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Shooting at U.S. Capitol, Suspect in Custody; Trump & Cruz Bicker Ahead of Town Hall; Trump Stirs Controversy with 'America First' World View; New Raids, Urgent Manhunt for Brussels Suspects; Syrian Troops Recapture Key City from ISIS. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired March 28, 2016 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Capitol Hill shooting. Chaos in the Capitol Visitors Center as shots ring out. Frightened tourists run for safety. The suspect, shot by police, now in custody. We're getting new details.

[17:00:30] America first. Donald Trump generates huge controversy ahead of CNN's town hall, going into detail about his world view and promising that if he wins the White House, quote, "We will not be ripped off anymore." Are Trump's ideas realistic?

Big Apple brawl. New York's police commissioner rips into Senator Ted Cruz for suggesting police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods. New York's top cop says Cruz knows, quote, "absolutely nothing" about counterterrorism.

And man in white. Newly-released video shows the mysterious man walking next to the Belgium airport bombers. Who is he? Where is he now?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Let's get to the breaking news. We're now learning new information from the police about this afternoon's shooting inside the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. The suspect, a man, he's now in the hospital. Police shot him. A woman described as a bystander has been injured by shrapnel.

The gigantic U.S. Capitol complex went into lockdown. Police cars and ambulances rushed to the scene. Visitors and staff were told to shelter in place. That lockdown ended about an hour ago, but plenty of questions remain.

Our correspondents, analysts and guests, they have full coverage of the day's top stories.

Let's go right to Capitol Hill right now. Brian Todd is on the scene for us. First of all, Brian, tell us what the police are now saying.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, police are now saying this suspect is known to police from previous incidents here on Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill Police Chief Matthew Verderosa just briefed reporters, saying -- giving details about the incident, saying, "This is an act, we believe, of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before. There is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act."

The police chief did not give the suspect's name but did indicate that the suspect is known to police, because he has frequented the Capitol grounds before.

Other information that we just heard from the police chief: the suspect entered the Capitol Hill Visitors Center area, passed through a checkpoint. An alarm was set off. He drew a weapon. A Capitol Hill police officer then shot him. He is injured. He has been transported to the hospital. His condition is not known at this time.

Also, Wolf, a female bystander was wounded in this incident, but no law enforcement personnel were wounded.

But again, this just in from the Capitol Hill police chief, Matthew Verderosa. This was a single act, he said, a criminal act. No reason to believe it was terrorism, he said, or anything more than a criminal act. The suspect is known to police.

We also, one of our local affiliates caught up to a witness a short time ago who described the scene when the Capitol was locked down. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a bunch of military police coming up with guns. They were shoving us over to one side so they could run up. And then they took us. It seemed like a very long haul that they said was three levels below -- in the basement.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three sublevels in the basement. And they just basically had us stand there for, I don't know, 45 minutes.


TODD: And again, new information tonight. The breaking news: the Capitol Hill police chief, Matthew Verderosa, telling reporters that the suspect in this shooting was known to police. The police chief saying that he attempted to go through the metal detectors near the Capitol Visitors Complex. When that happened, he pulled out a weapon, and at that

moment Capitol Hill police officers fired on him and shot him.

He was transported to the hospital, Wolf. His condition is not known at this time. A female bystander, the Capitol Hill police chief, said she was about 35 to 45 years old. She was wounded by shrapnel in the incident, and her condition is also not known at this time, Wolf.

BLITZER: Quickly, Brian, did the Capitol Hill police chief say what kind of weapon it was and whether it was loaded? TODD: We pressed him on that, Wolf. He walked away very hurriedly.

We were all asking him that question, what kind of weapon it was and whether it was loaded. He was not ready to answer that at this time. He may not have that information at this time. His information just a moment ago at this news conference was very preliminary.

We also pressed him about a name of the suspect; and he could not answer that or did not want to answer that. What he did say was that the suspect was known to them.

BLITZER: So the only shots that were fired were by police officers on the scene to stop this guy from continuing, right? Did -- he actually never managed to fire a shot, is that right?

