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Belgium Warns of Another Possible Attack; Trump Gives Two Answers on Israel Solution; Media's Role in the Rise of Donald Trump. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 27, 2016 - 07:30   ET




[07:31:30] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Are you're ready for a news alert?


We just won the state of Washington!



ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: And it was a big night for Bernie. Bernie Sanders there breaking the news of his big win in Washington to some very happy supporters last night.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Sanders swept all three Democratic caucuses on Saturday, including wins in Hawaii and Alaska. The race now moves to Wisconsin. Democrats and Republican wills hold primary next Tuesday.

All but four of the 28 people -- changing gears now to what's happening in Belgium. All but four of the 28 people killed in Tuesday's attacks have been identified. Among them are Justin and Stephanie Shults of Tennessee. They were at the airport when those two bombs went off.

Meanwhile, we have new video of the Algerian man caught in Italy and suspected of helping those terrorists.

Michael Holmes joins us live from Brussels.

Michael, we know that -- as you talk about this video, we know that there was this peace march that was scheduled to happen today in Brussels, called off because of fear of another attack. Do we know if authorities have or are they saying whether or not they have solid intelligence that another attack is imminent?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. I'll tell you about that. The police say basically they have got so many officers out on patrols and out securing the city. And also involved in trying to catch the people who were still at large, that they just didn't have enough officers to try to secure that march.

And so, you know, ironically, you've got a march designed to show defiance to terrorists and send a message of the people want to speak out, called off because of fears brought about by those very terrorists.

I want to bring you up to date on a couple of the suspects who have been rounded up likely. Now, this man you mentioned, Faycal C., now he has been charged with terrorist murder. And also being a member of a terrorist group.

Now, he was arrested outside of the office of the Belgian prosecutors, what he was doing there we don't know already. He was known as the militant activist. Campaigned for extremist causes and had done time for criminal activity. It is fair to say he was no angel before his arrest.

I want to tell you about another suspect now. You remember the man who was shot at the tram station on Friday. And then remember the arrest of a man in France who was said to be in the advanced planning stages of an operation.

Well, that man in Paris is now being linked with the man who was shot at the tram stop here in Brussels. So, you can see this web that is developing, these suspects that have been brought together and picked up and then linked to each other.

You mention the Algerian man and the video of him. What we know about him is that he was picked up in Italy in the southern city of Salerno actually on suspicion of being part of the network producing fake residency documents linked to the Brussels attack. But get this: he was already wanted in Belgium in connection with the Paris attacks.

So, a significant arrest there, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Michael Holmes from Brussels there. Michael, thanks so much.

KOSIK: Syrian media today reporting that government forces have recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS militants.

[07:35:04] The site is revered as home to some of the world's oldest and best preserved ruins which ISIS destroyed its time in the city.

So, let's get more insight into this and what it means in the biggest campaign against ISIS. CNN military analyst Mark Hertling joining us live from Orlando.

Thanks for coming on the show today.

Before we talk about Syria, let's talk about the situation in Brussels. How concerned are you that as we see the threat level go from four to three in Belgium, that there are other terror attacks being plotted at this moment?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, certainly, very concerned, Alison. First of all, good morning and happy Easter.

The second thing I'd say on attacks in Europe, we're going continue to see the disconnects between transfer of intelligence between various countries and the ability to fight the terrorist network across Europe. Not just in Belgium but in other countries there.

I think we'll continue to see certainly the planning for and hopefully the stoppage of any execution of attack. But the cells are there. So, the police and the various security and intelligence forces of Europe have to continue to be a very long time. This has been something that's a been brewing for quite a while and I think we're going to see the aftereffects of all of these plotting and networking that's been happening over the last several years.

KOSIK: All right. Let's talk about the significance of Palmyra being taken from ISIS. First of all, can Syrian forces even hold on to it?

HERTLING: Well, it's a great question and I'd say, first of all, Alison, it's not just Syrian forces. The Syrian forces have had a significant amount of support from Russian air power. By the way, the same Russian air power that we were told my Mr. Putin several weeks ago was leaving the country. Just this week alone, there have been 40 airstrikes conducted by Russian aircraft over the city of Palmyra, and specifically over the district of Homs, which the Syrian government desperately wants to take back.

While the emphasis today will be on the fact that Syrian forces are in Palmyra, the ancient city with all the antiquities, which you have to do when you look at the map, is see the importance of Homs, where Palmyra is on the eastern outskirts. This is a critically important strategic hub not only of railways but communication and resupply for other places within Syria.

So, where as the Syrian government maybe saying this is a great victory to regain this town of antiquities, the UNESCO site, what they're really attempting to do is consolidate their gains over the last several months with the help of Russian forces to get to other places to squash the insurgency.

KOSIK: But with ISIS being pushed out of Palmyra, is there a concern that ISIS could become more emboldened, because they're not only losing territory in Syria, they're losing territory in Iraq too. Is ISIS going to feel more emboldened to take riskier moves, to commit even more atrocities, more terror attacks in something maybe we can't even think about at this moment to show that their powerful?

