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Interview With Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador; Putin Sending a Message; Presidential Protests; Angry Protest, Clashes Continue After Trump Speech; Clinton on Trump Attacks: I Won't Be Provoked; Russian Jet Makes Aggressive Move At U.S. Military Plane. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired April 29, 2016 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:00]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Demonstrators confront police and assault a Donald Trump supporter before a speech by the GOP presidential front- runner in California. We are live at the scene of chaos and clashes, amid growing concerns about possible unrest at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Lukewarm support. Ted Cruz wins the backing of Indiana's governor, who also had nice things to say about Donald Trump. Will the endorsement matter just days before the state's make-or-break primary. I will ask a top Cruz supporter in Congress.

The woman card. Hillary Clinton is raising campaign cash off Trump's newest attack against her. Tonight, the likely Democratic nominee is revealing her anti-Trump strategy in an exclusive interview with CNN.

And aggressive moves. Once again, a Russian jet has potentially dangerous -- come intentionally close with a U.S. military plane. Is Vladimir Putin trying to send a provocative message?

We Welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I am Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Breaking news this hour. A heated new protest against Donald Trump in California. Concerns about violence are once again hanging over his campaign after a Trump supporter was assaulted. Tensions also erupting as demonstrators storm toward the entrance to the state party convention where Trump spoke just a little while ago, breaking down barricades.

The Republican front-runner avoided the angry crowd, going around the fence and through the back door to give a speech. Trump appealing to Republicans in one of the last, biggest primary states just four days before another crucial contest in Indiana. Tonight, a new milestone for Donald Trump as he gets closer to reaching the 1,237 delegate total he needs to clinch the nomination. He now has more than 1,000 delegates, 1,002 by CNN's estimate.

We have our correspondents, analysts and newsmakers standing by as we cover this breaking story. Up first, let's go to CNN's Sunlen Serfaty with more on the Republican

race. Sunlen, what is the latest?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Ted Cruz here in Indiana tonight facing questions about his own path forward. But tonight Donald Trump is facing large and aggressive groups of protesters in California for the second night in a row.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SERFATY (voice-over): Tonight, tensions rising in California. A large group of demonstrators flooding streets outside the California Republican Convention, protesting Donald Trump's appearance.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That was not the easiest entrance I have ever made.

SERFATY: The front-runner's motorcade dodging the crowds, Trump forced to enter and exit his speech on foot to avoid protesters.

TRUMP: We went under a fence and through a fence. And, oh, boy, it felt like I was crossing the border.

SERFATY: The protests occurring a day after hundreds of demonstrators clashed with Trump supporters outside his rally in Costa Mesa, all this as Trump sells his candidacy to GOP insiders in California, one of the last primary states on June 7 that could play a decisive role in delivering Trump the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination.

TRUMP: We have far more votes than anybody else, far more delegates than anybody else, and we're going to hit that number I think quite easily.

SERFATY: As Trump focuses on closing out the race in California, Ted Cruz is slogging it out in the trenches of Indiana. His campaign sees Tuesday's primary as crucial to blocking Trump's path to the nomination and pushing the race toward a contested convention and the senator is pulling out all the stops.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Governor Mike pence is an optimistic, positive, unifying force.

SERFATY: Cruz picking up the support today of Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: I am not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz.

SERFATY: But Pence's endorsement lukewarm.

PENCE: Whoever wins the Republican nomination for president of the United States, I am going to work my heart out to get elected this fall.

SERFATY: Also offering plenty of praise for Trump. PENCE: I particularly want to commend Donald Trump who I think has

given voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans with the lack of progress in Washington, D.C.

SERFATY: Trump, who also courted and hoped for the endorsement of Pence:

TRUMP: I have met with him. He may not endorse. I don't think he will endorse anybody actually, and he may endorse us.

SERFATY: Not letting enough for Cruz.

TRUMP: Have we branded this guy or what? He probably -- I see him walking into these beautiful corridors in Washington. The guys said, hey, lyin' Ted. How you doing?

[18:05:05]

SERFATY: But is saving his fiercest fire now for Hillary Clinton, intensifying attacks on his potential general election rival.

TRUMP: No, crooked Hillary. She said very strongly, I don't like the tone of Donald Trump. The tone. Now, she is there shouting all night long, reading off teleprompters.

