tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNNW April 15, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
capable hands of wolf blitzer. he's, as always, in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. dishonest and disloyal. former apprentice contestants tell donald trump, you're fired, accusing him of racism, violence and hate. trump accuses them of disloyalty saying, quote, nobody would know who they are if it weren't for me. fallout, the democratic debate starts as a knife fight and goes nuclear. did either hillary clinton or bernie sanders score a victory? will their bitter feud now cast a shadow over the convention? dangerous quake. a magnitude 7 earthquake rocks japan in the middle of the night 30 times more powerful than a tremor which hit just hours earlier. what kind of damage will daylight reveal? and birthday blast. kim jong-un celebrates his grandfather's birthday with a parade, fireworks and a failed missile launch. we're the only tv live inside north korea right now.
i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." let's get to the breaking news. donald trump firing back at former "apprentice" contestants who accused him of sexism, racism and violence. trump accuses them of total dishonesty and disloyalty. as trump's lead grows in his home state, he rips ted cruz for slamming new york values and steps up his war with the gop establishment. writing in the "wall street journal" trump calls the party's delegate system rigged, even as "the new york post" bets that trump can become, quote, more presidential. hillary clinton and bernie sanders, they get out of town after last night's cnn democratic presidential debate in brooklyn turned into a slugfest and a shouting match. the early debates were relatively gentle, this time they went for the vug lar,
battling over wall street, and the middle east. sanders flew to the vatican where today he talked about a moral economy. clinton stopped at a harlem senior center before flying to california for a high-priced fund-raiser. and kim jong-un celebrates a dynasty of dictators on his grandfather's birth day, but the launch of a new missile ends in failure. we'll go live inside north korea for a cnn exclusive. i'll speak with tulsi gabbard. our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories. let's begin with the race for the presidential nomination. our national correspondent jason carrol is following the contest from plattsburgh, new york. jason, what's the latest? >> reporter: trump wrapped up his rally here in plattsburgh taking more than a few digs at the gop and the system which he said robbed him of votes and
delegates in colorado. he had the people of colorado are angry and have every right to be. tonight donald trump is not letting up on his claim that the republican nomination process is rigged. >> the republican system is rigged, okay. it's a rigged system. >> reporter: the gop front-runner also voicing his complaints in a wall street journal op-ed writing the system is being rigged by party operatives with double agent delegates who reject the decision of voters. the chairman of the republican national committee, reince priebus, today telling wolf blitzer that trump's criticism is off base. >> no, i think the system is working. all the delegates that are bound to the candidates will stay bound to the candidates. >> reporter: the volleying over the rules comes as republican primary voters in new york get set to weigh in on tuesday. trump picking up the endorsement of the "new york post" editorial board which wrote should he win the nomination, we expect trump to pivot, not just on the issues but in his manner.
the post-pivot trump needs to be more presidential, better informed on policy, more self disciplined and less thin-skinned. trump is still keeping up the attacks on rooival ted cruz abo his remarks on new york values. >> what do we see in new york values. we see really, really incredible when you look at september 11th especially, new york police and new york firefighters, incredible. >> reporter: cruz appearing with "tonight show" host and trump impersonator jimmy fallon, using a bit of humor to deflect trump's criticism of his values comments. >> so when i said "new york values" i was merely trying to say that i value new york. except i was saying it backwards, the way yoda would say it. >> reporter: trump today also facing backlash from a group of former "apprentice" contestants who blasted the way their former boss is running his presidential campaign. >> donald trump is validating
people's hate and his bigotry in a way that i truly believe has the potential to tear this country apart. >> reporter: all this as trump looks to move beyond a recent controversy involving his campaign manager, corey lewandowski, who will not face charges after he had been accused by a reporter of grabbing her arm. lewandowski telling cnn's chris cuomo, he tried to contact the reporter to clear the air. >> that night i called michelle fields because i didn't know what happened honestly. the interaction with michelle fields lasted a sum total of three seconds of my entire life. i never met her before and the only time i interacted with her is on that videotape. it's not that we didn't try to reach out to the to the bottom of it, she wanted to make it a story. >> reporter: when it comes to those former "apprentice" contestants, trump wanting to have the last word, releasing a statement calling them ungrateful. he said they should be careful or i'll be hours of footage of them individually praising me.
ask how successful they have been since they left. six failing wannabes out of hundreds of contestants, so sad. that type of language may not be presidential, wolf, but it's the exact kind of language trump supporters seem to respond to. a day after their big ballots in brooklyn, the democratic candidates have moved on, bernie sanders to the vatican, hillary clinton getting ready for a california fund-raiser. but their stunning slugfest exposed some raw nerves and some very hard feelings. let's go to our senior washington correspondent, joe johns, who's got more on that. joe. >> wolf, bernie sanders taking a quick trip to the vatican for a speech at a critical time just before the new york primary. the campaign denies it was about politics and sanders did not get an audience with the pope, but it's very clear he may need something to change the dynamic of the race, aligning himself with the teaching of the church couldn't hurt. tonight bernie sanders is taking a break from the new york
campaign trail for a conference on social and economic justice at the vatican, praising the catholic church's teachings on the market economy. >> the top 1% of people on this planet now own more wealth than the bottom 99%. that to me is unacceptable. >> while hillary clinton made a stop at a senior center in harlem. >> and i now know where to come when i want a good game of dominos. >> before heading to california for a weekend fund-raising blitz with george clooney, the democratic race heating up ahead of tuesday's new york primary. >> that is not accurate. >> i have stood on the debate stage with senator sanders eight prior times. >> the divisions on full display during cn nervous systemn's deb >> if you're both screaming at each other, the viewers won't be able to hear either of you. >> the democratic contenders sparring over judgment and
preparedness. >> even his core issue, breaking up the banks, when asked, he could not explain how that would be done. >> do we really feel confident about a candidate saying that she's going to bring change in america when she is so dependent on big money interests. >> the rivals also clashing over raising the minimum wage. >> and i will work as hard as i can to raise the minimum wage. i always have. >> i am sure a lot of people are very surprised to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. >> clinton expressing regret for the 1994 crime bill signed by her husband. >> i'm sorry for the consequences that were unintended and that have had a very unfortunate impact on people's lives. >> after the debate, asked by cnn whether he regretted his vote for the crime bill, sanders responded. >> in retrospect, it was a vote that led to a lot of awful things.
if i had voted the other way, i'd have secretary clinton saying bernie sanders, you had an opportunity to vote against the ban assault weapons, you didn't do that. >> clinton again refused to release transcripts of her speeches to goldman sachs. >> let's set the same standard for everybody. when everybody does it, okay, i will do it. >> and she tried to turn the tables on sanders, calling on her rival to release his tax returns. >> i've released 30 years of tax returns and i think every candidate, including senator sanders and donald trump, should do the same. >> what we have always done in my family is jane does them. and she's been out on the campaign trail. we will get them out. >> so we're still waiting for word on when bernie sanders will release his taxes. why he hasn't done so is an open question. while he calls himself one of the poorer members of the senate, tax returns can still tell you what kind of deductions a politician takes and what kinds of charitable contributions he or she makes, if any. wolf. >> thank you very much. joe johns reporting.
