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Trump Tweets about Fake Media; Trump Mocks Dems; White House Transparency; Pence Visits DMZ; United Airlines Policy Change; Trump Family's First Easter Egg Roll. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 17, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:32:38] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, the theme of Easter is rebirth and renewal, but we are seeing very similar behavior from President Trump this morning taking to Twitter. "The fake media, as opposed to the real media, has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth."

So why is the president tweeting about this when most are focused on his foreign policy? Let's get "The Bottom Line" with Chris Cillizza, reporter, editor-at-large for CNN Politics. Yes, I love that title. You know I do.

So, Chris, we were speaking earlier about how there is an apparent second seat quality to the president when it comes to these foreign issues. He wasn't out there making the case for what we did in Syria or in Afghanistan or with North Korea. He talks about China a little bit, more on the economic side. He's playing with the facts on whether or not they manipulate their currency.


CUOMO: It's not going on anymore. He used it to political advantage. Now he's got to own the truth. But tweeting, but not being out in front of what matters. How do you take it?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: This is what he cares about. I mean, you know, we've seen it time and time and time again. The -- the most consistent thing about Donald Trump from June of 2015 until April of 2017 is his critique of the media. Now, it's gotten louder, it's gotten a little bit different, but broadly speaking that has been at the center of everything he has done. He uses the media to sort of stand in for institutional elites, that -- people who support him hate and many people who don't support him hate, why does he do it now? Because no one can take his Twitter presence away from him, right? I mean clearly with Pence sending a very strong signal at the DMZ this would not be the ideal time to launch into a media criticism. But this is Donald Trump. He does what he wants to do. This idea that he's being managed doesn't exist.

HARLOW: But --

CILLIZZA: Sorry, Poppy. HARLOW: Isn't it -- is it at any point -- I wouldn't go as far as to

say dangerous, but detrimental to the cause? Meaning, I'm just looking at his tweets from the last 24 hours and there is not one tweet about his vice president being over there in the DMZ or his, you know, that this big trip to Asia, there is not one tweet about that. But, guess what else he tweeted in just the last half hour, about a book. "A great book for your reading enjoyment."


[08:34:59] HARLOW: "'Reasons to Vote for Democrats' by Michael J. Knowles." Now, Cuomo and I didn't know what the book was about so we looked it up. It's a book of empty pages. I mean, all right, I get it, it's a joke, but you're joking at a time that the vice president is on this major trip to Asia, at this critical time with U.S. relations with North Korea and you're tweet about, you know, a joke book. What?

CILLIZZA: Yes. Yes, absolutely and selling a lot of books in the process probably. But, look, go -- I think it was about 24 hours ago -- I know it was on Easter Sunday because I was -- I was home in Connecticut with my family when I saw it, him talking about the Electoral College.


CILLIZZA: Why are people still talking about my taxes. I won the Electoral College. No one said a Republican do it. It's -- I know this because I watch this show every morning. It's the 88th day of Donald Trump's presidency. He won, right? You can -- popular vote, Electoral College, he won. Why -- relitigating re -- re -- relitigating in many ways this Electoral College thing sort of came out of nowhere. It's -- it's -- it just -- he is the un -- the definition of unpredictability. If politicians is typically -- if politicians are typically largely predictable, he does the opposite. I always think it's like that "Seinfeld" episode, you know, Bizarro George (ph), he just does the opposite of whatever normal George would do. Well, Donald Trump does the opposite of what every political, conventional wisdom would suggest. At a moment like this, Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, at a moment like this, normal politics would suggest you very serious, very statesman-like project gravitas. He is tweeting about an empty joke book. He is tweeting about the media and he is tweeting about the Electoral College. You know, I mean, what -- what else can you say or do that would suggest this is an unorthodox presidency to say the very least.

CUOMO: So, when it comes to transparency --


CUOMO: What is your take on the who cares factor of whether it's taxes or the White House? Look, I get the hypocrisy. I get it. I get it.


CUOMO: Anybody who Googles this situation will be smacked in the face by the hypocrisy. CILLIZZA: Yes.

CUOMO: Does it matter and if so to whom?

CILLIZZA: If you say -- when you say does it matter, Chris, if you mean will it move a lot of votes or opinions about him, no, it won't. You know, go ask the average person if they even know that the White House visitor logs exist and they're going to tell you no.

The one thing that I do -- so that's the answer to your question. The one thing that does bother me, and this was in one of Trump's tweets yesterday, is this idea that because he won the election, the tax returns don't matter. Those two things are not the same thing and I think he just allies them on purpose for political gain.

