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Crowds Try to Storm Hotel in Trump Protest; Trump Tops 1,000 in GOP Delegate Race; Tepid Endorsement; Protesters Confront Police, Assault Trump Supporter; Hillary Clinton Responds to Donald Trump Attacks; Russian Jet Makes Aggressive Move Near U.S. Plane; Another American Detained in North Korea. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired April 29, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:13] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now:
Breaking news, protesting Trump. A tense demonstration outside of a hotel where Donald Trump is addressing California's Republican Party. Protesters knocking down barricade, trying to storm the building just hours after bloody clashes at a Trump rally. So, why is the violent reaction to his campaign now escalating?
Tepid endorsement. Four days before the Indiana primary, the state's governor announces he's voting for Ted Cruz but his backing seems to lack enthusiasm and he goes on to praise Donald Trump. Will it have any impact on the primary outcome?
Putin's talk. Just weeks after a Russian warplane buzzed the U.S. Navy ship, a Russian fighter jet performed a dangerous maneuver over a U.S. Air Force plane in international air space. It's a second such incident this month. What's Vladimir Putin up to?
And Un-bending. The Kim Jong-un regime sentences an American citizen to ten years of hard labor in North Korea. His alleged crime? Spying for South Korea. Was his confession coerced?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following breaking news.
Tense protests against Donald Trump outside a hotel where the GOP presidential front-runner was speaking. The protesters blocking the entrance, forcing Trump and his entourage to find another way in. The angry crowd also breaking through barricades, rushing the hotel, some even throwing eggs at police. This follows violent protests outside a Trump rally in southern California Thursday night that resulted in injuries and arrests.
Inside, Trump made light of the tense situation sparked by his appearance and I'm quoting him now, "It felt like I was crossing the border." Trump was addressing the Republican convention and his delegate count has now topped, topped 1,000. That means the California primary just over a month from now could give him the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination outright.
And there's more breaking news: new aggression by Russian warplanes which just weeks ago came dangerously close to a U.S. Navy ship in the Baltic. Now, we've learned another Russian plane did a dangerous maneuver called a barrel roll over a U.S. Air Force plane in international airspace over the Baltic, the second such incident this month.
We're covering all of that and much more this hour with our guests, including one of Donald Trump's key supporters, Scottie Nell Hughes of U.S. Radio Networks. And our correspondents and expert analysts, they are standing by.
Let's begin with CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll. He's inside the hotel near San Francisco where Donald Trump just addressed the California Republican convention.
Jason, now, what did he say about the protests outside and the violence at his rally last night?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, it was unexpected. Donald Trump opened up his speech here at the luncheon, poking fun of what was going on outside, saying it reminded him of what it must be like for an illegal immigrant to try and get inside the country. The comment was met by applause and also laughter but some but not by all attending the luncheon.
CARROLL (voice-over): Protesters today trying to keep Donald Trump away from the California Republican convention by blocking roads to the event. The GOP front-runner's motorcade, avoiding the demonstrators exiting his SUV flanked by Secret Service, entering the venue on foot through a back entrance.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE : That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made. My wife called and she said, there are helicopters following you and we did and then we went under a fence and through a fence. And, oh, boy, it felt like I was crossing the border, actually, you know? It's true. I was crossing the border but I got here.
CARROLL: The protests occurring a day after hundreds of demonstrators clashed with Trump supporters outside his rally in Costa Mesa. All this as Trump looks to sway GOP insiders in California, a state that could be divisive on June 7th to determining whether Trump reaches the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination.
TRUMP: It's coming to an end. I think it's going to come to an end very soon and really -- and I speak to the people in this room because there has to be unity in our party.
CARROLL: As Trump courts supporting California, Ted Cruz is going all in in Indiana. SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Indiana is
CARROLL: Cruz's quest for a victory in the Hoosier State getting a boost today, with an endorsement from Governor Mike Pence.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: I'm not against anybody but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Republican primary.
[17:05:03] CRUZ: I have tremendous respect for Governor Mike Pence. He has been an incredible leader for the state of Indiana.
CARROLL: But Pence also encouraged voters to make up their own minds and offered praise for Trump.
