Crucial Wisconsin Primary Today With Trump Predicting Upset Win Over Poll-Leading Ted Cruz; Kasich Vows To Stay In GOP Race; Clinton &



Over Poll-Leading Ted Cruz; Kasich Vows To Stay In GOP Race; Clinton &

Sanders Set New York Debate; Leaked Panama Papers Implicate Rich And

Powerful; Villanova Tops North Carolina For NCAA Title; Hunt Underway

For Islamic Radicals At Large. Aired 5:30-6a ET>

[05:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Just hours from now the polls open in Wisconsin, a state that could change so much in this election. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could face trouble there.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN ANCHOR: Denials and outrage after leaked documents link world leaders to secret offshore bank accounts. Is this how the super wealthy are hiding billions?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Cristina Alesci.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. It's 30 minutes past the hour right now.

In just a few hours voters in Wisconsin head to the polls and today truly could be a turning point, a day of reckoning for Donald Trump. He is trailing Ted Cruz by as much as 10 points in Wisconsin. Overnight though, a defiant Trump said he's going to pull off a surprise victory.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And everybody said that's the end of Trump. It's over for Trump. You know how many times I've been given the end? I've been given the last rites how many times, like 10? Every week it's the end of Trump, then they walk in. Sir, I don't know what happened but your poll numbers just went through the roof, sir.


BERMAN: CNN politics reporters Sara Murray is with the Trump campaign in Wisconsin. She has the latest.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, John and Cristina. Donald Trump spent his last hours before the Wisconsin primary barnstorming the state. He held three campaign events here yesterday and for Trump it was back to basics.

Coming after a rocky week, he decided to focus his energies on this GOP opponents. He hit Ted Cruz hard in his stops across the state and he also went after John Kasich, calling him to step aside and get out of the race. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: He takes my votes away much more than he does Cruz and I don't like it. I don't think it's right. I don't think it's appropriate. But you know what? If we have to live with him we still beat him easily, OK folks? I mean, OK?


MURRAY: Now, he also brought some reinforcements on the campaign trail here in Milwaukee. He was joined by his wife, Melania Trump.


MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: As you may know by now, when you attack him he will punch back 10 times harder. No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal. He's a fighter, and if you elect him to be your president he will fight for you and for our country.


MURRAY: Back to you, John and Cristina.

ALESCI: All right, joining us now to help break down today's Wisconsin primary and the stakes for both party's candidates, CNN political analyst Josh Rogin. He's a columnist for Bloomberg View. Good morning, Josh.


ALESCI: Now, what exactly are the stakes for the Republicans in this primary?

ROGIN: Right. Well, the stakes in Wisconsin really couldn't be higher. For the Trump campaign they're looking to reverse the narrative over the last two weeks, which has just been terrible for Trump, and they're doing it in probably the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

As we look at the delegate count here we see that Trump has to continue to proceed a pace in order to get to that 1,237 number and avoid a contested convention, but Wisconsin is tough ground for him. We're looking at a Republican primary electorate in Wisconsin that's more affluent, more educated, and more suburban than the national average, and that's all bad for Trump.

In that way, it kind of looks like Iowa which is a state whereas we know Ted Cruz prevailed. It is also like Iowa -- Trump is facing the opposition of a very popular governor so he's really fighting an uphill battle here.

If he's able to prevail in Wisconsin and he's anywhere from five to 10 points down, he will then able to change the narrative heading into a pretty prolonged period of not really any important primaries.The next contests after these that matter are April 19th in New York and then April 26th in Pennsylvania and Maryland and some other states where Trump already has a big advantage.

BERMAN: It's interesting listening to Ted Cruz -- Ted Cruz battling against Donald Trump. He's spending a lot of time on the campaign trail battling this notion that someone else not running right now could ultimately be the Republican nominee at a convention. And with harsher language than I have heard him use to date, he really swatted down that notion. Let's listen to what Ted Cruz said.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, this fevered pipe dream of Washington that at the convention they will parachute in some white knight who will save the Washington establishment -- it is nothing less than a pipedream. It ain't going to happen. If it did the people would, quite rightly, revolt.


