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New Poll: Clinton, Sanders Neck-and-Neck in Wisconsin; Battle for Wisconsin: Cruz Takes 10-Point Lead; Source: Plans Found on Computer Likely Linked to Bombers; Trump Reverses Course on Punishing Women Who Get Abortions; White House on Trump Campaign Manager: "Completely Unacceptable"; New Poll: Clinton, Sanders Neck-and-Neck in Wisconsin. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 30, 2016 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. A stunning reversal for Donald Trump after saying women who have abortions should be punished. He's now doing a 180. What damage is been done?

Plus, calls going latter for Trump to fire his campaign manager. Can the frontrunner afford to stand by his man? And it's neck and neck for Clinton and Sanders in Wisconsin. A new poll tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Donald Trump raising a firestorm of controversy late today over abortion. The GOP frontrunner tonight scrambling to explain his initial response to a controversial question. The question is, whether abortion should be completely banned. So, if it is completely banned, the question was, should women who have an illegal abortion be punished?

Well, Trump, after a lot of pressing, initially said there should be some punishment for the woman, setting off a wave of criticism from Democrats and Republicans. With an hour, Trump's campaign means stunning reversal issuing a statement saying, and I quote, "The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon the woman would be held legally responsible not the woman." The woman is the victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed. Ted Cruz firing back after Trump's about face saying, once again Donald Trump has demonstrate he hasn't seriously thought through the issues.

Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT tonight covering the Trump campaign tonight in Appleton, Wisconsin. Jim, you know, sort of a stunning day how quickly this developed under all that pressure. Donald Trump finally saying, yes, the woman would be punished, and then having to do a very big reversal.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. And this is potentially very damaging for Donald Trump. After all, the Wisconsin primary is just a few days away. This is a state where conservative Catholics are going to be a very crucial voting block. And as you've mentioned, Donald Trump carved out a very hardline position on abortion that was even rejected by groups that opposed abortion rights. And only to walk it back hours later. His comments came during an interview with MSNBC earlier today when he said women who undergo abortion should be punished if the procedure were ever made illegal. Here's more of what he had to say in that interview.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST, "HARDBALL": Should the woman be punished for an abortion?


MATTHEWS: This is not something you can dodge. If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal it with under the law. Should abortion be punished?

TRUMP: Well, people in certain parts of the Republican Party would say, yes, they should.

MATTHEWS: Do you believe for punishment for abortion? Yes or no. It's a principle.

TRUMP: The answer is that, there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: To the woman?

TRUMP: Yes. There has to be some form.

MATTHEWS: How many years?

TRUMP: That I don't know.

MATTHEWS: Why not?

TRUMP: I don't know!

MATTHEWS: You take positions on everything else.

TRUMP: I do take positions on everything else. It's a very complicated position.


ACOSTA: And then Donald Trump did that complete 180. Something we don't see very often from the GOP frontrunner. He released a statement saying, it's the doctors that should be punished in that scenario where abortion were made illegal, not women. But Erin, that came moments after the Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks released a statement saying, that this is an issue that should be left for the states. And so, it was evolution after evolution, reversal, a shift on this very hot button topic throughout the course of this afternoon. And this were candidate who once describe himself as very pro-choice back in 1999.


ACOSTA: As you saw the condemnations were coming in very swift. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich all slammed it. And Donald Trump did something that many candidates cannot do and he united essentially the pro-abortion rights side with the anti-abortion rights side in saying that Trump's comments were wrong. There's no other way to describe this. This was a gaffe today for Donald Trump.

BURNETT: It was and he had to come out and correct it. Something again, he does not like to do and does not often do. Thank you Jim Acosta.

And OUTFRONT now, former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson who has endorsed Donald Trump for president. Dr. Carson, you know, you just heard the exchange involving Donald Trump. You've heard his clarification coming out now and saying the abortion provider would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim. What do you make of that clarification?

DR. BEN CARSON (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, as I've said before, I agree that the woman is the victim. She's traumatized emotionally in and in many other ways and that's problematic. In terms of who should be punished, that woman has already been punished. But if it has become illegal, then obviously the person performing the abortion is the person who is breaking the law. And determination needs to be in made in terms of whether that's a civil penalty or something more severe and whether that requires, you know, a fine or rather it requires something more severe. Those are all things that would have to be worked out if we ever came to a point where it became illegal.

[19:05:14] BURNETT: So, Donald Trump though, this all happened in the space of just a couple hours this afternoon. You know, first, he said the woman. Then he said, no, not the woman. The abortion provider. The woman is a victim. Can a president reverse himself so quickly on such a fundamental issue?

