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More Anti-Terror Raids in Brussels; Latest from the Campaign Trail. Aired 11p-Midnight ET

Aired March 24, 2016 - 23:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Also ahead tonight, the personal attacks in the Republican campaign getting nastier and reaching a boiling point. It's certainly a busy hour ahead here on CNN TONIGHT, so let's get to the latest on the anti-terror raids in Brussels.

CNN's senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh is there. Nick?


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, police telling me behind me that particular house the focus of their attention only in this neighborhood here. Now we have seen forensic officers focusing much of their attention possibly gathering forensic evidence on that top floor there the curtain's constantly twitching. That's where we've seen men head to toe in white overalls and an orange vest for much of the hours we been here.

Other officers coming and going through the front door at one point taking out Pelican cases, returning some seemingly wearing lighter perhaps stab vests. But this began hours before that. Some locals saying they heard helicopters, an extensive cordon keeping a pretty large area in this neighborhood of Schaerbeek free of locals, who were kept behind the police cordon. That cordon came down.

Reports from some individuals that they had at one point heard an explosion at some time after the police first moved into this area unclear what necessarily had caused that. But it is now the cordon has come down, that building is clearing the police focus on a night in which the Interior Ministry say six people have been arrested here in the Belgian capital.

Now three of them it seems outside the Prosecutor's main building, another in an area known as (inaudible), we know that's somewhere else in Brussels, it may well be that that was here although we have not seen witnesses who have reported anybody being taken away. But it's the intensity of police focus on that top floor of the forensic investigators that surely means they're looking to establish the presence of somebody here. And of course it is the real question, Don, who that may have been. Was it the man seen in CCT video at the airport or the man seen in surveillance video outside of the metro station? Or perhaps another accomplice who police have not spoken publically about. But behind me into the small hours of the morning police digging

through that top floor. Don?


LEMON: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much for that. I want to bring in now Buck Sexton a former CIA analyst and Michael Weiss, co- author of "ISIS inside the Army of Terror."

So Michael, let's talk about the arrests tonight. Six arrests right in the Schaerbeek neighborhood. How is this connected to Tuesday's attack?

MICHAEL WEISS, CO-AUTHOR, ISIS INSIDE THE ARMY OF TERR: Well this will have been the network that planned the Paris attack and then also the Brussels bombings. Remember Don I mean Paris was more or less not conceptualized but coordinated in real time from Brussels.


WEISS: You know Mohammed Belcaid, the guy who was killed in the raid that got Salah Abdeslam, he was on the one on the phone to Abdelhamid Abaaoud while the massacres were going around Paris shooting at people on November 13th, right.


WEISS: So this is a -- it's not so much a transnational phenomenon as it is these two countries are so inextricably interlinked with each other. So these raids are going after this very viable, as I mentioned before, Francophone network, French speaking Jihadi's who traffic between France and Belgium like I go from my living room to my bathroom.

LEMON: Yes, what about the arrest in front of the police station?

WEISS: I honestly don't know. I mean you know, if we had more information, I think people are scrambling at this point. You know it is absolutely a fact that they have accelerated their perspective or imminent attacks and the one that happened in Brussels was meant to occur at Easter from what I understand.


WEISS: So they brought it up by a few days because the capture of Abdeslam and also perhaps the slaying, the murder or the killing of Belcaid made them feel like the noose was tightening around their necks right. The human intelligence was being gathered and it was any minute now that these guys were going to come through the door and either shoot or arrest them. So they decided let's set everything off now.


LEMON: Buck, there are two suspects at large, the man in the white jacket in the picture that was up still unaccounted for. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And now there is a second man, an unidentified suspect seen in the security camera of the metro with the suicide bomber, Khalid el Bakraoui. So what are your sources telling you about them?


BUCK SEXTON, FORMER CIA ANALYST: Well, we have to figure out whether they're trying to go to ground essentially and avoid capture or maybe they'd want to actually shoot it out or join perhaps some other remnants of another cell. Right now quite honestly, there's nothing really for the Belgium authorities to say about it because they don't know. I mean this has been kind of the story of the last few days. So you know when I'm asking my U.S. based intel sources to tell me what the Belgian intel sources are saying, the Belgians really don't want to answer those questions because they don't really have the answers. And that's why these individuals are still at large.

Just the fact that Abdeslam was able to stay in the neighborhood he was in before they captured him has been a pretty big slap in the face. I will say however that Belgium, and I know "The Daily Beast" had a piece earlier in the week on how they just messed up, left and right, the intelligence services had messed up. But this is a tiny country known for making waffles and chocolate for the most part, and a lot of guns actually but they don't talk about that as much.

LEMON: Not that there's anything wrong with it.

SEXTON: Not that there's anything wrong with that. But this is a tiny country with a pretty small police force overall. It has an incredibly low crime rate. Of course they're not going to have the world's most adept counterterrorism and surveillance capabilities. So this is something that I think we're expecting them to be prepared for when why would they really be until now, especially given that there's such freedom of movement across the E.U.


