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Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield
Trump Campaign Chief Charged; Candidates Battle in Wisconsin; Democratic Battle. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired March 29, 2016 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:00:08] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. And welcome to LEGAL VIEW. Breaking news today. A stunning turn in this very wild, political season. Donald Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, pictured here, has turned himself in on misdemeanor assault charges. He's accused of grabbing journalist Michelle Fields at a news conference in Jupiter, Florida, back on March 8th. And, of course, there is video. It's hard to make out in this large crowd, but that is Michelle Fields in the light yellow jacket, next to Donald Trump, holding her phone, and then you can see a man said to be Lewandowski apparently pulling her away from Donald Trump. And that is the basis of this assault charge. Now Corey Lewandowski has a notice to appear in court and he has a court date, as well. A Trump campaign spokeswoman is now already giving a preview of what's to come, saying that Corey Lewandowski will plead not guilty and that he will be exonerated.
I want to bring in CNN's senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta and Sara Murray, who is following the Trump campaign.
First to you, Jim Acosta. You were at that event on March 8th when this all began. Can you just take me back and give me the genesis of all of this?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Technically, Ashleigh, I hate to start a live shot this way, I was not that event - I was not at that event on March 8th. It may have been Sara. But what we can tell you is that in just the last couple of minutes, we did - CNN has obtained the arrest or notice to appear document. And that clarification is very, very important here. I'll mention that in just a moment. And it talks about what Corey Lewandowski is facing. It essentially says he is being charged, at this point, on a charge of simple battery, and then in parentheses it says, touch or strike. This all stems back to that incident on March 8th. And you can see it in the video. It's not exactly clear when you look at the C-SPAN video, that footage from that night, as to whether or not she was actually - Michelle Fields, a reporter from Breitbart, was actually roughed up or man handled by Corey Lewandowski. She says that she was, as a matter of fact, was roughed up by Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager for Donald Trump.
But it's important to point out, at this point, according to the Trump campaign, and we have not gotten this clarification from the Jupiter Police Department, but the Trump campaign, spokeswoman Hope Hicks, says that Corey Lewandowski was not arrested. He was not physically arrested by police. He was given a notice to appear in court. That's an attempt, as you know, Ashleigh, from covering a lot of legal cases, that this is an attempt at some damage control going on inside the Trump campaign. We're just a few days away from the Wisconsin primary, which is, obviously, a crucial contest in this path to the nomination for Donald Trump. You know, the question day by day goes, will Donald Trump have the necessary delegates to clinch the nomination? Well, he has to go with - he has to go through Wisconsin to accomplish that. And this is just another distraction that the Trump campaign does not need, especially at a time, Ashleigh, when Republicans are going after Donald Trump, saying that he has a terrible track record when it comes to women and then here comes this complaint against his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
Now, we should point out, there's a little bit of history to walk through post this incident on March the 8th. Michelle Fields, the woman - the reporter with Breitbart, who is alleging this. she filed her police report a few days after this happened. Donald Trump later on said it was not true. Corey Lewandowski, at one point, vehemently denied that this occurred, in a tweet at one point calling Michelle Fields, quote, "delusional." And then on March 15th -
BANFIELD: In fact, Jim, you know what, I'm going to pop that up there, if I can. Let me interrupt you for a moment -
BANFIELD: So that we have his exact words.
BANFIELD: This is what Corey Lewandowski tweeted out on March the 10th. That's two days after the event. And I believe the day before the actual charge was - was filed. "Michelle Fields, you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you."
Whether, in fact, he remembers not meeting her, I think the video shows that they clearly met and certainly that there was some kind of touching that was going on. So, again, that was - and then the tweets got even rougher.
ACOSTA: And then one other - yes.
BANFIELD: I believe he even said, "Michelle Fields is an attention seeker who once claimed Allen West groped her but later went silent." So he's -
ACOSTA: That's right.
