tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN March 18, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
northeast when the primaries move over there. so this makes for a much more interesting competition. and for trump, a real problem. >> tim, thank you. do not miss tim and his sear ree ease requests the race to the white house." i'm brooke baldwin, thanks for watching. "the lead" starts now. >> thank you, brooke. they finally got him. "the lead" starts right now. breaking news. after four months on the run, the lone surviving paris terrorist now captured and wounded. what does he know with the attacks that claimed the lives of 130 people and any attacks to come? a senior donald trump warning of consequences if party leaders block trump from getting the nomination. could the republican convention turn into wrestlemania? plus trump hacked. the secret service investigating after anonymous declares war on donald trump and throws his cell
and social security numbers online. welcome to "the lead." i'm jim sciutto in for jake tapper. today breaking news in our world lead. explosions, gunfire, counterterror police in combat gear raiding locations across belgium. the assaults have french and ow. belgian officials celebrating. one declaring on twitter, we have him. police capturing one of the most wanted fugitives on the planet, taking the terrorist alive after a shootout. salah abdeslam disappeared after he took part in the terror massacre across paris in november killing 130 people. his nine fellow terrorists died that night. but since that november night last year, abdeslam has been a mystery. when we saw heavily armed tactical units move into a brussels suburb of molenbeek just hours ago, we suspected something big could be under
way. guns drawn, belgian police streamed down a street in brussels searching for one of the most wanted men in the world. after an exchange of gunfire, salah abdeslam, the one surviving terrorist behind the deadly november paris attacks, is wounded, but captured alive. >> an ambulance has just arrived because there are two people who are in the apartment who are shot by the police and one is sala abdeslam. >> reporter: it is unclear whether this is abdeslam. the belgian prime minister and french president together keeping close tabs. a crucial moment in europe's fight against terror. >> translator: the belgium and french intelligence services are cooperating on the investigation. this is an important moment, but we ought to let the belgian police do their work without disturbance. >> reporter: the arrest comes just two days after abdeslam's fingerprints and dna were found in another apartment raided by
police. a lucky break in a manhunt that had gone cold for months. in that raid, one suspect was killed, two others escaped. one possibly abdeslam himself. salah abdeslam is the tenth isis terrorist behind the paris attacks and the only one to escape alive from the deadly terror attacks in europe in more than a decade. police nearly captured him during a traffic stop outside paris just hours after the shootings. realizing who he was only after they let him go. he then led authorities on a global hunt, extending from bethlehem j belgium all the way to syria, multiple allies involved, including the u.s. >> the united states obviously has significant resources and significant capabilities and we have used them to assist the french and the belgians. >> cnn's senior international correspondent is on the ground in molenbeek, belgium, where salah abdeslam was captured.
we're hearing there is still police activity under way. take us through what's happening where you are right now. >> reporter: still a very heavy police presence here. you can see the road behind me leading to the house where salah abdeslam was found hiding is still closed off. forensic experts combing through that street down there, picking through the shards of broken glass that were a result of the firefight and the raids. several destinations hit during that raid. this is just a street away from abdeslam's childhood home. this is an area he knew very, very well. i think it's important to remind people that all of this actually began through pure happenstance. it was a raid on tuesday where police went in pretty unprepared, very lightly dressed. it turned into a heavy firefight that lasted for three hours that put into process this entire string of events during the days in which salah abdeslam went on the run which has led them to
the biggest break in the case, the investigation around the paris attacks the belgian authorities have had so far, jim. >> we heard from a french security official earlier today who raised the possibility that abdeslam had been in this same location for days, weeks, possibly months. are police learning anything about how long he had been holed up in this particular apartment? >> reporter: well, we know from neighbors that the apartment that he was previously believed to have been in, that that apartment had actually been rented out -- that house, i should say, had been rented out for an entire month and the cover was this family with small children, very quiet, kept very much to themselves. so this is part of this broader ring for a while. it was then -- the incidents in that house that led him back here in the last few days. but i think that the sense that we're getting from authorities is that all of this really is happening on the lam.
