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Trump On Abortion: Laws Are Set, For Now; Trump Not Ruling Out Third-Party Run; Obama Slams Trump On Foreign Policy Knowledge; Sanders Demands Apology From Clinton; 24 Arrested in Brussels; ISIS Taken Over Mosul University Chemistry Labs; Joe Biden Arrives in Houston for Final Four. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired April 2, 2016 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Always good to be with you on a Saturday morning and new this morning in just a few hours, Donald Trump will be at a rally in Wisconsin. The Republican presidential candidate, the frontrunner will be crisscrossing the state today and tomorrow ahead of Tuesday's primary in the hope of picking up some of the last-minute votes and work to do. The latest Fox Business poll shows Ted Cruz ahead by 10 points there.

PAUL: Trump had what a lot of people are characterizing as a rough week regarding comments on abortion and now this morning saying that abortion laws should remain unchanged while earlier this week he had said women who get abortions should be punished. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told Bloomberg in January that you believed abortion should be banned at some point in pregnancy. Where would you --

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First of all, I would have like to have seen, you know, this be a state's right. I would have preferred state right. I think it would have been better if it were up to the states, but right now, the laws have set and that's the way the laws are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you have a feeling how they should change. There are a lot of laws you want to chance. You've talked about them everything from liable to torture. Anything you want to change on abortion?

TRUMP: At this moment the laws are set and I think we have to leave it that way.


PAUL: CNN is covering this story from every angle. We have CNN's national correspondent, Jason Carroll, in Wisconsin, CNN producer, Kristen Holmes, in Washington, and Jason Johnson, politics editor of the BLACKWELL: Also, Kristen, let me start with you. Trump's latest flip-flop some would call it on abortion laws. Do you think this will affect his what still seems like strong favorability among GOP primary voters?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN WHITE HOUSE PRODUCER: That's exactly right and that's what we'll be watching for as all three candidates crisscross the state into the primary on Tuesday. Now, we should note that the campaign came out immediately after that clip aired and said that Mr. Trump was just stating the facts.

He was merely saying that those are the ways the law are now but once he's president, he will change that through judicial appointment. In any other campaign, we would definitely see a lot of lash back. We would see a lot of problems.

But as Donald Trump has proven time and again, he can get away with quite a bit. We know that he has several times has coal back and said some things we've all said oh, wow, this will hurt him with the Republican Party, this will hurt him with Evangelicals, but it hasn't really impacted him.

Now Wisconsin is going to be very different because as you mentioned Cruz is ahead ten points and is going to have to work with those conservative and Evangelical voters.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about what we heard in this conversation on Fox News, this potential for running as the third party candidate. Let's listen to that and then we'll talk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ruling outrunning as an independent third party candidate? Are you ruling that out? Simple question.

TRUMP: It's not that simple. I'm by far the frontrunner as a Republican. I want to run as a Republican. I will beat Hillary Clinton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if you don't get the nomination.

TRUMP: We'll have to see how I was treated. I have to see how I was treated, very simple.


BLACKWELL: So Donald Trump has been a bit of a pendulum on this. He signed the pledge saying that he will support the Republican nominee and not run as a third party then he came back and flirted with the idea of running and he committed here on CNN to running as a Republican and now we're hearing this.

Is there any indication that this is any more than just one of those rhetorical swings or he's really seriously thinking about going third party? HOLMES: Well, you know, that's an interesting question and one that has followed him since he first announced running. I mean, the Republican Party was fearful of this from the very start. That's why they had them sign a pledge. That's why they had them commit to the GOP and to the eventual nominee.

But it's all about again this magic number, the 1,237 delegates that are needed for the nomination and Donald Trump believes that he has earned the nomination. He believes that he is close enough to that number or has hit that number.

If that leads to an open convention, even though he's close to the number, I think there is a very serious potential of him running as a third party candidate, which would be detrimental to the Republican Party and the eventual nominee.

BLACKWELL: All right, Kristen Holmes in Washington for us. Kristen, thanks so much.

HOLMES: Thank you.

PAUL: Now to Jason Carroll in Wisconsin. Jason, what do you think we'll hear from Donald Trump specifically about some of the clarifications some people may be waiting to hear today.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I think Donald Trump whenever he has some of these town halls, we've seen him have town halls in places like Florida and Tampa, he takes questions, but he also has an opportunity to address any issues that are out there.