PENCE: I particularly want to commend Donald Trump.
CARROLL: And saying he'll back whoever emerges as the Republican nominee.
PENCE: Whoever wins the Republican nomination for president of the United States, I'm going to work my heart out to get elected this fall.
CARROLL: Cruz is hoping that Pence's support will help him with Indiana voters after Trump secured a key endorsement just days ago from legendary Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight.
BOBBY KNIGHT, LEGENDARY INDIANA BASKETBALL COACH: You folks are taking a look at the most prepared man in history to step in as president of the United States. That man right there.
CARROLL: During his rally yesterday, Trump stepped up his criticism of Cruz.
TRUMP: We have this guy, Lyin' Ted Cruz. We know Lyin' Ted, right? I mean, nobody likes him. I've never seen a guy like this.
CARROLL: And ramping up his attacks on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: You know, Hillary -- Hillary -- crooked Hillary, right? Crooked. She's crooked as you can be. Crooked Hillary.
CARROLL: Going even further on Twitter, calling her perhaps the most dishonest person to have ever run for the presidency is also one of the all-time great enablers.
That is as Trump is dropping hints he may be targeting supporters of Bernie Sanders. Dialing back his jabs at the Vermont senator.
TRUMP: You know, I really want to beat her more than Sanders.
CARROLL: So, the question is, did he change any minds here, Wolf? And that question is very much unanswered. I spoke to one woman says she feels Trump did what she needed to do, address the situation outside in the right way. She feels as though he's the right person to rebuild America in her words, but also spoke to a convention guru who feels as though miss an opportunity here to unite the party. He says what he heard here today is more of lip service more than anything else.
As you know, Kasich is on tap to speak later on here tonight. Cruz will have his turn tomorrow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jason Carroll in California for us -- Jason, thank you.
Trump's rival, Ted Cruz, is weighing in on the violence surrounding the Trump campaign.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is in Indiana for us right now.
Sunlen, what is Ted Cruz saying about all of that?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, I asked Senator Cruz as all of this was unfolding across the country in California, I asked him here in Indiana what he thought of it and he said that he had seen some but not all of the coverage and admitted that the coverage that he saw on TV, it looked like that the protests were getting really ugly, in his opinion and he really said that while it is, of course, protesters' right that they can protest, he really called on a very specific way and pointed a finger to what he called left wing agitators who tried to up a muzzle the voices of others.
Here's, in part, what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: The First Amendment protects everyone's right to speak, but you don't have a right to threaten violence. You don't have a right to shout down others, and these protests appear to be using violence and threats. These are the strategies of the MoveOn.org, of the left-wing agitators who try to violence a voice they don't like. If you disagree with a particular voice, the way to deal with it is with civil discourse, with respectful discourse.
You know, when I have protesters, that's how I deal with the protesters. Not inciting violence, not shouting people down, but engaging in civil discourse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And Senator Cruz will head to that very same venue in California where Donald Trump was today to speak before the same GOP convention in California. He'll head there with his new running mate Carly Fiorina. And today here in Indiana, he did pick up the support of the Indiana Governor Mike Pence's support. He didn't come up with a full-fledge endorsement or rather lukewarm endorsement I should say. And Senator Cruz continuing to face some questions about his own path forward if he does not perform well here in Indiana. Today, Senator Cruz saying that he will continue to campaign through
the end but then he went on to add, as long as we have a viable path to victory -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Sunlen Serfaty in Indiana for us -- thank you.
I want to go right to CNN politics reporter, Jeremy Diamond. He's outside that hotel in California where the protesters have demonstrated.
Jeremy, you saw this very tense situation firsthand. I see police are still behind you. What was it like?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Absolutely, Wolf. It was a very hectic seen out here today. You had 200 to 300 protesters who gathered outside of this hotel where Donald Trump was set to address Republican -- California Republicans over here. The protesters were gathering, they were chanting, they were very, very loud, making their message heard, trying to share this message that they believe Donald Trump represents this hatred and sort of a bigoted ideology.