SEXTON: Yes, they brought in a fair amount of refugees but as we know some of these are citizens, this radicalization problem has been around for quite a while. This is a very tough problem for countries with much more in the way of resources. So I kind of feel bad for the Belgians -

LEMON: OK, so how -


SEXTON: I feel bad for the Belgians but I mean for the security services.

LEMON: Well how then should we feel? And how then should you know the people of Europe feel? If you guys are all sitting around saying we don't know, we don't know, they don't know. That doesn't make me feel very safe as an American. WEISS: Yes, but it's their job to know, or their job to be on the

ball. Look, there were warnings, advanced warnings, you had this deportation by Turkey twice of one of the bombers. You know, look, I agree with Buck. Let's give the Belgians their due for a minute and we'll but this in perspective. It's a country of 11 million people. Every terror suspect that you have it takes between 20 to 25 counter- terrorism officials to track that person. Amedy Coulibaly the guy who shot up the Kosher Marketplace in France, he was using 20 different burn phones. Right. So 20 different burn phones means you need signals intelligence guys on each one of those phones. That's a huge manpower resource drain or suck.

That said, the Belgians just, as Buck was saying, they just are not fit for purpose here. You know and they've been dealing with this problem for decades and it's not, as I mentioned before, it's not just about Jihadis coming back from Syria, it's about radical salafi Jihadi clerics preaching from mosques in broad daylight. For instance, Abdelhamid Abaaoud was radicalized in jail but when he got out of jail he grew his long black salafi beard. He was meeting with a mosque cleric who was known as Papa Noel, or Santa Claus, in Brussels. Why? This was a veteran of the Soviet Afghan Jihad and this guy's handing out like

3,500 euros for people who wanted to go to Syria and join ISIS. You know why wasn't this guy rounded up and arrested?

LEMON: But what - here's what it sounds like to me. You can correct me if I'm wrong. I mean is this just an impossible problem to deal with, you can never have enough resources?

SEXTON: It's a continuous problem. It's a question of whether you can contain it from mass casualty attacks or not. For example, here in the U.S. we've seen --

LEMON: But that's not something you can stop, you have to contain it.

SEXTON: You can contain it. Really what you're trying to do is avoid the mass casualty event. Is avoid what happened in Paris, what's now happening in Brussels. A lone wolf that's going to stab someone in the neck and (inaudible) and say this is for the jihad, you're never going to be able to entirely eliminate that and even somebody who goes pretty low tech and perhaps just gets their hands on a firearm, that's going to be tough to stop as well. But these sorts of coordinated plots that involve a lot of individuals who have done surveillance on the target set who know where to find - who know where to find soft targets that aren't going to have security that will be able to deter them, that's the level that you're hoping security services can effectively catch.

And I know there's also the discussion that's going on now about assimilation and how could they not have seen this, not have dealt with this? Look, the fact of the matter is you have people who are drowning to try to get to Europe from the Middle East right now, some of them from Syria and Iraq but from elsewhere as well because they figure it's a better place to be. I mean I think it's -- we're asking a lot to expect that the Belgians can make all of these groups so happy or all of these individuals so happy they won't actually turn to Jihad. You have to wonder why is it that we're only seeing this from certain communities here?

Yes there's some impetus on the state perhaps to try to find a way to deal with this but how exactly are they going to do that? There have been programs in various European countries for a long time. I mean you have the Swedes making videos of people hugging immigrants and saying you know this is what we want, this is what we're all about. And they're not welcoming enough? There's not enough being done? I mean these are questions that need to be answered now as well.

LEMON: Go ahead.

WEISS: The image of the day for me is Nick Paton Walsh trailing the Belgian Interior Minister who submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister, it was rejected and this guy didn't even look up from the - I mean he looked straight ahead, couldn't even acknowledge Nick was there much less answer any questions. This guy was acting - almost like acting like a perp himself. That's the sense of systemic failure. They knew they screwed up.

LEMON: Before we go I have to ask you this. You are - you've talked to people inside of ISIS, you have sources inside ISIS -

WEISS: -- or people who have just left.

LEMON: -- Or people who have recently left. What are they saying? What are you hearing?

WEISS: Like I said before, this is a sea change for them. The Paris attacks were a spectacular success. Foreign operations, foreign intelligence is now the arm that they're leaning on most heavily. The headquarters by the way for ISIS' foreign intel services is in Albab, Aleppo, it's not in Raqqa, so it's closer to the Turkish border for a good reason.

LEMON: Thank you gentlemen, appreciate it. Up next - the name calling and the personal attacks in the Republican campaign getting worse.

Ted Cruz lashing out at Donald Trump for tweeting attacks on Cruz's wife, Heidi.


TED CRUZ, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald, you're a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.




LEMON: Ted Cruz calling Donald Trump a sniveling coward today. I want to talk about this with Scottie Nell Hughes, a chief political commentator for USA Radio Networks and a surrogate for Donald Trump. Also with me is legal commentator Areva Martin and Lisa Bloom, legal analyst at and the founder of the Bloom firm. Good to have all of you on this evening.

