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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump: Cruz-Kasich Coalition 'Pathetic'; Clinton Bashes Trump on Eve of Crucial Primaries; Alarm After North Korean Sub Launches Missile; Details Emerge About Prince's Last Days. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired April 25, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I turn you over now to my friend and colleague, to one Mr. Wolf Blitzer, who is right next door in THE SITUATION ROOM. I can see him right now. Thanks for watching.
[17:00:10] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: splitting the difference. Donald Trump's rivals teaming up in a new effort to deny delegates to the Republican front-runner. Ted Cruz and John Kasich announcing their plan to divide and conquer the remaining primary states. Will it block Trump from the nomination?
Food fight. Donald Trump now in an all-out war with his rivals, calling them desperate and weak, even attacking John Kasich over the way he eats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has the news conference all the time when he's eating. I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Un-abated. North Korea's Kim Jong-un personally supervising the launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine. The move sparking new anxiety coming on the heels of a series of defiant missile and nuclear tests. Is North Korea now capable of a nuclear strike on the United States?
And purple pain. New details of Prince's last days and questions about whether he was in excruciating pain and possibly taking prescription drugs that may have been involved in his death. Tonight, new details of his emergency landing and trip to the hospital just days before he died. What caused his medical emergency?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Dramatic new twists in the wildly unpredictable Republican race for the White House. Just ahead of five key primaries tomorrow. John Kasich and Ted Cruz joining forces to keep front-runner Donald Trump from getting the number of delegates he needs to secure the GOP nomination. Their plan: divide their efforts in upcoming primary elections, with Cruz focusing in on Indiana and Kasich on Oregon and New Mexico. Trump is blasting them, accusing them of collusion, calling their strategy pathetic and weak. Also, new details emerging tonight about the final days of Prince,
including a midair medical emergency. The music star reported by the pilot of his private jet as being unresponsive, then rushed to the hospital after an emergency landing. We now have a recording of the pilot's emergency call.
We're covering all of that, much more this hour with our guests, including Trump supporter and Tea Party activist Scottie Nell Hughes, as well as our correspondents and experts.
Let's begin with the Republican race for the White House. Our political reporter Sara Murray has the very latest.
Sara, new political drama on this, the eve of five important primaries.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, tomorrow voters will head to the polls in a number of these eastern states like Pennsylvania where I am, Maryland and Delaware. But today the drama is focused on the contests that are even further down the field, as John Kasich and Ted Cruz strike a deal to split the map.
TRUMP: In politics, because it's a rigged system, because it's a corrupt enterprise, in politics you're allowed to collude.
MURRAY (voice-over): Whether it's collusion or common sense, tonight John Kasich and Ted Cruz are teaming up to stop Donald Trump.
TRUMP: So they colluded, and actually, I was happy, because it shows how weak they are. It shows how pathetic they are.
MURRAY: And the real-estate mogul is not impressed.
TRUMP: This guy Cruz. You know he's getting killed. He's getting killed. I mean, he got so badly beaten last week, and he's getting killed generally.
MURRAY: In nearly simultaneous campaign memos Sunday night, Kasich agreed to pull out of Indiana, while Cruz promised to back out of Oregon and New Mexico, all in the latest ploy to stop Trump from clinching the nomination before the convention. Today Cruz is even mocking Trump's outrage.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't doubt that Donald Trump is going to scream and yell and curse and insult and probably cry and whine some, as well. That that has been Donald's pattern.
MURRAY: And spinning the deal as his chance to take on Trump mano-a- mano.
CRUZ: It is big news today that John Kasich has decided to pull out of Indiana, to give us a head-to-head contest with Donald Trump. MURRAY: All as Kasich appears not quite on board with the pact,
canceling his Indiana campaign events but encouraging his supporters to stick around.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me.
MURRAY: The Kasich camp betting on this alliance to keep them in the hunt by conserving resources and, they hope, drawing more anti-Trump dollars to their aid.
KASICH: I don't have, you know, like Daddy Warbucks behind me giving he all this money. I have to -- I have to be careful about my resources.
MURRAY: But it's also drawing Trump's ire, as the GOP front-runner figures nothing is off limits. Not even Kasich's eating habits.