let's bring in jeff zeleny. jeff, bernie sanders, when is he going to get back on the campaign trail? he's still at the vatican right now. >> reporter: he is, wolf, but he'll be back here in new york city at least scheduled to be back here tomorrow, on saturday, around 12:15 or so. he will be back on the campaign trail with a big scheduled rally in brooklyn again on sunday. so definitely is taking a bit of a detour here, no question about it. some sanders advisers still holding out a bit of hope that he could cross paths with the pope. at this hour senator sanders is staying the night or believed to be staying the night, his aides confirm, in essentially the hotel inside the vatican. casa asanta maria. that's near where the pope stays. possible they could cross paths. no meeting scheduled at all. but he will be back here campaigning. sanders aides say, yes, he took a detour but he will be gone out of new york a shorter amount of time than hillary clinton will be because she's out on that
west coast fund raz-raiser tomo night with george clooney. >> and still no tax returns from bernie sanders? >> reporter: so far no sign of that. he told you that he would. in fact they have been saying this for a few weeks now, woclf. we're just talking about the 2014 return. still at this hour there's no sign of it from the campaign. >> jeff zeleny reporting. joining us now, tulsi gabbard of hawaii, an iraq war veteran, member of the armed services and foreign affairs committee and a strong supporter of bernie sanders. congresswoman, thanks for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. >> he did say the tax returns would be released today, so i assume they will be released today. >> i assume they will be. i'm not in on those conversations, but if he says he'll do it, i imagine he will. >> from your perspective as a strong supporter of bernie sanders, why not get all those tax returns out? he said he's going to release 2014 and maybe later he'll release some others.
what's the problem? >> it seems like he intends to release more than just 2014. like i said, he says he's going to do it, i expect that he will. >> you agree the public has a right to look at these tax returns? >> sure. if someone is running for president, you expect there to be transparency about who they are and where they have been. >> were you surprised he decided to make this trip to rome to the vatican only a few days before the new york primary? some suggest he's so far behind in the polls he's basically giving up on new york. >> bernie is not your typical politician. if there's anything everyone can agree on, i think that's probably a good point. i think his going there and accepting this invitation reflects his commitment to talking on a global platform about the need for a moral economy and fairness and he'll be back in new york tomorrow and working hard all the way up through the election there coming up on tuesday. >> take a look at this nbc/wall street journal poll. hillary clinton 57%, bernie
sanders 40%. it's a wall street journal poll. obviously that worries you. do you think he can come back from a significant poll deficit like that? >> i think in states all across the country, bernie has shown a great deficit in a lot of polls. in many of them he has been able to come back and he has won eight of the last nine contests, i believe, so he's working hard. he's got a lot of supporters working hard. to be able to get his message out to the voters of new york in advance. it's tough, there's no doubt about it, but we'll see what happens. >> the new york primary is this tuesday and then a week later you've got pennsylvania, maryland, connecticut, similar kinds of states. the polls show that hillary clinton is ahead in those states as well. she could be on a swing right now. >> there's a lot of could bes that we could talk about, but i know that really the important thing is to really focus on what are the critical issues that the american people are caring about, making sure that they are informed clearly on the contrasts and differences
between bernie sanders and hillary clinton before they go in and cast that vote on who they think should be our next president. >> he's made a lot of noise lately, as has donald trump on the other side, over the delegate selection process. he says democratic primary process, including the super delegates, he says it distorts reality, that there are so many southern states, for example, he lost almost all of those southern states, i think he lost them all to hillary clinton. he said that distorts the process. do you have a problem with the way the democratic party selects a presidential nominee? >> i think that this whole primary process has been pretty enlightening. i can tell you some of my friends at home, they call me because they are completely confused by this process. saying if someone wins by such a big margin, how come they don't get that same reflection in the super delegate or the delegate count. so i think the goal and the objective going forward, and i think this is something bernie sanders has talked about, is how do we open the process and make it so it's transparent and fair,
make it so people have easy access to voting so we have that increased voter engagement so our democracy can become more vibrant and a reflection of the people who are coming out and casting their votes. >> congresswoman, we have more to discuss. i want you to stand by. we'll take a quick break. there's other information coming into "the situation room" right now. we'll be right back. if you misplace your discover card, you can use freeze it to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds. and once you find it, you can switch it right on again. you're back! freeze it from discover. get it at discover.com. ♪ some people know how to make an entrance. ♪
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hawaii, she's a bernie sanders supporter, an iraq war veteran and member of the foreign far affairs and services committee. do you agree that it's time for the u.s. to reduce its involvement with nato unless the european allies, the other countries, starting spending on nato and let the u.s. off the hook, if you will, on a financial commitment? >> i agree with senator sanders and i think hillary clinton took the same position last night in the debate that other countries within nato need to step up. they need to pay their fair share rather than always relying completely on the united states to carry the lion's share of the costs and the burden. >> but you still believe in nato? >> i think nato does have a place, but we've got to look at every country's role in nato, what the mission is, what the purpose is in today's world. i think that's a relevant conversation to have. >> and so what would you like to see emerge from that kind of conversation? what kind of u.s. role, what kind of nato involvement? there are 28 countries that are allies in nato. >> i think that's a conversation
that needs to happen between the united states and the countries within nato looking at the situation in the world that exists today. i think we can look back at the past and see how things have changed, but that's something that's going to have to be worked out really between these countries. but there has to be a more equitable share of these countries who are now facing serious threats from groups like isis and al qaeda to recognize that there needs to be more done there in their homeland. >> it's interesting because donald trump wants to take another look at nato. his fashion not far from bernie sanders' position. he says the u.s. is spending too much, let the other nato allies pick it up. >> if you look at what the united states actually pays into nato, which i think the vast majority of the american people are not aware of, they pay more single-handedly than the vast majority of these countries combined. so i think this is valid when we look at our own limited resources, our needs to invest here at home, we need to make sure that these other countries who have challenges and
situations there on their homelands are stepping up to the plate and really investing in this themselves. >> let's talk about the terror threat from isis right now, a subject i know you have looked at closely. mohamed abrini was the man in the hat at the brussels airport. we now know he's in custody with the belgium authorities right now. the word is he made several trips to soccer stadiums in birmingham, england, looking for potential targets. how worried should u.s. citizens be that the same terror threat that developed in europe potentially could come here? >> i think it is a concern and that's why it's important for us to take these actions to be able to know strengthen our intelligence gathering, to be able to identify where such potential attacks are vulnerable targets exist and to be able to make sure through every level
that we try our best to prevent such an attack from happening here. i think there's a lot of lessons that can be learned from what europe is experiencing right now and some of these countries as they are going through this difficult period and make sure we are doing our part here at home. >> tulsi gabbard, thanks very much. congresswoman from hawaii. coming up, former "apprentice" contestants tell donald trump you're fired, accusing him of racism, violence and hate. trump accuses them of disloyalty and dishonesty. plus kim jong-un celebrates the birthday of his grandfather with fireworks and a failed missile launch. we'll take you live inside north korea. this is a cnn exclusive. stay with us, you're in "the situation room." [ male announcer ] this saturday
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donald trump is widely expected to trounce his rivals in the upcoming new york primary. that's tuesday. but that isn't stopping trump from escalating his feud with the republican party right now over a delegate selection process that trump calls rigged. let's bring in our political experts for some analysis. joining us, our chief political analyst, gloria borger, cnn political commentator, smiek al smerconish and peter beinart. >> the new york post endorsed donald trump saying that there would be a pivot on issues, on substance, that he would assume a different attitude and become more acceptable. >> that's quite an endorsement. >> if a lot of people believe