It's going to be hard to believe if he doesn't in some way address what happened last night when the president sharply criticized him on the international stage regarding his foreign policy experience.

He was specifically asked the president about Trump's suggestion that Japan and South Korea should arm themselves with nuclear weapons against North Korea. To that basically the president said Trump doesn't have enough foreign policy experience.


[08:05:02]BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What the statements you mentioned tell us, they tell us that the person who made the statements doesn't know much about foreign policy or nuclear policy or the Korean Peninsula or the world generally.


CARROLL: Very, very sharp criticism there, as you heard, Christi. So we were very curious to see what Trump had to say, didn't say anything yesterday, didn't have any campaign events so didn't have reaction to the president then.

Was looking at his tweeting, as you know, he loves to tweet, not tweeting about the president this morning, instead focusing on the issues facing Wisconsin. As you know, he is trailing here by ten points behind Ted Cruz.

He tweeted out this morning saying this, "Wisconsin has suffered a great loss of jobs and trade, but if I win, all of the bad things happening in the United States will be rapidly reversed" -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Be waiting to hear how all of that happens. Jason Carroll, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk more now with Jason Johnson. Jason, you know, Donald Trump during this campaign has said and done things that no modern frontrunner for the Republican nomination, certainly not a nominee has said or done and that's one of the reasons that his supporters like him so much, right? But is this one of them not having a clear concise answer on a pro-life position in abortion laws?

JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THEROOT.COM: This is the one that got him dragged into the principal's office, Victor. This is why the RNC brought him in because you cannot switch positions on something like abortion when women voters are so critical not just for Donald Trump's chances to become president of the United States, but for all those down ballot issues.

This may not keep him from being the nominee, but this is the kind of issue that could hurt Republicans in the House, Senate and running statewide.

BLACKWELL: So you said that this may not keep him from being nominee. How does he get the nomination even with it he has consistent message on abortion?


BLACKWELL: But the inconsistent message on abortion laws, how can he hold those positions, we're now up to four and win the nomination?

JOHNSON: Well, he can win the nomination if he ends up winning a contested convention, right? It looks like right now, honestly, Victor, if Ted Cruz ends up winning next week, we're almost guaranteed to have a contested convention.

And in a contested convention unless the RNC wants to have a very, very long destructive fall, Trump should still end up winning the nomination, but it still hurts him.

And what we're seeing right now is independent women, you know, Republican leaning women who aren't strong Republicans are saying they will sit home. They are saying I don't want to be involved, I will definitely not vote for Hillary Clinton but I cannot vote for this person and that hurts Rob Portman in Ohio.

So that's what we're seeing now. Trump could win and could destroy his party.

BLACKWELL: So what does he need to say today as he starts this morning? JOHNSON: Well, the first thing he needs to say is look, you guys don't want a contested convention, you know, help me beat Ted Cruz. The second thing he needs to say is look, does abortion really matter when we're losing jobs? No, it doesn't. Does abortion matter when the Chinese are beating us?

BLACKWELL: No, it doesn't.

JOHNSON: He needs to go back and focus on the things he's good at.

BLACKWELL: In a Republican primary, the idea of telling people that abortion doesn't matter, will that work?

JOHNSON: I think that will work if he focuses on what he's good at. Look, Donald Trump, whenever he starts moving in the social issues, foreign policy, that's where he screws up. When he talks about bringing back jobs and immigration, those are the areas he does well. He needs to focus on what he's good at. The more he explores, the more he screws up, that's what been hurting him really this week.

BLACKWELL: But I can tell you, if he says that we'll be back here tomorrow morning saying Donald Trump said abortion doesn't matter. So I mean, is -- let's play this sound bite, guys, when John Dickerson asks him about is abortion murder and then we'll talk about it after that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's murder, abortion?

TRUMP: I have my opinions on it, but I would rather not comment on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you're very pro-life. Abortion is murder.

TRUMP: But I -- I mean, I do have my opinions on it. I'd rather -- I just don't think it's an appropriate forum.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you don't disagree with that proposition that it's murder.

TRUMP: What proposition?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That abortion is murder?

TRUMP: No, I don't disagree.


BLACKWELL: So at the beginning, he says twice that he doesn't want to share his position. When John Dickerson asked him if he disagrees with the idea that abortion is murder. He says no, I don't agree with it.