KASICH: What's the issue?
TRUMP: He has a news conference all the time when he's eating. I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion. This guy takes a pancake, and he's shoving it in his mouth. It's disgusting. Do you want that for your president? I don't think so. I don't think so. It's disgust -- honestly, it's disgusting.
[17:05:12] KASICH: Well, look, I think the -- it's designed to do what now?
MURRAY: The Kasich camp took the dig in stride, tweeting, "We were looking for some Trump steaks for the governor, but no one seems to sell them anymore."
MURRAY: Now, Ted Cruz must be feeling pretty confident this split the map strategy is going to work to his benefit, because he is narrowing down a list of vice-presidential candidates, and his national campaign chairman, one of them told CNN that Carly Fiorina is on that short list -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Sara, thank you. Sara Murray reporting for us.
Let's get some more on all of this. Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is joining us. Jim, how worried is the Trump campaign that this Cruz-Kasich alliance could be effective in preventing him from clinching the nomination?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, first of all, they're not worried about tomorrow. The Trump train appears to be on the fast track in the Amtrak primary.
But this alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich has not gone unnoticed inside the Trump campaign. Donald Trump, of course, has opened up the flood gates on John Kasich, hurling insults at the Ohio governor like never before. But could the Cruz-Kasich dead actually work? That is another issue.
I talked to a Trump campaign advisor who said Kasich actually could hurt the GOP front-runner in Indiana and help Cruz. There's no question about that. But they're not so sure it will hurt in the long run.
All day long, though, Wolf, Trump has been political marriage between Ted Cruz and John Kasich just proves that Cruz and Kasich simply aren't the best suitors for the GOP. Here's more of what he had to say just a few moments ago here in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Kasich is doing worse than many of the people that left months ago. I mean, if you look at Marco Rubio, he did much better than Kasich. He had more -- to this day has more delegates. This is just a guy who's a stubborn guy who eats like a slob and shouldn't have press conferences while he's stuffing stuff down his throat. Honest, I've never seen anything like it. But this is a guy who's a stubborn guy. "I'm not leaving, I'm not leaving." He's one for 42. And I would have won the one, but I was given a dirty poll by NBC where they came up with a poll -- it's true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: now, the Trump campaign is still confident that the real- estate tycoon can reach 1,237 delegates. They don't think this alliance changes that. But a top official with the "never Trump" movement, the "stop Trump" movement told me don't be so sure. Trump needs Indiana, this official argued, even as he added that he wished Cruz and Kasich had joined forces and done this weeks ago.
And Wolf, it just raises the question, had Cruz and Kasich lined up and joined forces months ago or even weeks ago, would it have changed the math, the delegate math where it stands right now. And it's not clear at all, Wolf, we should also add -- how long this alliance will last.
Kasich, by the way, we should point out, is still scheduled to attend a fund-raiser in Indiana tomorrow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll see if he cancels or if he goes there. You're at that rally, the Trump rally in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Jim, that just ended, right?
ACOSTA: That's right; that's right. And this was jam-packed in here, Wolf. They're clearing out now, but this was one of those vintage Donald Trump auditoriums that was filled to the rafters. We've seen this in event after event after event. And what you heard Donald Trump say at this event and all day long today is that Cruz and Kasich simply can't do that.
It's interesting how this alliance has sort of put Donald Trump in the role of political savant, if you will, in that he's basically making the case, if you look at the math, if you look at the ground swell of support he's drawn up for his campaign, Cruz and Kasich just can't compete with that. In the words of Donald Trump, the only thing Ted Cruz can do is sort of join forces with John Kasich to win the nomination. He says that's the only route for the Texas senator right now, Wolf.
BLITZER: Donald Trump heading from where you are, West Chester, to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He's got another rally coming up pretty soon. He started the day in Rhode Island. He's been going from rally to rally to rally. I assume it's going to be nonstop for a while. Thanks very much, Jim Acosta.
Let's get some more on all of this. Joining us, one of Donald Trump's key supporters, Scottie Nell Hughes of USA Radio Network.
