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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump: Health Care Vote Likely Next Week; Trump's Confession On Life In The WH; Trump's First 100 Days; North Korea Test Fires Missile After Trump Warning; U.S. Official: North Korean Missile Exploded In Flight; Trump Blames Obama For Vetting Of Flynn; Trump On Russia Investigations: "Made Up" Story; Trump: Health Care Vote Likely Next Week. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 28, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Good evening. John Berman here in for Anderson. Breaking news, just moments ago, the president of the United States said that the federal investigation into Russian ties to Trump associates is a totally made up story, made up, that failure to vet and identify Russian payments with own former National Security adviser, that is the fault of the Obama administration. More on that in a moment.
But first a new missile launch by North Korea, the ninth attempt since President Trump took office. A U.S. officials says the missile probably a medium range ballistic missile blew up over land and failed to reach the Sea of Japan.
Now that failure maybe overshadowed by the message the missile launch sends. The message, a giant middle finger from Kim Jong-Un, that's according to a military analyst you will hear from in just a moment.
The missile finger as it were came just hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke to a special meeting at the United Nations calling for more pressure on North Korea but left open the possibility for negotiations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: All options for responding to future provocations must remain on the table. Diplomatic exponential levers of power will be backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action if necessary. We much prefer a negotiation solution to this problem, but we are committed to defending ourselves and our allies against North Korean aggression.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Now the launch also comes after an interview that Reuters did with the president. Listen to what he had to say about North Korea there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, there's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So North Korea heard that and then apparently launched a missile. CNN's Will Ripley inside North Korea in Pyongyang. He joins me now. Will, what more do we know about this latest missile test?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, South Korea is saying that this missile flew as high as 44 miles before exploding over North Korean territory. So it did not go out and exploded over the waters off the coast of Japan as the U.S. initially believed when they thought that it flew for 15 minutes.
This goes to show that there's always a lot of confusion in the early hours of this North Korean missile launches. This is a secretive regime. They don't announce these things ahead of time and so until the U.S., South Korea and Japan can get their intelligence together, they have really a lot of questions about what happened.
What they believed at this hour is that this was a land-based missile, the kind of missile that we saw rolled out during that April 15th massive military parade. A modified scud missile that could be used to attack a U.S. aircraft carrier such as the Carl Vinson, which off -- approaching the waters off the Korean Peninsula.
So clearly this missile finger being sent by the North Korean regime is intended to tell the Trump administration the North Korea is testing and perfecting weapons that they could someday use against these U.S. warships that they view as a threat just like they view the joint military exercise that are happening in South Korea as a threat.
And officials on the ground here are telling me, John, that more missile launches and more nuclear tests are on the horizon whenever their supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un, decides to push the button.
BERMAN: Will, what's the reaction been inside North Korea?
RIPLEY: Well, it's interesting. We called our government contact this morning when we've learned of this, they hadn't heard anything about it and because this was believed to a failure although North Korea may not view it that way given the fact that the missile did fly, you know, a considerable height, but it didn't go as far as they plan on it going likely there will not be an announcement on state media.
So it's really interesting when you're inside this country. I've been here during failed missile launches before and the rest of the world is talking and pretty much every North Korean will never know what happened aside from Kim Jong-Un and his rocket scientist.
But again, we can't overstate that they are not deterred by this kind of failure. They learn from it and some ways they learn more from a failure than a success, John. So we can expect to see more provocative behavior come. China also we may get some indications in the coming hours how they plan to respond.
BERMAN: Will Ripley for us. Great reporting inside North Korea in Pyongyang, thanks so much.
Jim Acosta now joins me from the White House with the latest from there. Jim, how's the White House responding?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we should point out President Trump was briefed on all of this as he was returning from Atlanta where he gave that speech to the National Rifle Association. He was briefed on Air Force One by advisers.
And true to form the president has issued a clit on all of this. He tweeted, "North Korea disrespected the wishes of China and its highly respected president," referring to President Xi, "when it launched though unsuccessfully a missile today. Bad."
And John, I had a chance to catch up with the deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland, just outside the west wing earlier this evening.
She said, North Korea continues to give this administration reason for concern that these missile launches, these missile tests have been very provocative all along. But they are not going forecast what the next steps of this administration are going to be.
