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tv   The Place for Politics 2016  MSNBC  March 26, 2016 4:00am-5:01am PDT

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what they want -- more box. any words for the critics? what can i say? critties gonna neg. [ applause ] the what?! [ laughs ] >> good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. developments in belgium overnight. we will take you live there in just a moment. ahead, politics and a bitter feud between ted cruz and donald trump escalating into late yesterday with an ongoing back and forth. the latest coming up. for the democrats, it is a big day, three key contests out west and beyond, voters begin going to the polls today, with more than 150 delegates at stake. and an interesting moment during a bernie sander's speech late last night. you will hear how the candidate reacted to an unexpected visitor
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on stage. first, let's get to the latest news on the investigation into the bombings in brussels. new word from president obama on tuesday's terrorist attacks in belgium. >> this week our hearts are with the people of belgium. his terrorist attacks claimed the lives of more than 30 people. yesterday we learned at least two americans were killed. we prayed for their families and loved ones. at least 14 americans were injured. we pray for tearful recovery. along with everyone else affected by these attacks. >> meanwhile the manhunt intensified as a series of raids in belgium and paris have been carried out. nearly a dozen people have been detained. french officials say they uncovered an ad advanced plan for new attack. they said this morning the airport will now not reopen for
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passenger flights before march 29th. 11 of the victims died from a blast there tuesday. 20 died from the explosion on the metro. a belgian official said salah abdeslam, who was arrested in brussels last friday, stopped cooperating with belgian officials after this week's bombings. >> let's go right to brussels. bill, good morning to you. what do we know about the search for the suspect? who exactly are they looking for? >> yes, good morning, alex, well the police are still questioning at least half a dozen people, including three men they arrested yesterday. one of those men was shot in the leg by counterterrorism police. we really don't know what connection exactly any of these men has to the brussels bombing. in fact, we think the three men were arrested to a man in connection. >> that is in connection with a whole new plot.
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the french government said. we know, however, one man detained a week ago, salah abdeslam, directly implicated in the paris attacks isn't cooperating any more. meanwhile, here the injured are still clinging to life in hospital. 61 people still in critical condition. more than 100 others in the hospital from so many countries, it's an agonizing wait. because very few have been identified. there is something here in belgium the victim unit. there are nearly seven, there are now 30 of them. they are finding it very, very hard to identify the victims from the airport, but especially from the metro bombing. remember, they may have been at the airport. all of a sudden no passenger manifest. they were on a train, so there
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is no list of the dead to work against them, you can only imagine in the metro what the scale of the mutilation of the poid was, so for families, it really is a terriblying a fiezing wait. we are learning some of the names, many, many of the people at the airport were on tear way to new york, including a couple who have delayed their honeymoon, including a former belgian ambassador to the u.s. as you heard, president obama said at least two americans dead, and perhaps 14 injured. so, this is a city this weekend. it's meant to be easter celebration. not much air of celebration here, of course, the pope and an easter message has condemned the killings here in brussels, calming them, that they profane the name of god. so this is a city still in mourning. you can see behind me the vigil, the candles, the flowers, and a city still bracing for the possibility of more attacks. alex. >> and to that last point, bill,
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how high is a concern there could be more attacks in the near future? >> reporter: well the french president francois hollande spoke directly, alex to this yesterday. he said he was confident that the jihadi network was being slowly eliminated in university. he says, of course, that doesn't mean that there are other individual cells ready to strike and as if to underline that isis released two new propaganda videos. one of them involving two belgians who directly threatened the country again. they said, this is just the beginning. so people know to be on their guard here. >> i'm going to ask you to stand by. we have more from isis in just a moment. right now, litsz bring in steve clemens, walk editor at large large for the atlantic. steve was, affect the, in belgium on his way to the airport when those attacks took place. with the welcome, given all that we've learned these last few days since the attacks. what is the take away about the
