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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Anti-Terror Raids In Brussels, Outside Paris; U.S. Intel: ISIS Has Picked Other Possibilities Targets; Intense Manhunt Underway For Airport, Metro Suspects; Trump And Cruz War Over Wives; Remembering Victims, Honoring Survivors. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired March 24, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:01:17] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again. Action tonight on the streets of Brussels also just outside Paris, anti- terror raids including what you are looking at right here at an apartment in the Schaerbeek section. These are live pictures, no one taken into custody here, but multiple arrests elsewhere including three people taken into custody just outside the headquarters of the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office.
There's that and what you see unfolding right now again in live pictures. A raid of some kind of investigation in Schaerbeek, as well as new evidence suggesting that the horror in Brussels may have been just one element of a larger plot, just one in a string of possible imminent attacks. A lot to cover, a lot of it is new to us and ongoing right now.
First to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh who is in that Schaerbeek Section of Brussels right now. Nick, give us a sense of what you are seeing. What exactly is going on there?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well right now behind us there are still a forensic officer in the top floor of this building here in white overalls with an orange vest on his back. He came out a lot of times. A lot of attention paid to that top floor, we've seen officers, going in and out since well and other floors too. So clearly intensive investigation, most likely forensic across that building.
This started a few hours ago. Some local residents saying they had perhaps heard a helicopter in the skies. But a large part of this area encircled by police. People kept very far back then the code again comes down, locals let back into their homes and police officer telling me that it was that building there that is the key part of their focus.
Were there arrests here? It isn't clear at this stage. Locals describing how police moved in, there was a pause and then an explosion. It wasn't quite clear the purpose of that maybe used to gain entry somehow. Maybe people were taken away. It isn't clear that the reports are conflicting at this point. It's exactly where these arrests, the six today, will concentrates if we know from Interior Ministry officials, it's about the airports and metro attacks for that without a doubt.
The key question is exactly what was behind me in that building that such that draws such a police focus now, John.
BERMAN: We just saw someone peering out of that window. There's been a lot of activity right behind that window for some time now. Nick as you said, unclear whether there are any arrests at this building, but six as many as six arrests throughout the city. What do we know about those arrests?
WALSH: Little at this point, as you mentioned earlier, three outside the Federal Prosecutor's office, one thought to be in a neighborhood called Jefi (ph). And then one somewhere else in Brussels that could potentially be here as I say those watching this raid kept very far back until a number of the vans and police began to move away.
At one point we saw a car being towed away as well unclear but it's relates to the investigation it was pretty much exactly where I'm standing. So a lot of evidence obviously being collected at this stage. Do we think this is directed to the two men we know they are looking for, the man in white in the airport CCTV video and the man seen outside the metro station carrying a large bag of some description?
That's not clear at this point but certainly a very visible and lengthy presence here and remarkably of those part of this neighborhood cordoned off as these raids began, John.
BERMAN: Hold on to that thought about the fugitives for one second Nick, I want to get to that in a moment, but remind us about this neighborhood, the Schaerbeek neighborhood and the connection to the known suicide attackers at the airport at Metro Station.
WALSH: Well, it is, I think about eight kilometers actually from where I'm standing, because this a it have to be large neighborhood that two brothers, the Bakraoui's, Ibrahim and Khalid. Khalid behind the Metro blast that one that potentially the two attackers there and Ibrahim behind the airport blast lived not far from where I'm standing.
[21:05:04] As you say, we don't know at this point if there is any connection between them and this building behind me specifically or if a distant part of a cell or somehow was one of the facilitator never met potentially maybe involved here but this is the neighborhood now increasingly in the spotlight of police.
People we speak to in this particular area around here have little to say frankly. Some may we do not know who lived there. Many in these neighborhoods, people have already distant from each other or brief in the time they live in a certain building but as I say, much of the focus on the top floor there, we don't know if this building is divided into three separate flats or one hall contiguous area were people live. But it's the top floor where forensic spend most of the time since we begin this John. BERMAN: At 2:00 a.m. in the morning local time in Brussels right now, so the neighbors if they are there have to be wondering what is going on in that apartment building as those forensic scenes work feverishly behind the curtain there, they were looking at the curtain, dusting them earlier and fact they also apparently looking at the walls.
