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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  June 6, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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to be vigilant. tropical storm colin was the third storm to form in the atlantic ocean and the earliest that three named storms have hit the region. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, not backing down. despite republican leaders condemning his attacks on a judge and journalist, donald trump digs in on his heels defying his own campaign on a conference call with supporters today, trump demands that they keep up the attacks. no apologies even as he criticizes the mexican heritage of the judge in the trump university lawsuit, trump now says he has the same concerns about a muslim judge. that follows his questioning of president obama's birthplace and comments about women. trump has a long record of refusing to say sorry but with his party in chaos, has he gone too far.
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call on hold? once the east coast votes are counted, bernie sanders is urging the media not to call clinton the presumptive nominee until the convention. how far will he take his fight? and coalition strikes on isis leaders spark a wave of panic and paranoia as the terror group brutally executes accused spies within its own ranks. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." let's get to the breaking news. sources say donald trump is telling supporters to step up criticism of the judge overseeing the trump university case in a conference call today the billionaire told people who appear on tv on his behalf he's not going to apologize. trump himself is doubling down. not only is he sticking to his racially charged comments about the latino judge but now trump
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says a muslim judge could also be biased against him. republican leaders are appalled and increasingly worried. primary officials have slammed trump's statements but the candidate himself is unapologetic and one of his advisers say he's only saying aloud what many in the party are thinking. hillary clinton needs just 26 delegates to effectively lock up the democratic nomination. she's going all out today in california. that's the biggest prize of all. whether clinton wins tomorrow's primaries or not, she'll easily go over the top. but bernie sanders still isn't ready to concede. he warns against calling clinton the presumptive nominee and may take his fight all the way to the convention in july in philadelphia. and that has democratic leaders worried about a unity problem. just when they want to shift the focus to donald trump. i'll speak with the republican congressman chris collins, the
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first republican congressman to endorse donald trump and our correspondents and analysts and guests will have full coverage of all of the day's top stories. let's begin with the growing backlash against donald trump's comments about a federal judge of mexican heritage. cnn's jim acosta is outside trump's tower in new york city. this is now becoming an increasing tidal wave but trump is ready to up the ante? >> reporter: it sounds like it, wolf. we are learning stunning new details about discussions inside the trump campaign about the candidate's comments on judge gonzalo curiel according to a source on this conference call that trump held earlier today, trump told his staff and surrogates there would be no apologies, no apologies and that they should not back down in criticizing judge curiel saying it's a case of judicial activism. >> we're building a wall. he's a mexican. we're building a wall between here and mexico.
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>> reporter: the swift condemnation of donald trump's comments on federal judge gonzalo curiel is coming in from nearly every corner of the republican party. from former foes like marco rubio -- >> quite frankly, i'm very disturbed of the way that he's referring to this judge, an american, born in indiana, who he continues to raise issues about and i hope he'll stop doing that. >> reporter: and john kasich who tweeted, attacking judges based on their race and/or religion, it's flat out wrong. even trump supporters who have been vice presidential running mates have sounding off. >> i don't condone the kmebt. >> this is one of the worst mistakes trump has made. i think it's inexcusable. this judge was born in indiana. he's an american, period. >> reporter: trump is not backing down. >> i was surprised that newt -- i thought it was inappropriate what he said. >> reporter: even though trump is their likely nominee, the gop's own top leaders are denouncing his comments.
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>> it's a racist statement. >> i couldn't disagree more with what he had to say. >> reporter: in part because the real estate tycoon is not only standing firm that his mexican heritage should bar him against presiding over trump university lawsuit. >> he's giving unfair rulings. now i want to say why. i'm building a wall and it's a wall between mexico. not another country. >> reporter: he's not from mexico. he's from indiana. >> he's mexican heritage. and he's very proud of it. >> reporter: trump has gone further, singling out other ethnic groups. >> if it were a muslim judge, would you also feel like they wouldn't be able to treat you fairly because of that policy of yours? >> it's possible, yes. that would be possible. absolutely. >> reporter: the outcry has revealed a divide inside the campaign with one adviser telling cnn trump's comments are no reason to celebrate. but another adding he's saying what a good amount of people are thinking and don't want to say it. the judge's brother raul curiel says trump is speaking out of
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ignorance. >> i think it's more of not knowing and ignorance. i don't think he's strictly outright racist like some of your ku klux klan. they have no redeeming qualities. trump, i don't believe, is that caliber person, but he is very, very uninformed. >> raul curiel notes that he and his brother were born in indiana by immigrant parents like millions of other americans. >> i know my brother is not taking it as seriously as some other people might. i really don't take it that seriously either. my concern is the it's hurting other people, it's hurting our image as sons of immigrants. it hurts our people in general. >> reporter: now, as for that conference call trump held earlier, the candidate's orders were to keep up the criticism of the judge and that that runs counter to an e-mail that went
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out last night, two campaign staffers and surrogates. that ec-mail, i'm told, also copied corey lewandowski. that e-mail told staffers to stop talking about the judge but i'm also told the campaign is very upset with former house speaker newt gingrich who they felt went way off message in criticizing donald trump and. >> he apparently was on some sort of a short list as a potential running mate for donald trump as well. we'll see if that holds. jim acosta, thanks very much. let's bring in our chief political correspondent dana bash. we're also learning that trump has sort of a track record and you've been going through it insalting various groups over this past year. what do you have for us? >> wolf, just the fact that donald trump held the conference call today and urged people who are in his corner to push back hard, that is in keeping with
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the kind of unconventional candidate that donald trump is. as unconventional as they come. but what is happening to him now is what happens to conventional politicians. he needed narrative in part based on a perceived pattern and in trump's case, it's intolerance. >> this judge is of mexican heritage. i'm building a wall. >> reporter: a federal judge of mexican descent who trump wants removed from the fraud case against trump university. >> if you are saying he can't do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism? >> i don't think so at all. >> reporter: yet virtually every other republican is suggesting that's exactly what it is, even staunch trump supporters. >> if the liberal were to attack judge clarence thomas on the grounds that he's black, we would all go crazy and say it's wrong and racism. >> reporter: the trouble for trump, it's the latest in
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incendiary comments going back to 2011 when he infamously questioned whether barack obama was really born in the u.s. >> he doesn't have a birth certificate. >> reporter: and more recently, reluctance to denounce a former kkk leader. >> honestly, i don't know david duke. i don't believe i've ever met him. >> reporter: trump later made clear he would disavow david duke. then, late last week, trump referred to a black supporter in the crowd this way. >> look at my african-american over here. look at him. are you the greatest? >> reporter: that supporter, congressional candidate gregory cheetal, told cnn he wasn't offended but acknowledged that others were and then there was trump's proposal to ban muslims. that drew support from gop primary supporters but was condemned by many gop leaders. >> this is not conservatism. >> reporter: as for trump's inflammatory remarks regarding
