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tv   Wolf  CNN  March 25, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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this is cnn breaking news. >> hello, i'm pamela brown. wolf blitz sir on assignment. it's 1:00 here in washington. 6:00 p.m. in brussels, belgium. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you for joining us. we begin with the breaking news. fast-moving developments? the brussels terror attacks investigation. witnesses reported hearing explosions and gunfire as police carried out a major operation in the schaerbeek part of brussels this morning. police arrested at least six people in raids across brussels overnight. in germany, police say they have arrested two suspects linked to the attacks. one man was stopped during a routine check at a train station. and in france, authorities raided an apartment near paris
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overnight. they've arrested a suspect who is said to be in quote the advanced stage of planning a terrorist attack. police say they recovered explosives and a rifle. let's bring in nick paton walsh and clarissa ward in belgium. nick, let's start with you. bring us up to speed. >> reporter: we do know at this point, pam, little about the suspect apart from the mayor talking to state media saying he's related to the brussels attacks on the airport and the metro here. he's in custody and was injured. let me explain the drama. a matter of hours ago, amateur video and witnesses confirm that the man in question was sat just on the other side of this board here in the tram stop on the bench. he was approached by police. two shots were fired. one, we understand, hit him in the leg. we don't know which one. he was wearing a backpack. it appears police were concerned
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about whether he was carrying a device on him. he must have been dragged away from that tram stop, just away from where i'm standing. there is blood, in fact, slightly further down the street. the police move one of their cars across there and took shelter on the other side of it. that dramatic scene playing out here just in matter of hours ago. suns consequently, one of the bags here was checked by police. after those shots were fired, i should point out, there was a third noise. witnesses say it sounded like an explosion. we don't know if that was part of the police operation. e we don't know if it was initiated by the man they then arrested or somehow unconnected. people here deeply on edge. there was a tram that was passing through here. it was stopped just down the street. the number 25, and people taken
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off it. moved away. those trams allowed to leave the area suns consequebsequently. we saw police officers here. i must say, the general public came back quickly. the broken glass from the tram stop still on the floor behind me. as you can see, the trams continuing about their business as normal. part of the challenge for authorities is to collect the evidence they must and then let daily life continue. this, just one of a number of raids happening. the man injured, taken into custody. he must have been a substantial target because of the nature in which police approached him. we have seen video of them obviously deeply concerned, this man wearing a backpack. either a young woman or girl near him during the confrontation. it is not clear his relationship with her or quite what happened during that confrontation.
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deep concerns, always, pam, about how much police know. but we know there are three individuals they're chasing. do they have the full picture? or are they still picking people up one by one? finding out more information as they go. pam? >> absolute flip multiple isis plots are in the works in europe. we have learned from u.s. officials. clarissa, what can you tell us about the raids carried out overnight? >> reporter: there were a series of raids. six people were defand three of them are believed to have now been released. one of the raids taking place in the area where nick paton walsh is in the schaerbeek district. we were there on the scene. we could see forensic experts combing through top floor of a building. looking for evidence. taking swabs, taking samples. obviously floork traces of
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explosives. traces of dna. any identifying factors that can help them on this manhunt. they're look for these two men. we heard about an rest in germany. we're seeing this plot overlapping now into france and also into germany. we heard the man in germany arrested who sounds like he might be most closely related to this plot was stopped on a routine check. he was act us ing suspiciously. they found a text message was sent at 9:08, just three minutes before the metro bombing. in gnthat text was the name ka lead el bakraoui. one of the suspects. we're seeing that the network goes beyond belgium. beyond france even to germany as
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well. so, authorities here very much focused on trying to contain the situation and find, primarily, pam, the two men we know were involved in the airport and metro bombings. but also trying to drill down on the notes of the network as it spreads out across the continent. >> a race against time to do that. nick and clarissa, thank you very much. we're systematically eliminating the isis cabinet. that was when the secretary announced the elimination of al qaduli. isis' null two. >> we have taken out the leader who is in charge of funding. >> our correspondent barbara starr joins us now. you have new information about the u.s. operation that killed him.