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capabilities of isis? >> the take aways don't underestimate them. there is a hub and spoke modem isis has where they're able to export their terrorism to cities around the world and particularly in europe from rajka and other places and they have quite sophisticated terror networks that are thrive income hostile under surveillance environment. so it's something that people need to be serious and not overreact to. it's a major issue. i think it will continue to unfold. >> well, in terms of taking it seriously, they were themming the bbc, there were concerns about 5,000 that have gone to fight. some of whom who have come back to europe. in terms of a likelihood o another attack, can you put that in perspective? >> i ha it to say i. i almost see it as a probability, as a certainty, there will be attacks of some kind in other european cities, what we see if brus ems
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is -- in brussels, certain individuals, warnings from the united states, warnings from others, we learned we didn't ask salah abdeslam about future attacks, after they had apprehended him last friday. so it's, you know, i think europe has upgraded its intelligence and police capacity so far. but it still has a keystone cops kind of feel that the terrorists are able to outrun them and to take advantage of miscommunication and lack of action in some of the under surveillance and police authorities in europe. >> yeah. as you know, steve the u.s. concerned yesterday a high ranking, isis official is killed in a special raid that happened in syria on thursday. secretary of state john kerry yesterday said the u.s. strategy is effective. let's listen to part of what he said. >> as the dragnet begins to close in and various places
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around the world, unfortunately, we pay see some lone wolf attacks. but as a whole, dash is being decimated, the leadership is being eliminated from the battlefield. their revenues are being taken away and they are under enormous pressure. >> so leadership being decimated, revenues being taken away is one thing. but how do you think taking out the isis leaders affects tear operations on the ground? >> i think isis has been very resilient and able to replace its leadership rather rapidly t. emir of finance the person we took out apparently this last week was a very important player who understood essentially the global operation the distribution was able to be the system's integrator of the economic foot print of isis. i assume and i think many people think that taking out that
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person puts a real crimp in the process of what i said. they are able to recruit and show a real resillents. most whether it's the taliban or al qaeda, have shown an ability to methodically go through and elevation process after one of their leaders are killed. so while we're making progress, we shouldn't be seduced into thinking that that translates into a neat and easy win. it doesn't. because they got people they have been cultivating at lower level ranks they can bring up. >> steve clemens, as always, particularly good so see you. nbc's bill neely, we have been discussing the terror group second in command, bill, can you put perspective on how big a victory this is? >> reporter: yeah, just to pick up from steve clemens' point, there was a survey that come out from one group this week that estimated there were 30,000 foreign fighters for isis in
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syria and antibiotic. he mentioned europepol police agency estimated 5,000 fighters are from europe. if we think of this a war, one being in syria and iraq and the other being in europe. the more isis is squeezed in syria and iraq, some of those people then filter through and come back to europe and go inthe fight again here in europe. it is thought, for example, in belgium, 500 fighters com i came back here, of whom 100 are considered to be hard core isis. there is another battlefield. it's in iraq and syria. it's what the u.s. is calling a major break through t. killing of the man called the isis second in command. >> he had been a terror leader for more than a decade. targeted be i the u.s. with a $7 million price tag as a second if
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command of isis, until u.s. special forces caught up with him. >> we are systematically eliminating isil's cabinet. indeed, the u.s. military killed several key isil terrorists this week, including, we believe, haji iman. >> they tell nbc news it was yesterday in syria when american special forces landed in helicopters and laid in wait for his car. they tried to take him alive, they say. amid gunfire they killed him and three others. >> that is extremely significant. he was the money guy and, thus, his death will hamper the funding for syrian operations if iraq and syria. >> reporter: the isis commander also directed some foreign operation, but it's not clear his killing will stop atrocities like those here in brussels. isis, though, is losing ground as well as men.
