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Trump Campaign Manager Involved In Altercation; Kasich Says He "Would Think About" Garland; Paris Suspect Charged With Terrorist Murder; Hillary Clinton Takes A Break; Protest Planned For Donald Trump's AIPAC Speech; CNN's "The Wonder List" Heads To Cuba; CNN en Espanol Interview With Kate del Castillo; NBA Showdown; March Madness Sweet 16. Aired 6-7a

Aired March 20, 2016 - 06:00   ET




[06:00:23] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And happy Sunday to you and thank you for sharing your company with us. We always appreciate it. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be with you. I'm Victor Blackwell. Let's talk about politics now. We are just two days away from -- this is Western Tuesday.

And the Republicans, the stakes keep getting higher. Idaho, Arizona, Utah, will be voting. Arizona and Utah just for the Republicans. Democrats adding Idaho. Ballots a little over 48 hours from now. Arizona winner take all.

PAUL: Which is the important one, 58 delegates at stake there. That state is at the forefront too in this fight over illegal immigration and Donald Trump's plan for a wall in the southern border is a clear hit with supporters there. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to build a wall, a real wall, a major wall. We are going to build a wall. And are you ready, who's going to pay for the wall? One hundred percent.


BLACKWELL: That rally in Tucson, though, turned violent at one point, watch this video. A protester was sucker punched and kicked by another rally attendee before police came in and pulled that man away.

PAUL: Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is under fire this morning. Look at this video here. It appears to show him grabbing a protester by the collar of his shirt.

BLACKWELL: Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, you saw that man. The campaign disputes that the video shows Lewandowski pulling that rally attendee's collar. Here's the statement. "Corey Lewandowski was speaking with a protester at Saturday's rally in Tucson, Arizona when the individual he was speaking with was pulled from behind by the man to Lewandowski's left. The video clearly shows the protester reacting to the man who pulled him, not to Mr. Lewandowski."

Well, after hearing that statement, we want you to watch this video again. Lewandowski is wearing a gray jacket.


PAUL: And this coming here's the moment that is in question, who grabbed the man's collar and there you have it. John Kasich is hitting back at the hostility and the rhetoric of Trump's rallies saying, "Leaders don't imply violence."


JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't even want to use the word riots or violence that's inappropriate. Our kids are watching. Now that doesn't mean I'm not running a positive campaign, but those kind of comments are way out of bounce, frankly, they are outrageous.


BLACKWELL: Both Kasich and Cruz are campaigning hard in Utah. Ted Cruz trying to block that win -- Trump win there calling on his supporters across the state to shut down the frontrunner at Tuesday's caucuses. Watch.


SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mitt encouraged every man and woman in Utah and every voter across the country, if you want to stop Donald Trump, stand and vote with Cruz.


BLACKWELL: All right, for analysis now, we are joined by Lynn Sweet with the "Chicago Sun Times" Washington bureau chief. Lynn, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: You've seen the video, what do you see?

SWEET: Well, I see a campaign who probably shouldn't have been in the sick of it in the first place. And I suppose if it happened once when there was a question about an incident with a reporter, you know, that happens.

[06:05:00]So I think -- I mean, I see what you see. You know, he reached out to him. But isn't the more essential question why is he putting himself in the thick of protests? I'm not sure I know the answer. But it seems that going on, yes, protests now are a part of the Trump rally, perhaps there's another way to deal with it and let me say that we know this isn't going away. Tomorrow in Washington, D.C., Trump appears here, and there's already protests planned.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's broaden this a bit more. Not just Lewandowski's position in the crowd, but we know this is an unusual campaign so possibly an atypical role for a campaign manager. How does he -- compare and contrast, if you would, Lewandowski's role with Trump to other campaign managers. I'd expected it would be a different relationship.

SWEET: Well, everything about the Trump campaign has been asymmetric. So if you have a campaign manager who plunges into a crowd, even though you know everyone has a camera and that you might be confronted with or run into a protester, that's untraditional.

But as I say, you can't argue with success. If the goal of the Trump campaign is to be nominated, he is very close to being nominated right now. But it is the common sense, though, of anyone, why would you go look for trouble?