BERMAN: Reason for concerns. Jim, there have been a number of different messages, in fact, from the administration just within the last 24 hours including a speech from Secretary Tillerson at the United Nations.
[20:05:05]ACOSTA: That's right. You heard that speech from Secretary Tillerson. You have the president telling Reuters that there is a very strong chance that we might have a military conflict with North Korea.
But at the same time, Secretary of State Tillerson told National Public Radio that the United States may be willing to engage in direct talks with Pyongyang. That is directly in conflict with what Vice President Pence said when he was touring the region just a couple of weeks ago when he said that that's not going to happen.
And so yes, lots of mix messages coming from the administration so far just gives you an indication as to how they are trying to navigate all of this as I was talking to K.T. McFarland earlier this evening.
She said this is the 10th -- around the 10th failed missile launch or missile launch that has occurred since President Trump took office. It just goes to show you why this is so top of mind for this administration all these weeks -- John.
BERMAN: All right, Jim Acosta for us at the White House. Thanks so much, Jim.
Joining me now, CNN military and diplomatic analyst, Admiral John Kirby, and CNN chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, this missile launch comes on the heels of Secretary Tillerson's speech at the United Nations. It comes after President Trump said there is a possibility of, quote, "A major, major conflict." The timing of this can't be coincident?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Probably not. I mean, I'm not sure militarily how long it takes to work up a missile launch. Probably Admiral Kirby will know better than me, but what's absolutely clear is that obviously that we are at a very, very high crisis point in terms of this rhetoric and all the activities that's going on in North Korea and the words that are coming out of the United States.
It's really bringing to a very dangerous point and what you don't want is sort of policy made on the fly, policy on the hook. You know, obviously, we've heard that the U.S. is undergoing a rather thorough North Korea policy review.
We've got the national security adviser, the defense secretary and others. But then you get words coming out of the White House like a major, major confrontation maybe possible. And these are really, really difficult words to hear at a time like this given the option that could come in any kind of conflict with North Korea.
BERMAN: Admiral, the North Koreans have done a number of missile tests since President Trump has taken office. But again, this one comes after key meetings with China. This one comes after many official statements from the administration and the State Department. You said earlier you think this is Kim Jong-un giving the United States essentially the finger.
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I do. I believe that, but it's also Kim given China the finger and perhaps even the U.N. I do think that this was linked in time and if early reports are accurate and this was launched from a mobile launcher, he can set those things up in relatively short order. You don't need a lot of time in prep.
That's actually one of the most dangerous things about the ballistic missile program that he advances is its mobility and the quickness with which he can launch these things. So yes, I think this is him sending a signal that for all the tough talk coming out of New York and Washington and even Beijing, of late, he is not listening. He's going to pursue his program.
BERMAN: And Admiral, the fact that it doesn't appear to have worked, the fact that it appears to have exploded shortly after liftoff, does that matter in of itself or is the fact that they keep on trying is that what's important here?
KIRBY: As I said before, I don't think there's anything -- any such thing as failure in his program. Every time he does something like this whether it succeeds beyond his expectations or not, he learns, he adapts, and he folds those lessons in for the program going forward.
So I've seen early reports that this thing didn't go very far. If it is a KM-17 is meant to go between a 1000 and 3000 kilometers, obviously it fell way, way short of that, but I don't think we should just dismiss this. I think every time he does this, he gets better.
BERMAN: And Christiane, the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, did speak at the United Nations today, laying out in more detail what the U.S. policy toward North Korea is right now. Now he didn't rule out taking military action, but he said the goal is not regime change. And maybe open the door a little bit to the possibility of future negotiations. What do you see as the significance of what the secretary said today?
AMANPOUR: Well, look, it is quite significant. You know, there is quite a lot of different words coming out from wherever you look and that needs now to be corralled into one discipline, you know, full frontal message. And yes, he did say, in fact, after the Security Council, he talked to a reporter and he did say that he wasn't against direct negotiations.
And this, of course, sort of boils down to the essence of it. Certain administrations have said that negotiations is weakness, is appeasement. Others have said, well, let's try to do what we can to diffuse a very dangerous situation.
I went to North Korea in 2008 after George W. Bush ditched the agreement that Bill Clinton has had and ditched the whole North Korea, South Korea, U.S. Sunshine policy, diffusing sort of policy.
