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Donald Trump sweeps five states, could secure nomination; Pilgrim's Pride recalls over 4.5 million pounds of chicken products due to contaminants; Former House Speaker, Dennis Hastert to be sentenced; Harvard concerned, may need to delay commencement due to disease outbreak; Trump to give foreign policy speech. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired April 27, 2016 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[10:33:20]

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, I'm Carol Costello. Fresh off his five-state sweep, Donald Trump is set to deliver a major speech on foreign policy today in Washington. In an effort to appear more presidential, the GOP frontrunner is expected to ditch his off- the-cuff style and instead use a teleprompter. Many are hoping his speech brings clarity to controversial comments like these:

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DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know more about ISIS than the Generals do, believe me. I would bomb the [censored] out of them.

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TRUMP: We have to really be vigilant with respect to the Muslim population. They're not coming out of Sweden, that want to kill us.

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CHUCK TODD, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": Who do you talk to for military advice right now?

TRUMP: Well I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great -- you know, when you watch your show, and all of the other shows, and you have the Generals ...

TODD: So you do that --

TRUMP: ... and you have certain people that you know.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We need to go much stronger than waterboarding.

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TRUMP: North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would, in fact, be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea. Maybe they would be better off ...

UNKNOWN MALE REPORTER: With nukes?

TRUMP: Including with nukes, yes.

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TRUMP: Our border would be very, very strong. And we will build the wall.

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COSTELLO: All right. So the world is listening to Donald Trump, so let's bring in CNN's International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson. He's in London, following how Trump is being viewed on the world stage. Hi, Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, hi Carol. I think a lot of this is going to depend on how much of the additional detail that there may, or may not be is (ph) focus really towards his own audience in the United States. There's -- it would insist (ph) on a vote for him (ph).

And how much of it is going to be detailed enough and useful for leaders around the world? I mean, the Japanese for example, have pushed back on that idea that they really need nukes, as well, to face-off against North Korea's nukes. So that's a point of contention. The issue of Muslims, that has really gone around the whole globe, and there's been a lot of condemnation above (ph) his comments on that, from a variety of leaders.

Perhaps the report card so far, for Donald Trump, from leaders around the world would be, "could do better." And the Pope, really perhaps picking up on one of the core issues there -- of course the wall to Mexico -- the Pope saying he needs to build bridges.

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POPE FRANCIS (via translator): A person who thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel.

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ROBERTSON: So, the Pope's views there, on that, arc across the world, more than just one nation. You know, perhaps interestingly, last week we heard from David Cameron, here with President Obama, standing side- by-side at a press conference. You get a sense that, for perhaps leaders around the world, it is getting a little more real that Donald Trump might become a more serious contender for President.

Because when David Cameron was asked, with President Obama at his side, "what would you say," or, "would you like to comment on the political presidential race in the United States?" Specifically about Trump, and let's not forget here, Cameron has gone on the record saying he doesn't like Trump's views and attitudes towards Muslims, at least those stated publicly.

This is what he said:

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DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: As for the American elections, I've made some comments in recent weeks and months. I don't think now is the moment to add to them or subtract from them. But I think, just as a Prime Minister -- who's been through two general elections, leading my party -- you always look on at the US elections in awe of the scale of the process, and the length of the process. And I marvel at anyone who's left standing at the end of it.

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ROBERTSON: So that was a politician dodging the core question of "will you comment on it or not." And I think that perhaps underlies the perspective now, that perhaps Donald Trump may become -- he's certainly not, certainly not out of the running yet -- President. And therefore, if you're a politician, like David Cameron, you've said what you've said, and you're not going to sort of, amplify any more of it.

So the details, I think, are going to be the key things for the leaders around the world looking at this, Carol.

COSTELLO: So have you heard any leader from around the world, embracing Mister Trump?

ROBERTSON: Well there has been pretty much one exception to that sort of, report card "could do better." President Putin in Russia thinks that Donald Trump is a good candidate. Thinks that he is a smart guy. Perhaps that's because Donald Trump has said that NATO isn't working right now. And of course, there's a really wide belief around the world, particularly within NATO, is that Russia would like to see NATO divided. So Donald Trump is kind of delivering that issue right there to President Putin. So yeah, there is one out there that said Trump is doing well, and that's President Putin, in Russia.