One other quick thing about how the Trump campaign is so untraditional, when he has a press conference in Washington tomorrow, it's at the Trump Hotel. And they say in their press release that they will be giving tours of the hotel at the press conference.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we've seen the press conferences on voting nights on these Super Tuesdays touring essentially the Trump properties across Southern Florida. Let me take you to this piece that's in "The New York Times" this weekend.

Republican leaders map a strategy to derail Donald Trump. Leaders apparently going to launch this 100-day campaign starting with the first contest in April in Wisconsin. Big spending brought by the "Club For Growth," $2 million reportedly pledged, an effort to woo delegates individually moving forward.

I mean, this seems to play into Trump's narrative and the way they see it as he's the outsider and the party bosses are trying to thwart the will of the people. Is this an effective strategy to stop Donald Trump?

SWEET: Well, so far it hasn't been. The Call For Growth and other ally organizations putting a few million in Florida just a few days ago in commercials to try and stop him. One of the operatives I've talked to involved in that movement thinks it needs more time to be more repetitive.

As you know, as they go along, they have to change the strategy from just defeating him to now preventing him from going to the convention in Cleveland with enough delegates to clinch the nomination.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about John Kasich who's making some news this morning. This interview with John Dickerson of "Face The Nation" on CBS is going to air a little later. But they've released a bit of the conversation in which they discuss Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.

I want you to listen to this exchange and then we'll talk about it.


KASICH: Frankly, they ought to all sit down and meet with the guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you take a look at Mr. Garland if you were elected president?

KASICH: Well, you know, he received overwhelming support. I think even from Senator Hatch. So of course we'd think about it.


BLACKWELL: Of course, they'd think about it. Not only is John Kasich saying that Republicans in the Senate should meet with him, which many have said they will not, he considers possibly nominating or at least he's saying that he will consider nominating Judge Garland. This clearly is counter to what the Republicans in the Senate are trying to hold the line, I guess, is broken now.

SWEET: Well, it is. It is defies, I think, common sense to most people in America, I'm guessing, not from a poll, that if the president still has almost a year left, why not at least consider his nominee?

So I think John Kasich, that's part of what he's trying to do is just to appeal to that -- he's trying to make the appeal based on letting people -- letting not being inflammatory where Senate Leader Mcconnell, I think, made a mistake, was dismissing out of hand hours after Justice Scalia died that no matter who President Obama sent, the senators wouldn't even consider.

You know, McConnell won't take a meeting. So when John Kasich said that about Merrick Garland, it is newsworthy because he is distancing himself from the Senate leaders.

BLACKWELL: Quickly, though --

SWEET: Senate Republican leaders, yes.

BLACKWELL: Quickly, is this enough to penetrate that facade, or is he just the outlier here?

SWEET: Too soon to say. You know, the record of Merrick Garland, who by the way, I grew up just blocks away from him, he has a very moderate record.

[06:10:09]You know, he was nominated obviously by a Democratic president. Republicans may think if they may not get someone as moderate on a second pick if Hillary Clinton were president.

BLACKWELL: All right. Lynn Sweet with "The Chicago Sun-Times," Washington bureau chief there. Lynn, thank you so much for being with us this morning. SWEET: Thank you so much.


PAUL: And don't miss a CNN presidential primetime event, the democratic and Republican candidates all making their cases to the voters on the same night right here on CNN. "The Final Five Candidates" tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

And be sure to watch special election coverage of the vote in Idaho, Arizona and Utah all day on Tuesday only on CNN as well.

BLACKWELL: The Paris terror suspect arrested in a dramatic police raid in Belgium is talking with investigators. We have details on what he's saying about the attacks and the last-minute change of plans.

PAUL: And Hillary Clinton noticeably absent from the campaign trail for several days while Bernie Sanders has been campaigning really hard in Arizona. Is Clinton leaving the door open for a Sanders surge?

BLACKWELL: And live pictures here from the Vatican. Pope Francis is leading major celebrations right now. The Vatican marking Palm Sunday, the beginning of holy week.