[20:10:10]And then North Korea threw out the IAEA inspectors, the only people who are actually watching their program in realtime, got out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and got to where it is now.
But for a brief moment under George W. Bush, they allowed us in. We went to see the Yongbyong (ph) plant. We saw them wrapping it up. We watched them blow up the nuclear cooling tower and there was a moment there where things were going a bit better.
But that took talks, it took negotiation, it took all that kind of stuff. So we are waiting to see whether there is some kind of coherent policy and really we need to know kind of what North Korea, bottom line and red lines are too because some people don't think it wants to give up its nuclear program at all.
BERMAN: And Admiral, when you hear the president of the United States, and again, this was before the speech by the secretary of state to say talk about the possibility of a major, major conflict. Look, the president speaks in hyperbolic terms, but what are the impacts of words like that in North Korea?
KIRBY: Yes, there should no such thing as hyperbolic terms for the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief for the strongest military in the world. I think the president's team actually should get some high marks here for the disciplined, deliberate, inter-agency process that they have tried to lead on North Korea since coming into office.
I don't think they get enough credit for that. It is not helped when the guy at the top of that system is throwing out comments like that. I mean, people around the world have every right to take comments like that seriously and I can guarantee that Kim Jong-un did and that's probably one of the reasons why he launched this missile today.
BERMAN: Christiane Amanpour, Admiral John Kirby, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
Coming up, whose fault is it that President Trump's fired national security adviser, now under investigation, wasn't properly vetted? President Trump now essentially says, "Thanks, Obama," really? That's next.
He also says he thought being president will be easier and he misses his old life. Our panel weighs in on all of it when 360 continues.
BERMAN: And tonight, Russia White House wash, President Trump says he is not to blame for the mess surrounding the man he picked to be his national security adviser. It's actually President Obama's fault he says.
Now this is about Michael Flynn, who is under multiple investigations over failing to disclose payments he received for a speech out of Russian television event. So how did this not come out during the vetting process as he was chosen to be President Trump's national security adviser?
In an interview with Fox News tonight, the president said this is about the Russia investigations as a whole and General Flynn specifically.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I do feel badly for him. He served the country. He was a general, but just remember, he was approved by the Obama administration at the highest level. And when they say, we didn't vet, well, Obama, I guess didn't vet because he was approved at the highest level of security by the Obama administration.
So when he came into our administration for a short period of time, he came in -- he was already approved by the Obama administration and yet he had years left on that approval.
Every network you see hits me on every topic, made up source like Russia. They do the Russia, the full Russia, I quote, "the fake Russia story." Russia story was made up because they were embarrass by their loss.
They have this tremendous loss, a loss like nobody has never ever seen before. The Democrats should never lose the Electoral College because they automatically start with New York, California, and Illinois. It's impossible for a Republican to win and not only did I won, I won easily. So they made this Russia thing to try and deflect because they are embarrassed by what happened. The Russia is a phony story. What you see is the Russia story, the Russia story --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right, with me tonight, Ryan Lizza, Jeffrey Lord, David Chalian, and Maggie Haberman. David, let me start with you and I don't need to be pedantic. Who should be responsible for vetting President Trump's national security adviser? Should the Obama administration be responsible for vetting the national security adviser for President Trump?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: John, I think this is what they call a leading question in court. But I will say this explanation just doesn't hold water. It didn't hold water when Sean Spicer try it out yesterday from the White House podium. It doesn't hold water when the president is saying it.
Yes, I understand the fact pattern that they are trying to present that Michael Flynn served under -- during the Obama administration and had security clearance.
But this is the national security adviser, this is the person that is going to have the most intelligence, the highest level of clearance to be able to inform the president of the United States on the utmost important decisions a president has to make about our national security, about positioning America's military, about our strategic decisions dealing with adversaries and allies alike.
You can't get away with just saying somebody else was responsible for the vetting that the Trump administration either did not fully vet Michael Flynn or did fully vet Michael Flynn and were OK with what they found to give him that job.
BERMAN: And Ryan, there's another logical complication here to put it bluntly, which is that during the transition when this vetting should have been taking place, you know, then President-elect Trump were bashing the intelligence apparatus of the Obama administration, brutally bashing them, calling them Nazis, among other things. So these people he's brutally bashing all of a sudden today he's saying he trust them enough to vet Michael Flynn?
RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, look, let's just step back and look at the basics. The Obama administration fired Michael Flynn. Trump hired Michael Flynn. I mean, that's all you need to know here and they hired him knowing his history, knowing that he did go to Moscow and speak at that infamous event.
So knowing some things that would lead you to say, well, you should want probably want to take a closer look at his background. So this is classic, you know, case of Trump deflecting, trying to push something off, you know, on Obama that his administration needs to take responsibility for it.
BERMAN: And Jeffrey, let me put this to you, he also said the Russia story is completely made up. It's a phony story made up by his political opponents. I want to play you some sound from the director of the FBI, James Comey, who said this in March.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:20:11]BERMAN: So Jeffrey, the president says that the Russia story is a made up story. Is the FBI director making things up?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The FBI director said investigating, the FBI director has produced zero proof, zero. This whole deal with Carter Page for example. I mean, where is the there "there"? I mean, --
BERMAN: Jeffrey, all I'm saying -- the story is the investigation. The story is the investigation. The story right now that's being reported by the media which the president said is made up is the investigation. If the FBI director says we are investigating, how is the story made up?
LORD: Where is the collusion? Where is the collusion? Which state went to Donald Trump because of Russian collusion? Please show it to me.
BERMAN: Jeffrey, I haven't read the results of the investigation because the investigation is just getting underway.
LORD: The FBI director and the head of the DNI is -- I listened to their testimony said they had no evidence that Russians successfully interfered with votes, none.
BERMAN: But that's a different about whether Trump associates tried to collude with them.
LORD: No, no, no, John. I'm sorry, John, that would collusion and there is none.
BERMAN: You can ineffective collusion, Jeffrey. I think we both agree that plenty of things are expected in this pool. You can have collusion that didn't work.
Maggie Haberman to you, this isn't going away and in fact in the coming days, we are going to get more testimony on the Russia story, which is the investigation, which the FBI director seems to indicate is a made up. MAGGIE HABERMAN, "NEW YORK TIMES" WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. I think the FBI director is coming back to testifying again, correct? It is not as you say, it is not -- with all due respect to Jeffrey, it is not a made up investigation in the sense that the investigation is taking place and we know this from sworn testimony.
We do not know what the results of that investigation are going to be yet. People do have a presumption of innocence in this country and that is the way it works and that is fair to say. But I would make the point that it is actually President Trump who is dragging this out not just by seeking as he often does to deflect blame elsewhere, in this case, on the Obama administration, which has Ryan said, fired Mike Flynn.
So they made pretty clear how they talked about him, but instead of just saying, you know what, we welcome -- we part ways with Mike Flynn. I was unhappy with things toward the end. We welcome a full investigation into this. You know, we are confident nothing improper was done, which is usually what you hear people say.
He has refused to do any of that and so again, we have a round of stories of him saying this is fake news, which again, I understand riles up his base, but I don't see why this is helpful.
BERMAN: All right, guys, standby. Tonight, President Trump also revealed one of both could take place or at least he thinks it will take place on the health care reform bill that's in the works. He also said he believes his new tax plan will affect him. We'll dive in to both topics next.
BERMAN: More breaking news tonight, President Trump talks about when he thinks there will be a vote on the new health care bill. This is what he told Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I will tell you it took 17 months to get Obamacare approved. What we're talking about is far better than Obamacare, it's an incredible bill and we have a good shot at getting it approved by the House.
And I told them, I said, look, the 100 days don't worry about it. You don't have to take a vote today. Take it next week, in two weeks, three weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So they are going to get it done?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I believe they're going to get it done. I believe it's going to be -- I think maybe next week sometimes. They're really coming together.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: Next week. The president also spoke about how he thinks his new tax plan would affect him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You keep forgetting to say that the biggest beneficiaries are the middle class people who have been absolutely heard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But your critics are going to say, well, real estate companies like President Trump's company will benefit along with that middle class --
PRESIDENT TRUMP: If I'm individually paying 35 percent, I will tell you that's more. OK, I'm going to end up paying more than I pay right now in taxes. All right, I will pay more than I pay right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right, back now with the panel, David, first on health care, the president says the vote may come next week. I feel like that might be news to Paul Ryan as he sits here tonight. How close are the Republicans to getting the votes they need to pass? Are they close?