I want to bring in CNN Senior International Correspondent Clarissa Ward who was there with Nick in the Schaerbeek neighborhood right now, Clarissa and Nick, a moment ago brought up the idea that there are two fugitives now being sought by Belgian investigators. That number has increased, will when about last night it was one. Now there are two, there is the one from the airport that we've seen in the pictures in the light jacket and hat and now also apparently someone from the subway station itself. Give us the latest.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, so this morning Belgian authorities said that they are now actively searching for a second person in conjunction with these attacks. Apparently according to Belgian media, the man in question was seen in surveillance video outside the Metro Station where the second bombing took place. He reportedly was carrying some type of a large bag and in the image he is also reportedly near to the bomber Khalid el- Bakraoui. Now at this stage we don't know anything John, more than that.
We don't know the man's name. Police have not released the surveillance image. At this stage they don't appear to be asking the public for any information regarding him. And we have definitely noticed a shift after these attacks with Belgian authorities really keeping very tight lipped about this investigation. Not wanting to reveal too much to the media because essentially this is an active investigation with potentially a larger network still out there. They don't want media essentially speculating too much about the subject of various investigations that might be going on.
They don't want people to be tipped off. So at the same time, I think for people on the ground here there's a sense of anxiety slightly, because there are still these people at large we know at least two, both the man who I just described for you who was seen outside the metro, and also, of course, the man whose image we have seen so many times now from that airport surveillance video wearing that light colored jacket, also wearing glasses and a hat potentially and an attempt to conceal his face to disguise his face.
And what was so noticeable about him is that he was not wearing a glove. The other two bombers were each wearing a glove. Those gloves likely used to conceal a detonator. So it does not appear at least on the surface, and this is speculation, that he intended to blow himself up. Of course his suitcase full of explosives did not detonate, thereby probably saving many lives. But these are the two men who are the focus of the manhunt, John.
BERMAN: OK, Clarissa, you point out that investigators are now being more tight lip and playing their cards closer to the best than they have in the past. But they say, there's this new surveillance video near the subway station yet they're not releasing the pictures of that individual. Are they saying why wouldn't it be useful for the public to get involved in looking for this individual?
WARD: You know, I think it's fair to say, John, at this stage we're getting some mixed messages from Belgian officials. In the very same breath as we're hearing U.S. Intelligence Officials talk about the very real possibility of imminent threats, possibly here, possibly across the European continent, we're hearing Belgian officials lowering the threat level from level four to level three. That is essentially lowering it from a possible imminent attack to simply a serious threat of attack.
And I think more and more as we hear the details of this investigation and where very vital clues were missed, we're getting a picture essentially of some pretty serious intelligence failures. We know that at least two of the men involved in these attacks were on a red alert. Today we heard from the family of the bomb maker, one of the airport suicide bombers, Najim Laachraoui, of the family in a press conference today saying we told the police back in 2013 that we knew our son had gone to Syria. And yet nothing apparently was done about it, John.
BERMAN: All right, Nick, Clarissa, stand by as we continue to watch this ongoing operation in the Schaerbeek neighborhood. We're joined by Juliette Kayyem and Paul Cruickshank.
[21:10:02] Also here with us, former FBI supervisor special agent Ali Soufan, currently chairman and the CEO of the Soufan Group.
Paul in terms of this raid happening right now, give us a sense of what we're seeing there and how it fits into a much, much larger operation in Brussels over the last few hours?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: This is a very significant raid tonight in Brussels. Several locations, there all sort of ongoing police operations, commandos have been involved, armies, been involved helicopters, have been involved at the various location. Six people so far in custody. It appears none in custody at this address in Schaerbeek, but three people taken into custody. Three men in a vehicle right outside the Belgian Federal Prosecutor Headquarters building in the heart of Brussels, very near the law courts.
Not clear why they were taken into custody. Not clear if they posed any kind of threat at this hour. Belgian authorities being very tight lipped on the circumstances. The others arrested at other locations in Brussels.