SERFATY: And taunting Clinton over Twitter, calling her the most dishonest person to have ever run for the presidency and one of the all-time great enablers, as Trump adopts a softer tone against Bernie Sanders.

TRUMP: I really want to beat her more than Sanders.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SERFATY: And Donald Trump today crossed a symbolic line in terms of delegates. Based on CNN's delegate estimate, Donald Trump now has 1,002 delegates. That's with some additional results from last week's primary, and Donald Trump taking to Twitter to tout the results, saying that he will win on the first ballot in Cleveland -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Sunlen Serfaty, thanks very much.

More now on California, the large protest that developed there last night and today against Donald Trump.

Our politics reporter Jeremy Diamond is on the ground for us.

You saw it up close, Jeremy. What was it like?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a pretty chaotic scene here today, Wolf.

We had several hundred protesters, absolutely 300 protesters who gathered here. They spilled into the streets and they at one point, two points, actually, tried to storm the barricades, tried to storm the hotel try and get in. You had them actually cross over the barricades, and get past the line that police had initially set up.

Police officers then pushed them back. You had a couple dozen protesters initially, and then more followed. Police officers were pushing them back. Here they were clad in riot gear, and using their batons to forcefully push back these protesters who were trying to essentially get into this hotel where Donald Trump today addressed California Republicans.

Donald Trump's message in here of course very different. He was talking unity, unifying the Republican Party, that is, and the protesters here were focusing on the rhetoric that Donald Trump has used throughout his presidential campaign, focusing specifically on his rhetoric on illegal immigration. Donald Trump of course started his presidential campaign talking about undocumented Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, and so that has continued to rile protesters up as they're continuing to protest his message.

Not unusual, of course, to have protests at Donald Trump events, but certainly here speaking in a liberal area, the San Francisco Bay area, Donald Trump was met with several hundred protesters who came here. Police officers only made one arrest, we were just told by the Burlingame Police Department, and there was also one injury today Wolf.

BLITZER: How organized were these protests, Jeremy?

DIAMOND: They were pretty organized. They did not come from any particular group, but when they got here, they got together. You had protesters sitting in the middle of the road on both sides of this hotel here blocking Donald Trump's motorcade from coming through.

And then you also had them essentially charging together at the police line trying to get into the hotel. They were not successful, but police actually had to on one entrance put handcuffs on the doors to prevent protesters from actually getting inside.

As Donald Trump left the building, protesters continued to protest, but now that Donald Trump is gone, the protesters have also essentially dissipated. Police have now opened up this road here and everything is returning to normal.

BLITZER: Jeremy Diamond on the scene for us that was anything but normal just a little while ago. Thank you very much.

Joining us now, one of Ted Cruz's supporters in Congress, Representative Raul Labrador from Idaho.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.

What did you make of these angry protests last night and today in California at the Republican Party Convention in California over there? What, if anything, could Senator Cruz do to try to tone things down himself?

REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: I don't know if you noticed. When Senator Cruz has a protester in his audience, he actually tries to address them, and he tries to talk to them and he tries to kind of bring down the level of the rhetoric.

And I think he has been very successful doing that. However, we need to be clear these people that are protesting, they are trying to stop free speech, because it is not that they're protesting Donald Trump. What they're trying to do is they're trying prevent him from speaking, and that's totally unacceptable and un-American.

And I think we need to make sure that as you're talking about these protesters, you know, we all disagree with the level -- the rhetoric that Donald Trump has, but what these people are trying to do is to prevent him from speaking, and that's completely unacceptable.

BLITZER: Protesting is free speech, obviously, but what you mean, when it gets violent, that's when it goes over the line. Is that right?

LABRADOR: Well, absolutely.

When it gets violent or when they try to stop his car, when they try to prevent him from coming into the building, that's just not acceptable in our society, and this is very organized. I heard the reporter before you say that this wasn't organized by any one group.

[18:10:12]

This is clearly organized, because they know your cameras are going to be there, they know the media is going to be there in droves, there is going to be large crowds, and this is very clearly organized to disrupt society. And these same people are trying to disrupt America in many other ways. And I think we should not stand for that.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Who do you think, Congressman, is organizing these protests?

LABRADOR: Well, I don't have -- it is clear that they're coming together at a time when the unions are trying to get after the Republican Party, when there's many Hispanic American groups that are trying to get after the Republican Party.