CHALIAN: Well, let's be clear, they don't have the votes yet because if they did, there would have been a vote. So they don't yet have the votes and there's not going to be a vote until they have one. They certainly don't want to go through again what they went through in the first round of this.
There is no doubt that there has been momentum on the conservative side, the Freedom Caucus, some outside conservative groups coming around this bill. What we have not seen any evidence of are moderates rallying around this bill in any way.
It's gotten more conservative. So now put yourself, John, for a moment in the position of a moderate Republican, who's in a competitive district and now has to decide, do I vote for, and the president said is a great bill, but the polls show that it's largely unpopular.
Do I vote for this unpopular bill that is not going to be the final product because the Senate is not going to pass this version, or do I turn down my president and my party and risk offending my base? That is a political calculation that moderates are going to have to make in the House. Paul Ryan simply does not have the votes yet.
BERMAN: Maggie, how much does the White House have invested in this version that right now of this effort?
HABERMAN: What the White House has invested in the right now literally is the right now. In other words, they're not so concerned with what the product looks like, they want to get something done, and they wanted to get it done tonight. That didn't happen, as David correctly said because they don't have the votes. They would like to get it done next week, which I was surprise to hear the president say. I have had some of the west wing aide say it to me privately, but that's not likely to happen, to your point.
They are stymied by the fact that this is just sitting there essentially because they can't get anything through. They just think it will essentially unclog the system, to just pass something at this point.
And not just because it's a win, but because they actually need other things to start passing through Congress and it is all sort of delayed on this, they managed to get through the continuing resolution, but it's a very, very brief one and they still have a lot of work to do.
[20:30:04] BERMAN: Jeffrey Lord on taxes, the president claimed that under his plan he would pay more taxes than he is now, there are a couple of reasons that we question this, because number one, we don't have the details, the nitty gritty of the new tax plan. Number two, we haven't seen his tax returns, you know, we don't know how much he makes and where the money comes from, so how can we be sure that going to be paying more taxes?
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL: As someone who believes he should never reveal his taxes I don't -- even though I was young at that time I don't -- Pres. Kennedy was the first in the modern era to cut taxes and I don't remember the press of the day running to Pres. Kennedy and saying how would this affect your father, Ambassador Kennedy and all of his businesses and would you financially benefit from a tax cut? That just never happened. All of a sudden it's Donald Trump and they're asking, I just think this is crazy, tax rate cuts a s as are done to create jobs, that's what happen with Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Calvin Coolidgeit, it works every time it's tried.
BERMAN: Ryan, is it just about trying to find out something about president Trump or is it to try to find out who this benefits, who this tax cuts benefits in terms of, you know, what group of American people?
RYAN LZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, the White House Press Corps is a lot better, more aggressive than modern times than it was with Kennedy when there was a sort of all voice system like covered up quite a bit of steps. I don't think we want to go back to the to the press corps of the Kennedy era.
Also, the tax rates --
BERMAN: -- the Obama ear.
LIZZA: It does (inaudible) there. And tax rates of the Kennedy era were near 90 percent, so absolutely cutting them had a pretty big effect, cutting from 39 to 35, most economists would say it's not going to have as big effect as at least Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, was talking about this week in terms of paying for itself.
But, on your question, John, yeah, of course we want to know the relationship between how a policy from a politician, any politician Democrat or Republican, how that policy affects them personally. We've seen lots of examples throughout recent history of politicians pushing ideas and policies that benefit them and that is absolutely a core thing of what we as journalists do. So it's a good question for Trump.
BERMAN: All right, we're going to take a quick break, much more to discuss ahead, including president's confession about his new life in the White House. Remember how he used to say the job would be so easy? He's got a new take on that now.
[20:36:21] BERMAN: In a revealing new interview what Reuters, Pres. Trump says being president is more work than his previous jobs. He thought it would be easier. Now, he may be the only one surprised that being president is harder than running a reality TV host or running a real estate company, but it really does appear he thought being president would be easy, he said it over and over again during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENT: We're going to make America great again. It's going to be easy.
It's very easy to be presidential.
We have top, top smart people, but it's so easy to do.
We have drugs, we have debt, we have empty factories. That's going to end. That's going to end, so easy.
So easy to solve.
Believe me the jobs are going to come back, folks, that's going to be so easy.
This is so easy. I want to jump-start America and it can be done and it won't even be that hard.