All of this came to light when the interior minister of Belgium Jan Jambon. He tweeted out that a major operation had led to this arrest. The fact that you have the interior minister weighing in late in the night suggests that this is a major operation directed, as we understand, at the cell they suspect is behind these attacks.
Have they got key players? Have they got some of those key suspects still at large? We don't know. It appears that they were trying to get a hold of more information so that they could get more arrests in the hours ahead. And that's why you are seeing a lot of these forensic operations going on right now dusting for fingerprints, collecting DNA, going through any computer equipment or other things they might find for clues, because the worry is that there could be future attacks from this group of individuals in Brussels in the days ahead.
BERMAN: Ali Supan, as we look at pictures -- Ali Soufan, as I should say, as we looking these live pictures right now, this ongoing operation. I read a police sobering report from your group about Belgium and about the anti-terror efforts right now and the terror situation in that country. Do you sense that officials there are trying to turn the corner and get the upper hand, and do they have any goal of doing so?
ALI SOUFAN, FORMER FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: For sure they are trying. I mean, look, you know we've been talking about Belgium for a while, specifically about Brussels and specifically about Molenbeek. You have a nation of 11 million people that you have about 500 foreign fighters that once from that area to join the conflict zone in Iraq and Syria.
Twenty to 30 percent of these people came back. The service in Belgium is very small to handle that number. Also, in the same time, you have legal constraints that prevent European governments from sharing information about their citizens with each other and with others. And they need to figure out a legal framework, a legal structure for better sharing of information. We have that a problem before 9/11, and it was rectified because of the disaster of 9/11.
So I think what's happening now, what we see in Brussels, I believe that we have an operation, ongoing operation. I believe that that operation has been ongoing from before the attacks. Remember, the bust that happened, the raid that happened and resulted in the death of one of the senior operatives, Mohamed Belkaid and then after Abdeslam.
So you're arresting people. You are getting as Paul mentioned. A lot of evidence computers and pocket letter what we call, notes, forensics, and you are putting all these things together and your using your human sources, your using a probably also technical and intelligence sources. You are using information that's probably providing to them from other governments. And that's what's leading to all these raids that happening across the country at this moment.
BERMAN: Again this is just one of a series of raids that we're told is going around, going on in the city of Brussels over the last several hours. This one in the Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels.
Nick Paton Walsh and Clarissa Ward outside there guys. And we did see a little but of flurry of activity, people going in and out of that building. Any sense of what's going on?
WALSH: I think, Clarissa and I just saw two individuals coming out carrying and see reasonably so as pelican case no military forensic equipment that sort of idea. One wearing light white staff vest of some kind of body armor, went out and then came back in again about a minute later. The door answered by a man clearly head to toe forensic gear. So this is a lengthy forensic investigation and no doubt a tool mostly it seems folks on the top floor where the curtains have now been drawn and it looks like those men I think have returned to the third floor now.
[21:15:10] BERMAN: All right guys ...
WARD: And you know, what you can't see, John, but there are quite a few people from this neighborhood who sort are gathered around here looking. We've tried to talk to a number of them and there's a real reluctance. Understandably, people are tired of journalists. But there's also a clear sort of tension if you will between local people and police. A sort of mistrust on both sides, I think, that's speaks to some of the larger dynamics that are really at play here in terms of when the police try to do their work and come into these tight-knit communities and try to find out who maybe harboring who here, John.
BERMAN: And they have to be wondering right now what's going on in the apartment building. The only building at 2:15 a.m. local time with the lights on right now in that neighborhood. They have to be wondering what is going on inside there. Just who is being targeted and what is being pulled out of that apartment. Guys standby keep us posted on what you see.
Juliette Kayyem, I want to bring into this conversation right now. You've been talking to your friends within.
All right, come back to Juliette right after the break. We have many more questions, including what U.S. officials are saying about the Belgian counter terrorism operation . More after this.
BERMAN: We'll hear more from our panel of experts in just a moment as we cover unfolding developments in Brussels, in Paris and within the intelligence and counter terror communities on both sides of the Atlantic.