that, that could help his race for the nomination. >> but what you just said, imagine that. we're endorsing him because we think actually he's going to change. we think that he'll change on the issues. we think that he's going to change in his manner, that he'll become more presidential and that's why we're endorsing him. i think it does represent a point of view among some republicans, including early on in this race some establishment republicans who believe that trump is more malleable than, say, ted cruz who they disagree with and they consider more dangerous in a way than donald trump. so oddly enough, "the new york post" in endorsing him is representing the point of view that we can change donald trump if he were to be elected. >> michael, you've studied trump over the years. he has changed his attitude over the years on a lot of substantive issues, right? >> well, he's flip-flopped on a whole host of issues if that's what you're referring to. so is change possible within
him? i think absolutely. but i think i'd also say to "the new york post" what if you're wrong? what if he doesn't pivot and this is what you get as a nominee and a president? do you still want to endorse him? >> well, "the new york post" certainly did endorse him. michael, very quickly also on this op-ed that he wrote, he's doubling down on this notion that the republican delegate selection process is rigged. the republican party going back at him hard on this. where do you stand on this? >> i think it's absolutely stunning. remember, he is the front-runner and not by a little, by a lot. the front-runner of the republican party is saying this process is now rigged against me. and what i think is really going on, i think this is the hand of paul manafort who's been brought in to manage the convention operation, recognizing that they are in jeopardy if it gets to ballot two, three, four through whatever, and, therefore, they want to hold in check those delegates who might otherwise flee donald trump on a second
ballot or subsequent ballot and go to a different candidate by creating the perception that to do so would be unjust and illegitimate. that's what the real intent is. >> peter, as you know, there are a lot of republicans out there now saying they're going to support senator cruz not because they like senator cruz so much but because they really don't like donald trump. is that going to potentially hurt cruz, let's say, if he were to get the nomination? >> if cruz gets the nomination, having had fewer votes than donald trump, he will be a crippled candidate. he's a bad candidate to begin w he has zero crossover appeal to democrats and democratic-leaning independents but he will be further weaker by the fact you'll have a very nasty, ugly convention in which trump supporters create all kinds of chaos that makes it very hard to have a unified party going into the fall. >> gloria, you've been doing some reporting on the cruz campaign and the tactics they're
engaging in to try to get cruz that nomination. >> i had a long conversation with ken cuccinelli, the former virginia attorney general, who has been brought in by the cruz campaign to be their sort of chief delegate hunter. and he took great umbrage at the notion that this is a rigged system. let me just show you what he said to me. he said, quote, this is good old-fashioned running the ball up the middle. we're not the ones threatening people. it's offensive. and what he is of course referring to is the comment that roger stone, who does not work for the trump campaign, i should add, but is a trump ally, you know, he kind of made a threat on a program when he said that he would disclose the hotel locations of people who were once trump supporters and were now disloyal to him. you know, cuccinelli says we are doing well at this because we are on the ground and we are organizing and we are a grassroots campaign. and by the way, you know, he's
not running into a lot of trump or kasich interference on the ground, wolf. >> it's interesting, the inside game that's unfolding right now. everyone, stand by. let's take a quick break. we'll have more with our political experts right after this. ♪ every auto insurance policy has a number. but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. those who have served our nation. have earned the very best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life.
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donald trump in the debate last night but she really went after senator sanders. is that a more immediate issue for her right now, especially with new york only a few days away? >> definitely. she struck me last night, and, wolf, i thought you did a tremendous job and it's not just because this is your program. i really believe that you had a yeoman's task and separated the two of them and you did great. she struck me last night as a prize fighter who has grown tired of sparring. she's been out of this game for eight years. she needed a tuneup. she has given her more than she bargained for. now she wants to dispense with him, move on and move toward the general. a close victory is in his best interests. >> good point. thank you for the nice words. gloria, senator sanders certainly has changed his tone over these months. listen to this exchange. this was back in the fall.
>> i mean i cannot walk down the corridors in capitol hill without being really begged by the media to attack hillary clinton. they want to make this personal. it's easy to cover. i choose not to do that. >> he chose to go after her last night. >> well, and i'm just going to add to what michael said. he -- it was a difficult task to control those two and i think you did it brilliantly, so congratulations to you. >> thank you. >> and our whole team there the other night. yeah, this is like i'm old enough to remember when bernie sanders didn't want to attack hillary clinton. that's like six months ago. >> right. >> so it's kind of -- it's kind of crazy that now he still says, by the way, that he's not attacking her, he's drawing contrasts with her, and yet he's questioned her qualifications, he's questioned her judgment, he questions her paid speeches, he questions her ties to wall street. >> and the vote in favor of the war in iraq. >> exactly. >> keeps going after that. >> and this question of judgment. as the clinton people point out, if that's not an attack on her
character, then what is? he's sort of decided that in order to win, he's got to cross that line. >> michael, you wanted to say something? >> no, i was going to say -- yeah, i really disagree with this. there is a really important distinction between, you know, if you're talking about her judgment in supporting the iraq war or the fact that because she's gotten money from big banks, she's not as likely to be as tough a critic of financial institutions, i think those are -- that's legitimate. i think bernie sanders has always laid out ideological differences with hillary clinton. where he hasn't wanted to go is issues like the e-mail and i think that's a legitimate distinction. >> but when dana bash asked him to name an example of a moment in which she might have pulled back because of contributions from wall street, he sort of deflected that. i mean elizabeth warren has named examples, but bernie sanders didn't do that. >> but that's a different -- i
agree, that was a failing but that doesn't mean he shouldn't criticize her. he could have said, well, she doesn't want to break up the banks like i do. it doesn't mean he shouldn't be critical of her. >> peter, what did you think of the exchange he had with hillary clinton on the whole issue of israel and the palestinians? >> i think what bernie sanders said was brave and important. hillary clinton has barely talked at all about palestinian suffering and palestinian dignity in this campaign. and to talk about it and talk about palestinian humanity and the right for palestinian self-determination does not make you anti-israel in my book, it makes you pro-israel because israel will not be a successful country if it controls millions of people that lack basic rights. >> but coming a few days before a democratic primary in new york state. >> no doubt. to walk into that room last night and to say to secretary clinton, i paid close attention to what i said to apaic and paid no attention to palestinian rights, i thought it was a bold position. we'll see what happens on
tuesday. >> there's no doubt he's a very blunt guy, he speaks his mind and he's not necessarily overly concerned specifically on this issue about the potential political consequences. >> and, you know, wolf, he had fired his jewish outreach coordinator just a day or so before. and the campaign i know had had discussions on this particular issue and how he should frame it. i mean they understand they're in new york for heaven sakes, and bernie sanders to his credit, whether you agree with him or disagree with him, bernie sanders stood his ground. i mean he hasn't changed his position on the plight of the palestinians at all. this is one area where donald trump says he wants to be an honest broker, bernie sanders talks about the palestinian predicament and their grievances, and i think it's one area and we saw many last night on nato, for example, bernie sanders seemed to agree with donald trump on spending too much money on nato where those two seem to be flip sides of the
same coin. >> do you want to button this up, peter? >> yeah, i think the unfortunate thing is that he did suspend zimmerman, his jewish coordinator, who is a friend of mine who i think will bow a great leader in the american jewish community. if he had held firm on that, he would have won more respect from the very young jews that are changing the conversation in our community. >> peter, thanks very much. gloria thanks to you. michael smerconish, thanks to you. tune into watch michael smerconish's program tomorrow morning, 9:00 a.m. eastern right here on cnn. very, very smart program on cnn. coming up, a north korean missile test ends in disaster. the secret the regime is closely guarding news of the catastrophic developments involving its own citizens. instead they're celebrating the birthday of the nation's founder. we'll have an exclusive live report. that's coming in from pyongyang.