Scottie, I'm going to stop with you. The Trump versus Cruz war got even nastier and even more personal today after yesterday's fight over the naked picture of Melania Trump that a Cruz super pac tweeted. Earlier this morning Donald Trump retweeted an extremely unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz next to a very good picture of Melania Trump. So it was captioned "a picture is worth a thousand words." So what do you think of his response and how is - you know why is he now attacking Heidi Cruz?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, USA RADIO NETWORKS: Well, I don't necessarily agree with his response. Because I don't agree ever attacking somebody based superficially on what they look. I agree that we can have a good conversation on disagreement on policy but not necessarily on how we were made. That being said, we have to remember that this fight did start maybe not necessarily Ted Cruz but an anti-Trump super pac that Ted Cruz did not go to the extent of personally condemning. Actually the actions of the pack right before the Utah caucus. I think he could have done a much stronger job of saying listen, I would not - I do not endorse - not only do I not endorse this ad, but I also don't endorse the actions of this pac, please do not associate me with it. Instead he kind of just gave --

LEMON: But you're not defending Donald Trump's actions are you by retweeting something like that?

HUGHES: On this one honestly I'm not. But you know to be truthfully told Melania probably does not take a bad picture, I mean the woman is gorgeous. But I don't - I never once --


LEMON: Yes, I think Heidi - I think Heidi Cruz is a beautiful woman as well. And everyone could - listen, Melania Trump is obviously beautiful. Everybody can take a bad picture. I've seen some angles of myself and I'm like who is that guy? But as a woman - as a woman though you support Donald Trump, are you personally offended by it?

HUGHES: No, I'm not personally offended by it because we're sitting here and we're acting like Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump need to have like their own safe space. These are strong women and they've been called worse probably like most of the women on this panel today. And I guarantee they just blinked their eyes and they moved on. I will give their husband's credit for standing up for them. But at the same time --

LEMON: They're not the candidates though -

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST AVO.COM: Don, this is missing the entire point. The point is -

HUGHES: I'm not missing -

BLOOM: The point is we should stop -

LEMON: Go ahead Lisa.

BLOOM: -- judging women by what they look like. I love that even Donald Trump's own surrogate on this show can't defend that tweet. We have to stop judging women by how they look. And I have news for Donald Trump. On the last Presidential election, 70 million women voted. Yes, women have the right to vote now, and only 60 million men voted. And if he wants to lose this election, he should keep on making sexist comments about women, which he has then consistently calling women journalists dogs and pigs. He called Arianna Huffington that. He made fun of Carly Fiorina's looked like. This is not a one off, this is his entirely personality, either a woman is beautiful and fonds over him and he likes her, everybody else gets attacked.

LEMON: Areva, Ted Cruz immediately hit back right, tweeting "Donald, real men don't attack women. Your wife is lovely and Heidi is the love of my life." Now Cruz appears to be taking the high road there. Did Trump take the bait do you think?

AREVA MARTIN, LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, I think this whole debate is just ridiculous and it's more evidence of why neither of these candidates are ready for primetime, neither of them are ready to be President of the United States of America. We are having a debate about their girlfriends as if running for President you need to have some hot babe on your side. And that's the problem with Scottie's argument.

Scottie, this would be perfectly okay if these were two guys on a playground or on a corner -

LEMON: Or on a reality T.V. show -

MARTIN: Or reality T.V. but not two men who say they want to be the President of the United States of America. This is absolutely reprehensible conduct by both.

LEMON: Let's listen to Ted Cruz firing back today. Here it is.


CRUZ: Let me be absolutely clear. Our spouses and our children are off bounds. It is not acceptable for a big, loud, New York bully to attack my wife. Real men don't try to bully women. That's not an action of strength. That's an action of weakness, it's an action of fear, it's an action of a small and petty man who is intimidated by strong women.

Heidi is my best friend in the whole world. She is the love of my life and Donald should stick with attacking me. Because Heidi is way out of Donald Trump's league. You know, I have to say seeing him go deeper and deeper to the gutter, it's not easy to tick me off. I don't get angry often. But you mess with my wife, you are mess with my kids, that will do it every time. Donald, you're a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.


LEMON: Wow, that was very strong. I don't know what New York had to do with it.

HUGHES: Nothing.

LEMON: I don't know what that. But so what do you think, Scottie?

HUGHES: Well, let's remember, this fight was started by a woman. Liz Maher, that is in charge of the Make America Awesome Again pac started this because she was afraid of the supposed rumors of the Trump and the Cruz delegates getting together and keeping someone else from getting involved if we made it into a brokered convention.

A woman started this fight at a time when we should be focusing on international policy and terrorism and what the GOP really is their strong suit. Instead we're having this little childish discussion and I'm sorry, just like these women, I'm teaching my daughters you know you only make a strong foundation by the bricks that are thrown at you. Move on, get back to the policies and just let's get away from this issues.

MARTIN: But Scottie -

HUGHES: And it has nothing to do about just recruiting.