[21:20:03] Right now again you are looking at live pictures right now of an ongoing operation in Brussels right now in the Schaerbeek neighborhood. These have been going on for sometime with forensic teams going through that apartment. We are going to get back to the ground there in just a moment.
But right now, the bigger intelligence picture suggesting a wider ISIS plan of attacks beyond Brussels, imminent attacks.
CNN Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown working her sources on that and joins us now. Pamela, several of these plots in Europe we're told right now. What more can you tell us?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right John. Investigators are aware of multiple additional ISIS plot in Europe, possibly linked to the Paris and Brussels networks that are in various stages of planning. The belief is that there are dozens, if not more, potential and known ISIS operatives that are still in Europe with these ties to the attackers and officials have collected intelligence indicating those people right now are working to launch further terrorist attacks across Europe.
There are multiple threat streams that intelligence services are tracking and essentially, John, they're just overwhelmed by the sheer volume and there's this high level of concern that another attack is imminent in the wake of Brussels. Countries of particular concern based on intelligence are Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. And the belief is that they will target run of the mill everyday places people go to like restaurants, metro stops and tourist sites.
If you may be asking, why haven't these plots been disrupted? Well it's either because the information is just too fragmentary or because investigators are trying to gather more intelligence, John.
BERMAN: And Pamela, I understand you have information that the Belgian terror suspects they may have had bigger plots in the works.
BROWN: That's right according to a senior Belgian counter terrorism official, investigators believe the Brussels ISIS cell was composed of two teams who are planning a larger attack or series of attacks in Belgium at a later date. After police discovered that Salah Abdeslam's hiding place last week, investigators believe the second team included suspected bomb maker Najim Laachraoui accelerated their time table. And they believe the second team consisted of the brothers -- the suicide bombing brothers and at least two others now on the run, John?
BERMAN: All right, Pamela Brown, thank you so much.
Almost simultaneous to the raids that you are looking at in Brussels right now this ongoing operation, authorities in France made what they call a "High Level" arrest in a plot that they say was in the advanced stages.
CNN's Erin McLaughlin has the latest on that and she joins us from Paris. Erin this raid today, what new details are emerging?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well John, the police operation is still under way happening in a Paris suburb of Argenteuil which interestingly is not far from Saint-Denis where you may remember the suspected ring leader from the Paris attack Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in a police raid.
Now the two at the moment seem unconnected. Police moved into the suburb, evacuated an apartment building and then began a search sending in the bomb squad. Now at this moment it's not clear what they found, if they've made any additional arrests out of that search. We're still waiting to get more details about the nature of this plot that they say they foiled in its later stages. We're still waiting for those details, John.
BERMAN: And Erin this raid was in conjunction to an arrest earlier in the day? Is that right?
MCLAUGHLIN: That's right. Earlier in the day, authorities say they arrested an individual, they have yet to release his identity. They say he's a male, a French national, believed that has been higher up within this operation, within a wider terrorist network. They say they have had him under surveillance for weeks. He's believed to be not connected at the moment, according to the information authorities here have to the attacks in Belgium.
Now it's unclear how he may be connected to the apartment currently being searched. It's unclear whether he owned that apartment or whether he simply used it. Authorities at the moment simply not saying.
BERMAN: All right, Erin McLaughlin in Paris on raids and an arrest there.
Meanwhile, on the other side of your screen an ongoing operation in Brussels in the Schaerbeek neighborhood. Maybe finishing up right now these are folks who have been inside that apartment building for some time in these forensic outfits. They are now removing them clearly.
We think wrapping up an operation that's been going on for some time. Dusting that apartment, looking for perhaps traces of explosives, DNA evidence linking to maybe to suspects who could be on the run. Remember there are now two fugitives on the loose, officials very much on the hunt for them right now in connection with the attacks in the Brussels airport and metro station. This operation is ongoing right now at 2:30 in the morning local time in Brussels.
[21:25:00] More, when we continue
BERMAN: A very busy night of breaking news. Especially tonight, across Brussels including at this apartment building in Schaerbeek. There's been an ongoing operation for several hours, right now. Many police and law enforcement officials on the scene there, including forensic teams working feverishly behind that window.