Scottie, thanks very much for joining us. What's your reaction to this alliance of sorts between Kasich and Cruz making this deal, teaming up to try to stop Donald Trump from reaching on the first ballot 1,237 delegates?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, USA RADIO NETWORK: Well, keeping with this whole food theme, Wolf, putting Kasich and Cruz together is about as appealing to putting Brussels sprouts and liver. It really doesn't make it any more appealing to the palette, and I think it's going to end up backfiring and leaving a very bad taste within conservatives and Republicans' mouth in the very end.
BLITZER: You know, some people love Brussels sprouts and some people love liver. You know that, don't you?
[17:10:01] HUGHES: Not together. But not together.
BLITZER: Some people do like it -- some people probably do like it together. You never know. Food tastes are pretty unique out there.
So is it a good thing? Could it undermine his effort? We know that in Utah, for example, when Cruz was really the only opponent that Trump had there, Cruz did remarkably well.
HUGHES: Well, he did. And that's the one thing that I think a lot of conservatives are scratching their heads. What does Cruz have, really, to gain by this? Because when you talk about somebody that is anti-Common Core, when you talk about someone who's built his base, built his popularity on being against bad trade policies like NAFTA, and he says that he's against TPP, even though he voted for TPA, against Obamacare even though Governor Kasich put a version of it within Ohio, you have to wonder why did Senator Ted Cruz decide to go to the Kasich campaign as now it's been revealed, and ask for this alliance?
It's not like Governor Kasich is bringing anything to the field right now, Wolf. You know, you look at the geographics of this campaign, and Senator Ted Cruz has only won two states east of the Mississippi River. It's not like Governor Kasich is bringing regional popularity.
BLITZER: But you know -- you know, Scottie, that Donald Trump has wanted Kasich to drop out for a while so he could go one on one with Cruz, thinking he could beat Cruz one on one. They're going go one on one in Indiana. Is he confident he's going to be able to beat Cruz in Indiana?
HUGHES: Well, as long as tactics like this continue to reaffirm Mr. Trump's message that the politicos just want to keep the politicos in power and are going to continue to collude with each other, so that items like this continue to happen, this only reaffirms Mr. Trump's message that right now outsiders are not allowed inside a broken system.
And once again, when we're talking about delegates not representing the people that they're being elected to represent, like what we saw in Georgia and this weekend in Maine, this only makes people more angry at the system. And I think that actually helps Mr. Trump in the end when it comes to saying that he's here to represent the people, not the politicians.
BLITZER: So he shouldn't really be complaining. Right? He wants to go one on one with Cruz, right?
HUGHES: Well, you know, at this point Kasich has kind of been the fly on the wall this entire campaign. He really hasn't done any damage either way.
I do find it interesting, Wolf, though, that they're sending Kasich all the way to the West Coast. I think that has to do with his liberal tendencies, instead of going to Indiana, which is a state right next to Ohio, where he should be very popular in, considering that Governor Kasich supposedly is this popular government -- governor of Ohio.
BLITZER: But if -- Scottie, if Kasich drops out of Indiana, I assume you're afraid that the Kasich votes will go to Cruz?
HUGHES: Not necessarily. That is the one thing. Like I said, people are automatically assuming that all the Kasich votes and all the Cruz votes are completely 100 percent anti-Donald Trump, and that is not true at all.
If you look at two polar ends of the spectrum on opinions and policies, it's Kasich and Cruz. So I would not necessarily take that idea right now. That's why I think so many people within the conservative movement today were upset at this alliance that Senator Ted Cruz forged with.
If you want to sit there and go for ego, then yes, this works great for Ted Cruz. But if you want to look at conservative principles and conservative policies, actually, Donald Trump aligns a lot more alongside with Ted Cruz than Governor Kasich.
BLITZER: Stand by, Scottie. We have more to discuss. We're getting other information coming in right now, as well. Much more with Scottie Hughes when we come back.
[17:17:42] BLITZER: A new effort tonight to try to block Donald Trump from becoming the Republican presidential nominee. His Republican rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, say they will divide their focus in upcoming primary states in an effort to keep Trump from getting enough delegates.
We're back with key Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes of USA Radio Networks.
Scottie, a lot of focus on Donald Trump's demeanor today. At that event today, he had two rallies today. At both rallies -- he's got another one coming up in a little while -- he mocked Governor Kasich's eating behavior. He said he told his little -- little son not to watch Kasich eating.
