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Interview With Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions; Trump Delivers Foreign Policy Speech; Cruz Names Fiorina as Running Mate; Donald Trump Speaks at First Post-Victory Rally. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired April 27, 2016 - 18:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news: Presumptive nominee? Donald Trump declares himself the Republican pick for president after sweeping five primaries, the GOP front-runner following up his victories with a major foreign policy speech and a campaign rally this hour. We are standing by to hear from Donald Trump. And I will talk to one of his key supporters, Senator Jeff Sessions.

Cruz's vice. Ted Cruz tries to steal Donald Trump's spotlight, announcing Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate. Cruz is now hundreds of delegates behind Trump, with no way to win enough to clinch the nomination outright. Will this unusual move help him in his quest to block Trump?

Berned out. Bernie Sanders poised to lay off hundreds of campaign staffers after losing four out of five contests to Clinton in the latest primaries. Sanders now softening his attacks and admitting that time is running out. Is his campaign right now at a crossroads?

And ISIS camouflage. Terrorist forces depleted of new recruits and under constant air assaults now are hiding tarps to hide their movements from planes overhead. With ISIS believed to be weakened, a major offensive could be just weeks away. Can the U.S. and its allies take back Iraq's second largest city from ISIS?

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Breaking political news this hour. Donald Trump about to speak at his first campaign rally since his commanding victories in all five states in the Super Tuesday primaries. Trump will be taking the stage soon in Indianapolis.

Indiana is the next big battleground with 57 delegates at stake next Tuesday.

Also breaking, Ted Cruz trying to regain momentum, stealing some of Trump's thunder, making an unusual early running mate announcement. He's named his rival Carly Fiorina as his pick for vice president, even though Cruz has been mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright.

And there's breaking news on the Democratic side as well. CNN has confirmed that Bernie Sanders will lay off hundreds of campaign workers across the country. A Sanders adviser says they will include both field and advance staff. This comes one day after Sanders lost four out of five primary contests to Hillary Clinton.

We're covering all of that and much more this hour with our guests, including Donald Trump supporter Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama. Our correspondents and expert analysts, they are also standing by.

Let's begin with the Republican race for the White House.

Our political reporter, Sara Murray, is in Indianapolis for us tonight at that Trump campaign rally about to begin.

He is about to speak. Set the stage for us, Sara.

SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we're expecting another raucous rally here in Indiana for Donald Trump tonight.

But earlier today, he delivered a more formal foreign policy address, and he offered a takedown of President Obama and Hillary Clinton's approach to foreign policy, but didn't exactly lay out a clear vision for what he would do as president, except saying it is important to not be too predictable about these things.


MURRAY (voice-over): Today, Donald Trump unleashing a blistering criticism of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, and previewing fault lines that could shape the general election.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I challenge anyone to explain the strategic foreign policy vision of Obama-Clinton. It has been a complete and total disaster.

MURRAY: In his formal speech today in Washington, Trump called for an America-first approach to foreign policy.

TRUMP: My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. Has to be first.

MURRAY: Trump pledging that intervention won't be his first instinct and saying he will seek to improve relationships with countries like Russia.

TRUMP: We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China.

MURRAY: Rather than delve deep into specifics, Trump says it's time to stop broadcasting America's every move.

TRUMP: We must, as a nation, be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable.

MURRAY: After his five-state sweep on Tuesday, Trump is feeling more secure than ever in his front-runner status.

TRUMP: I consider myself the presumptive nominee.

MURRAY: To clinch the nomination, he needs roughly 49 percent of the remaining delegates to hit that magic 1,237. To date, he has won about 50.2 percent of the delegates. So, if he keeps up his current pace, the nomination should be within his grasp.

For Trump, it's a sign the strategy that got him this far is working.

TRUMP: You have a football team and you're winning and then you get to the Super Bowl, you don't change your quarterback, right? So I'm not changing.


MURRAY: And that general election fight could be brutal, as Trump tries out an even sharper tone against Clinton, questioning whether she has any credentials beyond her gender.

TRUMP: Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the woman's card.

MURRAY: Trump is not the only one with his eye on the general. Today, Ted Cruz making the unconventional decision to tap Carly Fiorina as his V.P. if he can win the nomination at a contested convention.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Carly is a vice presidential nominee who I believe is superbly skilled, superbly gifted at helping unite this party, bring us together so we stand united as one.