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syrian troops retakeing more. at a u.s. drone killing another leader. >> it suggests the united states has very good intelligence of what's happening on the ground. >> reporter: isis boasts about its attack in brussels in a new propaganda video. the u.s. believes momentum is against it in iraq and syria. so there is little question this killing is another blow to the moral off isis. the u.s. says killing its leaders is necessary. it's not sufficient to kill off isis, itself. isis the organization. and the real danger, alex, is that isis will seek revenge, either here in brussels or paris or in the u.s. >> frightening concept. thank you, bill. kasich and cruz plan to join forces to stop trump. but is one of them now backing down and is that a mistake? down and is that a mistake? that discussion coming up.
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>> when he's scared, when he's losing, his first and natural resort is to go to sleaze and to slime. one question americans are wondering all over this country is how low will donald go? is there any level to which he is unwilling to stoop? >> that was ted cruz charging back at a national enquirer story he had extra marital affairs with several pim women. donald trump said i have no idea whether the cover story about ted cruz in this week's issue of the national enquirer is true or not. trump also took to twitter and retweeted a supporter's tweet reading, lying ted blames real don dominican republic for so many things, i am starting to think he is having a mental
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health crisis. with the exception of bernie sanders, donald trump and the other presidential candidates are taking a break from the campaign trail this easter weekend. democrats and republicans will hold primaries in wisconsin less than two weeks from now. the outcome could be another turning point for both parties. and an emerson college poll shows wisconsin in play. clinton leads sanders by 6 points. ted cruz and donald trump are in a virtual tie. today the only contest are democratic caucuses? hawaii and walk. 20 delegates up for grabs in alaska. 118 in walk. meanwhile, a unique encounter in portland, oregon, is seeing a little remedy to the campaign cycle. >> now you see, this little bird doesn't know it. [ cheers
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[ cheers ] >> you see this tweeting birdie sanders for president. halle jackson, with a good morning, let's talk about these as much as i hate to, the cruz affair rumors. what do you know about the origin here? >> reporter: here's the emdo, ted cruz coming out, taking really his toughest tone yet against donald trump. cruz is slamming him for what cruz calls resorting to sleaze and slime now. the other important thing, this is now ma we are seeing, cruz distancing himself if trump were to become the republican nominee. arguing it's tabloid crash, a furious ted cruz is firing back at the national enquirer, denying his story claiming he had extra par tam affairs. >> let me be clear this national enquirer story is garbage. it is complete and utter lies. it is a tabloid smear and it is
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a smear that has come from donald trump and his henchmen. >> reporter: trump, who has been endorsed by the enquirer and wrote an op ed in its statement, said i had absolutely nothing to do with the story, adding, he also has nothing to do with the paper. again, calling truz. lyin' ted. >> with this pattern, he should not be surprised to see people calling him sleazy donald. >> reporter: all of it spilling over to a tense exchange on live tv between a trump supporter and a cruz backer. >> where we should move to is the national enquirer story that has reported that ted cruz has allegedly had affairs with at least five mistresss, including you have been named, amanda. >> what's out there is tabloid trash. if someone wants to comment on it. they can contact my lawyer. it is categorically false. >> another woman, a former cruz allie and trump spokesperson tweeting, of course the national
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enquirerstory is 100% false. a part of a republican race getting downright personal after trump this week retweeted this photo of heidi cruz next to melania trump. the caption the images are worth a thousand words. yes or no, will you vote for him? >> i don't make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family. and donald trump is not going to be the republican nominee. >> all of this remember, happening against the backdrop of the primaries here in wisconsin just over a week away, this state shaping up to be a major battleground, alex, polling sewing cruz if striking zansz of donald trump. >> okay. halle jackson, always asking the great questions. you are going for those an answers, thank you very much. >> author of the 2014 biography hrc, hey, good to see you, welcome. >> good morning, alex. >> let's get right to cruz.
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we mentioned he called this garbage, trump denies it. how damaging, though, might this back and forth be for both of them, who do you think might be damaged the most? >> right now, we are talking about whether or not ted cruz had a series of affairs and whether or not this story is true, whether or not donald trump or his allies are planning things in the national enquirer. the entire conversation is something hurtful to ted cruz and helpful to donald trump in terms of seizing that, i don't mean to pick on that. that is the entire political conversation today. yesterday, and i assume the next several days going forward. i imagine sunday's shows will be full. so donald trump is against a narrative and puts his opponent on the defensive and even if he didn't put that national enquirer story together, even if his allies weren't the ones that planned it. donald trump fueled that fire yesterday, tweeting about it being a cover story.