CARSON: Well, bear in mind I don't believe that he was warned that that question was coming, and I don't think he really had a chance to really think about it. That happens very frequently. And, you know, what you develop with experience is how to answer that in a way that is not definitive. You know how politicians are. He hasn't really learned that because he's not a politician, but he has now had time to come back and think about it and to talk with his people about it and come up with a more rational and informed-type of answer.

BURNETT: So, of course, when he first came out saying the woman should be punished, he was resoundly criticized by John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders. Then when he issued this clarification, Ted Cruz came out with a statement in response to that. And he said, quote, "Once again, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn't seriously thought of the issues and he'll say anything just to get attention." Now, you just said, the sense, sort of -- like in one level you agreed with this that he hadn't had time to think through it and that's why he said what he said originally. But do you think Ted Cruz has a point, that Ted Cruz is right here?

CARSON: Well, I would only be surprised if one of the contestants had something nice to say about the other's response. You know, that is politics. And any time you get an opportunity to throw a jab at your opponent, you know, they do so. That was not my philosophy when I was running, but that's the philosophy of most of them.

BURNETT: You know, in the past, all of them have pledged to support the eventual nominee. You were on that list. You eventually when you dropped out of the race, decided to endorse Donald Trump. But now in the first 24 hours, here on CNN all of them refused to commit to that pledge, refused to commit to backing the eventual Republican nominee. Should they reconsider?

CARSON: Well, they need to start thinking about, you know, the Republican Party, the Republican brand, and what happens if they, as people in leadership positions, take positions that help to destroy the unity in the party. What are the consequences of that? And you know, I'm sure that a lot of people on the other side are absolutely delighted to see this. I mean, they couldn't wish for this and their wildest dreams, but at some point the republicans have got to stop this self-destructive behavior, which they always seem to engage in no matter how much of an advantage they have the final way to snatch the feet from the jaws of victory.

BURNETT: So, they've got to stop the self-destructive behavior, I mean, but it continues. Donald Trump said last night here on CNN, he doesn't care if Ted Cruz would support him. And here's exactly how Donald Trump put it.


TRUMP: I don't want him to have him be tormented. Let me just tell you, I don't want his support. I don't need his support.


BURNETT: Nearly six million people have cast votes for Ted Cruz already, Dr. Carson. Can Trump really afford to tell Cruz and his supporters he doesn't care, I don't care about six million people?

CARSON: Well, you know, I certainly wouldn't do that if I were running as a candidate, but you know, the fact of the matter is, all of the candidates need to stop and be pragmatic here and ask themselves is this a matter of their ego, are they really concerned about the future of the country, are they just concerned about obtaining a position. Yes, and if they ask themselves that question and answer it honestly, I think they might be led to do the right things. And I know that's asking a lot of a politician. I do realize that.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Dr. Carson, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

CARSON: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: Pretty tough comments for Ted Cruz and for Donald Trump, the man he has endorsed.

OUTFRONT now, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger. Gloria, I want to start with this reversal of position now. Stunning right how Donald Trump quickly he had to reverse his position. You heard Ben Carson saying, well, it happened because he's not used to this. And, you know, he was being pressed and pressed and pressed. Got forced into it. He had fixed it. It's a lack of experience was the excuse that he gave for Donald Trump. Will this cause lasting damage? Will people buy that excuse?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I think that what was very clear -- first of all, I don't know if people are going to buy the excuse. We're going to see in coming days and in the Wisconsin primary. I think what's very clear from -- and listened to Dr. Carson about this from listening to Donald Trump was that, this is not an issue that Donald Trump has thought deeply about over the years. Donald Trump, the irony of this, to me, is that Donald Trump was trying to appeal to pro-life conservative voters, maybe those Catholic voters in the state of Wisconsin, in his answer.


[19:10:30] BORGER: And with his answer, he managed to alienate the entire pro-life movement because he hasn't really been read in on it. And I think this is an issue we see over and over again with him on all sorts of things.

BURNETT: Right, right. We're saying, if all of it's illegal, I guess he was thinking, well, someone has got to be to blame and then didn't actually think through exactly what he was going to say. So then later it's oh, the abortion provider.

BORGER: Right.

BURNETT: But what does this mean for women voters? I mean, this has been an issue for him that we've seen, you know, most recent poll as you know Gloria, nearly three-fourths of female registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of him, this is across both parties.

BORGER: Right.

BURNETT: But that number has grown significantly over the past few months.


BURNETT: There is not very many single issue abortion voters. But does a comment like this alienate more women?