Does today's rhetoric, making fun of Kasich's eating behavior, sound presidential to you?
HUGHES: Well, I think you have to still let Mr. Trump be Mr. Trump. And he chose those words, based on probably some of the video that we saw earlier today from -- from Governor Kasich, who does seem to eat a lot on camera, something that, you know, a lot of us try to avoid.
But I think you also have to realize that that shows the diversity of Mr. Trump. I mean, this is a man who can host "Saturday Night Live" and bring in record -- record ratings. He can be on a debate stage and bring on record ratings. He can sit here and have this -- you know, talk to tens of thousands at his mega rallies.
And then on Wednesday of this week get ready to give a foreign policy speech that will be extremely serious and lay out a foreign policy plan that I bet will be pretty -- pretty detailed and be ready to answer a lot of questions that have been out there regarding whether or not he can be presidential in his foreign policy.
So I think this just shows about the diversity of his presentation. While the product remains the same, Mr. Trump continues to show exactly -- he continues to be able to talk to everyday Americans, depending on which environment he's in.
BLITZER: We're showing some video of Kasich eating right now. Trump said specifically, Scottie, he said, "I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion."
When you heard him say that at the rallies today, were you OK with that?
HUGHES: Well, obviously, I don't like to use those kinds of words. I don't like to criticize eating. I mean, hello, I live in the South. We are the land of the buffets for a lot of us. So I'm not one to criticize. You know, everybody has our own eating habits.
But I think it also talks about this is -- somehow it's amazing that the only attention Governor Kasich gets usually is when either, A, when he's talking about Trump, usually in a negative way, or in a situation like this. We never talk about being presidential. We never see Governor Kasich actually talking -- he doesn't get any attention at his rallies when he's giving foreign policy or when he's giving other policy points. [17:20:08] So I think this just talks about when does the media choose
to focus on Governor Kasich happens to be in dire situations like this. I'm sorry, if he can't put down his food long enough to talk to the media, you have to wonder what his priorities are. I mean, I understand a man has to eat and everything, but if you're going into a public place surrounded by future voters, future constituents and the media that wants to ask you questions, I personally don't think that's the best time to choose your menu.
BLITZER: What's his next move right now? Because we know he's looking ahead already to California. That's the last major contest out there in June. I assume he thinks he can have the whole thing wrapped up after California?
HUGHES: I'll be honest with you, Wolf: It's events like today and this alliance that happened between Cruz and Kasich that I think actually gives us more confidence that Mr. Trump will have those votes going into the convention, the brokered convention.
Listen, the people do not like the idea of these guys making these back-room-door deals and then coming out and announcing it to them like they have these alliances. That's not exactly says, you know, transparency which is what the Republican Party is trying to show and build trust within our own party, with our elected people -- elected folks.
So as long as Kasich and Cruz try to keep doing these kind of, like, media attention-getting ideas which look to be backfiring, I can promise you that just only gives us more confidence that Mr. Trump will be going into Cleveland with the nomination firmly secure with a couple of extra delegates also.
BLITZER: Scotty Nell Hughes, thanks very much.
HUGHES: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Anderson Cooper, by the way, will interview John Kasich later tonight on "AC 360." That's at 8 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Coming up, we'll have more on this new alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich. They're trying to stop Donald Trump from being the Republican nominee.
[17:26:20] BLITZER: We're following new developments in the race for the Republican presidential nomination on this, the eve of five crucial primaries. Donald Trump is accusing his two rivals of collusion. He's ridiculing Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich for making a deal to divide up some of the remaining states in hopes of keeping Trump from winning enough delegates for a first ballot convention victory.
Joining us now here in THE SITUATION ROOM, CNN political commentator Peter Beinart. He's a contributing editor to Atlantic Media. Also with us, Rebecca Berg, national political reporter for Real Clear Politics; our chief political correspondent Dana Bash; and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro. Guys, thanks very much for joining us.
You've heard, Dana, Trump say this alliance between Cruz and Kasich, in his words, is pathetic. Pathetic. Does it validate Trump's claim, though, that there's collusion, if you will, that this is sinister; it's awful what's going on?
