-- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON March 27, 2016 and it will be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Ted Cruz blaming Donald Trump for planting a tabloid report. All after a fight about their wives brings the campaign to a new low. Donald Trump responds right here only on This Week.
Of ABC News, it's THIS WEEK. Here now chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, ABC HOST: Good morning.
It's been a week marked by historic firsts. New political lows and yet another terrorist attack in Europe. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 28 civilians and injured 340. This morning, the manhunt for the terrorists behind the attack continues as Europe braces for the possibility of carnage.
And here at home it was another wild week in the race for the White House, the Republican campaign devolving into a series of insults and innuendo between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Donald Trump will join us in a moment, but first a look at the week the race got nastier and even more personal.
KARL: On this Easter weekend, Good Friday was anything but. Ted Cruz lashed out at Donald Trump, blaming him for a National Enquirer story, citing rumors he had engaged in multiple marital infidelities.
CRUZ: Let me be clear, this National Enquirer story is garbage. It is a tabloid smear. And it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.
The tabloid brawl is just the latest in a nasty string of personal attacks between Trump and Cruz, even dragging their wives into the fray.
CRUZ: Donald, you're a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.
Trump later retweeted a photo of their spouses side by side with the caption the images are worth a 1,000 words.
Questions about Trump's attitude towards women have dogged him throughout the campaign.
This anti-Trump ad features women repeating things Donald Trump has actually said.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bimbo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dog.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fat pig.
The fight comes at a crucial moment in the primary campaign with Trump still battling Cruz to lock up enough delegates to win the GOP nomination between the convention. Cruz has repeatedly said he'd support Trump if Trump wins the nomination, but he's not saying that anymore.
CRUZ: I don't make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family.
KARL: And Donald Trump joins me on the phone right now. Mr. Trump, thank you and happy Easter.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK, you too.
KARL: So, I want to get to some policy issues, but first I've got to ask you about this nasty fight that has broken out between you and Ted Cruz. Do you categorically guarantee that nobody on your campaign, nobody tied to your campaign, had anything to do with this National Enquirer story?
TRUMP: Totally. I had nothing to do with it. The campaign had absolutely nothing to do with it. He's got a problem with the National Enquirer. I have no control over the National Enquirer. I didn't even know about the story. I just got it last night. Somebody sent it to me over to read so I could at least see what it said.
I had nothing to do whatsoever with the National Enquirer, and neither did the campaign. And I will tell you for him to try and say that I had to do with it try and put the shoe on the other foot is disgraceful.
And by the way, he's the one that started it. And from what I hear, he and his campaign went out and bought the cover shoot. She did -- Melania did a cover shoot for GQ, a very strong modeling picture. No big deal. But it was a cover shoot for GQ, a big magazine. And it was, you know, fine. And from what I hear somebody bought the rights to it and he was the one or his campaign bought the rights and they gave it to the super PAC.
And just so you understand, that super PAC is very friendly to Ted Cruz. He knew all about it 100 percent. So he started. I didn't start it.
KARL: But let me ask you, this story, this that we see in the National Enquirer, this kind of rumor mongering, should this kind of thing just be off limits? Do you condemn this story?
TRUMP: I don't care. I mean really I don't care. The National Enquirer did a story. It was their story. It wasn't my story. It was about Ted Cruz. I have no idea whether it was right or not. They actually have a very good record of being right. But I have absolutely no idea.
Frankly, I said, I hope it's not right.
KARL: Let's go back to the thing that started this all off. You mentioned, of course, in fairness you did not start this. This started with that super PAC ad featuring Melania. But in response...
TRUMP: And he's very close to the super PAC, just so you understand. And there's no way in a million years that super PAC did that without his absolute knowledge.
Don't forget, I call him Lying Ted. I call him that because nobody that I've known, I've known a lot tougher people over the years in business, but I've never known anybody that lied like Ted Cruz.
KARL: But let me ask you, though, because in response you said in that tweet that you would spill the beans on Heidi Cruz. What did you mean by that? Spill what beans?
TRUMP: Well, there are things about Heidi that I don't want to talk about, but I'm not going to talk about them.
I mean, you know, you can look. But I wouldn't talk about them.
KARL: What really set Cruz off was when you retweeted that photo, that unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz.
TRUMP: Well, it was a retweet that somebody sent to me. And it was a retweet.
Now, look, what he did was far worse. I mean, he takes out a thing and sends it to Utah to the voters of Utah and it was a cover shoot and it was, you know, by a big magazine. She was a very, very successful model, big model, and did lots of shoots and lots of cover shoots. And to send that like it was some kind of bad picture was disgusting to me. I thought it was disgusting.
And they put the, you know, they make me like the bad guy here. I'm just responding to what he does. I respond. I counter punch, but I'm responding to what he does.
But always the press likes to make me the bad guy. He's the one that started it. He knew about the picture. He may have even bought the rights to the picture, meaning his campaign. And the super PAC had it. He's very close to the super PAC. I didn't start this. He did.
KARL: You know, a lot people watch this and they see the way you've responded. And you call yourself a counterpuncher. And it did start with the super PAC, but they wonder, would you act this way as president of the United States? Would you be doing late night Twitter wars with world leaders who insulted you?