[06:05:01] TODD: From everything we know now, Wolf, he did not manage to fire a shot. He went through the metal detectors. He set off an alarm. He drew a weapon, and at that point, at least one police officer shot at him and wounded him. There is no information now that he discharged his weapon at all.

Again, that could change, because this is all very fluid. We don't have a name of the suspect yet. But as of now, no information that he actually discharged that weapon, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Brian, stand by.

Clearly, security extremely tight up on Capitol Hill right now, because of the already serious threat of terrorism. Heavily armed guards, they are everywhere here in Washington right now. Our senior political reporter, Manu Raju, covers Congress for us. He's joining us live.

Manu, you're up on the Hill all the time. This is something that they clearly worry about, someone coming with a weapon, trying to go through the magnetometers to enter the Capitol Hill Visitors Center.

MANU RAJU, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Wolf. Really, the Capitol Police have been increasingly preparing for things like this since 1998. That was the time when two police officers were actually shot in the Capitol complex. And since that time you have seen a really significant increase in police response to prevent these incidents from happening again. And of course, post- 9/11, that security was ratcheted up even further.

And the Capitol Visitors Center, as we should say, is where hundreds, if not thousands of tourists enter every single day and week to come and see the majestic building that is the United States Capitol. That entrance is right outside the Capitol building and actually across the street from the United States Supreme Court.

But throughout the Capitol, the law enforcement prepares for contingencies like this. There are actually drills that happen on a weekly basis. In fact today when Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana was meeting with mayor Merrick Garland, the Supreme Court nominee, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, that's when the drill, shelter in place drill went off earlier today, as that was happening, almost a few hours before they were actually sheltered in place, actually took place in the House and the Senate. Just shows how proactive law enforcement has been to protect against this type of incident.

So clearly, the law enforcement is preparing for this type of thing and, as we saw here, they reacted rather swiftly as soon as the shooter's -- the suspect's gun went off in that magnetometer, the police appeared to fire away; and that's where the suspect is right now, in the hospital under surgery, according to the police chief, Wolf.

BLITZER: And it was pretty frightening for everyone in Washington when we heard almost exactly the time of this lockdown up on Capitol Hill and shots were fired on Capitol Hill, Manu, at almost exactly at the same time we got word of a lockdown at the White House. And reporters, everyone else in the White House was told to stay in place, don't leave the West Wing of the White House, because apparently, someone tried to jump over the fence. But we had no idea if they were -- this was coordinated. But walk us through the sensitivity of what's going on here in Washington right now.

RAJU: Yes, that's right. What we're hearing from Secret Service is that actually it was not a fence jumper. Someone was actually trying to enter the White House separately, and that's what prompted that lockdown at the White House.

But it was not related at all to what's happening -- what happened in the Capitol. But as you said, it happened at about the exact same time. So it seemed that there was something that was related here. But it really just shows how on edge and how much precaution is taken by law enforcement, given the age that we're living in.

And also, I should note, this -- these precautions are taken even though members of Congress are actually on recess right now. Hardly anybody is in town on Capitol Hill other than staff members, but there are lots and lots of tourists traveling through the Capitol Visitors Center as we're in cherry blossom season.

And at the White House the Easter egg roll, the hunt was taking place today. A big day for tourists, which is the reason why you're seeing such an aggressive police presence as soon as any concern, including, of course, the suspect, the shooting that happened in the Capitol, but also this person who tried to enter the White House.

BLITZER: Yes. It was frightening, especially, I'm sure, for all those thousands, tens of thousands of tourists who are here in the nation's capital right now.

Manu, stand by. Joining us now in THE SITUATION ROOM, our senior law- enforcement analyst, the former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes; CNN law enforcement analyst, Art Roderick. He's a former assistant director of the U.S. Marshalls Office. And our chief political correspondent Dana Bash, who's covered Capitol Hill for many years.

Art, what's your take? Let me go to Tom first, your take on what happened today, because it looked like the centimeter worked as it was supposed to work.