It looks like they are close to wrapping up this operation. They were carrying items from the scene. We saw them loading their vehicles moments ago. We will keep our eye on that over the next several minutes.
We're back now with our panel. I want to start with Juliette Kayyem, Homeland Security expert. And Juliette, I know you've been talking to a lot of your sources here in the United States. And I'm curious what U.S. officials are saying right now about the investigation and the counter terrorism operations in Belgium.
Is there confidence right now? Again there's a great deal of concern that there are imminent attacks, plots very much in the works right now. Are U.S. officials confident that their European counterparts are doing enough to foil them?
[21:30:00] JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER U.S. ASST. SECRETARY FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, there's a couple of things I've been hearing. I think the first is that everyone is going with the belief that this is not the end. It would be somewhat delusional actually to believe that, well, if we just get the guy in the white hat, right, you know, from the pictures that everything will be safe.
These guys have networks that are either connected or they maybe working separately clearly the arrests last Friday triggered a series of activities and everyone anticipates that others are going on. The question is whether both Paris -- or French and Brussels officials can actually stop them in time and that's the challenge for U.S. officials because they are just helping and assisting.
They can't take lead in any of these investigations. The second thing I want to just point out from that perspective of Homeland Security or security after an attack. The thing that we are not talking about which to me is just somewhat shocking, is that after the airport attack, the subways kept running.
Now most people, most western European countries and the United States are trained and know that terrorists do not only attack in one, right? We know this from 9/11, from July 7th, from Paris. And so I think there is a lot of reckoning to determine why the city allowed public transportation to continue for an hour and then we saw that last attack. Finally just very ...
BERMAN: But there.
KAYYEM: ... there -- oh ...
BERMAN: Well go ahead.
KAYYEM: ... you know, felt and to have about it.
BERMAN: No, go ahead, last point.
KAYYEM: Oh so, the final thing, because either there's speculation sort of raised by House Intelligence Chair Nunez that, maybe the U.S. was target. I don't think there's any foundation from that in fact a lot of people I've talk to are really pushing back that that's total speculation.
The idea that because it was near an American airlines gate or ticketing agency or a Starbucks is the only evidence to suggest that there's Starbucks in every international airport that we can speak of and there are multiple airlines in that area of the Belgium airport. So there's a lot of pushback against that speculation.
BERMAN: It's a good point. Those are things you see in departure allow this and every city in the world.
Ali, right now, we're focussed very much on Brussels, I mean we're looking at this windows in the Schaerbeek neighborhood specifically in Brussels for some time right now. What are we too focussed perhaps Brussels right now?
Should we be looking more specifically in other cities? And are officials in other cities in Europe right now doing enough to fight what we are told could be imminent attacks plots works? SOUFAN: Absolutely. I think ISIS already hit in Brussels. I think there is a possibility that if they want to do something, they probably do something somewhere else. And I think what needed to be done now you have to map the threat across a continent. You have hundreds of people who went to Syria and came back, and you need to do a threat matrix about each and every one to see. Who came back because they were disgusted in what they saw in Syria, and who came back for more sinister reasons?
And in order to do that, all these intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, they need to pool their resources together and they need to share information.
You have 760 people who went from Germany. The same amount from the UK You have about 1,700 from France, and most of them from the same neighborhoods. And most of them are friends are connected with each other, like we've seen here with the Belgium cells.
So it's extremely important to map the threat across the continent. And that can only be done by sharing information and working together and trying to disrupt other cells that might be operational. Might be active, might be trying to target other locations across the continent.
BERMAN: Paul about 30 seconds left. Tell me what we're seeing in Brussels tonight. These ongoing operations are seeing right now in Schaerbeek and what's been happening over the last several hours.
CRUICKSHANK: This is a very major police counter terrorism operation that is playing out tonight across Brussels. At least three different locations, there have been helicopters involved, special commandos involved, the army was brought in as well at certain locations. Six arrests, three of those arrests outside the federal police headquarters. Three men in a vehicle arrested outside the federal prosecutor's headquarters in the center of Brussels. Not clear why they arrested them. Not clear if they pose any threat to that building, but those men we understand arrested as part of these counter terrorism and operation .