MURRAY: Now, Donald Trump just put out a statement reacting to this Carly Fiorina announcement. Wolf, I would say he is unimpressed by this move.

He pointed out Ted Cruz is being clobbered in the delegate count, and he says it is a pure waste of time, and he says Cruz has no path to victory, he is only trying to stay relevant. And of course we are expecting to hear from Donald Trump live in just a few minutes, and we will see if he expands on those remarks tonight -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I suspect he will.

All right, Sara, thank you.

Let's get some more on the breaking news right now, the breaking news coming from the Cruz campaign, the announcement of Carly Fiorina as Ted Cruz's running mate.

Sunlen Serfaty is also joining us from Indianapolis right now.

Sunlen, you had a chance to speak to Carly Fiorina. How did that go?


You know, indicating how quickly all of this was put together, Carly Fiorina confirms to me she was asked only yesterday by Senator Cruz to be his vice presidential pick, and although she does describe this as an ongoing conversation that they have been having for quite some time.

And I did ask her about pushback and the criticism coming from the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, today, when he brought up past statements Carly Fiorina had said when she was running against Senator Cruz. Fiorina once saying Senator Cruz will do anything and say anything to get elected. Today, she tried to brush it off.


CARLY FIORINA (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, of course Donald Trump would do that. A guy who practices saying anything to get elected is actually Donald J. Trump, because all of the stuff he is talking about now, I'm going to fight the system, he's not going to fight the system. He is the system.

He has benefited from the system all of his life, so, you know, see you out on the campaign trail, Donald.

SERFATY: That criticism, he also says Senator Cruz was wasting his time. What's your response to that?

FIORINA: Yes. Well, Donald Trump says a lot of things. He's not wasting his time. None of us are wasting our time who want to fight for the soul of our party and the future of our nation. And that's what this is about, and it is why I have said since the very week that Donald Trump announced his candidacy, he does not represent me and he does not represent my party.


SERFATY: Now, that "See you on the campaign, Donald Trump" really struck me, indicating it seems that Carly Fiorina in her new role as Ted Cruz's vice presidential pick intends to keep up her aggressive criticism, get in the scrum, not only Donald Trump, but of Hillary Clinton, too, something we did see from her as a presidential candidate herself.

I also talked to her about the criticism over the unusual move, the timing of the announcement, the fact that it is pretty unprecedented, pretty early on the timeline, and asked her, does that speak to any desperation on the part of the campaign, trying to refocus attention/

Wolf, she just said, no, I don't think so. Everything about this campaign and everything about this election is unprecedented -- Wolf. BLITZER: All right, Sunlen, thanks very much.

Let's some get more on all of this. Joining us, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. He's member of Judiciary and Armed Services Committee. He's also strong supporter of Donald Trump for president.

Senator, thanks very much for joining us.


BLITZER: Look at the numbers in the actual vote totals so far -- 40 states have already had their primaries and caucuses. Trump is at 10- 062,000, Cruz 6,857,000, Kasich 3,674,000.

When will this party start rallying around the guy who has got by millions, as he likes to say, the most votes?

SESSIONS: I think it is going to happen soon. You can feel it already in people out on the street and also in Washington in the halls of Congress.

BLITZER: Are you feeling that from your Republican colleagues in the Senate?

SESSIONS: Yes, and I think they feel like they can work with Donald Trump. They know he is resonating with the American people, he's raising issues that the people care about and they're flocking to him with enthusiasm.

He has got more enthusiasm than anybody else also. He has votes, enthusiasm, and delegates. I think he is moving very well.


BLITZER: You have no doubt he will win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention in Cleveland?

SESSIONS: No, I think he will. I certainly think so.

I presume he will win because he's got the most delegates and I think he will have over the number required for a sure victory.

BLITZER: I have noticed over the past 48 hours or so, he has been very complimentary to Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Earlier, he was saying negative things, the system is rigged and all of that, saying negative things about the RNC. But now he is being very complimentary to Reince Priebus.

Does it look like the party, the Republican Party, your party, is going to rally around him as well?