LEMON: So why did - but why -


LEMON: --Why didn't your candidate do that then, Scottie?

HUGHES: Because he was -- he's honestly standing up for his wife. I mean that's the thing this is going back and forth, back and forth

BLOOM: Oh, please.

HUGHES: Ted Cruz did not go against Liz, he did not go against, he did not sit there and condemn the pac.

MARTIN: Scottie, Don -

LEMON: But you can you defend your wife without attacking somebody else. Go ahead, Lisa.

BLOOM: Only in the second grade does he started it count as a defense. This is a presidential election. People are going to be attacking our President for all kinds of things when he's President. He can't be going after their wives or their children or making idiotic comments and calling them dogs. He's got to have a little thicker skin.

HUGHES: His wife was attacked first though.

MARTIN: Scottie, Scottie, Scottie -

LEMON: Scottie, you have to admit it does sound like I know you are but what am I? I mean --

HUGHES: Oh, I agree, this is childish as anything on both sides.

MARTIN: But Scottie, you won't accept responsibility.

LEMON: go ahead.


MARTIN: You won't accept responsibility that somebody needs be above reproach. Somebody needs to take the high ground here. So just because somebody attacks your wife doesn't mean they attack you -

HUGHES: You're not allowed to defend them?

MARTIN: -- now I have to attack you back. You're not -

HUGHES: You mean you don't defend them?

MARTIN: Why defend a stupid comment like that? What are you defending? We all know that it's petty. We know that these women are smart, beautiful women. There's no need to defend them. Talk about the policies that America's cares about, talk about education -

HUGHES: I agree -

MARTIN: -- talk about health care, talk about economic development -

HUGHES: I agree -


MARTIN: Talk about terrorism -

HUGHES: And they want to.

MARTIN: That's what people in this country want to hear about. Your candidate wants to talk about how a woman looks. That's just ridiculous.

HUGHES: Remember --

LEMON: So here's what - here's what Megyn Kelly posted, I want to put this up.


LEMON: A picture and tweeted simply "seriously"? I mean this has all stemmed from an ad, from again from a super pac that had nothing it do with Ted Cruz. But I mean Trump is in full battle mode. Do you think he needs to take it down a notch Scottie?


HUGHES: This is just how Mr. Trump is. He's never attacked first on any of the issues. LEMON: I know but that's not what I asked you. Do you think he needs

to take it down?

HUGHES: No, I don't think he needs to take it down, I think he needs to do exactly what Mr. - let Mr. Trump be who Mr. Trump is. He's obviously doing well. His message is resonating with the majority of Americans because they're tired of being bullied.

BLOOM: He's got 68% negatives nationwide, he's not doing that well.

MARTIN: Well we will see when we get to the general election -

BLOOM: He's not doing well at all with women.

HUGHES: He's not just going after women, he's going after men, he's going after people that don't respect.

LEMON: Don't read ahead in the textbook because we're going to talk about that next. All right. So stand by, we'll be right back.



LEMON: Cruz to Trump, leave Heidi the hell alone, Trump ignores and tweets, I didn't start the fight with lying Ted Cruz. Back with me know, Scottie Nell Hughes, Areva Martin, and Lisa Bloom. Listen I try not to laugh at issues on television but this is all so sophomoric, it seems like - it seems like third - like playground stuff. Anyway. Lisa. We keep hearing -

BLOOM: It is.

LEMON: We keep hearing from Donald Trump how he is not politically correct that he you know, says what he means, and his supporters love that. But how is that going to play to a larger audience come the general election?

BLOOM: Well he has by far the highest negatives of any presidential candidate right now. 68% of the country has a negative view of Donald Trump. And we may like that sometimes he shoots from the hip and he says entertaining things but I can tell you this, Don, women don't like the way he has treated especially female journalists and now the wife of his opponent.

And we vote - we vote in numbers greater than the numbers of men who vote. So all of those who support Hillary Clinton or who support Bernie Sanders should just sit back and enjoy every time Donald Trump continues to does this. Because his ego has gotten way ahead of him. And I'm sure his advisers if they're paying any attention to the voting patterns of this country are telling him you know you've really got to dial it back on women but he just refuses to do it because apparently it's just not in him.

LEMON: So Scottie - MARTIN: Let me add to that number Don. I just want to add to that

number about his negatives. Almost 50% of Republican women as well say they can't imagine voting for Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee. So not only does he have a problem with women in general and particularly Democratic women, he has a problem with women in his own party. And if you can't win the women in your party, you can't possibly win a general election.

LEMON: So when he goes after women, who does that appeal to? Scottie?

HUGHES: Well I don't think -- because it's not just women he goes after. He goes after -- it's not like he's just doing this to be sexist. He's criticized men, he's criticized establishment, he criticizes those who have been bullies to those - to bullies all long for the last 8 years in the Republican Party.

LEMON: But I often hear him talk about women's looks, and you know but if you're good looking, no, if you're a supporter, no, but if you're not, then you're ugly, or the proof is in the picture.