[17:10:03] We saw also some confrontations between protesters and police officers. Protesters at two or three points today trying to rush the doors where Donald Trump was set to speak today inside of this hotel. Two dozen protesters initially started this advance, moving on the doors and police officers had to quickly rush so that they could push them back and keep them from getting inside of this hotel. But the protesters did not stop there. Several times, more and more protesters pushed forward against the police officers so that they could try and get into the building.
They tried several different entrances and weren't able to get in, of course. But the tensions then turned more into a festive mood. You had protesters here chanting and chanting specifically against Donald Trump. They were chanting, "Dump Trump", they were chanting to stop Donald Trump and to shut him down, of course.
So, that's potentially the scene that we had here, Wolf, and protesters are still outside. Police officers are still holding a line here, trying to keep the protesters back -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Who are these protesters? I know they don't like Donald Trump. But I assume they come from various groups. Is that right?
DIAMOND: Yes, it doesn't seem like there's a specific organization that brought these protesters out here. But a lot of them came from various factions a lot of different messages. Some of them specifically railing against Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration of course. He started his candidacy talking about undocumented immigrants from Mexico, as rapists and criminals, and then some other protesters here have also been rallying against other things, like Wall Street and income inequality.
So, we've seen a range of messages from the protesters but certainly a big focus here has been against Donald Trump, the man who spoke today to California Republicans and that's the man that protesters here were protesting in the San Francisco area -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We did see Donald Trump take those extraordinary measures to get into the hotel and out of the hotel because of all of the protesters there.
Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much.
I want to get more on all of this, the dramatic developments unfolding right now. One of Donald Trump's key supporters, Scottie Nell Hughes of USA Radio Networks is with us.
Scottie, thanks very much for joining us.
What else can Donald Trump do to stop these protests because they seem to be escalating? We saw violent, angry protests last night in southern California and just saw what was happening near San Francisco.
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Let's look at the areas that we're seeing these violent protests, this kind of numbers. You saw it in Chicago, you saw it in California. Both of those cities are known for having well-organized grassroots protests, whether you like the cause or not, a variety of political causes over the past few years, these folks know how to get people riled up, get them organized and get them there.
California is especially in these areas, they have that network already set up on social media and they can sit there and mobilize folks like this. Now, I doubt if you were in that -- I would love to go in and kind of ask them about specific policies and points about Mr. Trump. All they've been told is that they need to hate Mr. Trump, that he is filled with hate.
And I think if they took a step back and actually listened to his policies, his ideas of actually going into these urban areas and offering economic development, also offering an organized immigration plan, I don't think you would see this type -- this is all emotion here and it's really scary to those people that want to go hear a presidential candidate speak.
BLITZER: Many of them said they hate his notion of building a wall, have Mexico pay for it, keep immigrant -- deport 11 million undocumented immigrants here in the United States. They're pretty angry about that.
HUGHES: Yes, but there are also a lot of angry Americans right now that our country, $19 trillion worth of debt, we're seeing a health care system that's in bankruptcy as more and more health insurance companies are starting to lead the exchanges. We're seeing the education system that has no money to pay for citizens that are paying into it.
So, you have a lot of angry Americans right now as well as the system that's allowed this to happen.
BLITZER: What can Donald Trump do to calm this down because, clearly, it seems to be escalating?
HUGHES: Oh, I agree. I think it had calmed down until you obviously went into California. This shows the passion.
I think Mr. Trump continues -- he's never encouraged violence. He's never encouraged these types of activities going on. In fact, yesterday, the picture of the Trump supporter and a Trump t-shirt with a blood coming out of his head was extremely scary for me to watch right there. That's not -- I think every single presidential candidate right now should come out and condemn these types of actions right here.
I am all for them having their voice and protesting, that is their right as American people --
BLITZER: Because a lot of people fear it could really get that in Cleveland at the Republican convention in July, sort of reminiscent of the 1968, the Democratic convention, as a lot of us still remember. You're worried about that, aren't you?
HUGHES: I am worried, both as a person who's going to be, as a member of the media, and my husband is a delegate to it. So, my whole family is going to be a part of the convention. So I am worried about it.