TRUMP: It's a new way of communicating. It's very effective. I've been very effective with it. I have between that and Facebook I have like 15 million or 16 million followers. It's a great way of communicating. Now other people don't like it because they have 15 followers. I have between that and Instagram I have probably close to 16 million followers.
And, frankly, it's a great way of communicating as far as I'm concerned. But I'm not going to be doing it very much as president. I will say you know, I will -- I will act in the best interests of our country. I will act to protect our country, whether that's counterpunching or not.
Our country's going to be protected not like it is now, where we have nobody at the helm, where we have nobody protecting the interests of our country, where we're being ripped off by every single nation in the world and we can't even beat ISIS at war.
KARL: Let's turn to the attacks in Brussels. The State Department has issued an extraordinary warning for all of Europe.
Do you think that Europe right now is a safe place for Americans to travel?
TRUMP: Well, I'm the only one that predicted it. I said Brussels is a hellhole and "The New York Times" mocked me and said a couple of months ago, "The New York Times" did a big story about how dare Donald Trump say Brussels is a hellhole --
TRUMP (voice-over): -- how dare they -- and then all of a sudden, it came out, the attack took place in Brussels. I understand what's going on around the world far better than these politicians do.
TRUMP: -- and I have friends that are all over the world. I will tell you, I was -- I was really hit hard by "The New York Times" in an article, how dare I attack Brussels. And now this happened.
And you know, the biggest thing on the Internet, one of the big things on the Internet was that Trump was 100 percent right about Brussels.
KARL: But right now, did you think that Brussels is -- that Europe is a safe place for Americans?
More to the point, would you feel comfortable traveling to Europe right now with your family?
TRUMP: I don't think America is a safe place for Americans, you want to know the truth. I don't think England or -- I don't think that Europe is a safe place. No, I don't. I think there are a lot of problems in Europe that are very, very severe, weak, you know, the -- lots of the free world has become weak. When you look at Brussels, when you look at the way they've handled things from law enforcement standpoints, when you look at Paris, when you look at so many other places, no. It's not.
But neither is the United States a safe place because we're allowing thousands of people to come in here; nobody knows where they're from. Nobody knows who they are. And they're coming in here by the thousands.
And let me tell you something, we're going to have problems just as big or bigger than they've got.
KARL: Now you gave a series of interviews; "The New York Times," ""The Washington Post," on foreign policy. In both of those, you suggested that NATO needs to do more to carry its weight.
I want to ask you about NATO's Article 5 on collective defense, which, of course, goes back to the very beginning of the Cold War.
Is that something that is simply out of date and needs to be maybe done away with?
TRUMP: I think NATO's obsolete. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger, much larger than Russia is today. I'm not saying Russia's not a threat. But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism and NATO doesn’t discuss terrorism, NATO's not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn’t have the right countries in it for terrorism.
And what I'm saying is that we pay, number one, a totally disproportionate share of NATO. We're spending the biggest, the lion share's paid for by us, disproportionate to other countries.
And if you look at the Ukraine, we're the ones always fight on the Ukraine. I never hear any other countries even mentioned and we're fighting constantly. We're talking about Ukraine, get out, do this, do that. And I mean, Ukraine's very far away from us.
How come the countries near the Ukraine, surrounding the Ukraine, how come they're not opening up and they're not at least protesting? I never hear anything from anybody except the United States. What I'm saying is NATO is obsolete. NATO is obsolete and it's extremely expensive to the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO. And it's going to have to be either readjusted to take care of terrorism or we're going to have to set up a new -- a new coalition, a new group of countries to handle terrorism because terrorism is out of control.
KARL: But Ukraine's not a member of NATO. There are no U.S. troops involved in Ukraine.
TRUMP: I'm not saying they're a member. What I'm saying about Ukraine is when we want to protect you -- we're talk -- when Russia's going into Ukraine, we immediately get NATO. I don’t hear from the other countries. I don't hear that having to do with Ukraine. I don't hear from the other countries in NATO. I don't hear from Germany. I don't hear from -- I only hear from the United States. We've got to, you know, do this and we're constantly telling Russia what to do. And it's all fine if everybody partakes.
But I don’t see other people partaking. And then you say why are we paying, Jon? Why are we paying disproportionately the cost of NATO? We're paying a tremendous amount more than we should be from the standpoint of proportion.
So I look at that. I look at the fact that it was a long time ago. You know, there's nothing wrong with saying that a concept was good. But now it's obsolete or now it's outmoded. Now it can be trimmed up and it can be -- it can be reconfigured and you can call it NATO but it's got to be changed.
I mean, this thing was done many decades ago. And there's nothing wrong with saying it's obsolete. But it is obsolete.
And by the way, I took a lot of heat for saying that. And now everyone's agreeing with me. I mean, I'm reading -- I'm reading pages of media where now people are agreeing with me. I always take heat. I mean, I listen to somebody this morning on one of your competing channels, talking about "The Washington Post." I gave a very good interview to "The Washington Post."
And frankly, I thought it was very good. You know, it's very interesting. Everybody was knocking on NATO, like they do usually when I talk about -- when I talk about illegal immigration. I went -- I went through hell with illegal immigration. Now everyone's saying Trump is right.