HUGHES: Hey listen, I think Megyn Kelly is one of the prettiest women ever and he's obviously not bit his tongue when it comes in regards to her. I don't think it has anything necessarily to do with looks.

BLOOM: Yes, because he used to send her pictures of him that were signed. I mean he was almost stalking her.

HUGHES: They were friends, they were good friends.

BLOOM: And then when she actually dared to ask him some tough question, I think he's had what dozens and dozens of negative tweets about her. I mean it's really creepy and stalkery and I think women understand that.

HUGHES: Those are suspected terms. You're using right there about creepy, and you're talking about creepy and stalkery. Would you say that about you know, do you ever see a man criticizing a woman about that. Let's get the emotion out of it and I think that's where Mr. Trump's appeal is. We can deal with the other side down the road. Let's talk about the general - or the primaries right now with Republicans.

Why women like Mr. Trump is because his actions speak louder than words. He has more female CEOs at the top of his ladder, at the top of his campaign than any other campaign out there right now, than any other Fortune 500 company. He doesn't discriminate. He believes in promotion -

BLOOM: How many women CEOs does he have?

MARTIN: But Scottie, your facts - your facts are absolutely wrong.

HUGHES: No they're not, go actually look in his board of Directors for his company. Look at his daughter, look at the women -

BLOOM: That's one - Ivanka - that's one. MARTIN: But you're talking about -

HUGHES: The women that are part of his organization. Go look at the top. There is time and time again, they have shown the list compared to other Fortune 500 companies -

LEMON: OK. Speaking of women, he had to deal with some women today because everyone was shocked when he - I'm sorry he - one of his supporters had to deal with some women today. Everyone was shocked when Ben Carson endorsed Trump after dropping out of the race. And he was on the view today and the ladies did not hold back. Listen to this.


WHOOPIE GOLDBERG: I hate to ask this question but you have aligned yourself with a man who has bashed women, made countless racist remarks and you're Ben Carson. Why would you - why would you align yourself with that? I'm sorry, he's a racist and he's not good for the country.

BEN CARSON: What's the alternative?

GOLDBERG: I'm sorry. I just -- I don't understand. He's not said about the white supremacists, he hasn't really said to them, hey, listen, that's not what America stands for. He's said you know, it's too much -- you're Ben Carson, you're so much better than this.

CARSON: Well, I am Ben Carson. And that's the very reason I'm doing this is because I look at the big picture. Could I focus only on racial issues? Absolutely. Could I focus only on women's issues? Absolutely. I could look at any one little thing and pick anybody apart on it. But right now, the nature of our country is at stake. We are on the precipice -

WHOOPIE GOLDBERG: Exactly what we're worried about.

CARSON: We are determining what kind of nation we're going to be. Are we going to be a nation that is up formed by the people or up formed by the government. This is a choice that we are making right now.


LEMON: Wow, that's a lot of people at one table. But anyway, Areva, why would he align himself with Trump?

AREVA MARTIN, LEGAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know and from that answer, I don't even think he knows. He says this election is about what kind of country we're going to be. We're not going to be a very inclusive country if we have a President that attacks women, attacks Muslims, that attacks Latinos and that attacks just about every other group that he has attacked.

So when Ben Carson talks about he's aligned with Donald Trump because of the big picture, he's missing the big picture. The big picture here is inclusiveness and this guy is the most exclusive candidate we've ever seen. And I can't imagine why Scottie -

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST AVO.COM: I actually feel sorry for Trump's surrogate sometimes -

MARTIN: -- stands there and tries to support Trump when he's been so blatantly sexist.

LEMON: Lisa?

BLOOM: Yes, I feel sorry sometimes for Trump surrogates honestly like Ben Carson who really just - all he can say is gosh, you know I don't really like the fact that he says those things and they are kind of indefensible but you know I just like him anyway. Or you know what every night and every day you've seen him on T.V. for the last nine months, but that's not the real guy. There's this guy I met with for 10 minutes over a bagel, that's the real Don Trump. You know just trust me on that. I mean are these people crazy?

HUGHES: Oh, well thank you for calling me crazy.

LEMON: Well it's - we've had a couple of surrogates. Well Scottie, you did say as much tonight, you did not agree with his actions.

Kayleigh McEnany said last night and last week about you know he needed to move on. But I often wonder, though, seriously if I'm going to have -- when I - when I saw that retweet last night, I wondered, I said what about tomorrow when I go on the show? Am I going to have - am I going to get some epiphany from a woman Trump supporter on the air that just says you know what, I can't support this anymore? It's just too (gross).

HUGHES: No, you're not going to get that. And here's the thing first of all those women right there --

LEMON: Why not?


HUGHES: Well first of all, let me back up to "the view." those women right there were criticizing Ben Carson just months ago, just ripping him to shreds. And these are folks just like many of the women on this panel and that I talk with every day, no matter what he says --


LEMON: But what does that have to do with -- what does that have to that they were ripping him to shreds? The candidates -- Ben Carson ripped Donald Trump to shreds, Donald Trump ripped Ben Carson to shreds and now he's endorsing him so what does that have to do with anything? What does it have to do with the price of tea as they say?