However, these talks about just the idea of the responsibility of everybody involved. This talk that's coming from the Cruz campaign, the talk that's coming from Kasich, we need to be talking about unity and calming these fears and how we can all work together and I think that will help in this case.
Plus, it's Cleveland, Ohio. In this case, it's not like it's near major metropolitan -- I was there in New York when they had the big riots there for the RNC.
[17:15:04] Riots go along -- you have different protests that go along with these different conventions. I'm hoping Ohio, because it's not so centrally located, might have a harder chance for these troublemakers to get to.
BLITZER: How much of a setback did Donald Trump suffer today when the Indiana Governor Mike Pence endorsed -- lukewarm, but he still endorsed Ted Cruz?
HUGHES: I was going to say, was that an endorsement or just that I'm voting for him? If you listen to it, actually speech that he said on the radio there, he praised Donald Trump for his job creation, his ideas and he said, you know, right now, Indiana is hurting, 1,400 jobs are leaving because of Carrier. He praises immigration. He praised several parts of it, but I am voting for Senator Ted Cruz, however I will vote for whoever the nominee is. I will support him.
That was one of those that I think was actually more future for governor -- for the governor because when you look at it, if he does want to run for president, he's going to want the evangelical vote in Iowa, as we have learned, has a lot of pull to keep candidate.
BLITZER: All right. Scottie Hughes, stand by. We have more to discuss.
We just received the national GOP delegate estimate, brand-new numbers. We're going to share that with you with a lot more of the news coming in, right after this.
[17:20:35] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, a large and very tense protests outside of a hotel near San Francisco where Donald Trump was speaking to the California Republican convention. Trump was forced to use a back entrance after demonstrators broke through barricade and try to storm the front of the hotel. Trump was determined to get inside. He actually made it inside through a back door.
We're back with Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes of USA Radio Networks.
I want to play for you a clip. This is Hillary Clinton speaking to our Jake Tapper earlier today discussing what she calls Trump's temper tantrums and bullying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a lot of experience of dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak. I'm not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or their efforts to try to provoke me. He can say whatever he wants to say about me. I could really care less.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: As she says, she's not going to be provoked by Donald Trump if it become as general election campaign between her and Trump.
HUGHES: She also says she's not going to play the woman card, Wolf, and right there, she immediately said, I've dealt with men before. You know what, women as well. She's going to not invoke gender into this, as the conversation has been the last 48 hours. She should have said, I have dealt with people before, I've dealt with constituents before. She's the one that continues to bring up a deflector right there. I think that's the issue why this is happening.
BLITZER: She says she wants to play a woman card, if you will, and says it specifically, equal pay for women, health care for women -- all sorts of opportunities for women. What's wrong with that?
HUGHES: There's nothing wrong with that. That's something that Mr. Trump wants, equal pay for equal work. Let's make sure, though, that we're comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges. You look at her track record, though, she paid 72 cents to every dollar for the females that work within her Senate office. Her actions don't necessarily take up --
BLITZER: She put out a video of the woman card showing how he supposedly degrades women in these public comments. You saw that?
HUGHES: I did. It's a good video but the actions speak louder than words on this. When you look at Mr. Trump and his track records, and right now, women care about security and economy, the same thing that men care about, and we're not going to sit there and be manipulated, just vote for another woman -- just like Madeleine Albright. No one has ever, you know, brought what Madeleine Albright said, there was a special place in hell for women who did not support other women.
The gender card keeps being brought up by the Clinton camp, by the Clinton surrogates, not necessarily from Mr. Trump and it doesn't mean that he doesn't believe in women's issues. It's just that he believes that they are all of our issues. They're not just one gender specific issue.
BLITZER: He says she plays the woman card. She would have 5 percent support if she -- you heard him say that the other day.
HUGHES: Well, and I think she does. She does have a great resume and she's obviously at the top of the tickets. The Democrats feel like she's very, very well-qualified. But what other candidate would be under the investigation of the FBI and be at the top of a ticket. Why would that be? I don't necessarily call the female card on it, I call her the Clinton card, because of the opportunity she's been given because of her last name.
BLITZER: Donald Trump seems to be softening his comments about Bernie Sanders right now. There's been some suggestion that he's actually going to try to appeal to some of Bernie Sanders supporters who don't like Hillary Clinton and go and try to win their support.