PAUL: It's 14 minutes past the hour. Today the Paris terror suspect, Saleh Abdeslam is in a prison cell at a high security prison in Belgium.

[06:15:05]He's been charged with participating in terrorist murders. He is fighting extradition to France, though, so it might be up to three months before that extradition actually happens.

BLACKWELL: Abdeslam has told authorities the he planned to blow himself up at the Stad de France but then backed down. Officials hope he will reveal more information over the next few days.

CNN senior international correspondent, Fred Pleitgen is live from Molenbeek, Belgium. Fred, Abdeslam is fighting extradition. Having a little problem with the shot there. How will that help his case or will that have some influence here?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not clear whether or not it will help his case. I mean, one of the things that he's truly trying to do is trying to delay the extradition --

BLACKWELL: Yes, that was my hope we wouldn't have that problem. I saw a couple of flashes there. We'll try to get back to Fred Pleitgen in just a moment. Let's go to Tom Fuentes -- Christi.

PAUL: Yes, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director. Tom is with us. Tom, thank you so much. I'm wondering if he is talking, Abdeslam, which may be a surprise to a lot of people. But if he's talking, how do interrogators continue to get him to open up to them and give them the information they are really looking for?

TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Christi, often this these kind of cases the individuals will talk because of their extreme huge egos and narcissism. They want to be able to take credit for how great they were, his leadership skills, his organizational skills and that type of thing. It is often possible to get them to talk.

PAUL: That doesn't seem like the situation in this case though, in terms of having an ego. It seems like this man, Abdeslam, he just wanted to stay alive.

FUENTES: Well, that is part of it. He's too important to the cause. He can't kill himself. They need him. So that is part of it.

PAUL: Well, he admits that he basically abandoned the call to blow himself up in the name of ISIS and what they stand for. Given the charges and back to this extradition here, given charges against him, is there any question that he'll be extradited even though he's fighting it?

FUENTES: No, there is no question and fighting it will be feudal. In Europe, the European Union countries have a European arrest warrant and what that means is that a judge issuing a warrant in one country will be carried out by any judge or jurisdiction in the E.U.

So in this case, any paperwork issued by France will be carried out by Belgium. Not just his extradition but any documents and other evidence that they have obtained will also be sent to France.

So it's pretty much a feudal effort and it is not going to delay it very long. I don't think.

PAUL: Tom, thank you so much. Grab some water. I apologize. That never fails.

BLACKWELL: Standby for just a moment. We're going bring back Fred Pleitgen, who is in Molenbeek. I believe we've got his shot back up. You were talking about Abdeslam's effort to delay here and quite possibly will not be successful.

PLEITGEN: Yes. Probably won't be successful. I think there are two things he's trying to do. On the one hand of course he's trying to delay his extradition. He wants to have the trial begin as late as possible.

But on the one hand, of course, he is aware and his lawyer is also very much aware that at this stage of the game, this early on, of course, he is also setting the stage for that trial.

He's also setting the stage as to the sentence that he will possibly get. So what we are hearing is that he is indeed cooperating with the authorities. Apparently he was questioned twice yesterday by the authorities and it was interesting. On the one hand he, of course, told them that yes he was supposed to blow himself up at the stadium in France. The authorities say they are not sure whether or not they would believe that because they were getting very different messaging from ISIS.

After ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and also he then later was spotted somewhere completely different in Paris. So they are not sure whether or not they should believe him on that.

But on the one hand they say, yes, he is cooperating with us. Yes, he is talking to us. On the other hand the Belgian politicians have also said they are now absolutely certain that he played a central role in planning the terrorist attacks in Paris.

So therefore while he might be trying to help his case on the one hand, they are certain that he played a central role.

BLACKWELL: All right, Fred Pleitgen there for us in Molenbeek. Fred, thank you so much. And thanks to Tom Fuentes as well.

Still to come, live pictures here from Vatican City. It is the official start of holy week. Pope Francis there is leading Palm Sunday mass for the thousands of people gathered there in St. Peter's Square.

[06:20:02]PAUL: Also President Obama going to Cuba today. Ahead of this historic visit, we are getting a look at how improved relations could give the boost to the Cuban cigar business.