CUOMO: Very pithy from our editor-at-large.

CILLIZZA: Oh, yes.

HARLOW: You really want that title don't you?

CUOMO: I'll never get it because I'm not worthy of it, but I love that you have it, Cillizza. Thank you for being with us this morning.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

HARLOW: Chris, thank you.

CUOMO: So, one of the challenges of reporting when you go abroad is dealing with hostile situations and different cultural dynamics. All right, Dana Bash is the only TV correspondent at the DMZ with Vice President Mike Pence. They were eye to eye with North Korean soldiers. That's the bizarre dynamic there. What is it like to live through these moments? Dana tells us, next.


[08:42:15] CUOMO: All right, Vice President Mike Pence making an unannounced visit to the demilitarized zone, the DMZ, and our Dana Bash is there. Dana and her crew captured the tense moments when the vice president decided to break with his security plan and walk outside. That meant he would be face to face with North Korean troops. Take a look.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The vice president wasn't going to come out here, outside. He was initially supposed to stay inside. But he said he wanted to come out. And you can see what's happening. If you look over there, not only are the U.S. and South Korean troops getting ready for it, you see right over there, the man on the other side of the blue building, that's a North Korean military officer.

And here comes the vice president now. You see those soldiers on the other side of that concrete barrier taking pictures. Those are North Korean soldiers taking photos of the vice president. If you swing around right here, Dave, of the vice president getting a briefing. So they're taking a picture, many pictures, of the vice president looking at them and looking into North Korea.

You see the concrete barrier right on the ground there. That is the military demarcation line. These blue buildings, this is called conference row. Generally, when a VIP, an official even as high ranking as the vice president, comes here, General Mattis, and others who have come here, they go into these blue buildings. They go into conference row and they can and have stepped into North Korea. They decided not to do that with the vice president for security reasons. He wasn't even going to come out here, but he wanted to. So he told his detail and told the military here, this is something he wanted to see. So he did.

BASH (voice-over): From there, the vice president moved to Observation Pest Oulette (ph), overlooking the rolling hills of North Korea, where propaganda blares from speakers all day.

BASH (on camera): I was just holding the microphone out so that you can hear what we're hearing, which is music right now coming from that way and that way is North Korea. The music now is oftentimes propaganda that the North Korean regime is notoriously sending out to the people who are on their side of the DMZ in North Korea, might be thinking about coming over here or maybe at this point, after all these years, have gotten beyond that. But this is the iconic DMZ right here with North Korea right behind me.


CUOMO: Well, first of all, so helpful for people to see just how bizarre this is, that there is literally a line in this street --

[[08:45:01] BASH: Yes.

CUOMO: And on one side, you know, you have sworn enemies on either side of that line. What was the feel? Was it tense when Pence walked out there? Did you get any vibe from his security team about, you know, what this move meant?

BASH: Well, they didn't plan for it, so they were not happy, but as you could probably tell there, the vice president wasn't satisfied being stuck behind a glass wall in what is called the freedom House, when he really wanted to get outside and see what it was like firsthand. You know, I talked to a military official who spent a lot of time stationed in this area, and he described it in a way that really makes so much sense to me now that I've actually seen it, which is that everybody there is inches and moments away from a miscalculation that could be devastating. And that was so obvious in seeing the way that they operate towards one another and, of course, the way that they dealt with the vice presidents of the United States being there at this tense time.

HARLOW: You made it feel to us like we were almost there with you through that reporting. Dana Bash, thank you so much for the great interview and that behind the scenes. BASH: Thanks, guys.

HARLOW: And a remarkable moment certainly in history. We appreciate it.

CUOMO: And a really good, real live demonstration of how talk about what's happening here with tax policy and health care, it's one thing. That is a very urgent situation.

HARLOW: Living it. Absolutely.

All right, also, United Airlines changing its policy to make sure that last week's incident where a passenger was dragged off of a plane never happens again. Our business correspondent Alison Kosik here to tell us more.

So what has changed?


So, yes, United Airlines announcing a new policy. So what it's doing is looking to keep this from happening again, this video we all know and don't love. A passenger, Dr. David Dao, being dragged off a sold out flight. It's really been a PR nightmare for United.

So now what the company is doing, it's no longer going to allow crew members to displace passengers who are already seated on a plane. So those must ride bookings will have to be done at least an hour before departure. Previously, crews could be booked right up until the flight left. United is saying that the change is an initial step in a review of its policies. But, Chris, something tells me this video is going to dog this airline for a long, long time to come.

CUOMO: Which is something that never needed to happen. Just didn't have to happen.