Do you think that's realistic?
HUGHES: I think it's very realistic. I think it's a smart message. If Mr. Sanders decides not to be the actual top of the ticket or not to continue, we can tell he's edging out gracefully, something that the other Republican nominees need to learn from. Bernie realizes that it's important to unify the party behind their front-runner than necessarily divide and go out with the scouring sour notes, sour grapes that were seen coming out of like Senator Cruz and even a little bit Governor Kasich.
BLITZER: We have a new national Republican delegate estimate. I want to put the numbers up on the screen. Remember, 1,237, that's the number you need to win. Right now for the first time, Donald Trump, via our estimate has gone over 1,000. He has 1,002 delegates ready to vote for him on the first round at the Republican convention in Cleveland. Ted Cruz in second place with 572. You see John Kasich with only 157 delegates ready to vote for him.
So, you know, he needs, what, 235 delegates, which is doable. That's about 47 percent of the remaining delegates by our estimate right there. And you're convinced by California, he will have done the job?
HUGHES: I think if we stay on the track record that we're having, you know, it's been a bad week for the Cruz campaign. They've tried to steal the headlines and they've only lasted for five minutes. Now, you come out and you've seen these rumors of Senator Rubio saying, you know what, it's better that we don't go in with a brokered convention.
[17:25:03] You're seeing Senator Rubio who's very much loved by conservatives, you're seeing him now starting to kind of warm up to the idea of a Mr. Trump presidency. You're seeing people like Bob Corker, Senator Bob Corker did an excellent interview where he talked about Trump's foreign policy plan. You're seeing all the various parts of the Republican Party starting to realize that Mr. Trump will be our nominee more than likely and a brokered convention only helps the other side.
BLITZER: Scottie Hughes, thanks for coming in.
HUGHES: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: The breaking news continues with more on the very tense anti-Trump protests today. The violence, the arrests at his rally Thursday night, how will it impact his campaign?
Plus, an American citizen's North Korea nightmare. Sentenced to ten years of hard labor by the Kim Jong-un regime. Was his confession coerced?
[17:30:12] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this hour, anti- Trump protesters breaking through barricades and trying to storm the hotel near San Francisco where Donald Trump was addressing California Republicans. Trump was forced to use a back entrance and in a speech he called the protest both fun and different.
Let's talk about that and more with CNN political commentator SE Cupp, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger, our CNN political director David Chalian and our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny.
Gloria, what's driving these protests and do you expect to see more and more of them?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. These are people that don't like Donald Trump. And they may be a combination of folks, they may be some Bernie Sanders supporters in there, there are maybe some people who don't like his immigration policy. I mean. it's probably a whole group. I don't think we know exactly who they are and I think this is what politics is about. People are allowed to protest. This is what this country is founded on and that's great.
What people don't like is violence and we don't like it when we see the windows of police cars broken. And it's a question of whether this continues and whether it continues to get worse and whether people who are protesting understand that this doesn't do their cause any good.
BLITZER: These are live pictures, you see the police still lined up. You see some protesters still there outside that hotel. They're not gone yet. There were obviously hundreds of them earlier. But they're still there right now.
David, it's interesting. They block the road. And you saw that video of Trump having to go through a back door, climb up, climb down, he was surrounded by Secret Service personnel and he sort of joked about it at the top of his speech. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was not the easiest entrance I've ever made. My wife called, she said, there are helicopters following you. And we did and then we went under a fence and through a fence and oh boy, it felt like I was crossing the border, actually. You know?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: I'm sure some of those Secret Service personnel said, you know, maybe you might want to consider canceling this event but you know Donald Trump, he was determined to go through and speak to that Republican convention.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. That kind of an entrance is a nightmare for the Secret Service. I'm sure that's not what they wanted at all. But listen, this is a little bit different, what we're seeing today.
BLITZER: By the way, look at these live pictures. You can see what's going on right now, some continuing scuffles. But go ahead.