SESSIONS: I think so. Reince Priebus is a good leader. He knows we need to unite.

I think the Trump campaign was worried about some things that were happening, and they were firing some shots across the bow. I am hopeful that those are being settled now, and we will move forward to the party being united and then bringing forth members of Congress and other leaders, and bringing them on board in a unity effort.

Donald Trump can win this election. He can defeat Hillary Clinton. He has good policies for America. I think he will make a real difference.

BLITZER: The Carly Fiorina announcement today, the veep, that Ted Cruz says she will be his running mate, what's your reaction?

SESSIONS: I think that's an unusual step. Definitely maybe has a media day for it, but Trump just finished carrying five states, every county of five states, states that normally Republicans don't do so well in.

I think it would be a great asset to the party to be able to nominate somebody who can compete aggressively in the Northeast.

BLITZER: Do you think Cruz and Kasich should just drop out?

SESSIONS: I think they probably should. I don't see where they're going from here. We do need to more toward unity.

But they have got a right to continue. I respect both of them. And so we will see how they move forward with their personal decisions.

BLITZER: Senator, we have more to discuss, including the foreign policy, national security speech that Donald Trump delivered today. I know you have been helping him in those areas. You have been working very closely with him.

Jeff Sessions is staying with us. We're also standing by to hear from Donald Trump. He's getting ready to address this huge rally in Indianapolis, right now, Indiana, a critically important state coming up next Tuesday, the primary there. We will take a break and we will be right back.



BLITZER: We are back with Donald Trump supporter Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. We're going to talk to him about Donald Trump's foreign policy speech that he delivered earlier today.

But, first, let's get some details from our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto.

Jim, this was much more tightly scripted than Trump's usual stump speech.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question, more tightly scripted and more muted as well in his delivery.

But, listen, those positions, they were familiar, brash, unapologetic. He took jabs at U.S. allies for not paying their way. He claimed if he could do business with Vladimir Putin -- mostly, though, he took aim at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, blaming them together for a foreign policy he described as weak, confused, and a mess.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): Delivering what his campaign called a major foreign policy speech in Washington, Donald Trump immediately took aim at President Obama.

TRUMP: If President Obama's goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.

SCIUTTO: In fact, perhaps telegraphing his general election message, Trump equated the president and his likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, uttering Obama-Clinton no fewer than three times.

TRUMP: The Obama Clinton interventions, with President Obama and Secretary Clinton, of Obama-Clinton.

SCIUTTO: And declaring their foreign policy a shared failure.

TRUMP: The legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion, and disarray.

SCIUTTO: Trump was more scripted, and less bombastic, than at campaign rallies, but his speech included several campaign-tested positions, though few with specifics. He said that he and only he would defeat ISIS.

TRUMP: Their days are numbered. I won't tell them where and I won't tell them how.

SCIUTTO: For Russia, a country seen increasingly as a threat by the current administration and the U.S. military, Trump offered an olive branch.

TRUMP: Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can't make a deal under my administration, a deal that's great, then we will quickly walk from the table.

SCIUTTO: For U.S. allies, he accused President Obama of abandoning them, but at the same time repeated his campaign promise to make allies pay their way.

TRUMP: The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense and, if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.

SCIUTTO: Critics were quick to accuse Trump of broad contradictions.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: It was sort of rambling to the point of being incoherent. He contradicted himself several times. It struck me, he said we're getting out of nation-building, but we're going to create stability. Well, how do you do that? You got out of nation-building in Iraq, you got more instability.

SCIUTTO: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tweeting: "Not sure who is advising Trump on foreign policy, but I can understand why he is not revealing their names."

And in a flub that gave his critics ammunition...

TRUMP: Tanzania.

SCIUTTO: ... Trump mispronounces the name of the East African nation Tanzania. The White House quickly pouncing on the mistake.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Apparently, the phonetics aren't good on the teleprompter.




SCIUTTO: To be fair, some of Trump's positions come right from the Republican mainstream, criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, for instance, and the U.S. failure to stop North Korea from developing a nuclear bomb.

There was in effect, Wolf, something in there for everyone. Some even contradicted each other. Do his supporters see those contradictions? Hard to see at this point, but a catch-all speech from the presumptive Republican nominee.