they're getting a sense of the situation, the circumstances surrounding it, minute by minute almost. now the question has to be whether belgians can hand him over to paris. french authorities are very clearly signalled that they need an extradition and they need to see him brought to justice for those massacres that horrified not just france but the whole world. >> nema on the scene where it all happened just hours ago. join meing me now to talk about this raid, its effects and salah abdeslam's capture, paul cruickshank, bob baer and michael weiss. paul, if i could begin with you, how this raid materialized. the manhunt in effect, the trail had gone cold. this was a bit of luck that led them to him, was it not? >> jim, that's absolutely right. the trail really had gone stone cold since he got back to brussels the night after the attacks and melted away inside brussels. if you go back to tuesday
afternoon in brussels, police launched a search on a propert, on an apartment in brussels. they were not expecting to find anybody there at all, but they had some intelligence that that address was linked in some way to the paris attacks. when they went in to try and search that property, there was a massive firefight that the three terrorists inside opened up on the police. the police were forced to retreat. one of the terrorists inside carried on, providing covering fire. he was eventually killed by a belgian sniper. he, by the way, thought to be a more senior figure than salah abdeslam in the paris conspiracy, so a major gap when they're able to neutralize the threat from him on tuesday. that cover fire was for the two other terrorists inside, including abdeslam to get out of that property and go on the run. now they're on the run, they didn't have a hiding place anymore.
we understand from our colleagues from the belgium national state broadcaster that they made a mistake. they called up an associate who had been under observation by belgian security services whose calls were beak listened into and arranged a rendezvous in molenbeek today and the belgian security services were waiting for them. >> i spoke to a french counterterror official earlier today while this was under way. our viewers may say it's crazy for him to have stuck around after the paris attacks but the french official said no, that makes sense because when you move over the border, you have -- does it make sense to you that he would stay in plain sight, as it were? >> jim, clearly what this man had was a network and that's what he was depending on. i think for all of us it comes as a surprise that these north
african communities in european cities are able to have these networks that go undetected by the police. they're clearly -- they don't have informants in these networks. they can hide people as well as weapons and actually hold ground in this apartment with a combat situation. so if he had compatriots that would protect him, absolutely it makes sense to hold on in brussels. >> bob baer, michael and paul, please stick around because we'll have much more on this after our break, including this question. how did abdeslam hide seemingly in plain sight for so many months? how did he make it happen? and in politics, breaking news. the face of the stop trump movement, mitt romney, just revealed the candidate that he's going to vote for next week, and it's not the guy he did robo calls for and stood side by side with on the campaign trail. why mitt romney is voting for ted cruz. that's next. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything,
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that's how desperate he is to stop trumpism. and of trump, romney said this. through the calculated statements of its leader, trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity. i am repulsed by each and one of these. salah abdeslam captured alive ending a four-month global manhunt for the lone surviving paris attacker. abdeslam should have been caught immediately after he and his isis co-conspirators slaughtered some 130 people but he slipped through a police stop. since then police and intelligence agencies across the world appeared to have lost track of him, seemingly until two days ago. tom foreman is in the virtual room for us. tom, what do we know about how abdeslam evaded police capture for all these months since those paris attacks? >> what we know most of all is
it may not have been a whole lot of territory in which he was working there. 130 people killed, hundreds more injured. ten known attackers, nine of whom were dead that day or within days with clashes with authorities, and one who got away, salah abdeslam. authorities knew pretty early on this is someone they were looking for but not quite early enough. as he was driven back toward belgium by two people, this is where exactly what you describe happened. he slipped through. at the border he was questioned by authorities. they didn't know who they had and they let him go on up to brussels, about a four-hour drive from paris. up here he had his last known contact with anyone authorities know of where he told a man at a train station, you will never see me again. so they kept working on the clues. in december they had a bit of a break. in this apartment sort of to the north and east of downtown, they found bomb-making material. they were building suicide
vests. and importantly they found fingerprints that told them abdeslam had been there at some point. so authorities kept checking many, many locations talking to many, many people. and then tuesday, as the trail as paul noted a little bit earlier had gone pretty much cold, they go into this apartment thinking it will be empty and here in the southern part of town is where that gun fight breaks out completely without warning. one of the people inside the building is killed, he has an isis flag nearby according to authorities. two more escaped. but importantly, once again they find dna and fingerprint evidence telling them abdeslam has been there and very recently. everything jumps into high gear and that leads to what we saw today, this raid out on the western part of town where abdeslam, this 26-year-old suspected terror suspect, is taken alive, although wounded, and he is captured. the interesting part of all of this, jim, is for all the speculation that he might have run off across europe or gone to syria or gone anywhere else, now it may seem that he spent all of
his time within a few square miles here in brussels as the dragnet closed in. >> it's incredible with all the police active in those few square miles. tom, thank you. i want to bring back our panel, paul cruickshank, michael weis and bob baer. michael, one critical question here, what do the police do now? i imagine the focus in these initial hours and days will be intelligence and interrogation to see who else they can net from the terror network but also if there are any other attacks being planned. >> yeah. this guy was domiciled with two major isis operatives in europe. one of whom was the coordinator or on the phone with abaaoud during the paris attacks, basically guiding him. so this puts to rest one of the questions we had, which is was abdeslam still in good order with isis.