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>> we're now just learning from our sources here at cnn that when u.s. special operations forces moved in, this happened in syria, their goal that time was to try to take qaduli alive. they were going try to capture him and interrogate him for whatever intelligence he had. he would have had plenty being the so-called finance minister of isis. we're told something went wrong during that effort. when u.s. helicopters moved in, special operation commandos on board. qaduli was in a vehicle below. something happened. it made them unable to take him alive. some kind of fire fight by all accounts breaking out. when it was all over, qaduli was dead. some of the most dangerous work for u.s. special op rags forces. i mean, just think about it. they're going behind enny lines.
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enemy lines. there are no friendly forces on the ground in syria that would be welcoming to u.s. forces. this was a very high-risk mission. something done by the most highly trained forces in the u.s. military. nobody on the u.s. side killed or injured. the finance minister, qaduli from isis, gone. secretary ash carter says it goes a long way into putting a crimp in their finances. >> barbara starr, at the pentagon, thank you very much. and the killing of isis' finance minister is a significant break through in the war against isis in syria. i want to talk about it with colonel steve warren. thank you for being on with us. >> it's a pleasure to be here.
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thank you. >> first, colonel, i want to get your general reaction to this news about the killing of the man who many consider as the number two in the isis chain of command. how significant is this? >> well, abu imam, what we call him, was their finance minister. he was also an external operations planner. in fact, we know that he was actively planning external attacks presumably in the west or even in the united states. this is a significant strike that we took to kill this enemy. and it follows right on the heels of us killing omar the chechen. abu sashani. their top military leader. we're chipping away at their leadership. and we think that's important. >> i want to talk about the way
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he was killed. or barbara starr said initially, the u.s. wanted to capture him alive. the circumstances changed. they couldn't do that. the way in which he was killed. this kind of operation, tell us about that and how risky it was. >> well, we would always prefer to capture, if possible. we captured abu daoud, who is isis' chemical weapons chief. we were able to get a significant amount of information from him because we captured him alive. our special operators work in the shadows. we don't like to talk in much detail about how they do their business. we prefer this enemy to have to sleep with one eye open. these are terrific commandos that can do extraordinary things around the world. we're seeing that now. >> you can't just take out terrorism in one fell swoop.
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clearly, he's considered a key player. what about the isis leader, because he remains on the loose? abu bakr al baghdadi. does this mean we could be closer the getting al baghdadi? >> we're continuously working to try to get closer to him. he's a slippery character. he's been around for awhile. so he's smart. but we're smart, too. we have lots of resource and capabilities. we're dedicating energy to finding him. he's being hunted. he knows it. eventually, as have all the international terrorists, eventually, we'll find him. our long arms will reach out and get him. that's the most important thing to remember. in the wake of the tragedy in brussels, the paris attacks, the other attacks, it's important not to forget a lot of good men and women are out here putting themselves in harm's way and fighting this enemy. >> i want to ask you. because a year ago, all we
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talked about is how sere ayria intelligence black hole. how does this ability to capture people recently show the change? >> intelligence builds on itself. as you gather it up, it grows larger and larger and larger. now, after a year, year and half of really dedicated work, we're beginning to put the pieces of this puzzle together. you can see the results. you're seen them when we killed their defense ministry. we captured their chemical weapons minister. captured the wife of and killed their oil minister several months ago. so it's beginning to get better. we believe this enemy, isis, is on its heels. they're on the defensive. >> so if isis is defeated in iraq and syria as is the goal, many equated this to cockroaches
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pouring out of an object. how do you contain this threat? >> well, there's -- there's a second piece of this. a homeland defense component to this counterterror mission. this is very important. we're seeing it play out now in europe. and of course, we know that our great first responders and our homeland defenders back in the united states are always on the job. that's really the second piece of the puzzle. bringing together the homeland defense and the law enforcement component to really squish this enemy, this terrorism threat completely out. and so that's what we're counting on them to do. we'll fight them here. we know our first responders will fight them back home. >> colonel, thank you so much. we really appreciate it. >> pam, it's a pleasure. thank you. >> looks like we're losing you there. up next, are all the raids and
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arrests increasing the threat of another attack? and secretary of state john kerry sits down with our own erin burnett and calls what happened in brussels an take on america. we'll be right back. you both have a