BERMAN: Now, the people would revolt. That's somewhat caustic language along the spectrum of which got Donald Trump in trouble right there. But what Ted Cruz is saying if it's not Trump or him then there are going to be real problems.

ROGIN: Right, and Ted Cruz is using some risky language here. But he's responding to a real thing, and that is inside Republican operative circles they are looking for what they call a unity candidate. That if we get to a second, or third, or fourth ballot at the convention in Cleveland, where all or most of the delegates become unbound, the idea here is that you would parachute in.

[05:35:00] If it's not Paul Ryan, who doesn't seem to want to do it, it could be a senior military figure, it could be a Mitt Romney -- somebody who can plausibly claim to lord over both the Trump voters, the Cruz voters, and bring everybody together to head against Hillary Clinton. That's an outside scenario.

What we saw RNC chairman Reince Priebus say over the weekend is that he thinks it will be one of three candidates, meaning it could be Trump, Cruz, or Kasich and, of course, that's the Kasich strategy as well. All of these are scenarios that are yet to play out.

But for Ted Cruz, his calculation is clear. He wants to make sure that first ballot, where only the candidates who have won the majority of delegates in eight or more states, and that will only be him and Trump, really have a chance to get the nomination.

ALESCI: Yes, both Trump and Cruz are calling for Kasich to drop out of the race and Kasich is really showing some signs of getting angry over this request for him to drop out at this stage. Take a listen.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody needs to chill out. I'm in New York. We're going to do well here. I'm going to Pennsylvania. We're excited about that. And we're going to go to an open convention where kids are going to learn a lot more about picking presidents than they do about spending time just on Snapchat.


ALESCI: Just on Snapchat. So what do you make of Kasich's game plan here? What do you think he's going to do?

ROGIN: Well, Kasich -- his only chance here is to get to that contested convention, to get to that second or third ballot, and then to claim that mantle that we were just talking about, about being the unity candidate. And to do so he will claim that, with some evidence, he is in the best position to face Hillary Clinton in a general election.

For Cruz, it's a much more complicated calculation, actually. For months and months we've said that all of the non-Trump candidates really have wasted a lot of their money, and time, and effort attacking each other rather than going after Trump. And for a short period it seems like they had all figured that out and decided to train their fire on Trump.

But now Cruz is caught between his short-term goal, which is to win Wisconsin outright, which is not assured, and that will give him a bunch of delegates and a partial winner-takes-all, partial proportional state versus his long-term goal. And if he was really honest with us and with himself he would know that keeping Kasich in the race really is better for him because it's really the only way to keep Trump from getting to that 1,237 number.

As you look towards the April 19th and April 26th primaries, the Mid- Atlantic states, that's not Cruz territory. He's not going to do really well there. He needs Kasich to stay in to keep Trump from winning all the delegates in those states.

So for right now, he's making the calculation that attacking Kasich is good for him in Wisconsin and that's probably true. But in the long run, everybody knows -- all the insiders know -- a Kasich in the election is better for Cruz than Kasich out of the election.

BERMAN: All right, Josh, quickly, the Democratic race right now. Bernie Sanders says that Hillary Clinton is nervous. Nervous about Wisconsin where she's trailing in the polls and nervous, even here, in her home state of New York where Bernie Sanders says he is making inroads. How nervous is the Clinton campaign?

ROGIN: Well, they don't like what's going on. They've lost five of the last six and it looks like they might get beat, even narrowly, today in Wisconsin. That's a bad message. And, again, because we have so much time between these contests, the longer that message lingers out there the more damage it does to her in the long run, so they have good reason to be nervous.

I think that they're taking solace in the fact that the Republican race is so much more contentious than their race. And they're looking at that April 14th debate, which was so torturous to organize, as really the chance to make sure that the voters know that Hillary Clinton is still ready for primetime, still willing to take on Bernie Sanders as he hangs around.

After the New York primary, if she wins by more than 10 as she's currently projected, I think then, and only then, you'll really see a sigh of relief come from the Clinton campaign in the sense that they'll have amassed enough delegates that they feel that they're safely on the trajectory to win the nomination. And even if Bernie Sanders peels off a couple more states here and there they can rest assured that his late resurgence will not have been enough.