there were reports that he was frequenting gay clubs in a district in brussels, that he might have led a double life as a closet homosexual which would have absolutely made him not want to go to syria and rejoin the ranks of the caliphate. also i think they're going to try very hard in france to have him extradited there because they're still worried about active networks and sleeper cells scattered throughout france. isis has re-escalated. it's not a new strategy, it's a new old strategy. since the caliphate has contracted, they lost about 22% of territory throughout syria and iraq in the last 18 months, two years, they have put a new renewed emphasis on waging these spectaculars throughout europe. i don't have to tell you, you talk to any u.s. or european counterterrorism official and intelligence officer, they are absolutely terrified that a replay of the paris attacks will occur. >> no question, michael. bob, i wanted to go to you on that. i met with the french interior minister last week who was visiting washington very much
for the expressed task of getting more u.s. help in terms of preventing the next attacks. he told me that it's almost certain that there will be another attack this year. describe just the level of the threat and maybe to some degree the numbers of people they're trying to track in a country like france. >> well, jim, it's thousands. you've got something like 5 million muslims there. of course very few of those are radicalized but it's determining who has been radicalized and who hasn't. it's hard to do for the french. the french have a very capable service, they keep track of this. they run down every phone number. but a lot of these cells are come partmented. >> one concern was the belgians don't have the resources, they're not talking and sharing intelligence internally, they're not sharing it with the french. are we seeing any improvement in that kind of communication? i've heard from u.s.
counterterror officials that it's a pre-9/11 mentality to stop those terror attacks. >> simple answer, jim, yes. there's better cooperation between the belgians and the french over the last several months. they have been working very close together. when we had that raid in the southwestern part of brussels on tuesday, it was belgian and french police officers working together to search that apartment. they're sharing a lot of information, a lot of intelligence. they have a lot at stake. they have the safety of their public at stake as isis ratchets up its international attack plotting as michael was referring to. >> well, everyone is nervous, it seems, and devoting a lot of resources. thanks very much for paul cruickshank, michael weis and bob baer, as always. we'll turn to our politics lead. as talk about a contested republican convention glorows louder, donald trump is striking
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welcome back to "the lead." just in, the republican party continuing to splinter as campaigns try to gain advantage if the race goes to the convention. now the party's former nominee, mitt romney, saying that he is planning to vote for ted cruz and calling for an open convention. well, donald trump's reacting now. he just tweeted right back at romney. he says, quote, failed presidential candidate mitt romney, the man who choked and let us all down is now endorsing lyin' ted cruz.
this is good for me. cnn political reporter sara murray joins me live from salt lake city, utah, where donald trump is about to host a town hall this evening. sara, donald trump says this is good for him. does this rally his supporters? >> reporter: well, jim, it was interesting. i think if anyone is taking a blow from this, it's really john kasich. mitt romney coming out saying he's going to vote for ted cruz in the caucuses. and then in his facebook post saying a vote for governor kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that trumpism would prevail. all of this happening as ted cruz and john kasich both insist they are going to fight to the convention which could set us up for a wild ride for these next couple months. back on the campaign trail today, ted cruz is repeating his calls for john kasich to step aside. >> i think it's a critical moment where donald trump obviously has a lot of momentum, he's in the lead right now. i think the only way to beat him is for us to come together and unite as one.