BLITZER: All right, Jim Sciutto reporting for us, thanks very much.

Jeff Sessions is still with us, the senator from Alabama, a strong supporter of Donald Trump.

You advised him, you helped him with that speech, right?

SESSIONS: Well, I did give advice on the speech, but you can tell it is Trump's ideas.

In fact, one of the things that attracted me to Trump was his belief that we have been too involved in nation-building on occasion, that we have not stood up and had our allies contribute sufficiently to our mutual defense, and that we have an incoherent foreign policy today.

BLITZER: You want more of what they call an isolationist policy or, as Rand Paul would call it, a noninterventionist policy, as opposed to the robust policy of the Bush administration, let's say the Obama administration?

SESSIONS: Well, I think have we learned we can't be as successful as we would like to be in building democratic nations in very troubled areas of the globe. We have just learned that totally.

So, it is difficult thing. And I think Donald Trump has got it about right. We have got to be careful, not overreach, but at the same time, if we have to use military force, we will use it decisively.

BLITZER: He used that phrase America first.

And, as you know, his critics have been recalling that in the '30s and the early '40s, when the U.S. was thinking of going to war against Nazi Germany, the America First Coalition Committee came -- was around trying to prevent the United States in getting involved in World War II. Sort of an awkward phrase, his critics are pointing out.

SESSIONS: Well, let me just say this.

The United States' foreign policy must be based on the national interest of the United States of America first and foremost, and that's what he said today. Then you ask, are alliances good for us? Yes. He said we are going to meet with our NATO allies, strengthen that and update the NATO alliance.

At the same time, we're going to insist our allies pay more. We're going to meet with our Asian allies. We're going to develop a new modern up-to-date policy for the Pacific, and they're going to have to pay more, too. I thought it was a coherent and rational approach. And it's overdue, frankly.

BLITZER: He says, Donald Trump, he's now getting phone calls from people who have criticized him, but now are increasingly anxious to jump aboard his bandwagon, if you will. You're smiling. Do you know who some of these people are?

SESSIONS: Yes. People are coming to me, and I'm hearing it from friends and I'm hearing it from phone calls that come to my office.

And I think our members of Congress are also looking at this in a way that is saying this man is resonating. What's wrong with a policy...


BLITZER: Who are some of these people?

SESSIONS: I am not going to talk about private conversations.

But I will just tell you there's no doubt in my mind that we can unify the Republican Conference behind Donald Trump.

BLITZER: Do you think they are going to come forward and announce their support for Trump?

SESSIONS: Well, Mr. Trump isn't just going around asking for endorsements.

He's going out, getting votes. He's winning elections and election with bigger and bigger majorities. That's where the power comes from. But, yes, I think our members will work together because the Trump ideas are solid and can be defended.

BLITZER: When he says he is going to destroy ISIS, and he because says, trust me, I know what I'm doing, I am not going to spell out my strategy, don't the American people have a right to know what is strategy is?

SESSIONS: He should not be telling exactly how he would go about ISIS, no. You don't do that in advance.

But I think this is a commitment that the American people can take to the bank. Donald Trump will step up the pressure on ISIS, and if we do it effectively, they will be gone.

BLITZER: What would be the difference between what the Obama administration's strategy to destroy ISIS is and a Trump administration strategy in trying to destroy ISIS?

SESSIONS: Well, we haven't been very effective so far with ISIS. In fact, we have been very weak. We have created areas where they have built their base, the destabilization of Libya, which is a direct responsibility of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, created now a base in Libya for it.

BLITZER: What would he do differently?

SESSIONS: Well, I think he will continue to press the case against them. But I'm not going to say exactly how he would do it.

BLITZER: Deploy ground troops, tens of thousands of ground troops to go into Mosul, for example, the second largest city in Iraq, city of two million people, and liberate that city from ISIS?

SESSIONS: One of the greatest disasters that we have had was President Obama and Hillary Clinton pulling our troops out of Iraq.

It was a fragile area. It hadn't been secured permanently. That's for sure. But pulling out prematurely has now led to Mosul, where we were able to establish a decent government there, to fall to ISIS.


So, yes, it is going to be a very difficult effort to retake Mosul, but it must be done and can be done.