ART RODERICK CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right, I think so. Someone tries to go through the magnetometers with a gun, it sets off the alarm. The police react as he draws the gun. And pretty much, the incident was over after they shot him.

So we don't know what his condition is or who the person is or whether this is a lone nut that frequently comes to the Capitol and causes problems. We'll learn that in the hours and possibly day ahead. But I think so far it's a pretty -- you know, almost a routine situation that somebody comes through there, and all the mechanisms that are designed to stop someone with a gun from getting in the Capitol worked.

BLITZER: But they still, Art, they still have to go through all the motions. That's why they have this massive lockdown. The lockdown didn't just take place in the main Capitol Hill building, but it took place in all the office buildings on the House side and the Senate side. They want to make sure that this particular incident isn't a cover for something that potentially be worse.

RODERICK: Yes. Exactly, Wolf. And I actually got a couple of texts from some friends of mine that were in lockdown on the Hill. And the Capitol police had come by and let them know the situation was stabilized but to remain locked down until they give the all-clear.

I think the key part here is, and the chief mentioned it, that this individual is known to them. And anybody that has done law enforcement security, you know, worked personal protection details. Unfortunately, you have individuals out there that are known to create disturbances or create these types of incidences, so they are known.

And that leads me to believe that probably what we have here is just a criminal act done by a psychologically unstable individual.

BLITZER: But you don't know that until you obviously...

RAJU: We don't know that.

BLITZER: ... investigate that.

Dana, what are you hearing from your sources -- because you're well- plugged-in up there -- about this individual who is obviously in the hospital right now?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you heard, that police chief didn't want to say much about this suspect. But apparently, the reason why the suspect is known to the police is because he was involved in an incident back in October of last year -- so October of 2015 -- where he was involved in a disturbance -- disruption, really, in the House chamber, and during that, he assaulted a police officer.

So that will certainly get you noticed by the Capitol police and get you on a list of somebody to look out for, so that is likely why they knew who this individual was so quickly. I should say that that is reporting -- that comes to us by way of our colleague, Peter Morris.

The other thing that I just want to add to what we heard at the top of the show about -- that you asked the question, Wolf, about what kind of gun was it and was it loaded? The one thing that the police chief did say is that they have the gun, which probably shouldn't be surprising, but, you know, you never know in these incidents, but they do have it. So we might not know the answers to those questions, but they certainly do.

BLITZER: Dana, we're just getting word, according to two law enforcement officials, the suspect in custody now is an individual named Larry Russell Dawson. And as you point out, he was pretty well known to Capitol Hill police because of other incidents in the past. Is that right?

BASH: That's exactly right. Now, I guess as you're saying, we probably got that information as I was speaking. We can use the man's name. But that's exactly right. He was known to the Capitol police.

But, you know, I just want to underscore, especially as somebody who, as you mentioned, for years I would walk and have walked through the doors of the Capitol. Not through the visitors center, because I have a press pass, but I've watched the whole security operation change so, so much, not just since 1998 when two police officers were shot and killed at the Capitol door, but more importantly since 2001.

The panel was talking about the shelter in place concept. Obviously, it was a quite different situation. But I was at the Capitol on 9/11, and the reaction was everybody evacuate. Everybody get out. So you had this mass exodus of people running out of the Capitol down onto the lawn, nobody knowing what was happening and everybody potentially being in even more danger being outside.

So the shelter in place idea to protect the people in the Capitol and the people outside the Capitol, that is one of the many things learned from such horrific incidents like 9/11. And there are security measures in place that didn't even come close to existing back then when that happened.

BLITZER: Quickly, Dana, I just want to point out to our viewers the suspect now in custody is an individual named Larry Russell Dawson, 66 years old from Tennessee. Court documents say he was involved in an incident, as you point out, back in October, 2005. He disrupted the House of Representatives chamber in that incident, according to documents.

He loudly stated to Congress he was, quote, "a prophet of God." So clearly, there's an issue there with this individual's mental status, if you will.