>> reporter: the candidates heading out west, stopping at arizona and utah, as cruz argues he could pull off a sweep in utah, if the ohio governor weren't in the way. >> a vote for john kasich is a vote for donald trump. if kasich manages to pull enough votes in utah to pull me below 50%, the effect of john kasich will be giving donald trump 20 more delegates, which i think would be a big, big mistake. >> trump slapped back on twitter saying lyin' ted cruz lost all five races on tuesday and he was just given the jinx, a lindsey graham endorsement. as talks of a contested convention reach a fevered pitch, donald trump's team is warning chaos lies ahead. >> if the republican party comes into that convention and jimmys with the rules and takes away the will of the people, the will of the republicans and democrats and independents who have voted for mr. trump, i will take off my credentials, leave the floor of that convention and leave the republican party forever.
>> reporter: trump predicting a contested convention could pour into the streets. >> we love trump! >> we're way ahead of everybody. i don't think that you can say that we don't get it automatically. i think you'd have riots. i'm representing a tremendous -- many, many millions of people. >> reporter: his rivals panning the comment as more reckless talk from the gop front-runner. >> to even imply that there could be violence if he doesn't get his way, you know, he's not running for the presidency of the wwe, he's running for president of the united states. this kind of language is an outrage. >> reporter: as kasich's allies highlight the violence around trump's events and cast the ohio governor as the only candidate fit to take on hillary clinton. >> there was a time presidents were honorable, trustworthy. what's happened? >> reporter: meanwhile, trump is facing threats beyond the political realm. members of the hacking collective anonymous taking aim at trump. >> this is not a warning. this is a declaration of total
war, operation trump engaged. >> reporter: the hackers posting online what they allege to be trump's social security and cell phone number. trump's campaign says officials are seening the arrest of people behind it. one of trump's sons, eric trump, received a threatening note containing a suspicious powder. while it appears to be lemonae mix, authorities are investigating. now, donald trump has already been going after mitt romney on twitter in these last couple hours saying he's a mixed-up man, saying he choked. we'll see if trump continues that line of attack when he is here campaigning in salt lake city. of course mitt romney is very popular in utah, there's a large mormon population, so we will see how it goes over with the crowd here, jim. >> i want to get right to our panel now to talk about this. bill kristol, mary katherine ham, senior writer at the federalist and cnn political commentator and democratic strategist, hilary rosen.
so we have a whole twitter battle under way, twitter mania, wrestle mania, whatever you want to call it and the tweets are continuing literally as we speak, donald trump versus mitt romney here. bill, maybe i can start with you. so he says -- romney says he's going to vote for ted cruz in the utah caucuses. in effect it sounds like strategic voting. not an expression of support but really the only path forward is a brokered convention. is that a good strategy? >> yes. i think he's saying he prefers ted cruz to donald trump and i admire mitt romney for stepping up. he didn't have to do this. a lot of the professional types here in washington are, oh, he's not the good face for the anti-trump effort. it's all nonsense. he's one of the few national republican politicians who's had the nerve to say it should not be donald trump. i'm willing to give a speech explaining why not. i'm willing to say i will vote for ted cruz, although he certainly wasn't mitt romney's first choice so i admire romney for what he's doing. >> mary katherine ham, there's
often this talk about strategic voting to support one candidate. it doesn't always work. right now it's just about keeping donald trump below that majority threshold. is this a workable strategy to bring about this brokered convention? >> i think in general strategic voting can be in danger of being a little too clever by half. but as we've seen, many different things can happen in 2016 and this can be one of them. i think for mitt romney's part, first of all, i think a tweet storm from donald trump is exactly what our founders envisioned for this country. it's a beautiful thing. it's tremendous. >> explicit references in the constitution. >> right. but for mitt romney's part, i appreciate him speaking out. i do wonder sometimes had he come out and endorsed sort of pre-nevada caucus before the momentum had really taken off maybe that would have made a bigger difference but many are guilty of ill-timed criticisms of donald trump in this race. >> hilary rosen, i got a quote from romney's statement. he said through his calculated
statements of its leader, trumpisms are associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and most recently threats and violence. this idea that if he's not the nominee -- >> all those things that mitt romney spoke out against when he was running for president. not. >> talk about it from the democratic side as you watch this battle heat up. is that only good for the democratic candidate in the general election? >> well, you know, i'll leave it to these guys whether or not he's a spokesperson who can get republicans excited as an alternative to trump. strategically going for cruz is actually the only way you get to a brokered convention right now, so if that's the goal, then that's what they're going to do. but i think that he is a flawed national spokesperson for this. on the other hand, no other republican elected official -- i mean romney has nothing to lose. that's why he's doing this. he's like nobody else will do it, i might as well do it.
