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Officials: Brussels Attackers Planned to Hit France; Cruz Wins Big in Colorado Delegate Sweep; Sanders Wins Wyoming, Gets Boost Ahead of N.Y.; Fireworks Explosion Kills Nearly 100 in India. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired April 10, 2016 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:43] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much for spending your morning with us here. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Martin Savidge, in for Victor Blackwell.

We're following two breaking stories this morning.

A temple fire in India that's killed nearly a hundred people, and then new details about the deadly terror attacks in Europe.

We'll begin in Brussels. Prosecutors in Belgium now say France was the original target of the Brussels attackers.

PAUL: This is what's interesting. They say they saw how quickly the investigation into the Paris attacks was moving so changed their plans and hit Brussels instead. This is new information coming as prosecutors announce terror charges for the so-called "man in the hat", Mohamed Abrini. He was seen in surveillance video of the Brussels airport, this surveillance video, taken right before the attacks and he's also accused of driving the Paris attackers to their targets last November.

Now, CNN senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen is live in Brussels.

I know a lot of moving parts today, Fred. What are you hearing there this hour?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there certainly are a lot of moving parts, Christi. And we got some information literally just a couple of minutes ago. This comes from our French affiliate BFMTV and they are now saying that apparently sources in the investigation tell them that the targets that were supposed to be struck in France by this terrorist cell were supposed to be the financial district in Paris, which is called La Defense, as well as a Catholic association in Paris as well.

So, that's information that's coming in from our affiliate and that certainly seems to mesh with the statement that we got from the federal prosecutor here in Brussels a little earlier as well, where they also said that several sources were telling them that it was France that was supposed to be the target. However, because their investigation was moving forward so quickly, apparently, this terror cell felt they need to change their target and strike as fast as possible in Brussels -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Fred Pleitgen, we appreciate all that new information. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: We're also covering breaking news in India. A fireworks explosion at the temple has killed at least 98 people. More than 500 more are hurt.

PAUL: Take a look at the video we have coming in. This happened earlier this morning at the Puttingal temple. It is in the town of Kollam near the southern tip of India. A medical officer told CNN most of the deaths were head injuries caused by trauma and burns. Now, police charged temple officials with culpable homicide because they didn't have permission to use those fireworks.


PAUL: All right. Let's jump back into the political arena together here and the race for president. Senator Cruz winning big out West. Donald Trump back on the trail today hoping to shore up support in New York. Ted Cruz secured all 34 delegates in Colorado, which is helping him cut into Donald Trump's lead in the all-important race.

Now, overnight in Las Vegas, Cruz said a contested Republican convention in July is now all but certain. Those are his words.

CNN politics reporter Jeremy Diamond joins us.

Jeremy, so, obviously, another strong showing from Ted Cruz and his organization. Is it too soon, though, to say it is all but certain a contested convention is in our future?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, that certainly seems to be the way things are headed and given the way that Cruz's delegate operation has been successful in essentially wooing and securing the slate of delegates that they prefer to have at the convention, people who would likely vote for Ted Cruz on the second ballot, Ted Cruz is now saying, you know, he's comfortable saying I think this is likely going into a contested convention.

Listen to what he said last night.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is going to be a battle in Cleveland to see who can earn a majority of the delegates that were elected by the people. And let me tell you -- in that scenario, I think we will go in with an overwhelming advantage. I believe the first ballot will be the highest vote total Donald Trump receives and on a subsequent ballot, we're going to win the nomination and earn a majority.


DIAMOND: So, there you have Ted Cruz talking about the potential for a contested convention. Of course, Donald Trump now is also building out a delegate team. You know, he's playing a little bit of catch up. But he's brought in Paul Manafort, an expert veteran GOP hand as far as conventions are concerned.

[07:05:04] So, now, they're working on that. Donald Trump has actually taken the last four days off the trail essentially, having no major events. He'll be back today after essentially huddling with his aides and kind of plotting the path forward -- Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Jeremy Diamond, thank you.

SAVIDGE: All right. I want to bring in now, Scottie Nell Hughes, national political commentator for USA Radio Networks and a Donald Trump supporter, and also, conservative radio host Lenny McAllister.

Scottie, let me ask you this. Cruz thinks Donald Trump is going to fall short of the delegate majority before the convention. He would say that.