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one of the breaking developments in the brussels terror takes is the stunning but long feared news that americans have been killed. at a news conference earlier today, u.s. secretary of state john kerry said quote, the united states is praying and grieving with you for the loved ones of those cruelly taken from us. a u.s. official traveling with kerry confirmed two americans are among the dead. kerry also took a moment the lay a wreath to remember all 31 people who died in the brussels takes. earlier in an interview with erin burnett, kerry talked about the worldwide impact of the terror attacks. >> americans, of course, we now know are dead here. do you consider this an take
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against america? >> whenever americans are killed, of course. >> so you do consider this an take on america. do you think americans were targeted? >> it's an attack on america, europe, civilized people and tons aton countries all around the world. people who weren't here and weren't killed. it's an take on everybody's ability to move freely, to live without fear. and that's what the terrorists want. and that is precisely why we have to continue as we are to go after daesh with full determination to destroy them. i'm confident we're going to. >> you have put out a warning about near-term attacks. and the concern of that. here, they're worried about more cells. more attacks. do you have knowledge of what those attacks might be? >> i don't, personally. i think there are strands of intelligence here and there which we wouldn't talk about publicly any way at this point. but the point is, we know that there are foreign fighters who
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have returned from syria over a span now of about five years. they're in various places in the world. loads of countries. america included, by the way. we have had some 500 americans who have chosen to go to syria and fight with daesh over the last few years. that is the reason for people being individual lanlt and alert. that's the reason for travel advisories and restraints. >> i spoke to the brother of the bombmaker yesterday. he said the family told the bell jans when he went to syria in 2013. the belgians didn't follow up with them. i spoke to a young man yesterday who has 10 to 15 friends in syria. i can go tomorrow if i want to. you can call the police. they don't care. many of the young men's ultimate goal is to attack america. could this kind of thing happen in the u.s.? >> well, it did in san
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bernardino. we saw somebody come back, radicalize, and go on a killing spree. so, everybody understands that any of the foreign fighters who is co have come back still atoochd daesh. many people have left daesh, recognizing it was a lie. that all the things they had been told were lies. some of those people were executed. others managed to get away. they've come back to tell the story of the lie. so, we don't know how many people precisely there are who have filtered their way back in. but, i believe very deeply that as we put additional pressure on daesh in syria, and iraq, it is entirely possible that in some other part of the world, people will lash out out of desperation. >> are you concerned about attacks on american airports? american metro stations? attacks like the ones we have
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seen here. which intelligence says are linked to isis head quarters? a different profile than san bernardino. >> let me put it to you this way. law enforcement and intelligence community, people have to get it right to prevent an take. every minute of every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. if somebody wakes up one morning in their apartment and decides to kill themselves and take people with them, they can most likely find a place on a subway, on a bus in a market, somewhere to do it. unfortunately. so, there's a very -- you know this is a difficult challenge. and frankly, it's quite remarkable that our law enforcement community, intelligence, police, have done as good a job as they have done
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protecting us here -- in america as well as other parts of the world. that doesn't excuse one single event when it happens. everybody's focused on it with the intensity that we see here in belgium right now. but i'm convinced that we are slowly and steadily deteriorating daesh's ability to recruit. it's ability to prosecute. it's neolistic ideology. and over time, we are going to get back to a world where we feel that we can travel with impunity and feel safe. >> and we also know that two dutch citizens living in new york were also killed. they are brother and sister sascha and alexander pinczowski. and emilyizenman's boyfriend, bart migom, was identified
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today. at least 30 people are wounded. many of them still hospitalized. several are americans. here, you see the emotional moment the parents of one of those victims, mormon missionary, mason wells, of utah, got to see their son. he's begun the long road to recovery. it was mason's second brush with death after sur vooifg the boston marathon bombings in 2013. he talked about his harrowing experience. >> they really came out of nowhere. um, they dish wasn't expecting it autoall. i was looking down, a huge blast came from my right. i believe my body was picked off the ground for a moment and -- um -- my ipad that was in my hands. i don't know what happened. it just disappeared. think it might have just hit me in the head when it got blasted out of my hands. my watch on my left hand just disappeared. my left shoe was blown off.