none of these other people want to be the victim of the trump attacks. >> he also has -- i'm sorry. he also has what very few have which is the power to control a media news cycle. and that's donald trump's perhaps most powerful asset. >> he knows when he says it -- >> it will get attention. >> but there are other leaders. sorry, mitch mcconnell could do this, paul ryan could do this, but they're all afraid to do it. >> bill, you and i were talking about this before the show, a third party, getting a third party candidate out there. i asked you to give a possibility for who might fill that road and you said mitt romney. is he setting himself up for that? >> an independent candidate i think is doable, the mechanics are doable. it's a little bit of a challenge. but the question is who would be -- we can all invent a million different candidates but someone has to step forward. romney is not perfect, but despite hillary's -- she couldn't resist the cheap shot. he is a decent and honest man.
if you're a moderate or conservative he would be an acceptable president of the united states. in that respect romney or paul ryan are the obvious men to step forth and save the conservative movement from donald trump. there are many others, there's ben sass, congressmen, condie rice, other interesting people. but the first person you'd like to see are probably romney and ryan. >> i want to get back for a moment because this twitter storm continues to heat up. responding to mitt romney on twitter just now, donald trump has just said going to salt lake city, utah, for a big rally. lyin' ted cruz should not be allowed to win there. mormons don't like liars. i beat hillary. what do you make -- i'll give you all a chance to respond to that. >> that's kind of a strange statement by trump. >> what's the reaction going to be to this? i'll give you all a chance to respond to this. let's start with you, mary
katherine. >> it's classic donald trump, lots of exclamation points. first of all, he doesn't beat hillary, if you look at the head-to-head polling. that's something he continues to repeat. i do think he's capable of scrambling a map and democrats should not count their chickens because this is a very unpredictable situation everyone is in. so it's hard top what the general will look like. but eh. >> that says a thousand words right there. >> this is my comment. >> i think mary katherine is exactly right, democrats should not be so confident about a hillary-trump race not because i don't think hillary can win, i do. it's just i think he will be enormously unpleasant to run against. on the other hand, i think that all of this republican hangering will go away when donald trump starts going after hillary because they're going to like it and they're going to say things about hillary that are indecent and inappropriate and a lot of republicans are going to wish
they had the gumption to do it and say it and i think he will coalesce republicans around him in an anti-hillary campaign. >> david brooks wrote the same, he could see them beginning to line up. >> i think some are. i've made my never trump argument to other republicans. the strongest counterargument is oh, you're electing hillary. i don't think that's correct. i think the nomination of donald trump is what is going to elect hillary. i think having a strong alternative conservative would heparins down ballot and in the presidential election as well. but i think that is going to be -- it's an argument that will be used against people like me. there will be a certain of course rallying to the nominee and all that and there is right now going on a real rationalizing of what trump -- steve hayes was saying can we just remember what donald trump has said and what he has done and what it would mean for him to be the spokesman of the republican party. it's not like having someone who's a little too conservative or not a great candidate or is rich. people really need to stop and think do you want donald trump
to be the national spokesman through an entire presidential election for the republican party and the conservative movement. is that acceptable. >> we'll see the answers in the coming weeks. we'll come back to this right after this break. we've got a lot more to talk about and the twitter storm continues. stay with us. i'm caridee. i've had moderate to severe plaque psoriasis most of my life. but that hasn't stopped me from modeling. my doctor told me about stelara® it helps keep my skin clearer. with only 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses... ...stelara® helps me be in season. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and increase your risk of infections. some serious infections require hospitalization. before starting stelara® your doctor should test for tuberculosis. stelara® may increase your risk of cancer. always tell your doctor if you have any sign of infection,