When I talked about the problems that we have with trade, now they're all saying Trump is right. Same thing with NATO. When I did that two days, I took abuse from the media, falsely.
Now people are saying many, many people are saying, you know, Trump is right. He's absolutely right about NATO.
KARL: So let me ask you, you said that Islam is at war with us. A lot of people wonder, given some of your proposals, whether or not you would go the next step towards internment camps. And I know you've never proposed that. But let me just ask you here now, would you categorically rule out the idea of internment camps for American Muslims?
Is that something --
TRUMP: -- rule it out but we would have to be very vigilant. We're going to have to be very smart. We're going to have to be very rigid and very vigilant. And if we're not very, very strong and very, very smart, we have a big, big problem coming up. We've already had the problem. Check out the World Trade Center, OK, check out the Pentagon. We've already had the problem. But I would -- I would say you have to be extremely strong. You have to keep your eyes open.
And by the way, Muslims in our country have to report bad acts, OK? When you look at what happened in Europe, in Brussels, where many, many people knew this thug from last week, was living right in the midst of them, right only a few doors down from where he was living previously, they knew he was there. Nobody reported him.
KARL: OK. So let me ask you about a petition you may have seen that is gaining strength now, with more than 30,000 signatures, that is calling on the Republican National Committee to allow delegates at the convention in Cleveland to exercise their Second Amendment rights by carrying guns to the convention.
They have put this petition there, calling on presidential candidates like you, to, quote, "call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena unconditional gun-free zone."
So let me ask you, what do you think?
Should delegates to the Republican convention be allowed to bring guns?
TRUMP: I haven't seen the petition at all. You're -- I'm hearing it now for the first time. I will certainly take a look at it and I'll let you know. But I have not seen the petition.
KARL: So you're open to the idea of -- of...
TRUMP: I have -- I have not seen the petition. I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print. I have to see what it says. I'm a very, very strong person for Second Amendment. I think very few people are stronger. And I have to see the petition.
But I'm not going to comment to you when I haven't seen it. Just give me a few words.
KARL: OK, because you -- you are a -- as you said, probably the biggest critic of gun-free zones of any of the candidates. Uh, but as you said, very strong on the Second Amendment.
Forget the petition, what do you think of this idea of having delegates be able to carry guns, exercise their Second Amendment right -- right there...
TRUMP: I don't want to forget the petition. I don't want to -- I don't want to forget the petition, because you're talking about a petition. I will take a look at it.
It's the first I hear about it -- of it, and frankly, you know, nobody is stronger on the Second Amendment than me.
But I would like to take a look at it.
KARL: OK. Now, you're getting closer and closer to getting the delegates you need to clinch the nomination. But look at what happened in Louisiana. You won the state of Louisiana. But it looks like Ted Cruz is coming out of there with more delegates, maybe as many as 10 more delegates. And he's getting them on the key committees that will write the rules for the Republican convention.
Is Ted Cruz trying to steal this nomination from you?
TRUMP: Well, it tells you what a crooked system we have and what a rotten political system we have. And frankly, I'm so -- I'm millions of votes more than -- I have millions of votes more than "Lying Ted." I have millions -- millions of votes more.
I have many, many delegates more. I've won areas. And he's trying to steal things because that's the way Ted works, OK. Uh, the system is a broken system. The Republican tabulation system is a broken system. It's not fair.
I have so many millions of votes more. I've brought people into this party by the millions. You understand that. They voted by the millions more. It's one of the biggest stories in all of politics.
And what do I have?
I have a guy going around trying to steal people's delegates. This is supposed to be America, a free America. This is supposed to be a system of votes where you go out, you have elections, free elections, not elections where I won.
I won Louisiana and now I hear he's trying to steal delegates. You know, welcome to, uh, the Republican Party.
What's going on in the Republican Party is a disgrace. I have so many more votes and so many more delegates. And, frankly, whoever at the end, whoever has the most votes and the most delegates should be the nominee. And I will beat Hillary Clinton. I haven't even started on Hillary Clinton yet. I haven't even -- I only had one little skirmish with her about two months ago and she didn't come out so well.
I haven't even started on Hillary Clinton yet. I'm only focused on the two people I have left.
KARL: All right, Donald Trump, thank you so much for joining us on this Easter Sunday.
Before you go, let me just ask you, uh, what does this holiday -- what does Easter mean to you?
What's the Trump family Easter tradition?
TRUMP: Well, it really means something very special. I'm going to church in an hour from now and it's going to be -- it's a beautiful church. I'm in Florida.
And it's just a very special time for me. And it really represents family and get-together and -- and something, you know, if you're a -- a Christian, it's just a very important day.
KARL: All right, Donald Trump, thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
KARL: And we should note, we also invited Secretary Clinton and Senator Cruz to appear on the program, either in person or over the phone.
Both declined. And we look forward to having them on soon.
And now let's bring on the powerhouse roundtable for some instant analysis of what we just heard from Donald Trump.
Bill Kristol, editor of "The Weekly Standard"; Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University professor and author of "The Black Presidency"; Mary Kissel, editorial board member of "The Wall Street Journal"; and LZ Granderson, senior writer at ESPN.