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a large part of the right side of my body got really hot and then really cold and i was covered in -- a lot of fluids, a lot of blood. a lot of -- i -- a lot of that blood wasn't mine either. it took my body about a second, a half a second, to realize it was a bomb that went off. um -- and of course, i'm sure my body was in complete physical shock. i knew that i had been wounded. i didn't know how bad it was. um -- i located an exit. i looked up, i located an exit. i started to run toward the doors we had come in through. i took a couple of steps. about three seconds after the -- three or four seconds after the first blast the second bomb went off. i felt the explosion on my right side. i could feel the blast. i was so lucky. i was so lucky, being how close i was. i saw a lot of people that were injured worse. i heard a lot of people that were injured badly.
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and -- my only thoughts, my only feelings for the people that are out there, i hope that they're doing okay. >> wow. what a brave young man. amazing to see him talk like that after going through all that he's been through. coming up, authorities across europe racing to foil isis plots. the latest on a series of raids. plus, isis' finance minister killed in an operation. was there any connection to the brussels attacks? we'll discuss up next. i think we should've taken a left at the river. tarzan know where tarzan go! tarzan does not know where tarzan go. hey, excuse me, do you know where the waterfall is? waterfall? no, me tarzan, king of jungle. why don't you want to just ask somebody? if you're a couple, you fight over directions. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. oh ohhhhh it's what you do. ohhhhhh! do you have to do that right in my ear?
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u.s. intelligence compiled from electronic intercepts, informants, and evidence gathered in apartment raids suggests multiple isis plots are being planned in europe. why has belgium lowered its terror level? let's bring in kimberly dozier and cnt terrorism analyst paul cruikshank. paul, first to you. at the same time the terror lefrl is being downgraded, there are all these raids happening across europe in belgium, france, germany. let's start with the arrests of the two men in germany. what are you hearing? >> new details from a source. briefed bygerman investigators. there was a key arrest yesterday. man lingering at a train
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station. police thought he looked suspicious. they asked for his identity papers. his pass ports. they saw he was flagged as not being allowed to enter europe. the zone, because he had participated in criminal activities. they examined his cell phone. when they examined his cell phone, they recovered a number of text messages on that cell phone. one of those texts contained the name of the brussels metro bomber, khalid el bakraoui. another one, three miniyou outs before the bombing said in french, fin. which means it ends. german officials don't know if the methro bomber sent it himself. the story doesn't end there,
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pam. they also discovered a hospital bill on this man dated march 18th. for treatment if gen germany fo wound. nay believe he may well have served that wound in a raid in belgium t belgium. their working assumption is that he was in the same safe house on mar march, tuesday of last week when it was raided. the hospital bill dating from march 18th, three days later, in germany. they also recovered a train ticket showing he had recently traveled from brussels to germany. all of this linking him to potentially this cell in brussels, pam. >> peter, all these loose ends we're hearing from paul.