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the federal judge -- >> he's a hater. his name is gonzalo curiel. the judge who happens to be, we believe, mexican, which is great. i think that's fine. >> reporter: republicans may think it's morally wrong but they also worry it's politically destructive for the gop sin hispanics are a growing force in the population. compared to just 9.6 million some 40 years ago, it's now 55 million in 2014. it not only states with traditionally large hispanic populations. ♪ sweet home alabama >> reporter: in fact, the state with the largest hispanic growth was alabama, alienating voters with racial intolerance is what several gop worried about. >> i think it's embracing demographic death. >> reporter: a narrow republican primary electorate, trump
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prevailed but now he's the leader of the party of abraham lincoln and is becoming less and less white which makes his comments more and more alarming to many republicans. >> reporter: he's got to move his game up to the level of ak potential leader. but based on the call that trump had with supporters yesterday, urging them to push back rather than give in or recalibrate, it doesn't sound like trump is prepared to listen to that tough love from newt gingrich or people like senator bob corker who is another supporter. both of them were apparently on some kind of a vice presidential running mate list. >> we'll see if they still are after the criticism of donald trump on this specific issue involving the judge. dana, thanks very much. joining us now, chris collins of new york. he was the first house member to endorse donald trump. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> it's always good to be with you, wolf. >> you've heard about this conference call with the surrogates where he told them to double down on the criticism of the judge and of the journalist. first of all, were you on that
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conference call? >> reporter: no, i wasn't on the conference call. but i'll say this, wolf. this has been somewhat of a distraction as we move forward. i think we need to put this behind us but action speaks louder than words. race, religion and gender does not impact him when it comes to hiring the best in his organization. donald trump is not a racist. >> but you don't agree, congressman, with his comments about this federal judge? >> well, what i've said before, i don't know anything about the case. donald trump is saying there is bias in the case. i would not have used the word mexican but if the judge is biased, it's donald trump's right to ask this judge to recuse himself. i would not have gone as far as to bring that into the conversation. but i'll leave that up to donald trump and the bias piece. luckily, the judge said he's not going to move forward on this case until after the election.
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from my perspective, we need to get on to the fight of defeating hillary clinton and the never clinton mood of the republican party and the mood of the united states will make donald trump our next president. >> but you just heard, donald trump is not ready to move on. he's doubling down and tripling down. you heard him on this conference call and told supporters to continue to go after the judge. his argument is the judge is not fair because of his mexican heritage and a lot of your republican colleagues believe that is a racist epitat. >> donald trump is an unconventional candidate who has not spent time in the political world and i would just say, again, actions speak louder than words. donald trump is not a racist but we do know is that for the future of this country we cannot have hillary clinton as our president. we know donald trump is going to bring the jobs back to this country. he's going to stand up to our enemies across the world,
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whether that's iran or north korea. so we need to move beyond this. the judge has said he's not moving the case forward. so this has been a distraction and i'll certainly acknowledge that but it's just time for all of us to move on and take the fight to hillary clinton as we will find out tomorrow can't even shake off a 74-year-old socialist. >> here's the question. i know you don't believe that donald trump is a racist. but the comments about this federal judge of mexican heritage are the comments racist? >> well, i would say that donald trump is angry with a judge that he feels is terribly biased. donald trump is a fighter and he has said what he has said. i have said while i would not have used those words, i will defer to donald trump as to whether he believes that the judge is biased and it's time to let go of this and let's move on, let's focus on the disarray
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and the democratic party, the fact that hillary is not going to have the nomination locked up, the democratic party is frac you a tured. >> even if he believes that the judge has not been fair, there are ways to deal with that. he could ask his lawyers to have the judge recuse himself. the lawyers have not done any of that. is it appropriate to suggest that the judge is a racist? >> well, again, i'm not going to go down that road. donald believes what he does. all i know is -- >> let me rephrase the question. is it appropriate for donald trump to make these kinds of racist comments? >> well, i don't view them in the racist context because i don't believe donald trump is a racist. he's a frustrated business guy who thinks that he's got a biased judge and, again, i've said, he has used words i would not have used. but that doesn't mean his frustration isn't real, that he doesn't believe this judge is
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biased. but i'll reiterate, donald trump is not a racist and whether it's race, gender or religion, that does not play a part and he's got 50 years of history in the private sector proving the case he's not a racist. let's take the fight to hillary clinton and talk about the supreme court and let's talk about her situation as the inspector general said what he said about her e-mails and the like. i think this distraction, it's unfortunate, let's just all move on. >> but he's not ready to move on. congressman, stand by. we have more to discuss. let's take a quick break. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪
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breaking news, donald trump saying there will be no apologies for his racially charged comments about a latino judge overseeing the trump university case. sources telling cnn that trump's orders came in that conference call in which he said criticism of the judge should be kept up even though an earlier e-mail from his campaign to supporters say move on, move away from this whole issue. we're back with a key donald trump supporter, republican congressman chris collins of new york. did you get, by the way, congressman that earlier e-mail from the campaign saying it's time to move on? >> no. i was down in new orleans touring a nuclear facility yesterday so i was not there and i got home late last night and was out all day today. so i did not have any of that on
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the front end but happy to be with you tonight. >> let's talk a little bit about his national security issues. as you know, last week, republicans clearly by and large did not come out to defend donald trump when hillary clinton strongly attacked him in her foreign policy speech. how serious of a problem is it, congressman, especially as we move closer to the convention, the general election that the number of supporters he has on this sensitive issue seems to be dwindling, if you will? you're one of the few remaining to go out there and aggressively support donald trump on these sensitive issues. >> well, wolf, i think it comes back to, if you look at the iranian deal, you look at cuba, you look at north korea and you see how weak president obama has been and obviously secretary clinton was part of that administration, what a terrible deal the nuclear deal has been, the fact that we're releasing $100 billion -- >> why are so many of your
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colleagues reluctant to go on television, for example, and strongly support, get out there and aggressively make the case for donald trump, as you're willing to do? >> i can't answer that because to me the choice could not be more clear when you look at the failure of the obama administration on the international front turning his back on israel, on great britain, cozying up to the ayatollah, that's an embarrassment. when donald trump says america first, one thing we are finding out about donald trump, he is firm in his convictions. america will be first and he's going to take the fight to isis. he will defeat isis. he's going to take the fight to north korea. he's going to make sure iran doesn't get the nuclear bomb. where secretary clinton and barack obama have all but guaranteed, after this supposed ten-year moratorium, there are no restrictions on iran developing a nuclear weapon. so to me, the choice could not