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[quiet dog groan] why? because you're on four legs, and i'm on two... and i'm driving. that's why. [dog whine] sushi it is. ♪ welcome back to "the lead." the breaking news in our politics lead, mitt romney says that he will vote for ted cruz, and donald trump tweeting romney right back. our panel still here with me, but we've also got news from the democrats just now. just look at their schedules and you'll get an idea about which candidate thinks they need to make up ground. hillary clinton has a down day. bernie sanders, however, out in a big way with events in idaho
and arizona. the next two states, as it happens, voting for the democrats. cnn senior political correspondent, brianna keilar, is here in washington. it looks like sanders is still fighting this out. >> yeah, he really is. the math is certainly in hillary clinton's favor, she has that going for her, and perhaps she also has some help for president obama. he publicly is trying to remain neutral but he's giving us a preview of how he's planning to rally democrats in the general election. president obama weighing in on the 2016 race as he looks to protect his legacy, telling npr today he thinks the republican-led senate's refusal to hold hearings on his supreme court nominee will motivate democratic voters. >> it is in part because of the circus that has been the presidential campaign season so far. >> reporter: obama, once dismissive of donald trump in january.
>> talk to me if he wins. >> reporter: in february. >> i continue to believe mr. trump will not be president. and the reason is because i have a lot of faith in the american people. it's not hosting a talk show or a reality show. >> reporter: now with trump the clear front-runner in the republican field, the president is sounding a warning about the heightened rhetoric on the campaign trail. >> the longer that we allow the political rhetoric of late to continue and the longer that we tacitly accept it, we create a permission structure that allows the animosity in one corner of our politics to infect our broader society. >> reporter: obama has met with both hillary clinton and bernie sanders this primary season, speaking especially highly of his former secretary of state. but the white house is pushing back on a "new york times" report that obama told democratic donors to rally behind clinton. >> the president did not indicate a preference in the
race. >> reporter: but obama has made a pick. press secretary josh earnest says he is just keeping it to himself. as hillary clinton fund raises today, bernie sanders is campaigning out west ahead of tuesday's contests in idaho, utah and arizona. >> what this campaign is about is urging the american people to think outside of the box. >> reporter: sanders is trailing clinton considerably in the delegate count. his patience wearing thin thursday as he abruptly cut off an interview with a phoenix television station. and in a rather unusual move, bernie sanders will be skipping this parade of presidential candidates that you see each year -- or not each year, each of these psych 'ems for apac. you'll see hillary clinton tlrk the republicans who are -- but witnesses will stay out west campaigning. more in our politics lead coming up.
bernie sanders says it would be outrageously undemocratic if he dropped out. but does the rest of the democratic party, including the president, agree? we'll be back to our panel right after this. ance premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. yeah... surprise... your insurance company tells you to pay up again. why pay for insurance if you have to pay even more for using it? if you have liberty mutual deductible fund™, you could pay no deductible at all. sign up to immediately lower your deductible by $100. and keep lowering it $100 annually, until it's gone. then continue to earn that $100 every year. there's no limit to how much you can earn and this savings applies to every vehicle on your policy. call to learn more. switch to liberty mutual and you could save up to $509. call liberty mutual for a free quote today at
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welcome back to "the lead." i want to get right back to our political panel. hillary, there are a lot of charges of outrage on both sides but would it be outrageously undemocratic for him to leave the race now? >> if bernie sanders left the race, the media would leave too. but the only thing they would cover would be trump insulting hillary. i'd rather have them -- i'd rather have us cover real
issues. but here's the other thing. hillary clinton deserves a lot of credit for not trying to push sanders out of the race. this time in 2008 when barack obama had less of a lead than hillary has now, there were a lot of people on the obama team pushing her out, saying go away, you've had enough now. and she's not doing that. she's letting him make his own decision. >> so mary katherine, clinton already turning to some degree to the general election, does it hurt republicans, because their fight is pretty nasty as you know and getting nastier, does it hurt republicans in the general if this drags out? >> one, i don't think she can turn entirely to the general election because bernie has rationale and money and yes, it does hurt the party. but but welcome to 2016. the question is whether the soul of the party is worth giving away to have a quickly sewn up primary, which we don't have. that's out the window. we're moving on.