They're trying to make -- and send a message. And that's fine. Send a message. But do not interfere with free speeches as you're sending that message.

BLITZER: How worried are you, Congressman, that these protests could escalate and even be larger at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July?

LABRADOR: The protests are going to be large. I have been to the last two or three conventions, and we always have very good security at both the Republican and the Democratic Conventions.

And there's always protesters at all of the conventions. I think things should be OK, but I also think that it is important for the police to do their job, as they're doing a very good job in California right now, and to make sure that the right of free speech that they have, that it doesn't go beyond the pale, where they're actually interfering with other people's rights to free speech.

BLITZER: As you know, the Indiana governor, Mike Pence, said today he would be voting for Senator Cruz Tuesday in the Indiana Republican primary, but he didn't offer what he called an official endorsement.

He also had some very nice words to say about Donald Trump. What did you think of the way he handled it?

LABRADOR: I think he is a very classy guy. I heard you guys say in the last 10 minutes that this was lukewarm.

This was just Mike Pence. Mike Pence is the nicest gentleman you can probably meet in politics. I'm sure you have met him, Wolf. He is the nicest person. That's the way he speaks, that's the way he approaches every single issue. He is never going to say anything negative about anybody else.

I have never heard him say anything negative about anybody else. And he said something that's really clear. He's not against anybody. And I wish we had more people in the Republican Party that would do that. I don't like this never Trump mess that we keep hearing about. I'm for Ted Cruz because I think Ted Cruz is the best candidate, the best person who can unify Republican Party so we can defeat Hillary Clinton.

He is the best prepared, he has the best plans, he has the best ideas. That's why I am for Ted Cruz. And I really like that about what Mike Pence was saying.

BLITZER: But if Cruz loses to Trump and Trump is the Republican nominee, will you be all out for Trump?

LABRADOR: It is going to be hard to be all out for him, but I'm going to support the Republican nominee. There's a lot of things that he says that do not comport with what I think the Republican Party believes, but he still will be better than Hillary Clinton, because anybody will be better than Hillary Clinton.

She's ill-prepared for these times. She is not the right person to be leading this nation. So I'm going to do what I can to make sure that a Republican wins. I'm going to be a lot more enthusiastic though about Ted Cruz because he is clearly prepared and clearly qualified to take on the issues that we are dealing with in the United States.

And, in fact, he has been doing it in Washington, D.C. That's why you have people like John Boehner that are coming after him, because he is not part of the establishment, he is not doing the things that John Boehner and other Republicans in Washington want to do, which is to cut deals in backrooms and to make sure that everything goes according to what the big donors want.

He actually wants to do what the American people want him to do.

BLITZER: Congressman, there's a lot more to discuss, including the latest delegate estimates we have, the popular vote out there, why Donald Trump is ahead of Ted Cruz now by millions of votes. We're going to assess that, what happens next.

Much more with Raul Labrador when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:18:32]

BLITZER: We're back with the breaking news, new tension, clashes at a protest against Donald Trump today, as the Republican presidential front-runner tops the 1,000 mark in the GOP delegate race right now.

We are back with a leading supporter of Trump's rival, Senator Ted Cruz. Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho is still with us.

Congressman, I will put the numbers up on the screen. And you can discuss. Right now, by our estimate, Trump has 1,002 Republican delegates, Cruz 572, Kasich 157. You need 1,237 to clinch the nomination. That means he needs 235 more delegates. There are still 502 delegates left out there; 47 percent is what Trump needs. He looks like he's in a very strong position, doesn't he?

LABRADOR: He is in a strong position, but he still needs to get 1,237. Those are the rules.

And not only that. That just shows that you need to get the majority of the Republican Party. In order to get that many delegates, he has only won about 40 to 42 percent of the vote so far. There's been about 60 percent of the Republicans who have voted against him. And I think that's why we have the rules. The majority of delegates need to be reached by the time of convention.

BLITZER: But Cruz has done a lot worse so far. Take a look at the raw vote as far as the popular vote. In all the 40 or so Republican primaries and caucuses, Trump is at 10,062,000. Cruz is down at 6,857,000, Kasich only three 3,674,000. You have got a lot of Republicans out there who want Donald Trump to be the nominee.