Are we at the point where Donald Trump will do his best to avoid talking about abortion? Because I mean, it seems there that he's uneasy having the discussion all together.

JOHNSON: This is what I'm going to love. I can't wait to see the campaign commercials this fall with like golden flip-flops going back and forth on Donald Trump because this isn't the only issue where he said I don't really want to talk about it. It's not appropriate to talk about it.

When is the appropriate time to talk about it? You're running for president right now. He can do that because again, there is about 35 percent of the Republican base that will support him anyway.

But if he goes into a general election and he doesn't want to be honest and again, this is what I'm talking about. Trump's strength is I tell it like it is. You're not telling it like it is so move back to the issues where you can and stay off the issues where you can't.

[08:10:06]I think that's something -- it's not going to help him win Wisconsin, but it certainly going to keep him from having one bad week turn into a bad month.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jason Johnson, always good to have you -- Christi.

PAUL: Three days until the Wisconsin primary as we've been stating and Donald Trump falling behind in the latest polls as we told you. We're talking with the Republican state lawmaker that says Trump will not be getting his vote.

Also, Bernie Sanders is looking to make Wisconsin his sixth win in a row and chip away at Hillary Clinton's lead here. We have a live report for you.

And a little bit later, stay with us, the science department at an Iraqi university is now controlled by ISIS and they have been according to some reports turning it into a bomb-making factory. What the U.S. military is doing about it?


PAUL: It's 13 minutes past the hour. Donald Trump back on the trail today holding three rallies across the state of Wisconsin. His first campaign appearance since his opinions on abortions sparked a firestorm on both sides of the political aisles.

Several new polls including one from Marquette University have the frontrunner trailing behind Senator Ted Cruz by double digits in that state in Wisconsin.

One state lawmaker says he is among those who will not be voting for Donald Trump. We are joined now by Republican state representative in Wisconsin, Jim Steineke. Representative, thank you so much for being with us. We certainly appreciate it.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM STEINEKE (R), WISCONSIN STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Absolutely, thanks for having me. PAUL: Thank you. So you've been public for months now about your opposition to Donald Trump. What do you think -- what will you do if he's the nominee?

STEINEKE: Well, I can't support him. It's like asking me how -- if I could support Hillary Clinton as the nominee of the Republican Party, I just couldn't. He doesn't stand for anything that I think the Republican Party believes in.

[08:15:04]PAUL: Well, I want to pull up a tweet. We just showed -- I want to show it again, something he's tweeting this morning talking about Wisconsin and jobs and his promise as he says here, "Wisconsin has suffered a great loss of jobs in trade, but if I win, all of the bad things happening in the U.S. will be rapidly reversed."

Speaking about jobs in Wisconsin that certainly could resonate with a lot of people there.

STEINEKE: It could if it were true. I mean, the problem is Donald Trump has exposed himself, the minute he stepped foot in Wisconsin, he started using the same old tired liberal talking points that they have been using for years against Governor Scott Walker and the legislature.

And the problem is they are not true. Wisconsin created over 100,000 jobs in the last few years, and economically doing really well.

PAUL: OK. Wisconsin we know is dairy country, yes?

STEINEKE: Absolutely.

PAUL: Donald Trump had this answer for a dairy farmer, who asked about keeping his farm staff. Let's listen here together.


TRUMP: Are you in the same position as the California grape growers because they need people to come in and very seasonal, less seasonal but still seasonal. If you have an industry like California grapes like perhaps what you're talking about in Wisconsin, we're going to let people come in, but they are going to come in legally. They are going to come in through a visa program and come in legally.


PAUL: Pointing out dirty farming isn't seasonal work, however, immigration policy of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both obviously advocating for the deportation of undocumented immigrants. How is that playing with voters and the electorate in your state?

STEINEKE: Well, I think it just goes again to show that Donald Trump has a fundamental misunderstanding of just about every issue that he speaks of. Obviously, dairy farming -- you talk to any dairy farmer and if you told them that they were seasonal workers, they just laugh in your face. It's just ridiculous that a guy that's been running for president for well over a year has such a lack of knowledge about basic issues that are facing the country. I just can't even explain it.