Do you think losses like we saw, say, in Colorado for Donald Trump are exposing cracks in the Trump ground game, as it were?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, NATIONAL POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, USA RADIO NETWORKS: First of all, when I listen to Senator Cruz sit there and say the delegates are elected by the people, I have to point out that's false, because it's not the delegates that are being elected by the people that we are worried about. It's these at large delegates that are being appointed by the Republican Party of each state, by those establishment votes within the state. Those right there are the ones that are going to be the detrimental ones, the unknown factor, the question mark.

And I have to tell you, when you talk to these delegates, they are actually someone who might not necessarily support Cruz either. So, I would hope some red flags are starting to go up within the Cruz campaign.

As for cracks within the Trump campaign, this is the difference between someone who accepts money from PACs, who accepts donations from day one and has been campaigning for years to be president and somebody who had been using his own dollars, his own money and is being fiscally responsibility. Mr. Trump grew his campaign as the campaign grew. And maybe he didn't have a ground game that was needed for a state like Colorado or maybe for future. However, he's obviously playing catch up and he's grown his campaign as campaign continues to win.

SAVIDGE: All right. Scottie, let me stop you there. Let me bring in Lenny.

Lenny, she's right here in the sense that these primaries are actually controlled by the parties themselves. It's like an exclusive club. They get to sort of make up the rules here, and the rules tend to favor the established candidate. So, Donald Trump seems to be not making out on these delegates, but let's face it, the Republican establishment has pretty much said Trump is not our guy. Cruz is the man we want.

LENNY MCALLISTER, CONSERVATIVE READIO HOST, "GET RIGHT W/ LENNY MCALLISTER": Well, here's flip side. The flip side is Donald Trump wins a bunch of primaries where it is an open primary where a bunch of independents and Democrats pull a Republican ballot and vote for Donald Trump. The Trump campaign is not complaining about that, and there are a lot of Republicans that are saying, listen, we've in many instances had our nominee selected by us by Democrats and independents that are voting for the Republican nominee who happens to be the weakest nominee polling against Hillary Clinton.

So, you can't complain about the process in one regard and say it is against you, and the same exact process which has given Donald Trump the lead, you kind of ignore that as well --

SAVIDGE: Well, I think, Lenny, the problem is here is that you're going to have voters who say why am I going to the polls if the delegates seem to be decided in such a way that it is stacked against my vote?

So, Scottie, weigh in here.

HUGHES: Well, the thing, you know, there's the difference between an independent or crossover voters that the Republican Party has been crying for years that we needed to attract and bring over to our part, and an establishment politician, which are who these at large delegate slots are going to. And like I said, these are folks that ran for Jeb delegates or Rubio delegates and now, they are being pointed in Cruz's and Trump's slot.

And honestly, if this is all about getting Ted Cruz to be sitting there and the nominee here in the convention, then why doesn't Rubio go on and relinquish his delegates, why don't we see Kasich go on and drop out and unite? The truth is these people are using Ted Cruz to get to a brokered convention and then they are going encourage chaos once we get to Cleveland. And, hopefully, this is their last chance, their Hail Mary, because their candidate to be nominated from the floor.

SAVIDGE: Lenny, nobody knows New York, let's face it, like Donald Trump does. If he get over 50 percent here, does he get all of the delegates? How does it work?

MCALLISTER: Well, because, he's in good position to possibly get most if not all of the delegates and that is something that should come into play for Donald Trump. I don't think anybody is going to be surprised on the 19th if he gets all the delegates. But it really boils down to how does the rest of the map. And what do

the delegates do from there? Again, it's amazing because one instance, we have not just the Trump campaign, but the other campaigns looking and wanting to cozy up to one set of rules and then when the rules play against them there is a lot of complaints. We're going to go to a contested convention. Those that have the ground game to get the delegates past the first ballot are the ones that are going to be able to coalesce the support, be able to win the majority and win the nomination.

SAVIDGE: Well, we'll see how it plays out, but there is no doubt that Cleveland is going to be one very interesting place in the middle of July.

Scottie Nell Hughes, Lenny McAllister, thank you both for joining us this morning.

MCALLISTER: Thanks. God bless.

SAVIDGE: A programming note now, CNN hosts a town hall with Donald Trump Tuesday night at 9:00 Eastern.