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It completely, in many ways, plays into his argument over and over again that the establishment has it rigged.
But having said that, you know, the fact of the matter is this has been in the works and in the making for some time. And it's only because Ted Cruz did so poorly in New York, sees that he has no mathematical path to winning the nomination before the Cleveland convention, that the Cruz campaign agreed to the overtures that -- I reported early last month -- that team Kasich has been making over and over again. They even enlisted Mitt Romney to try to help get the two together to do this split-the-map strategy, you know.
And at this point, it really is the only option for both Cruz and Kasich and everybody in the "stop Trump" movement to try to stop Trump.
BLITZER: Because both Cruz and Kasich, Ana, they both acknowledge right now they don't have enough -- they can't -- it's impossible for them to get to that 1,237 number on the first ballot. Their only hope is to prevent Trump from getting it so they can try it on a second or third or fourth ballot, when a lot of those delegates become uncommitted, unpledged, as they say.
You've been pushing for this Kasich-Cruz alliance for quite a while, but the two men didn't seem to be like natural allies. They disagree on a lot. Do you think this is really a workable partnership, if you will, or is it too late?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, I don't think it's a partnership at all, and I don't think they are natural allies. I think there is a visceral dislike for each other. It's very genuine, and it's quite intense. Any of us who have dealt with their teams know that this exists. That's why it has taken over a month to get this done.
Dana is absolutely right: the Kasich folks have been pushing it and making overtures for a long time. And I really think it was until Ted Cruz woke up Wednesday after the New York primary and had no choice but to smell the Cuban coffee and realize that he'd been hosed.
He's got very limited amount of resources; they both do. They are better off allocating those resources in a way that's strategic that helps both of them. There are places where Ted Cruz has no shot. There are places where Kasich has no shot. It's better -- they're better off trying to divvy up that map, as I've been saying now for weeks. I think that it was a wake-up call, a realization, and it really is the only option.
Now, if they do make it to a second ballot, to a third ballot, I think you're going to see this deal go out the window, and you're going to see a very stiff, vigorous competition between Kasich and Cruz and a lot of horse trading going on for delegates. They're going to compete. They're not allies. They are begrudging, strategic partners.
BLITZER: But, Peter, I don't know how really committed Kasich, for example, is to this so-called alliance, because he's already suggesting to his supporters to vote for him in Indiana, which is a week from many to. He's supposed to have ceded Indiana to Ted Cruz. How much of an alliance is this?
NAVARRO: They are begrudging, strategic partners.
[17:30:05] BLITZER: But, Peter, I don't know how really committed Kasich, for example, is to this so-called alliance, because he's already suggesting to his supporters to vote for him in Indiana, which is a week from tomorrow. He's supposed to have ceded Indiana to Ted Cruz. How much of an alliance is this?
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the important thing is not Kasich himself; it's the super PACs. What's important is, is there going to be a lot of money going into Indiana attacking John Kasich from pro-Ted Cruz forces? Now there presumably will not be. They'll be training their fire on Donald Trump.
The effect of this is to dramatically magnify the significance of Indiana and make it essentially into Ted Cruz's last stand. I think what he realized, and Net [SIC] Cohn -- Nate Cohn in "The New York Times" had a good piece on this, this morning. If you look at the polls today, Donald Trump gets to 1,237, so Ted Cruz has to stop him in Indiana. He has something of a shot there if Kasich is out of the race. And if -- and it's a big "if" -- if the Kasich supporters go to him rather than Cruz.
But now if he loses Indiana, even without Kasich really competing there, I think that potentially is his obituary.
BLITZER: Who has more to gain, Rebecca, from this alliance? Would it be Cruz or Kasich?
REBECCA BERG, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Well, they're actually both after the same goal, so I would argue they would both benefit from this. Both men want this race to go to a convention; they need it to go to a convention.
But once we get to a convention, actually, this could be a really interesting play for John Kasich, because Ted Cruz has been making the case, especially recently, even within the past week, that John Kasich's only role in this race is as a spoiler.
So if John Kasich can show the Republican Party that he is a team player, that he doesn't want Trump to win this election and wants this to go to a convention, that could help him in the long run.