BERMAN: As you say, that April 14th debate, by the way, right here on CNN, so they'll be some excitement there. Josh Rogin, great to see you. Thanks so much.

ROGIN: Always.

ALESCI: Thanks, Josh. Time for an EARLY START on your money. Dow futures are slipping as oil drops, now back below $36 a barrel. Markets in Europe are down as well. Shares in Asia sinking overnight. And let's focus on one big stock.

Apple is about to hit a major milestone, selling its one billionth iPhone. The first device went on sale in June 2007. By the end of 2015, Apple had sold 896 million iPhones and if forecasts are accurate, Apple will hit the one billionth mark in July. But that could come sooner if the sales of the new iPhone, the SE, are stronger than expected. Apple has also sold more iPhones than iPads, MAC's, iPods combined. By itself, the iPhone brought in enough revenue last year to place fifth on the Fortune 500 list.

[05:40:00] BERMAN: I think if you get the one billionth iPhone you should get some Turtle Wax. Sort of like a side prize, in addition. All right, denials and outrage after a huge data leak reveals how world leaders and the super wealthy might allegedly be hiding billions.


[05:44:00] ALESCI: New fallout this morning from the explosive Panama Papers. These are more than 11 million leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm exposing how some of the world's most powerful people allegedly used offshore bank accounts to dodge taxes and hide their wealth.

The prime minister of Iceland is one of 12 current or former political leaders implicated in the documents so far and he's facing mounting pressure to resign.

Let's get the very latest from Nina dos Santos. She joins us from London. Nina, tons of political leaders scrambling to respond this morning.

[05:45:00] NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Broadly speaking, Cristina, they fall into two camps. On the one hand, what the Icelandic prime minister is facing these days is thousands of people hitting the streets in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, demanding his resignation because he, it seems, was directly linked to one of these offshore companies.

He apparently served as a director on the board of an offshore shell company which was actually run and owned by his wife. It was used to house stakes that she owned in the banking sector. And remember that Iceland's banks are not particularly popular these days after they helped to precipitate that country's financial meltdown in 2008.

So you have some leaders who are directly linked to these. Mauricio Macri, the newly-elected president of Argentina, also it seems served as a director on the board of a company that was listed in another tax haven, this time in the Bahamas, against debt by the secretive firm Mossack Fonseca from Panama.

But you also have a whole bunch of other world leaders who -- basically the links there are slightly more tenuous. So we're talking, in particular, about the likes of Vladimir Putin, for instance. His best friend and godfather to his own daughter -- a guy called Sergei Roldugin, who is a cellist and it seems fronted a number of companies that were set up by Mossack Fonseca. And the allegations there are that they helped to fund around about $2 billion through those particular accounts.

And now, other world leaders also found their names coming up in the spotlight, notably Xi Jinping, the president of China. Now this is particularly interesting because Xi Jinping has been trying for years to net corrupt officials. Now it seems, according to the Panama Papers, his own brother-in-law was on the board of an offshore company alongside several other key members of the Chinese Politburo.

I might point out that international organizations, like CNN, are currently seeing their feed over to Chinese television is being blocked at the moment when we report this type of information, so there seems to be a media blackout at the moment in China, precisely as these allegations have emerged.

ALESCI: Nina, I'msure you're going to be busy with those papers for a while now. Thanks for your great reporting.

Now, let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY" with the lovely Michaela Pereira. She joins us now. Michaela, how are you?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": I'm great. Happy Tuesday to you, Cristina. I hope you're well.

All right, a busy day for us here. Voters are going to the polls in Wisconsin today. Crucial primaries on both sides. How different will the Republican race look just 24 hours from now, especially if Ted Cruz wins? And on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders locked in this tight race. We'll speak to both sides of the campaigns and ask them about what they expect to happen.

And what everybody's talking about this morning. The buzzer-beater that tops all buzzer-beaters. Villanova winning the NCAA championship in basketball. A heart-stopping finish. We'll take you live to Houston with morning-after reaction. They'll be some cheers and jeers and all that stuff in between, Cristina. ALESCI: Just a warning, Michaela. Berman is very excited about this story and is heading your way.