PAUL: Jimmy, you said that you just could not vote for him but again, what will you do if he's the nominee? Will you vote --

STEINEKE: Yes, well, I'm certainly going to go out and vote because we have a lot of races down the ballot that are extremely important, but that being said, I don't believe Donald Trump will be the nominee.

I believe the nominee will be Senator Cruz and I believe Wisconsin will play a pivotal role in making that happen. But if he is -- if he were to be the nominee, I would hope a conservative, somebody that believes in the principles of conservative and the Republican Party would step forward and run.

PAUL: So you would hope for a third party nominee to step in the race at that point?

STEINEKE: Obviously, that's not my choice. I hope the Republican nomination process works to bring forward a conservative candidate, somebody that believes in the constitution, believes in limited government, that's obviously not Donald Trump.

And like I said from the minute he stepped into Wisconsin he exposed himself as somebody willing to pick up the liberal talking points and use them against conservatives.

PAUL: Jim Steineke, Representative, thank you so much for your time today.

STEINEKE: Absolutely, thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: All right, more on that controversial law in North Carolina that some discriminates against transgender citizens of the state. It could hit the state in the wallet. Details on why billions of dollars in federal funding could be snatched back.

And new video just in of what appears to be plane debris pulled from the Indian Ocean. Could this be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?



BLACKWELL: Federal officials are determining whether or not the state of North Carolina should lose billions of dollars in federal funding if they don't repeal a law critics say limits the protections of transgender people.

According to a "New York Times" report, the Obama administration could pull funding for schools, highways and housing if the law is not repealed.

PAUL: The city of Flint is getting ready to sue the state of Michigan. The city says it needs help fixing its damaged water system and defending itself against lawsuits. Remember Flint's water supply was tainted by led after the state switched water sources to save money. Since January more than 50 lawsuits have been filed against the city.

BLACKWELL: More debris has washed up on remote island in the Indian Ocean that maybe from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The piece was found Thursday off the coast of Rodriguez Island in Mauricio's. It was taken to a hotel for safekeeping and since been turned over to the local police.

Malaysian authorities are expected to take the lead to investigating whether the ragged piece came from the missing Boeing 777 that vanished two years ago.

PAUL: The Brussels airport in Belgium, of course, could reopen tomorrow for the first time since last month's terror attacks. An agreement has been reached between the country and the police unions. The deal requires passengers to be checked before they reach the airport terminal.

And we're hearing several arrests also have just been made in Brussels at a protest. We'll get more details and bring that to you as soon as we get them.

Also, a reminder for you for ways you can help the victims of the Brussels terror attack. Go to

BLACKWELL: Soon to come on NEW DAY, Hillary Clinton says she's sick of the claims and Bernie Sanders says he's owed an apology. How the race for the presidency on the Democratic side is heating up ahead of the Wisconsin primary.



PAUL: All righty. Bernie Sanders is hoping for a warm reception in Wisconsin this morning. Doors open in just about 90 minutes for his first rally of the day. Where it's been snowing so I'm sure any kind of warmth would be welcome.

BLACKWELL: It seems to be accumulating there. Wisconsin is where Sanders is likely to renew attacks on Hillary Clinton about her ties to the oil and gas industry, and it comes after a video of former Secretary Clinton firing back at a climate change activist went viral. You're watching that now.

Chris Frates is following the story for us. Chris, what's happening in Wisconsin today?

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor. As you can see behind me, crowds starting to line up to hear Bernie Sanders in the afternoon. And Sanders and Clinton both coming to the winter wonderland of O'Claire today before they head to a Democratic dinner in Milwaukee.

And Hillary Clinton kind of down playing expectations here in Wisconsin making the case that in 2008 she lost Wisconsin to then Senator Obama by double digits.

But she continues to wail away at Bernie Sanders saying that he's lying about her record to taking oil and gas money as campaign contributions. Bernie Sanders yesterday saying that Hillary Clinton owes him an apology because the facts are on his side.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: According to an analysis done by Green Peace, Hillary Clinton's campaign and her super PAC have received more than $4.5 million from the fossil fuel industry.

In fact, 57 oil, gas and coal industry lobbyists have directly contributed to her campaign with 43 of them contributing the maximum allowed for the primary.

And these are not just workers in the fossil fuel industry, these are paid registered lobbyists.

[08:30:04] Secretary Clinton, you owe our campaign an apology. We were telling the truth.