BLITZER: You would support sending thousands of U.S. troops back into Iraq, into Syria to destroy ISIS?

SESSIONS: No, no. We have got allies in Iraq.

They can be strengthened. The special forces we have, we have drones and other capabilities. But a sustained effort can move, can defeat ISIS, but it is not going to be easy, but it can be done.

BLITZER: He spoke for 40 minutes. He went through a lot of important issues, and he elaborated on a lot of important issues. I didn't hear him say the U.S. will build a wall along the border with Mexico and Mexico will pay for it.

He says it in every other speech. He didn't say it today at the Mayflower Hotel. How come?

SESSIONS: Well, he did assert that we have to a legal system of immigration.


BLITZER: He did speak about immigration. And he would secure the borders. But I didn't hear him say we will build the wall and Mexico will pay for it.

SESSIONS: Well, this speech was focusing mainly on international relations, the Middle East, our allies in NATO, and allies in the Pacific, how we can strengthen the alliances, and how we can ensure that they give -- pay a fair share of the cost of our mutual efforts.

BLITZER: He also didn't elaborate on what he said before, water- boarding. He thinks that would be fine, if you got a terrorist suspect, you go ahead and water-board, and even go further in what some call torture of these suspects. He didn't get into any of that. Was there a reason he didn't want to elaborate on that?

SESSIONS: I asked him across the board. My advice was not to get into troop levels, how many boats we need, how many ships we need, how many -- money we should spend or those kind of things in this speech.

He needed to state his approach to representing the United States and the national interest and the people of the United States and how he is going to protect this nation, advance our interests working with our allies and expecting to get more from them.

And he also said that he thinks he can advance a relationship with Russia that is better than we have today, and that would be good, if achievable, but he made clear that he knows how to negotiate. If they're not serious, then he will pull away from it.

BLITZER: And you believe that he will, A, be the Republican presidential nominee, and if he is, he will beat let's say Hillary Clinton and become the next president of the United States?

SESSIONS: I do. I think he is going to win this nomination. I think he's on track to do that. And I think when this issue is joined, the people are going to see the kind of leader and a person who is committed to advancing our interests and welfare of the American working people. They're flocking to him now and will continue to do so.

BLITZER: You have been a strong supporter of his for months now. And we will see where this goes.

Thank you, Senator Sessions, for coming in.

SESSIONS: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead, Donald Trump is about to speak to supporters at a huge rally in Indianapolis. It's a victory lap of sorts after the GOP front-runner swept five states in the Super Tuesday primaries, but it's also a key test of Trump's shift to what some are describing a more presidential tone.


BLITZER: Welcome back. Live pictures from this huge rally in Indianapolis, Indiana. The primary there is next Tuesday. Donald Trump getting ready to address this crowd, fresh from his clean sweep of Super Tuesday primaries just six days, once again, before the Indiana primary. Fifty-seven delegates at stake next Tuesday.

[18:32:59] Earlier Trump gave a major foreign policy speech, the theme America first.

Let's get some more. Our CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is with us; our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger is with us; our CNN political commentator, Hilary Rosen; and our CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Gloria, first of all, what do you make of Ted Cruz's decision to pick Carly Fiorina as his vice-presidential pick?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Couple things. First of all, Wolf, he needed to change the conversation from the sweep that Trump had last night. And he also just put all his chips in the center of the table. He said, "Look, I'm all in. This is it."

It's a big play for the state of Indiana. I'm not sure what it does to help him there, but what has he got to lose? You know, he's got to travel the state. Carly Fiorina is somebody who thinks the way he does, who has endorsed him, who is good out there on the campaign trail. A woman who can help him. And so they can try and divide and conquer the state.

You know, from his point of view, I don't think he really had much to lose by doing this. I think it's a campaign tactic to get more attention and to try and win that state for him, which is really make- or-break. Because a contested convention, Wolf, as you know is his only play, and he wants to go into a contested convention, No. 1; and No. 2, he wants to go in from a position of some strength. And right now, he does not have that position. He's in a weak position.

BLITZER: Jeffrey, let me play a moment when Carly Fiorina was speaking, and then she did this.


FIORINA: I know two grooms that I just adore. I'm so happy I can see them more. Cause we travel on the bus all day, we get to play. We get to play.