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be more clear and i'm a strong supporter of donald trump, as you know, and i can't imagine why, frankly, any american who puts america first isn't a strong supporter of donald trump when you look at the failure of the obama and secretary clinton tenure over the last 7 1/2 years. >> and he's lucky to have you as a strong supporter. congressman chris collins, my only point was after hillary clinton went after him, a lot of your colleagues in the house and senate failed to do what you're clearly willing to do, get out there and aggressively come to his defense and that was a surprise to me. >> i would encourage them to do that, though. i would encourage them to all point out the differences. >> congressman chris collins of new york, as usual, thank you for joining us. >> always good to be with you, wolf. >> thank you. coming up, our political experts are spanding by to describe what they just heard. can donald trump bring republicans together or get past a judge's heritage? also, isis leaders turning on their own, killing accused
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show me "previously watched." what's recommended for me. x1 makes it easy to find what you love. call or go online and switch to x1. only with xfinity. we're following breaking news. sources say in a conference call today donald trump ordered his supporters to keep up the attacks on the judge hearing his trump university case. joining us here in "the situation room," real clear politics national reporter rebecca berg, dana bash, senior politics executive editor mark
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preston and senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. dana, he's actually encouraging his surrogates to double down, triple down, go after the judge, talk about this case even though his campaign yesterday sent out a memo to supporters let's move on, move to something else. >> right. look, there's so many things to unpack with just this latest development that i think make this a vintage trump response. number one, the fact that he is saying i'm not going to give in, i'm not going to change, i'm going to keep on keeping on even though, as we talked about earlier in the hour, it's not just republican leaders who haven't necessarily been with him in a full way. it's newt gingrich who has been on board for a long time, senator bob corker who has been very complementary of him, even in the face of some pretty controversial things. so the fact that he's saying, you know, push ahead to his
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surrogates and the fact that he's saying if you've got some memo saying don't do this, forget it, don't listen to them, listen to me is so classic donald trump that he is his own communicator. he is his own communications director. this is his strategy and even if he has people around him doing what is conventionally or typically politically appropriate in terms of strategy, he wants it the way he wants it. >> we just got a statement, rebecca, from dr. ben carson, former presidential candidate. let me read it to you. "every human being is an individual first rather than a member of an identity group. the moment we forget that is the moment we enter into a phase of moral descent." it's not just the house speaker and other leaders, dr. ben carson himself is expressing this is not a good strategy, mr. trump. >> not at all. and moral descent is a strong
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way of wording it, too. newt gingrich is another terrific example of how significant this is and how bad it is for donald trump. newt gingrich was thought to be on the short list to be trump's vice president potentially. he was speaking with the campaign regularly, if not every day, according to some reports. and he's out there now saying that the only person who can beat donald trump is donald trump because he's unpredictable and he overstepped his boundaries with this. it's really significant. we see republicans even who have supported donald trump coming out and saying he crossed a line and donald trump not conceding that he did so. >> mark, you and i have covered politics and presidential campaigns for a long time. it's unusual for the candidate himself to get on a conference call and give the instructions, the talking points, usually the staff does that. >> yeah, it does. we have come to this new level of micromanaging from the principal in this case, donald trump, where he wants to be involved in every decision. we've seen this in past
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campaigns and senate campaigns, to some extent, presidential campaigns. we've never seen it to this degree, though. when somebody is so involved in every bit of the decision-making process, that's when problems occur. donald trump is going out and saying that i'm doubling down, you need to come with me. don't listen to what my staff says. that's a problem because then the staff starts to lose confidence in the principal. in this case, donald trump. >> it appears that maybe they already are because it's two allies of donald trump's who leaked this conference call to bloomberg. it is very unusual to see this far from election day. >> coming from left and right on this one. jeffrey, how could all of this tension, the controversy actually legally impact the trump university case? >> you know, one of the ironies of this whole strange situation is what set it off is when judge curiel did donald trump a favor. he actually set the trial down for the last week in november
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after election day. he could have set this trial down for october, if you can imagine what a circus that would have been. but because donald trump wanted so badly for this case to be thrown out altogether, he went off on this tirade that we're all talking about. in terms of what effect it will have on the trial, probably not much because the world is going to look very different at the end of november. we're going to know who won the election. everything is going to be in a very different posture. so i think the impact now is much more political than legal. >> we'll see if donald trump has his lawyers file papers to have him removed from the case. there's more breaking news coming in to "the situation room." we'll be right back. i'm fa-reezing! well, i told you to bring a warmer jacket. when? every day since you could walk! now i just say it with my eyes like... folks, park ranger mark. -sup, bro? -hey, forest cop. you're taking up a lot of space. i'm going to need you to move a vehicle. todd, load the four-wheeler into the truck.
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after dramatically winning contests in puerto rico and the virgin islands over the weekend, hillary clinton only needs 26 more delegates to effectively lock up the democratic nomination. while that's certain to happen tomorrow, senator bernie sanders says it would be wrong to start referring to hillary clinton as the presumptive nominee. our senior political correspondent brianna keilar is in california covering the democrats for us. is bernie showing any sign at all of giving up? >> reporter: publicly he certainly isn't, wolf. the clinton campaign is urging
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supporters that he may need a while to figure out what his next steps are but talking to sanders aides, his calculus on giving everyone a chance to vote would take the sanders campaign through the washington, d.c., primary, a week from tomorrow. so you see him taking on donald trump but he's still reserving quite a bit of criticism for hillary clinton. hillary clinton approaching the finish line courting california voters on the eve of their primary. >> i am tired of donald trump insulting americans. i am tired of donald trump talking down america. i am confident and optimistic about our future. but we're going to have to do some things, like elect the right person to be president of the united states. >> reporter: in between four get-out-to-vote events, hillary clinton voted a center in
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compton. as bernie sanders vows to take the democratic primary race all the way to the july convention, clinton not so subtly urged him to reconsider. >> we've got to be unified going into the convention and coming out of the convention to take on donald trump. and to make it very clear that's not the kind of president or commander in chief we want. >> reporter: after winning contests in puerto rico and virgin islands over the weekend, clinton is on the cusp of earning enough delegates to secure the democratic nomination, just shy of 2,383. she's hitting donald trump hard with a new web video featuring fresh criticism of the presumptive gop nominee. >> how dare he question a judge's responsibility, a judge's adherence to the constitution because he is of mexican descent. >> reporter: a judge born in
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indiana p indiana presiding over a fraud case. >> if you're saying he can't do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism? >> i don't think so. no. we're building a wall. he's a mexican. >> are you comfortable with a potential president attacking a federal judge for his heritage? >> no. listen, this is one of the worst mistakes he's made. i think it's inexcusable. >> it's not over until it's over. >> reporter: california is up for grabs. independent voters can cast their ballots in the democratic or republican primary. a potential advantage for sanders. the vermont senator was critical of her family's foundation and u.s. intervention in libya while secretary of state and her iraq war vote. >> certainly the war in iraq, bush's era, clinton's era has caused us incalculable harm.