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breaking news. japan now scrambling to recover from a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake that rocked the southern coast. one person has been killed. the region is already on edge following a magnitude 6.2 tremor that struck yesterday killing nine people. the city closest to the epicenter of this latest quake is extremely densely populated. experts are predicting devastating damage. we're going to stay on top of this story for you.
we're also following new developments in north korea where several anxious days of preparation for a ballistic missile test ended with a spectacular failure on the launch pad. but security analysts tell cnn this isn't the time for the united states to let down its guard. our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, is tracking the latest developments for us. barbara, what are you learning? >> look, wolf, kim jong-un did not get what he wanted out of this test and the crucial question for washington at a massive ceremony in pyongyang, celebrating the birthday of north korea's founder, no sign of a catastrophic military failure hours earlier. as u.s. spy satellites and aircraft watched and listened, north korea's first attempt to launch a mobile ballistic missile capable of reaching alaska blew up into a ball of flame before it even took flight. u.s. officials say.
the white house quick to condemn. >> it is in violation of u.n. security council resolutions that explicitly prohibit north korea's use of ballistic missile technology. >> reporter: concerned about the missile launch, the u.s. and japan put aircraft and missile defenses on high alert. a u.s. official tells cnn. behind it, the u.s. calculating how north korea's highly unpredictable leader kim jong-un will deal with the failure. >> i expect kim jong-un will keep testing missiles and have potentially a fifth nuclear test. >> reporter: china remains a cautionary voice. >> translator: at present, the situation on the peninsula is complex and sensitive. >> reporter: but u.s. military tensions with china are rising over china's claim to clusters of manmade islands in the south china sea that the u.s. believes could restrict maritime
movement. defense secretary ash carter sailing through the area on board the aircraft carrier "uss john stennis" sending a signal signal the u.s. military will maintain freedom of navigation. >> in the south china sea, china's actions, in particular, are causing anxiety and raising region alg tenal tenseions. >> reporter: this after a top chinese military officer sent his own signal a few days ago visiting one of the islands known as fiery cross reef. and the u.s. counterpunch now, a new military agreement with the philippines. there will be more joint patrols, more exercises in training and u.s. access potentially to five philippine military bases. a signal to china and north korea that the u.s. military is in asia. wolf? >> barbara starr, thanks very much. let's get an exclusive look at those celebrations taking place inside north korea.
our correspondent will ripley is joining us live from the capital of pyongyang. will, most north koreans have no indication the missile test went horribly wrong, do they? >> that's kroecorrect. more than 24 hours after they say this missile attempt failed, there's been no announcement on state media or the government saying this failed launch took place. instead, the country is focusing on the day of the sun. the birthday of north korea's founder, a very big day and big disappointment for the regime. it was hoping to make a military splash. you won't find any mention of a failed missile launch here in pyongyang. you will find tributes to a man north koreans call their great leader. more than 20 years after his death, north korea's founder is a fixture of daily life. kim il-sung's picture shares in every home. state tv would have touted a
successful mobile missile launch as a grand triumph, but the u.s. and south korea say the early morning launch failed. northwest north koreans will never know what happened. even those with smartphones don't have access to outside internet. pyongyang often chooses public holidays for high-profile shows of force. in january, supreme leader kim jong-un ordered an h-bomb test just days before his birthday. observers say kim is trying to project strength ahead of the crucial workers party congress next month when the young leader could gain even more power. in february, he ordered a satellite launch using a long-range rocket. models of that rocket are on display in the north korean capital. whenever i see these rockets i feel very proud. we are all happy, says this woman. kim song we says this is a symbol of our national dignity and the regime says the only way
to protect north korea from a looming threat in the south. 17,000 american service members engaged in military exercises with 300,000 south korean troops. north korea's own military response has included firing projectiles, claims of miniaturizing nuclear warheads, promises of more nuclear and missile tests. we don't get the full picture of life in north korea, just like the people here, our view is limited to what the government allows us to see. on this day of the sun, the symbolism is clear. international pressure, even a disappointing apparent failure won't stop the regime from developing the most powerful weapons it can to guard against its number one enemy, the united states. the u.n. security council implemented some of the toughest sanctions trying to stop the development of the nuclear and missile program. enforcement relies heavily on china. recently cnn visited the border
where we saw a number of cargo shipments still moving back and forth. i can tell you on the streets in pyongyang in the last two years i've been coming here, there are more cars than ever. construction projects everywhere. people have electronics. they are well dressed. well fed. so at least at this point, the sanctions don't appear to be affecting daily life in the capital. chinese state media is saying it may take six months to a year to feel the full effects. they say the sanctions will hurt and potentially stop the regime. >> and very quickly, will, i noticed you were wearing an arm band. what was that? >> this is what we have to wear whenever we're reporting in north korea. this is a press band to identify us as members of the media. we're told we have to wear this because we're american journalists and the feelings here of hostility of americans is clear. this is for our identification and also protection because
we're also escorted by government minders everywhere we go. donald trump fires back at ted cruz over, quote, new york values. and a former apprentice contestants who accuse him of racism and hatred. we're standing by for a trump rally. what will he say next? [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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do you have the courage to stay up all night? because this is our time! the greatest tv week of our lives! ladies and gentlemen, in the business of binge-watching, sleep is for the week! so i want you ready to order takeout, every single night! now are you with me? 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 -- failing wannabes. donald trump rips into his former apprentices calling them dishonest and disloyal after six of them, six stars from his reality show say he's not ready to be president. we're standing by to hear directly from donald trump. he's going to be speaking at a rally in hartford, connecticut.