CHALIAN: Yes. I think this is a little different than what we saw a earlier in the campaign, protests at his own rallies, even last night in Costa Mesa. This is a California Republican Party convention. This is welcome to the general election Donald Trump because these protesters are -- this is the opposition to what Trump is going to find in a general electorate kind of audience and I think that there is now going to be a challenge because the Democrats are going to want to harness these people's energy.
Hillary Clinton is going to want to harness this energy into a positive for her campaign rather than a negative opposition for the Trump campaign. You know, you remember, President Obama had that famous expression in all of his rallies in 2012. Don't boo, vote, when he would mention Mitt Romney or his Republican opponents. Don't boo, vote. And Hillary Clinton is going to have to figure out how to get these folks, don't be violent. That --
SE CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Don't punch.
CHALIAN: Don't punch.
CUPP: But vote. CHALIAN: But vote. And I think that's going to be a challenge that
she's going to have to go.
BLITZER: Are we in -- this is what we're in store for as the weeks continue, SE?
CUPP: Uh-huh. Yes. You know, Trump promised or warned of riots or violence at a convention, especially if it were contested, I would argue there will probably be some of that even if it's not, even if he clinches it. He is -- whomever you blame for this, he is, without a doubt, an incredibly divisive political figure. I've covered the Obama campaign. I've covered George Bush's campaign. Those are divisive presidents. I say that this is on par with some of what I saw during those campaigns, if not worse.
And I think it's probably likely to get worse before it gets better and if it gets better, it will be because Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have figured out how to tamp this down.
Now they won't be responsible for Trump's supporters' behavior and I expect them to be just as vocal and maybe violent as well. Who knows.
BLITZER: Yes. You saw some protesters being escorted out, arrested, if you will, and presumably for engaging in some violent activity. I've heard different analysis, Jeff. Is this going to be good for Trump's campaign politically, the protests? Will it rally his base or will it hurt him?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I don't think we know yet because we don't know how violent they are going to be. As Gloria said earlier, no one likes violent protests but there is a risk here for Democrats of, you know, when Trump supporters watched this on television, they become energized and want to sort of protect Mr. Trump.
[17:35:02] That's their kind of central theme here. But it's not good for him in a sense of, you know, a voter out there who may be on the fence about a Trump presidency. This is not something that they want to see should he be elected, this kind of thing going on here. But look, let's keep in mind our geography here.
We're in California, and it's a blue state. I think it will continue and Donald Trump is campaigning in big cities and when he's campaigning, you know, in some swing states, maybe in Pennsylvania and other places, not every state in the country is going to have protests like this. Not everybody is going to have news helicopters, showing what's going on here. So this is a bit of a difference.
BLITZER: This is outside of San Francisco.
BLITZER: We should -- hold your thoughts for a moment. These are live pictures. As you can see the demonstrators are still there. Just saw a couple of arrests going on. We're staying on top of this. We're going to also update you on what is going on on the Democratic
side, the race for the White House. New information about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders right after this.
[17:40:31] BLITZER: We're continuing to monitor the protests sparked by Donald Trump's speech near San Francisco today, and only just moments ago we saw police arrest at least one demonstrator. But we're also following important developments in the Democratic presidential race. Hillary Clinton today emerge from a couple of days of planning strategy to have an exclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. She took aim at the general election and at Donald Trump.
Let's bring in our senior political reporter Brianna Keilar.
Brianna, tell us a little bit more about the new attack lines, the new strategies emerging from the Clinton campaign.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it is all about the general election. Hillary Clinton in this interview with Jake took aim at Donald Trump. That was her primary goal and she wouldn't go as far as saying that she considers herself the presumptive Democratic nominee but she clearly thinks it's not far off.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you consider yourself the presumptive nominee?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. I consider myself as someone who's on the path and obviously I'm very far ahead in both the popular vote and the delegate count so I think the path leads to the nomination but, you know, I'm going to keep competing in the elections that are up ahead of us.
KEILAR (voice-over): So is Bernie Sanders, campaigning in Indiana today even as he significantly downsizes his campaign staff. Hillary Clinton congratulated the Vermont senator on engaging new voters but warned him not to drag out the primary fight.