(speaking) I won't bore you with any more of the song.


[18:35:00] BLITZER: She was singing that song for Ted Cruz's two -- two sweet little daughters. So she had a little fun with that.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Can we just say, she's got a nice voice? BLITZER: Yes.

TOOBIN: She stayed on key. Remember when President Obama sang some Al Green, also a very nice voice. A duet, I think, is unlikely.

BLITZER: What's Cruz's strategy here, though?

TOOBIN: Just throw the cards up in the air, as Gloria said. It's not working what he's doing now. I think, frankly, it's unlikely that Carly Fiorina will make any difference, but at least there will be a different scenario. There's another voice for him to campaign on.

He's got to win Indiana or it's all over. Even if he does win Indiana, Trump is probably still the nominee, but this is a way of having us talk about something other than the sweep.

BLITZER: It's very early in the process to name a vice-presidential running mate. But do you think Trump might decide this would be a good idea for him to do something along those lines, as well?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Trump doesn't need a hail Mary pass. He's got the nomination. So if I were Donald...

BLITZER: You think it's a done deal?

ROSEN: If I were -- oh, yes. And if I were Donald Trump's advisers, I would really make him be thoughtful about this pick and try and use his pick to say something serious about what kind of president he would be. And it's also an opportunity for him to show that, actually, he can win over a broad swathe of Republicans, which I don't think Ted Cruz did by picking Carly Fiorina.

BLITZER: Let me ask Gloria, is he the presumptive nominee? Is it a done deal for all practical purposes?

BORGER: I don't think it's a completely done deal. I think he has to do well in Indiana and California.

And you know, we've heard from enough people at the RNC who say if you're 50 short, you're 50 short. But I happen to believe the way, the exit polls are showing that Republican voters feel, that if he goes into that convention 50 short, he's going to get those 50 votes and that Cruz would go in from a position of complete weakness. And, you know, that's what this whole play is about today for -- for Ted Cruz.

TOOBIN: And it's not just -- it's not just 50 delegates that he'll have a lead. He will have, for certain, millions more votes than his next rival.

BLITZER: He already has 3 million more.

TOOBIN: And how could you take the nomination away from someone who has millions more?

BLITZER: Elise -- Elise... ROSEN: Sure. The question is whether he needs a stunt, right? That's what you're asking. He doesn't.

BLITZER: Probably doesn't right now.

Elise, you were carefully monitoring the global reaction to Trump's foreign policy speech today, a very carefully crafted 40-minute address. He actually read it from a teleprompter. What's been the reaction?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: He really came off more polished than he has in the past, less bombastic, as we've been discussing.

But I think some of the concerns of allies are still remaining, some of the confusions. And there were many inconsistencies in the speech.

And let's face it: "America First" is a great slogan for Trump supporters, but when you say you're going to use your economic leverage to have allies pay more, we perhaps might participate less in global agreements, that's not something allies want to hear.

I think they wanted to hear some more specifics about how he would go after ISIS. I think there's some concern about some of the things he was saying about Russia, engaging Russia, engaging China.

So I think for allies that were looking for more specifics and a strategic foreign policy vision, found themselves a little bit lacking and disappointed.

BLITZER: All right, guys. Stand by. We have more coming up. Once again, we're standing by to hear from Donald Trump. He's going to be addressing this big rally out in Indianapolis, Indiana. We'll see what he has to say.

There's also breaking news on the Democratic side, the Democratic race for the White House. Bernie Sanders all of a sudden laying off hundreds of campaign workers. We'll update you on that when we come back.


BLITZER: The legendary Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight speaking at the Donald Trump rally there in Indianapolis. I want to listen in briefly.

BOBBY KNIGHT, FORMER INDIANA BASKETBALL COACH: Now, as you do that, I want all you Navy people to please raise your hands. All Navy people, raise your hands. And I want you to know that I spent eight years teaching soldiers at the United States Military Academy, and we played Navy eight straight years, folks, and we beat your ass every time we played you.

And I love you just as much for your contributions to America as all the other venues of our military. And this man will see that that group of people that we so depend on is really taken care of and treated in the best way possible.