FRATES: So the Clinton campaign essentially saying, there's no way that they are apologizing to Bernie Sanders saying he's distorting her record and pointing out that he has gotten about $50,000 in contributions from people in that same green piece list.

Now, Wisconsin is a must-win for Bernie Sanders. There is 86 delegates up for grabs here. And remember, he's about 24 delegates behind Hillary Clinton and because there is no-winner-take-all states, he needs to win about 75 percent of the delegates left to clinch the nomination. Hillary Clinton for her part, she only needs to win 35 percent. So this is a big state for Bernie Sanders if he wants to continue to compete and go on to New York where he hopes to upset Hillary Clinton in her adoptive home state. Of course, she was a Senator from New York for a long time.

And the Clinton campaign starting to signal that there will be a debate before that April 19th primary so we'll see Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders go head-to-head in New York, which has about 250 delegates at steak. That's second really only to California. The Clinton people hoping to beat Bernie Sanders badly in the state and try to put him out of commission. And Sanders, of course, looking for the big upset but nothing happens, guys, until Bernie Sanders can win in Wisconsin. Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Our Christ Frates for us there in O'Clare (ph). Chris, thank you so much.

Let's focus in on the back and forth between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Let's bring in Democratic Strategist and Hillary Clinton Fund Raise and Supporter Robert Zimmerman, along with Wisconsin State Representative and Bernie Sanders Supporter Jonathan Brostoff. Good to have both of you.


ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good evening, thanks so much for having us.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you. Robert, I want to start with you and put aside just for this question the implications, the inference that the Sanders campaign might be making but factually, is there anything that Bernie Sanders just said in that sound bite you listen to, and I'm sure you've heard it before, is there anything actually inaccurate about what he said about the fund raising numbers as it relates to oil and gas?

ZIMMERMAN: Everything he said was factually inaccurate. In fact, "The Washington Post" fact-checker column which all networks use as a source for documenting the truth for versus misinformation, and this leading statements. The Washington Post Fact Checker column gave Bernie Sanders an infamous Three Pinocchios, pointing that the donations with Secretary Clinton received was hardly significant, those words and reference to lobbyist was especially misleading.

The reality here, Victor, is these personal attacks are not just false but they reflected desperation in the Sander's campaign. I think its being driven by the fact that you see many progressive leaders come together now and condemn the Sanders campaign for the lack of a real policies, lack of a progressive, a real clear progressive agenda. I'm talking about the human rights campaign, Congress members like Barney Frank, civil rights icons like John Lewis, the black and Hispanic Congressional caucuses, economic journalist like Paul Krugman. So you're seeing, I think, a desperation because they can't defend themselves on the issue.

BLACKWELL: Well, let me come in here, let me bring me you in, Representative. Robert says, there's a desperation on behalf of the Sanders campaign and then supporters, saying that everything he just said about those 57 lobbyists who donated to the campaign, 43 who donated the max, it's all factually inaccurate. Your response?

BROSTOFF: Look, Robert, if you think it's inaccurate, take it up with green piece. The fact to the matter is, I think you misunderstood or misstated. It's not misinformation, its inspiration. We are in an upward trajectory the Bernie Sanders campaign is doing fantastic. We're going to win Wisconsin. And the fact of the matter is the Bernie Sanders campaign is exactly like Bernie Sanders himself. It's a story of when keeping it real went right and he's been keeping it real for decades whether it's on the press industrial complex, on the environment, on all the other issues wage disparity, wealth gap and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Bernie sanders is a genuine candidates, someone who's inspired tons of people and if you've been to any rallies or seen any movements, it's an inspiring movement so fact. It's an inspiring movement. The desperation is, I think, (inaudible) what is going on -- let me just finish my point. What's going on here, if you see voters who are engaged from all sides of the spectrum, people who've never voted before and who are really people fired up and ready to go, and that's because Bernie Sanders keeps it real.

BLACKWELL: Representative, let me ask you, if money from the oil and gas industry is so filthy and so possibly can corrupt a candidate, why won't Bernie Sanders return the $53,000 that he received?

BROSTOFF: Look, the money that Bernie Sanders received $53,000 is from individuals who happen to work in the industry, not from high up lobbyists or anyone whose running the show but the fact of the matter is, again, this is one little distracting moment from a much larger movement we're building. And that's about getting people engage for firing up a base ...