PEREIRA: Yes, I've got two of them here today, so --

ALESCI: Good luck with that.

PEREIRA: Thanks.

ALESCI: All right, one of the biggest corporate mergers in history could be at risk thanks to some new rules. We'll get an EARLY START on your money right after the break.


[05:53:00] ALESCI: Time now for the five things you need to know for your "NEW DAY". Number one, primary day in Wisconsin. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in a tight race on the Democratic side, with Ted Cruz holding a 10-point lead over Donald Trump.

Also, more fallout from the leaked Panama Papers. Demonstrators calling for Iceland's prime minister to resign after he was implicated for allegedly hiding assets in an offshore account. Number three, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, invited to meet with Senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley, but he'll not be giving a confirmation hearing.

Lawmakers in Alabama moving to impeach Gov. Robert Bentley over an affair he allegedly had with a top female aide. Bentley is refusing to step down, while asking God for forgiveness. And a win for the ages at the NCAA basketball championship. Kris Jenkins sinking a buzzer- beating 3-pointer to lift Villanova to a thrilling 77-74 victory over North Carolina. And those are the five things you need to know for your early start.

The number of U.S. special operation forces fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria could increase in the coming weeks. That's according to two defense officials, a third telling CNN that discussions are expected to start as early as today at the White House. The goal, to lay the groundwork for local forces to retake both Rocca and Mosul, partly in order to deny access -- a base for ISIS to plan future external attacks.

There's chilling word this morning that a number of Radical Islamists linked to the Paris and Brussels terror attacks are still on the loose and that's raising security concerns throughout Europe. A wide search is now underway in Europe for more than a dozen fugitives wanted in the Paris and Brussels attacks, or already tried in absentia for Jihadist links.

[05:55:00] Let's go live now to Brussels and bring in CNN's Alexandra Field for the very latest. How are those searches going, Alexandra?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well look, Cristina, we know that authorities are looking across Europe to try and root out any members of the network that could be attached to these attacks or to other attacks. So, what you've got in this case is a growing number of people that authorities are looking at.

We know there are at least a dozen people who remain at large who were tried in Jihadist-related cases in absentia in Belgium, so authorities are continuing to look for more than a dozen people. It isn't clear what connection they could have to the Brussels or Paris terror cells.

But there is a smaller group of people who authorities are linking more closely to the Paris and Brussels attacks. We know that they're looking for at least eight people who are believed to have direct connections to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is regarded as the ringleader of the Paris attacks. And also to Salah Abdeslam, who was the outstanding suspect in the Paris attacks who was detained here in Brussels just last month.

So, beyond more than a dozen who they are looking for more widely beyond that circle -- that closer circle of eight, you also have this immediate manhunt which continues here in Brussels for the two outstanding attackers who are believed to have carried out the attacks at the airport and the Metro station.

Remember, there were three suspected attackers at the airport, two who died in the blast, one who authorities are still searching for. Also, at the Metro station, two suspected attackers. One who died in the blast and another person who authorities are also still searching for. No word publicly from authorities on whether or not they've come any closer to identifying who either of those two men are -- Cristina.

ALESCI: All right, thanks Alexandra for your excellent reporting.

Let's get an EARLY START on your money. A global selloff is underway. Dow futures are lower. Oil prices weighing on stocks here in the U.S., slipping back below $36 a barrel, and markets in Europe opening with losses. Shares in Asia tanked overnight after Japan's top banker said interest rates in that country could go even lower into negative territory.

The Treasury Department could be derailing one of the biggest corporate mergers of all time. A major move to stop so-called corporate inversions unveiled yesterday. Remember, inversions are when a company moves its headquarters overseas, in many cases to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Now this move put the $150 billion merger of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and Allergan up in the air. The Treasury Department and the IRS say the goal is to limit inversions and target unfair tax deductions, plus allow audits on certain financial transactions and require new documentation on some kids of debt.

Now, critics say inversions take jobs and dollars overseas, but companies use them to increase profitability and value for shareholders, so definitely a tension there. Shares of Allergan taking a beating, down 20 percent in pre-market trading.