HUGHES: He said the right thing. It's about the priorities. We believe in who is actually going to get our economy back on track and who is going to keep our families safe and from a Republican standpoint, who is going to beat Hillary Clinton who will be their nominee? Those three things right there, is where Donald Trump is at the top of the list. All the other things fall to the wayside when you're going up against the democratic machine and Hillary Clinton.

Donald trump is the only one that has been able to encourage people to cross over lines Democrats in large numbers, independents are crossing over to vote for Mr. Trump, because they believe in his message. They might not believe - and you know if you ladies believe 100% in your candidate, then have to wonder what Kool-Aid you're drinking because I never want to agree 100% with a politician --

MARTIN: But Scottie - but Scottie

LEMON: But there's a difference between policy -there's a difference between policy and childish acts and tweets and attacking people for no apparent reason. Go ahead Areva.

HUGHES: -- And with his policy I agree with -

MARTIN: I was just going to say you know Scottie -

HUGHES: Not this necessarily.

MARTIN - Scottie, the women you are pointing to Lisa and I. We're going to stand up and say if the candidate does something wrong, then have the courage to stand up and say the candidate did something wrong.

HUGHES: Did I not, did I not just do that tonight?

MARTIN: Well but you -

HUGHES: That doesn't mean that I'm going to throw him to the wayside.

MARTIN: You said it - you said it tongue in cheek -

LEMON: But then you said he should continue to do exactly what he's doing.

MARTIN: And then you went on to try and support him. Absolutely. And then you went back to this argument -

HUGHES: I said let Mr. Trump be Mr. Trump.

MARTIN: Mr. Trump being Mr. Trump is not what this country needs. We need a President that's going to be inclusive, that's not going to attack women, that's not going to attack Muslims and every other group. So he can't be Mr. Trump if he wants to be President. That's not what this country needs.

HUGHES: He doesn't attack individual groups. He's all about Americans first. Remember that, Americans first.

LEMON: All right, I've got to go. Lisa, quickly, I've got to go.

BLOOM: You know I think it was Maya Angelou when someone shows you who they are, believe them. -

LEMON: -- who they are, believe them. BLOOM: Mr. Trump has shown us over and over again who he is.

HUGHES: And I believe him.

LEMON: I just dealt with that this week. When someone shows you who they are --

BLOOM: Isn't it great?

LEMON: It's so liberating.

MARTIN: And it's good the majority of Americans believe in the (inaudible)

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that.

Up next, following the Brussels attacks, it is the angry personal spat between Trump and Cruz. Is it a missed opportunity for each candidate on the campaign trail?



LEMON: Back now talking about the all-out personal war between Trump and Cruz. Joining me now is Lanhee Chen, the former senior advisor to Marco Rubio, Republican Strategist, Kevin Madden, and Adriana Cohen, columnist for the Boston Herald. Good to have all of you on. Everybody's a newbie except for Kevin Madden. Kevin, So Kevin, I'm going to start with you. We'll start with the person who's been here the most.

The Brussels attack happened on Tuesday morning. Since Tuesday night, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have not been fighting about how to best fight terrorism but instead about their wives. I mean, don't you think is a missed opportunity for both of them?

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, sure. Look, often times in campaigns, the campaigns are driven a lot by the fundamentals, whether it's the fundamentals about the economy or some of the big issues that you're - that traditionally are debated in campaigns like health care and you know things like energy.

But when you have an international event like this that -- around a terrorist attack in a major foreign capital, what it does is it reframes the debate for so many voters. They begin to look at candidates and their resumes, candidates and their agendas and they begin to look at them - and it reframes for them the stakes or what's at stake in the campaign.

And so with that you have this extraordinary opportunity for the candidates to talk about what they would do to make sure that we have a greater, stronger, you know national security posture, here to fight terrorism but also what we're doing to integrate you know our intelligence capabilities with our partners in Europe, what we're doing to you know strengthen our foreign alliances. LANHEE CHEN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO MARCO RUBIO: That's not

happening. That's not happening.

MADDEN: And that is not happening.

Instead we have two candidates, two grown men mind you that are fighting over twitter about their wives. That's a huge missed opportunity.

LEMON: Adriana, we had -- I'm not sure if you heard the panel of women that just before you, they found it offensive. I mean do you agree as a woman? Do you find this offensive?

ADRIANA COHEN, COLUMNIST BOSTON HERALD: No, I don't. And I'm disappointed with all the women out there who are so thin skinned. You know if feminists want to be part of the draft, if they want to be President of the United States, if they want to serve in combat on the battlefield, I think they should be able to handle a photo with two women side by side. They should be able to handle an insult or a politically incorrect comment. You know Don, I have to tell you I am a conservative columnist in a very blue state in Massachusetts, and there are plenty of people who insult me, they attack me because I'm a conservative in a Democrat state. I let it roll right off my back. I'm not so thin skinned that it rattles my say. It doesn't affect me whatsoever.

LEMON: So you're a Trump supporter right? You're a Trump supporter?