ZIMMERMAN: Hold on ...

[08:34:58] BROSTOFF: And that's about getting people who -- sorry, let me just finish the point, Robert. That's about getting people who are excited to vote in a Democratic primary, excited to get in a political process.


BROSTOFF: ... I'll proud of. I think ...

BLACKWELL: Robert, go ahead.

ZIMMERMAN: This distracting moment you're making reference to has become the center piece of the Sanders campaign. There are personal attacks on Secretary Clinton versus talking about the issues where they differ on policy. And I think that's frustrating for I think all of us who want to see an important policy discussion. And if you think these personal attacks are so you call them are inspirational, well, if you come to New York, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I can get you a good deal on. Because what's you're seeing is not ...

BLACKWELL: Hold on, let Robert finish now.

ZIMMERMAN: The personal attack from ...

BROSTOFF: That's a good point ...

ZIMMERMAN: ... the old politics and the politics of desperation.

BLACKWELL: All right, Representative, go ahead. And let me throw this in here. Let me throw this in here. If there is a specific instance in which the Sanders campaign believes that these contributions caused her to change her position or change a policy position, why not say that instead of just giving a number and an industry and letting people kind of connect it for themselves? BROSTOFF: Well, let me answer Robert's point directly. Robert, the

simple fact of the matter is, if we want to talk about policy, I'm more than happy to. In fact, that what we should be talking about. And Bernie Sanders has given -- given a one-word answer when it comes to fracking and that is no. He's against it. He's against it nationwide. He's against it for the rest of the world. So if you want to talk about policy, let's talk about policy. He's against fracking and that's an important environmental issue to a lot of the voters in Wisconsin and I think a lot of the voters across the country and that's why he's surging and doing so well as we're coming.

Look, we cut the lead by a third in the delegates. We are winning six of the last seven states. I think we're going to win Wisconsin and moving forward.


BLACKWELL: Robert, I want to comeback -- I'm sorry. Representative, I want to come back to that question and we need to wrap up here. If there is a direct

connection between the numbers that Senator Sanders read out according to Greenpeace, according to other studies and a policy position and the reversal that you see, what is it? And shouldn't the campaign say that instead of reading numbers and then just saying connected for yourself?

BROSTOFF: Well, I'm always more interested in giving out facts than talking about whatever, you know, personal inspirations or whatever, ideas people might have on their own. But I think the policy issue behind all of this is fracking and we should be talking about that directly. I would like to hear the same one-word answer coming from all the campaigns which is no, we're universally against fracking and it's bad environmental policy.

BLACKWELL: All right, Representative Jonathan Brostoff and Robert Zimmerman, good to have both of you this morning.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you, good morning.

BROSTOFF: Thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: And, sir, Bernie Sanders is Jake Tapper's guest on "STATE OF THE UNION" that this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN, Christi?

PAUL,: After the break, we're learning several arrests have been made in Brussels after a protest got out of hand this morning. We'll have a live report for you. Also, ISIS has taken over Mosul University in Iraq. The reason, access to fully stocked chemistry labs where they can make bombs. How the U.S. is trying to eliminate the threat and what we know about it.

But first, you see it there. Small think big introducing us to a company that uses laser cutting to turn ideas into products. Take a look.


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So Danger Awesome is what some people call a maker space or a fab lab. It has 3D printers, laser cutters, you don't have to be an engineer or designer. You just describe it and we make it. And if you want to learn how to make it yourself, we actually teach people through classes, social events, parties how to use the machines and rent the machines. We're one of those places where you can come and just get one of something made or 100 and you don't have to go to China and start thinking about 10,000, 100,000, a million of something.

We're hear for that mom, that dad, that aunt, that brother whose thinking, "I think invent that and I can make a few and I can maybe sell them. Or I just want to give the best gift that I can this season and it's better be a custom necklace or a custom bracelet or something like that". We make all that stuff from scratch.

We do a lot of kind of everyday products, and when people see they can have kind of a piece of their identity in that product, they end up getting really hooked.



[08:43:14] PAUL: Have some breaking news, we want to show to you this hour, 24 people we've leaned had been arrested in Brussels at the square where a temporary public memorial for the victims of the Brussels terror attack have been set up. And this is some of the latest video coming into us now.