CLINTON: There comes a time when you have to look at the reality. In fact, in '08, I was much closer in both popular votes and pledged delegates to Senator Obama than is the case right now. But eventually I just decided that I had to withdraw and support Senator Obama because the goal was to make sure we had a Democrat in the White House.
KEILAR: And asked about which of Sanders policies she might adopt, Clinton pivoted immediately to the general election.
CLINTON: Well, we're going to talk, we're going to work together because look, we want the same goals. We both want to raise the minimum wage, the Republicans led by Donald Trump don't want to. We both want to get to universal health care coverage. The Republicans don't seem interested in that. We both want to deal with climate change, something they denied.
KEILAR: Her campaign has seized on this comment by Donald Trump.
TRUMP: Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card.
KEILAR: Now they are sending online donors this, the official Hillary for America woman card.
CLINTON: If playing the woman's card means standing up for the concerns that women have, and that they expressed to me, then deal me in.
KEILAR: And Clinton is also hitting Trump on foreign policy.
TRUMP: It's time to shake the rust off America's foreign policy.
KEILAR: Two days after his speech on international affairs.
CLINTON: I found it disturbing and I don't think loose talks about loose nukes, I don't think turning our back on our strongest allies, I don't think pretending you have some sort of secret plan is a very smart way to go forward in leading the world.
KEILAR: Recently Trump has taken to calling her this.
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary Clinton. Crooked Hillary. Crooked Hillary. Crooked Hillary, right? Crooked. She's crooked as you could be.
KEILAR: Clinton dismissed the suggestion it might stick.
CLINTON: I had a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the Reservation in the way they behave and how they speak. I'm not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or their efforts to try to provoke me. He can say whatever he wants to say about me. I could really care less. I'm going to stand up for what I think the American people need and want in the next president.
KEILAR: Now Jake asked Clinton if she thinks that Donald Trump is qualified to be president and she said the voters will have to decide and she dismissed the notion that Trump will successfully appeal to Sanders supporters as Trump, Wolf, is hinting that he may make a play for them.
BLITZER: All right. Brianna, thank you.
We also have other breaking news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM. Stand by for details of a new provocation of the United States military by a Russian fighter jet.
Also, Kim Jong-un's North Korea sentences another American to years of hard labor in prison.
BLITZER: We're following two breaking stories right now. Just moments ago we saw police arrest at least one demonstrator as protests continue outside the San Francisco area hotel where Donald Trump gave a speech just a little while ago. We'll stay on top of that story but also breaking right now, an ominous new provocation as Russia tests the United States military's resolve.
Our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is with me here. What are we learning about this latest close encounter between a Russian fighter jet and the U.S. military plane?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: When you hear the details about this, this is truly an alarming maneuver. This is a Russian fighter jet that did a barrel roll of the U.S. RC-135, that's a reconnaissance plane that was flying in international waters over the Baltic Sea. It came within 25 feet of the plane's wing tip and then flipped over the top of it. The barrel roll to the other side. This is the second time in two weeks that a Russian jet has done this to a U.S. reconnaissance plane in the area and of course came just a couple of weeks after this.
What we're seeing here when a Russian jet came within 25 feet as well -- or 50 feet, I should say, of the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea.
[17:50:03] So this has become a consistent pattern. The U.S. calls this not only unprofessional but truly dangerous. And when I speak to U.S. officials, they are genuinely worried that at some point one of these is going to get too close, you could have an accident and lead to something more serious.
BLITZER: It's a disaster in the making.
BLITZER: Now the tensions with Russia clear, but also some tensions with China right now. What are you learning about the decision by the Chinese to prevent the U.S. aircraft carrier for making a visit to Hong Kong?
SCIUTTO: So this is the USS Stennis. It was going to make a -- what is a very routine visit for U.S. warships to Hong Kong, which is now controlled by China, but that request denied. Now the timing of this extremely interesting because the Stennis was in the South China Sea just two weeks ago. In fact the Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the Stennis while it was there in the South China Sea, where China is building man-made islands.