BANFIELD: He's gone on the attack on the 10th of March after the filing.
ACOSTA: That's right, Ashleigh. Just one other quick thing to wrap this up. On March 15th, the event I was at, at Mar-a-Lago, it was at that event when Donald Trump was scheduled to hold a press conference, ended up not taking questions, but acknowledged almost that his campaign manager had been under fire in this case. Said, quote, "good job, Corey," during that event. So really, you know, Donald Trump has been backing his campaign manager 100 percent through all of this and Hope Hicks, the spokeswoman for Donald Trump, says Corey Lewandowski is totally innocent and will be declared innocent of these charges.
BANFIELD: Yes, that didn't go unnoticed, the "good job, Corey," at that - at that post-election news conference.
Jim Acosta, my apologies for getting your travel schedule mixed up. You've been crisscrossing the nation, but I appreciate it.
ACOSTA: I get it mixed up too.
BANFIELD: And it was the - I can understand that. It was the 15th that you were attending.
Sara Murray has been at nearly every single one of these press conferences and rallies as well. you've been covering the campaign for us.
Sara, just - I want to just go through some of these frame by frame so that people can get a really clear view of what this video shows and doesn't show, because this will be parsed meticulously by defense counsel. That's Michelle Fields in the jacket, in the light jacket at the front. Obviously standing beside Donald Trump, who's glancing over his right shoulder towards her. She appears to have her phone in her hand. Behind was Corey Lewandowski, who's left arm you can see reaching through - between a gentleman and Donald Trump, grabbing her left arm, as well. And then you can see her being pulled back and Donald Trump moving forward. Her hair is sort of moving in a way that she appears to be forcefully being pulled backwards. And you can see Corey Lewandowski's left arm is still on her left arm as well as he moves past her as well.
These are all critical images, obviously, because if there is going to be any case in a court of law, -- and that is not to say this will go into a court of law - these will be looked at very, very carefully.
Sara, there was a witness to this because in the police report, which I'm holding right now, it talks about Ben Terris with "The Washington Post" who was nearby. What has he had to say about this and the other members of the press corps who were present?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Ashleigh, I was actually at this event and I just want to explain a little bit of - of I think why this was - there was so much confusion surrounding this and what was going on. You know, Donald Trump is in some ways sort of the worst nightmare of Secret Service in that, you know, when he gets to his own properties, he tends to just wander around. And that's exactly what he was doing this - that evening before his press conference even started. He sort of wandered out and talked to reporters, and then he wandered back upstairs.
And this was after the press conference. So he went up there. It was an election night. He took questions from reporters and then he left the stage and he was walking past. And I had actually just pulled him aside to do an interview with him live on CNN. We asked him a couple questions. There was no interference with me, with either Corey or with Secret Service or any of the other security. It went just fine. And apparently it was after that when he continues moving on in this sort of scrum of reporters that apparently Corey and Michelle allegedly had this interaction.
And it was very difficult to see at this point. I couldn't witness any of it because there is this big scrum of reporter and there is this sort of circle of Secret Service agents that cover Mr. Trump as he's going through the crowd. And I think that has been part of the confusion, just the fact that there was this huge scrum.
But, yes, there was a "Washington Post" reporter who was apparently nearby Michelle Fields, and he is the one who really sort of brought this incident to light and started publicize it, essentially saying that he had - he had witnessed it. That he knew it was Corey Lewandowski. That Corey Lewandowski was the one who had grabbed her.
What I will say is not clear, it's not clear whether Corey Lewandowski actually does know Michelle Fields. He has maintained on Twitter, as you saw there, that he does not. And Michelle Fields is not the normal Breitbart reporter that we usually see at these events. It's usually one of her male counterparts that attends these events and covers Trump. So I do think that is one question that we still don't really know is whether Corey was aware of who this was ahead of time. But, you know, obviously, if there was this incident of him grabbing her and bruising her, it doesn't really matter whether, you know, if he - whether he knew who she was or not.