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>> reporter: there are still votes to be cast in new jersey and california and the president will be waiting until those voters have their say before he chooses to weigh in so that seems like it could be coming soon, wolf. >> brianna keilar, thanks very much. let's get back to our political experts, mark preston. it's very possible, almost certain that those 26 delegates that hillary clinton needs, she could get after new jersey closes its polls at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night before california closes its polls at 11:00 p.m. what do you expect bernie sanders to do in the coming days? let's say he even wins in california, they split the delegates. still hundreds of delegates shy. >> reporter: still hundreds of delegates shy and it's interesting that he says you cannot call her the presumptive nominee which is not the absolute nominee. we call her the presumptive nominee until she becomes the nominee. you know, bernie sanders has got to do a lot of soul searching.
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he's got to decide what his future is not only in the democratic party but also in congress and how he can harness this energy of all of these progressive activists that have ridden around his candidacy. i think it would be very smart for the clinton campaign and supporters to back off bernie sanders, give him breathing room over the next week or so, perhaps the next two weeks because it doesn't have to be done right now and try to extend an olive branch by giving him time to make a decision and also to give him some influence at the convention. >> probably good advice. jeffrey toobin, last week he said there's going to be a contested convention in philadelphia in july. he seemed to be a bit more mellow today at his news conference. >> i don't mean to be parsing too much like a lawyer but there are different kinds of contested conventions. he could be saying that we are going to contest the platform. we are going to contest what the party stands for without necessarily saying he is going
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to refuse to acknowledge that hillary clinton is the nominee of the party. i mean, he has also said repeatedly the importance of defeating donald trump. so i think he has left himself plenty of room to lead a unified party behind hillary clinton while at the same time pushing to the issues that he cares about. >> dana, we're hearing from white house sources maybe as early as this week we will see the president of the united states actively go out there and start supporting hillary clinton. >> right. the biggest, worst kept secret in washington or maybe even in the country that barack obama is much more in favor of hillary clinton. but what it means once he gets to that point is ultimately, you would think, getting out there and actually campaigning and given where his standing is right now in the democratic party, having him as a surrogate, you can't do much better than that in terms of getting the enthusiasm up. >> recreate that obama coalition. for hillary clinton, that would be huge. >> of course. hillary clinton has been running
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a campaign essentially to be the steward of obama's third term. she's spoken very positive of the president and sees him as a strong advocate for her policies and what she wants to accomplish. she might even see michelle obama out there. in a recent speech, she started talking politics, which is very unusual for her. it could be a strong squad out there. >> stand by, guys. a quick reminder, stay with cnn throughout the day for full coverage of the final super tuesday as our coverage of the vote countdown begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow right after "the situation room." coming up, more reporting on the breaking news. sources say donald trump told the supporters today to keep criticizing the federal judge hearing the lawsuit against trump university. i'll speak with a trump spokeswoman. that's coming up. up next, isis turns on its own members ordering executions for people suspected of being spies.
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successful coalition strikes bring about paranoia as they execute supervise in their own ranks. brian todd is looking into this. caution viewers that brian's report contains graphic images. brian, what are you finding out. >> reporter: a u.s. official says isis is a paranoid, death
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obsessed organization. we have new information from a human rights group from sources inside syria and from an analyst that interviewed detech fors that recent deaths of top commanders sparked internal distress within the terror group and that has lead to a bloody campaign of internal purges. in isis's horrific propaganda videos, indication of serious problems within the group. here they execute alleged supervise, they're tied to a cross, shot in public. this recent video included confessions of supposed spies, claiming handlers paid them for target information to pass to coalition forces. >> we got in touch and received sums of money in exchange for information about raqqah. they offered advise that captures and pinpoints locations. >> the three were put in a car
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and blown up according to this video translated by the group. recently according to an opposition group with forces in syria, isis' suspicions turned inward to their own ranks, head of the observatory for human rights tells cnn isis executed 21 suspected fighters in an internal purge in april after one top commander was apparently killed by a coalition strike. >> translator: the islamic state does not fully trust its leaders. there could be those which belong to an international intelligence agency. >> reporter: a russian female helped kill these and others before she was caught and executed, the push to root out internal spies may be accelerating, targeting several top militants. >> that has to drive paranoia.
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how is the coalition able to target and kill all these isis operatives and based on interviews i conducted with people that defected from the group, there's a complete and total sense of paranoia, that they're being spied upon. >> reporter: the observatory for human rights tells cnn some fighters are giving information about potential targets because they need money. the terror group having lost oil facilities for revenue, forcing them to cut salaries. some accuse spies according to analysts and propaganda videos have been beheaded, drown in pools. other accused spies are shown with explosive cords around their next. >> this ultra violence, employing against its own, is meant to instill fear, to create disincentive, no matter how hard it gets, you don't want to cross the islamic state. >> reporter: will it cost them to lose more fighters, suffer mass defections? analysts tell us they don't
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think isis is quite at the tipping point yet. they say foreign fighters especially would have a difficult time defecting because it is tough to leave the group without getting caught and because of possibility of long jail sentences in their home countries, many of them feel they don't have anywhere to go. >> brian todd reporting, thanks very much. breaking news, attacks on the latino judge infuriated fellow republicans, but donald trump is doubling down. on a conference call with campaign surrogates, trump says there will be no apologies and demands they keep up the criticism. disease is tough, but i've managed. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections,
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breaking news. defiance. donald trump vowing he will not apologize or back down from racial comments about a federal judge. personally ordering his surrogates to intensify their criticism. top republicans are condemning his remarks. is the presumptive nominee alienating latino voters possibly for years to come? straight out of come ton, hillary clinton bernie sanders' spotlight to take her own questions from reporters. all of this when sanders said reporters shouldn't declare clinton the presumptive nominee even if she has enough delegates. the vow to fight it out to the convention kopg too late. president obama poised into the political fray with strong endorsement of hillary clinton possibly this week.