Folks I'm going to do so much about it, it's going to be so easy, it's going to be so easy.
You know, being presidential is easy much easier than what I have to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, now on the verge of his 100 day as president which is tomorrow, Pres. Trump said this to Reuters.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: I loved my previous life. I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. I actually, this is more work than my previous life, I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a -- I'm a details-oriented person. I would you say that, but I do miss my old life. This -- I like to work so that's not a problem but this is actually more work.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BERMAN: Turns out it's more work. Back now with panel. Joining the conversation Trump (inaudible) Michael D'Antonio. You know, David Chalian, first to you, he says, I thought it would be easier, he's just 99 days in?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, I'm not surprised that the -- he finds the job, John to be something different maybe than he thought it was going to be. I think that probably true for most presidents, and it is such a unique job, it impossible to understand what it is until you're there, I think.
So, I'm not surprised that his perceptions have been altered. I am a little surprised to hear in his voice, in that Reuters interview, a sort of longing or yearning, or at the very least, making a clear preference to his former life. That not is something I have heard from a president, not certainly a 100 days into the presidency.
BERMAN: I do want to get to that in just a moment, but Jeffrey Lord, first to the issue of this is something that all presidents go through, and my one regret tonight is I don't have a bite for Ronald Reagan to play for you Jeffrey on this subject. Because I'm sure --
BERMAN: But let me give you a Pres. Obama story, which is one you'll like also. Let's listen to what Pres. Obama said about how the job maybe a little bit different than he thought.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I am surprised compared to where I started when we first announced for this race by the number of critical issues that appear to be coming to a head all at the same time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: With Pres. Trump, though, Jeffrey, it was supposed to be different. Part of the allure of then Donald Trump was, he was an executive. This was all going to be different for him. He was going to take a different approach to government. And as he said, it would be easier, isn't that the promise?
LORD: Well, I do think that all presidents go through this, and when you're the candidates, I think they really do believe that all of them. The candidate story I was telling you about was after the day of peace which was a disaster. JFK, you know, office only, you know, until April when that happened. (Inaudible) all people Richard Nixon, whom he defeated the previous November, and said to him, (inaudible) things you can take this blank, blank job. Harry Truman used to call the White House the big white jail. I mean, once they get there, they do find it's a little different than they imagine it to be. And I think Pres. Trump as number 45 is no different.
[20:40:10] BERMAN: Although a lot of other presidents, you know, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt and others, you know, made clear that they loved the job and they relished the work.
LORD: Oh, and I think he loves it too.
BERMAN: And Michael D'Antonio, to your point, to the point that David Chalian was making, Michael, there was this wistful forlorn tone in a way that Pres. Trump seemed to be talking about his former life.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": Well, you are right. And I think that if he had read a few biographies of presidents before he ran for president, he would have an idea that it's a really, really hard job. And I know that he loved his previous live.
When he ran for president he talked a lot about -- well, I don't need this job, I'm not getting paid to do this campaign. It's really hard and his previous life involved a lot of repetition. He was essentially making deals in the same way over and over again and as Pres. Obama noted in your clip, this job in the White House throws something big and new at you every single day. And, I don't think he looks happy. He may become happy in this job, but he's not happy right now, you can tell.
BERMAN: You know, Maggie, you spent some time with him, I mean he talked about missing driving, among other things. You know, he talks about being in the bubble. He talked to Fox News about the fact that he can't come back to New York as much as he likes.
HABERMAN: What's interesting, I was thinking about this as we were talking before, you know, his first trip back to New York City is going to be next week, and he's expected to stays here for that weekend.
Some have said they expect that he would be here sooner than that, because those of us who have covered him for a long time and I think people who talked to a lot of people who were close to him know what a home body he is, and know how much he did love his life. He does love Trump Tower. He does live New York City. And I think there was a concern about the protest which are going to be, I suspect, pretty organize and inevitable for that first trip.
But he did sound to be voicing something that I think everybody expected that he was going to be feeling, just not necessarily wearing quite so visibly.
When he talked about the driving, I've never known him to be a large driver himself, although there was this Instagram video that his wife posted at some point a couple of years ago. But I just think it was representative of control. And if you think about the type of job that he had before in his old life, he hasn't a boss, he's not boss for decades and this is the first kind of a job where he actually has to go and be accountable to somebody other than himself and it's very difficult.