>> so bill, i want to ask you, because you're talking on the trump side of people changing their tune and might be lining up. lindsey graham had nasty things to say about ted cruz and is now voting for ted cruz. what kind of flips do those say? >> lindsay deserves credit. he deeply believes donald trump shouldn't be credit and he thinks ted cruz hasn't always worked most collegiately with his senate colleagues but he thinks ted cruz is within the acceptable spectrum. i think very few of the not trump people are flipping. for all the talk about the republican establishment, it's the republican establishment that's now exceeding to trump. we can work with trump. if he wins, he's a deal maker, we're deal makers and you see the former spokesmen for dennis hastert and trent lott trying to tell people come on, get along
with trump. we'll see how well it works. i don't know. >> thanks very much for sticking with us throughout the show. in today's installment of america's debt and the economy, foreign governments are dumping u.s. debt like never before. figures just released show foreign governments sold close to $60 billion of u.s. treasury debt and other notes in january. the highest monthly tally on record going back to 1978. and china, which happens to be the largest owner of u.s. debt, is leading the way. analysts say it's all an effort by nations to raise cash of their own and keep their economies afloat during this global economic slowdown. for the first time in more than 80 years, a sitting american president will visit cuba. cnn got a behind-the-scenes look at what life is really like on the island nation ahead of obama's historic visit. that's right after this break.
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welcome back to "the lead." time for our pop culture lead. president obama will make history. he'll be the first commander in chief to visit the island nation of cuba in nearly a century. all part of the diplomatic thaw between our two countries. before cuba becomes a top tourist destination, cnn's bill weir traveled there for the premiere episode of the wonder list season two and found a country that is stuck in the past, nervously looking forward to its future. >> it looks like trendy boutique you might see in soho or melrose district of los angeles. and then right across the street, you have people raising chickens on their balcony.
>> how is life in havana these days? >> really hard, man. >> it's hard. >> joining me now is the host of "the wonder list" bill weir, otherwise known as the luckiest man at cnn. great footage down there, just great stories. as you travel around, do you think that cuba and cubans are ready for this dramatic change? >> absolutely not. and they admit as much. the island, as you've been down there, you've seen it, it is so broken. the infrastructure is so under disrepair they need billions of foreign investment just to get anywhere near what most tourists, especially american tourists would be used to. there's real apprehension. they're afraid of big foreign corporations coming in and sort of wiping out, bull dozing the cuban soul at the same time as development comes in. but they are so warm, so open hearted, so excited about a new
era in u.s.-cuban relations. this is where they grow the world famous tobacco leaf there. i told the guy, you should have a cigar tasting restaurant right here like napa valley, you'd get thousands. he said they're all welcome. they can stay in my house for free. i said obviously you're a communist, that's not how it works. you're supposed to make some money. they're just getting tiny nibbles of capitalism with those home bed and breakfast, airbnb is the biggest brand in cuba today. >> i want to give you a chance to show the surprising place where you found this underwater lush environment in a place people might not expect it. bay of pigs, right? >> you can now scuba dive in the bay of pigs. how is that for anybody who remembers the cold war. what's interesting is that fidel castro loved marine life. he was such an avid diver the cia considered killing him with exploding suits. a big change is under way and we
take you all over the island sunday night. it blew my mind. i think it will blow yours as well. >> don't miss it, the debut of "wonder list" season 2, sunday night, 10:00 p.m. right here on cnn. that's it for "the lead." i'll turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, two major breaking stories. captured alive, one of the world's most wanted terror suspects linked to the paris massacres is arrested after being wounded in a shootout in belgium. will he be the key to unlocking a terror network in europe? how many others are out there? romney repulsed. former republican nominee mitt romney says he's revolted by donald trump's statements. romney announces he's backing ted cruz and calls for an open convention to stop trump's march to the nomination. unconventional threat. as the stop trump movement intensifie intensifies, the trump campaign is