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Trump Blames Flynn's Vetting On Obama Administration; Pentagon Warned Flynn In 2014 Against Taking Foreign Dollars; Protesters March Toward White House On Trump's 100th Day. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired April 29, 2017 - 12:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The newest member of the United States Supreme Court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm humbled by the trust placed in me.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I got it done in the first 100 days.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome. This is our special coverage of the president's 100th day in office. I'm Fredricka Whitfield live in Washington.

We begin this hour with North Korea and the defiant missile launch that ratchets up international tensions and it comes just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson chaired a special meeting at the United Nations and called for increased pressure on the regime.

CNN's Will Ripley is in Pyongyang, the only western television journalist in the North Korean capital -- Will.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, tensions here on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest levels in years. In fact, it's gotten so bad this has become the most pressing global security concern right now for the Trump administration.

And in President Trump's first 100 days in office, North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un has ordered at least nine missile launches. Not all of them have been successful including the latest launch in the early morning hours here.

U.S. and South Korean analysts believed the missile traveled just 22 miles before exploding over North Korean territory. They had initially thought it traveled much further, possibly flying for 15 minutes and exploding in the waters near the Japanese coast.

That was enough to issue a nationwide alert, a missile alert, in Japan that halted subway and rail service in the country for a full ten minutes. This goes to show how tense the situation is here in this region. The kind of missile that North Korea tested was a modified scud that we saw unveiled in this country's large military parade earlier this month and that's significant that they would test this particular kind of missile on the very same day that we confirmed the "USS Carl Vinson" aircraft carrier strike group has arrived in the waters off the Korean Peninsula and is now conducting joint naval drills with the South Korean Navy.

North Korea clearly trying to send a message to the United States that they will continue to test weapons that they view as essential to protect their national sovereignty and protect against what they believe is hostility and aggression on the part of the United States.

They're watching very closely not only the words from President Trump, saying that a major, major conflict from North Korea is very possible, but they also listen to Secretary Tillerson at the U.N. Security Council urging the world to put more diplomatic isolation and economic pressure on this country. The North Korean response that will not stop them from testing missiles and nuclear weapons -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Will Ripley, thanks so much in North Korea. So President Trump had some rather strong words about the failed launch, saying on Twitter yesterday, "North Korea disrespected the wishes of China and its highly respected president when it launched though unsuccessfully a missile today. Bad."

As the president marks his 100th day he will sign an executive order on trade this evening. He posted this moments ago on Twitter, "Looking forward to rally in the great state of Pennsylvania tonight at 7:30. Big crowd, big energy." And you can catch that rally right here on CNN later on.

So shortly after news broke on yet another North Korean missile test, CNN spoke with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary Kelly believes it will be up to President Trump to stop the North Koreans before that country has a missile that can reach the U.S.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Is the development of the ability to launch such a missile in itself a red line? Is it -- if it becomes a certainty that they have that technology, would the U.S., without question, strike to prevent it from happening?

JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Well, I don't have too much insight, actually, into the intelligence of how they're doing other than to know when I was on active duty they were doing very well and I don't -- I believe they will have the technology.

Unfortunately, for Mr. Trump, all of the attempts of previous administrations to somehow get them to be more responsible, that is to say to stop their technology missile technology development and the atomic development, they've tried to do it and they essentially failed.

I don't criticize them. They did try. Mr. Obama, Mr. Bush, probably Mr. Clinton, but it has fallen on this president that they will, in my opinion, have a workable missile, ICBM-type missile that can certainly hit the United States, not all of the United States, but hit the United States, and they're working hard to develop a weapon to put on that missile.

WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk more about this with CNN military and diplomatic analyst, Rear Admiral John Kirby, CNN contributor, Salena Zito, CNN White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, and CNN political commentators, Ana Navarro, David Urban, and Symone Sanders. All right, good to see all of you. Welcome to the table.

So Admiral, let me begin with you. Because the message from the White House is, there could be a major conflict. What is North Korea -- what is the message it is sending by the failed test missile?

[12:05:13]JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: They're giving us the finger. They're giving China the finger, the United Nations a finger. This is the Kim Jong-un one finger salute, no doubt about it.