BERMAN: I will say the president of the United States is one of those jobs where the job description is readily available. And that most of the people forget about -- I know they're all (inaudible), I know they're all --
BERMAN: -- to the White House, but I think it's fair to expect that the job will be hard.
HABERMAN: I think it is fair to say that he is not somebody who spent the amount of time thinking about what he would do with the job or what it actually would be like as we have seen previous presidents do. But I do think you have to concede that they all come in a little bit --
HABERMAN: -- you know, cowed by what happens.
BERMAN: -- Pres. Obama.
HABERMAN: That's right.
BERMAN: One other part of the past, David Chalian, that Pres. Trump doesn't seem to want to let go of and rejoices in repeatedly is the election, from November 8, he recounted the story on stage today in front of the NRA, apparently during many of these media interviews, which he said he's pulled out a map of the United States, the electoral map of the United States to show the red counties, you know, the people who voted for him. He did it in a discussion with Reuters when he was talking about China. What do you make of this?
CHALIAN: It's odd, because I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that interview took place inside the Oval Office. So, it's not like anyone's confused that he won the election because he's sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office.
So, it is -- I think it hampers him a little bit, I really do, to be -- I get it. I mean that was an amazing victory, he should be incredibly proud of it. He is, he has every right to be. But I think hanging on to it in this way hampers him and it's what we've seen in the polls all along, John, in his first 100 days, from growing beyond just the level of support that he had from the people who voted for him on Election Day.
He really, I would imagine would want to grow to a majority of support to get a bigger governing majority going forward for his agenda.
BERMAN: All right, guys, thanks so much.
Just ahead for us on the eve of Pres. Trump's 100-day milestone, how does this young president stack up to the early days of other administrations? I want to speak to the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
[20:43:22] BERMAN: Tomorrow Pres. Trump plans to mark his 100th day in office with a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We just learned that the Vice-President Mike Pence is expected to join him at this rally. This, they want to be a big, big deal, obviously.
Pennsylvania, of course, a crucial swing state in the election it flipped from blue to red. No matter how you rate the 45th president's first 100 day, this much is undeniably true. There has been nothing quite like it in modern history.
Fortunately, we have a scholar of context with us tonight. Presidential Historian and Author Doris Kearns Goodwin joins me.
So Doris, we're at the first 100 day mark tomorrow. And the president has no real milestone legislative achievement. No real legislative achievement at all. He's at record low approval ratings. But, how much of a predictor is the first 100 days for the next thousand days?
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: I don't think that the content of the first 100 days matter as much as what has the president learned from it. I mean think about John Kennedy. He had the Bay of Pigs disaster in his first 100 days and yet he acknowledged that he made mistakes. And he changed his whole decision making structure. And that did him incredibly well when the Cuban missile crisis came.
So the question is not so much he didn't get anything through Congress, he has had lots of executive orders. The question is, did he learn from what happened with the failure of the repeal of Obamacare? Has he been gunned to expand a base beyond his ordinary base? Is he self-reflective? And, has he changed from campaigning to governing? And those are the deeper questions that I think the 100 days can tell you about.
At the end of FDR's 100 days, it wasn't so much the 15 laws that passed. It was the people felt trust in him. They felt that the government was in good shape, they were glad they were in his hands. And that's the thing you're looking for.
[20:50:04] BERMAN: So, on day 99, Pres. Trump gave a speech today before the NRA. And it didn't seem like he was any different than we saw during the campaign at all. In fact, he was still talking about the campaign and all the states that he turned red.
So, if you can answer some of the questions that you posed -- and they are the right questions -- have seen any sign that he's learned or changed?
GOODWIN: Well, I think some of the signs that you can look for a little positively is that he realized as he said that health care was more complicated. Nobody knew. And it turns out that the China, North Korea relationship was more difficult than he thought. So at least he's thinking aloud about those things.
But, the big question that I still don't understand is the campaign is over. He won. It's an extraordinary thing to be one of the 45 presidents of the United States. And just take that as self confidence inside and forget what happened before and know that you are now have to be president of all the people, not just the people who voted you into the election.
BERMAN: And then, there's the question of the personality and the bravado, which was key to having him win. Today he called Elizabeth Warren, the senator from your state Massachusetts, he called her Pocahontas, and this is after he promised in the campaign that he'd be so presidential that we'd all be bored. I'm not sure that his definition of presidential jives with histories.