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talking about how he hadn't read it as yet, piqueing the interest of the people or keeping the story lean. >> he know what is he is doing there. but this feud between these two men, how does it end? >> i guess it ends with somebody as the nominee and somebody's very angry. you know, i'm not sure if there is a way yet still for republicans to prevent donald trump winning the tom nation. obviously, they can do that through delegate math on the way to the cleveland convention. >> i want to ask you about that, specifically, because cruz is also john kasich woes chief strategist called cruz disinjen wis from stopping trump a. cruz spokesperson says it is a mathematical impossibility for them to win. we are focused on our campaign and getting the delegates.
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john kasich has no path to win outright or at convention. all he is doing is serving as a spoiler for donald trump. and as you know, one of the states that kasich is banking on, hoping cruz will back off is pennsylvania t. latest poll, you see kasich three points behind trump. so is cruz making the mistake by not working with kasich? >> i'm not sure they aren't working together. even if they're not working in cahoots to the extent that has been reported, they are certainly in need of each other's pep help in concern e zen places, if they want to get to an open convention. ted cruz thinks he can beat donald trump outright. what is going on is messaging to his own people at the potential trump supporters that might come to cruz atsome point which is to ahe is not trying to foil donald trump by playing with the rules of the game, playing on the sidelines of the game, he'd rather actually beat him
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straight up. that's what's going on with the cruz campaign coming out so strongly they are working with kasich. in order for him to win it will probably be by a democratic convention. >> today caucuses in walk, what's going to happen? >> i think the likelihood is bernie sanders will win the mo jaert of the delegates out of these three contests today. they were all set up well t. clinton campaign has not been talking a whole are lot about these states. they've done a good job playing other elections. it's possible. this is, should be a good day for bernie sanders. he should be able to come out saying he is closer than he was going in. >> okay. a good day talking to you. thank you so much. >> always good to see you. >> thank you. an american man who lives in belgium during the terrorist attacks and two others shares his story. >> i actually saw fire in front of my face and on the ground around me. i know that the burns came from
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that. my body was kind of lifted off the ground during the first blast, it was very loud. >> coming up, how his faith is playing a role in his recovery. volkswagen believes safety is very important so all eleven models come standard with an intelligent crash response system... hmm..... .....and seven stability-enhancing systems... hmm... ...for more confidence... on road trips. hmmfff... hmm... for those who take safety seriously. like we do. the volkswagen safety in numbers event... hurry in and get a $1,000 volkswagen reward card when you purchase or lease select new 2015 or 2016 volkswagen models. you're an at&t small business expert? sure am. my staff could use your help staying in touch with customers. at&t can help you stay connected. am i seeing double? no ma'am. our at&t 'buy one get one free' makes it easier for your staff to send appointment reminders to your customers... ...and share promotions on social media? you know it! now i'm seeing dollar signs. you should probably get your eyes checked. good one babe. optometry humor. right now get up to $650 in
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can help your company grow at ♪ >> one of a dozen americans injured in tuesday's belgium attack was 19-year-old mason wells. he was at the airport waiting to return home after a two-year missionary trip. wells spoke with matt lauer how his faith is helping him get through this experience. >> i have lived my entire life, they have done a lot to fortify my faith. i had some really personal experience, even, you know, sitting on the ground outside the airport where i felt the love for me. it's something i would never deny. and my only thoughts are that if, you know, god, he can
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comfort someone like me that went through those plasts, i know that he's there for everyone. and, you know, i would just hope that the families of those tarp injured, also those that were injured can feel the prayers for others. i feel very lucky to have made it out with the injuries that i had being so close. i hope those other families and other injured know as many people that care about them and they're wishing them the best. >> that young man was also at the boston marathon when it was bombed in 2013 and in farris this past november when the french exam was attacked. still ahead the back and forth between trump and cruz are getting personal. who benefits from these types of exchanges. allergies with nasal congestion?