BORGER: Well, I think what you see is a cascade of issues regarding women, right? You have the Heidi Cruz issue. You have the Corey Lewandowski issue. You have the abortion issue. You have the Never Trump movement spending millions of dollars in advertising, using Trump's own words about women against him. At a certain point you reach critical mass perhaps, okay? And what we saw and what we've seen is that while Trump still has a 59 percent favorable rating among Republican women, we see that that number has decreased, okay, in the last month or so. And we see that in Wisconsin he's losing to Cruz among women, so the question is, does it stick or is he still Teflon.


BORGER: And, you know, the signs point to the fact that something is going on there. But --


BORGER: I can't exactly say, what, yet or if it's definitive at all.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Gloria, thank you very much. Just an unbelievable day on the campaign trail today.


BURNETT: And Gloria mentioning Trump's campaign manager while he is coming under incredible attack, who is Corey Lewandowski? We have a report for you coming up.

Plus Bernie Sanders making a bold prediction to me.


BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, in every poll that I've seen, including a CNN poll --


SANDERS: We were 20 points ahead of Trump. I do not believe Trump is going to become president.

BURNETT: And new images tonight inside the Brussels airport after the terror attacks as we learn of the bombers' other possible targets.


[19:16:28] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump refusing to bend under the growing firestorm over his campaign manager's arrest, Corey Lewandowski arrested, charged with simple battery after an altercation with a woman reporter. And now the White House today weighing in.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I am confident that neither President Obama nor President Bush would tolerate someone on their staff being accused of physically assaulting a reporter, lying about it, and then blaming the victim. That is completely unacceptable behavior.


BURNETT: So what really happened? And what do we know about the man at the center of this Trump campaign firestorm?

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would have loved to have fired him. It would have been much easier than talking to you about this all night long.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump standing by his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski saying you're not even after widespread calls for his dismissal following charges of battery stemming from an incident with journalist Michelle Fields.

TRUMP: She shouldn't have been touching me. OK? And you saw that she did that. She was grabbing me twice. She had a pen in her hand, which Secret Service is not liking because they don't know what it is or whether it's a little bomb.

LAH: Team Trump taking the heat rather than ditching the man Trump publicly praised from Florida to New Hampshire.

TRUMP: Corey, good job Corey. Does Corey have a ground game or what?

LAH: Lewandowski defies the stereotypical campaign manager, diving into the thick of the fight polling this protester's caller in Tucson. Unlike his billionaire boss, the 42-year-old father of four grew up in the working class mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, as he explained in an interview with the local podcast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I delivered pizzas for a place on Lakeview Avenue in Lowell.

LAH: Lewandowski graved politics early running for state representative as a student at U Mass Lowell. He lost. He followed his political passion to D.C. where he had a run-in with the law, a 1999 misdemeanor arrest. A been Congressional staff member, Lewandowski was arrested trying to enter an office building with a loaded pistol, three magazines, a holster, and several rounds of ammo, all found on his overnight bag. Like the fighter he's know at, Lewandowski sued to get his seized weapon back.

The lawsuit was unsuccessful. He also spent four years as a part-time marine patrol officer trainee for the New Hampshire Department of Safety as he deepened his resume working with the Koch Brothers Political Action Committee, Americans for prosperity. Trump's campaign is Lewandowski's very first presidential race and unorthodox choice. Chosen says Trump because they speak the same language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Politics is a tough business, there's no question about it. And if you're going to be successful, sometimes you're going to ruffle feathers.


LAH: The two men say, what connected them is work ethics. Lewandowski reportedly drinks multiple energy drinks every single day as well as styled determination. Something else we should mention Erin, is that Trump continues to say, yes, he is an unorthodox man, but that's exactly what this campaign may want -- Erin. BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kyung Lah. It's pretty

interesting for so many people to learn about this man at the center of this.

OUTFRONT now, spokesperson for the Trump campaign, Katrina Pierson and the former Communications Director for the Republican National Committee Doug Heye.

Katrina, let me start with you. The White House called this completely unacceptable behavior today. Former staff members for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have agreed. Is it acceptable?

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: Well, you know, the last time I checked you are innocent until proven guilty. And we do know that politicians of past, like Mr. Trump has said, are quick to discard people that may cause them some political fallout. But at the same time, I'm also hearing a lot of praise for Mr. Trump for not ruining a man's life just because all of the opposition, #Never Trump, want Mr. Lewandowski gone. Mr. Lewandowski is going to beat these charges, he will be cleared and he will still be a part of this campaign.


DOUG HEYE, FORMER REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, look, ultimately for me it's not about a staffer, it's about Donald Trump. I can tell you as a staffer I would have been fired, I would have fired somebody who had done that, but it's ultimately about Donald Trump. And what we see is the person who has said made a trademark of the phrase, you're fired, is now claiming to be the stalwart of loyalty here. But the reality is, Donald Trump is Donald Trump is everywhere on this issue and every other issue.