BASH: That's right. And I seem to remember that incident, because it was one of many times being in the Capitol there was a lockdown because -- because of that happening and because, you know, when there's a disruption of that magnitude while the House is in session -- and my memory is that the House was in session at the time -- you know, everybody stops, and the security measures go into place. So that is why he was known to law enforcement.

But I also just want to underscore the idea that -- that everything did work. You know, it is obviously unfortunate that a woman had to go to the hospital because of shrapnel, but the fact that the mag worked, set off by the gun; and even though this individual was clearly determined to use the gun or at least draw the gun, the police officers were so well-trained, they were ready to react in a split second, and that is something that we should not forget. It is so important and should be commended over and over again in a situation like this, where everybody wants and relies on buildings like the U.S. Capitol that really represent -- not to get too corny -- but represent freedom to continue to be so and to feel like they could be protected when they go into them.

BLITZER: All right, Dana, stand by. Everyone stand by. We're going to stay on top of the breaking news. We have much more. There's lots of other news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM, as well. Looking at live pictures up on Capitol Hill. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: We're going to continue to monitor the breaking news, the information coming in about this afternoon's shooting up on Capitol Hill, but we're also following important new developments in the race for the White House.

Ted Cruz this afternoon insisted he has no interest into going down into the mud, he said, with Donald Trump. In the senator's own words, who cares what Trump is tweeting late at night?

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is following the latest developments. She's joining us now from Wisconsin.

Sunlen, a week from tomorrow the primary in Wisconsin is shaping up as a crucial test to stop the Donald Trump effort, if you will. What is Cruz telling voters today?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very interesting. Tonight, you know, we've seen Donald Trump today, Wolf, really escalate this feud with Ted Cruz. He's threatening a lawsuit over delegate counts in Louisiana. This is a state that voted weeks ago; really showing how bitter and how intense their fight is. The two now battling it out over every delegate.


SERFATY (voice-over): Donald Trump accusing Ted Cruz of trying to steal delegates.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): He's trying to steal things, because that's the way Ted works, OK? The system is a broken system.

SERFATY: And threatening to sue, tweeting, quote, "I won the state of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz. Lawsuit coming."

Cruz today brushing it off.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I'm always amused when Donald doesn't know what to do and so threatens lawsuits.

SERFATY: Despite Trump's narrow win in Louisiana earlier this month, both he and Cruz won 18 pledged delegates, but there are ten delegates still up for grabs, five that belonged to Marco Rubio and are now free agents, and five that are unbound. "The Wall Street Journal" reports that Cruz is in a position to potentially pick up all ten, thanks to his campaign's organizational skill at the delegate selection process.

The delegate fight comes as Trump and Cruz continue their war of words over their spouses.

TRUMP: I didn't even know it was necessarily a very bad picture of her versus Melania.

SERFATY: Trump refusing to apologize for retweeting a photo of Heidi Cruz next to his wife, Melania.

TRUMP (via phone): He owes he an apology, because what he did was wrong. He sent out a picture to people in Utah...

CHARLIE SYKES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, actually, he didn't. And you know -- you know that he didn't. You know that it was a super PAC.

SERFATY: The exchange coming during a contentious interview with a conservative radio talk show host in Wisconsin who is opposed to his candidacy.

SYKES: Mr. Trump, before you called into my show, did you know that I'm a #NeverTrump guy?

TRUMP: That I didn't know.

SERFATY: Cruz, meanwhile, is blaming Trump for planting a salacious tabloid story about him but offering no evidence to back up his claim.

CRUZ: These are complete made-up lies. They're garbage, but you know, it's indicative of just how low Donald Trump will go.

SERFATY: A charge Trump rejects.

TRUMP: I had nothing to do with it. The campaign had absolutely nothing to do with it.

SERFATY: Meanwhile, Trump revealing more of his vision of the world. In a lengthy interview with "The New York Times," agreeing with the characterization that his positions could be described as "America first," saying, quote, "We're going to be friendly with everybody, but we're not going to be taken advantage of by anybody." A term he is already embracing.

TRUMP: My policy is America first.