BANFIELD: Yes. And, by the way, Michelle Fields has since left Breitbart citing that the organization did not back her in this claim. Several other members of Breitbart have left in protest, as well of their mothership not backing Michelle Fields in this case.
Sara Murray, thank you for that.
I want to go to Scottie Nell Hughes, who's with me now, national political commentator at USA Radio Networks and a Trump supporter.
No matter how you slice this, you know, it doesn't matter if you're a Trump supporter or not a Trump supporter, and I know you are a Trump supporter, this is not easy to see and it's uncomfortable to talk about this in America politics. We don't expect to hear about people in a campaign manhandling those who are covering it.
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, NATL. POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, USA RADIO NETWORKS: No, we don't, but at the same time we have to realize, this is going to change presidential access by journalist forever because of this case. I think Sara pointed out perfectly, Mr. Trump is famous for driving Secret Service wild just going around walking and having accessibility to people there. I can't say whether or not Corey knew Michelle. Michelle's a good friend. She's a very aggressive journalist. She does a great job of getting the story that she's going after. And in this case I imagine that's what she was doing. She wanted probably a quote from Mr. Trump, as she had her phone up to record, and Corey basically either, whether the requested had been denied, or basically just wanted to make sure that Mr. Trump got on to his next point. Whatever it was, it - they did, obviously, have contact by that video.
[12:10:03] But I'm really scared of going forward how this is going to work out because the hundreds of people, the hundred of us around that room, for this to be considered a battery charge, would that make everybody around be considered maybe - that they would be accessory to battery, because nobody stopped at that moment, said, Corey, that's not right. Nobody confronted him there.
BANFIELD: Well, you're not an accessory to battery if you don't -
HUGHES: If they were sitting there watching it, though.
BANFIELD: Tell them they're naughty. (INAUDIBLE).
HUGHES: Well, but I'm just saying, would that make - but they all sat there and watched it. There were all these people - that was the problem in all of this.
BANFIELD: That was a bit of a melee. I think that was a moving crowd. I think the issue with battery -
HUGHES: But you also have a security issues - you have a security guard right there. That was a security agent.
BANFIELD: Misdemeanor battery, there's a foreseeable touching. Actually, the threshold's very, very low in Florida.
HUGHES: It's - right.
BANFIELD: But there was bruising. I mean to be pulling someone at the point where you leave finger marks and bruising, that's unacceptable in an office.
HUGHES: I agree. Unfortunately - and I -
BANFIELD: It's unacceptable in your home.
HUGHES: I agree. But to the extent, realize, that the only reason why this is - why we're leading off this story with -
BANFIELD: By the way, we're showing the - Michelle Fields' bruising.
HUGHES: Those - those bruises, which I can show bruises having a six and a seven-year-old that are worse. But I agree, this is not right. And I (INAUDIBLE) with that.
BANFIELD: No, I agree too, and that doesn't make it right. And I will say also that if anybody wants to contest she's, you know, sending out pictures of her bruising, she showed them to that witness at that moment and he saw the finger marks he told the police that he was also witness to this happening, saw the finger marks and there's an audio recording saying, holy f-h. HUGHES: But this is a press gaggle. We in the press know that we go in
- sometimes I joke I need to go in with full Kevlar because it is - everybody's trying to get the story. Everybody's trying to get the story.
BANFIELD: That's for verbal assaults. The full Kevlar is always for verbal assaults.
HUGHES: The verbal - well, but it's also for -
BANFIELD: That's -- that's a metaphor. Not because you think you're going to get hurt.
HUGHES: But also to speak with (INAUDIBLE).
BANFIELD: Please don't think for a moment we think we might get hurt.
HUGHES: No, you're not going to get hurt. Well, have you ever been in one of these things with people stepping on each other and climbing all over each other?
BANFIELD: Many, many times and I've had 28 years, Scottie, 28 years -
HUGHES: And you've never been hurt?