BLACKWELL: Live pictures here from St. Peter's Square where the faithful are receiving holy communion. Pope Francis celebrating mass today at the Vatican there in observance of Palm Sunday. This is the day that Christians around the world celebrate Jesus coming into the Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion and then the resurrection.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, leading up to Easter Sunday is the most important period in the church calendar.

PAUL: Meanwhile a day of mourning declared today for the victims of Saturday's plane crash in Western Russia, 62 people lost their lives when the Boeing 737 fell short of the runway in bad weather. All human remains have been recovered in that crash site. FlyDubai Airlines says it will compensate each victim's family with $20,000.

BLACKWELL: Let me take you to China now where at least five deaths were confirmed from this, the aftermath of this fiery explosion of a tanker truck on a busy highway. Local police say 20 people were injured. The explosion set fire to several vehicles nearby. Police are still investigating what caused it.

PAUL: Did you turn off your lights at 8:30 last night? Several major cities around the world participated in earth hour and switched off the lights. [06:25:07]Various landmarks from Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building went dark. The event is designed to bring awareness to climate change.

BLACKWELL: This weekend, Senator Bernie Sanders is in Arizona near the U.S.-Mexico border. He is talking immigration.

PAUL: He says the immigration controversy is, well, quote, "trumped up." More details next.

And mortgage rate this week were mix. Here is a look.


PAUL: It's 6:29 on this Sunday morning and Bernie Sanders is going north. He is holding a rally today in Washington State, a day after he was at the Arizona border with Mexico.

BLACKWELL: Yes. So Deep South to the far north. Sanders took a tour of the border in Nogales, Arizona. He said the controversy over immigration has been his phrase, "trumped up" and there is no need for a wall along the border.

Sanders promised as president, he would what he called the rounding up of families. Here is what he said about the rhetoric coming from the Republican primary.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would hope that all of us are rightly appalled by the divisive, bigoted and xenophobic comments of people like Donald Trump.



PAUL: While, Bernie Sanders stays busy obviously, Hillary Clinton is taking a break from the campaign trail.

BLACKWELL: Yes. She doesn't have anything scheduled until tomorrow.

She's going to head to Phoenix but instead Bill Clinton, former President Clinton, is holding several campaign events in Arizona.

Joining us to talk about the Democratic primary we have with us Maria Cardona, a Hillary Clinton, and Nomiki Konst, a Bernie Sanders supporter. Good to have both of you back this morning.



BLACKWELL: So Maria I want to start with you. We're seeing Senator Sanders from the U.S./Mexico border heading up to Washington State. Hillary -- the last time we've seen her or heard from her was a Thursday phone interview and the Tuesday her rally on Super Tuesday 3, I guess it was.

Is this confidence, she's so confident that she doesn't have to rally over the weekend to Sanders' (ph)?

CARDONA: No I don't think so. She has said from the very beginning that she is not taking anything for granted. That she is going to continue to work for every vote. And even if she's not out in the campaign trail, her surrogates are.

As you mentioned earlier, Bill Clinton is going to be campaigning for her. And she has people on the ground that are focusing on getting to voters. And she is spending money and resources as is Senator Sanders with ads. And so I think she is focused on getting her message out. She has said from the beginning that she is not -- she's going to be working for this. She's not taking anything for granted. And I think that's the important thing here.

Senator Sanders is running a terrific campaign and he's going to continue to do that. But she is ahead in pledged delegates. So she is 2.5 million votes ahead of Senator Sanders. So she'd going to continue focus on making sure that she is working hard to get the nomination.

BLACKWELL: She is ahead of the delegate count. Here's what Sanders said about the fight for delegates moving west.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So we got a lot of pretty large states. We think we have states that are more progressive. Some of the states we have seen. And we're feeling optimistic that we can pick up a whole lot of delegates.


BLACKWELL: Nomiki, Senator Sanders was very confident going into Tuesday's contest. Very -- especially confident about Ohio. He lost that by a 13 or 14 points.

Where will he win on Tuesday?