BERMAN: All right, Paul, Ali, Juliette, thank you so much again.
This operation in Schaerbeek appears to be winding down. We'll find out what we have learn from that if we can we'll check back in on the ground in just a few moments.
But up next there are Republican race for president and the war against ISIS. Right now, though, the war is between Ted Cruz and Donald trump over their respective wives.
Stay with us.
[21:38:48] BERMAN: A new low in the so-called, "War Over Wives" is playing out in the Republican presidential race. Today, Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a sniveling coward after Trump re- twitted this. It's a split screen image of Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump with the caption, "No need to spill the beans. The images are worth a thousand words."
Now, you may remember the Trump threatened to spill the beans about Cruz's wife is still look on what he's referring to, after anti-Trump Super PAC put an ad on Facebook using an old G.Q. photoshoot in which Melania Trump post nude.
Of all of the bouncing ball here, now that Trump has posted the picture questioning Heidi Cruz's looks in comparing her to his own wife. His defense is pretty much the other guy started it. Now here is Ted Cruz today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED CRUZ, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to say, seeing him go deeper and deeper into the gutter. It's not easy to tick me off.
I don't get angry often. But you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids, that'll do it every time. Donald, you're a sniveling coward. Leave Heidi the hell alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Now, this may all sound incredibly juvenile and not fitting a presidential campaign. But we wanted to see how was playing among Ted Cruz's supporters.
Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The escaping a springtime snow shower in Janesville, Wisconsin, hundreds of people walk indoors and line up, looking forward to not only seeing Ted Cruz in person, but also his wife, Heidi who has gotten recent attention she hasn't sought.
[21:40:12] Have you read what Donald Trump is tweeted about Ted Cruz's wife?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: How do you feel about it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unprofessional.
TUCHMAN: Who's angry, as a woman, who is angry about this? What is it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well I think every woman could be angry about that. It is a distraction. And not only that, when it comes to the general election, if he is the candidate, Hillary is going to beat up on him because the way he comes against women.
TUCHMAN: Ted Cruz made reference to the tweets. CRUZ: Heidi has been in the news the past couple of days. And let me just say, although the views of some might differ, I think Heidi Cruz is the most beautiful, extraordinary, generous, loving, amazing, fantastic woman on the face of the planet.
TUCHMAN: Wisconsin resident Lexi Gianitsos says it's not amused about Heidi Cruz being in the news. She is leaning towards Ted Cruz still mulling over John Kasich but not considering the man who tweeted about Ted Cruz's wife.
LEXIE GIANITSOS, REPUBLICAN VOTER: I think that something that you don't do in a six grade presidential campaign. They don't let you put that stuff on the walls. This is the national stage.
TUCHMAN: Whether you are against Donald Trump or for Donald Trump there's little surprise these days when he goes on one of his Twitter tirades. While the Cruz supporters here don't very much like Trump calling their candidate "lying Ted", they say that outrage doesn't compare to this outrage.
Ann and Joshua Marie brought their children so the could all see Ted and Heidi Cruz in person. Their support for Ted Cruz only solidified by Donald Trump's tweets.
JOSHUA MARIE, REPUBLICAN VOTER: I think him attacking women has gone to a major low for him. And I understand Donald can say a lot of things and not get in trouble for it but I think going after women and going after Ted Cruz's wife is totally, you know, unacceptable.
TUCHMAN: So a couple of days ago you were considering Donald Trump?
MEREDITH KONKOL, REPUBLICAN VOTER: Yeah.
TUCHMAN: And you are not anymore?
KONKOL: I don't think so.
TUCHMAN: And are these tweets a factor?
KONKOL: I think the tweets play a part in it. Yes.
KONKOL: I Because I just don't think it's appropriate to be attacking each other's wives.
TUCHMAN: There were quite a few undecided voters we talk to here. The tweets, at least at this rally, did not bode well for Trump getting any of those votes.
CAMERON PICKENING, REPUBLICAN VOTER: His views on women, he doesn't treat women the way that, I mean, as humans. So objectifying us and objectifying Ted Cruz's wife was really immature.