Uh, so, Bill, I want to talk to you -- start with a raft of polling we saw this week that is just disastrous for the Republican Party. If you look at the general election match-up, which Donald Trump just spoke about, he loses hugely to Hillary Clinton.
But look at Ted Cruz. He also loses by almost 10 points. The only candidate who is ahead of Hillary Clinton in that general election match-up is the one candidate, John Kasich, who has no chance of winning the nomination, or apparently doesn't.
What's going on with the party?
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, Donald Trump -- the reason Donald Trump, at the very end of your interview, raised out of nowhere this thing, I can beat Hillary Clinton, is because I think it's beginning to hurt him among Republican primary voters.
On February 1st, the day of Iowa, Trump trailed Clinton in a bunch of polls, if you averaged them, by about 3 points. Now he trails by 11 points.
What's happened in those two months to Hillary Clinton's campaign and Donald Trump's campaign?
The voters -- voters who matter, that is, except Trump's base of 38 percent or so of the Republican electorate, the voters you need to win a general election, are not being won over by Donald Trump, they're being alienated and turned off by Donald Trump.
He's probably hurting the other Republicans a little bit now. But even in the average right now, Ted Cruz loses to Hillary Clinton by 3 or 4 points. That's at least a competitive race.
John Kasich does best against Hillary Clinton.
So the gap between Trump and the -- and the normal Republican running against Clinton is very great. And nominating Donald Trump elections Hillary Clinton. I really believe that.
KARL: But Mary, do you think that he can be out-hustled here at the end?
I mean you saw him. Those were strong words, uh, talking about how Cruz wants to steal delegates, this is a disgrace, rotten political system...
MARY KISSEL, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": I thought he...
KISSEL: -- in some respects, that was kind of a misleading question, because there were rules set up and the candidates are following the rules. What Donald Trump is trying to do and what he tried to do in that interview and others is to set up new rules, to say, well, if I get a plurality, then I just deserve to win the nomination. That's not how it works.
Jonathan, you know, you also said Kasich has no chance of winning the nomination. You don't know that...
KARL: -- according to the rules, he would, because...
KARL: -- under the current rules, you have to...
KISSEL: Right. But...
KARL: -- have over 40 delegates and eight states.
KISSEL: -- but we don't know if Trump...
KISSEL: -- we don't know if Trump is going to get to that 1,237. We don't know if Cruz will. Clearly, it's a -- it's a very uphill battle for Ted Cruz right now.
But, you know, Utah may be the canary in the coal mine here. The poll out in Utah that said -- which is the most Republican state in the country -- that said that those voters would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump.
Ted Cruz seems to be polling even with Trump in Wisconsin. Cruz may not do so well in New York. We just don't know yet. But you have to...
KARL: Do you think...
KISSEL: -- this process play out.
KARL: -- do you think he can still win this nomination?
KISSEL: The -- he can't win 1,237. But if it gets to a convention, we don't know what would happen.
KARL: LZ, what do you make of this watching it?
LZ GRANDERSON, ESPN & CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I -- I've been saying this for a couple of months now, and that is, I believe what the Republican Party needs to do is go ahead and bite the bullet for 2016 and not hitch their wagon to Donald Trump and just say we're going to lose 2016, let's clean ourselves up and re-focus on 2020, because as you saw, no matter who wins the nomination, it looks as if they're going to lose to Hillary Clinton.
The focus now needs to be on who can we start grooming today to defeat her in 2020 so she's a one term president, not a two term president.
KARL: Michael, I've talked to Republicans, I hear are concerned that this could be shaping up as such a blowout on the presidential level that they could be in danger of losing the Senate, put the House in jeopardy. And they are also worried even about the state -- the statehouse races down the ballot.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Yes.
KARL: What -- what's your sense?
How much of an opportunity do Democrats, uh, see here?
DYSON: Well, it's a -- to coin the phrase of one Republican nominee, it's huge. And -- and the reality is...
DYSON: -- she's ahead, that is, Hillary Clinton, from 11 to 18 points depending on who you poll. She's ahead in the 10 critical states, the swing states that are very important, those that were won by 7 points by candidates in 2012, she's ahead. She's ahead by those who were won by 7 to 19 -- 7 to 12 points.
So the point is that it's a pretty, uh, powerful recommendation that Hillary Clinton is a dominant figure.
But on the other hand, I think the Republican Party has some more soul-searching to do here because to blame Donald Trump as the scapegoat is one thing. To see that this is the outgrowth of some incredible consternation from within. And you just had a kind of -- what was it -- a reflection of the Republican Party under Reince Priebus, who says, look, we've got to do an examination here and we've got to reach out to minority people. We've got to broaden the tent under which we gather the people, the rubric of the Republican Party and the brand has to be recast.
Oh, it's been recast all right.
DYSON: They didn't think that what was going to happen is that Trump was going to trump the whole game. And as a result of that, the Republican Party sees its worst nightmares realized and its fantasies denied.
KARL: All right. We're just getting started with the roundtable, much more with them coming up.
And later the manhunt widens in the Brussels terror attacks. We're live on the ground in Europe with analysis from our experts about what went wrong and whether it could happen here at home.