KONST: Well, I think that as we all know the south was the beginning and that was very favorable to the Clintons. We have talked about this a lot.


KONST: But moving forward we know there's states like Washington, Idaho -- the western states are actually very favorable. We have big states like California and New York that are coming and he's doing very well in a lot of these states. And don't forget it is all about -- we have a reflective democracy on our side, with proportional representation.

But think about it. In a race that was designed for Hillary Clinton where she had half the super delegates last year, has the media, the money. Thousands of relations in every single state for over -- you know, not just three years we're talking about eight years.

Think about it. The margins have been very close and the momentum is that...


KONST: ... Bernie Sanders is back right now.

BLACKWELL: You can't just keep up. He's got to surpass her if he wants the nomination.

Let me tell you one other thing that he said that I want to get your reaction to.

KONST: Sure.

BLACKWELL: As he goes for this delegate hunt there are many in the electorate who want to preserve and protect the legacy of President Obama. But in the gaggle there, the discussion with reporters, he said he would end the deportation regime and when he was asked reported if President Obama was part of that regime he said yes.

Now, President Obama has been called the deporter in chief for the numbers of people who have been deported during his administration. But again, this is an electorate who wants to preserve and protect the Obama legacy. Does that hurt him?

KONST: I don't think it hurts him because I think that many Latinos around the country have been deeply hurt by this deportation of President Obama. I'm a huge supporter of President Obama. But it is unfortunate that due to the rhetoric -- I mean, we're seeing it today with the election going on right now. The rhetoric on both sides. I think the president has had to make some very tough decisions.

But the reality is that we do not have an undocumented illegal immigration problem at the border. I'm from Arizona. I've been to Nogales. We literally have a negative influx of illegal immigrants coming from over the border right now.

So this is not an issue anymore. This is something where we as Democrats have to come together and solve the problem of the people who are living in the shadows of democracy right now. These are people who want to integrate fully. We need comprehensive immigration reform and that is something that Bernie Sanders has a very strong position on. He's (ph) so (ph) --


BLACKWELL: He's not there alone. Maria, let me bring you in here too.

I mean, two weeks ago -- a little more than two weeks ago I guess, Hillary Clinton pledged that she would not deport any illegal immigrants except violent criminals and terrorists. I mean, this is an obvious break from President Obama's approach. This is one of the few areas on which (INAUDIBLE) the few issues on which Secretary Clinton is to the left of the president.

CARDONA: Well, actually it is not that much of a break from President Obama because that's exactly what President Obama's executive action would want to accomplish.


Right now we see that it is stuck in the courts but President Obama has been very clear that that's exactly what he wants to do. He wants to protect those who have been here in the country without a criminal record, who have had roots in this country and have contributed to the beautiful mosaic that is our diverse nation for many, many years. And Secretary Clinton and frankly Senator Sanders want to continue that. There is really no difference between the three in terms of what they want to do on immigration. And I agree with Nomiki for Democrats that is a winning position and that is exactly what both of these candidates are out there talking about.

BLACKWELL: There's (ph) difference in theory but there was some difference in practice. You're saying that's the president's wants to do but if you look back over his record over the last seven and a half years there may be a difference.


BLACKWELL: I'm getting to my producer.

CARDONA: That's right.

BLACKWELL: We got to go. Mari Cardona, Nomiki Konst, we'll do this again next weekend.

CARDONA: Thank you, Victor.

KONST: Thank you so much.

CARDONA (ph): Have a good morning.

PAUL: Still to come on your NEW DAY, it's been the forbidden fruit of in the tobacco world, Cuban cigar, that could change. Details on how President Obama's visit to Cuba today will help rejuvenate relations and build better business to Cuba.


PAUL: Donald Trump will speak to a major pro-Israel group in Washington tomorrow the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. Here is how he described his ties to the Jewish community at the CNN debate in Miami.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am pro Israel. I was the -- I was the Grand Marshal, not so long ago, of the Israeli Day Parade down Fifth Avenue.


I've made massive contributions to Israel. I have a lot of -- I have tremendous love for Israel. I happen to have a son-in-law and a daughter that are Jewish. OK? And two grandchildren that are Jewish.