BANFIELD: I have never been hurt by someone in a campaign.
HUGHES: Oh, I have been pushed up - no, not in a campaign, you're right. But you look at the security guard -
BANFIELD: I've never been hurt by a politician.
HUGHES: I'm not saying - no, but the security -
BANFIELD: I've been verbally assailed by Donald Trump.
HUGHES: Have you - well, yes. Well, but I'm talking about from the security standpoint. Have you ever had people push you back? You've never been pushed back or any of that?
BANFIELD: Never to that point. No.
HUGHES: OK. Well, I have to tell you, maybe, you know, for those of us in the online media, they're used to doing 100 people trying to get one quote.
BANFIELD: I've had an arm put in front of me, but I've never been grabbed -
HUGHES: I've been pushed back.
BANFIELD: And yanked and physically pushed, no.
HUGHES: And, obviously, right out of the bat, Corey should have come out and said, I apologize. I don't know what happened. If I did, I'm sorry. I hope - you know, let's move on from this. That would have been the best answer, the best handling of it.
BANFIELD: So what about now and the effect of this? You know, we always have an incident with Donald Trump, what he has said or what's happened at an - at an event or a supporter and then we talk about the effect. Then what? And I'm just wondering what effect you think this might have.
HUGHES: Well, I'm hoping people separate this from Donald Trump, because it obviously wasn't Mr. Trump himself that had - this is a part of his campaign. This is a normal press event that was happening. I - I'm sure they will realize - but the only reason why we're talking about this is because it is a presidential candidate and the frontrunner of a presidential candidate and a controversial candidate. This probably happened every day to numerous people and you never have it on the front leading off every newspaper.
BANFIELD: But you think this happens to reporters?
HUGHES: This is happening - oh, I - well, reporters, anybody.
BANFIELD: On a regular basis?
HUGHES: This happened on the streets of New York. Go down to Times Square right now and you're jostled and you're pushed and your - I don't turn around -
BANFIELD: Yes, we expect - we expect that.
HUGHES: You expect that?
BANFIELD: From civilians, sure -
HUGHES: When you're sitting there -
BANFIELD: Jostling for position in a ski line or walking down a sidewalk -
HUGHES: Well, but you're standing there -
BANFIELD: But you don't expect it from a campaign manager at a political event where we have political press and coverage is part of our countries, you know, root and core.
HUGHES: And - yes, but you sit there and go after - do you think - do you think Michelle following and tailing Mr. Trump is right? Do you think that was (INAUDIBLE) to keep doing?
HUGHES: Do you think -
BANFIELD: I - I tailed George W. Bush and asked him questions.
HUGHES: And what if he said, hey, can you - and I think - then there's no doubt, but why wouldn't everybody be doing that? There's a certain respect (INAUDIBLE) - BANFIELD: I did the same thing with Bill Clinton. I tailed him and asked him questions.
HUGHES: And that worked out great.
BANFIELD: Nobody physically assaulted me.
HUGHES: But I agree, like I said, I - no one wants to have that happen. At the same time, you have to take - there's consequences for your actions. If you're going to take the risk to jump on top of a candidate and put your microphone -
BANFIELD: You need to be - you need to be aware you're going to get hurt?
HUGHES: You need to be prepared for it. No, but you had a - you had an agent right there. you had somebody in security right there. He, obviously, didn't think that she was under threat, that she should be in fear for anything. It was a pull back. It was probably an accident. He probably grabbed tighter than he should. He should have apologized. I will definitely admit that.
HUGHES: But I think we're making this a huge hoopla out of something that I think -
BANFIELD: Well, maybe he shouldn't have grabbed someone hard like that. It's not about the apology, it's about the action.
HUGHES: But, like I said, is it as big of a deal as what we're making it out to be. And if it wasn't Mr. Trump, would we really be making this out to be this way?