he calls to bring down the temperature of his campaign. fighting words. a bitter turn in the democratic race. hillary clinton and bernie sanders ripping into each other at the democratic debate. their most contentious face-off so far. did their attacks and body blows do more harm to their opponent or themselves? russian aggression. sounding off the alarm over russian attack submarines growing in number and more stealth than ever. and russian fighter jets buzzing a u.s. ship coming dangerously close to disaster. what's behind all of vladimir putin's saber rattling? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following the race for the white house right now. and donald trump is locked in a new battle with this time six of his former apprentice
contestants taking out against his campaign. their message to trump, you're fired. they're accusing him of stoking fear, racism and divisiveness. trump in turn calling them six failing wannabes. we're standing by to hear from donald trump. he's getting ready to speak at a rally in connecticut which holds its primary a week from tuesday. we're also following the u.s. military's growing concern over russian military aggression, including some dangerous moves by russian fighter jets buzzing an american navy ship in the battlic sea. in an exclusive interview, they're sounding alarm over a large deployment of sophisticated new russian submarines, a level of activity unseen since the end of the cold war. we're covering all of this, much more with our guests including trump campaign national spokeswoman katrina pearson and our correspondents and expert analysts are also standing by. let's begin with cnn's sunlen serfaty.
she has more on the gop race and trump's escalating attacks on his opponents and his party. >> tonight donald trump continues to take aim over the rules of the delegate process. in doing so, he's also notably ramping up his attacks on ted cruz, really trying to connect his rival to the party insiders and the process he's railing against. >> who the hell wants to talk about politics all the time, right? >> reporter: donald trump is talking politics today. intensifying his aggressive krut simp of the rnc in the gop's nom nating rules. out with a scathing op-ed blasting the system for what he calls a flagrant abuse of the rules. also tying ted cruz to party insiders he alleges are stacking the deck against him writing, quote, the great irony of this
campaign is the washington cartel that mr. cruz rails against is the very group he's relying upon in his voter nullification scheme. the chairman of the republican national committee is pushing back today in an interview with wolf. >> delegates on the floor choose the nominee of the party after being empowered by the voters. this is a very normal system that we've been using for many years. >> reporter: the rnc also firing back by throwing down the rule book, blasting out a pointed memo noting that the rules were set last october. writing, quote, it ultimately falls on the campaigns to be up to speed on these delegate rules. trump today isn't backing down. >> the republican system is rigged. i would have done great in colorado. then they said we didn't change the system. he knew the rules. >> reporter: looking ahead to his home state's primary tuesday. >> i think we're going to close it out before the convention. >> reporter: picking up the endorsement of "the new york post" editorial board today and
receiving the warmest reception of the three republican contenders at a black tie event in manhattan. >> the values that make us love this state, which has been a symbol of american strength throughout the world. >> reporter: ted cruz moments later on the same stage finding a less receptive audience. but a group of trump's former "apprentice" stars -- >> i think america is often beguiled by a billionaire because he's shiny. >> donald trump is validating people's hate and his bigotry in a way that i truly believe has the potential to tear this country apart. >> reporter: meantime, ted cruz back on trump's home turf brushing off trump's allegations. >> it is not surprising when a candidate loses 11 elections in a row. he's unhappy about it. so he complains. and that's fine. >> reporter: and having a laugh on the late night couch at trump's expense. >> i won those elections fair and square.
>> you know what i think? i think the people of colorado did vote, but they were so high, they completely forgot. and let's face it, anyone that high definitely voted for me so basically, i won colorado. >> reporter: donald trump today responded to those former "apprentice" contestants of his who came out against him today in part saying they just want to get back into the limelight like they had when they were writh trump. total dishonesty and disloyalty. no mincing of words there. >> thanks, sunlen serfaty, reporting from rochester, new york. as we stand by for that trump rally. it's going to be taking place in connecticut. let's go to our national correspondent jason carroll. you're in platts,burg, new york where trump held a rally a little while ago. what happened there? >> here's something you may not have heard before. donald trump actually agreeing with bernie sanders.
at least when it comes to how delegates are allocated in this system. that's what he told the crowd here earlier this afternoon. he explained when you look at what's happened with bernie sanders, he says i feel sorry for the man. he keeps winning one state after another and yet hillary clinton leads in the delegate count. here's how he explained himself. >> i hear bernie. he wins. he wins. he wins. he keeps winning. he keeps winning, week after week. bernie is winning. winning. and then i listen to the pundits. and tonight bernie sanders won again for the seventh or eighth or ninth time in a row, but he's got no -- that's okay, because i feel sorry for him in a way. he wins and then you listen to the pundits, but he can't win because it's a rigged system, folks. >> and trump's also said as bad as it may be for the democrats on their side, it's even worse for the republicans. you heard him there saying once again as he's said before, he
believes the system is rigged. wolf, when i spoke to a number of people here who came out to this rally, they thought, yes, they believe as trump does that the system is rigged. but as many of them told me, they feel if you're going to change the rules, don't do it during the election. do it after. most of them telling me they want to hear more about the issues rather than what it takes to get a candidate nominated. wolf? >> jason carroll, thank you. let's get more on all of this. joining us, the national spokeswoman for the trump campaign, katrina pearson. thanks for much for joining us. >> hi, wolf. great to be here. >> as you know, mr. trump ripped into the republican national committee today in this op ed in "the wall street journal." is the trump campaign right now at war with the rnc? >> no, i don't think we're at war with the rnc. we are actually exposing these quote/unquote rules everyone is talking about. and a lot of americans who have
felt the system is rigged, now they know how the system is rigged, even though reince priebus says these delegates are elected by the voters. these delegates are selected by a system that the party puts in place that allows those political operatives for that party to make those decisions. >> it sounds to a lot of observers, and you've heard this, it sounds as if donald trump wasn't familiar with the rules going into his race for the white house. >> that's not the case at all. we could have had 1,000 paid staff on the ground in colorado, and it wouldn't have made a difference. they had already decided to use pro-trump supporters as a filter. they are doing it in indiana, all over the country because it's working. and the party itself tweeted they stopped donald trump in colorado. so even knowing the rules, if you -- you can't be the only one playing by those rules. rules are there for a reason put in place by the party but we're only able to talk about it now because we can point to
something indicative of how that system is manipulated. >> i spoke with reince priebus today. he says your campaign, donald trump, in making these allegations that the system is rigged just plain wrong. he says the rules were not changed. these rules have been in place for a long time. which specific rule is at the center of your anger? >> well, this particular topic came up from colorado. colorado did, in fact, change their delegate selection process back in august. mr. trump entered the race in june, and we all know we had a full-blown trump summer. they changed their rules in august. now we have the outcome that we have. specifically in colorado, we're going to wait and see kwhat happens in indiana moving forward. they definitely changed their rules in august. >> you keep saying the game is rigged against donald trump. the rnc, they say that's not true, but trump is really doing well right now. he's got the most delegates. the most popular vote. in a state like florida, he got about 40%. but it was winner take all.