SERFATY: And back on Trump's threat over delegate counts in Louisiana, the Louisiana GOP tells CNN tonight that those ten delegates are up for grabs. They are free. The rules are set, they say, and those delegates are free to decide who they want to cast their vote for. They say it is not up to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Sunlen. Thanks very much. Sunlen Serfaty reporting.

Joining us now in THE SITUATION ROOM, one of Donald Trump's key supporters, Scottie Nell Hughes of USA Radio Network.

Scottie, thanks very much for joining us. Should Donald Trump apologize over this whole war of wives as it -- as it's called for retweeting that tweet, making a sort of nasty reference to Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, USA RADIO NETWORK: Let me just point out anybody's picture compared to Melania Trump is probably going to not look so great.

But I think there's fault on both sides, within both campaigns, how they've handled this issue. And I think the sooner that both sides can get over to move on and get back to the policies like what we're talking about when it comes to Brussels, when it comes to national security, even these delegate counts right now, I think it's better for the GOP. It's better for both campaigns, because we actually have a bigger battle, I think, on our hands than the Republicans are estimating in regards to this delegate count when it comes to the convention.

[17:25:20] BLITZER: Do you think Donald Trump is going to stay away from engaging in this so-called war on wives down the road, given what's happened over the past few days?

HUGHES: I absolutely hope so, and I think he will. I think he's ready to move on, as that interview talked about earlier. You know, we keep talking about that the Republican women are starting to become less favorable towards Mr. Trump. Well, just because they're less favorable doesn't mean that they're not voting for, especially if the race goes up against Hillary Clinton.

[17:25:44] So I think the more that he moves on and focuses back on issues like immigration, like the economy, I think once again you'll see those poll numbers start to take off again.

BLITZER: I was surprised he granted an interview to that radio talk show host, Charlie Sykes, in Wisconsin. Sykes said, "Didn't you know I was a #NeverTrump kind of guy?" And Trump said he didn't know that. That seems to be a failure, at least in part, on his staff. Wouldn't you agree?

HUGHES: Why would that be a failure, Wolf? I mean, that's the thing. I go on media all the time, whether they're friendly or not, because I feel like I'm solid enough in what I'm saying and my facts and my figures. Mr. Trump is the same way. He's going to go on whether you're a friend or a foe.

Now, he's not going to go on and put himself in a situation where he's going to be ambushed, but on a case on one-on-one, why not go to those people that are your dissenters? And if you think that you might be able to actually have a good conversation with him, then I think it actually speaks to courage and credibility, rather than sitting there and going in your hole and not addressing the media.

Wolf, you know this. The media is either going to talk about you or going to talk to you. You might as well have a conversation with the media and not scare away from them.

BLITZER: No, I agree that he doesn't have a problem going out with people who are opposed to him, but he should have at least known the individual that he was granting an interview with had this attitude, don't you think?

HUGHES: Well, maybe -- they probably knew enough about it, but why sit there? I think that just shows that, regardless of whether he knows or not -- you know, we -- he said that he didn't know about the dump Trump, but I guarantee he probably knew that this was not a favorable. He was not going into a softball interview.

And I think -- you have to look at this dump Trump whole theory anyways. It's just a hash tag and a movement that's failing. It's just a hash tag. I think right now, anybody that identifies themself as a #dumpTrump is actually doing themselves a disservice. Because it's just a hashtag. It's not giving them specifics of why they do not like Mr. Trump.

BLITZER: All right, Scottie, thanks very much. Scottie Hughes joining us.

And coming up we also have new video of the mysterious man walking next to the Brussels airport bombers. What was his role in the attacks? Where is he now? Stay with us.


BLITZER: We're following important developments in the race for the White House, just one day before CNN's Republican town hall in Wisconsin.

[17:32:18] The front-runner, Donald Trump, generating some huge controversy right now by getting specific on his world view, which he sums up as "America first."

Joining us now in THE SITUATION ROOM, the former State Department senior advisor, Christian Whiton. He is part of Ted Cruz's national security coalition. Also joining us, our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin; our CNN political commentators Ana Navarro and Kevin Madden. To all of you, thanks for joining us.