(END VIDEO CLIP) TUCHMAN: If Donald Trump gets the nomination, some of the Cruz supporters we talk would say they don't know what they'll do. They don't know if they'll even vote. But other said they are loyal Republicans and if Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination, Donald Trump will get their vote. John?
BERMAN: All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks so much.
Joining me now CNN Political Commentator and Republican Strategist Kevin Madden, Republican Pollster and Washington Examiner Columnist Kristen Soltis Anderson and CNN Political commentator and Former White House Political Director Jeffrey Lord, who supports Donald Trump.
Kevin, you heard Gary's piece right there. And we heard some voters say this time Donald Trump has crossed the line essentially, which might be the 762nd time we've heard that in this campaign so far, but, is it different this time?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look. I think it's a crucial time where, you know, Ted Cruz is trying to peel away as many voters as possible. Some that have gravitated towards Donald Trump but are not yet solidified in his camp. And at a time we have a number of contests coming up that are going to be crucial if Ted Cruz is going to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination.
So I think that's the strategy here which is that Ted Cruz wants to continue to drive a wedge between Donald Trump and Republican women voters across the country that could make the difference in some of these upcoming contests.
BERMAN: Jeffrey Lord, this is the time when Donald Trump should be trying to unify the Republican Party now. Does this work to that end? I mean is that helping unify things?
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: John, let me say something here. First of all, I've met Melania Trump and I've had dinner with Heidi Cruz. These are two wonderfully accomplished human beings. I have not a negative word to say about either of them. The only things and obviously I'm a Trump supporter, but I love Ted Cruz whom I often refer to as Vice President Cruz.
But let me say this here. And the only mistake here, this third party group that was anti-Trump, which apparently makes them pro-Cruz went out deliberately to stir this out. And my recommendation to Senator Cruz was denounce it immediately. He didn't do that. That led to this feeling on Donald Trump's part that his wife was being attacked, et cetera.
All of this is perfectly understandable. I would just suggest let's get beyond this. I mean we have had all these people killed in Brussels.
[21:45:08] This is serious stuff here. We're talking serious, serious international problems that can affect the United States of America.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are, essentially on the same page. Somewhere between so that 70 percent and 80 percent of the voting electorate of the Republican Party is saying the same thing. For heaven's sakes, let's move on from this. These are two accomplished women. They both love their wives, they're both willing to defend their wives. Let's move on.
BERMAN: And to be clear though you were including Donald Trump in the charge let's move on from this. You want Ted Cruz and Donald Trump who you support, you want them both to stop this?
LORD: You bet you. You bet you I do. I love Donald Trump. I think he's terrific. I like Ted Cruz enormously. I know ...
BERMAN: But I know you like all of them, I know you like all of them, but you want Donald Trump to stop it. Let's just be clear.
LORD: Yes, yes. I mean let's move on. Let's move on. Move on.
BERMAN: Kristen, the Super PAC here that did this, make America awesome -- make America awesome. Do you think they got just what they wanted here by putting this ad up of Melania Trump? Did they want to start this kind of feud? Did they think it really hurts Donald Trump now?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMNIST: I think their goal was to try to depress Donald Trump's numbers in Utah which is where they targeted the ad. They're claim that it was effective. You know, Ted Cruz did win the Utah caucus by a huge margin but it's not clear this necessarily these ads were the driving force behind that.
What I think really is unfortunate about this is you now got a situation where half of Republican women, let say have an unfavorable view of the current frontrunner in the Republican race for president and 7 out of 10 American women say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican frontrunner.
This is a situation that is really devastating to the GOP. Donald Trump, his behavior in this regard, you know, going after Heidi Cruz, if it was about an issue position if you have a political spouse that goes out on a campaign trail and is giving policy speeches, then by all means, go after what they're saying on policy.
But to try to go after Heidi Cruz on the grounds that for some reason she's not as attractive as Melania Trump, it's just unbelievably beyond the pole.
LORD: Well, well.
BERMAN: Hang on, I do I want to try to move on, which you asked us all to do, Jeffrey here.
LORD: Yes, go ahead.