BANFIELD: I think trying to physically curtail the press in an open country like ours is the problem.
HUGHES: I look at other candidates who allow people just to - you have rope lines. You have right now holding pens for Hillary Clinton events and nobody complains about this. Mr. Trump goes and walks around.
BANFIELD: Trump - no, no.
HUGHES: He's now having to put people in -
BANFIELD: The Trump campaign has been the worse for all press who have reported ever working campaigns in the history of working campaigns.
HUGHES: He's been the worse. Well, I apologize for that.
BANFIELD: The Trump campaign has been the most - has been the most oppressive in terms of not allowing people to cover. And even to spin around to cover the - the -
HUGHES: He doesn't want people to spin around in protest the cover (ph). BANFIELD: He says he does, but he will not allow - when they do go
out, and you've seen the examples of reporters getting grabbed by the throat by agents that are there when they - when they dare to leave the pen -
HUGHES: Well, then address that with the agency, don't address that with the campaign. That is (ph) the other side of it.
BANFIELD: Isn't the - isn't it the culture that's being created in that campaign that's leading to what we're seeing all around the campaign?
[12:15:05] HUGHES: But these are people coming in that are not being respectful? This is all about respect. Doesn't anyone -
BANFIELD: I don't see Michelle as being disrespectful.
HUGHES: Well, is she sitting there trailing him as he's leaving.
BANFIELD: Asking a candidate a question -
HUGHES: As he is - even Sarah pointed out -
BANFIELD: Asking a candidate a question -
BANFIELD: Is not disrespectful. Let's agree.
HUGHES: No, I agree with that one. But at the same time, the press event was over. He was walking around talking about it and he was on his way out. And there were people trying to get him out. You know what, you'd still have to have respect. And I have to be honest with you, she worked for Breitbart at the time. Breitbart has had a wonderful access and communication with all the campaigns, conservative campaigns, especially the Trump campaign. She wanted to get her question. She didn't get it. She got more aggressive. More power to her. Corey should apologize. I think that -
BANFIELD: I think we'll have to - I think we're going to have to disagree on that being aggressive.
HUGHES: Well, you know -
BANFIELD: I saw that as walking up next to a guy. He didn't even flinch.
HUGHES: Even Mr. Trump, though, if you look at him, though, he's kind of like trying to go across.
BANFIELD: Looks at her. No, no -
HUGHES: He's trying to - he's -
BANFIELD: No, he looks at her.
HUGHES: He's trying -
BANFIELD: He looks at her.
HUGHES: You know what I want to know.
BANFIELD: No, by the way, Trump is never one to shy from making a comment.
HUGHES: That is very true.
BANFIELD: Take a look. He's just looking at her.
HUGHES: No, he's looking over his shoulder (INAUDIBLE) away from her.
BANFIELD: And he's not one to shy away. He would have tweeted right away, that lady tried to attack me. He didn't say anything of the sort.
HUGHES: No, he wouldn't, because I think that Mr. Trump knows who Michelle Fields is. Most of us in the conservative movement know who she is and consider her a friend. And I just - like I said, this is going to change our access to all the presidential candidates down the road. This is going to have lasting effects.
BANFIELD: All right, Scottie Nell Hughes, I appreciate you coming on to talk about this. I'm just - I'm distressed that we're even discussing something like this.
HUGHES: And that, I agree with you, that's a shame.
BANFIELD: It's unfortunate.
I want to end on this statement from the Trump campaign about Corey Lewandowski. The spokesperson for the campaign, Hope Hicks, said this. "Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge. He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated." And we're going to get the legal view on this story regarding whether these charges will actually stick, whether this will go to court, whether this will be pled. What will happen? And then, of course, there's that political fallout, too.
Up next, back to the actual race, the race, yes, you know, something big is about to happen when every single one of the presidential candidates for both parties shows up in one place. Get ready for more fireworks. We are live in Wisconsin, next.