He's the guy who said, it never happened and she is seeking attention, essentially saying that a woman wanted it which we know is a poisonous thing we say. Just today on abortion he said we're going to send people to jail. No, we're not going to send them to jail. He's pro- life. He's pro-choice. We really don't know. And ultimately, it's all about the candidate. If you watch Donald Trump closely, you're likely get whiplash.

[19:21:07] BURNETT: Katrina, Donald Trump has -- OK, go ahead.

PIERSON: There's a couple of things wrong. There's a couple of things wrong with that statement considering that, yes, Mr. Trump will fire people when they're not doing their job. Corey Lewandowski in fact is doing his job. Mr. Trump is leading the Republican Party. So, I understand when other candidates want Mr. Lewandowski gone, but I will love to talk about with regard to abortion, yes, he made a statement today and definitely came out immediately and clarified.

Mr. Trump is pro-life with exceptions. And this was also a progressive journalist question they always ask pro-life candidates. Because they know that there are still an under clear issue around life, there are states who now say, if you harm a pregnant woman you are also harming her fetus. Mr. Trump said and today came out and said he did not mean to say women, but practitioner. Not making the distinguishing factor here --

BURNETT: Katrina, let me ask you that question on this issue.

PIERSON: -- is why he issued the clarifying statement.

BURNETT: OK. So, he did come out and clarify. But when he was asked -- and you're right. It was a two-minute long back and forth. There was a lot of pressure.


BURNETT: But then ultimately he was asked very clearly, punishment, yes, of the woman, yes. All right? So, he did say that. You heard Ben Carson saying, well, maybe he didn't have time to think about it or he wasn't ready for the question. Look, this is a GOP primary. This is a hot button issue. He should be ready for that question.

PIERSON: Well, and you're right. It was a discussion over also a hypothetical concept. And again, he was definitely talking about someone breaking the law. At the end of the day, it was a question about the legality, which is why he said yes someone should face punishment. The only thing he didn't do was distinguish the difference between whether the woman or the practitioner -- and so when the question was asked should the woman be punished, he said yes because there should be punished when there is something illegal which is exactly why he came out immediately with a clarifying statement meaning, the practitioner, not the woman. There is no policy reversal. I've been seeing a lot of that. Because Mr. Trump doesn't have a policy on banning abortions.

BURNETT: All right. Quick response to you, Doug. Then I want to ask another question about Corey Lewandowski. A quick response there.

HEYE: I think Mr. Trump doesn't have a policy on abortion and probably is what the Trump campaign wants people to think. He's been everywhere on everything. And this is yet another destruction. Donald Trump's campaign exists for destructions. Normally you would get rid of a staffer because they're a distraction. Donald Trump wants distractions so that we don't realize as we talked about the Pope for a day and then the Apple boycott for a day and then riots for a day. It's another distraction because he doesn't want people to know, this campaign doesn't want people to know but not only does he have or not have any clothes, he doesn't have any substantive answers.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you, this video here, when you talked about the destruction and you mentioned the destruction perhaps of his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. In the video Katrina, you can see that you know, it's hard to tell exactly what happened. Was the reporter trying to grab, reach for Mr. Trump, as he says? What happened? But now they've got in this war of words, Donald Trump is essentially arguing with her over what really happened. Let me play what he said today about why the reporter, in his view, is not telling the truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: So, she said -- this is an exact quote. I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. She didn't go down. I almost fell to the ground. She didn't almost fall to the ground but was able to maintain my balance nonetheless, but I was shaken.


BURNETT: Now, Katrina, why is it worth it for him to go to this granular level, to go down to the ground with this one?

PIERSON: It's not necessarily down to the ground. He's just stating the facts. I mean, we hear media coverage 24/7 on things like this where the facts aren't being reported. This woman is saying that a father of four small children grabbed her and tried to throw her to the ground, Erin. That is a very serious charge. It did not happen that way. That's all Mr. Trump is doing. He is fighting back for his employee for doing his job. This was a press scrum. This type of thing is not unusual.

BURNETT: Doug, a very quick final word to you. Is there something to be said for Donald Trump's loyalty? Is this something the voters could reward? He is loyal to his manager.

HEYE: Look, the people who are Trump supporters are already loyal to him. They're not going anywhere. That's clear. But what this does is distracts yet again from the fact that Donald Trump had two disastrous interviews on foreign policy. He's absolutely incapable of stepping into the commander-in-chief role, so let's just focus on pen bomb that our reporter may have or other outrage -- that a Trump campaign excels and creating.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

PIERSON: Donald Trump is the only candidate that sat down for 100 minutes to talk about foreign policy and no one else has.