he got 100% of the delegates. he likes those rules, right? >> the rules in general, wolf, are rigged against an outsider candidate. it just failed in the attempt to stop donald trump because donald trump is not your typical cand daut out there. he came in with 100% name recognition. people all over the country knew who he was and he has enough money to be competitive. any other candidate would have been taken out by now by being defined by the political cons t consultant class and superpac ads. mr. trump has been able to fight this system successfully so far. >> "the new york post" formerly endorsed donald trump ahead of tuesday's primary in new york. but the endorsement also included these sentences. quote, should he win the nomination, we expect trump to pivot, not just on the issues but in his manner. the post-pivot trump needs to be more presidential. better informed on policy, more disciplined less thin-skinned.
is that good advice? is that going to happen? >> that's what we've been hearing for some time. mr. trump said when it's time to change his manner, he will. when you are being attacked by 16 other people, special interests, consultants and the media, you're not going to be that person that the majority of the public has been conditioning to hear from in the political realm, particularly being a new politician which the post also points out. he's a rookie at this. he's navigating that process. >> stand by, katrina. we have more to discuss. we're also standing by, donald trump getting ready for a rally in hartford, connecticut. these are live pictures coming in right now. much more of our special coverage coming up right here in "the situation room." we'll be right back. thanks for coming today. i want each of you to grab a 2x8 and cut it.
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six former contefstants fro "the apprentice" have now come out publicly against his presidential campaign. we're back with the trump national campaign spokeswoman katrina pierson. they really say that he is trying to tear the country apart. they were bitter, very angry in their denunciation of donald trump to which the campaign put out a statement saying, ask how successful they've been since they left. six failing wannabes out of hundreds of contestants. so sad. you heard some of their comments earlier this hour, katrina. is that the best response? you think that's appropriate, the campaign's response to what we heard from him? >> we're talking about people who were given an opportunity of a lifetime. and some were successful because of the show. one actually won one of the seasons, and then they come out for their own personal gain, as mr. trump says. they just wanted to be in the
limelight. otherwise, they wouldn't have held a press conference. they say it's not donald trump himself. it's the campaign. and they know nothing about the campaign. so to sit there and hold a press conference to criticize the campaign and not mr. trump himself saying things like racist, xenophobic, sexist, you name it, and the people saying it were black and women. the irony here is just disgusting. not only is it disloyal but completely classless. >> was the statement presidential if you will, six failing wannabes, stuff like that? >> he was giving his honest assessment of what was happening here. that's exactly what happened. again, we are not a politically correct campaign. mr. trump calls it like he sees it. this was an opportunity for these individuals to get back into the limelight for whatever reason. a lot of people figured out if you want to get on tv, just go after mr. trump. >> trump campaign seem to be confident that donald trump will win new york next tuesday. win several other states a week
from tuesday, including pennsylvania, connecticut. do you think he's going to get to that magic number of 1,237 before the convention, have enough delegates, pledge delegates wrapped up so there won't be any fight on the convention floor? >> absolutely, wolf. we're going to get enough on the first ballot to clinch the nomination before having to go to any other ballots. we're confident that we'll get over 1,237 by the time we get to california. we're very happy to be doing so well in new york and some of the other states coming up. the brand-new national poll came out with mr. trump 18 points up from the others. we're really excited. mr. trump has committed to making america great again. he wants to get his vision out there. and he's the only candidate in the race that can do that. he's personally invested in this country. the success or failure. mr. trump wants to take personal responsibility for that and no other candidate can say the same. mr. trump is the only one not on the government payroll, wolf. >> so if you're going to get to
1,237, that magic number, i guess the rules are okay from the republican party standpoint, right? >> actually, no, that's the beauty of the whole thing. we've exposed it for what it is. when mr. trump wins, he'll have beat the system. and that's going to be victory at a whole other level. >> katrina pierson, thanks very much. >> thanks for having me. the democrats uncivil terms. it's gloves off for hillary clinton and bernie sanders as they come out of the cnn presidential debate. plus, the growing threat of russian submarines now. perhaps at a cold war level. a top u.s. military commander revealing disturbing new details in an exclusive interview. at mfs investment management,
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getting much shorter. a day after the contentuous democratic debate, bernie sanders and hillary clinton went their separate ways. sanders flying to rome for a vatican conference on economic and social justice. there was no meeting with pope francis but a chance for sanders to speak on the world stage. >> we must reject the foundations of this contemporary economy as immoral and unsustainable. >> reporter: for clinton, a quick visit to harlem. >> i now know where to come when i want a good game of dominos. >> reporter: before heading to hollywood for a weekend of star-studded fund-raising with george clooney. tonight, deep divisions are hanging over the race after their brawl in brooklyn. >> i am sure a lot of people are very surprised to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. >> now wait a minute. wait, wait, wait. >> i have stood on the debate stage with senator sanders.
>> reporter: their voices rising. wolf had to play referee. >> if you are both screaming at each other, the viewers won't be able to hear either of you. >> reporter: a fierce fight over a $15 minimum wage to a sarcastic clash over the influence of big banks. >> when millions of people lost their jobs and their homes and their life savings, the obvious response to that is that you got a bunch of fraudulent operators, and that they have got to be broken up. >> it may be inconvenient but it's always important to get the facts straight. i stood up against the behaviors of the banks when i was a senator. i called them out on their mortgage behavior. >> oh, my goodness. they must have been really crushed by this. and was that before or after you received huge sums of money by giving speaking engagements. >> reporter: clinton expressing regret for the 1994 crime bill
her husband signed into law. >> my husband has apologized. he was the president who actually signed it. i'm sorry for the consequences that were unintended and that have had a very unfortunate impact on people's lives. >> reporter: after the debate, we asked sanders who actually voted for the bill whether he had any regrets. >> in retrospect, it was a vote that led to a lot of awful things. but here's the difficult. you can't say in retrospect. if i had voted the other way i'd have secretary clinton say, bernie sanders, you had an opportunity to vote against to ban assault weapons. you didn't do that. >> reporter: the tone tlaut unmistakenly sharper than from earlier in the race. >> the american people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. >> thank you. me, too. me, too. >> reporter: from e-mails to taxes, wolf, one promise senator sanders made to you last night on that stage was he said he'd release his tax returns at least from last year some time today.
at this hour, we've still not received those. i just talked to campaign manager jeff weaver a few moments ago. he said they'll still be coming some time this evening. wolf? >> is it sort of deliberate? are they waiting until -- i guess late on a friday afternoon, early evening? is that the theory? is that the suspicion out there? >> it sure seems like that. it's already about 6:30 here in the east. we all see friday evening, you know, news releases over our ears in this business. so that's what it looks like. the sanders campaign says they're trying to get everything in order. but it's hard to imagine what is taking them so long to release these taxes throughout the day today. not to mention the weeks before this. >> you're right. that's what a lot of times when they want to release information and try to get minimum publicity, they do it very late on a friday. thanks for that. let's get more on all of this. joining us, democratic congressman akeem jeffreys of new york.
thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> you heard that heated exchange the two candidates had last night on the issue of raising the nation's minimum wage. listen to this. >> i will work as hard as i can to raise the minimum wage. i always have. >> i am sure a lot of people are very surprises to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. >> now wait a minute. wait a minute. >> that's just not accurate. >> i have stood on the debate stage with senator sanders eight prior times. i have said the exact same thing. >> senator, please. secretary -- secretary, the viewers -- >> so back in november, she wanted it $12, raising the minimum wage nationally, it's about $7.25 right now. has she changed her position? she wants a mandatory $15 minimum wage nationwide? >> not at all. i think she clarified yesterday that she continues to support legislation that has been put
forth by senator kirsten guillenbrand from new york that would raise it from $7.25 to $12 at the federal level. smul simultaneously she's indicated on a state by state basis there are areas where a state should move to $15 an hour faster than other states, such as new york. and so, wolf, she consistently stood with governor andrew cuomo and seiu 1139 and the entire coalition around the fight for 15 that actually successfully led to a new york state budget that will raise the minimum wage here in new york to $15 an hour. i thought she was consistent. senator sanders continues to try to obfuscate issues and put forward ideological purity that is unfortunate. >> she also suggested, an issue close to your heart, you are a
new yorker. a lot of guns that are used in violent crimes wind up coming from vermont where gun laws are obviously a lot less strict than they are in new york. when you heard her say that, we did the fact checks. you read all the fact checks, and very few of those guns that's are shown to be involved in criminal activity in new york actually do come from vermont. >> well, this was a very important issue because the views of senator clinton are very different than bernie sanders who is out of touch with the overwhelming majority of new yorkers who embrace the strong gun control laws we have here throughout the state. the problem that we confront is that the overwhelming majority of guns that are used to commit crimes in new york city actually come from a variety of different states, such as pennsylvania. many of the states in the deep south, florida, south carolina and georgia, but some guns do come from vermont. >> but it's a very small number. we did all the checking,
congressman. she was implicitly suggesting vermont and senator sanders, the senator from vermont, were to blame. was that's a mistake? >> no, no, no, actually, i think what she was saying is that we need national gun control activity and action by congress, in order to address a problem that results in states like new york being hurt by the fact that we have other states such as pennsylvania and vermont and states in the deep south that have lax laws. the majority of weapons that are used for instance, wolf, to commit crimes on the south side of chicago come from the neighboring states of indiana and wisconsin. in south central los angeles, things have gotten a lot better because the overwhelming majority of guns in l.a. actually come from the neighboring state of arizona. and so we've got gun violence problems all across inner city america, including here in new york city and many neighborhoods that i represent. senator sanders on issue after issue has consistently opposed a
national solution voting five times against background checks, voting twice against holding gun manufacturers liable for their actions in flooding the market with a whole host of guns they know or should know will wind up in the hands of people that will do us harm. voting to allow guns on amtrak which could prevent for the interstate transportation of these type of weapons. secretary clinton understands that we need a national solution, and i think the point she was making is that through his actions, senator bernie sanders, perhaps because he thought he was representing the interests of his constituents in vermont, has opposed that approach time and time again. >> last night senator sanders also said hillary clinton's use of the term superpredators to describe some young gang members in the 1990s was racist. what was your reaction? >> i thought that was unnecessarily inflammatory. desprats candidates do desprats
things. senator sanders came into that debate down 2.5 million votes to secretary clinton and down more than 200 pledge delegates. he need a knockout blow n barely laid a glove on her. he continued to bring up talking points and then raise inflammatory statements such as accusing her of using a racist term. hillary clinton doesn't have a racist bone in her body. she's acknowledged she made a mistake in using that term that could be interpreted as offensive to many, and she's apologized for it and indicated she'll never use it again. >> she says she will not release the transcripts of the speeches she received to wall street companies like goalsman saldman unless the same standard is set for everyone, including the republican candidates. she said this is a matter of principle. but many think she has something to hide. do you think she should release those transcripts? >> i don't think she has anything to hide and the standard she put forward is the
correct one. she shouldn't be held to any standard that is above and beyond that that's being applied to every other candidate. hillary clinton has been subject to a right wing attack machine for more than 40 years and she's withstood it. time and again, people hurl allegations at her. but the fundamental point that came out of the debate is that senator sanders couldn't point to a single instance in the entirety of hillary clinton's career where she had done anything officially or unofficially that would further the efforts of the big banks that he claims she's in the pocket of because of some superpac dynamics. that makes no sense. what we do know is that in 2005 after george w. bush won re-election, wall street wanted to privatize social security which was a big initiative by george bush in his second term, and hillary clinton in the senate helped lead the charge against it.
>> if she's running as the democratic nominee, let's say against senator cruz or donald trump or john kasich for that matter and they agree to release the transcripts of their speeches, what you are saying is she will release hers? >> i think that's what she said from the debate stage yesterday and i certainly take her at her word. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead, breaking news we're following. a magnitudes 7 earthquake rocking japan in the middle of the night. we have details. show me movies with romance.