But first, we're one-on-one with Bernie Sanders after he trounced Hillary Clinton in three states last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (INAUDIBLE). Don't let anybody, don’t let anybody tell you we can't win the nomination or win the general election. We're going to do both of those --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: And that was Bernie Sanders, declaring victory last night in a rally in Wisconsin. The senator won three landslide victories last night out West in Washington State. He had a decisive nearly 50-point win in Alaska. The margin was even bigger. He scored over 80 percent of the vote and in Hawaii, another blowout.
But Sanders remains far behind in the total delegate count, trailing Hillary Clinton by over 700 delegates. Senator Sanders joins me right now.
Senator Sanders, congratulations. That was a big night.
SANDERS: Thank you very much.
KARL: So you’ve won big out there in those three states. You’re still way behind in the delegate count.
But does that -- what does this mean for the race?
Does this mean you are absolutely --
SANDERS: Well --
KARL: -- going through to the --
SANDERS: -- what it -- Jonathan, what it means is we won three landslides last night. We've won six out of seven contests in the last 11 days. We’ve cut Secretary Clinton’s lead by a third during that period of time.
A national poll just came out that had us 1 point ahead of Secretary Clinton, when we started 60 points behind. And every national and state poll that I have seen, virtually every one, has us defeating Donald Trump. CNN had us defeating him by 20 points.
Clearly we have the momentum. And I think, at the end of the day, we’re going to end up with more pledged delegates than Secretary Clinton.
And then I think the super delegates are going to have make a very difficult decision and that is, if a candidate wins in a state by 40 or 50 points, who are you going to give your vote to?
And, second of all, which candidate is better positioned to defeat Trump or any of the other Republican candidates?
I think a lot of the super delegates are going to conclude that it’s Bernie Sanders.
KARL: But you still need 73 percent of the delegates going forward, which is a huge --
SANDERS: No, we don’t. No, no, no.
KARL: Well --
SANDERS: No, I don’t accept that. That is not the case. You’re assuming that every super delegate who now supports Secretary Clinton will stay with her. You’re not taking into consideration the fact there are hundreds of delegates, super delegates, who have not yet made a decision. We think we can win many of them.
And what we showed yesterday is, in fact, the momentum is with us; we think we’re going to do well in Wisconsin. We think we got a real shot in New York. And then we go out to California. You go out to Oregon. That’s the most progressive part of America. We think we’re going to do very well there.
So I will not deny for one second that we still remain the underdogs, but we have come a long, long way, you will have to concede, in the last 10 months. We do have a path toward victory.
KARL: There were Democrats saying it’s time for you to lay off Senator Clinton -- Secretary Clinton, keep this positive now, stop the attacks on her Wall Street ties, her super PAC, all of that.
Are you going to start laying off or are you going to, you know, put the pedal to the metal here?
SANDERS: We’ve just won six out of the last seven contests; we have the momentum. We won three landslide victories yesterday. And the reason we’re doing well is that we are talking about the real issues facing the American people. And campaign finance is one of them.
We have raised now 6 million individual campaign contributions averaging 27 bucks apiece. That’s unprecedented in American political history. Secretary Clinton has super PACs; she has raised some $15 million at least from Wall Street, money from the fossil fuel industry and the drug companies.
Do I think the American people need to know?
That, is that an important issue?
I think it is. Our vote’s on the wall: I voted against the war in Iraq. She voted for the war in Iraq. That’s an important issue. I am opposed to continuation of fracking. She supports fracking. Those are important issues. That’s what a campaign is about.
I do not run negative ads, but clearly contrasting my position with Secretary Clinton’s is what a campaign is supposed to be about.
KARL: So you said in an interview this week that she -- suggested she may not be liberal enough to be in your cabinet.
So let me ask you now, after these wins, is she liberal enough to be your running mate?
Would you consider her?
SANDERS: That’s speculation. Hillary Clinton is a person who has enormous -- I have enormous respect for, has a very distinguished career. We're not into speculation right now.
The reason, Jonathan, we are doing so well is we are talking about not speculation, the issues impacting the American middle class, grotesque levels of income and wealth inequality, the decline of the American middle class, the fact that millions of kids are graduating college deeply in debt, the reality that climate change is a global crisis that we have got to deal with and have to take on the fossil fuel industry.
Those are the issues that I’m dealing with, not speculating at this point who my vice presidential nominee would be.
KARL: So Senator Sanders, we saw a situation this week where an ISIS leader was taken out by American ground troops, special forces on the ground in Syria. You are firmly opposed to boots on the ground.
Was that something that raised concerns for you?
SANDERS: No, what I have -- no, that’s not quite accurate.
What I have said is, in general, I support what President Obama is doing. Of course I am opposed to the United States getting involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East.
I think what the president is trying to do is to destroy ISIS, putting together the kind of coalition that we need. The Muslim troops have got to do the hard work. The United States should have special forces there. We should be there for air support and air attacks; we should be training the troops.
And the good news, as you know, is that ISIS now, militarily, in a significant way, is in retreat. And they are losing some 30, 40 percent of the ground that they have controlled in Iraq over the last year. We’ve got to keep that up. And obviously we’ve got to do everything we can to prevent a terrorist attack against us or our allies.
KARL: All right, Senator Sanders, thank you for joining us.
SANDERS: Thank you, Jonathan.