[18:20:08]

LABRADOR: You do. But you also have a lot of Republicans who want somebody else.

It is pretty simple, Wolf. Let's say that, for example, Donald Trump got together with Marco Rubio and their delegates got together, and they decided that they wanted to bring him over the top on second ballot. There would be nothing wrong with that. That would be a good alliance. There's nothing wrong with Ted Cruz trying to make alliances with other people.

And I think that's what's going to happen. You're going to see more and more people making alliances with Ted Cruz, because more people want a Ted Cruz than -- or more people want somebody other than Donald Trump. And I think that's going to happen.

Now, if Donald Trump is able to make the alliances with enough people to get himself over the edge on the second ballot, then he is going to be the nominee. That's why we need to go to the convention, and make sure that we follow the rules and we do the things that are necessary to get somebody who will be supported by the majority of the party.

BLITZER: If Cruz loses next Tuesday in Indiana, should he drop out?

LABRADOR: You know, I am not going to tell him to drop out, but if he loses, I think it is pretty clear that it would be much more difficult.

I think he's going to win. I think, if you saw the latest polling, he is only a couple points behind. And I think that as we have seen through the campaign, that the ground game that Ted Cruz has is better than the ground game that Donald Trump has. Donald Trump relies mostly on media, relies on you guys to do his advertising for him.

Ted Cruz is on the ground working hard. So, I think you're going to see a big victory on Tuesday.

BLITZER: But Donald Trump works pretty hard. He's going from state to state, from rally to rally. He hasn't exactly been playing golf all this time, right?

LABRADOR: No, he has not. His rallies are very good. He does a good job with the rallies.

BLITZER: And one of the things he also does is, he is willing to sit for TV interviews with almost anyone, which is a lot more -- he does a lot more, of course. He says yes a lot more than Cruz or Kasich or any of the other Democratic candidates, for that matter, as well.

LABRADOR: I actually think that's something that every Republican candidate should look to. There are some things that we can all learn from, from Donald Trump.

One of them is being as accessible to the media as possible. I think that's been good for Donald Trump. That has helped him tremendously. The other thing is that when you get attacked, you need to attack back. You need to go back at people who are attacking you.

I always think that Republicans in Washington, D.C., are too scared of the media, they're too scared of being attacked. You need to lean forward on the issues that you believe in. And those are two things that I think every Republican candidate could really learn from, from Donald Trump. And I think it is something that helped him.

BLITZER: I want to play a clip. The former House Speaker John Boehner had strong words, strong words to say about Ted Cruz. I will play the clip, and then I want to get your reaction.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about Ted Cruz?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Lucifer in the flesh. I have a history of getting along with almost everyone. In Washington, I have as many Democrat friends as I have Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.

(LAUGHTER)

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BLITZER: What do you make of that?

LABRADOR: That was probably the unclassiest thing that I have ever seen somebody do in politics. And, in fact, it's not surprising to me.

I have been pretty good at trying to not attack John Boehner on a personal basis, even though I thought he was probably the worst speaker of the House in history. He was a terrible leader. And now I think gloves are off. I think it is really kind of shameful that he would say such a thing about Ted Cruz, and it just shows you that people like John Boehner in Washington, D.C., they would rather work with Hillary Clinton, they would rather work with Donald Trump than they would rather work with conservatives.

Those kinds of things that he is saying about Ted Cruz are the kinds of things that John Boehner has been saying about conservatives in Washington, D.C., for the last five years. He hates us. He hates people who disagree with him and he hates people that do not help him just have a good afternoon with his wine and his golf club.

What he wants to do is to have an easy life. And he wanted to have that the last five years and we didn't make life easy on him. We made life very difficult, because he wasn't keeping the promises that we had made to our constituents. That's the main reason that he is not the speaker of the House right now, and it is the main reason that he was such a failure as a speaker.

And I think it is really, really sad to see a man do that in his later years. He should have kept his comments to himself, instead of saying something like that.

BLITZER: Next time, Congressman, you will have to tell us how you really feel about the former speaker of the House.

Raul Labrador of Idaho, thanks very much for joining us.

[18:25:00]

LABRADOR: Thank you very much.

BLITZER: Just ahead, we're going to have much more on the tense protests against Donald Trump in California. We are monitoring the situation right now.