LEMON: So neither of these women - neither of these women is running for President of the United States. And I don't hear anyone saying, you know, Ted Cruz is -- either of their wives saying Ted Cruz is ugly, look at your stupid husband. That's not happening on the other side. You don't see a double standard here when it comes to women?

COHEN: Well, you know, how many times have people attacked Donald Trump's looks --

LEMON: No, I'm asking you do you see a double standard when it comes to women?

COHEN: What do you mean, Don? That explain what you're -- I'm sorry you know --

LEMON: When it comes to criticizing women and criticizing men, men are often criticized on the policies, especially if they're involved in the political process. Women are many times criticized on their looks, whether they should smile, maybe they're too bitchy, those kind of things, you don't hear that about men. You don't think that's a double standard?

COHEN: Yes, I do. You know a lot of times I'd say women in television they get judged by their hair or their clothing or their make-up. I appeared on television earlier today and all these people were attacking my looks and telling me I had too much make-up on. It's ridiculous.

LEMON: You're not running for President.

COHEN: They should be focused on -

LEMON: Your husband isn't running for President as well.

COHEN: Right, they should be focusing on what people say and the content. And you know I want to say Kevin is absolutely right when he says we should be focusing on ISIS and national security. This is a grave threat facing our country. ISIS is you know raging through Europe as we speak. We should be figuring out, strengthening homeland security here at home, not having this squirmish between two candidates over something so inconsequential.

LEMON: OK. OK. Lanhee, I want to listen again to what Ted Cruz said today in response to Trump's tweets last night.


TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Real men don't try to bully women. That's not an action of strength. That's an action of weakness, it's an action of fear, it's an action of a small and petty man who is intimidated by strong women. 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 will do it every time. Donald, you're a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.


LEMON: Do you think people are letting Donald Trump, Lanhee, off the hook here?

CHEN: I don't think they're letting Donald Trump off the hook. I think the issue frankly, Don, is that nothing has stuck to this guy so far. It doesn't matter if he insults a war hero, he insults Megyn Kelly, he insults Carly Fiorina, it hasn't really mattered. And so I guess what I'm not really sure about is whether this is going to matter as well. I think Senator Cruz had the right response, what I wish he would have gone on to say is you know Donald Trump instead of doing this stuff, we ought to be talking about how to defeat ISIS and Hillary Clinton. That would have been a more topical, frankly better way to respond but instead we're here talking about frankly nonsense.

LEMON: Kevin Madden, if he is the nominee, if Donald Trump is the nominee, can you imagine the ads either the Clinton or Sanders campaign will run?

MADDEN: Well, it will be - it will be very difficult. I mean look, we're not talking about a Republican primary electorate. We'll be talking about a much more - a much more expansive electorate that will be judging Donald Trump. And if you look at any of the national polls, any of the empirical evidence, Donald Trump has a toxic profile with women voters. He has a toxic profile with many men voters too. People are very calcified in their support against Donald Trump. And I will tell you this, Hillary Clinton, who is very likely to be the nominee, she will not do what I think a lot of Republicans did inside the primary. Which is -- she will not wait for Donald Trump to implode on his own. She will go out and define him very negatively with a lot of voters who are still yet to be persuaded inside that much bigger electorate and general election and it will be very, very - and it will be unlike anything that we saw inside this primary contest.

LEMON: Lahnee, you said that Republicans have put themselves in a very difficult position. Why do you say that?


CHEN: Well because the reality is Hillary Clinton is very beatable. You know even on national security issues, she's going to have a really tough time here. Because on the one hand she's trying to embrace the Obama legacy and that includes by the way the intervention in Libya, which has allowed then a safe space for ISIS to move, but she's also trying to forge her own path by saying, look, I was different from the President in some respects. So she's got, she can't have it both ways. I think at this point, she can embrace the President but once she gets to a general election, she's going to have a very difficult time. And it's a great opportunity for Republicans to define an actual plan when it comes to national security, but instead they're arguing about pictures and super pacs and wives instead of outlining the strategy to defeat ISIS.

LEMON: More of our conversation when we come right back.


LEMON: Let's take a look at some of the latest poll numbers in the Presidential race. Back with me now is Lanhee Chen, Kevin Madden and Adriana Cohen.

So Adriana, you first, among women, among women voters, A Monmouth poll found that Hillary Clinton would beat all three of the male GOP candidates.


LEMON: Trump by 21 points, Cruz by 12 and Kasich by 3. Do those numbers surprise you?


COHEN: They actually do. Because I have to tell you that you know, we know -- we've watched this election, the polls aren't always right. Sometimes they're predicting Hillary Clinton is going to win a primary caucus and then Bernie Sanders blows her away. But I can tell you when it comes to women supporting Trump, there are literally hundreds of thousands of women across this country who have supporting him. I've been to rallies in Massachusetts where out of 8,000 people there were thousands of women there of all age, of all ethnicities, working class women, soccer moms, you name it, the whole gamut was there. And you know I spoke to a lot of them, I've interviewed them for my "Boston Herald" radio show and I said why aren't you voting for Hillary? I mean women typically vote Democrat, at least that's what they tell us? Why aren't you voting for Hillary?