COSTELLO: All right, Nic Robertson reporting live for us this morning. Thank you. Coming up next, we'll talk about Mister Trump's big foreign policy speech, and what he ought to say, maybe what he shouldn't say, maybe what he needs to say. Fareed Zakaria joins me next.

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COSTELLO: While we await Trump's big speech, here's how the GOP frontrunner responded today, when CNN's Chris Cuomo asked whether Donald Trump agreed with President Obama's decision to send 250 additional special ops forces to Syria.

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TRUMP: Well, I could agree with it, but I don't agree with telling it to the world. I would send them in quietly because right now they have a target on their back. So I would agree with it much more -- I don't know what purpose they're being sent in for, but -- I would agree with it, I can live with it. But what I don't like doing is sending them in so -- I mean, you know, with such fanfare. Let them go in, let them go in quietly, be unpredictable. But I just, you know I, from my standpoint, I just find it very, very hard to, everytime we do something we announce it for publicity reasons. And I think that's very negative. I think that's, I think that's a bad thing.

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[10:38:45]

COSTELLO: All right, let's bring in CNN's Fareed Zakaria. He's the host of Fareed Zakaria, GPS. Welcome. So you just heard what Mister Trump said. He said that, well, he might agree with sending 250 special ops forces into Syria, but it should've been kept quiet. He's accusing President Obama of announcing it for publicity reasons. Is that right?

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS": No, it's a complicated issue, actually. Because the reason Presidents have tended to announce these things is, imagine you have American forces in a country where the President has not told the American people there are forces, and some of them die. You now have to explain why they were there. So part of the decision has been that, at the end of the day, armed balance (ph) is probably a better idea to signal -- you're not saying where, you're not saying what they're doing.

So it is complicated. I mean, in general, these kind of special operations forces should be done somewhat stealthily. But probably in a democracy, particularly given the history of -- this comes out of Vietnam and things like that -- the American public should be informed where American forces are operating militarily.

COSTELLO: Of course, Mister Trump is going to deliver a major foreign policy speech a little later this afternoon. He's going to use a teleprompter, it's going to be a well-thought out speech, that's what that says to me. So do you think it will be -- his thoughts will be vastly different than they have been in the past?

ZAKARIA: You know, part of the puzzle here -- there are two things going on -- one, Donald Trump is trying to appear more presidential, and more sober, and less crazy in terms of the nature of this rhetoric, the tone and things like that. And that's all to (ph) the good (ph), I think everyone will have to make a decision as to whether or not to believe that, versus the months and months, or years and years of intemperate rhetoric he's had.

But there's a bigger substantive issue which is, Trump has been all over the place on foreign policy. He has, at times, appeared to want to be very aggressive, interventionist, expancious (ph), send 30,000 troops, create safe zones. At other points he said, let Putin do it, let the Gulf states do it. Why are we getting involved, this is their struggle.

And in a way this mirrors the Republican Party. There are impulses in the Republican Party that are this kind of Jacksonian -- stemming from the Andrew Jackson tradition. Which is, "let's go in somewhere, beat up the bad guys, and get out. We don't want to be involved in the war." And then there is the Reagan internationalist tradition. So it's not clear to anyone where Donald Trump stands on these issues, and frankly it's true of many of the areas ...

COSTELLO: Going back for a second to his tough talk, because I think many Americans appreciate that, because some of them perceive that the world views America as weak. And you need someone to talk tough in there. And Donald Trump does that.

ZAKARIA: And the problem with that argument, which he, himself recognizes at times, OK, you send 30,000 troops into Syria, you beat up ISIS. The United States military could do that. Then what? Now you own real estate in Syria. Are you going to run it? Are you going to -- you know, if you leave, they'll come back. This was the problem in Iraq. This is the problem in Afghanistan. We've been in Afghanistan for 15 years.