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all these people. they're rounding up. trying to find. some they may not know about. at the same time, the terror level was downgraded. what you to make of that? >> i think it's very puzzling. of all the time to lower to alert, people still in belgium itself, why would you lower it? >> just as the state department is warning americans to take care overseas. we're coming up on the easter holiday weekend. militants like to hit on significant dates in the western calendar. >> i know what is on people's minds today is that this key isis commander was taken out. will that spur more attacks? you broke the news, kim, that he was taken out in the u.s. operation. what can you tell us? >> a special operations raid over the past few days inside syria. the kind of raid quietly going
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on, taking out several members of the network. this man known by haji imam was chief financier. when the pentagon defense secretary ash carter was talking about this morning, he wouldn't say there was a direct link between this man, a known link in terms of his ordering the paris and brussels attack. they know he was key. >> there's some connection, clearly. in term of him being the external operations network. clearly a key play nor ter in ts infrastructure. wh what you do you think the impac this will be on isis cells in europe and the united states? >> they might be impelled to
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act. the fact that the leader of isis was taken out. one individual is not going make a difference. this comes in context of a cumulative number of leaders captured or killed by u.s. forces. arguing against that, al zakari was killed in 2006. look at where al qaeda in iraq and isis is today. if you can take out the network of the middleman ajers, that's the way to destroy an organization. the united states is moving in that direction. this is a large network. >> carter did acknowledge that. he said, look, they can reconstitute. they'll replace the leaders. but, they were touting the fact that in the past month, they've taken out the cabinet. not just this guy. the minister of war. and another fighter who was paying the different fighters on the ground. the ytd is, a la iraq back in
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2006 and 2007 is that the u.s. special op rags network brilds up speed to break them down faster than they can reconstitute. >> put the squeeze on them. thank you so much, kim, paul, and peter. and coming up, the belgian prime minister says he wants to collaborate with the u.s. to fight terror in europe. what does that look like? our panel back in just a minute. thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement? okay, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now, could make a big difference over time. i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it, it helps in the long run. prudential bring your challenges if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
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breaking news just in to cnn. we've just learned about another isis terror attack. this time in a soccer stadium in iraq. at least 25 civilians were killed. more wounded after a person wearing a suicide belt blew himself up among the crowd. this, as we deal with what's happening in brussels. and paris, before that. demonstrating the very real threat posed by hidden isis terror cells. raids like this one in a brus l brussels neighborhood are keeping up the pressure on the groups. how well prepared are the counterterrorism forces in europe? let's bring back our panel, paul
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cruikshank, paul -- peter bergen, and kim lberly dozier. you have people in belgium. it seems as though some -- you know, key warnings were missed before the terror attack especially in the wake of paris. when the country was on such high alert. what do you make of that? what is your take on the idea of the intelligence failures? >> i think it's clear at this point they were intelligence failures. the interior minister offered his resignation yesterday for those failures. taking ministerial responsible. that was refused by the prime minister, charles michel.
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there are two nair tifr there is, coming out from turkey and belgium about what was shared. did the turks really pvide as much as they're saying? i don't think we've got to the bottom of that yet. clearly, there were some failings. and, um, there have also been shortcomings with -- information sharing between the different belgian age sis, as well. that being said, belgium, the police and security services are working around the clock. they have many good people. the reality is, belgium is a small country with limited means. limited technical means. and limited manpower. and it's bearing the brunt of isis' entire international terror campaign right now. so this is a country that needs help from other partner countries and they are very glad that the fbi are helping. they've been working with the
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french. much better cooperation between those two countries in the wake of the paris attacks, pam. >> clearly, coordination is important. what is the solution here? this problem is not going away. and we know that belgium is a hot bed for this kind of activity. what is the solution to prevent further attacks? >> you have to know who the foreign fighters are. if you look at the numbers of europeans who have gone, it's 6900 is the estimate. int interpol has a list of 5,000. if you don't know who the foreign firgts are, you're not going to know who the next person raters are. and so it's about getting countries to share information. what's complicated about that is, you know, in some of these countries this is not necessarily a crime. some countries don't have laws on the books against this. some are reluctant to share information with other countries information thasht own citizens.