Christian, let's talk about Trump's foreign policy interview, a very lengthy interview in "The New York Times." His bottom line is the United States is greatly in debt, the U.S. can't afford to be the world's police force, if you will. It's time for other countries to spend more money, rich countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, and let the U.S. taxpayers spend less. What's wrong with that concept?

CHRISTIAN WHITON, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SENIOR ADVISOR: Well, he goes a lot farther than just that. He talks about pulling out of NATO, about pulling out of...

BLITZER: He didn't talk about -- he didn't talk about -- he didn't talk about pulling out of NATO. He said reduce the U.S. investment in NATO. Let the other NATO allies start spending more of their GDP for NATO. He didn't say pull out of NATO.

WHITON: He previously indicated that that was a possibility in his sort of way of telling half-truths and throwing out crazy ideas and then backing up. You know, we are, first of all, not in Saudi Arabia. We don't defend Saudi Arabia, per se. They are an ally of ours, along with a number of others. We aren't in these places to necessarily defend them. We're there to defend the United States.

And it's important to note, put this in perspective. Japan pays $1.6 billion a year to defray the costs of keeping U.S. forces there. South Korea also makes a big contribution. NATO, unfortunately, does have a serious problem. They don't meet their own commitment to spend 3 percent of GDP on the military, but you're seeing a little bit of a turnaround there. Poland is spending more. Britain is stopping its drawdown. I don't want to necessarily defend the stinginess of these countries, but if you want to accomplish anything in the world, if you want to get information on terrorists, if you want to stop threats before they come to the United States, then you need allies to do that.

Trump's policy is basically to give a big middle finger to all of our allies and call them cheapskates while he cozies up to Vladimir Putin.

BLITZER: Well, he makes a fair point, though, that these other countries don't spend the percentage of their GDP on defense, on military equipment, for example, that the United States spends. That is, hold on for a moment, because I want Jeffrey Toobin to weigh in also.

He also said something else very controversial, basically suggested Americans aren't safe in Europe right now in the aftermath of Paris and Brussels. Listen to this, Jeffrey.


TRUMP: I don't think America is a safe place for Americans, you want to know the truth. I don't think England or I don't think that Europe is a safe place. No, I don't. I think there are a lot of problems in Europe that are very, very severe.

[17:35:01] But neither is the United States a safe place, because we're allowing thousands of people to come in here. Nobody knows where they're from. Nobody knows who they are. And they're coming in here by the thousands. And let me tell you something: we're going to have problems just as big or bigger than they've got.


BLITZER: Jeffrey, what's your reaction to that?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's consistent with Trump's entire campaign message, which is that everything is falling apart. We always lose. The world is a more dangerous place. The economy is a disaster. So this is the foreign version of that.

Now, it is not true that thousands of people are coming, and we don't know who they are. Illegal immigration is down. But his message is certainly consistent, inside the United States and on -- outside the country, as well.

BLITZER: When he says Europe isn't safe, Kevin, the State Department last week itself suggested Americans be very cautious in going to Europe right now: avoid tourist attractions, restaurants, sporting events. That travel advisory that was released the other day was pretty scary.

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. And I think there is a genuine anxiety amongst the American public, and I think that is something that Donald Trump has -- has sought to tap into. He realizes that Americans don't feel like we are as safe as we should me or could be, and so therefore, I think he oftentimes -- oftentimes offers a very stinging critique of the current administration and then very -- you know, very sharply lays out what he thinks is wrong.

But I think where Trump's skeptics and Trump critics are right is that he doesn't offer a whole lot in the way of details; and also, he doesn't offer a whole lot in the way of reality.

BLITZER: Let me get Ana Navarro to weigh in, as well. Ana, a week from tomorrow, a very big contest, a primary in Wisconsin. What does this mean for Trump and Cruz and Kasich, for that matter, who comes in first?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is a really big primary. It's a very important one. Frankly, if Donald Trump wins, he is that much closer to being the Republican nominee. He is that much closer to achieving the 1,237 delegates he needs not to be into a brokered convention.