It's -- he's sending a very clear message for all of the pressure you think you're going to bear on me, whether it's military, diplomatic or economic, I'm not going to stop. These weapons are key to my survival.

And this is a young man that wants regime survival above all else and he sees nuclear weapon technology and ballistic missile technology as the key to do that.

He can ratchet up the escalation very quickly and very high and he knows that the west and the rest of the international community won't be inclined to want to go there.

So he's sending a very clear message. There is no doubt in my mind that the timing of this missile launch was to go with the U.N. meeting as well as some of the comments that China has made.

WHITFIELD: Salena, you recently spoke with the president, what did he have to say about North Korean's leader?

SALENA ZITO, CNN COMMENTATOR: You know, he takes it very seriously. He talked a lot about during the interview about the importance of diplomacy and that that's the way he wants to resolve this. And he did put pressure on the president of China and said that that relationship is building and that's important to getting this resolved. He said ultimately there's going to be a point where it will get too bad and I will have deal with that when that happens.

WHITFIELD: Is this an issue of style of diplomacy, Stephen? Because most presidents will say the first instinct is diplomacy. Last instinct would be military conflict, even though the president is using the word major conflict. Is this diplomacy at its best?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, in many ways, the White House is following the classic strategy that previous administrations had when confronted with North Korea, which is basically you put pressure on China, try to further isolate Kim Jong- un and the North Koreans and try to isolate them diplomatically.

We talk about more sanctions. The difference here is the rhetorical piece. On the one hand, you have the White House issuing terse one sentence statements saying we're aware of the missile test. The president has been briefed.

And then two hours later, you get a tweet from the president basically escalating the rhetoric over this. The thing we don't know is whether upping the rhetoric in this way is going to be productive.

Is it going to get the North Koreans to a place where they haven't been and they haven't sort of (inaudible) the pressure of previous administrations or does it get you into a cycle of escalation which you don't want to be in at this point.

And then there's the question of the pressure on China. It's been very public. I'm not clear right now whether you can keep that pressure on publically because the president of China Xi Jinping doesn't necessarily want to be seen publicly in China to be bowing to pressure from President Trump in a personal way.

WHITFIELD: I'm wondering how is this incentivizing China?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, that's a very hard question because if we've seen in the last 100 days is that President Trump's foreign policy and the way he deals with foreign leaders is all over the map, right.

He's had his challenges in the last 100 days with the prime minister of Canada, president of Mexico certainly, with Angela Merkel. The problem is, all of those folks are sane, relatively rationale normal human beings. Little boy Kim Jong-un is a manic, crazy person with a potential nuke that could hit the United States.

WHITFIELD: Trying to make a point on the world stage.

NAVARRO: How you deal with him is frankly a question more for psychiatrists I think than for military because this guy is not normal.

WHITFIELD: So David, do you believe it or is it realistic do you think when the Secretary Tillerson says potentially, hinting at some sort of face-to-face meeting with the North Korean leader? You know, do you see that that is embarking on some real potential change since every administration who has tried ends up unsuccessful in trying to?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Every administration has tried what we're seeing right now. The difference is this president doesn't have the luxury to wait for eight years. From what I read in --

WHITFIELD: If it's the greatest threat right now, the Obama administration told him that.

URBAN: Not just to the United States but to the globe. They're on the verge of miniaturization of a nuclear warhead and capable to deliver it to the west coast of the United States. No other president had to face that. That's within the next 12, 16, 18 months.

Other administrations had a great deal of luxury of trying to go it with, you know, with sanctions, with the Chinese. We've seen reports from the U.N. saying that some of the failed rockets have Chinese parts in them.

So I'm not so sure we're going to get through that. This president number one responsibility is to protect the homeland, protect the American people, and I have a great deal of confidence he'll do what's needed in that case.

[12:10:00]WHITFIELD: Symone, this foreign policy is as you go. We've seen with the administration particularly since the pledge was America first, but now, this administration finds itself, you know, in the throes of formulating its foreign policy really on the fly.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: On the fly, yes. It's kind of we wake up and we'll see what our foreign policy is today. What is the president tweeting. It's important to note here that president cannot unilaterally lead us into war.