[07:10:02] He'll be joined by his wife Melania and his daughter Ivanka. And also, Anderson Cooper will be the host. That will be Tuesday night, that's 9:00 Eastern, right here, of course, on CNN.

PAUL: And we're going talk about Bernie Sanders as well, winning the Wyoming Democratic caucus. It is his eight of the 9 last contest wins. Should Hillary Clinton be concerned some are asking.

SAVIDGE: Also, we'll go back to India for the latest developments in that temple fire and mounting death toll.

PAUL: And, later, prosecutors in Brussels say they officially nabbed the terror suspect known as this man, dubbed "the man in the hat". Our terrorism panel is weighing in on the impact this arrest has on the war against terror.


SAVIDGE: All eyes are on New York as the Democratic race to clinch the nomination heats up. Bernie Sanders just got another jolt of momentum by winning the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday, seizing eight of the last nine contests. But Clinton still holds a significant lead in delegates. The math is pretty close when you look at just the pledge delegates, but once you factor in the super delegates, well, then, you see the margin widens.

CNN politics producer Dan Merica joins me now.

And, Dan, Clinton is hoping that she can stunt Sanders' momentum ahead of the New York primary on April 19th. But can she really?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS PRODUCER: Hey, Martin. Yes, she certainly is. And it's interesting, both candidates seem to be enjoying campaigning in their home states for lack of a better term. Hillary Clinton represented the state for eight years, now lives here, in Westchester County. Bernie Sanders was born here, grew up here I think for the first 18 years of his life.

And both are enjoying campaigning the New York way. Hillary Clinton taking the subway. Yesterday, she went to Jr.'s Cheesecake and ordered but did not eat cheesecake in front of the press.

Bernie Sanders goes to Hamilton, the play, the now famed play on Broadway and gone to a number of delis with his wife Jane.

[07:15:05] But, yes, Secretary Clinton is trying to stunt Bernie Sanders' momentum here in New York. But it's important to remember that Wyoming, 14 delegates at stake and the candidates actually split the delegates despite Bernie Sanders winning the state. And in New York, it is 247 delegates available. So, it's a very delegate rich state when compared to the Wyoming caucus.

But Hillary Clinton made it clear yesterday she's actually ready to move past Bernie Sanders. She wants to start focusing on Donald Trump. Take a listen to what she said in Brooklyn.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are on the path to the nomination. But I need -- I need to win big here in New York because -- because the sooner I can become the nominee, I can turn and unify the Democratic Party like I did with President Obama back in 2008.


And the sooner we can go after the Republicans full time.


MERICA: Now there is a reason she might be doing that. This race has grown more acrimonious as they enter New York. Accusations on bode both sides. So, Secretary Clinton very clear she wants to move past this primary and focus on Donald Trump, a candidate who as you spoke about in the last segment is already focused on building the delegates needed to become the Republican nominee.

SAVIDGE: Right. Well, of course, Hillary would want to move on, but I don't think Bernie Sanders -- that's not his plan right now.

Dan Merica, thank you very much for joining us this morning.

PAUL: CNN politics senior reporter Stephen Collinson joining us now.

So, Stephen, you know, let's be honest -- Hillary Clinton is not the only one standing at a podium asking people to get to the polls and vote. We've seen it even from Trump. We've seen it from Sanders. Here's a thing -- there is a great article in "The New York Times"

this morning talking about how Bernie Sanders actually has some supporters who are using Reddit and Twitter to start an aggressive pressure campaign to flip votes. They're emailing super delegates.

What does that say about this whole process that there are people watching this who know the super delegates have a lot of control here, and now, they may be asking, OK, you are telling me to go to the poll, but what does my vote really matter at this point?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Hey, Christi, I think it is symptomatic at the entire structure of the Sanders campaign here. I don't think he probably gets enough credit for the way he's used internet and social media to build this grassroots movement.

You're right, it is basically Bernie Sanders best hope of winning the nomination now given the fact that he's about 230 pledge delegates behind Hillary Clinton, is to get super delegates. These are people that are party officials, party office holders to switch their support from Hillary Clinton whom they overwhelmingly support to him. He has to make the argument as he has over the last few days that he's more electable than Hillary Clinton. That he would do a better job in taking on Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee.

I have to say, though, if you speak to these super delegates, you realize what a big task Bernie Sanders does indeed have. They don't generally, the ones who have already supported Hillary Clinton, back the idea that he would be a better general election candidate. Or necessarily that he's more qualified than Hillary Clinton.