PAUL: And while Trump is getting his speech ready, others are planning a protest and one of them is Rabbi David Paskin. He joins us now.

Rabbi Paskin, thank you so much for being with us. I understand that you have gathered about 300 rabbis and other Jewish leaders. Does everyone plan to walk out when his speech begins?

RABBI DAVID PASKIN, LEADER, COME TOGETHER AGAINST HATE: Well, it was 300 back on Tuesday. Now it is up to 1,600. We have rabbis, cantors, Jewish community leaders, members of the Jewish community and friends.

And there are really three different things that are going to happen on Monday (INAUDIBLE). Some people are just going to choose to just absent themselves from his speech altogether. Others are going to be in the room while he's introduced and then as soon as he takes the stage silently politely stand up and walk out. And the third thing that is going to happen, the most important, is that we're all then going to gather outside of the hall and we're going to learn some sacred text about derech eretz, about common decency and about sinas chinam, senseless hatred, so that we can counter the message that we think he's offering.

PAUL: OK. So, this is the thing. Donald Trump is known to call out protesters at his rallies. Make a scene perhaps. What kind of reaction are you hoping to see from him?

PASKIN: I'm hoping that he accepts our protest and does not engage us, honestly. If he wants to engage in a respectful dialogue, I would be the first to sit down with him. But we are going to be very polite. We are all members of AIPAC. We're all participants in policy conference, the last thing we want to do is disrupt the conference. We just want to make sure that our voices are heard as well. And so we're going to --


PASKIN: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

PAUL: I'm sorry. I was just going to just said that you would sit down with him if he was willing. What would you want to say to him if you could do that?

PASKIN: Well first let me say I'm a little man on the totem pole. He's not going to sit down with me. And there are many people including the reform movement that have reached out to him. But I would say to him, Mr. Trump, you are in a position of tremendous power and with power, as we all know, comes responsibility and the rhetoric that you use and the choices that you make, and the violence that you incite, the language that you choose to use, it matters. Words matter.

In Jewish tradition we know that. The people of the book. And so I would ask him to reconsider, to think about the language he uses. Our protest is not against his policies or his politics. It is about the hateful speech that's become a cornerstone of his campaign.

PAUL: There are some politics though that have drawn ire of many Jewish leaders and this comment is an example of that. Let's take listen together here.


TRUMP: I think if we are going to ever negotiate a peace settlement I think it would be much more helpful is -- I'm a negotiator. If I go in I'll say, I'm pro Israel and I've told that to everybody and anybody that would listen. But I would like to at least have the other side think I'm somewhat neutral as to them so that we can maybe get a deal done.


PAUL: What was your reaction to that idea from Donald Trump and what would you say to him regarding that issue in particular?

PASKIN: Well, I think you're going to find Jews who don't like that answer and some Jews who do like that answer. Some people want an even playing field, other people want a strong support for Israel as people like Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton have suggested. At the end of the day they'll come together against hate campaign is not about his politics. It is really about his rhetoric. It's about us gathering together and accepting a diverse menu of political opinions but requiring that all of those political opinions and perspectives be shared in dignified and respectful ways. And that is what we expect from all of our presidential candidates.

PAUL: All right, 1,600 rabbis though we heard there. Who will react --

PASKIN: Sixteen hundred members -- not all rabbis but 1,600 people...

PAUL: Thank you.

PASKIN: ... and maybe thousands more.

PAUL: Thank you for the correction. I appreciate it.

Rabbi David Paskin, we appreciate you being here. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And still to come on your NEW DAY, it has been the forbidden fruit of the tobacco world, Cuban cigar, but that could change. Details on how President Obama's visit to Cuba today will help rejuvenate relations and build better businesses for Cuba.


[06:47:42] BLACKWELL: New this morning. President Obama heads to Havana. He's heading over this afternoon and Cuba is ready for this historic visit.