BLITZER: Ana, would it have been possible to keep this deal quiet? Why did they have to publicize it and maybe make it a little bit more awkward and embarrassing, if you will?
NAVARRO: Well, first of all, you know, Wolf, it's very hard to keep secrets in politics. It's very hard to keep secrets in 2016, period, with social media and things being what they are.
I think that they had to make it public, because they have to send a signal to their super PACs. They have to send a signal to their voters. They have to send signals to their supporters. Supporters need to know that, if you want to stop Trump, you've got to vote strategically. You've got to figure out where John Kasich is the strongest and vote for him in that state, even if you may be a Ted Cruz supporter. You've got to do the same for Ted Cruz in the states where he is strongest.
So I think they had no choice. In order for it to be effective, they had to make it public. Voters who want to stop Trump need to understand that this is the only way to do it.
BLITZER: What if it doesn't work, though, Dana? What if Trump wins in Indiana? What happens to the "stop Trump" movement?
BASH: Well, it will make it a lot harder. But I think Ana just hit right on the salient point, which is it's about voters, but also about the super PACs and about the money people. And the people who were giving money to the "stop Trump" super PACs and the forces that were trying to raise money, they were really not feeling like they were getting very far. They were feeling very disillusioned.
By making this alliance public, that sends a signal to people with very, very deep pockets, "We're not done yet. We're still trying very, very hard to stop Trump, and we actually have a strategy to do so."
And I also just want to add that the idea, what Ana said, that it's a partnership, not necessarily that they're -- they're colluding or working together, they've agreed to kind of go their own ways. You know, he's -- Cruz is going to go in Indiana and do his thing in Indiana, and they're not going to spend money in team Kasich there. They're going to focus mostly on, after tomorrow, New Mexico and Oregon.
So, you know, they're not sharing resources allegedly. They're not sharing polling. Some of the things that many people in the "stop Trump" movement wanted them to do: they wanted them to really go in together. My understanding in talking to sources is that they're not doing that.
BLITZER: Donald Trump really going after Kasich for his eating habits, saying it's disgusting the way he eats. You heard him in Rhode Island make that pitch. Your reaction?
BERG: It's a low blow, Wolf. We constantly put politicians in situations where they're having to eat in public. It never looks good. Although Kasich certainly didn't do himself any favors by eating his way across New York in the primary.
But I don't think Kasich is concerned. It makes him look relatable. Who among us haven't pigged out on occasion and, certainly, in New York where the food is great. But it's a pretty funny argument to be making from Trump.
BLITZER: Peter Beinart, you're in New York. Is that the way everybody eats over there? Is that what we're hearing?
BEINART: Yes. I mean, I think if you can't -- you can't lustily enjoy your food in New York, then you don't really express New York values at all, so I didn't really understand the point of this critique, to be honest.
[17:35:04] BLITZER: Guys, stand by. Word coming up...
NAVARRO: Listen, Wolf Blitzer is from -- Wolf Blitzer is from Buffalo, New York, where they invented the buffalo wings. Is there anything that you can lust over more than buffalo wings?
BLITZER: Delicious buffalo wings at the Anchor Bar.
All right, guys, enough with the eating. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: With five crucial states voting tomorrow, Hillary Clinton is counting on boosting her delegate lead over Senator Bernie Sanders. Today she's hardly mentioning the senator at all. Instead, she's heaping scorn on Donald Trump.
[17:40:08] Our national correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, is in Philadelphia for us. That's where Hillary Clinton will hold her rally later tonight.
Suzanne, Clinton may be looking ahead, but Senator Sanders clearly isn't giving up yet, is he?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's certainly not giving up, Wolf. But yes, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton holding live town halls. That is happening later this evening.
And then Bernie Sanders coming here to Drexel University. He is really hoping for a couple of things. He is hoping for the students to come out and participate. Pennsylvania has a large number of colleges and universities, those new voters.
But Hillary Clinton is really seen here as having the home advantage, having family roots here and also, back in 2008, a decisive win against Barack Obama, winning the majority of 60 of the 67 counties in this state.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): Tonight, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are delivering their closing arguments ahead of Tuesday's five-state primary.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With your help, we're going to win here in Connecticut tomorrow.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's have a great primary election tomorrow here in Delaware.