On to politics. A critical primary election today that could shake up the race for president. "NEW DAY" starts now.


TRUMP: We're going to have a very, very big victory. Very, very big.

CRUZ: This is not the time for circus sideshows.

TRUMP: Let me be unpresidential just for a little while longer.

KASICH: I think they're becoming hysterical.

TRUMP: He ought to get the hell out, honestly.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm very confident that I will be the nominee.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the Secretary's getting very nervous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than a dozen suspected Jihadists who officials are now looking for across Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking for a needle in a haystack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Authorities are trying to get their arms around exactly how large this network could be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That shot will go down as one of the best game winners in basketball history.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Alisyn Camerota, and Michaela Pereira.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Was that to win it? North Carolina?

BERMAN: Yes, yes.

CUOMO: What a game last night. We'll talk about it, but there's a lot of news -- a lot of news. Good morning to you. Welcome to your new day. It's Tuesday, April 5th, 6:00 in the east. Alisyn off, J.B. here with Mic and I, and here's what we know.

Wisconsin voters are getting ready to change the race. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton -- big test heading into tonight, but the drama is weighted more toward the GOP side. The big question, can Sen. Ted Cruz change the delegate calculous with a big win? It seems the one thing that Cruz and Trump agree on is that Gov. John Kasich should drop out, but that ain't happening.

BERMAN: No. All right, this as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battle it out in Wisconsin's razor-tight race for the Democratic side. The rivals -- they have agreed to debate next week, ahead of the New York primary. A debate, by the way, that will air right here on CNN. Could Wisconsin, though -- could it spell trouble for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

CNN all over this key primary today.

(Byline: John Berman, Cristina Alesci, Sara Murray, Josh Rogin, Nina dos Santos, Michaela Pereira, Alexandra Field, Chris Cuomo)

(High: Crucial Wisconsin Primary Today, Trump Predicting Upset Win Over Poll-Leading Ted Cruz; Trump Attacks Third-Polling Kasich, "He Takes My Votes More Than Cruz But We Still Beat Him"; Rare Rally Appearance By Trump's Wife, Melania Trump Praises Husband's Fighting Spirit; Cruz Warns of Republican Revolt If Establishment Bring In "White Knight" At Convention; Cruz Calls On Kasich To Quit, Kasich Vows To Stay In GOP Race; Clinton & Sanders Set New York Debate, Will Face Off On April 14; Apple Closes In On 1 Billion iPhones, Analysts Predict It Will Hit Sales Milestone In July; Sen. Grassley To Meet With Merrick Garland, SCOTUS Nominee Will Not Be Granted Confirmation Hearing; Leaked Panama Papers Implicate Rich And Powerful, Documents Expose Tax Havens Allegedly Used By World Leaders; Prime Minister of Iceland Under Fire, Demonstrators Call On Gunnlaugsson To Resign; Fallout Widens From Leaked Panama Paper, Leaders of Argentina, Ukraine, Iceland, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Named; Chinese Blackout Of Panama Papers Story, Chinese Censors Apparently Redacting Stories On Tax Haven Story; Alabama Governor Under Fire, Bentley Facing Impeachment Proceedings Over Alleged Affair; Villanova Tops North Carolina For NCAA Title, Kris Jenkins Sinks 3-Pointer At Buzzer In 77- 74 Wildcat Victory; White House Mulls More Special Ops In Syria, Goal Is To Set Up Local Forces To Retake ISIS-Held Cities; Hunt Underway For Islamic Radicals At Large, Terror Suspects Linked To Brussels And Paris Attacks; Treasury Moves To Stop Inversions, $150 Billion Deal Between Pfizer and Allergan Could Be At Risk.)

(Spec: Elections; Politics; Donald Trump; Ted Cruz; John Kasich; Hillary Clinton; Bernie Sanders; Melania Trump; Apple; Chuck Grassley; Merrick Garland; Panama Papers; Iceland; Sigmundur Davio Gunnlaugsson; China; Robert Bentley; Villanova; NCAA; Kris Jenkins; ISIS; Pfizer; Allergan; Sports; Policies; Government; Business; Corruption; Pharmaceuticals; Business)