HERTLING: Yes, I think you're going to see certainly ISIS is going to attempt to keep up their propaganda, but it will not be in Syria and Iraq, because they are losing forces there, they are losing territory, their fighters have started to flee, they're losing their financial network and many of their leaders have killed.

So, you'll see that transfer to other places, specifically going back to your very first question about Belgium, specifically Europe. They are looking to expand their caliphate or their brand all over the world. We have seen that and many intelligence sources have said that we're not just going to see them in Iraq and Syria, but you're going to see the expansion in Africa and other parts of the Middle East, in Europe, and perhaps they are going to attempt to get into North America as well with some types of attacks.

KOSIK: And the key is here for authorities to be more proactive than reactive. Something that we're sensing that is happening here.

HERTLING: Yes, certainly that's true. I think what you have seen in the United States, there's very good intelligence sharing between states and the federal government. There's very good protection on our ports and entry ways, but in Europe, with over 40 countries in Europe speaking 70 different disconnect between federal officials, local and state officials within Europe, you are going to have some challenges sharing that information across the various countries within the European land mass.

KOSIK: All right. General Mark Hertling, thanks so much for your analysis today.

HERTLING: Thank you, Alison.

KOSIK: Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Alison.

Still to come: what many voters have been waiting for -- Trumps views on foreign policy. The answer he gave to a question on Israel in the morning and the different answer he gave later that day to the same question. Also, Trump says he will beat Hillary Clinton, he said it many times. How he's responding now, just in the last few hours to polls that say he won't.


[07:43:20] BLACKWELL: Forty-three minutes after the hour now.

Donald Trump is making headlines this morning over a wide ranging interview on foreign policy with "The New York Times." In it, Trump gave two pretty different answers when asked whether he would seek a two-state or one-state solution in Israeli.

In the morning part of the interview, Trump responded, and this is a quote, "I'm not saying anything. What I'm going to do is, you know, I specifically don't want to address the issue because I would love to see if a deal could be made." Then, in the evening portion he said this, "Basically, I support a two-state solution but the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel's right to exist as the Jewish state."

To discuss, we're joined by CNN politics digital reporter Eric Bradner.

Eric, good to have you back. And, you know, it was important enough to Donald Trump turned to a

teleprompter at AIPAC, because he knew, the campaign knew he had to get that right. And now with this conversation with "The New York Times", it seems to be maybe vacillating here?

ERIC BRADNER, CNN POLITICS DIGITAL REPORTER: Right. Donald Trump -- it was fascinating to see him use a teleprompter by the way, because he had spent a full year campaign trail bashing them over and over and over.

But, yes, he has the salesman-like quality to never quite commit to anything. He always sort of walks up to the edge and then walks back and then throws his hands up and says it doesn't matter, because what Trump is presenting is strength, is this idea that he can lead via his credibility, by channeling his competency into good deal-making, even if he isn't really laying out the prompts of what those deals would be. This is a trickier subject than a lot of the issues he's addressed.

[07:45:01] It's tougher than immigration where he can just sort of promised to build a wall and say, well, Mexico will pay for it because I'll find a way to make them pay for it. So, yes, he's trying to navigate choppy waters here, and he's taken some blowback. But just like anything else of Trump, policy inconsistencies or refuses to get too specific doesn't seem to really hurt him. It doesn't turn his supporters off.

BLACKWELL: You bring up deal-making. That's a central part, according to this "New York Times" article in this discussion, a central part of his foreign policy approach, which countries have been friendly to the U.S.? What these countries can offer, if they've got some money, some skins, some troop deployments in this gain?

BRADNER: Right, right, absolutely. I mean, he's -- you have seen him talk about relationships in terms of how he's addressed Putin. I mean, going back to that "60 Minutes" appearance and a how they had a chummy set of exchanges there for a while.

A lot of what he's offering is again the sense of capability, credibility, competency. Looking for, you know, just like any deal. He's looking for other countries to sort of have something to offer. He doesn't want the United States to be sort of leading the world and carrying the entire burden.

So, I talked about NATO too and backing the United States backing its role out of NATO which really led to him taking fire on the campaign trail.

BLACKWELL: Yes, a lot of criticism this week. I want to turn some of the tweets in the polls this. Polls showing that Donald Trump is not going to do as well against Hillary Clinton as he says he will on the campaign trail. He says, "Don't believe the FOX News poll. There's just another phony hit job on me. I will beat Clinton easily in the general election."

You don't have to look at the FOX News poll along. The CNN poll found that Clinton leads Trump 53 to 41. Monmouth poll found Clinton ahead 48 to 38. Bloomberg found the former secretary of state 54 to 36 for Trump. What's going on here?

And more importantly, does this matter to Trump supporters?

BRADNER: Well, for Trump himself, you know, you live by the poll, you die by the poll. He loves talking about his numbers in the Republican contest. And so, now, it is sort of inconvenient that poll after poll after poll is showing this.