Mr. Obama will be the first sitting American president to visit the country since 1928. I think that was Calvin Coolidge. His wife, daughters and mother-in-law will travel with him. The first family will go on a walking tour of old Havana and then visit Havana Cathedral to meet the archbishop who was involved in the normalization of relations between the two countries. And there have been or may soon be, I should say, increased demand for Cuban cigars as the U.S. reopens relations with its neighbor to the south, but the Cuban tobacco industry may not be ready to meet all the demand.

PAUL: On today's episode of "THE WONDER LIST" Bill Weir heads to Cuba to talk money and tobacco.


BILL WEIR, CNN HOST: So what are your thoughts about maybe the end of the embargo with America?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Very good, very good. Very good for both countries, very good.

WEIR: But the demand for these (ph) will skyrocket. If Americans can suddenly buy your cigars, do you think you can keep up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think Cuba has the means to expand the tobacco market a lot in Cuba. It's got the means and good land which is the fundamental thing.

WEIR: Would you have to stop growing other crops?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No, we have a tobacco sowing system controlled by the government. Not controlled but laid out by the government. We can grow other things and tobacco as well.

WEIR (voice-over): But imagine if the government got out of the way entirely. Imagine the high end tourists who would flock to this place to taste his wares the way wine lovers sip and dine among the vines.

WEIR (on camera): You should have Americans come and taste your tobacco and have a little restaurant right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All right, we could do that in the next few months. That's no problem.


PAUL: Bill Weir joining us now from New York. The man with one of the best jobs in television.

WEIR: One of? The best job.

PAUL: Thank you so much for getting up early. I know it's an early one. WEIR: Of course.

PAUL: We're talking about how -- the fact that these commercial fights to Cuba are expected to resume this year.


Did you get the sense -- I mean, you talk to so many people there. Did you get the sense that Cuba is ready for an influx of American tourists?

WEIR: Well they are ready in attitude and open heartedness and curiosity. But just the pure physical state of the island, Christi, that's what really set me back even in Havana. Havana is so broken. They have to ration water. The infrastructure, the plumbing under the old city is so leaky.

And then you get out into the countryside, most of Cuban -- 80 percent of Cubans live very rural lives. They eat what they grow. And then that farmer there, you know, like he said. Sure, bring them on. But while he may have the soil and the rain and the sunshine to grow that leaf, they don't have the shipping infrastructure, the trucking, you know, the manufacturing facilities.

So what is so interesting. Is this forbidden island, and maybe we barely know is just trying to figure out what is possible. You know, they get two million visitors a year now. You know, Canadians, Europeans. Florida gets a hundred million. And they are about the same size geographically. So no other place on the planet is on the cusp of such seismic change which is why we wanted to go check it out and see how they're bracing (ph).

BLACKWELL: Hey, Bill, you mention the curiosity of the Cuban people but I wonder is there a tinge of suspicion as well? Because Cuba's leaders have a history of vilifying American leaders. You also mention open hearts. I mean, are they ready to trust Americans, trust American leaders with all (ph) -- I'm sure every person who goes over says, you know, there is a Marriott (ph) coming a share Starbucks coming. Are you ready for it?

WEIR: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Are they ready to trust?

WEIR: What's interesting is that all of the excitement and anticipation of perhaps the bloqueo, the blockade as they call it, the embargo coming down is tinged with this attitude that we hope our soul isn't sold in this process. And, you know, they really are proud of how their communities have had to band together and really the hardships since the revolution. And they don't want to become the next Cancun, you know, with a bunch of American strip mall type franchises popping up.

But what's interesting is maybe after the regime maybe after the Castro's (ph) the next regime says they will also demand 51 percent Cuban ownership. So if you're the CEO of Marriott (ph) or Starbucks are you going to take that deal, you know? Are you going to give majority ownership to a communist regime that really can't even keep the water running in Havana? So these are the kinds of questions that may delay what we think is just a boom that's going to happen any minute now. It may take longer than we think.

PAUL: Bill Weir, we are looking forward to seeing this tonight. Thank you so much.

WEIR: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Pleasure (ph) to have you Bill.

WEIR: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And do not miss cigars, big money, and Cuba tonight on a brand new season of "THE WONDER LIST." That's at 10:00 Eastern only on CNN.