The U.S. opposes this very much. That visit by not only the Stennis but the U.S. Defense secretary to the South China Sea, Wolf, was intended to be a message. And I think you're not going out on a limb here to say that China is sending a message by denying the ship. And I should say, while the Stennis was denied, there's another ship, the USS Blue Ridge, that is in a Hong Kong port for a visit right now.
BLITZER: Yes. SCIUTTO: Interesting that the Stennis which is just in the South
China Sea was not.
BLITZER: Usually these are routine visits.
BLITZER: They're not so routine any more. All right, Jim. Thanks very much.
We're also getting new details coming into THE SITUATION ROOM about another provocation by North Korea where a court judge sentenced a U.S. citizen to a decade of prison and hard labor.
CNN's Brian Todd is joining us now. He has more on what this individual, this American citizen, is accused of doing.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this man's name is Kim Dong- chul. Tonight he is accused of spying for South Korea, stealing military secrets from Kim Jong-un's regime. This means the North Korean dictator now holds two Americans in his notorious labor camps. And U.S. officials telling us tonight they are very troubled by this development.
TODD (voice-over): His trial lasted one day. In Pyongyang that was enough to land American citizen Kim Dong-chul a 10-year sentence of hard labor. His alleged crime, spying for South Korea. He'd confessed to taking pictures of North Korean military secrets.
KIM DONG-CHUL, AMERICAN DETAINED IN NORTH KOREA (Through Translator): I have fallen victim to South Korea and committed a terrible and indelible crime.
TODD: South Korea's intelligence service denies involvement. It's unclear whether Kim's confession was made under duress. In court he wiped away tears just like another American, Otto Warmbier, did recently.
OTTO WARMBIER, AMERICAN DETAINED IN NORTH KOREA: Please save this poor, innocent scapegoat.
TODD: Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for allegedly pulling down a political banner in a Pyongyang hotel.
What signals is Kim Jong-un sending to the West by holding these two Americans?
KATHARINE MOON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: One, that they have a legal system that needs to be respected by foreigners. Two, that they have a power to detain. It's possible that he's reaching for some way to reach the United States, but if that's the case, that is a weak signal because the U.S. is not necessarily going to respond in kind.
TODD: State Department officials call Kim Dong-chul's sentence troubling. They tell CNN they are taking this seriously but are otherwise being very tightlipped about it tonight. Analysts say Kim Dong-chul, Otto Warmbier and other Westerners are given three meals a day, are held in much better conditions than North Korean prisoners and are kept entirely separate. Why?
MOON: These Americans could leave and come home to the United States and describe the horrific conditions in the North Korean prisons and the North Korean regime does not want to have North Korean prisoners deal with, interact with Americans or Westerners because they could get contaminated by the West.
TODD: This comes as tensions on the Korean peninsula remain at a boil. Activists in South Korea have just floated balloons into North Korea full of propaganda against Kim Jong-un. Kim's nuclear and missile testing and his bloody purges of top officials have been relentless.
BALBINA HWANG, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Fear and terror are the instruments by which he can come into power and keep his power. He must pit all the elites against each other, make them feel insecure, essentially make them fearful of their lives in order to keep them in line.
TODD: And Kim is likely getting ready for more purges as he gears up for a massive display of his power. The Workers Party Congress in Pyongyang on May 6th, analysts say at this even he's likely going to continue his campaign of shifting more power away from the North Korean military and over to the Communist Party. North Korea's top generals, Wolf, are likely very nervous tonight.
BLITZER: What's the likelihood, Brian, that either of these two Americans will be released any time soon?
[17:55:01] TODD: That's very unclear tonight, Wolf. Kim's regime usually likes to use these detainees as bargaining chips to lure a high-profile American to come to North Korea and pick them up. Of course people like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Bill Richardson. But given all the tensions recently, Wolf, some experts believe Kim Jong- un is really right now in no mood to make a deal for these men. They could be there for some time.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, reporting, thank you.
Coming up, protesters try to block Donald Trump from making a speech, but he gets in anyway and says it was like, quote, "crossing the border."
BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news. Protests, violence, demonstrators confront police. And assault a Donald Trump supporter before a speech by the GOP presidential frontrunner in California.
We're live at the scene of chaos and clashes amid growing concerns about possible unrest at the Republican National Convention in --