You know, it's -- I've always thought -- I had a nice thing that I thought I might be able to do, you know? I want to say to you Indiana people that I owe you a big, big debt of gratitude, because nowhere in the world is a sporting group followed better than this state follows basketball. And I -- I just -- I just want to thank you for the opportunity that I had to coach in this state. It will always be something that I will cherish.

[18:45:00] I think that -- I want you to think about one thing, and I appreciate what Donald said relative to what our players did, the 900 wins and the long streak of not losing a game. But remember this -- those players on their shirt wore one word and it was "Indiana". Now you folks have a great opportunity here, you folks voting for Donald Trump and throwing him over the top.

If you people will do this, if you will do this, you will be having our government take its want America to be like.


I had these -- you know, they talk in a negative way when they went to about Donald, they talk about, you know, he isn't presidential. I don't know what the hell that means.


And I -- you know, to me, to me I think of Harry Truman. They said Harry Truman was the presidential. And damn, he went on to be one of the three best presidents in United States history.


And he will at some point be one also. And I think that --


How many of you have a sister, a brother, a daughter, a son, a friend in the military of any kind? Raise your hands, all of you that have that.

How many of you have relatives or you, yourselves that go overseas, sometimes in sticky situations, sometimes problems can result. How many of you have that in your lives? Well, let me tell you, let me tell you something that you can thank this man for. Let me tell you something that will make your trips abroad much easier, much more comfortable than ever before. Under his administration there will never be another thing like what happened in Benghazi. God willing.


That wild never happen in a Trump administration. The military of the United States and in every branch of that military will get the absolute best care that they can possibly get from the next president of the United States. The military will have that.


You know, one of the best things to do in this job that Mr. Trump is going to undertake is get good people. And he does a great job of finding good people and teaching good people and even as important, he's damn good at getting rid of bad people, too.


Now, I don't think -- I think you're going to leave here tonight and after you've heard Mr. Trump talk, and there has never been a more honest politician than Donald Trump, after you have seen him, I think you'll be in a hurry to vote for him.

[18:50:03] I want you to know that you have this great opportunity, as I said, to push him over the top by voting for him as soon as you can, and putting us in the best position, for you having done that than this country has ever been in, getting going where we all want to be. You people, if you will do that -- if you will get us started on the road -- I'm going to tell you what's going to happen to you. They're going to take all of you people, what you did to give us Donald Trump, they're going to take all of you people and they're going to put you right next to our Founding Fathers and George Washington. That's what the hell they're going to do with you people.

And you will be responsible for the shift that America will make into what we want America to be, if you will vote for Donald Trump. And with that -- with that, I simply -- I simply say to you -- I'll talk to you one other thing about Donald Trump and how he operates and how he gets things done.

Johnnie walked into his dad's office one morning and said, "Dad, did mom tell you I passed the driver's test?" "Well, son, she did tell me that and I'm really proud of you. She told me that the trooper that gave you the test said you had the best written test and the best driving test of anybody that he's ever had. And I'm so proud of you, son."

"Well, now, dad, will that give me an opportunity maybe to drive your car or mom's car once in a while?" "Well, son," this is the man in charge I'm talking about now. Or it could be the lady in charge. But this is all about the person that's in charge.

And he said to his son, "Well, sure, son. There will be a time for you to use one of our cars. However, there are some prerequisites. Your mother is not real happy with the way you treat your brother and sister. Your grades are two below what they should be. And I've talked to you, son, about reading, and I've never seen you read. And I've talked to you about the Bible, because, son, there are a lot of good things in the bible that don't have anything to do with religion.

And then there's one last thing, son. And it's that damn long hair of yours. I've told you to get a haircut, and you haven't done it. Now, when you think you've done all of these things, son, we'll talk about driving the car."

About three weeks later, Johnnie comes in to talk to his dad and says, "Dad, I wanted to talk to you. I think I've done a lot of things that you've asked me to do." "Son, I'm proud of you. Your grades, the way mom feels, the way you're treating your brother and sister and all of those things we talked about. Those prerequisites. Really good in all of them.

But there's one thing left, son. It's that damn long hair of yours. And you haven't done a thing with it."

Now, this is the man in charge. And that's this man right here. And that boy looked at him, and he said, "Well, dad, you know you got me to read the bible. And I did. And when I read the bible, I learned a lot of things. But I've also learned dad that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Jesus himself all had long hair, dad."