And when we talk about escalating the situation, when we talk about like that's what this is, if there's a military action we could potentially be going to war. There are real live implications, national security implication, and international implications what we're talking about.

That's why it's so important that the president gets his bearings and his administration gets some type of uniform foreign policy. We don't know what -- there's one thing coming from the White House, another thing from the press secretary's podium, something else from Nikki Haley at the U.N. and something else coming from Tillerson.

So this White House has to get on the same page. There's real implications for the world if we don't.

WHITFIELD: So David, why do you disagree?

URBAN: I think the White House has been singularly focused on this since the president took office. I mean, just because people are -- have different opinions and may be speaking in different terms they're singularly focused in first of all achieving a diplomatic resolution to this crisis. Nobody wants to see a shooting war on the Korean Peninsula.

WHITFIELD: Except when Ambassador Nikki Haley does say we're not trying to pick a fight, is the perception that the Trump administration is trying to provoke by using this language of, you know, there could be a major conflict? Is that kind of picking a fight?

URBAN: At some point when your intelligence community tells you that North Koreans have the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead to your soil, you have to make the decision. The president will make the decision by himself.

SANDERS: He will need to go to Congress.

URBAN: Surrounded by his --

SANDERS: He will need to go to Congress.

URBAN: I'm not so sure.


SANDERS: People don't understand how foreign policy works. You cannot just -- the president cannot unilaterally decide to take us into war. We do not have a dictatorship. This is the United States of America.

URBAN: I understand. The president --

SANDERS: The Congress has the say in what goes on here.

URBAN: The president's sole job is to keep Americans safe. Foreign and domestic threats, this is an existential threat to the American people.


URBAN: The president will act unilaterally if he needs to take out whatever weapon system --

SANDERS: We cannot sensationalize.

URBAN: It's not sensationalizing.

SANDERS: It is. We need to bring down the rhetoric.

WHITFIELD: Separation of powers. This isn't a dictatorship. Ana, I mean --

NAVARRO: There's a lot of things the president can do unilaterally at a given moment when they want to and then they go and ask for permission. There is a reason why he had the field trip with the 100 senators to the White House this week. They want some Congressional buy-in --

WHITFIELD: And there were many members of senators who said it was underwhelming.

NAVARRO: Action towards North Korea would get some support, particularly from Republicans who are in charge of Congress right now.

URBAN: I would say part of that tour may have been not necessarily for the consumers or senators but for foreign audience to demonstrate how serious our government is.

WHITFIELD: So tonight, the White House Correspondents Dinner, you'll be there. You know, Salena, the president will not be there. He will be holding this rally this evening.

ZITO: In my home state.

WHITFIELD: OK, of Pennsylvania. The message being sent by the president it's very important for him to be in a crowd, to get that kind of, you know, positive reinforcement. What's the statement the president is making to this rallying base in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this evening?

ZITO: Well, I believe that he is overriding the press, without the filter of the press, going into the areas where he won, historical win, first since 1988 for a Republican. He's going to a tool and die maker I believe. He's going to be signing an executive order.

He's going to be meeting with some of the people from Pennsylvania that voted for him and a lot of them are Democrats, and then he's going to go out and he's going to talk and he's going to enjoy his 100 days the way he sees fit.

WHITFIELD: It's interesting, Stephen, he's not going to be at the dinner this evening. He has been there before whether it be as a, you know, celebrity or as someone who was thinking about, you know, being president and running. Is it his message that he is dismissing the journalists who will be in attendance, is this, you know, an under whelming moment and he doesn't need to be there? I mean what is he saying by this?

COLLINSON: Donald Trump is a showman. He's setting up a split screen moment, setting up Donald Trump with his base, the people that sent him to Washington, he's going back to his anti-establishment roots and everyone in Washington, what he would say, are the purveyors of fake news, the people of the swamp are wallowing in their dinner jackets at this big Washington establishment dinner. The message is very obvious and clear.


NAVARRO: I actually think he's doing us a great favor.

WHITFIELD: We've all been to that dinner.