BURNETT: With the New York Times. Fair point on that. Thank you both very much.

OUTFRONT next, Sanders and Clinton neck and neck in Wisconsin. Could Sanders pull off another big upset? And Cruz leading Trump by double digits there. Could a Cruz victory in Wisconsin be a game changer in the GOP race?


[19:29:58] BURNETT: New tonight, a brand-new poll showing Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders neck and neck heading into next week's crucial primary in Wisconsin. According to the polls, Sanders has a slight lead. That advantage, though, is within the margin of error in this particular poll. When I was in Milwaukee last night, I spoke to Senator Sanders and asked him about the fact that Wisconsin's primary is an open contest, right? So, Democrats and Republicans can vote whichever they want. That means he and Donald Trump could be competing for the same voters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Some union workers, we understand here, are very deeply considering whether they should vote for you or Donald Trump. Do you think they're crazy? What do you say to people making that choice?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think we will get a majority of the union workers. Trump will get some, but I think we will get a lot more.

I think what's going on, Erin, is there is a lot of anger in this country. For your average guy, he is asking why he has to work longer hours for lower wages, why he is really worried, or she is really worried -- his mother is worried about the future of their children. Yet almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent. People are angry.


BURNETT: Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT. He's been covering both these campaigns.

So, you know, you just got here from Wisconsin and you've spent a lot of time there. Sanders is saying, look, he's confident he's going to win the union vote. Donald Trump will get some, but he'll get the vast majority of them. But it is a significant amount of voters in Wisconsin with just 20 percent. What are you hearing from those voters?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The voters are saying that, look, they don't trust Hillary Clinton because of her past support of all these trade agreements. I mean, going back all the way when she was first lady, which isn't necessarily her fault, but she still owns the NAFTA thing and people resent them and blame them for some jobs not being there anymore.

Of course, it's more complicated than that, but when it is boiled down they like what Bernie Sanders is saying. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, if you attend their rallies and talk to voters, there are more similarities than you would think. The anger is just being channeled in different ways.


ZELENY: And Bernie Sanders is appealing to a lot of those voters. The question is how many are traditional Democrats who think, you know, oh, I'll vote for Hillary Clinton because I'm a tried and true Democrat. I talked to a union official in Madison the other day. He said, look, there's more crossover than you think.

A lot of national unions aren't endorsing this time.


ZELENY: Some local ones are. So, these rank-and-file union members, we're going to be going back to Wisconsin for the next six months. This is one of those key places a Democrat has to win.

BURNETT: To determine the entire election.

ZELENY: Right.

BURNETT: Now, pledged delegates, you see that poll with Bernie Sanders ahead but within the margin of error. Clinton overall pledged delegates just slightly ahead, as you can see there, pledged delegates again, 1,259 to Sanders at 1020. That is tight. Wisconsin is 86. You can see why Wisconsin really matters.

What is the Sanders' campaign saying to you about the math, the delegate math?

ZELENY: The math is still difficult for the Sanders' campaign. He's in closing ranks with those big wins last weekend and there are a lot delegates in Wisconsin. But how Democrats -- they're almost going to split them. Bernie Sanders needs to win by big, big margins.

In California, for example, he would have to win by double digits, more than that to get over her in pledged delegates. The really only chance mathematically is to do well in Wisconsin and sort of do well here in New York. That is the next place.

But the math is still a very, very big challenge. He would have to have some of those pledged delegates to come over at the end of the day.

BURNETT: All right. So, let's talk about that, because in the Democratic side, those superdelegates are so crucial. A lot of them were behind Hillary Clinton before anybody voted., which to some people says, well, that's just hugely democratic, right? They can switch. Some of them did with Barack Obama. Some being the operative word, but the Sanders' campaign I know is saying to you that they have a lot of them who are ready to switch.

Do they and why are they waiting then?

ZELENY: There's been a trickle. There's not been a ground swell. I think this is different than 2008. In 2008, some did switch. John Lewis, prime example, because his district voted with Barack Obama, he was supporting Hillary Clinton. He said, I can't be on the wrong side of history.

That argument is not the same this time. Being with Hillary Clinton is not being on the wrong side of history. You can argue it's being on the right side of history being the first woman president.

The argument for superdelegates is difficult, unless he wins the voting total, then he can make the case, look, how can you go against the will of your own constituents. But it's how the Democratic Party picks nominees, and it's designed to keep the establishment candidate in place.

BURNETT: Thanks very much to you, Jeff Zeleny, who has been on the trail, obviously in Wisconsin with both of the Democratic contenders. OUTFRONT now, Jonathan Tasini, a Bernie sander supporter who challenged Hillary Clinton in a primary contest for a Senate seat here in New York, and our political commentator Bakari Sellers, a Hillary Clinton supporter.