The polls are very tight right now amongst the three. The last polls I saw have all of them in the 20s, middle to high 20s. So it is a close race. We don't know what's going to happen.

The other thing, Wolf, is that it is a state where three of the top Republicans in the country hail from. You've got Scott Walker, the governor. You've got Reince Priebus, the chair of the RNC. And you've got Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, who are all from Wisconsin. All have remained neutral. But we have seen Paul Ryan condemn some of the things that Donald Trump has said regarding Muslim and other things. We expect Scott Walker may make an endorsement in the next few days.

So it's going to be interesting to see that, even though he's clearly not the preferred choice of any of those three prominent Wisconsin Republicans, how does Donald Trump do in Wisconsin.

And as you know, momentum begets momentum. If he wins in Wisconsin, it is a big get for him.

BLITZER: All right, guys. Everyone stand by. A quick reminder to all of our viewers: the final three Republican presidential candidates face the voters in Wisconsin tomorrow night, one week before that state's crucial primary. Please be sure to watch as Anderson Cooper moderates the CNN Republican presidential town hall. That's tomorrow, 8 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

Coming up, we're also getting some new details about this afternoon's frightening incident up on Capitol Hill. A man drew a gun. Police shot him. We're now -- we now know who he is. We're learning more about his troubled past.

Also ahead, new video of the mysterious man in white walking right next to the Brussels airport bombers. Where is he now? Stay with us.


[17:43:25] BLITZER: Investigators in Belgium are combing through newly-released footage from the Brussels Airport bombing. The video could lead to new clues about the identity of the surviving attacker and where he might be hiding right now.

Let's bring in our experts. Our national security analyst, Peter Bergen, is joining us. Our senior law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director, still with us and our CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd, a former counterterrorism official with the CIA.

Peter, Belgian authorities, as you know, they released a suspect named Faisal C., they called him, who was arrested last Thursday, was thought to -- thought to be the escaped airport bomber. But they're having a lot of difficulty finding intelligence on this individual named the man in white. We've seen the still pictures. We now see the video. Why are they having such a tough time finding this guy?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's tough to tell, Wolf, but if you look at the totality of what the Belgian authorities and law enforcement have done in this case, I mean, it's like the Keystone Kops. Abdeslam, the person who was of great interest in the Paris attacks, was found living around the corner from where he grew up.

When they finally arrested him four days before the Brussels attacks, they didn't ask him the most basic investigative question, which is what attacks are in the offing? Instead, they focused on the history of the Paris attacks. So, you know, it's not entirely surprising that they're having problems finding this guy. BLITZER: Tom, that is so shocking. You've worked with foreign law

enforcement authorities. You get a guy like this, the first question has got to be what's in the works?

FUENTES: Right. The problem is, though, that they don't have enough background on these individuals to really do an effective interrogation. They can't match up situations from the past or past colleagues that they knew ten years ago.

[17:45:06] And when they lack that kind of intelligence, any interview or interrogation is going to be extremely weak, the subject is going to see through it and cooperate, not give the information.

BLITZER: Are these Belgian authorities that incompetent?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I can't figure this one out, Wolf. I mean, look, there's a couple of easier questions here you've got to ask yourself. The first as Peter mentioned, the question out of the box for Abdeslam is not only, is there something in the offing but where are the people who are staging that next operation? The fact that he's not cooperating is why he haven't identified this guy. He should be able to say right off the bat this is who he is.

But also they should have a picture, as Tom suggests, of this investigation that would allow them to say there's a couple of unidentified people on the fringes. This is one of them, we think his name was in an e-mail a month ago. The fact that they don't have that picture is remarkable.

BLITZER: Here's what worries a lot of people, Phil, that ISIS seems to be losing some ground in Syria and Iraq right now, Palmyra, the ancient town, retaken by Syrian forces, Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by Russian airstrikes. The fear is, though, that now ISIS may move some of its activities to Europe, for example, maybe even to the United States to show they're still relevant.

