm saying she has to win this. and by a pretty big margin. >> she has to show she can handle bernie sanders. bernie sanders has defied expectations, he's lasted so much longer he than anyone thought. and for hillary clinton to look strong in a general election, i think she has to be able to put him down. put him in his place and definitively say i am the front runner, which she hasn't been able to do. >> he is to her what i call a low-grade toothache. it's just there. it will not go away. it's not going to kill her. it's not going to kill her. but it's getting bigger and now he's got a problem, she's got a problem. >> what do you think of bill press of bernie sanders leaving, you know, to go to the otto owe in the middle of this contest? is that smart on his part?
>> look, i think if you are invited by the vatican, even not by the pope, talking about income inequality on that international stage, he can leave here as he's going to do after the debate tonight, spend -- he's taken a whole press charter, by the way. he's going to get a lot of media attention. they're going with him. he'll be back in the state on saturday. why not? i think it's good for him. >> i think it's a great platform. >> i also want to point out one other thing. he may be going to see the pope francis, she is leaving the state to see the pope george clooney in california. so both of them are leaving the state. >> it's a real misstep. if sanders was leaving the united states to travel abroad to broaden his -- his portfolio of things he can discuss, i think it would be really smart. if he were being able to go somewhere and be able to say i'm not only smart on income inequality, i'm smart on foreign affairs and military
intervention and isis. that's not what he's doing. he's basically going to say the same thing there as he's saying here. it's a misstep to me. >> i wonder -- guys, quickly. i've got to ask this. i wonder if you agree with this "new york times" op-ed today says i'm already completely exhausted by this presidential campaign. candidates seem to share that fatigue. nerves are fraying as storylines are stale. do you guys agree with that? >> yeah. >> every time something else happens, though. >> but the race has not fundamentally changed from a month ago. the map has moved around and so -- >> the democratic race has not changed. we started with hillary clinton, the front runner. hillary clinton is now up by how many votes? 204? 2.4 million. >> that is a meaningless number. >> but she's winning. she's winning by every metric.
>> i've got to go. >> this is the phrase. >> nobody has time for anything else. thank you, everyone. thank you bakari, bill press amanda, margaret hoover. everyone. you can watch hillary clinton and bernie sanders together on stage tonight from the cnn democratic presidential debate moderated by wolf blitzer, only on cnn.
the east river's cold right now, but it is beautiful. welcome back, everyone. now, let's go inside the hall. there we go. that's where hillary clinton and bernie sanders are going to be debating tonight. we're back in brooklyn. in just hours, that debate will start. we're going to turn to politics just shortly. first, we have some devastating news. today marks two years since gunmen captured hundreds of girls. we're getting an indication some of the girls may still be alive. cnn has obtained this new video. it is being used in negotiations
between boko haram and the government that shows the missing students. they were snatched from their beds in a dormitory in the town of chibok, leading to international pleas to bring back our girls. now this exclusive report. >> reporter: lined up against a yellow wall, 15 girls, only their faces showing. an off camera voice asks each girl, what's your name? is that the name your parents recognize? where were you taken from, the voice asks. chibok school and the date they say is the 25th of december, 2015. this video was obtained by cnn from a person close to the negotiations to get these girls released. for the parents, it's finally a glimmer of hope these girls are still alive.
two years ago, we met mary and these women after the abduction of their daughters and more than 200 other girls. we asked them if they recognize any of the girls in the video. they look closer. another girl is identified. one by one, they name all 15 girls. but one mother realizes her daughter isn't there. the off camera voice asking the questions is familiar to cnn as that of baca more ram spokesman. said the video was provided by the terror group as an asked for show of good faith.
nigeria's information minister told cnn they have received the video but are still reviewing it. >> the questions were asked in a rather very controlled environment. we were a bit concerned, too, that after activity, the girls were under no stress, there's been no transformation to their physical appearance. >> is your government negotiating with boko haram for the release of these girls? >> there are ongoing talks. we cannot ignore leads but of course many of these investigators are, you know, cannot be disclosed because it
could also endanger, you know, the negotiations. >> reporter: we took the video to a classmate of the girls. she'd been at home with family the day the girls were kidnapped. for her safety, we're not showing her face and not using her name. she told us there's no doubt these are some of her kidnapped classmates. >> translator: watching the video, i'm reminded of how we used to play together, do chores, our homework. >> reporter: she says seeing her friends again will likely give her nightmares. >> translator: sometime still if i hear news about them, i have bad dreams and i wake up crying. >> reporter: the video ends with a girl addressing the camera with a message to the nigerian government. we are all well she says pointedly. perhaps suggesting girls not seen in this video. she then delivers what sounds like a scripted plea. urging the nigerian government to fulfill unspecified promises.
for the mothers of these girls rapidly becoming women far from home, the video is overwhelming. they say they just want someone to bring their daughters home. >> inema join us now from the nigerian capital. it's heartbreaking but at least there's hope the girls are alive. what kind of response have you gotten from government officials? >> well what we're now hearing, don, from the governor of the state where these girls were abducted from and although he hadn't seen this video because as we understood it, this really has been kept very, very tight, even within the nigerian government to just the very few who are pivy to the details of this negotiation but he told us it gave us hope and also details
of how he believed boko haram have managed to evade capture in spite of holding on to some of these girls still. take a listen to this. >> its existence as well because we have been saying the same thing all the while, that we believe that the girls are alive, but based on security, you cannot get them in one group. they might have been dispersed into several cells. it has been our belief that the girls are alive. >> this is a rare glimmer of hope for the parents, there's no doubt. but there's also the reality from everyone we've been speaking to that the terror group, boko haram, are very
aware of the value of these girls and it seems -- it appears they are negotiating for the girls block by block. that's why you only see 15 of the 219. they're trying to get as much out of this in terms of ransom money, in terms of release of their people as they can. so while this is definitely a happy time for some of those parents, it also has given them a sense that the agony is still going to be prolonged, don. >> thank you very much for that, we appreciate that incredible reporting. at the top of the hour, you can join -- make sure you join nime and her producer live on facebook for more on this story. go to facebook.com/cnn to ask questions. that's it for me. coverage of the presidential debate continues right after this. will you watch?!
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the greatest collection of shows free with xfinity on demand. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. it is a gorgeous day here in new york. we're live from the brooklyn naval yard, the williamsburg bridge just behind us here, this gorgeous set that our cnn crew has put together for us here, ahead of the big night tonight. critical democratic presidential debate hosted by cnn. less than seven hours from now, bernie sanders will get his final chance to take on hillary clinton face-to-face before the all-important tuesday new york primary. senator sanders was born here in brooklyn. former secretary of state clinton elected here, served eight years as state senator. no question the state is