[12:21:01] BANFIELD: The race for the White House is heading into full speed in Wisconsin leading up to next week's primary and tonight's CNN Republican town hall. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich all aggressively rallying their supporters for a state primary that each must win. Trump to prove that he's the presumptive nominee. Cruz to prove that he's the anti-Trump. And Kasich to prove that he's - well, he's still there, that he's relevant. And now eight hours and counting until the trio takes the stage at
CNN's town hall in Milwaukee. The first time Trump and Cruz will appear on the same program since their bitter war of wives began. This morning adding fuel to an already incendiary mix, Governor and former Presidential Candidate Scott Walker announced his endorsement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN (voice-over): And I just really decide after all these years of the Obama/Clinton failures, that it's time that we elect a strong, new leader. And I've chosen to endorse Ted Cruz to be the next president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: There you go. Pretty clear. Ted Cruz it is.
Our Phil Mattingly is in Milwaukee to preview exactly what we can expect tonight.
So we have that going into tonight, Phil, but then we also have all that other stuff that's still simmering and I'm wondering if this is going to be presidential or personal.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it's going to be a little bit of both but there's no shortage of issues that all of these candidates have to deal with after the last six or seven days. The escalating personal attacks between Ted Cruz's campaign and Donald Trump's campaign. Obviously what we saw today with Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. And, Ashleigh, I think one thing you're going to have to pay close attention to is how John Kasich and Ted Cruz react to the charges that were filed against Corey Lewandowski. Already John Kasich's chief strategist, John Weaver, putting out a statement saying that their campaign would have fired Lewandowski. Alice Stewart, Ted Cruz's spokeswoman, already putting out a statement saying that this is an example of a culture of abuse within the Trump campaign.
So I think this is going to be a big issue that Donald Trump is going to have to answer. But more broadly, this is a very important state. Just as you laid out, all three candidates have an opportunity not to just pick up delegates but to perhaps win the state. Donald Trump standing very strong in this state. But John Kasich, Ted Cruz with opportunities here. And tonight provides them the forum to try and take advantage of that as we head into these final six or seven days of campaigning in Wisconsin, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: So, Phil, the women's vote is usually an pretty important vote and a recent CNN/ORC poll shows that nearly three out of four women who are registered to vote have a negative opinion of Trump. Are they talking about what they're going to do about that, or are they just sort of full steam ahead, not to worry?
MATTINGLY: A little bit more the latter than the former. Look, I think Donald Trump feels like his message has worked up to this point. Why are you going to change it? It's been breaking through with the Republican electorate. It's been breaking through at least with Republican primary voters. Why are you going to have some massive overhaul or shift now?
One of the most interesting elements of their campaign is, no matter what happens, they continue to go forward. They continue to attack. They don't backtrack. They don't apologize. They don't fire staffers. So I think what happened today and what happens over the next couple of days is going to be really illuminating about how this campaign is going to go forward, particularly if it's a campaign that's going to go past the primary and into a general election, where you point out, those numbers - those female voters and you also point out record high unfavorable ratings across the general electorate atmosphere. Those are things that will need to be addressed at some point, will tonight and will the Wisconsin primary be the point where Donald Trump tries to do that? I think it's an open question. It's going to be really interesting to see.
BANFIELD: Yes. And, you know what, Wisconsin voters, as their governor says, are smart voters. They like the issues. They read up on the issues and they take note on those things.
All right, Phil Mattingly, thank you for that.
Ted Cruz held a campaign event in Wisconsin early this morning. All a five candidates from both parties are concentrating on that state in advance of that primary next week. Ted Cruz thanked Governor Scott Walker for that endorse that he got, and then he turned to an issue that worries conservatives, replacing Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.