KARL: Coming up, the breaking developments in the Brussels attacks with new arrests and new charges. We’ll bring you the very latest on the investigation.
KARL: Up next, what investigators may have missed in the days ahead of the Brussels attack and what it means about the threat here at home.
KARL: This was the scene in Italy just hours ago, an alleged accomplice of the Brussels attackers was arrested in the city of Salerno. It's the latest development in the fast moving investigation into the Brussels attacks.
Three have been charged in Belgium, including possibly one of the bombers. And Europe is on edge as tens of thousands gather in Vatican City for the pope's Easter message of peace.
Joining me now with more, ABC News's Matt Gutman in Rome, our Alexander Marquardt in Brussels, and here at home from Dartmouth College, former State Department counterterorrism coordinator, ambassador Daniel Benjamin.
Alex, let me start with you, what do we know about these charges handed down in Brussels?
ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jon, the most serious charges have been brought against a man named Faisal C. He's in custody. Belgian authorities don't give out last names. We've identified him as Faisal Cheffou. He has been charged with terrorist murder in connection with Tuesday's attacks.
But is he one of the unidentified suspects? There are two of them. The man in the hat from the airport? Or another man who was seen with the suicide bomber at the metro station. And what we know this morning from police is that Cheffou had been detained in the past for trying to recruit refugees for jihad.
KARL: And Alex, it's becoming clear there is direct link between the attacks in Brussels and the attacks that we saw back in November in Paris.
MARQUARDT: That's right. There are several links. In fact, the strongest is that terrorist -- the suicide bomber on the left side of that picture from the airport. His name is Najim Laachraoui. His DNA was found at the airport as well as on explosives in Paris. He's believed to be the Paris bomb maker. His DNA was also found in safe houses where the Paris attackers were here in Belgium.
KARL: And Daniel, we just heard from the Belgian interior minister saying that there was neglect, neglect that lead to security lapses in Belgium. This seems like a dramatic understatement when you consider they had the alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks in prison. And they failed to question him apparently about the threat in Brussels. And they ignored a series of warnings about these alleged attackers.
DANIEL BENJAMIN, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: I think that there will be serious political consequences to be paid here. But I'm afraid that Belgium has been way behind the curve in terms of taking the jihadist threat seriously.
For many years now, it was a subject of great concern in the U.S. government. And unfortunately Belgium is not the only country in Europe that needs to get up to speed.
KARL: Are they there yet? Is there any reason for the people of Belgium, for the people in Europe to have confidence that officials are going to get this problem under control?
BENJAMIN: Well, I think the political pressure will be enormous, but at the same time you can't go from zero to 120 in a matter of weeks. It takes time to staff up, to, you know, learn new practices, to improve intelligence collection, surveillance and the like.
So it could be -- it could be a bumpy ride for some time.
KARL: Matt, what's keeping Europeans up at night now?
What are they most concerned about?
What's the threat that most worries them?
MATT GUTMAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's the conventional that we become accustomed to, just overnight the U.S. Department of State issuing a threat for Turkey, saying that ISIS may be plotting attacks against churches, synagogues, diplomatic missions during Easter.
And then there's this unconventional threat. Daniel mentioned it, that the Belgians simply don’t seem prepared. That's this doomsday threat of somehow ISIS obtaining radioactive material or somehow sabotaging a nuclear installation, multiple European countries already warning about that and on Thursday, a security guard at a nuclear plant in Belgium was murdered. His ID badge was taken.
On Friday, the next day, four employees at another plant had their IDs stripped of them. A Belgian official has warned publicly that he's concerned ISIS could attack via drones their nuclear installations.
So that is the biggest threat right now -- Jon.
KARL: And what's your sense?
You've been there among the tens of thousands of faithful in the Vatican for the pope's mass.
Are people on edge even there?
GUTMAN: Oh, this country is still under its maximum alert, so people have been on edge although today obviously went very smoothly. But there are 3,000 extra police officers on the streets. There have been snipers on the rooftops here. Rings of security around St. Peter's Square today. I mean, if there is ever a soft target in Europe, it's St. Peter's, the heart of Catholicism during Easter Sunday.
So that threat seems to have passed for now. But the Italians say that they monitor 1,000 tourist sites across the city. And yesterday I got to meet with the commander of the nerve center of the Italian state police here. I said what worries you most? Is there one site that most concerns you?
He said all of them -- Jon.
KARL: So, Alex, we saw the second in command of ISIS was taken out by U.S. special forces in Syria. There have been other progress; we hear U.S. officials talking about progress in the battle against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.
What impact is that having on the threat in Europe?
MARQUARDT: Well, the main fear now isn't necessarily a direct tit-for-tat retaliation because of that American strike the other day. The growing fear is that fallout from what's happening in Iraq and Syria.
Just this morning we saw the ancient city of Palmyra that ISIS had controlled since May retaken by Syrian and Hezbollah forces among their other allies. We spent time with Syrian and Hezbollah forces earlier this month. They're very confident in this fight.
At the same time, ISIS is being pounded by the U.S.-led coalition. So the growing fear is that many of those thousands of ISIS fighters who are over there could come home. And at the same time, those who have been radicalized here in Europe could think twice about going over there and instead focus on carrying out attacks here in Europe.