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the president said to be eager to campaign on hillary clinton's behalf. how much will he boost her support as she prepares to take on donald trump. more than assistance. u.s. forces taking on a bigger role in the war against isis. american advisers caught on video in northern syria, carrying grenade launchers and machine guns near the front line. is the mission expanding. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the breaking news this hour, donald trump saying there will be no apologies about racially charged comments about a federal judge. trump rocking the republican party as the judge overseeing
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the lawsuit about trump university saying he is biased because his parents are from mexico. reportedly ordering surrogates to intensify criticism of the federal judge. and on the democratic side, president obama is poised to endorse hillary clinton possibly this week. the president said to be waiting for the final round of primaries. democrats in six states will cast their votes tomorrow. we're covering that and more this hour with our guests, including the national spokeswoman for the trump campaign, katrina pierson, and our correspondents and expert analysts are also standing by. let's begin with push back donald trump is getting from fellow republicans for criticism of a latino judge. our political reporter sara murray has the latest. sara, trump is by no means not backing down. >> reporter: not only is he not backing down, he is trying to create an echo chamber for critics, encouraging his supporters to reiterate the
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comments and suggesting according to bloomberg news that surrogates and reporters that are critical of him. donald trump is instructing surrogates to hammer whom attacks like this one on a judge with mexican heritage. >> i have a judge who is a hater of donald trump. a hater. >> reporter: campaign memo told trump supporters to steer clear of this critique. trump launched a call with supporters, saying he had no plans to apologize, encouraging backers. they said they received the opposite instruction. take that order and throw it the hell out, trump reportedly said. trump's guideness comes as gop leaders rush to distance from him in the wake of his attacks. >> i couldn't disagree more with what he had to say.
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>> i completely disagree with the theory behind that. >> reporter: that's after trump told jake tapper that he should be recused from a lawsuit involving the now defunct trump university, saying he is biased based on heritage. >> this is a case that should have ended. this judge is giving us unfair rulings. you say why. i am building a wall, okay, between mexico, not another country. >> he is not from mexico, he is from indiana. >> mexican heritage, and he's proud of it. >> reporter: trump saying a muslim judge may also be biased because of a proposal to ban muslims coming into the u.s. >> if you had a muslim judge you would think they would not treat you fairly? >> possibly, it would be possible. >> reporter: he says trump went too far. >> it is one of the worst
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mistakes trump has made. i think it is inexcusable. >> reporter: sources say that was particularly irritating to trump, he says he is taken aback by the party's response. >> as far as newt is concerned, i was surprised, i thought it was inappropriate. >> reporter: some hold out hope that trump will tone it down as primary season officially winds down this week. >> he's talking with people all around the country that are experts in this regard and i think they know that they're in a place where this campaign has to evolve. >> reporter: trump may be encouraging supporters and fellow republicans to take his side on this, but the opposite seems to be happening. marco rubio, ben carson, now tim scott, the lone african-american republicanican in the senate, cd comments on the judge racially toxic. >> sara murray, thank you. let's get more, joining us
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senior white house correspondent jim acosta. what more can you tell us about this? >> reporter: one word, defiant. donald trump was defiant in the conference call. there were supporters, surrogates, campaign staffers saying let's change the subject, let's move on. donald trump was saying no, let's stay on the subject until my source on the call earlier, as sara murray said, there will be no apologies and they should not back down criticizing judge curiel. in the view of this campaign, judge curiel is an example of judicial activism and want to continue to call him out on that. trump's orders to keep up criticism is counter to an e-mail that went out by the campaign last night, i am told by the e-mail, that also included cory lewandowski, campaign manager, and spokeswoman, hope hicks, for the campaign, they were also copied
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on the e-mail. also told that people inside the campaign are very upset that former speaker newt gingrich was out on the talk shows and criticizing trump. they feel gingrich was off message. as for the campaign and their response to the conference call, here's how spokeswoman hicks called it. it was a very positive call to discuss overall messaging and more importantly surrogates for their support through the primaries as they come to an end. wolf, keep in mind, dr. ben carson was on that conference call and as you know from hearing from sara murray a few moments ago, ben carson put out a statement criticizing donald trump on this. if there's anything unifying the republican party, it is almost universal condemnation for what he had to say about judge curiel. >> dr. ben carson, trump supporter, saying every individual is an individual first rather than member of an identity group.
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the moment we forget that, we enter into faith and moral descent. jim acosta, thanks very much. let get more. joining us, national spokeswoman for the trump campaign, katrina pierson. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> let's talk about the conference call. first of all, can you name one top republican leader who agrees with donald trump's criticism of this federal judge, judge curiel? >> i'm not going to put anyone on the spot but i will say that this was a conference call. part of this that's not being report is at the top of the call mr. trump himself said we have to assume the media is on the call, we know they're going to be on the call, he told everyone the media would be on the call. it was no surprise. it was a call for surrogates. he wanted to say thank you for your hard work and took questions which is ironic, considering how the media is reporting for months that our
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campaign doesn't have a communication -- >> i assume you were on the conference call, right? >> i was, absolutely. >> once again, is there one republican leader, trump supporter who agrees with donald trump that this federal judge is unfair because of his mexican heritage? >> like i said, i'm not going to put names out there, but i will say this, wolf. there's a reason donald trump is the nominee. many of the gop leaders that condemn trump for the comments, the simple fact that they've cow cow cowared. >> but newt gingrich, dr. ben carson, these are strong supporters. >> that's my point, wolf. it doesn't matter. these individuals are not involved, they have not talked to mr. trump's attorneys and don't know the details. i have in my hand dozens of
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plaintiffs that say the university was excellent. they don't know the facts. they came out because media pressure was in tense, they started condemning the comments without knowing. typical republican leadership. donald trump knows the case should have been thrown out when the original plaintiff exited the case, in what universe when the plaintiff leaves the case does the case continue? >> katrina, not about what is going on in the case, it is about the judge. is it appropriate for donald trump to say the judge is biased because of his mexican heritage, his parents came from mexico, he was born in indiana. that's what this criticism is about, that he shouldn't have raised the mexican heritage. the whole point of saying that's the result, because he wants to build a wall, the judge of mexican heritage is unfair to him. >> but that's not the point. i understand that's what the media wants to continue to
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report but i have yet to hear about the two law firms the judge appointed. the judge appointed two high profile law firms, one a hillary clinton supporter has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to clinton and her husband, the other firm that donated to barack obama, moveon.org has given $15,000 to the attorney general working the other case out of new york. another decision like the plaintiff leaving the case and they want to continue. there are a number of issues that arrived with this judge particularly and the question is why. but the media doesn't want to ask those questions. >> you can argue the merits of the case, going back and forth. until now i take it donald trump and his lawyers have not asked judge curiel to recuse himself, remove himself from the case because of bias or anything. they just criticize him. here's something fascinating. as you know, donald trump's
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sister is a federal judge in new york. if somebody were to say to her she was biased in regard to some case because she's a woman, that would be awful, wouldn't it? >> well, it would depend on her past and decisions she made as a judge. there is no question that there are activist judges in this country. cnn gives a platform to black lives matter and that entire premise is injustice in the system due to race. this idea that nobody wants to go back further and look at the decisions the judge has made, considering the case and again the plaintiffs who are saying opposite, that's what's important here. ask the questions why, wolf. there are a number of reasons why this judge is being called out. >> some of your most ardent supporters are saying this is awful, donald trump, don't do this. go ahead, move on. some are saying apologize right now. this is going to hurt you, hurt the party.