Alison Kosik, thank you very much. Appreciate it, as always.

All right, look at what we got, live picture, the Trump White House, its first Easter Egg Roll. How is it going to be different? What's going to be the highlight? Who's going to perform? We're going to take you there live next. That's cheating, by the way.


[08:51:40] CUOMO: All eyes on the White House South Lawn this morning. The Trump family's first Easter Egg Roll. That's a big deal. CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett joining us now.

You're the reporter on the scene. This is a big deal. There was timing. There is how it is presented. It's, who's going to be there. Give us the details.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: So, it is really all eyes on the White House South Lawn this morning. It's been -- the gates have been open a little more than an hour now and there are no -- no real lines here. So if you want to come do the Easter Egg Roll and you have a ticket, you're not going to wait very long. The roll is happening -- one of the rolls right next to us here, next to our live shot. And as you can see, all of the rows are empty. There are a couple kids doing some rolling right now.

But for the most part, crowds are pretty sparse, but there are a lot of other things to do here, more stations set up for things like writing letters to the troops, and a story time nook where a little while ago we saw Press Secretary Sean Spicer reading books to kids. There's a setup with the DC United soccer players. Baron Trump is a big soccer fan. So they're down there. There's a place to get your picture taken. There's a mini presidential podium. There's lots of activities.

An we're expecting the first family to come out a little bit later, the president, the first lady, the entire family is supposed to be here. We saw Eric and Laura Trump earlier today on the front lawn as well.

HARLOW: Fun day.

CUOMO: That will be the big moment when the president comes out there. He could become president of the United States, but can he roll am egg?

HARLOW: Have you done it?

CUOMO: We'll see.

BENNETT: That's the question.

HARLOW: Have you taken the kids?


HARLOW: Never done it?

CUOMO: No, we don't do it.


CUOMO: We don't do it.

All right, thanks to Kate. She'll be checking in with you throughout that action packed morning there at the White House.

How about some "Good Stuff" to get us going here on Monday?

HARLOW: I'll take it.

CUOMO: Good.


[08:57:17] CUOMO: All right, time for "The Good Stuff." A poignant one. A man in Massachusetts gets the worst news of his life and decides to make it into the best moment for his community. His name is Bob Chalan (ph). Now he's been fixing up bikes for low income families for years, which is a beautiful thing. But two months ago, doctors diagnosed the guy, he's just 44 years old, he's got a terminal brain disease. He says, what am I going to do? He wanted to give up but the phone kept ringing with more requests. So Bob took it as a sign. He's going to go out by fixing the most bikes that he can, a sense of purpose and perspective.


BOB CHALAN: The feeling that I get after I get done with a bike and give it to a kid or I get a note back, it's well worth the time. And I'm going to keep doing this as long as I physically can. Yes.


CUOMO: Bob hopes he's inspired kids to put down their phones, get off the couch and spend some time outdoors. Imagine just 44 years of age and to have to deal with that.

HARLOW: And people like that, amazing stuff.

All right, if you missed it, "Saturday Night Live," once again, taking some snarky shots at President Trump and his feuding advisers. Take a look at your late night laughs.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Send in Steve Bannon. Send him in.


BALDWIN: Steve, wow, you've never looked younger. And now send in my little kush ball, Jared Kushner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, (singing): You're unbelievable.

BALDWIN: Jared, Steve, standing before me are my two top advisers. I only have one photo in my hand. Jared, I've sent you all around the world to represent me. No one's ever heard you speak. You're like a little Jewish Amelie (ph). Steve -- Steve, you may be smart, but I once walked in on you eating a live pig in the Roosevelt Room.


BALDWIN: The person who will stay on as my top adviser is Jared!


HARLOW: There you go.

CUOMO: David Gregory had a funny line this morning. He said Kushner going to Iraq with the blazer on and the khakis, he called it glam- aflage.

HARLOW: But he didn't say a word, Fallon (ph), the entire time, right?

CUOMO: No, that was the shtick.

HARLOW: It spoke volumes.

CUOMO: That was the shtick. It really was. I mean that dynamic is playing out for real and in satire. There you go.

HARLOW: Good to be here with you.

CUOMO: Real. Now speaking of satire --

HARLOW: Speaking of satire, let's throw it to the king. Time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with John Berman.

See you tomorrow.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I can't wait to have you back. Thanks so much.

CUOMO: Not me.

BERMAN: Happy Easter to you, Christopher. Great to see you.

CUOMO: Oh, thank you, Berman.

BERMAN: We've got a lot of breaking news this morning. Let's get right to it.

[09:00:07] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: All right, John Berman here.