Also, first on CNN, another taunt by a Russian warplane aimed at the U.S. military. We are going to tell you what we are learning when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We are back with the breaking news out of California,

[18:30:00] protesters confronting police after trying to storm a hotel where Donald Trump was delivering a speech awhile ago. It's all playing out in California, one of the last and biggest primary battlegrounds.

Let's bring in our panel. CNN political commentator Ana Navarro is joining us. Our politics editor, Mark Preston. CNN politics senior digital correspondent Chris Moody, and Republican strategist and CNN political commentator Kevin Madden.

Is this a prelude, Mark, to what could potentially happen, these protests at the Republican convention in Cleveland?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Yes. There's certainly no doubt. And I have to tell you, in many ways, Republicans -- not only do they want to get that nomination fight behind them, certainly, if you're a Donald Trump supporter.

But I think Republican would be lucky to get this fight behind them. What they don't want to happen in Cleveland is they don't want the liberal protesters clashing with Trump protesters that think the nomination is being stolen from Donald Trump, clashing with the Republican establishment protesters outside.

So, listen, I think Cleveland is going to be messy no matter what happens. If Donald Trump gets the nomination clean, I think it will be a little bit calmer than what could potentially be a real problem.

BLITZER: What else, if anything, can the Republican Party, Republican leadership do to tamp things down?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, first of all, look at the images we've just seen, those are immigration protesters against Donald Trump. So people that are sparking the violence are not Republicans. I think what the Republican Party, the RNC, the NRSC, the NRCC, I think what they're doing now is trying to get a lot of their candidates to understand that there's a lot of anger out there, that candidates have to go and speak to a lot of anger and frustration that they have and offer solutions to address some of the concerns or the anxieties that they have, about all of the issues that are driving some of that anxiety.

But ultimately, the big thing they have to do is just get the party ready for a general election and as Mark was alluding to, at the Republican convention in Cleveland, try to have an atmosphere that's more unifying for candidates and that is again about ideas and issues.

BLITZER: Ana, what do you think could be done to cool down the atmosphere?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Meditation, breathing exercises, anger management courses. Look, Wolf, the bottom line is, we are a very polarized nation right now and this election has brought out all of that, it has stoked the flames. I think that it is a responsibility of everybody that's a surrogate, everybody's that speaking on behalf of candidates to tamp down the rhetoric, to realize that it is getting out of control, this is getting awfully ugly.

These are images you see coming out of them Venezuela, you see coming out of Cuba. These are not images we are used to seeing in the United States. Yes, protesting is allowed here as part of our process, but it's just getting a little too nasty, a little too early, and it's going to go on for awhile. I do think some of the protesters are agitators.

I do think that there's more that leadership can do, the elected officials, the surrogates, even in the media that we can do to make sure to tamp down rhetoric and call for a national debate, but not this kind of throwing eggs at police. That's where I think you lose a lot of the American public.

BLITZER: You had a fascinating interview, Chris, with Donald Trump's social media director, and he spoke about how Trump reacts when he's attacked. Let me play this clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS MOODY, CNN POLITICS SENIOR DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: She dishes it out.

DANIEL SCAVINO, DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, he sure does. And only if the opposing end deserves it, you know? Note in the campaign during the whole cycle, he never attacked anybody.

MOODY: What? Come on, Dan.

SCAVINO: He never attacked anybody in the sense of where he started. It was always the opposing campaign throwing punches at Donald Trump. And if you're going to throw punches at Donald Trump, as we've learned for the past ten months, be prepared, be prepared because not only does it get him fired up, it fires up everybody around him, the campaign, his kids, the organization, especially when some of the things people are throwing his way are not accurate, not true.

And -- no, he definitely throws it out, I'm not denying that at all, as we've seen the past ten months. So, it's just -- in my opinion, from the outside looking in, just ugly. Some of the stuff they said.

MOODY: You don't think Trump's response made things worse or uglier?

SCAVINO: It has in some cases. But you know what, Mr. Trump stands up for what he believes in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Dan Scavino, the social media director. Fascinating guy in his own right.

MOODY: He is. A little about his background, he started with Trump just by happenstance. When he was 16 years old, cleaning golf clubs in a Hudson Valley golf club. Donald Trump rolled up to see if he wanted to buy the course and Mr. Scavino caddied for him. [18:35:00] Over the years, he rose in the ranks in the Trump

organization, as a golf executive there, and then joined the campaign. This is really a perfect example of a true Trump supporter. He is with him no matter what.