[12:15:10]NAVARRO: He ain't funny. I mean, his comedic timing ain't -- is not exactly the best. You know, it's something that frankly Hillary Clinton would have been great at --

WHITFIELD: Isn't this a missed opportunity, isn't it a missed opportunity because most presidents get an opportunity to say --


WHITFIELD: -- self-deprecating, they can be humorous.

NAVARRO: People have complained about the chumminess between the Washington press and the president. I think the benefit of this happening is that the focus goes back on journalism. This dinner raises funds for journalism scholarships. CNN will have their tables filled with guests who are journalism students so let put the focus back on journalism because God knows we need journalism now more than ever.

URBAN: To put a fine point on what Steve is saying about the split screen. The president going to the farm show complex --


URBAN: -- in Harrisburg where they have 4h festivals and agriculture affairs.

ZITO: Rodeos.

URBAN: It is Middle America and he's taking his message directly to the people as he did throughout the campaign and that's how he got there.

WHITFIELD: We'll see it all unfold this evening. Thanks to everybody. Appreciate it.

All right, still ahead, activists protesting the Trump administration's stance on climate change. They're all about to march to the White House right now.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators at the climate march in D.C. are rallying against the president's rollback of environmental protections. The National Park Service is bracing for tens of thousands of protesters. Organizers say the crowd will march to the White House and try to encircle it.

CNN's Brian Todd is at the starting point of the march and CNN government regulation correspondent, Rene Marsh is at the Lafayette Park right outside of the White House there in D.C. So Brian, let's begin with you. The marching taking place, what are protesters saying, what's their ambition here?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, their ambition is to call attention to what they believe is kind of an assault on the environment that they think that President Trump has undertaken in his first 100 days in office.

They're concerned about the president possibly trying to withdraw the United States from the global climate change agreement. They're concerned about the executive orders he has signed exploring the possibility of drilling and protected lands and off America's coast.

We are right here at the basically the start of the march where this banner is. This is basically where the march will start, Third Street. They have lined up way down Third Street, tens of thousands of people we're told are expected for this and you can see all the colorful signs, banners, slogans all over the place.

Photojournalist, Walter (inaudible) and I will kind of pivot over here and walk this way. I did speak to one of the protest organizers, Gene Karpinski, of the League of Observation Voters and he hammered away at the message they want to send to President Trump. Take a listen.


GENE KARPINSKI, MARCH LEADER: This is the 100th day of the Trump administration. The most anti-environmental pro-polluter administration in our history and today is a critically important day to send a message to the president that the public is against all that he's doing to destroy our clean energy economy, to roll back clean air and clean water protections. We're here in force to send a strong message that the public is on our side and not the pro-polluters like President Trump.


TODD: Now protest organizers were quick to point out to us that this is not just about environmentalists gathering here. They say at least six labor unions have come here, indigenous people from all over the country, from poor neighborhoods, they want to call attention to climate justice.

They say this is an economic message and affects people all over the country, Fredricka. So you have a cross-section of people here about ready to get started to march to the White House and will start in a couple minutes from now and within a couple hours they say they are going to surround the White House -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: OK. So Rene, that's where you are, outside of the White House there at Lafayette Park. So their plan to encircle the White House, how are they going to do that? And what are they hoping the president will hear before he does depart for Pennsylvania?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Right. Fred, you know, they are hoping that their voices are loud and clear and we are told by the organizers that they have permitted this march for some 100,000 people. We don't have an official count yet, but that is -- we could see as many as 100,000 people.

Right now, there's a sprinkling where we are because, of course, you saw with Brian, they're all making their way here, but you still have a few people here with signs, you've got the globes, the planets.

Essentially they all have the same message, which is, they do not like the sort of regulatory rollback they've been hearing about here, Fred. Of course, we will be here when they arrive around the White House at around 2:00.

And just really quickly, Fred, we have one guest here, Julien, you live in Alaska and you're saying today is a perfect example of climate change. It's 91 degrees. It feels like summer. What do you see in Alaska?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For 91 degrees, being here itself, what we've been seeing in Alaska this is the beginning statement of what we've not just been going through but the amount of exacerbation and acceleration of climate change.