breaking news. at least one person is now confirmed dead after amaker earthquake in japan. the nation was already scrambling to recover from a tremor that killed nine people earlier in the week. experts are predicting devastating damage from this latest quake which was about 30 times stronger than the previous one. this latest quake a magnitude 7. we'll have more on this story coming up. let's turn back to politics right now. we're standing by to hear from donald trump at a rally in hartford, connecticut. protesters there, they've already started to gather outside the event. on the democratic side, sharp attacks, pointed accusations and deep divisions made for the most contentious contest yet between
bernie sanders and hillary clinton in brooklyn. jeff zeleny is back with us along with our political reporter sara murray. jeff, how are the clinton campaign and sanders campaign for that matter feeling about the debate last night? >> let's start with the clinton campaign. they believe it was a moment for secretary clinton to keep raising some of those questions that she really has been throughout the course of this new york campaign about whether senator sanders is actually prepared for the presidency, if his ideas are well thought through. in fact, they went up with an advertisement today that's going to be airing on television here, echoing some of those same themes we saw in the daily news editorial a couple of days ago. they really believe they were able to show that secretary clinton is more in command of this. of course, not surprisingly, if you talk to the sanders campaign, they believe that bernie sanders, one, energized his existing supporters and,
two, urged other people who may be having lingering doubts about the clinton campaign to at least give him a shot. but after watching nine of these debates now, yesterday was the most contentious. it hardened both sides. this race is frozen in place in terms of the moment but frozen in place in a time when the clinton campaign is leading in delegates. that is the challenge for the sanders campaign to sort of break free of that. and they need a big win here in new york to do that. i'm not sure that debate performance is going to guarantee that. >> latest polls show he's way behind hillary clinton in new york state. thatrimary is tuesday. sara, donald trump wrote an op ed in "the wall street journal" ripping into the republican party for in his words, rigging the delegate system. the cruz campaign for being disingenuous. is the campaign starting to worry about what happens on the convention floor if it's contested, the trump campaign? >> the campaign is still saying they'll get to the number they
need on the first ballot. they are behind the scenes worries if this goes to a second ballot it gets more difficult. if you look at this op ed trump wrote for "the wall street journal," it lays out his case against the system in a way much more eloquent than we hear from him at his campaign events. he sounds more like he's whining, that it's stacked against him. if you look at that op ed he's saying this is a system that's leaving out so many voter voices and so many of these people want to be involved in the process and we're disinfranchising them. that's a more coherent message that he's bringing new people into the process and also bringing people into the process who haven't maybe been involved in a decade or so. it does it in a far more eloquent way than we normally hear. >> we're going to show our viewers some live pictures. he's getting ready to speak at the rally. you see protesters outside the
event. you've been covering trump for months. he gets ready for a big rally. thousands of people are inside but outside, there are protesters. >> that's absolutely right. when you see the protesters inside, those have been the most volatile situations. that's when we've been more worried about violence sparking. but i do think it is the new reality for donald trump. look, he is leading in the republican primary, but among the broader electorate, he's still very divisive and has high unfavorability. whether what he said about hispanics, muslims or women have deeply offended a lot of people and this is going to be par for his campaign going forward. >> jeff, the polls show hillary clinton way ahead of bernie sanders in new york. the primary on tuesday. trump way ahead of his rivals, the primary -- republican primary on tuesday. how important this is "new york post" endorsement of donald trump today? >> i think it's an important endorsement. donald trump has been living his life in the new york tabloids
for decades, wolf. so not being endorsed by "the new york post," that would be sort of a slap against him. but, you know, if there's one state where voters know donald trump, where republican voters know donald trump, it is here in new york. there is no ambiguity. there's no definition needed here. so i think the "post" editorial would have been a bigger deal had he not gotten it. but, look, you always want an endorsement, the daily news did not endorse him. they endorsed john kasich. you always want a newspaper like "the post" behind you. >> i'm sure trump is happy about that. >> thanks very much. up next, stealth attack submarines posing a growing threat to the u.s. and nato. we're learning disturbing details in an exclusive interview with a top u.s. military commander.
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a top american naval commander now signing the alarm over the growing number of sophisticated attacks on marines in russia. jim, the subs are part of russia's apparently increasingly aggressive military posture. >> no question. deep concern not only about russian sub activity, but the technology. this is aimed directly at the u.s. and nato. russia is deploying its ballistic missile and attack submarines in numbers, range, and aggression not seen in two decades. the commander of u.s. naval
forces in europe the build up is part of an alarming strategic view. >> they're very clear that nato is viewed as a threat to russia. our military capability they view in a very visceral way as a threat to russia. >> reporter: adding to u.s. concern, russia is deploying new submarines that are harder for u.s. naval forces to track and detect. they are quieter, better armed, and have a greater range of operation. >> they're acoustically quieter. they have more advanced weapon systems, missile systems, that can attack land at long ranges. >> reporter: the increased russian sub activity is backed by a much broader military expansion. russia is adding or upgrading some 12 naval bases across the arctic circle, expanding its capability to send subs in the
crucial iceland-greenland gap russia has new capability into the mediterranean. the u.s. believes the new activity is designed to deny na nato, including the u.s., the ability to operate near russia. >> it's, one, focused on protecting the maritime flanks of russia, but also denying nato the ability to operate within the maritime flanks as well. i'm speaking of the baltic sea, the black sea, and areas in the far north atlantic around norway. >> reporter: increasingly alarmed by russia's new sub deployments, the u.s. and its nato allies are launching new training exercises in anti-sub warfare and deploying new systems. cnn got an exclusive trip on the
navy's most advanced sub hunter last may. >> these are sonar buoys dropped into the water. the plane can be equipped with torpedos to destroy those submarines. >> reporter: it extends above the surface as well. russian jets fly-by coming within 30-feet laterally and 100-feet vertically is behavior they have not witnessed since the cold war. >> the aircraft didn't respond and proceeded on a course directly at the ships. while we have seen these interactions before, this one was different because of the proximity to the ship, the altitude, and the flight path that it took. >> i also spoke with the former supreme allied commander. he says the u.s. navy sometimes loses track of these russian subs due to the numbers and increased technology.
u.s. submarines are not that much better than russian subs. it's going to take more investment. >> brian todd is working part of the story for us. very disturbing encounter. what do we know? >> u.s. officials are still fuming about it tonight. a former navy strike group commander told us the current commander of that navy destroyer had to make a split-second decision to avoid a full scale confrontation. some call these moves striping runs without the firing. tonight, u.s. officials still furious over the buzzing of a navy ship, calling the incident reckless, provocative. >> under the rules of engagement, that could have been a shoot down.
people need to understand this is serious business, and the united states is not going to be intimidated. >> reporter: in wave after wave, russian ships buzzed the uss donald cook, at some points coming within 30 feet of the ship. no margin for error, right? >> we're talking feet. if this pilot sneezed and the plane went another way, it could have hit the ship. >> reporter: the russian jets were not armed. russian officials are defending their actions tonight are saying these fly-byes are in accordance with international rules. >> it's absolutely the worst its been since the end of the cold war. >> reporter: the uss cook was operating in international wars, but only 70 miles off the russian territory of
kaliningrad. it likely got under vladimir putin's skin. >> this ship has the most advanced radar capability in the fleet of the united states navy. this is probably what irritated the russians not only that was operating out in the sea, but also close to their shores. >> reporter: putin is using his ramped up military to irritate his neighbors and send a message. >> putin's message is one of strength. internationally, it's we are capable of standing up to the united states and other countries to assert our interests. >> reporter: now the danger tonight that u.s. officials are worried about, a miscalculation or even a slight mistake by a russian pilot or a submarine commander provoking a confrontation. and there is a concern about an intelligence breach tonight. during those fly-byes, this russian helicopter also came very close to the uss cook.
it was probably taking high resolution pictures of the communications on board to give to russian commanders and russian defense contractors. >> maybe that's why they were flying those jets so close. brian, this was also a clear sign of aggression toward a key u.s. ally, right? >> that's right. a u.s. official told us the uss cook did have a polish helicopter on board as part of its routine training exercise at the time of those fly-byes. it's very likely the russians were sending a message to poland forces as well. >> brian, based on everything you're hearing, a much higher state of concern. >> absolutely. a cat and mouse game is continuing in that region, especially in the baltic sea. putin is very concerned. he's not afraid, but he's always feeling threatened when nato expands east. he gets very, very upset. >> those waters in the baltic
sea where the u.s. warship was moving international waters. thanks very much. you can always follow us on twitter. you can always tweet the show. thanks very much for watching. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. outfront next, we're awaiting donald trump about to address thousands at a major rally. he repeats his attack on party insiders today. breaking news. bernie sanders promised to release his taxes after last night's debate. that release is moments away. our exclusive reporting offering proof that hundreds of kidnapped girls are still alive. that report from our nima elbagir. let's go "outfront." >> good evening. i'm erin burnett. outfront tonight, countdown to new york just three days before voters go to the polls here in new york