I also asked him is there anything Mr. Trump could say that would lead you to leave him? He said, no, there's nothing. And also, he leads the social media part of his campaign which is really is the tip of the spear for his --

BLITZER: Trump is very active. So, he tweets, he's got millions and millions of followers.

MOODY: He does, it's incredibly successful but also incredibly controversial. Donald Trump has a history of retweeting a lot of supporters, just about every night. We've seen -- but some of them, those supporters have voiced support for white nationalist movements. I asked him about that as well.

He said, well, Trump doesn't look at who he's tweeting. I said one the name was white genocide in the title. Why did he retweet it?

And he said, well, he's was made aware of it, knows about it now. He didn't necessarily apologize for retweeting his supporters.

PRESTON: Right. So, let's just knit everything we talked together into one tight ball here in going to what Ana said. There's a snowball effect when you have this passion in politics. And unless the temperature is turned down, it is going to keep rolling and rolling and get bigger and bigger and bigger.

And what we saw today out in California and as we have seen that at some rallies, unless Donald Trump takes a little bit responsibility and tries to tone it down at some rallies, tries to give direction to his supporters, there's potential for it to get worse.

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: No question. Absolutely, the Democrats --

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: I think that's going to happen.

MADDEN: For Donald Trump, a substance free campaign, a campaign more driven by emotion is exactly where he wants to be. God forbid, Donald Trump has to talk about the issues. He doesn't have command and control of the issues.

I think the interview that Chris just did with his social media guru was emblematic of the type of organization he has, and that there was zero consistency in what he said. First, he said he doesn't dish it out, then he does and did say that it does lead to anger. So, you know, I think that's why Donald Trump is going to continue to have a campaign trying to feed off this anger rather than tamp it down. BLITZER: Ana, what did you think of the Mike Pence sort of lukewarm

endorsement of Ted Cruz today, the Indiana governor, praising Donald Trump saying he likes them all, likes all three Republican candidates but he's going to vote for Ted Cruz?

NAVARRO: Wolf, I have seen endorse Brussels sprouts with more enthusiasm than he endorsed Ted Cruz. I think in fact in some ways it hurts because it drew attention to what is happening with a lot of Republicans, which is that they recognize the anger, the frustration that is fueling Trump voters and Trump supporters, don't want to antagonize.

Remember, Mike Pence is up for re-election, but at the same time don't want to support Donald Trump. So, they're caught in a kind of funky gray area, they don't want to take a black or white position. They want to straddle the fence.

And it doesn't look pretty. It particularly doesn't look pretty when you're the governor of a state and you have a primary election just a few days away. If you're going to come out, make an announcement, for God's sakes, make an announcement that it is worth covering, because I think you do yourself harm and do the candidate you try to help harm when you come out looking wishy-washy.

BLITZER: The endorsement of Trump by Bobby Knight, that was a real endorsement.

Also, Kevin, what happens if Trump wins Indiana on Tuesday?

MADDEN: Well, look, I think, right now, what you have in the Republican Party is -- the party split into two camps, the resignation camp and there's the resistance camp. I think the resignation camp right now, those who started to become more resigned to the fact that Donald Trump is going to be our nominee, I think that continues to grow. And you'll see a little more of -- you'll see them continue to outnumber the resistance camp. More folks will try to socialize themselves to the idea that he'll be the nominee by the time we get to Cleveland.

BLITZER: One quick question to you before I let you go, Ana --

NAVARRO: Kevin, I think there's also a third camp.

BLITZER: Hold on a second, Ana. Marco Rubio, all of a sudden, on a radio interview said some relatively nice things about Donald Trump today. Is there some sort of rapprochement in the works here? Ana, can you hear me?

NAVARRO: You know, yes. Look, I think when you say relatively nice things, that's the correct term. Relatively positive things, they're far from being actual positive things. I think it goes to the point that just Kevin made, there's a resignation camp and also an acknowledgment camp acknowledging what voters are seeing in Donald Trump.