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>> welcome back, everyone, i'm alex witt here at headquarters in new york t. place for politics. let's get a clip of the political headlines. later today, democrats will hold caucuses. meanwhile, democrats like the republicans are also looking ahead at wisconsin if less than two weeks. hillary clinton will swing through the state starting monday. donald trump and john kasich will also be in wisconsin next week. as the race heats up in both parties, there is a new milestone, usa today is reporting fundraising passed the $1 million mark. it includes money from the candidates and the super pacs at the end of february. this is a far cry when they had
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missed the point a former rand paul campaign adviser and national security council director and msnbc political analyst. welcome to you, these new allegations about ted cruz' infidelity this ugly back and forth all woke with trump and his wife. who benefits from this? >> reporter: well, actually, i think that donald trump at the end of the day amazingly so benefits. i think that this has been a total debacle the way the anti-trump movement has operated and handled this specific ad. what did we really think was going to happen when melania trump was attacked. donald trump is clearly going to respond. who i have a lot of sympathy for is poor heidi cruz who is just being put through the microscope in a way that she shouldn't be in a completely unfair way by donald trump, which is the nasty unstashtd attacks. and it really is just horrible
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the way this whole movement has played out. >> yaechlt let's get to these personalized attacks. how diengt will impact wisconsin, less tan ten days away the latest polling has trump and cruz a point apart. statistic ally, they're tied up? >> reporter: i really don't know that this specific cat fight is going to help either one that much. i think the affair allegations on cruz are absolutely baseless and it does, it's just trump playing it up. it is a mistake, i think, it probably isn't going to -- people don't expect much from trump in terms of morality. i don't expect it to impact him one way or the other. over the next week, what we have to watch is how these candidates continue to hold up under scrutiny for policy views, especially for terrorism in the after math of the horrific attacks in belgium. >> do you think the use of that
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old melania gq picture. org family, was na out of bounds? >> reporter: you know, it had been on the internet so long. she took the photos willingly. she was i hope compensated well for them. she was beautiful in the photos, what what the face. i have not seen the full disclosure. but you know i do think it probably was within the boundaries of what could be done, that is where i think the super pac went wrong. we come to expect these nasty ads. you say support this other candidate. that nastiness usually backfires on the cruz campaign. so i do think that was tactic ally a huge mistake. >> what about john kasich's huge strategist, as you know, tweeting up a storm, saying the kasich camp had been working with the cruz campaign to deny donald trump the delegate lead
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and backed out on its promise. what does the say to you,? is this a bet of a desperate move on kasich's part? >> reporter: well, i think we need to take john weaver's tweets with a grain of salt. clearly, he's established his main objective. we are talking about his choice, his strategy. so from that perspective, i think weaver has been incredibly successful. just because he can put out there whatever he wants. the cruz campaign probably won't want to respond to this in any extended a person, if at all. i think weaver has been successful in that way. what the cruz campaign wants is for weave tore drop out. is for kasich to drop out. clearly that is something as his chief strategist, john weaver is going to fight with every inch he has. >> all right. thank you so much. di spite all controversy -- despite all the controversy, donald trump has remained fairly consistent. so far this month, trump is
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averaging a 55% in a gallop daily tracking pom, down 6 percentage points from january. but going back to judgment, trump has averaged a 57% favorably rating. who ill the republican fight still remains in doubt, a larry sabados has trump wing all three, with a win in wisconsin t. crystal ball predicting it will pass through 1239 delegates. you know the numbers. that's two more than feed. >> when we rise to a challenge, we show america how it's done. . >> who you love? >> i am fighting for you. >> the onslaught of political ads is good busy for tv stations. a0parent atly not for car -- apparently not for car dealers. they make up a quarter of the tv news, at the height of campaigns, because of that, other advertisers are squeezed
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out, post-running 30 to 40% fewer ads during the news t. car dealers are driven out with swift 50% fewer ads than usual. could what have happened in brussels, what u.s. officials can learn from the tragedy in belgium.