It's easy to talk tough when you have that initial phase of the operation. Where you go in, you bomb people. The problem we have found in country after country is, it's the second step. It's the governing that land that you have now conquered, that becomes a problem. Because you're the outsider, you're seen by a lot of people as a colonial force. They mount an insurgency against you. I'd love to hear what -- whether Donald Trump has an answer to stage two of the operation.

COSTELLO: We'll see, we'll see in a couple of hours. Fareed Zakaria, thanks for stopping by. Wolf Blitzer, by the way, will anchor CNN's live coverage of Donald Trump's foreign policy speech. That's at noon, Eastern, today.

Still to come in the Newsroom, Donald Trump is winning over voters who once despised him. Why major wins in Tuesday's primary could pave the way to Cleveland.

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[10:47:15]

COSTELLO: The GOP nomination is within Donald Trump's reach. The front runner needs just half the remaining delegates to avoid a convention fight, and secure the nomination. Last night's five-state sweep -- that road we have opened up, as he made in-roads against a lot of different kinds of voters. Christine Romans has been combing through the exit polls. She brings us more.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR "EARLY START": It's called saving stuff (ph). It's interesting to see the season move along, and how voters' tastes are changing, too. A big shift in voter attitudes. GOP voters say they do not want a fight at the convention. We asked, "what should Republicans do if no candidate gathers 1,237 delegates." In Pennsylvania, 70 percent, Carol, say the primary winner should be the nominee.

In Connecticut, 66 percent say the primary winner should be the nominee. In early primary states, voters said delegates should pick the best candidate for the general election. So it could be that Trump's protesting that the GOP system is rigged, is working in his favor with these voters. More voters are warming up to a Trump presidency. Look at Connecticut, 57 percent said they will definitely vote for Trump. We see the same trend in Maryland, nearly 6 in 10 voters will vote for Donald Trump if he is the nominee.

GOP voters might finally be ready for the contentious battle to come to an end, and decide on their nominee. And Trump has excitement on his side in Pennsylvania, 61 percent of GOP voters, primary voters, said they would feel excited and optimistic with a Trump presidency. We also asked GOP voters in the state if the Republican campaign energized or divided the party, 58 percent said the campaign dividing the party.

But it's the opposite for Democrats -- this is getting a lot of attention this morning. Almost 70 percent of Democrat primary voters say the campaign has energized the Democratic Party. That will be interesting as we move forward to a general election. Maybe some of that energy on the Democrat side means that Hillary Clinton will make some in-rows (ph) with those young voters, and Independents.

COSTELLO: Maybe that's the biggest sign that Bernie Sanders should stay in it until the end, right? Because he's the one ...

ROMANS: Maybe.

COSTELLO: You know, he's drumming up a lot of excitement from different kinds of voters.

ROMANS: Both parties are talking about unifying their party going forward, here. Those exit polls show that the Democrats have a better chance at this point maybe, than the Republicans.

COSTELLO: We'll have to see.

ROMANS: Yes, we will.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

COSTELLO: Still to come; outbreak at Harvard, the disease threatened to cancel commencement.

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[10:58:20]

COSTELLO: Checking some top stories at 58 minutes past. Pilgrim's Pride is recalling over 4.5 million pounds of cooked chicken products. The recall comes after customers complained they were finding plastic in their chicken nuggets. USDA inspectors then found plastic, rubber, and metal in several other chicken products made by the company. A complete list of the recalled products can be found on the USDA website.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is set to be sentenced today, in a hush money case. The case revealed he was being accused of sexually abusing young boys when he was a teacher in Illinois. Hastert pleaded guilty last Fall, to hiding money transactions. Prosecutors are asking the judge to consider jail time.

A Mumps outbreak at Harvard could derail the University's upcoming commencement ceremony. The Mumps cases first surfaced in February, since then more than 40 students have been infected. The school's Health Services Directors say if there's a spike this week, it could lead to a potentially serious interruption for May's commencement.

And coming up in just about an hour, Donald Trump delivers a speech on foreign policy. CNN will bring that to you, live. Wolf Blitzer will analyze the speech before and after, so be sure to tune into CNN at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Thank you for joining me today, I'm Carol Costello. "AT THIS HOUR" with Berman and Bolduan starts now.

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