BLACKWELL: Now, this is happening after decree banning a plan anti- Islam rally in Molenbeek. The area where several of the terror suspects live. Our CNN's Alexandra Field joins us by phone now. Alexandra, what have you seen this morning? What have you know so far?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we saw a fairly large crowd gathering (inaudible) which is not entirely unusual. This is the of course same spot where people have been going to memorialize the victims of the attacks for more than a week now.

But there was clear directive from city officials that there would no demonstrations, there would no public gatherings that kind of sort. So when people were seemingly refusing to disburse, you did see police come in and bring the square. This is different from last week when we saw them in riot gear with crowd disbursal vehicle, quite a different scene. There's a large number of police who came in and some on horseback, some on motorbike. They were moving throughout the crowd asking people to disburse.

Those who refute were detained, put into police vans. We saw at least two dozen people who are taken away. As far as what the crowd wanted, we could hear them shouting various -- shouting various slogans including "We Are All Sons of Immigrants", saying that Brussels with a multi-cultural place and calling for peace, even some playing guitars and singing songs.

But the police were seemingly acting under these orders, the directives from city officials who said they did not want these gatherings to take place this weekend. That order came down after plans were reveal that a group was planning on arriving in that Molenbeek, that neighborhood that you just mentioned planning on organizing this sort of right wing anti-immigrant, anti-immigration protest.

[08:45:06] There were concerns that that could generate clashes, not the kind of things that officials do not want to see in this video at this point, especially when they are continuing to go police resources, to trying to conduct raids, trying to find out who else may have been connected to the Brussels attacks or plotting other potential attacks.

BLACKWELL: All right. We're seeing all the video on the screen now from those arrests earlier in the day. Several people, more than 24, have been arrested. We know Alexandra Field on the phone with us. Alexandra, thanks so much.

ISIS has taken over Mosul University in Iraq using the chemistry labs there to create bombs reportedly, up next. What the U.S. is doing about this?

PAUL: Also, Joe Biden is getting in on the March madness action. We're taking you live to Houston where the vice president will be sit in court side later today and he does have another intention for being there. We'll talk about it.


[08:49:18] PAUL: Following new developments right now in Iraq where a university in ISIS-held territory is being used to by the terror group their manufacture weapons in trained foreign fighters in the science of bomb making. I want to share some new images we're getting here with you. U.S. war planes bombing Mosul University. There have been more than a dozen strikes in recent weeks. The are taking out ISIS instillations across the campus but one critical target is the chemistry lab.

CNN Military Analyst retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling joining us now here. So do we know -- how much do we know, I guess, about what they've made and how much they've stockpiled there?

RET. LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, first of all, Christi, let's talk a little bit about what Mosul University is. This is the second largest university in Iraq.

[08:50:01] At it height, it had about 4,000 professors and about 30,000 students. So this is a very large university, very well- respected. A lot of people from the Middle East travel there. Especially their chemistry department and very well-known in the Middle East. What we've saw when ISIS took over in 2014. They took this campus dispensed with all the activity, disbursed the students. Many of the students have gone into the Kurdish region to continue to try to study. But they have taken over this university with all the equipment to include the chemistry labs.

There were estimates that there were upwards of 50 pounds of various radio active substances in the university and those -- that's a key ingredient for making a dirty bomb. It's not an atomic weapon. It doesn't create a mushroom cloud and have a heat blast and radiation that we see in other atomic weapons but it does spread radiation.

In fact, the experts call this a weapon of mass disruption, not destruction because it causes psychological terror. And the requirement that clean up afterwards. That's the emphasis that ISIS has on the chemistry department in Mosul University.

PAUL: So how confident are you that the coalition forces can keep ISIS from making one of those bombs, particularly in this facility?

HERTLING: Yeah, not very confident at all truthfully. There had been -- ISIS and al-Qaeda before them have been attempting to make dirty bombs for over a decade. There's only been one instance or couple of instances of attempts at exploding dirty bombs, both of those were in Russia. One was in a Moscow training station, the other one in Grozny, Chechnya. Neither one of them happened.

But when those bombs do explode, it's literally an explosive with radio active material wrapped around it. It creates a radio active zone with a lot of requirements to clean up and move people out. It's not that difficult to make truthfully and that's why one of the emphasis of the conference that President Obama held yesterday was how do you secure radio active material if locations all around the world, very difficult to secure that when you're studying and using radio active material for a variety of sources.