But I think the fact that the Sanders campaign is going aggressively after these folks is recognition that, you know, without switching super delegates their path to the nomination is narrowing, given the fact as we saw last night in Wyoming. He won by 10 percent but only came out with the same number of pledge delegates as Hillary Clinton.

PAUL: Uh-huh. So you are saying the ability to sway these super delegates is really not going to happen.

COLLINSON: Yes, what he would need to do would, for example, get a big win over Hillary Clinton in New York. Now, you can imagine the impact that might have on the Democrat Party. It would spread panic.

If Hillary Clinton were to lose the state that she represents, she won twice in Senate races, where she's lived the past 15 years since leaving the White House, where the Clintons, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have laid down a massive political network, that would be one of the things that would start perhaps making super delegates scratch their heads, and thinking, wow, maybe she's not as strong as we thought she was.

PAUL: But how likely that that could happen? What would Bernie Sanders have to do, let's say, at this point in the game to sway that many people in New York? COLLINSON: That's the big question. He has to make a case that he's more qualified to be President Hillary Clinton, that he understands New Yorkers.

I think what you are seeing in the Sanders campaign is they are aggressively targeting western New York. These are -- there are a lot of cities up there, Syracuse, Rochester, who have been very hurt by migration of manufacturing jobs abroad. They feel the Bernie Sanders message on trade is much more in tune with what real New Yorkers really think, than what Hillary Clinton thinks they think. They feel that she's a little bit out of touch perhaps.

And they can use the fact that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Act, with Canada and Mexico, which many people in Upstate New York blame for the loss of their jobs, was passed under the administration of Bill Clinton.

[07:20:08] He has to really drive this economic inequality message very hard to try and get Hillary Clinton off balance.

But I think what you're seeing is Hillary Clinton, as Dan said, she's out every day in New York. She's portraying herself as a real New Yorker who understands what New Yorkers think. And I think at least the polls say it is an uphill task for Sanders to win New York with only a week left.

PAUL: OK. Stephen Collinson, always appreciate your insight, sir. Thank you for being here.


PAUL: And, listen, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, by the way, are both appearing on "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" this morning. That's at 9:00 Eastern.

And I want to tell you about Thursday night. They are both facing off in a CNN Democratic debate live from Brooklyn, New York, as well. Wolf Blitzer moderating that one. Again, it's Thursday nine, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

SAVIDGE: Ahead on NEW DAY, we're following breaking news in India. A fireworks explosion killing nearly one hundred people during a religious festival. We'll get the latest on the developing story there.

Plus, a suspect in Brussels and the Paris attacks now charged with terrorism. How the bombshell confession he dropped on prosecutors could help in other terror investigations.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: Those explosions coming from inside a temple in southern India. A fire broke out during a fireworks display at a religious celebration in Kollam. [07:25:01] Police say nearly a hundred people are dead and at least

540 are injured. Now, the town's police commissioner says the temple authorities will be charged with culpable homicide.

SAVIDGE: We want to bring in CNN's Mallika Kapur. She's working on the very latest for us from Mumbai -- Mallika.

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've just got word from the prime minister's officer that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in the town of Kollam, where this terrible tragedy took place and this as a death toll from this temple fire continues to rise.

We are looking at a hundred people dead and several hundred more people who are critically injured and are fighting for their lives in hospitals close buy.

But with the prime minister is a team of doctors and nurses. The prime minister moved very swiftly earlier this morning to galvanize help. He's ordered helicopters have been mobilized, involved in the Indian army and navy. To mobilize helicopters and relief teams to try and bring as much medical attention and medical help as he can.

That really is the need of the hour. The situation there is so grim that rescue people, authorities who are pulling bodies out of the rubble say some of them have been burned so badly they are charred beyond the point of recognition and they're going to have to use DNA testing to determine the identity of these bodies.

The situation remains grim indeed. The need of the hour is for medical attention. But there are also lots of angry voices there who are determining to know -- wanting to know what happened and whether there was any negligence on part of temple authorities to figure out what went wrong.

SAVIDGE: All right. Mallika Kapur, thank you very much for that update.


PAUL: We have some new information coming to us out of Belgium this hour. Prosecutors there say the Brussels attackers had intended to hit France, a second time. Why they suddenly changed their plans.