So, Bakari, let me start with you. This latest poll out of Wisconsin, within the margin of error, but obviously, this would be after the hat trick we saw this weekend of wins for Bernie Sanders, a real big momentum boost as Jeff is alluding to, if he were to win Wisconsin.

Should the Clinton campaign be concerned that it's so close in these final polls?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR (via telephone): No, not at all. I think first of all, you can't take away anything from what Bernie Sanders was able to do this past weekend, but Bernie Sanders has an extremely high bar. He just can't win close in Wisconsin because the states that are next are very treacherous for him. You have New York. You have Pennsylvania. You have California. You have not only the District of Columbia, but you have other states along the way that are very diverse.

And Bernie Sanders is going to prove that he can win in those states and excel in those states not by small margins, but extremely large margins.

BURNETT: Between --

SELLERS: So, the road is very -- I'm sorry?

BURNETT: No, I was just saying. So, if this comes down to that union vote, which is Jeff is talking about, is that big 20 percent of the Wisconsin vote, some of that could go for Trump. Sanders saying he's going to get the vast majority of it, but this is -- this is crucial, right? He's got to do this.

When you look at Michigan where he pulled off that big win, you had a win of 49 percent to 46 percent for union household. It was tight, but he did it. He won those union households. He's got to win them again. Doesn't he in Wisconsin?



BURNETT: Yes, it was, Jonathan.

TASINI: Yes, I think he does and I think he'll do very well. We have to remember that lots of union households remember, particularly in the public sector, remember what Scott Walker did to unions. I think they're more likely to go for Bernie Sanders and his economic message.

The fact that there's a rigged economy, the trade agreements that have hurt people dramatically in Wisconsin around the rust belt, trade agreements that Hillary Clinton has consistently supported, which have cost people their jobs, I think that's going to play very well for Bernie. I think we're doing very well there. The momentum is with us. I'm going out there in a couple of days replacing Jeff out on the trail and I think we're doing very well.

BURNETT: So, Bakari, Hillary Clinton has been attacking Bernie Sanders every time she can, saying that his plans don't add up financially, right, his health care, in the case of free public college tuition. When I spoke to Sanders last night, I asked him point blank about her attacks on this. You know, she said, you'll never get a free college here in Wisconsin because Wisconsin's governor won't chip in the money, and e didn't dispute it. Here's how he answered the question.


SANDERS: Now, what Secretary Clinton is says is that Scott Walker may not go along with that. But you know what happens to the state of Wisconsin? California will, Vermont will, states all over this country will, and young bright people will be leaving Wisconsin. And I think the people of Wisconsin will tell Scott Walker, you know what, this will be a disaster for the future of our state. Because when kids leave, sometimes they don't come back.


BURNETT: Bakari, that was a pretty powerful argument in the sense that he said, looks, he's going to be forced to do it. Fine. You're going to have a brain drain if you don't.

SELLERS: But what happens to those kids who can't leave? What about those small community colleges, how are they going to flourish? What about those historically black colleges in states like Georgia, or South Carolina? What about in Florida, in Ohio, these very important swing states?

We know that Rick Scott and John Kasich aren't going to contribute the money for kids to have free college. So, what are we saying to them?

I mean, it's very practical to simply say that because California is going to do it, because Vermont is going to do it people are going to leave the state and this is going to be a brilliant idea and work perfectly. It has so many holes it in that it is impractical.

I would love nothing more to say we could have free college, but to simply say that other states are going to do it and so kids are going to leave is not an answer. That's not practical. That's not real life.

TASINI: Erin, first of all, I have to compliment, my Bernie verse exploded with a congratulations. I thought you did a great job last night.

BURNETT: Thank you.

TASINI: What he also said which wasn't in the clip was that people will rise up in those states and demand from those governments -- I'll say the other thing that he didn't say, I'll bet you local businesses are going to go to those governors and say, wait a minute, we need those people to be here to help our businesses. We want a highly- educated workforce. I think there'll be a lot of pressure from the private sector for those governors who would initially resist this.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. We'll see how this all plays in the polls. Of course, that's been a big part of the popularity for Bernie Sanders among young voters, whether these questions and answers add up to them.

OUTFRONT next, Wisconsin, that crucial state for the anti-Trump forces. Could last-ditch efforts work to stop Trump with Cruz leading with a double digit margin in the polls?

Plus, startling new images of the Brussels airport. We were just getting in after the bombings. Tonight, officials uncovering evidence of other targets. Our report coming up.