GOODWIN: And we certainly haven't been bored. That's for sure. You know that even when Abraham Lincoln was in the presidency, who was a great debater, he could probably speak spontaneously better than anyone in his time or since. He never liked to speak extemporaneously. He never wanted to be unprepared when he said something, because he knew that words matter.
BERMAN: And the president had this extraordinary interview with the Reuters overnight where he talked about the job, said, it's not as easy as he thought it would be. It's harder than his old job of, I guess, being on "The Apprentice" and running a real estate empire. And someway he seemed wistful for his past life. You know, that one predictor of a successful presidency is having an occupant who really loves the job.
GOODWIN: No question. I mean, Teddy Roosevelt said with every fiber of my being I love being president. That's why I didn't want to give it up. And FDR, (inaudible) somebody asked him, why would anyone want this terrible job? And he said, why wouldn't everybody want it? It's the best job in the world.
There was a wistfulness and I think the difference is that, however busy he was before, however much in the public eye, he could sort of control his agenda. He could decide what he wanted to do during the days. Events control presidents right now. And they don't have that freedom. And if he said they are in a cocoon and they can't drive a car, and all those little changes that are part of our ordinary people's lives, they have to give up. And the only thing to make that worthwhile is the splendid part of the splendid misery, that it's splendid to be president. And those who loved it I think get a special energy from that.
BERMAN: Doris Kearns Goodwin, always a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks so much.
GOODWIN: Thank you. You too.
BERMAN: Well, Pres. Trump marks his first 100 days this weekend. Anthony Bourdain 'Parts Unknown" is kicking off a new season, the best segue (ph) ever. Just ahead, Anderson talks to CNN's globe globetrotting Bourdain about his Latin themed trip to Los Angeles. A meal is involved in the course. And Anderson has to make a split second decision about a blood sausage, when it turns up on his plate. Does he eat it? Stay tuned.
[20:57:14] BERMAN: A new season of "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown" kicks off this weekend on CNN. First up, a Latin themed trip to Los Angeles that has become kind of a ritual for Anderson and Anthony to grab a bite and charge it to the company and call it a preview of the new season. You're thinking it sounds easy. But for, how shall we put it here, less adventurous eaters, cowardly eaters, in Anderson's case, it can be a dicey assignment. This time they visited (inaudible) here in New York. They spoke over blood sausage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: This upcoming episode is set in Los Angeles. You had done an episode, I think a couple years back in Korea town in Los Angeles.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, "PARTS UNKNOWN" HOST: Yes.
COOPER: What's the focus this time?
BOURDAIN: This time, less of a challenge but a similar one in that we -- said let's just live entirely within the Mexican and Chicano community. So it's about Mexican identity, it's about Los Angeles' identity, because it's -- the spine -- the cultural spine, backbone, the history of Los Angeles is inextricably entwined with Mexican history.
COOPER: It's also interesting to look at a place that we think we know -- Los Angeles -- and like you did you with Korea town and with this, and as you said, I mean, see a hole inside of it that you rarely see before. You only get little glimpses --
BOURDAIN: I don't think we can emphasize enough how integral, how deeply in grain, how important, how much a part of our everyday lives rely on people who are not born in America. And this is morcilla, a blood sausage.
COOPER: So, is that actual -- why is it called blood sausage?
BOURDAIN: It's made from blood. You know, it's really good. It's kind of squirty (ph).
COOPER: So it is an actual sausage?
BOURDAIN: Yeah. It coagulates with heat.
COOPER: It's really good. Wow.
BOURDAIN: We look at Mexican and Chicano identity. And then to make this an even more deeply satisfying episode, we got the -- one of my favorite actors on earth, we got Danny Trejo, he's awesome and a restaurateur.
COOPER: Oh really?
BOURDAIN: Serving healthy food and two locations. I think the nicest guy in the world but really one of my personal heroes. And, so it was incredibly satisfying to shoot with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: We should have led with blood sausage tonight. You can catch the kick off of the new season of "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown" Sunday in CNN 9:00 p.m. Eastern and pacific time. Thanks for watching "350."
Time now for Jake Tapper and the primetime edition of "The Lead," the first 100 days.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thanks John. Day 99, Kim Jong-Un test another missile and test the patience of the International community. "The Lead" starts right now.