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the party needs latino support out there. when they're saying this to your campaign, does that have no impact at all? >> i think the question you're asking me, is donald trump going to start saying and doing what everybody else says to say and do, and the answer is no. there's an injustice occurring here, the media doesn't understand it, that's the way it has always been for republicans. he is not backing down because the media wants to pressure, call him names, call him racist, doesn't matter which gop individual comes out, they're not there and they don't have the facts. that's why mr. trump is the nominee. >> we reported yesterday the campaign sent out an e-mail to supporters, move on, move away from the case, stop criticizing the judge. when donald trump on the conference call today heard about that, he said who did that, that was stupid, we have nothing to do with it. tell us what happened. why was the message sent yesterday from the campaign
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totally different than what donald trump told supporters on the conference call? >> again, this is the irony considering how we have been told we don't have a communications team in place. look, no one wants anyone saying anything until they have the facts. that's very typical and standard communication. we have a lot of surrogates out there that wanted more information, the message was sent to say hold off, let's not talk about this until we get to the facts which occurred on the conference call. >> the argument we heard in the e-mail, with a phrase like that, was move on, we don't want to talk about this any more. that seems to be totally different than what donald trump said. >> no, not at all. for surrogates that didn't have the facts, of course the campaign is going to say don't talk about it, talk about something else. the conference call was today, the e-mail was before that. >> katrina, the e-mail sent yesterday said something different than what donald trump
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said today. >> yes, because donald trump spoke to the surrogates, they asked questions, he answered that. that makes complete sense. >> you're the national spokeswoman. does he consult on these issues, call you, ask for your advice? >> mr. trump talks to everybody on his team, doesn't matter who you are, he talks to everyone. >> when was the last time, i know you were on the conference call today. when is the last time you had a personal discussion about what's going on and what you can do to help him. >> about a week ago, it was a long discussion. we talked about communications, we talked about policy. he was very congratulatory, said to many individuals on the call today. mr. trump is very invested in his staff and in his campaign, and i have been saying for months mr. trump is personally invested in the success of his campaign, simply because he is personally invested in the success of this country. >> did you ever say to him mr. trump, this is a bad idea, i
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think we should move a different direction? >> i think i'll keep our confidential discussions confidential. there have been many discussions on the campaign trail. i have to tell you, this campaign has been one for the history books because we don't do things the way everybody wants us to do them. it is one of the reasons he has been so successful. i'm not going to tell him not to do something when i agree 100% with what he says and what he does. >> katrina, stand by. there's more to discuss. we will take a quick break. back with the national spokeswoman for the donald trump campaign. so stop clicking around. book direct at hilton.com now that's satisfaction. this just got interesting. why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night.
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following breaking news. donald trump rocking the
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republican party leadership now as he orders his surrogates to actually intensify the criticism of a federal judge. trump accuses that judge of bias in a lawsuit against trump university because of the judge's latino heritage. we are back with national spokeswoman for the trump campaign, katrina pierson. katrina, you heard the top leader of the republican party, speaker of the house paul ryan, newt gingrich, former speaker, senator corker, mcconnell, all sharply condemned what donald trump said about the federal judge. if he can't get their support, who does he expect to stand behind him in the coming weeks and months? >> the american voter and that's all that really matters here. i pointed out that this is typical reaction from republican leaders, at the first hint of controversy on criticism regarding race, they tuck their tails and want to run without trying to understand what's happening here, but the facts
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are coming out. one thing i want to push back on, you said mr. trump ordered surrogates to do certain things, that's not what happens. i can tell you, surrogates want to get the facts out, they don't want to listen to this nonsense, calling mr. trump a racist because that's not what's happening here. mr. trump is now the victim of judicial activism. many people in this country know exactly what that feels like and they don't like it. >> newt gingrich has been very supportive of donald trump, not just for weeks but for months. he was actually being discussed as a potential vice presidential running mate. does it give the campaign pause now that even newt gingrich is saying he can't support the comments that donald trump made about this federal judge. >> no, and here's the thing, we don't expect anyone to defend mr. trump's comments, particularly when they don't know what they're talking about. mr. trump is going to be mr. trump. he brought a situation to light
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that needs to be discussed because the media is not reporting both sides of the facts, they're only talking about what they want to talk about which is always the race narrative, we are not going to let that happen. mr. trump's surrogates are concerned and want the facts. so they can push back to the media because the public has a right to know the truth. >> the media didn't bring up the judge's mexican heritage, it was donald trump that brought up that issue. >> absolutely, but the media is only reporting one side of the issue. i haven't heard any anchor on cnn talk about 10,000 approvals from trump university which you can find at 98% approval.com. his attorney was on the other night talking about a 14-year-old that went to one of the seminars with his mother, made a million dollars. it is not my fault some of the adults can't make money. >> i understand there were satisfied customers of trump university, but what does that
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have to do -- >> 10,000. 10,000. >> what does that have to do with raising the mexican heritage of the judge. >> because of the activism we have been stating this entire time, again, this is not the original judge on the case. this judge is on the case, the plaintiff was removed. you have to ask yourself if a plaintiff leaves a case, how on earth does it continue to move forward? >> why didn't his lawyers ask that the judge be removed? >> i respect that question. it is a legal question, i'll leave that to the lawyers to answer. >> katrina, thanks very much for joining us. >> great to be here, wolf. >> we will have more on breaking news coming up. donald trump telling surrogates it is okay to keep criticizing the federal judge. plus, endorsement by president obama now set to be imminent, what impact will it have on the democratic race? automobile insurance i spent 20 years active duty
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more on breaking news. sources telling cnn donald trump is telling his supporters to keep criticizing the federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against trump university. trump claims the judge is biased because of mexican heritage and trump wants to build a wall on the mexican border.