[12:25:04] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are one liberal justice away from a radical five justice left wing majority, the likes of which this country has never seen. We are one justice away from the Supreme Court effectively stripping religious liberty for millions of Americans. We are one justice away from the Supreme Court effectively erasing the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights. We are one justice away from the Supreme Court making a subject to the world court and the United Nations and international law and giving up U.S. sovereignty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: So that was in Brookfield, Wisconsin. And here's a nice live picture of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I love those sets, especially because it's like the quiet before the storm, the nice calm before the storm. This is the place, folks, where the fireworks will fly later on. Don't miss the Republican town hall tonight live from Milwaukee. Trump, Cruz, Kasich all taking questions from the voters in an event moderated by our own Anderson Cooper. He does a great job at this, guys, and it's going to be a good one tonight. 8:00 p.m. right here only on CNN.
I want to turn to the Democrats now because there's action there, too. A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton says that Bernie Sanders' proposal for an additional Democratic debate before the New York primary is, quote, "a publicity stunt." On CNN's "New Day" this morning, Karen Finney accused Bernie Sanders of running an increasingly negative campaign, one that threatens to mirror the nasty Republican race. This morning in a forum in Milwaukee, Senator Clinton talked about a problem that plagues so many American cities, gun violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The epidemic of gun violence spares no one, but it is concentrated in areas that are short on hope and where we still face the effects of systemic racism. And too often guns are used as a way of ending disputes, of settling scores and often times no sense at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Our Chris Frates joins us live from Washington right now.
One campaign issue getting a lot of attention is Bernie Sanders' plan to aggressively try to get super delegates to switch to him.
Chris, here's the thing. A lot of people watch the news and they see these election eves play out and they say, wow, it looks like Bernie Sanders keeps on winning state after state after state. He had a great weekend. And yet Secretary Clinton is way ahead. So what is the magic of the delegate maneuvering that Bernie Sanders thinks he can pull off?
CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you, Ashleigh, you know, Bernie Sanders wants to make sure that he can lure away some of those super delegates from Hillary Clinton. But before he has a chance of even doing that, he has to keep winning. Because, remember, he had a big weekend this weekend. He won three contests in Hawaii, Washington and Alaska. He wants to extend that winning streak to four with a big win in Wisconsin next week.
Now, Hillary Clinton, she's managing expectations in that state, noting that she lost Wisconsin to then Senator Obama by double-digits eight years ago. And in Madison she acknowledged that Sanders is in fact doing well there, but she's competing hard for every vote. And that's because liberal enclaves like Madison and the state as a whole, it has a more white majority population, those things work in Sander' favor and he's trying to grab as many of Wisconsin's 86 delegates as possible because, remember, even after those big sweeping wins this weekend, Sanders, he still lags Clinton by about 240 delegates. So going forward, Sanders needs to continue to put up huge numbers. He has to win 75 percent of the delegates left to clinch the nomination. Clinton, on the other hand, she needs just 35 percent of the delegates remaining to become the nominee.
So Sander's strategy rests largely on winning Wisconsin and then upsetting Clinton two weeks later in her adopted home state of New York and he's already calling on her to debate him in the empire state. And that's a possibility that Clinton's camp hasn't ruled out yet but Clinton continues to try to focus her fire on Republicans. Yesterday in Wisconsin, she was barn storming that state and she slammed the GOP for blocking President Obama's Supreme Court pick, as she questioned the kind of justice a President Trump would pick. And I'll tell you, Ashleigh, with 247 delegates at stake next month, that's - in New York, second only to California this primary season for the number of delegates at stake, you know, Clinton might have to refocus on Sanders and this race quickly could become a very, very nasty knife fight, the likes of which we've not seen on the Democratic side so far this election season, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: No, but we already have it going on, or at least a little bit accustom to it already. Chris, thank you for that.
BANFIELD: Bernie Sanders is going to be live tonight on a special edition of CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront." It starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Make sure you tune in for that.
[12:30:04] And coming up next, this is a surprise. It was not terrorism, but there were still plenty of terror-filled moments and people in the sky and on the tarmac today. Kind of