His supporters don't seem to care because they buy his argument that he has not yet turned his ire towards Hillary Clinton. He hasn't really hit her hard what.

What's fascinating that polls also show these are two of the most unpopular potential nominees in modern U.S. political history. Donald Trump's unfavorable ratings among the general electorate are sky high. Hillary Clinton's are high enough to be alarming. And so, it really sort of portends to a negative general election where both of these candidates would be trying to just drive the other ones' unpopularity, you know, sky high.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and bring each other down. That's pretty much the case for most in the candidates who are still in the race.

Eric Bradner, always good to have you on the show.

BRADNER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, of course, Israel, South Korea, North Korea, Japan, which are discussed in this "New York Times" article will be the topic of discussion when CNN hosts the three remaining Republican candidates Tuesday for a town hall in Milwaukee. Donald Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz all there for the primetime event moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper. It's Tuesday 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

KOSIK: Also ahead on NEW DAY, oh, more on Donald Trump. But we're going to be asking this question: did the media contribute to his rise? Before you answer, we're going to bring in our media expert to weigh in.


[07:52:26] KOSIK: Donald Trump began his presidential campaign unlike anything we've seen in quite some time. You will probably remember this -- the billionaire businessman entering the race for the White House by riding down in an escalator in Trump Tower. Amid the media frenzy, Trump announced his presidential bid.

Joining me now, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES", coming up at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Brian Stelter.

So, your show today, Brian, examining the media and its impact on the rise of Donald Trump.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we wanted to go in depth on this. You know, we're so far into this election season that art is now imitating life. If you've been watching the current season of "Scandal" on ABC, one of the biggest shows in the U.S., there's a character who's a brass millionaire who's trying to become the Republican nominee for president and he's rising in the polls and getting in the debates. So, we're already at the point now where it's coming into fiction.

But in the nonfiction world, we're trying to take a look at not just the quantity of coverage. We know there's been a ton of coverage of Trump but the quality of coverage, because in the real world, it's only been until recently that there's been a concerted effort by big news organizations to really examine why Trump receive so much support.

So, we're calling on the "RELIABLE SOURCES" this morning the disconnect, the disconnect between some of the press coverage and some of the public support for Trump, and what I have been seeing lately, you have probably been seeing this too, more and more self-assessments or self-reflective pieces by journalists.

This morning in "The New York Times" by Nick Kristof that we can highlight, I think we can share some of it on the screen, he goes to a number of reasons why he thinks the media both helped make Trump but then missed Trump support. He says, "We were largely oblivious to the pain among working class Americans and thus didn't appreciate how much his message resonated. Media elites rightly talk about our insufficient racial, ethnic and gender diversity, but we also lack economic diversity. We inhabit a middle class world and don't adequately cover the part of America that is struggling and seething. We spend so much time talking to senators, not enough to the jobless."

Now, I think there's some truth to that statement. We're going to dig more in detail on that on "RELIABLE SOURCES" today. Certainly, there's been a lot of impressive coverage of Trump and of Bernie Sanders on the flip side. But too often, too much of his support was dismissed early on. So, that's what we'll be exploring.

KOSIK: Yes. As you said, this should be an interesting special. The media certainly wrote him off at the beginning. Not writing him off anymore.

Brian Stelter, thanks so much.

STELTER: That's right. Thanks.

KOSIK: And again, make sure that you catch Brian Stelter's "Trump and the Media" special on "RELIABLE SOURCES". That's at 11:00 a.m. Eastern today, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: An American airlines co-pilot has been detained on suspicion of being drunk.

[07:55:04] The shocking details, that's coming up next.

Plus, Colombian health officials are investigating 41 cases of microcephaly that could possibly be linked to the Zika-virus. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KOSIK: Here's a look at other stories making headlines now.

BLACKWELL: Coming up at the top of the hour.

According to new e-mails released by the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Ash Carter continued to use a personal e-mail server months after criticism erupted over Hillary Clinton's use of one. Carter has since apologized. He also said he never used the personal server to transmit classified information.

KOSIK: An American Airlines flight from Detroit to Philadelphia had to be cancelled after the co-pilot allegedly failed a breathalyzer test administered by airport police. He was taken into custody, though, before boarding the plane. The passengers on that flight were rerouted.

BLACKWELL: For the first time, health officials in Colombia have announced they are investigating a link between the Zika virus and 41 cases of the birth defect microcephaly. Colombia has the second highest rate of Zika cases in South America, right behind Brazil.

KOSIK: Oh, it was upset Saturday in the NCAA tournament as both top seeds go down. Oregon crushed by Oklahoma 80-68, and Kansas losing to Villanova, 64-59. The Jayhawks tried to tie it up in the final seconds but ended up turning over the ball.

Thanks so much for starting your morning with us. And happy Easter.

BLACKWELL: Enjoy this Sunday.

"INSIDE POLITICS" starts right now.