PAUL: Is that part of the problem when it comes to trying to take out the facility because if they know where the chemistry lab is, you know, rudimentary you would think just bomb that facility and it's done. That's not the case?

HERTLING: Well, yeah, there's two problems associated with it. First of all, Christi, earlier this morning, we were talking about collateral damage. There is still -- there are still a lot of students in this area hoping class will restart and this is a large campus facility so you don't really know -- you know exactly where the chemistry building is, but I would suspect that the equipment, the uranium or cesium or whatever kind of radio active material was taken over a year ago when ISIS first went in there. It was not a consideration at the time.

So we're basically shooting behind the duck on this. They know that there are some people in that facility, some of them are ISIS. They don't know completely who is occupying that facility, so that's where we have to take great care. And, again, when you bomb a facility that has uranium or cesium in it, you also create a radiation has hazard. So that's part of the problem associated with this as well.

PAUL: OK. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, so appreciate your insight on this. Thank you.

HERTLING: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Always, sir, thanks. Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Christi.

The White House is representing at the March madness Final Four today. We're live in Houston with the details on Joe Biden's arrival for the big games. Why he's really there?


[08:57:07] PAUL: Oklahoma star Buddy Hield will not playing in the Final Four until tonight of course. And, you know, we already know he's been coming through.

BLACKWELL: Little something, he's something to say. Andy Scholes has more from Houston in this morning's Bleacher Report. Andy, good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Good morning, guys. You know, excitement building for tonight's big Final Four game. The first match up, we have Villanova taking on Oklahoma and this will be another chance for a Sooner's star Buddy Hield to shine under the bright lights.

He's been just so amazing this entire tournament. Yesterday, he brought home the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Award and Buddy has such a great story.

He grew up in the Bahamas. He moved to United States when he was12 years old. And his mom actually gave him the nickname Buddy after Bud Bundy from the show "Married with Children." So that's pretty funny story there.

Head Coach Lon Kruger also had a cool story. He went 22 years in between Final Four appearances at 63 years old, it turns out Kruger's nickname, it's "Slick" but he didn't really want to talk about it yesterday.


HEAD COACH LON KRUGER, OKLAHOMA: I have no idea what you're talking about. I'd like to say, it's started because I was pretty smooth, you know, and, yeah, it's probably more about the haircut.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He might make us run for that. That's a good name. He is pretty slick in everything he does.

UNIDENTIFIEDMALE: He might make us run no more (ph) , we've done so much. Talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHOLES: Buddy slick and the Sooners tip things off tonight, 6:09 Eastern on TV as against Villanova. That game will be followed by North Carolina taking on Syracuse. And be sure to tune into CNN this afternoon for a behind the scenes look at the NCAA Tournament Fredericka Whitfield and Sports Analyst Steve Smith lead our coverage of the personalities and the celebration that extends far beyond the court. I'll access to the Final Four CNN Bleacher Report Special airs today 2:30 Eastern of course right here on CNN

And Vice President Biden and his wife Jill will be at the game tonight here in Houston. Both of them are actually alumni of Final Four teams. Vice President Biden graduated from Syracuse College of Law in 1968 . The second lady got her Master of Arts in English from Villanova in 1991. The Bidens are here promoting the "It's on us campaign preventing sexual assault on college campuses and supporting survivors of sexual assault.

So, guys, both of them will be here. Obviously, they'll be rooting for each other tonight because Syracuse is playing against North Carolina and Villanova taking on Oklahoma, but it would be very interesting if they ended up being a Syracuse-Villanova final and then it would be a house divided, and they probably wouldn't be speaking much of each other after the game.

BLACKWELL: Happens then? There's some negotiating going on. Bargaining.

SCHOLES: We're showing the pictures of the Bidens. They are all dressed in their suits, kind of looking up to the side. And I was thinking to myself, "I hope they have more fun than that as the game tonight. I hope they enjoy it. All right, Andy Scholes.

PAUL: We know you will, Andy, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you so much.

SCHOLES: All right. I have to go, guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Well, that's it for us. We'll see you back here at 10:00 Eastern for "NEWSROOM".

PAUL: Yeah, don't go anywhere, though. "SMERCONISH" starts right now.