MARSH: You're seeing it in Alaska?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not just experiencing it, we're actually suffering from this. You know, from the pollutions that's in our waters and our streams, the different changes in our oceans. It's just been something that we have to fix.

MARSH: All right. And that is what we've been hearing over and over, Fred, again in another two hours, all of those protesters will be surrounding the White House right here. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you so much, Rene and Brian. We'll check back with both of you.

All right. Coming up, 100 days of a Donald Trump presidency and 100 days of Russia drama, with no end in sight, and another name that isn't going away, Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.

[12:25:12]President Trump now saying all of this vetting, he's not the only administration to blame.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hasn't kept his end of this contract.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When has he had time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's at 100 days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's had 100 days but he's had the Russia thing throwed at him, he's got a big problem with Korea throwed at him. It's not like he's been sitting down sitting on his thumb doing nothing.


WHITFIELD: All right. The sentiments of Americans across the country. Welcome back to our special coverage of the president's 100th day in office.

Perhaps nothing has placed a cloud over President Trump's first 100 days in office like the issue of Russia meddling into the election and the White House's perceived relationship with Moscow and this week more trouble for Trump's former national security adviser, General Michael Flynn.

The pentagon inspector general is investigating whether Flynn failed to disclose payments from Russian interests after being warned not to take such money in the first place.

In an interview yesterday, the President laid the blame for any mistakes in Flynn's vetting on the Obama administration. CNN's Fareed Zakaria spoke to Susan Rice, Obama's former national security adviser about the shift in blame. Listen.


SUSAN RICE, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: A former military officer, such as General Flynn, who wants to retain his security clearance, would go through a process with his home agency, in this case the Defense Intelligence Agency, to have his clearance reviewed and renewed. That happens at -- you know, at a very routine level. Never at a political level. But that's a very separate thing, the renewal of a clearance, from the vetting that goes into the appointment of any senior White House official or any senior administration official.

The Trump administration, like every previous administration, had an expectation and an obligation to vet to their satisfaction those individuals that the President was appointing to high positions. Which is a separate and much more elaborate process than a security clearance.


WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk more about this. I want to bring in CNN Crime and Justice Producer Shimon Prokupecz, and CNN Senior International Correspondent Clarissa Ward. All right, good to see both of you.

All right. So Shimon, you first, what are we hearing about Michael Flynn, what he disclosed, what he didn't, whether he issued have been vetted, you know, further under a new administration.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Well, it's clear he should have been vetted further. The thing that we're not hearing from officials yet is where their investigation is going with him. What are they looking at. We know there's a bunch of different things they're looking at. His contacts with the Russian ambassador here in D.C., phone calls with him and their conversations, which is a focus of the investigation for the FBI.

His lawyer, Flynn's lawyer, has denied a lot of the accusations and sort of has said that Flynn has briefed before these trips, briefed the pentagon about his trips to Moscow. No one can figures out, none of his friends and the people I've talked, and I've talked to someone close to him, can understand why he would accept money from R.T., why he would accept money from the Russians, it is $45,000.

WHITFIELD: Is it as simple as it was a pretty, you know, sizable amount of money, it was incentive, leaving, you know, public service heading into the private sector, this is my opportunity to make money and maybe nobody will know the source of the money if I don't disclose it?

PROKUPECZ: Perhaps. But the other thing is all this was on video, right? And for the Russians they wanted to promote him. For them it was a good thing to have him there.

So there are questions about what he was thinking. His friends don't think that he was doing anything nefarious. He certainly wasn't working for the Russian government. But this lingering question over Michael Flynn and the White House and what -- how come they didn't vet him more, how come they didn't know more about him.

And also keep in mind when the Trump administration brought Flynn in to the campaign, they really didn't have a lot of military people around them. They didn't have a lot of senior officials around them. So this seemed to be a good fit for them. It seemed to be someone good. And he played to their base pretty well. So for Trump it was kind of a win-win. But they just never really vetted him.


PROKUPECZ: They never really sort of learned anything about him. They sort of just let him go and they just allowed him to be part of the campaign when they should have at some point done a little more digging, a little more --

WHITFIELD: Yes, especially after some critics say if the Obama administration fired him and the new administration is picking him up, why wouldn't you, you know, find out a little bit more about why he may have been fired or what has happened in that, you know, space of time.