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joining us, political kmen cater, ryan lizza. chief political analyst, gloria borger, ana navarro, and "the washington post" assistant editor david swerdlick. thanks to all of you for coming in for the conference call, ana that donald trump had with supporters, saying keep on criticizing the judge, talk about this, think she has a winning side, what's your reaction. >> i think he is digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself, amazing the reaction that has finally come from republican leadership today, it has been necessary. this moment with the judge was the straw that broke the camel's back. for a long time thought we had to be quiet and look the other way out of party loyalty. republican leaders have finally understood if you are loyal to the republican party, you must be compelled to speak out against something so offensive, so wrong, so unethical because
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if not, the republican party and these elected leaders will have to face the consequences, we will be stuck with this dead, rotting albatross around their neck. it is important they speak out, important they continue to do it, and confront the discriminatory, blatantly racist statements. >> you heard katrina pierson, gloria, national spokeswoman for donald trump. i said can you name one republican leader who is supporting, defending donald trump's comments on the federal judge, she said she didn't want to name anyone, but some of his most ardent supporters like newt gingrich and bob corker and others are really criticizing donald trump now, which is highly extraordinary. >> and you watch the officials twist themselves into a pretzel, right, because on one hand they've said because they're concerned about the future of the republican party, concerned about down ballot races, they want to retain control on congress. they said we will support the
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nominee or donald trump, since he is the nominee. now they have to respond to some of the things donald trump is saying and because of who they are and what they believe, they have to disagree with him, so you come to the proverbial fork in the road here. donald trump, this is a civil fraud case, and donald trump cares about trump university and he wants to win this case. he is a businessman who believes he has been treated unfairly and he wants to win this case at all costs. these people we're hearing from care about the future of the republican party and their own futures, their own political futures, and so they have to go off on a different track from donald trump on this, and he does not seem to be wanting to give in. >> not to be cynical, you know, but at some point you have to live with yourself, you have to be able to look at yourself in
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the mirror. at some point donald trump will go away, whether november, four years, eight years, you have to continue living with your conscience. that's where leaders like paul ryan and others are coming down. >> marco rubio, senator from florida, former republican candidate weighed in on the trump comments on the jump in an interview with a florida tv station, wftv and said i ran for president and i warned this was going to happen. >> but i think he warned too late and all of the republican elder statesmen warned too late. you have to have a conscience. there's one republican that will sleep well at night, mitt romney. at a certain point months ago, said unequivocally, unhesitat g unhesitatingly, not supporting trump for republican nominee. >> mitt romney and the people that were part of the dying never trump movement last 48 hours have been able to say we
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told you so. >> jeb bush. >> jeb bush. george w, george hw. this is historic. >> trump has said a lot of controversial things that would have probably gotten other candidates out of here, but he not only survived, he thrived. >> wolf, the republican party at the top of the ticket as the presidential nominee, a man who is objectively a racist, i don't think you can contradict that statement. he is saying someone based on ethnic background is not capable of deciding the law. contradicts everything in the constitution and checks and balances are based on, that someone is disqualifying for. this is unprecedented. the republican party has to deal with this, and it is not just oh, we condemn what he said and we'll move on, it is much more
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serious than that. >> hoped after the primary there would be a restart, relaunch of donald trump and he would become bigger, more presidential. what we have seen in the last three to four weeks is that he has become smaller and that you are not going to change donald trump. donald trump is what you saw in the primary is what you will get through november. it is what you will get if he became president. >> hillary clinton campaign put on a commercial, a video today, you're featured in there. let me play a clip of it. >> you are saying he can't do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism? >> we are building a wall, he's a mexican. >> how dare he question a judge's responsibility, a judge's adherence to the constitution because he is of mexican descent? >> you said that on our show the other day. you're still not voting for
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hillary clinton, but what are you going to do? >> at this point i don't have anyone to vote for. hillary clinton has not earned my vote. i can tell you that donald trump has lost my vote. >> you say at this point. you could change your mind. >> of course i can, i am a hispanic woman, i can change my mind three times today, but listen, and i think that's important. i do not support hillary clinton but what i do is i cannot live with myself supporting a man i view as racist, who makes fun of the disabled, who makes fun of pows, who mocks people like judge curiel whose life was at risk because he went after a mexican drug cartel. i'm so deeply offended by this that there is no turning back. >> former federal prosecutor before named a federal judge. >> donald trump's sister is a federal judge, okay, and she hasn't spoken out during this
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campaign but in criticizing the judiciary that way or this particular judge that way is sorting stunning, given the fact his sister is a federal judge. the other moment that was striking to me was newt gingrich, who has a personal relationship with donald trump, on the vice presidential list, came out and spoke quite strongly against what trump has done. i think at a certain time you have to take stock of what people say around you. even his own pr people were sending a memo saying we have to stop talking about this. it gives us a window into understanding donald trump's attitude toward his business and building his business and his brand and not defacing the brand at all. he wants to win this case. >> he certainly does. but we won't know the results until after the election as far as the case is concerned.
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stand by. just ahead, president obama and bernie sanders spoke by phone, what did they talk about. that's next.
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right now, all eyes on california, the biggest political prize, tomorrow's super tuesday primary with 475 democratic delegates up for grabs. and tonight, hillary clinton and bernie sanders are battling down to the wire for every single one of those delegates out in california. our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is joining us from san francisco right now. jeff, the democratic candidates are throwing everything they have at california. what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, they're both sprinting to the finish line. bernie sanders in the last two weeks alone had more than 35 events. the last event could be tonight in san francisco. look at the lines snaking all the way around chrissy field, the golden gate bridge in the backdrop. bernie sanders making the case he needs to win california, wolf, and in fact he does. he needs the delegates here, but also needs it to keep his argument alive. the clinton campaign cam in
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equally aggressive, nine stops alone in california between the former president and secretary clinton. she doesn't need to win but is trying to to finally wrap up the nominating fight. >> we have worked hard up and down this great, great state and i need your help tomorrow. >> reporter: one final day of campaigning in the long, democratic primary. hillary clinton is on the cusp of becoming the party's presumptive nominee. tonight she's fighting hard for california. not only to finish strong but hoping to vanquish bernie sanders once and for all. >> going to do everything i can to unify the democratic party and certainly will be reaching out to senator sanders and hope he will join me in that because we have to be unified going into the convention and coming out of the convention to take on donald trump. >> reporter: but sanders is vowing to take his fight to the democratic convention, improbable quest, made nearly
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impossible if clinton wins california. he says he is the stronger candidate to take on donald trump. >> looks like you will be a spoiler. >> if i win tomorrow in california, and i don't know that we will, we may, if we do well in other states, if there are superdelegates out there who say you know what, looking at the objective evidence of polling, looking at the evidence of who has the strongest grass roots campaign and can bring out the larger voter turnout which is crucial for november, if some superdelegates think it is bernie sanders, i think that's not an insignificant factor. >> reporter: sanders would need to flip three-quarters of clinton's superdelegates to surpass her total, which seems unlikely since he has yet to sway even one. sanders won 20 states, clinton 24. the final six states weighing in tuesday, clinton has 3 million
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more votes than sanders and holds a comfortable lead in delegates. only 26 away from the 2383 pledged in superdelegates she needs to win the nomination. the democratic party is slowly coming together and clinton is embracing the history making moment of becoming the first woman to be a party's presumptive nominee. >> it is really emotional. it will make a big difference for a father or mother to be able to look at their daughter just like they can look at their son and say you can be anything you want to be in this country. >> reporter: supporters wonder if sanders stands in the way of history, a point he refuted today. >> to say it is sexist. >> reporter: supporters insist they're settling in for a fight, hope a california victory will force the democratic party to take a second look. today, sanders' tone seems softer. >> let's assess where we are after tomorrow before we make
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statements based on speculation. >> reporter: wochl, after california, new jersey, and four other states vote, there will be a deciding point. 8 years ago tomorrow she dropped out of the race. didn't do so immediately, took about 3 days after the last primary. it is a process. the clinton campaign is giving bernie sanders time to work through it. the question is all of the supporters behind me, will they support clinton. >> jeff zeleny, thanks very much. sources tell cnn that president obama is about to enter the political fray in a big way. let's go to michelle kosinski, she has details. michelle, you hear the president is poised to endorse hillary clinton. what specifically are you hearing? >> reporter: that's right. democratic source confirmed to cnn that the president spoke only yesterday by phone to bernie sanders. the white house won't characterize that call, they say those calls are private, that
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lines of communication have been open between the president and both democratic campaigns for some time. bernie sanders met with the president at the white house a couple months ago, but the timing is interesting. imagine how that call might have gone given that we are entering what could be the president's final hours of staying out of the race. publicly he said he wants to wait until there's a nominee, until voters' voices have been heard. but given that tomorrow could be pivotal, white house insiders tell us that the president is now and has been very much ready to get out there, that he has been chomping at the bit, behind the scenes that drives him crazy at times, to hear the republican rhetoric and not be out there. the white house has been answering the many questions about could the endorsement happen wednesday. listen. >> is there any reason why he would not endorse hillary clinton on wednesday?