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the first solution is to get better information to interpol about who the foreign fighters are. >> someone goes to syria, comes back into the eu zone are they cross-check s cross-checked? my understand is there's nothing in place to try to flag them every time they come back. >> they should be. >> but they're not, right? >> we're never going to know 10%. there are people that have gone that are not known to law enforcement or the host country is not reporting to everybody else. that's really the solution. >> i did speak to u.s. military officials in europe who are part of the isis coalition -- anti-isis coalition. they said they try to gather with u.s. intelligences' help the names of known european citizens fighting on the side of isis in iraq and syria and share those are european countries,
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with europol, with interpol. so they have that name on their radar and watch for them coming back to europe. they could be bombing back to defect from isis. or they could be becoming a sleeper cell. >> these people leave and come back so quickly. they're back before officials even realize they had left in the first place. before you know it, they're plotting attacks. now we snow, kim, there is a connection between the brussels network and the paris network. what does that tell you about isis' growing cape toblt continue to operate even after a big terror attack? >> well, that it's planned ahead well inned a vaps. it probably understood it would be under military strain. to keep recruiting and to maintain its popularity, it had launched these cells long ago, recruiting people from their home country, used to be that sometimes they brought a
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foreigner to syria, they would put them in the front lines and use them as cannon fodder. now it seems they're giving them expertise and saying, go home. you night not need an order from us. use your expertise to carry out violence where you live. >> the people were communicating in different countries. we have a guy in germany just arrested, linked to brussels. it's all over europe. thank you so much, peter, kim, and paul. moments ago, ted cruz escalated his feud with donald trump calling the front-runner a rat. and sleazy. the details up next. and inside jokes and school night. good, clean food pairs well with anything. try the clean pairings menu. at panera. food as it should be. wthat you can book on our apps
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now to the very latest in the knockdown, dragout fight between donald trump and ted cruz. cruz just responded to a salacious tabloid report during a news conference in wisconsin. he's now accusing trump of planting the story. all of this after the back and forth attacks over their wives.
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take a listen. >> the next day, the national enquirer published a story. it is a story that quoted one source on the record, roger stone. donald trump's chief political adviser. let me be clear, this national enquirer story is garbage. it is complete and utter lies. it is a tabloid smear. and it is a smear that has come from donald trump and his henchmen. it is attacking my family. and what is striking is donald's henchman ronald stone had for months been foreshadowing this attack was coming. it's not surprising -- >> ted cruz clearly fired up there. our correspondent covering the cruz campaign joins us from
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oshkosh, wisconsin. the trump/cruz feud doesn't show signs of simmering down. >> reporter: that's right, you can definitely say this feud really went into overdrive today. this was just a remarkable press conference that senator ted cruz just had. very hastily arranged from the cruz campaign, arranged at the last moment. what was really remarkable is it was very clear that senator cruz wanted to address this himself. these tabloid stories. he came out to the podium. an aide placed a small sheet of paper at the podium of some prepared remarks. something i just haven't seen the cruz campaign do before. when cruz transitioned to talking about this tabloid story and these allegations, he looked down at that piece of paper, clearly wanting to get the language right here when he was connecting donald trump to these tabloid allegations, and it was interesting, going forward, i asked senator cruz time after time again, really tried to get -- pin him down on this, if he would, given that he called
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donald trump a rat, someone he has now nicknamed sleazy donald trump, if he would definitively say today yes or no would he support donald trump if trump was the nominee going forward. senator cruz wouldn't say but he inched closer to basically saying no. he said, i do not make a habit of supporting people who attack my wife, pam. >> thank you so much, and this saga will continue, no doubt. this statement just came in from ted cruz posted on his facebook page. it says, quote, the smears are completely false, they're offensive to heidi and me, they're offensive to our daughters and they're offensive to everyone donald continues to personally attack. donald trump's consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow. and, by the way, this tuesday, cnn hospitts the next republican presidential town hall in wisconsin. that's this tuesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern time only on cnn.
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well, that's it for me. wolf is back on monday. and i'll be back at 4:00 p.m. eastern time on "the lead." the news continues right after this, stick around. ♪ you're not gonna watch it! ♪
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here we go, you're live, watching cnn, on this friday. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. let's begin with the intense terror raids and an urgent manhunt. four suspects in belgium. gunfire and explosions continuing to go off in this brussels neighborhood there of schaerbeek. a suspect was wounded during a major police operation. you'll be able to see from this witness video, a bomb disposal robot, there you go, approaching him, and then police drag him from the bus stop. tu is believed to be linked to