But I would argue to Kevin's point, I would add in addition to there being a resignation camp and a resistance camp, there's a camp that's both getting resigned to the idea that Trump could be the nominee, might be, will be the nominee, but at the same time willing to resist it and fight against it until our last breath, until the man reaches 1,237 delegates.

That's the camp I fall into, and I think there are a lot of other people in that camp. I think that's where Marco Rubio is.

BLITZER: All right, guys. Stand by. There's more coming into THE SITUATION ROOM, including new developments.

Hillary Clinton clearly looking ahead to a potential race against Donald Trump. We'll have that and more when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:45:15] BLITZER: We are back with our political team.

Hillary Clinton is offering a preview of her strategy against Donald Trump in an exclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. She's making it clearer than ever that she's preparing for a likely fall faceoff with Donald Trump, and that faceoff could be brutal.

Our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is joining us now.

Jeff, Hillary Clinton says she is not letting Trump provoke her.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, in fact, quite the opposite. Her campaign is hoping to use Trump's words against him, and fire up Democrats. It is clear in her interview today she's taking the high road, presenting herself as a mature, steady leader. She also said she knows just what Bernie Sanders is going through as his presidential ambitions fade, but said pointedly there's a time when you have to look at reality.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak.

ZELENY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton is talking about Donald Trump.

CLINTON: I'm not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or efforts to try to provoke me. He can say whatever he wants to say about me. I could really care less.

ZELENY: Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper in her first interview since all but sealing the Democratic nomination, Clinton offering an early look into her plan to take on Trump.

(CROWD CHANTING)

CLINTON: If you are demeaning women, you don't believe equal pay is an issue, you are really insulting to women, I don't see how that adds up either. ZELENY: The back and forth between Trump and Clinton overtaking the

presidential race.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she had get 5 percent of the vote.

ZELENY: The Clinton campaign is trying to turn his attack against him, offering donors an actual woman card.

But today, at least, Clinton is taking the high road.

CLINTON: We're going to talk about what to do for the country. And he can continue on his insult-fest, but that's the choice he is making.

ZELENY: Today in California, Trump making that choice again.

TRUMP: When I can focus on Hillary, as I say, crooked Hillary, when I focus on Hillary, she will go down easier than any of the people we just beat.

ZELENY: While Trump calls himself the presumptive Republican nominee, Clinton won't go there just yet.

CLINTON: 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.

ZELENY: The acrimony from only two weeks ago has faded.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am sure a lot of people are very surprised to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.

CLINTON: Now, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait, wait --

ZELENY: At least from Clinton's point of view.

CLINTON: I was pleased when Senator Sanders said the other day he's going to work tirelessly, seven days a week to make sure Trump is not president.

ZELENY: Sanders is saying a little more than that.

SANDERS: We need a 50-state strategy. We need to plant the flag of progressive politics in every state in this country.

ZELENY: It's a feeling Clinton well remembers when presidential bid dies. She says she is not worried about unifying the party.

CLINTON: I think when I dropped out, the polling was at 40 percent of my supporters said they would not support Senator Obama. Thankfully, the vast majority of them did. So this is a natural kind of a process that I think will play itself out.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZELENY: But unifying the Democratic Party may be more complicated than she remembers from eight years ago. Sanders has spent his career as an independent, and many of his supporters are independents, too. But Trump's own words and those images from these rallies today could be the ultimate unifier for Democrats -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jeff. Thank you.

Our political team, by the way, is getting ready to mingle with some of the hottest names in Hollywood and Washington. Be sure to join us for our coverage of the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. That's tomorrow night. Our coverage begins 7:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

We have some other breaking news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now. We're learning more about a new and provocative move by Russia targeting a U.S. military plane.

Let's go to our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.

What are you learning, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, learning today over the Baltic, an alarming encounter between the Russian and U.S. military. An Air Force RC135 reconnaissance plane flying in international air space over the Baltic when a Russian SU-27 fighter jet approached and executed a barrel roll over the plane. That, of course, means the Russians at high speed, they came within 25 feet of the American aircraft, inverted, flew over the top of the plane, upside down, came down the other side -- a very dangerous.

[18:50:03] Up to 25 service members, U.S. service members on board that RC135.

It's the second barrel roll within the month, and earlier this month, an incident with a Russian aircraft flying. We have the video to show you, just within a few feet of another U.S. Navy war ship.

What is going on is the big question right now. Why are the Russians doing all of this.