KARL: And Daniel, what's your sense of how that threat is in Europe compared to the threat here at home in the United States?
BENJAMIN: Jonathan, so three points. One is that as we mentioned before, the security environment isn't nearly as good as it should be and the Europeans really need to increase their game, up their game in terms of coordination between different national intelligence services.
Two is that the pressure on ISIS in Syria and Iraq raises the premium on attacks in Europe because ISIS needs to show that it is still in the game, that it's going to -- can still cause damage, that it can still score against its enemies.
And then the third thing is that, of course, Europe has a much larger problem with radicalization in the United States. Its Muslim minorities tend to be more isolated, poorer, more alienated, less integrated and as a result that has led to significantly more people turning to ISIS, to its ideology and to embracing violence.
So Europe has a real challenge ahead of it.
KARL: All right, Daniel, Alex, Matt, thank you.
Coming up, we're back with the powerhouse roundtable, looking ahead to the general election and that possible Trump-Hillary matchup.
Plus tango and terrorism: the controversy over President Obama's trip to Latin America and his reaction to the Brussels attacks.
KARL: And we're back with the powerhouse roundtable now.
Michael, let me ask you, we just heard from Ted Cruz this morning, talking about that "National Inquirer" story as "extreme made-up lies."
Is Hillary Clinton ready for the kind of attacks that she would face against Donald Trump in the general election?
DYSON: As a woman and as a female leading candidate, the sexism to which she has been subjected is pretty astonishing for our lack of remark of pundits. So to answer the question briefly, yes.
KARL: She hasn’t faced anything like Donald Trump.
DYSON: Oh, well, look, there's no question about that. But the nation hasn’t faced anything like Donald Trump. So what will happen there, I think, is that she's not only -- she gird up her loins, so to speak, but what will happen is that people will see just how devastatingly inaccurate many of Donald Trump's claims are, number one.
And then, number two, with the kind of blowback from the established Republican Party, alongside decency and humanity that will be claimed, I think Donald Trump will have a hard time of it.
KARL: But LZ, Republicans have tried -- I mean, it took them a while to get started with it --
KARL: -- but they have tried almost everything against Trump and every attack seems to backfire.
How does Hillary take him on?
GRANDERSON: She takes him on by staying true to what she's been doing with Bernie Sanders, which is try to stay focusing on the issues.
But I can't think of -- and maybe my memory isn't that great -- but I can't think of any major political figure who has been under so much scrutiny for decades upon decades.
I mean, this is someone who's been in the public spotlight for like 30 years. And she's still standing. So I don't -- I don’t worry about her with Donald Trump as long as she stays true to the things that she's been talking about for those past 30 years.
KARL: Can I ask you something, Mary?
So you --
KISSEL: Well, you are the host.
KARL: Yes. So let me try this.
Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump: what do people like you do going into the voting booth?
KARL: You know, people who read "The Wall Street Journal" and it's (INAUDIBLE) kind of traditional mainstream Republicans, what do they do in that --
KISSEL: You mean pro-growth, pro-reform Republicans -- ?
KARL: What do they do -- ?
KISSEL: -- first of all, Donald Trump is not the nominee yet. He's the weakest GOP front-runner since Gerald Ford in 1976. He loses by miles. We talked about it before, the general election to both Hillary Clinton and to Bernie Sanders.
What would we do?
Well, we analyze every candidate based on their policies.
Look, you just had a report on Brussels. Donald Trump's policy to fight the war on terror is effectively the same as President Obama's. He's advocating nation building at home and isolationism abroad.
So that's the kind of analysis we would do were he the candidate.
KARL: OK, let me try with you.
KARL: Bill, do you vote for Hillary Clinton?
KRISTOL: No. I don't vote for Hillary Clinton and I don’t vote for Donald Trump. I think we can deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination. If we fail to, we deserve to have a better choice than Clinton or Trump. Really, it's a terrible choice for the country. There are plenty of decent people who could run as independent Republicans and I think they could do pretty well.
And incidentally we do --
KARL: -- already for Clinton and Trump the nominee and could he take on Clinton?
Buying Trump some talking points?
Trump could be a --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, these guys want Trump to be the -- the face of the Republican Party...
KRISTOL: I don't want Donald Trump to be the face of the Republican Party.
DYSON: When Donald Trump was buffeting Barack Obama, when he was calling him a -- as a birther, an illegitimate American, yes, there were some Republicans...
DYSON: -- who stood on the gap, so to speak.
But there were millions more who conceded to the legitimacy of that point and now the Republican Party gets what it deserves, in that sense of the inability to put a barrier against itself and Donald Trump.
And look -- look at "The Washington Post" interview. The vast reaches of un-sagacity that are revealed there...
DYSON: -- versus -- versus Hillary Clinton, whose keen intelligence and whose political...
KRISTOL: -- give me a break.
KISSEL: I'm sorry, I...
KISSEL: I'm sorry, I've got to...
KARL: I've got to...
GRANDERSON: I just want to say and it's -- first of all, I -- I'm not like a -- a Hillary Clinton surrogate. There are no paychecks coming to my account because of Donald Trump or her or anything like that.