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>> look, without knowing the outcome of those contests, i wouldn't hazard a guess. >> if the outcome is the opposite, are you saying he would not endorse hillary clinton? >> what i'm saying is mostly i don't have any news to make about the timing of presidential endorsement. >> maybe i could ask it this way. why would he not endorse somebody on wednesday? >> i don't know, maybe he will. >> reporter: what we know about the potential endorsement is that it's not a joint appearance with hillary clinton, but how it happens could be interesting. could be the president coming to the briefing room, maybe some announcement via video on social media, wolf. >> find out soon enough. michelle thank you very much. more news after this. or fuel economy? are we moving? where we going? it's the answer to the question baby! silverado. oooh that's cool. it's truck month.
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there is growing concern tonight about u.s. troops now on the ground in syria, to advise and assist local forces in the fight against isis. barbara starr has details. >> reporter: navy fighter jets screaming off the deck of a u.s. aircraft carrier in the mediterranean. headed for isis targets in syria and iraq. the u.s. sending a message to a vital ally, turkey. washington will continue supporting kurds, fight ago long the syria/turkey border. general joseph attell, making sure, assignments attacks will continue for a u.s. aircraft and local forces on the ground. votel is holding open the option, help syrian fighters are more weapons and ammunition. >> if i make a determination that we need to provide them
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equipment beyond what we're already providing them, then i'll make that recommendation. >> reporter: the first of 250 additional u.s. special operations forces have now arrived in syria. the pentagon insists, the mission is not combat. but from iraq to syria, somali and libya, u.s. troops now facing growing danger as the obama administration uses special operations forces like these to advise and assist local forces. these u.s. advisers were captured on video in northern syria, carrying grenade launchers and machine guns with noise suppressers. in syria near turkey, u.s. troops are also nearby, advising in an increasingly brutal battle. the u.s. wants to close off this part of the syria/turkey border to keep foreign fighters from coming into syria, and also going back out.
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possibly able to reach europe with new attacks. but little the u.s. can do in aleppo, where humanitarian disaster is emerging. the russians pounding the city, according to u.s. officials. russia also backing syrian forces, near raqqah, isis' capital. approaching from the south, as u.s.-backed syrian rebels push from the north. the u.s. so far not openly saying it would defend the rebels against russian or syrian forces. >> they know that the engagement they have with the united states with the coalition is specific to the fight against isil. >> reporter: and in fallujah where nearby u.s. military advisers are also trying to help, the estimates are there there still may be upwards of 50,000 iraqis trapped in that city. wolf? >> barbara starr reporting. thank you. meanwhile, the threat of the zeke virus and the severe birth
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defects it causes are overshadowing the upcoming rio olympics. senior international correspondent, nick payton walsh, reports. >> reporter: born into a struggle that grows as they age. this clinic is where the disease of zika has been cruelest in brazil. even with what happens when babies with microcephaly grow. and so do their problems. unable to tell us the pains, agonies they may or may not be feeling. or what we can do to help. >> translator: it was when he was born and we faced the other people in the hospital. their expressions, seeing and accepting the difference. for me, that was the hardest phase. >> reporter: exactly how quickly zika could spread here at ground zero. there is a whole different set of problems. and that's working out really as these babies grow older. quite what the disease means for that development.
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arthur cannot eat. doctors say his brain can't switch between swallowing and breathing properly. so he's fed by a drip, and stunted in growth. the size of a 3-month-old, when he is now 8 months. they're testing his hearing, seeing if he turns his head to look. a little to the right, to the left. nothing. this is how it goes here. every minute, discoveries that alter the child's future. victoria was abandoned by her natural mother at birth, adopted by kelly, a month ago. >> when we saw her, we fell in love with her. i didn't want to know what she had. that didn't matter. she's my daughter. >> reporter: and today may change her life. she's having her eyes stimulated, being fitted for
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glasses to find out if she can see at all. it's hard to tell what she sees, if the bright lights became real shapes. with la han dra, it's a little more palpable. her first sight but still, her arms stiffen straight. her underdeveloped brain telling them to do so. they talk here of prejudice, of days spent ferrying children between specialist doctors. of being fired from work because of that. of of a lack of state money to pull them through. this is the world that zika brings, and here and globally it is only beginning. nick paton walsh, cnn.
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thanks to nick paton walsh for that report. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, the breaking news. donald trump calling staffers stupid, ordering staffers and supporters to intensify attacks on the judge in the university case. plus the plan trump referred to as, quote, my african-american. he's "outfront" tonight in his first national television interview. and is clinton about to clinch a major endorsement in the wings. let's go "outfront." ♪ good evening, i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the breaking news. campaign chaos this evening. donald trump in a leaked campaign conference call, telling campaign staffers and supporters to ramp up attacks on the judge in the trump univerty

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