The Pentagon looking at this wondering is this at the orders of Vladimir Putin in Moscow to engage in this very dangerous behavior? Or are these Russian pilots out there on their own hotdogging? Either way, look for the U.S. to protest this latest move to Moscow -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, I'm sure they will. This is extremely, extremely dangerous, as you point out. If there's one tiny little mistake, there could be huge blunder and there could be some people who might die.

All right, Barbara, thank you very much.

Much more news coming up right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: Our CNN special is coming up late tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern. HBO's "Nothing Left Unsaid", a truly remarkable look at Gloria Vanderbilt and her son, CNN's own Anderson Cooper.

Anderson is joining us from New York right now.

Anderson, let's talk about this. It's really amazing work you've done. The CNN film is based on really intimate conversations you had with your mom, Gloria Vanderbilt.

I want to play a little clip from one of those conversations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And this is what he looked like when you first met him?

GLORIA VANDERBILT, ANDERSON'S MOTHER: Well, it's a terrible photograph of him, but he was 63 when I first met him and married him.

COOPER: And was this something likely -- as soon as you saw him, you thought --

VANDERBILT: Instant.

COOPER: Really?

VANDERBILT: Knew him for a week and married three weeks later.

COOPER: Really?

VANDERBILT: Yes.

COOPER: I didn't know that.

VANDERBILT: Yes.

COOPER: How old were you?

VANDERBILT: Twenty.

COOPER: You're 20.

VANDERBILT: Yes.

COOPER: And he was 63?

VANDERBILT: Yes.

COOPER: Wow. Did any of your friends think it was weird?

VANDERBILT: I don't know. I mean -- didn't matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Sounds like you really learned a lot of things about your mom, things that you didn't know, things that you probably never talked about earlier.

How revealing was this entire experience?

COOPER: You know, it was incredibly revealing. The whole film really started -- for years, I had been going through like a lot of kids do with their aging parents' stuff. I've been going through her stuff, going through boxes of stuff he had in storage and I would -- I started discovering these things, like, you know, these letters from Howard Hughes and Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, people she was involved with. And things I really didn't know about her life.

And I realized she lived multiple lives. She's really been in the public eye longer than just about anyone else alive today, and I wanted to get to know her before it was too late. I didn't want anything left unsaid. That is really the title of the film and the companion book we wrote today, called "The Rainbow Comes and Goes."

It's really I hope something that not only informs people about my mom's life, and she lived this epic life, with triumphs and tragedies, and is incredibly optimistic at 92. But I also hope it encourages people to have a conversation with someone -- a loved one in your life, particularly with an aging parent before it's too late.

BLITZER: I think it's having that impact already. So what brought you specifically to produce -- to make this film about your mom?

COOPER: You know, I have been shooting stuff with her, I've been recording interviews with her that I've done casually over the years, really since I was in my 20s. And I just never really thought I would put it together.

And I just started to think -- you know, I think she has this incredible life. And one of the things we look for in stories is kind of an untold story. And in many ways, a lot of people know my mom's name, Gloria Vanderbilt, they don't know really what her life actually was like. They don't really know who she actually is.

She has this public face, but the person who she was, the lives she's actually lived was far more interesting. So, to me, I approached it like I would any story. It was this person that everybody thinks they know or maybe knows a little bit about, but doesn't really know the real story.

BLITZER: What advice do you have, Anderson, for viewers who are inspired and want to talk to their parents about the past?

COOPER: You know, I think you have to talk slowly and be incredibly sensitive. Some subjects are particularly hard particularly for an aging parent to talk about, or for anybody to talk about. But you have to show that you're really listening and that you're coming from a good place and that you're really curious and, you know, start off slow and just listen to what the person said and respond to what they're saying. And it's just incredible the kind of stories that get revealed.

BLITZER: It is really an amazing film and it's a wonderful book. It's a "New York Times" number one best seller.

Anderson, congratulations. You did a really, really great job.

COOPER: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: CNN will broadcast HBO's memoir-like documentary, "Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper", directed by Liz Garbus, later tonight 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

And remember, you can always follow us here on CNN, on Twitter. Just tweet me @CNNSitroom or @WolfBlitzer. Please be sure to join us Monday, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. I'm Wolf Blitzer. Thanks very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.