My point is, as an American first, it is embarrassing to me that this is someone who could represent a major party in...
KISSEL: Oh, OK...
KISSEL: -- OK...
KISSEL: I'm sorry...
KISSEL: I'm sorry...
KRISTOL: Good, I'm glad.
KRISTOL: I'm glad.
KISSEL: Let's just...
KISSEL: -- let's just spend a little time looking at the left hand side of politics. Hillary Clinton, she voted for the Iran deal, $150 billion to a state sponsor of terrorism. Hillary Clinton supported pulling troops out of Iraq that led to the rise of ISIS. Hillary Clinton, who said nothing when the Iranians got out onto the streets calling for their own freedoms.
Hillary Clinton, who said nothing, uh, and did very little when China started pushing out into the South China Sea. Hillary Clinton is linked to the Obama presidency. Donald Trump and everything surrounding him is preventing us from...
KRISTOL: Well, let's...
KISSEL: -- talking about that record and the last seven years. That's what's so terrible about...
DYSON: Let's talk about that record, though.
KISSEL: -- Trump.
DYSON: Let's talk about the record in this sense, that what -- what -- the things that you named there, what Hillary Clinton has done as the secretary of State is understood her role as an arbiter of an American will that is not artificially or arbitrarily imposed, but creates a kind of dialogue.
What people find problematic about President Obama is that he will not carry a big stick. He will not have the bluster of a Donald Trump.
It is intelligent diplomacy in the service of American ideals. And ultimately, at the end of the day, what you didn't mention was the police brutality issues that are here in America. What you didn't mention...
KISSEL: That's a different story.
DYSON: -- what you -- wait a minute...
KISSEL: And it was a...
DYSON: -- what you didn't mention...
KISSEL: -- nothing...
KISSEL: -- nothing that I mentioned...
DYSON: What you didn't mention...
DYSON: -- was the ability of -- of -- of Barack Obama to at least speak intelligently to the issues of domestic division that Donald Trump has now exploited to -- to no end.
And the Republican Party has to pay the price for that.
KARL: OK. All right, we're out of time.
KARL: Next up, the fight to get homeless vets off the streets, after this from our ABC stations.
KARL: In our Sunday Spotlight this morning, a look at the fight to end veteran homelessness.
This winter, I met up with Tony Jones, back when he was one of the more than 47,000 veterans in America living on the streets.
But as the Obama administration and advocy -- advocacy groups around the country push hard to get homeless veterans back on their feet, we are happy to report that Tony's life has taken a dramatic turn for the better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony, what's going on, man?
How have you been, brother?
KARL (voice-over): For Tony Jones, life just keeps getting better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, man. Look at you. You're looking good.
TONY JONES: Yes.
KARL: It was three months ago when we first met up with Tony, a veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry. He had been living on the streets of Washington, DC for years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever think you'd end up like this, homeless?
JONES: No. Not in million years.
JONES: Not in a million years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, this is (INAUDIBLE).
KARL: But that was Tony's last day of living in a makeshift tent.
JONES: Please, come in (INAUDIBLE).
KARL: Before the day was over, he moved into an apartment paid for by a Veterans Administration voucher.
JONES: I feel like James Brown. I feel good, wow!
KARL (on camera): This looks a little different than the last time I was hanging out with you.
JONES: Yes, I'm living large now, you know. I'm living large.
KARL (voice-over): With some help from friends and Miriam's Kitchen, the outreach organization that helped him get this apartment, Tony has been able to furnish it, stock his kitchen...
JONES: I've got a whole bunch of different seasonings and stuff like that.
KARL (on camera): Look -- look at the spice racks going on.
JONES: Yes. Yes.
KARL (voice-over): Get hearing aids for the loss he suffered in the Army.
JONES: Oh, man that -- that's a whole new world, man.
JONES: These things are -- are great.
KARL (voice-over): Reconnect with family.
(on camera): So you saw your brother?
JONES: Yes, I saw my brother. I saw my oldest brother and I've been talking to my other brothers, too. I even spoke to my sister.
KARL (voice-over): And he's gotten steady work as a bicycle courier for a local law firm.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's a hard worker. He -- we didn't know he could handle this, because he would never let you know. He's a proud man, always there -- here, we give him a call, he'd run for whatever, works doing what he can to keep himself going.
KARL: Local homeless activists make a monthly trip to the offices of the DC government, where they withdraw little green Army men from a large bucket, each toy soldier representing one homeless veteran living on the streets of Washington, DC.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ninety-four and 95.
KARL: This week, they counted out 95 more that have been placed in permanent housing since we met Tony last December.
(on camera): You've set a very audacious goal to end homelessness for veterans in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to reach that goal. It's in -- in the past two and a half years, we've housed 1,500 veterans in Washington, DC and we expect that we will be able to end veteran homelessness by the end of this year.
JONES: Pamela, you need to get in here.
KARL (voice-over): Back at Tony's place, surrounded by friends, his smile relays the pride that comes from having a home.
(on camera): Up on the hill, man. Love it.
JONES: Yes. On top of the world.
KARL: Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Washington.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KARL: And a very happy sort of Tony.
And that's all for us today.
Thank you for sharing part of your Easter Sunday with us.
We'll see you back here next week.