[19:42:55] BURNETT: Wisconsin shaping up to be a crucial battleground in the fight against Donald Trump. The GOP establishment has pulled out all the stops to stop him from winning next week's primary, and a brand-new polls shows some of those efforts may be working. Cruz right now in this poll beating Trump by 10 points. We are six days out from ballots being cast in Wisconsin.

Could this be a turning point?

Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER (voice-over): Wisconsin is shaping up as the next major battleground to stop Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're going to say your vote on April 5th was the single greatest vote you've ever made.

MURRAY: The anti-Trump forces are already snapping into place.

CHARLIE SYKES, RADIO HOST: It's 11:44. You're listening to news radio 620 WTMJ.

MURRAY: Conservative voices like Charlie Sykes determined to deny Trump a victory --

SYKES: Donald Trump is back to attacking Scott Walker.

MURRAY: -- are sounding the alarm to Republicans who populate Milwaukee suburbs.

SYKES: Here's the real difference to Wisconsin. He hasn't had the air cover of the national talk show hosts.

MURRAY: Sykes and others have made a habit of slamming the billionaire businessman. SYKES: To be really blunt, conservatives in Wisconsin have a B.S.

meter. So, when this blustering egotistical narcissistic buffoon comes in, we recognize you're not talking about what we're talking about. You are not a conservative.

MURRAY: A new Marquette University Poll gives Trump an edge in the Badger State, with 40 percent support, compared to 30 percent for Trump and 21 percent for John Kasich.

If Trump fails to deliver a win here, it might further expose his vulnerabilities among members of his own party, a weakness that could potentially derail his march to the nomination.

TRUMP: If we don't win, it'll be keep going, keep going. We'll see if we can get to that big number, because frankly, what they're doing, the establishment is trying to take it all away from us.

MURRAY: While Trump has a little organization to show in the state, Cruz has been steadily lining up support from leaders like Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor has won three elections on the back of the state's conservatives.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: God bless the great state of Wisconsin.

[19:45:03] And God bless Governor Scott Walker.

MURRAY: For some Wisconsin voters, like Kasich fan Dick Spencer, Trump isn't even an option.

DICK SPENCER, WISCONSIN VOTER: The only other choice I'd have is Cruz. Trump is totally unacceptable. A loose cannon who doesn't have a clue about world affairs.

MURRAY: Trump's candidacy so divisive that all three GOP candidates are abandoning their pledge to support the eventual nominee.

CRUZ: I'm not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my family. I think that is going beyond the line.


MURRAY: Now, Erin, one of the reasons that these people believe that Donald Trump could be defeated here in Wisconsin is because of his weakness among female voters. They look at this latest incident, the charges brought against his campaign manager, as well as Donald Trump's back and forth on abortion today, and believe these are all things that could hurt him. If you look back at that Wisconsin poll we mentioned in the piece, it shows that right now, Ted Cruz is leading Donald Trump by 15 points among Republican women here in this state -- Erin.

BURNETT: Of course, women are that crucial block. OK, thank you so much.

So, I want to go now to our chief political analyst Gloria Borger. Gloria, you heard Sara talking about the poll, right? Donald Trump,

flat from February. Ted Cruz at 40 percent, up from just 19 percent. That's pretty stunning. So all this sounds like, whoa, this could be a huge moment, but let's take a step back for context here.

Donald Trump has won twice as many states as Ted Cruz. It doesn't make a difference if he wins or loses Wisconsin.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think Wisconsin does make a difference. First of all, it's 42 delegates, and it's kind of a hybrid primary, which means that if you win overwhelmingly a lot of congressional districts and the state, you could take them all. So, that's really important.

I think psychologically also for Ted Cruz, you know, this isn't friendly territory for Ted Cruz. It should be friendlier territory for John Kasich, to tell you the truth. If Ted Cruz were to win here by a substantial margin, that would give him the kind of momentum he needs. He's got the establishment behind him in the state, and it would give the never Trump movement a reason to live and a reason to move on.

BURNETT: Obviously could be so crucial. We said just six days out from that crucial vote. Thank you, Gloria.


BURNETT: And next, we have disturbing new images tonight of the Brussels airport after that terrorist attack. As we learn the bombers have other possible targets. We have new reporting on that tonight.

And then, on a much lighter note, Jeanne Moos on Trump's latest excuse me, excuse me, marathon.


TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.



[19:51:08] BURNETT: New evidence tonight surfacing from a computer abandoned near the Brussels terror cell's bomb factory that revealed photos, plans of other targets. This as we are now seeing devastating new pictures of the destruction of the Brussels airport. This somehow brings it home as people went for that vacation, went to be reunited with their families and they were met with death and destruction.

Alexander Field is OUTFRONT in Brussels, live tonight with the latest.