MALVEAUX: But Clinton is already looking past her battle with Sanders, dialing up her criticism of Donald Trump.
CLINTON: I know it's hard, but I know there is no alternative. You have to get up every day and work to try to find that common ground and then bring people together to solve problems, to produce results for Americans and our country.
MALVEAUX: Clinton is casting the GOP front-runner as being out of touch with concerns of everyday Americans.
CLINTON: Don't just fly that big jet in and land it and go make a big speech and insult everybody you can think of, and then go back in on that big jet and go back to, you know, your country clubhouse in Florida or your penthouse in New York.
MALVEAUX: Clinton is also drawing contrasts with Trump in a new television ad, making the case that she's the candidate to unite the country.
CLINTON: America is stronger when we are all supporting one another.
MALVEAUX: Facing an uphill climb in the Democratic primary fight, Sanders is stepping up his attacks on Clinton...
SANDERS: She wants a $12 an hour minimum wage. Not me. I want 15 bucks in 50 states in this country.
MALVEAUX: ... hammering Clinton over her ties to Wall Street and how she's funding her campaign.
SANDERS: I do not represent Wall Street or the billionaire class. Thanks very much. We don't want your damn money. Secretary Clinton has chosen to raise her money a different way.
MALVEAUX: Amid the criticism from Sanders, reports that Clinton's campaign is already thinking about potential vice-presidential running mates, with a lengthy list of contenders appearing in "The New York Times."
CLINTON: I'm just working hard to win on Tuesday.
MALVEAUX: That as Clinton receives some surprise consideration from conservative mega donor Charles Koch. The billionaire saying it's possible Clinton could be better than the Republican nominee.
CHARLES KOCH, CHAIRMAN, KOCH INDUSTRIES: We would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way. Though on some of the Republican candidates, we would -- before we could support them, we'd have to believe their actions will be quite different from the rhetoric we've heard so far.
MALVEAUX: And Hillary Clinton responding, Wolf, in a tweet, saying here she's not interested in endorsements from people who deny climate change and try to make it harder for people to vote.
Several polls showing that she has a double-digit lead here in Pennsylvania, but we are seeing both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders fighting for every single vote. And of course, voter turnout is going to be key tomorrow, Wolf.
BLITZER: They're both working very, very hard. Thank you, Suzanne Malveaux.
In other news, North Korea's Kim Jong-un tries again, and a new missile test is at least partially successful. Up next, the growing U.S. concern he eventually will get it right.
Also, we're getting new details that are emerging now about Prince's last days, including an emergency landing because of a dire problem aboard his private jet.
BLITZER: There is growing alarm over at the Pentagon over the possibility of North Korea's Kim Jong-un launching a devastating surprise attack using missiles fired from submarines. The young dictator was on hand for a test over the weekend, which was at least partially successful.
Let's bring in our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto.
Jim, Kim Jong-un's military seems to be making progress in this very, very sensitive area.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. At a minimum they're learning from each new test but U.S. officials increasingly concerned they're making real progress in capability. One U.S. official telling me that North Korea's sub launch capability has gone from, quote, "a joke to something very serious."
SCIUTTO (voice-over): North Korea's leader personally supervising the launch of his country's first ballistic missile fired from a submarine. Kim Jong-un declared the test a great success. Official photos showing him surrounded by cheering crowds.
U.S. intelligence agencies are still working to assess the launch. But a U.S. official tells CNN it was, quote, "essentially successful." President Obama expressing deepening concern.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Although more often than not they fail in many of these tests, they gain knowledge each time they engage in these tests and we take it very seriously.
SCIUTTO: The submarine launch could represent a victory for the North Korean regime, which has made obtaining sub-launch capability a military priority.
[17:50:08] North Korea had claimed a successful launch last year, but U.S. intelligence concluded Pyongyang had doctored the photos. The evidence? The exhaust flame did not match its reflection in the water.
Following a series of successful missile tests and a nuclear test this year, however, the official position of U.S. intelligence is that North Korea can mount a nuclear warhead on a missile and fire it as far as the U.S. West Coast.
JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I think overall we have to assume -- we have to assume the worst. And when you think about it, the North Koreans in a sense have achieved an objective there because they have created the -- at least the psychology of deterrence.
SCIUTTO: And now the brinksmanship begins. Immediately following the launch North Korea said it would only stop its nuclear testing if the U.S. would stop military exercises with South Korea, currently under way. A concession President Obama quickly dismissed.
OBAMA: They're going to have to do better than that, and until they do, we're going to continue to emphasize our work with the Republic of Korea and Japan and our missile defense mechanisms to assure that we're keeping the American people safe and we're keeping our allies safe.
SCIUTTO: A sub launch capability for the world's newest and least predictable nuclear power poses a number of concerning implications. They are harder to track, they in effect extend the range of North Korean missiles, and they make it very hard for missile defense systems, Wolf, to find and destroy these missiles once they're in the air. There's been a lot of talk, you know, patriot missiles in South Korea. They're talking about deploying the THAAD which is a more advanced system. But if you have that sub, it can move around largely undetected. It's a real danger. BLITZER: Yes. I know. They're really worried about this
development. Thanks very much, Jim Sciutto, for that.
Also coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now, we're getting some new details about the days leading up to Prince's sudden shocking death.
CNN's Brian Todd is keeping track of the investigation for us.
Brian, you're learning more about the medical emergency, what, just days before he was found dead.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have. Wolf. New details tonight of an incident just six days before Prince's death with some eerie similarities to his final hours. His plane had to make an emergency landing when the pop star was unresponsive on board. But tonight authorities are remaining tightlipped about that incident and on other important threads of the investigation.
TODD (voice-over): The superstar who kept so much of his life in private shielded from the public apparently died much the same way, alone, in what investigators are calling an unwitnessed death.
Tonight as investigators are working to piece together the singer's final hours, there are new questions about his final days. Six days before Prince's death, a private jet believed to have the singer on board made an emergency landing at the Quad City's airport in Moline, Illinois. CNN has obtained an audio recording between two controllers and the pilot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the nature of the emergency? What's the nature of the medical condition?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An unresponsive passenger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it a male or a female passenger?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a male passenger.
TODD: Prince was rushed to the hospital after an emergency landing at that airport the same day.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I would want to know who was on the plane, what happened on the plane, what did they see, what did they say, and then when he was taken to the hospital, what happened there, what did the doctors say.
TODD: Prince was later released from the hospital and returned to his home in Minnesota. Just before that incident Prince had performed in Atlanta. He was seen carrying a cane. The pop star had suffered from a bad hip.
Key questions now center around whether Prince had been treated for pain.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you able to confirm whether Prince was taking any medication at the time of his death?
SHERIFF JIM OLSON, CARVER COUNTY, MINNESOTA: I am not able to confirm that at this time at all.
TODD: Friends say if drugs were involved in his death, it would be especially surprising. The 57-year-old was known for his healthy lifestyle, he was vegan, and was not known for partying or drug use. One specialist says patients on strong pain medication, even if healthy, could lapse into unresponsive states from side effects.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It can be slight confusion, especially as somebody adapts to beginning to take it to profound sedation, unresponsiveness and if they're taking it way over the prescribed amount, they can even stop breathing.
TODD: CNN has not confirmed if Prince was on any pain medication and police have remained tightlipped. Meantime, police have also not provided details on another apparent mystery. The 13.5 hour gap between when Prince was last seen alive Wednesday evening and the time he was found unresponsive in an elevator at his 55,000 square foot home and recording studio Paisley Park Thursday morning. The sheriff says Prince was alone for at least part of that period. But CNN analyst Tom Fuentes says that should be corroborated.
FUENTES: Did the residence have cameras? Does it show if anybody came into the residence?
[17:55:01] We have reports that he was dropped off approximately 8:00 p.m. the evening before and went into the residence and that he may have been there alone, but was there any other evidence to show that someone else came to the residence.
TODD: We've reached out to investigators and to Prince's representatives with those questions. So far they have not responded. Kerry Gordy who once helped run Paisley Park has said he believes there were security cameras on the premises but he doesn't remember specifically -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Brian. Thank you.
Coming up, Donald Trump's latest reaction to Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich teaming up. Can they block Trump at the Republican convention?