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. we're back with new developments in the after attacks in brussels. airports say they won't reopen for passenger flights until at least tuesday. that's where two suicide bombers blew themself up earlier this week. as easter weekend begins, a massive manhunt intensifiesful several people were arrested yesterday during a large police operation targeting a number of neighborhoods across brussels. nbc's keir simmons is joining us with all that. good day to you. how many people do we believe remain at large? >> good morning. we are just hearing about a new police operation, neighbors,
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witnesses, saying they see police operation in brussels. no confirmation yet. apparently according to witnesses, it is a large operation. meanwhile, as you mentioned, they have overtook to open the airport days after the attack. then they said it will reopen sunday. now it won't be until tuesday. today, heavily armed police on the streets of brussels, with continuing fears of another attack. here in belgium, a day of drama. nine arrests in 24 hours. french president hollande saying we are in the process of annihilating the terrorist cells t. threat still weighs on us. many far from reassured this morning. >> it's still kind of a nervous actually. because all the police force and the military being on the streets, it's not that reassuring. >> it must feel very strange. especially at the petro.
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>> armed police help a little girl escape a suspected terrorists, witnesses say to the woman hostage, where police approached him on the street. he is lying oh, shot in the leg, a bomb disposal robot gets a closer look, before finally, the suspect is dragged away. he took a hostage and laid on top of herch she was with a little girl. nerves in a city on edge, singer ma ryeia carey cancelled a concert scheduled for tomorrow night. tweeting, i love my fans in brussels, and at this time i am being advised to tan kel my show. for the safety of my fans, my crew and everyone. i send my prayers of eternal love. officials now confirming a link on a concert hall in paris, where california band eagles of death medal were playing. and the attacks if brussels. the airport suicide bomber, dna found on a suicide belt after the paris attacks.
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a terror network, stretching across europe. >> and there are now increasing questions about the police investigation. salah abdeslam, who was under arrest, we are now told by officials who is no longer cooperating with police. get this alex, there are reports here that after the attacks here if brussels the police and emergency services communication systems failed. they had to talk to each other via -- >> we have not heard that before. that is very interesting. okay. thank you so much from brussels. >> let's bring in msnbc contributor john berrelli. welcome to you. first of all, we heard from kir simmons the fact that there may have been a communication failure. that's a big fail. >> that's a big fame t. communications are so important when you have these operations in. unfortunately, sometimes,
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though, that's one of the first thing to go down the calm. at least they did have a backup. i'm sure they will be listening into why that happened. >> let's talk about the raids carried out by belgian and french police yesterday. officials say a suspect they arrested there was in the advanced stage of planning an attack. so how serious overall would you put the threat to europe right now? >> i think it's extremely serious. we saw arrests if france and germany. there has been a number of plots identified if and around europe. the number of people in europe to syria and iraq and they received the training and traveled back. right now the european forces or security services are trying to get their hands around that. >> i'm curious.
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it seems in the wake of a tragedy like this it's when we hear about all te arests. it's as if everybody goes into hyperdrive. they look for terrorists and make progress s. that the case? is it sort of a pendulum? does it sw inc. that way or are there things happening between these horrible attacks we don't hear that much about? >> yes, there are a lot of things happening between the attack, but how much is being done and how many people are working on this? i mean, the resources of the belgians and the french are stressed. it takes a lot of people and a lot of resources and time to put together a robust and intelligence gathering network. what you will see after the attacks is you will get a lot of information quickly. because there is physical evidence. there is witnesses. there is cameras. there is a lot of information and data points that can be checked and then from there, you will go out and execute on these
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various safe houses and interview people. so you will see a lot of activity immediately in the after math. then it will show down a bit. because you got to take that information and start analyzing it and bestoke it into what's important and what's not. you may see a second wave then of raids and arrests and so forth. but this is fairly typical. >> is there a tipping point, something you can say this is where you go with an arrest? how do we do that in the u.s. without violating the several rights of individuals? >> this is the challenging part. have you to have the framework. if some ways, we had advantages over security services in university. you always look to get as much information you can so you can have a good criminal case and a natural disposition at the end of the arrest. sometimes you don't have that, you always have to err on the side of public safety. sometimes you have to go in with the information you have and disrupt the plot, eastern few
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may not have an air tight legal case. >> okay. don borelli, thank you. a suicide bomb in robb, ira. at least 71 people were wounded. islamic state militants were said to take responsibility for this blast. what would a contested republican convention look like? one insider has written exactly about that. the title of his book "chaos." i'll talk to him about that next. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line.