MUDD: That's right, the fear is appropriate but it suggests to me that ISIS is weakening. A year and a half ago when we're talking, for example, about beheadings, this is ISIS announcing itself to the world, saying we're the biggest players on the block and you can't stop us. Now a year and a half later, what you're seeing is ISIS on the defense and saying, we want to avenge Western strikes because they're damaging us so heavily in Iraq and Syria, and for vengeance, we're going to strike in Brussels. It's a big transition that shows success.

BLITZER: Peter -- do you agree, Peter?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Absolutely. I mean, I do think that -- you know, that the likelihood of them being able to attack the United States directly is very low. We've seen no Americans trained by ISIS coming back to this country. We've seen many hundreds go into Europe. So certainly, you know, what we've seen in Paris and Brussels can be kind of a persistent, you know, medium level threat in Europe for the foreseeable future. BLITZER: All right, guys, stand by because we have more news coming

in, breaking news. We're going to update you on the shots that have been fired up on Capitol Hill. A suspect is now in custody. We have new information.


[17:51:40] BLITZER: Now to the war against ISIS on the ground in Syria and Iraq. The terrorists losing control of some critical territory after Syrian troops rolled in and recaptured an historic city.

Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more on that. The role of U.S. forces in the next big battle.

Barbara, what are you seeing right now?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, ISIS is losing some ground in both Syria and Iraq, but tonight U.S. forces are focusing their efforts on some key areas, and all of it indeed could lead to more U.S. troops headed to Iraq.


STARR (voice-over): Syrian government forces have retaken that historic city of Palmyra from ISIS. Important ground for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hold against ISIS if he wants to regain control.

U.S. Special Operations forces have their own secret campaign against ISIS leaders. The killing of Mustafa al-Qaduli, ISIS' finance minister, the second senior leader in Daesh. Omar the Chechen, the so-called minister of war, also killed by the U.S.

ASH CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We are systematically eliminating ISIL's cabinet.

STARR: Much of the secret action is taking place in one particular area, the corridor between ISIS' stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq and the town of Tal Afar is now a critical focus for coalition airstrikes with ISIS now moving large amounts of personnel, equipment and money between the two.

The first goal, get Mosul, Iraq's second largest city in the north, back from ISIS. This, Marine Corp Firebase Bell, the front line in the coming U.S. effort to get Mosul back. CNN has obtained the first images from the fire base, a precarious Marine position. Marines have fired dozens of artillery shells to defend themselves and protect Iraq forces. The Pentagon insists it's not a new ground combat mission.

GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: This is not a fundamental shift in our approach to support Iraqi forces. This is no different than what we have been delivering.

STARR: Sunday, ISIS fired two more rockets at the base. LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: That's a continuous

threat in Iraq is being under some type of rocket or mortar barrage from anywhere you are.

STARR: Staff Sergeant Louis Cardin killed in an initial attack after the base was established was returned to his family. The full assault on Mosul may be months off, even as airstrikes continue and Iraqis move through nearby villages. But before the assault can begin, the White House has to make a decision that has been on hold for weeks, sending hundreds of additional U.S. troops as trainers and advisers.

DUNFORD: We have a series of recommendations that we will be discussing with the president in the coming weeks.


STARR: So hundreds of additional troops on the table to go to Iraq. How many troops are actually there right now? Well, the official Pentagon number about 3700. But unofficially Pentagon officials will tell you the real number, closer to 5,000. They have hundreds and hundreds of troops serving in Iraq on a so-called temporary bases. They are not counted. Those Marines not counted in the total -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Barbara, thanks very much.

Coming up, we're getting new details about this afternoon's shooting incident up on Capitol Hill. Police shot the gunman who's now in surgery.

[17:55:07] Also, Donald Trump generates new controversy just before he takes questions at CNN's town hall.


BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. Shots fired. The U.S. Capitol goes into lockdown spreading fear during one of the busiest times for tourists here in Washington. I'll ask the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee what he's learning.

Plus terror manhunt. Police released video of the suspected third bomber at the Brussels airport. And then free a man originally thought to be involved in the attack.

And lawsuit threatened. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz now have more to argue about besides their wives. Tonight there's a dispute over delegates and Trump says he's going to sue.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.