So Clarissa, if Russia may have thought it would be advantageous, you know, that this relationship with Michael Flynn might give an upper hand in dealing with this new administration. Does it mean there's human disappointment now that he's the subject of such investigation?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, officially the party line as always is the Kremlin doesn't comment on U.S. domestic issues. Unofficially, there is definitely a sense of profound anxiety at what people who support the Kremlin and were part of the Kremlin will call a kind of purging of friends of Russia, whether it be Manafort, whether it be Michael Flynn. They are extremely anxious about what this portends for the future of this U.S.-Russian relationship, which was supposed to be undergoing this (INAUDIBLE).

And I think you really see a shift now. It's quite striking, when he was elected president he was described in Russian media as a maverick, he was an outsider.

WHITFIELD: And it was a reciprocal.


WHITFIELD: He's a brilliant, smart man.

WARD: Well, let me tell you. The honeymoon period is over, Fred. Russian coverage, now it is open season against President Trump.

[12:35:06] You are hearing some very harsh comments about his chaotic foreign policy, about his low approval ratings. So it's clear that party line in Russia has definitely shifted.

WHITFIELD: And this is now considered -- I mean, the relationship between the U.S. and Russia really sinking to new lows.

WARD: New lows. And this is par the course that we see with every president who comes in and says we're going to do a reset and then six months later it's like about that reset. So I don't think it's a surprise except that from the rhetoric we heard before coming from President Trump there was an expectation that perhaps it would be a warmer relationship but then he's come under domestic pressure to back away from having any relationship.

WHITFIELD: Speaking of backing away and how important will it be for this White House to stop lending its support to Michael Flynn while he's under investigation because the President is still saying, you know, very kind things about him.

PROKUPECZ: So I think he really can't say much more. That there is an investigation ongoing with the Department of Justice now, the pentagon, other -- and the hill where you have the House and the Senate looking at him. So I think Trump wisely is sort of -- he doesn't want to --

WHITFIELD: He's refraining from, you know, really criticizing.

PROKUPECZ: Yes. He's trying to be careful now. Why, who knows. But, you know, it will be interesting to see certainly what happens.

WHITIFIELD: All right. Shimon, Clarissa, good to see you. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

All right, President Trump used to call employment numbers phony while he was campaigning. He is not using that tone anymore. Plus, what Trump voters have to say about his first 100 days.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope that he doesn't get stymied by, you know, some of the legislatures that are kind of scared to enact his agenda. We need him to follow his agenda, do what he promised and that's exactly what he's trying to deliver.




[12:41:12] NOAH CHAIMBERG, FOUNDER, HEATONIST: The heat level is just right. I'm Noah, and this is Heatonist. It's a destination where people can come from all around the world to find new flavors from the best small batch makers of hot sauce. I found this whole movement of craft makers all over who are using all natural and innovative ingredients, who are doing things like smoking the peppers for three days in a small island in Japan.

When we first opened the doors here in Brooklyn, about once a day, somebody would pop their head in the door and say, just hot sauce? Good luck. But now a lot of those people are really happy to say, you know, I didn't think so in the beginning but I haven't been buying hot sauce anywhere else.

Last year, we had over 20,000 people from all around the world come through our shop. Try this one. And sometimes people will push themselves a little further than they maybe should.


CHAIMBERG: They should keep in mind we don't have any milk. We don't have any water here for them. Not that water would help.

One of the things I love most about this business is the ability to help other entrepreneurs. Like a Chipotle, right? When you find them on the shelves of every grocery store, that's when we know we've done our part and we make them on ourselves for somebody new who's just finding out.


WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back to the Newsroom. Live coverage right now. If you look in the middle there with a blue shirt, making a statement on the people's climate march, that's actor Leonardo DiCaprio. There are thousands of people who are marching through the nation's capital. They made their way from the U.S. capital building and now making their way to Lafayette Park outside of the White House where the plan is marchers will actually -- they're permitted to actually encircle the perimeter of the White House. But right now, getting lots of star power there with actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

All right. After frequently bashing the government's jobs report, while on the campaign trail, the numbers we're seeing now are going on President Trump's record. So far, more than 300,000 new jobs have been added in just two months. A much better start than his four predecessors. But Trump's lofty goal of 25 million jobs over the next decade will be a very tall order. CNN's Christine Romans breaks down the numbers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, on the campaign trail then candidate Trump was very critical of the American jobs market. He called it a disaster. He said the official jobs statistics were phony and a hoax. Now 100 days into his presidency, Fredricka, he sings a very different tune.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time. It's going to really start catching on now because some of the things that we've done are big league and they are catching on.


ROMANS: Big league and catching on. Let's deconstruct that 600,000 new jobs claim. When you add February and March, the official jobs statistics when President Trump is president you get 317,000 net new jobs. Not 600,000. If you want to be charitable and add January, you come up with 533,000 net new jobs. One of champion. Exaggeration of the jobs creation, but the trend is correct.

And when you look in perspective of how he stacks up with his predecessors you can see he stands apart. Barack Obama, 1.5 million jobs lost in the first couple months. This is a very slow recovery for George W. Bush from the dot com bust. And Bill Clinton, 194,000 jobs. This would turn out to be, by the way, a really impressive, impressive eight years of job creation for Bill Clinton. That started off rather slowly.

Look at that, over eight years, 22.9 million jobs, better than Ronald Reagan, certainly better than George Bush, and only 2 million jobs created there. And we showed you the picture of just how terrible the job loss was at the beginning of Obama's presidency. He ended up with 11 million jobs there. Donald Trump has promised over 10 years to have policies that will support 25 million new jobs. He'll have to come up with 208,000 on average every month to make that happen.

[12:45:13] WHITFIELD: All right. Christine, thank you so much.

President Trump overcame the odds when he was elected, thanks to a very dedicated base of supporters. Ahead, CNN travel across the country to hear voters' views on the President's first 100 days.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How do you think Trump is doing?

GREG WESTON, FARMER: I think he's doing good.

QUINTON POSEY, TAXI DRIVER: 100 days in, I'm not pleased.



WHITFIELD: All right. CNN crisscrosses the country to talk with voters who helped elect President Trump to get their thoughts on how his first 100 days has gone. Here is Martin Savidge.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ashville, Alabama, the sun's been up for three hours and Greg Weston's been up for six. He's a farmer. What he grows, he and his wife, Brandi, sell on an old gas station on the edge of town.

[12:50:08] Around here, the only thing redder than the maters is the politics. The county where Greg and Brandi live voting 89 percent for Trump.

(on camera): How do you think Trump is doing?

G. WESTON: I think he's doing good.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): They like Trump even though his first actions haven't helped really them. Trump's tough immigration talk has made it harder for Greg to find migrant workers to harvest his crops.

G. WESTON: (INAUDIBLE) you're in trouble.

SAVIDGE: Then, there's Trump's efforts to replace Obamacare, which Greg and Brandi are on.

(on camera): Why do you like about -- why do you like it?

G. WESTON: Well, I pay $88 a month for me and my wife, where I was like, before Obamacare come in, I spent like $660.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Obamacare is working so well, Brandi feels guilty. She says she knows people who can't afford their private insurance or they can't get insurance at all. She's OK with Trump's efforts to replace it.

BRANDI WESTON, FARMER: It still doesn't make sense to pay so little and still the poor people get nothing.

SAVIDGE (on camera): You think you should pay more?

B. WESTON: Yes. In other words, yes.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): In Birmingham, it's also another long day for Quinton Posey, a cab driver. In the past, he's voted Democratic. But in 2016, voted Trump.

POSEY: The thing about a businessman is there is action, and it's not policy.

SAVIDGE: Black Trump voters are rare in the South, only about 9 percent. Quinton's even more rare since he is black and gay.

(on camera): One hundred days in, how do you feel he's done?

POSEY: One hundred days in, I'm not pleased.

SAVIDGE: Really?

POSEY: I'm not pleased.

SAVIDGE: What don't you like?

POSEY: He's a little too brash. Is that the word?