And, Alex, that computer, obviously, a very significant find talking about future attacks, pictures of things they were planning to attack. What did they find?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, really a trove of clues about what this cell could have possibly been planning. We're now learning there were pictures and plans of the prime minister's office in the files on that computer, as well as some detailed images of other government buildings throughout Brussels. This, of course, raises a lot of red flags from investors who believe that this cell is actively looking at targeting these buildings.

This laptop which was found near the spot where they believe the bombs were made is just one piece of evidence that's been recovered, and also pick up other laptops and a number of cell phones. Belgian authorities have analyzed the data on this hardware for exactly this kind of information. And we now understand that some of this equipment has actually been sent back to the U.S. where the FBI will be doing its own analysis to try and determine whether or not there's more data they can retrieve that Belgian authorities haven't been able to look at.

BURNETT: Alex, of course, you know, Nick Paton Walsh was at that apartment where the Bakraoui brothers were working on that bomb. There were chemicals leaking into the apartment below. There were noxious smells. People in the neighborhood knew something was amiss. There were reports that calls had been made to police.

This comes as we are now learning tonight that Belgian authorities had been on the lookout for these brothers. What have you learned about that?

FIELD: Right, the big head scratching question is why weren't they able to find these men when you point out all these apparent red flags connected to this apartment. And we now know that these men were near the center of Brussels. We have known for sometimes that the names of the Bakraoui brothers were known to officials internationally, that both brothers were on this U.S. counterterrorism watchlist. Ibrahim's name was added before the Paris attacks. His brother Khalid's name was added to the list after the attacks.

Even in December, we know there was an Interpol red notice which was meant to intensify efforts to find Khalid. But yet, investigators were not finding either of these brothers. What we're learning that's new right now is that in the days proceeding the Brussels attacks, Belgian authorities put out something of a wanted notice which they had shared with other international officials, including even NYPD. It was meant to intensify the search for both of these brothers and came amidst this backdrop in which Belgian authorities have became concerned about the possibility of a terror attack in this city.

Again, the prevailing question here now, Erin, for investigators is why they weren't able to track down the brothers, who they were looking for, who were in Brussels before those attacks happen.

BURNETT: In plain sight. Thank you so much, Alexander Field, live in Brussels tonight.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on Donald Trump's go-to phrase for taking over a conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Excuse me, I've raised a lot money.

Excuse me. Excuse me.



[19:57:58] BURNETT: It was a record night for Donald Trump at our CNN town hall.

Here's Jeanne Moos on Trump using his two favorite words.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When a Trump interview gets intense.

TRUMP: Give me a break.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Come on. Isn't all politically motivated?

TRUMP: Come on, Anderson.

MOOS: You have to excuse the Donald for excusing himself.

COOPER: A 5-year-old --

BURNETT: Excuse me. You would say that.

COOPER: You are running for president of the United States.

MOOS: He may sometimes sound like a little kid.

TRUMP: I didn't start it.

COOPER: But, sir, with all due respect. That's the argument of a year-old.

TRUMP: I didn't start it.

MOOS: But a 5-year-old with manners.

CHARACTER: You said excuse me. You used good manners.

MOOS: And if this sounds familiar --

TRUMP: Excuse me.

MOOS: That's because we first focused on Trump's favorite verbal weapon last summer, making this --

CHARACTER: Excuse me.

MOOS: The sequel. We thought it deserves a sequel when "Washington Post" counted 18 excuse mes in just one hour of a CNN town hall. COOPER: Whether o not you think it was --

TRUMP: Excuse me.

MOOS: One.

COOPER: You suggested you might --

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. I didn't suggest.

MOOS: Two, three --

COOPER: So it doesn't concern you --

TRUMP: Excuse me.

MOOS: Four.

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me.

MOOS: Five, six.

TRUMP: We're supporting Japan -- excuse me.

MOOS: Actually, when you add them all up --

TRUMP: Excuse me --

MOOS: Eighteen was an undercount.

TRUMP: And a lot of that is -- excuse me.

MOOS: Twenty.

Sort of makes Bernie Sanders' lonely single interjection --

SANDERS: Excuse me, I'm talking.

MOOS: -- seem like a poor excuse for an excuse me, compared to Trump's 20. Maybe the Donald could add a little variety.




MOOS: Break down these cultural walls.

Even when he interrupts himself, his own story, the Donald excuses himself --

TRUMP: When he said, we had a big day, we won Utah, excuse me, I won Arizona.

MOOS: Mr. Trump, you are excused. TRUMP: Excuse me.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos --

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me.

MOOS: -- CNN, New York.

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. I didn't suggest.


BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT. And you can watch the show anytime.

"AC360" starts now.