And they say we think she belongs in prison. Between the emails with the private server, to the lies and the cover up in Benghazi, they don't trust her as far as they can throw her and there's a lot of things that appeal to women about Donald Trump. And one of the main things I hear is he's going to get touch on immigration, tough on national security. But that also Donald Trump is the only candidate running right now on both sides of the aisle that is the only one who has ever met a payroll. He's a proven jobs creator. And with 94 million Americans out of work, we need to elect someone who is going to get our economy moving again and get people back to work.

LEMON: None of those things you just mentioned, the poll numbers, are people who are actually specific people who they talk to about who you are going to vote for. The other things regards to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, what he's going to do, that's just sort of nebulous and fantasy. People would like to see her go to prison on one side. It's not necessarily fact. He says he's going do this. It's not necessarily fact. But whilst you were talking Kevin Madden, you usually have a good poker face.

MADDEN: No, I didn't have one there. Well I mean this is the classic case - you know the amazing thing about Trump supporters like Adriana, is they will rationalize what they like about Donald Trump by you know dismissing what they -- the facts. I mean it's - what you're talking about is anecdotal evidence. The empirical evidence is if you look at any polls, any of the empirical evidence will show you that Donald Trump has like a 20% favorable rating and 70% unfavorable rating. That means --

LEMON: And Kevin is a - Kevin is a Republican by the way.

COHEN: Well then why is he the front-runner? - Why is he the front- runner if he's unfavorable are so high. Why does he have the most delegates? Why has he won the most states and caucuses.

MADDEN: He's the front-runner because he took advantage in a very fractured field and he cobbled together a coalition of voters that the others -- all the other candidates split apart.


MADDEN: So one of -- but you're talking about thousands of people at rallies. Meanwhile that means there are millions of other voters out there who will say they will never vote for Donald Trump.


MADDEN And if you look at the last few elections where we've lost -

COHEN: -- and there's millions of Trump supporters who love the guy.

MADDEN: -- if you look at the -- in the Romney campaign, we lost women voters by 11%. We -- John McCain lost by - lost by about 13%. The last time that a Republican campaign won, we had got those numbers down to single digits, which was 3% with Bush in 2004. There's no way we're going to be able to win with someone - a candidate like Donald Trump who has problems with women voters and as toxic a profile with women voters in general elections.

LEMON: All right, let's put up some of these numbers, some more numbers.


LEMON: Because according to the latest CNN/ORC poll in a general election, Clinton leads Trump 56% to 42%. , in the general election. What is your reaction to that, Lanhee?


CHEN: Yes, it's a big problem. Look Kevin talked about it a little bit but the gender gap is an issue. The other problem we have is that we don't really know I mean aside from a few vague pronouncements, what is Donald Trump actually going to do as President? What kind of real policy proposals as he put out there? He can duck all that in the Republican primary maybe, but when he goes up against Hillary Clinton, that's going to be a huge problem.

And then there's also got a trust gap as well. Believe it or not, voters actually trust Hillary Clinton more than they trust Donald Trump. I never thought I would see that where another candidate is more well trusted -- has poorer trust numbers that is than Hillary Clinton. But Donald Trump has put himself in that situation.

Look, I'm not sure, Don, that either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump can win a general election but I know one thing and that is that Donald Trump will not win a general election, even if it's against Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: But you say Lanhee, that people underestimated the skill Trump would bring to this and his unique brand of populism. I mean why do you think that happened and why do you feel the way you feel now?

CHEN: Well I think to a certain degree a lot of people under estimated him going through the Republican primary process, there's no question about that. I think now, though, there is a real concern about what a Trump Presidency would look like. And I just do not see six or seven months of a general election campaign with Hillary Clinton pounding this guy every day, with all of the stuff that's in his dossier, I just don't see how Donald Trump makes it through that.

In addition to the fact that the guy has no filter whatsoever. For him to be out there talking about the issues he's talking about now suggests that this is not somebody who has the discipline to be an effective general election candidate and to a certain degree you need some of that to be the winner. I agree people like that he's unscripted but you've got to have some discipline to win this thing.


LEMON: Hey Kevin, I have 20 seconds. Do you agree?

MADDEN: I do. I mean I think it's a - I think Lanhee makes a lot of good points. And it will be - it's very hard for me to imagine him winning in a general election with what he's - what he's done with - what essentially a sector of the electorate that will be about 53 to 54% of the electorate.

LEMON: If you can do it in 10 seconds, go ahead.

COHEN: I just want to say that Mitt Romney was politically correct and he lost big time in the last Presidential election. So how - how well did political correctness work for him? And look at Jeb Bush.

MADDEN: Yes, so political incorrectness is the way to win.

COHEN: -- he played it safe and he's gone. No, but there's super nice and they blew it - they blew it.

LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. Our live coverage continues in just a moment with Max Foster in Belgium. Good night.