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Quinton hasn't seen as much change as he expected and he worries about what a Trump budget might cut.

(on camera): I mean, do you wish you hadn't voted for him?

POSEY: I don't wish I had because -- I mean, according to the alternatives, I don't have any regrets.

SAVIDGE: Right, you were not going to vote for Clinton?

POSEY: I'm not going to vote for Clinton. SAVIDGE (voice-over): In Des Moines, Iowa, I find another surprise named Alberto Alejandre, a 32-year-old public school teacher who teaches Spanish to inner city kids.

(on camera): Who did you vote for this go around?


SAVIDGE (voice-over): Born in Mexico, he became an American through an amnesty program in the '80s. Yet voted for a president who has called Mexicans criminals and threatens mass deportations.

ALEJANDRE: Here we are, 100 days after he was sworn in, and he has not acted against innocent, undocumented workers.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Some would disagree, but what's certain is that Alberto feels good about the administration so far, including on immigration.

ALEJANDRE: Being in America, to begin with, isn't a right. It's a great privilege.

SAVIDGE: Madison County, Iowa, famous for its bridges and home to a man many people feel personifies America, John Wayne.

Brian Downes knew the dude and found similar qualities in the Donald when he met Trump at a campaign event.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): Yes.

DOWNES: That made a huge difference. Yes, made a huge difference, because he's somebody who -- we really felt like one of us. I had that feeling.

SAVIDGE (voice over): The big campaign issue for Brian was the same as Alberto.

DOWNES: Borders, immigration, and I think that national security is all part of that.

SAVIDGE (voice over): And like Alberto, Brian is pleased by Trump so far.

DOWNES: I think he's doing great.

SAVIDGE (voice over): And he also admits that Trump's had to deal with a bit of a learning curve.

DOWNES: And he has as much has admitted, I didn't know it was going to be this complicated.

SAVIDGE (voice over): From the birthplace of John Wayne, to a scene right out of the old west.

John Platini's (ph) family has been raising buffalos since the '60s. Today, the Durham ranch has more than 3,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're a great story. I mean, they have a great comeback story, you know?

SAVIDGE (voice over): Wyoming may be the Cowboy State, but here, coal is king.

But a King Kong scale, Wyoming produces 40 percent of America's coal, dwarfing West Virginia and Kentucky. There's also oil, natural gas, and wind.

MAYOR LOUISE CARTER-KING, GILLETTE, WYOMING: We are the energy capital of the nation.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Here, if you're not mining or drilling, you're selling to those who do. This past election, only one issue really mattered, jobs and energy. And yes, that's two but in Wyoming, they're one and the same.

Jeff Dale runs a business running industrial generators. He voted for Trump saying Democrats were anti-energy.

JEFF DALE, BASIN ELECTRIC POWER: The path that we were on was definitely crippling this industry. So, there are too many regulations and too many hurdles.

SAVIDGE (voice over): That could explain why Wyoming was the reddest state of all.

Michael Wandler's family owned business has been repairing monster size mining machinery for decades. He voted for Trump and says things have been improving ever since.

[12:55:02] MIKE WANDLER, L & H INDUSTRIAL INCORPORATION: Business is better now. We had our worst year since 2008 last year. It's better now. We feel like it's going to be 10 percent better, maybe 20 percent better this year.

STACEY MOELLER, COAL MINER: A spot at the table.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Stacey Moeller is a single parent, a grandmother, and a coal miner. She operates a P&H 4100 electric shovel, that's larger than her house.

(on camera): One mistake and you really could do a lot of damage.

MOELLER: Yes. Yes. We don't make mistakes.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): She also voted for Trump, even though she was reviled by his words and actions toward women.

MOELLER: And I was offended, but it was not about me. It was about the people I work with, and the people I love. And I had to make a choice that was bigger than me, so I did.

SAVIDGE (voice over): For Stacey and all the voters I talked with, Trump was not a perfect candidate and is not a perfect president. They voted for him believing he would make their lives better and 100 days later, they still do.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Wyoming.


WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much for being with me this morning and this afternoon. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Our special coverage continues with Wolf Blitzer right after this.