And the man in charge looked at that kid, and he said, "Son, you are absolutely right." And they walked their ass off everywhere they went.


I again -- I again thank you for giving me the opportunity to coach basketball in this state, and now --


Now, I want to give you the very best choice that's ever been made on the man taking over, at his first job as a president, and I give you, Donald Trump.


[18:55:05] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a winner. What a winner that is. That's a great man.

You know, our country doesn't win any more. That's what we need, right there. Let me tell you. But I do have to tell you this. You know Bobby. So -- about a year ago, I got a call. I never knew Bobby. I knew of Bobby, he was great. I loved watching him. I love that attitude. You know that attitude.

And one of his friends is here today, a very good basketball player from the past that he said, this guy, he would take a team that wasn't as good, and they would just beat everybody and nobody understood it. But there was something special.

But about a year ago, I got a call from Bobby Knight. I didn't know Bobby Knight. I said, wait a minute, the basketball man? The man that's the man in Indiana? And they said, yes.

So, I get on the phone, we checked it out, and it was Bobby Knight. And he said, Donald, I just want to tell you, I want you to run -- this was before I decided. Before that big day on June 16th, coming down the escalator.

He said, "I want you to run, my friends all want you to run. And you'll be great. And I'd like to endorse you." I said, "Coach, what an honor that is. And do me a favor. Give me a number and maybe I'm going to be calling you back, right?"

And then we had all these great victories. I think I've won now 28 states where --


Big night. Big night last night. We had a big, big, big night last night. We had five. Five.

We had five landslides, actually, last night. That was -- that was a biggie, right?

So, I said, "Thanks a lot, coach. I appreciate it." I took the number, I wrote it down. I put it in a special place. And I said, let's see what I do.

A few months later, I said, I'm going to run. Too much. I just couldn't take it any more. I'm looking at these horrible, horrible deals made by politicians that are taken care of by their campaign, taken care of by special interests, and lobbyists. And in some cases, they're incompetent, OK? And in some cases, they're outright stupid to be doing the deals they're doing.

It's one of the three. But I said, I'm going to run. And I said, you know, let's see how we do. And I went and we started winning, winning, winning. We won New Hampshire in a big upset. Won by a landslide.

You know, they're upsets, yet we're winning all these landslides. And yet we had no chance in South Carolina. We had no chance whatsoever in South Carolina. And we won in a landslide. And the evangelicals voted for Trump.

And we went to the South and we won. We went to Nevada and we won. We won Alabama and Arkansas. And we won Florida by 20 points. And every place we were winning.

And now, about two weeks ago, it's getting ready, and you don't know how important you are. Because we're just about ready to put it away, folks. OK?


And Indiana, which is a special place. I have so many friends, the Hilberts, Tomisue and Steve are here someplace. They're unbelievable people. Employed thousands and thousands of people over the years. Great people. But I have so many friends from Indiana.

So I said, you know, it's amazing. It looks like Indiana is going to be really, really important. By this time, usually, by the time you get to Indiana, a race is decided. But we had 17 people. It's never been in the history of politics in this country, there's never been 17 before.

And I always say, what do you mean I didn't get 50 percent? Like with all these people, if I get 32 percent with 14 people left, that's like 90 percent. But anyway -- so it came and we're winning and we had some great victories and then we won New York two weeks ago with tremendous numbers in a landslide. And then we had last night.

But about three weeks ago, I said, boy, this Indiana is turning out to be a very, very important place, as it should be, right? And I said to myself -- and I speak to friends in Indiana. But I said to myself, and who would be the greatest endorsement in the history of Indiana? And I said, I have to find that phone number, right?

And I went out, and I found the phone number right away. I knew exactly where it was. And I called up Coach Knight, Bobby. And I said, "Coach, do you remember me? Donald Trump?" He said, "I remember you. I've been waiting for you to call."

Cool cat, you know. This is a cool cat. And he said, "I've been waiting for you to call. And I'm ready. You just let me know whenever you want me."

This guy is terrific. This is a winner, he's a champ. He's been so great for Indiana. He loves Indiana. He loves Indiana. And to have his endorsement is just an honor. And I just want to give him a little special hand.