PAUL: And coming up at the top of the hour, violence erupting at a Trump rally in Arizona. One of Trump's campaign managers under fire this morning after this video appears to show him grabbing a protester by his collar during the rally. All the details up at 7:00.



BLACKWELL: Before Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" Guzman was recaptured by authorities after fleeing from a Mexican prison he met with two famous actors while he was on the land. You remember that. And now we're hearing more details about that secret visit.

PAUL: Last October Hollywood star Sean Penn and Mexican telenovela actress Kate del Castillo flew to Guzman's secret mountain hide out. Now del Castillo says she didn't know prior to that trip that Penn wanted to interview Guzman for a controversial Rolling Stone article. She thought they were just going to produce a movie.

The three of them talked over dinner and drinks. Guzman is a big fan of del Castillo. And she said, he never threatened her now she wants the world to get to know him better. She tells CNN en Espanol she has specific reasons for speaking to Guzman.


KATE DEL CASTILLO, ACTRESS: I'm going to try and do my best telling the truth because that is what I'm here for.

You know, I want to tell the truth and I wanted to know the truth from Mr. Guzman. I want to know the truth from the government, the Mexican government, the American government. I want to know why the Americans are still the number one consumers. We are the providers. And what political role we are playing in all this, you know, both countries and I'm right in the middle and I'm living right now both situations. So I'm interested in many things. In how a little boy can turn out to be one of the biggest drug lords in the world because he cannot do it by himself. So I'm interested in knowing all those things.


BLACKWELL: Watch the full two-hour interview. It airs Friday on CNN en Espanol.

All right. Andy Scholes has walked up to the desk so we're talking basketball. But since these old busted brackets aren't worth much in college basketball. Let's talk NBA.

PAUL: Spurs and Warriors yes with (ph) anything else.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS: Everyone is looking forward to this matchup between Spurs and the Warriors. Both teams are actually undefeated at home right now, pretty incredible. You never see that in NBA season this far. And last night's game taking place in San Antonio from the get go you could tell what the Spurs' plan was in this one. Do whatever it took to keep Steph Curry from getting into the rhythm.

And mission accomplished Curry's worse game of the season for him. He went 1 for 12 from three-point land (INAUDIBLE) zero point in the fourth quarter. Finished with just 14. And again (INAUDIBLE) for the Spurs. They would end up winning this on 87-79. Spurs now 35-0 at home this season. The Warriors actually have not won a game in San Antonio since 1997.

PAUL: Wow.

SCHOLES: Pretty incredible.

All right.

Now, is the March Madness, eight teams are punching their tickets to the Sweet 16 on Saturday. The match up of the day featured two traditional powerhouses, Kentucky taking on Indiana. And the game was close until the Hoosier went on a 17-4 run and take a 10-point lead with four minutes to go. They were holding on to win 73-67 to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2012. And obviously the Kentucky fans are not very happy there. They were -- some were crying --


BLACKWELL: Crying into a saxophone.

SCHOLES: All right. Gonzaga is off to a Cinderella start in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs looked way better (INAUDIBLE) 11 seed (ph) last night. They rolled all over number three seed. Utah leading from wire to wire. Gonzaga (ph) just crashed the Utes 82-59 in the final (INAUDIBL) Bulldogs (INAUDIBLE) to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row. The first time they've done that 2001. And finally one seed North Carolina taking on (INAUDIBLE) Providence and the real battle on this one actually came in half time. School bands competed in epic dance off. Providence as you see here going mainly with twerking.

BLACKWELL: That twerking?


PAUL: Look at this -- look at this. Look at this one guy. One guy (INAUDIBLE).


SCHOLES: ... repertoire on hand. This guy is a star. He can make one shining moment. There you go Providence twerking once again.

But on the court and off the court Tar Heels win the dance-off and the game and a blow out, 85-66. They're going to take on Indiana on the Sweet 16 on Friday.

BLACKWELL: I feel like I know a good twerk and that was a twerk.


SCHOLES: I was reviewing the brackets.


SCHOLES: Christi has Virginia to win it all. And you have Kansas.


SCHOLES: You guys aren't out.