BERMAN: So I want to do ask Kevin about the nature of the debate in general. Where it's happening, it's happening in Wisconsin. The home state to RNC Chair Reince Priebus the home state. The House Speaker Paul Ryan. This is going to be driving them crazy, Kevin. MADDEN: Well look, it's happening everywhere. I think that's the bigger problem here. To a point that Jeffrey is making about moving on, I agree. Look, here we are we're 48 hours after a major international event that -- one that will reshape how voters look at each candidate and also how they look at the stakes of the race.
And we have two grown men fighting over Twitter. I mean think about that. That's a big problem for the party. The bigger risk here is that we give Hillary Clinton all of the space that she wants to run with in order to seize that commander in chief mantel and start making arguments to the American people about the key anxiety that they have right now in the context of that international event which is terrorism around the country.
So if we lose that opportunity to win that part of the debate, we miss a big opportunity. So that's the bigger distraction that I think Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus and all of the republicans, all of the good Kristen and Jeffrey included really want to see the candidates address, which is the big issues that are facing the American public.
LORD: Hillary Clinton is the issue here.
MADDEN: And the big challenge that the country faces.
BERMAN: All right guys, Kristen, Ted, Kevin, thanks so much for being with us really appreciate it.
And of course there will be a lot more this Tuesday night when CNN holds a Republican Town Hall event in Milwaukee, in Wisconsin, where this is all going on. The stakes to begin tell already are very, very high.
Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Donald Trump they will take questions in a Town Hall moderated by Anderson, that's Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Right here on CNN.
Coming up for us. Remembering the victims of the terror attacks in Belgium and honoring the survivors. We'll tell you stories of some of those who lived through these devastating moments.
[21:52:50] BERMAN: In the aftermath of the devastation in Brussels, stories have begun to emerge, not only of those who lost their lives but of those who survived. Some lost family members but managed to live through the attacks. Some helped others make it through. Some have seen more than anyone should see in one lifetime.
Tonight, we bring you stories of survivors. We honor them, as well as those whose lives were cut short.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Nidhi Chapekar was at the Brussels airport on her way to Newark. She worked as a flight attendant for Jet Airways. After the explosion, a journalist in the terminal took this picture of Nidhi. She is dazed, covered in debris, one shoe missing, blood on her face. The mother of two was being treated for her injuries. Her family in India, trying to get to Brussels to be with her.
Alphonse Lyoura was working as a baggage security officer when the first bomb went off. Instead of fleeing, he ran to help the injured only to hear the second bomb explode minutes later. That didn't stop Alphonse, he ended up pulling six or seven victims to safety.
ALPHONSE LYOURA, BELGIAN TERROR ATTACK SURVIVOR: There was a man also who had lost both his legs, a police officer who, who, who, I saw, who in fact, his leg was completely mangled.
BERMAN: He is now being hailed as hero.
19-year-old Mason Wells was dropping off a fellow Mormon missionary at the Brussels airport. They were in the terminal saying goodbye just feet away from the bombs. They survived but Mason was severely burned in the attack. This is not Mason's first brush with terror. In 2013, Mason and his family were just a block away when bombs ripped through the crowds at the Boston marathon.
CHAD WELLS, FATHER OF BELGIAN ATTACK SURVIVOR: I think he's in it for lifetime now. All right. I am just dumbfounded to be honest.
BERMAN: His family hopes this close call will be the last for Mason.
Adelma Tapia Ruiz was with her twin four-year-old girls and her husband, Christopher Delcambe. They were on their way to New York for a family reunion. The girls and their father stepped away from the boarding area while Adelma was at the counter getting their tickets.
[21:55:07] When the bombs exploded, Adelma was right in their path. Her beloved daughters and husband were far enough away to escape but Adelma did not survive.
Some survivor stories are still unknown. This video shows a baby girl on the floor in the middle of the rubble just moments after the explosion.
We don't know her name. We only, she is alive. She is sitting next to the body of a woman, believed to be her mother, who appears to be dead. How this baby survived the powerful blast while her mother did not, that is still unknown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: We'll be right back.
[22:00:03] BERMAN: That does it for us. "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.