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>> here's how it works. in the first round most delegates are bound to vote for the represent they represent. and more and more delegates become free agents to pick whoever that it want. get this, the party's delegates get to create additional rules one week before the convention. there's nothing to stop them from making it easy for a new name to be added to the mix. >> joining me now john yob, author of "chaos, an outsider's. thank you for joining me. your book appropriately titled. we listened to what peter alexander explained. we've learned with nbc news that the trump campaign has assembled a seem of operatives. they're trying to already manage the prospect of a contested convention. they've got 40 days between the end of the primaries on june 7 and the beginning of that convention in july. can this work? >> well, i would give this
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campaign credit for building the team that's necessary for the battle that lies ahead. after a hick couple with get out the vote and fixed that in the months to follow and contests to follow. and now they've put together a first class team. >> what about the possibility of a new name? what's the likelihood of that? we should say peter alexander reported that, the wisconswisco governor scott walker says he thinks it's likely if there's an open convention? >> it's highly possible. rule 40-b could be clarified or removed by the convention rules committee prior to the convention. obviously the candidate who goes in with the most is likely to emerge as the winner. but the state convention contest to take place across the country really starting right now will determine who has control of that critical rules committee and critical credentials committee and the candidate who wins those contests will have a leg up in the contested convention. >> the rule 45 requires a gop
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candidate to win eight states there. you've also written that there are critical states that determine the winner on the convention floor. which ones? >> well, the free agent states are north dakota, colorado, wyoming, americans samoa, guam, and the virgin islands. they can do whatever they want. both as it routes to 40-b and the first ballot of the convention. >> i know you've written don't add your name to the list of people who thinks donald trump's nomination would be a bad thing for the gop. can you explain that? >> well, i think he's done a good job in bringing in new people to the party. you've had voter turnout beating the democrats in states such as michigan the 120,000 of more who voted republican in the michigan primary in this cycle than voted democrat. that's a substantial number in a state that usually goes democrat in a general election contest. so he's bringing a lot of new people in the party and he's
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able to win contests across the country. i don't -- go ahead. >> look, having said that, john, there's a new gallop poll that shows republicans are souring on the way the election process is working. look at january, the number was 46% of confidence there. it's 30% now. so is there long-term damage that a contested convention could do to the republican party? >> well, certainly i think a contested convention makes it somewhat more difficult for republicans to win the general election. historically it hasn't made it impossible. there's been times when we've won. abraham lincoln in 1960. so i don't think a contested convention makes it impossible for republicans to win the general election. but it makes it slightly more difficult. >> okay. john yob, thank you so much for joining me. i appreciate that. next up, my colleague ayman mohyeldin is in brussels. what the police are doing to search for more potential conspirators.
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good morning. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. at this hour, the battle for the white house turns to democrats with three caucuses today, wash state, alaska, and hawaii will gather. hillary clinton enters the day with a delegate lead of more than 700 over bernie sanders. and the escalating feud between donald trump and ted cruz is getting nastier and looking more like a story out of the tabloids. coming up, how this political fight has become so personal. also this hour we're following the latest developments on the investigation into the brussel terror attacks and new word from president obama this morning about those attacks. he spoke about it in today's weekly addres


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