Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump's 100th first day in office finds the leader of the free world tackling a number of controversial topics and issues; White House unveil an ambitious tax reform plan; Health care bill back in focus this week; Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 30, 2017 - 16:00   ET



[16:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have -- I really, you know, have no comment on him. People are saying, is he sane? I have no idea. I will not be happy if he does a nuclear test. I will not be happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not happy, meaning military action?

TRUMP: I don't know. I mean we'll see.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Is the President considering a preemptive strike on North Korea?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I don't think so, Jake, but somebody said this could be a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.



WHITFIELD: All right. Hello again. And thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right. President Trump's 100th first day in office finds the leader of the free world tackling a number of controversial topics and issues. In an interview that aired this morning on CBS, the President touches on everything from health care to his income taxes, and his distaste for the media calling it dishonest, among his lessons learned.

But we begin with Trump's thoughts on the North Korean crisis and the young unpredictable leader of the rogue nation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, you and the administration said to North Korea, don't test a missile. They have tested a missile. Is the pressure not working?

TRUMP: Well, I didn't say don't test the missile. He is going to do what he has to do. But he understands we are not going to be very happy. And I will tell you, a man that I have got to gotten to like and respect, the President of China, President Xi, I believe has been putting pressure on him also. But so far, perhaps nothing has happened, and perhaps it has. This was a small missile. This was not a big missile. This was not a nuclear test which he was expected to do three days ago. We will see what happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say "not happy," what does that mean?

TRUMP: I would not be happy. If he does a nuclear test, I will not be happy. And I can tell you also, I don't believe that the President of China who is a very respected man will be happy either.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not happy meaning military action?

TRUMP: I don't know. I mean we'll see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chinese have been allies with South Korea. How are you sure that they are not using this as a way to test you?

TRUMP: You can never be sure of anything, can you? But I have developed a very good relationship. I don't think they want to see a destabilized North Korea. I will be they want to see it. They certainly don't want to see nuclear from their neighbor. They haven't liked it for a long time. But we will have to see what happens. The relationship I have with China, it's been already acclaimed as being something very special, something very different than we have ever had. But again, you know, we will find out whether or not President Xi is able to affect change. I hope he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do these missiles keep blowing up?

TRUMP: Well, I would rather not discuss it. But perhaps they are just not very good missiles. But eventually he will have good missiles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't want to discuss it because maybe we have something to do it.

TRUMP: I just don't want to discuss it. And I think you know me very well where you have asked me many times over the last couple years about military. I said we shouldn't be announcing, we are going into Mosul. It is a chess game. I just don't want people to know what my thinking is. So eventually he will have a better delivery system. And if that happens, we can't allow it to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you make of the North Korean leader?

TRUMP: I have -- I really -- you know, have no comment on him. People are saying, is he sane? I have no idea. I can tell you this. A lot of people don't like when I say it, but he was a young man of 26 or 27 when he took over from his father, when his father died. He's dealing with obviously very tough people, in particular the generals and others. And at a very young age he was able to assume power. A lot of people I'm sure tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously he's a pretty smart cookie. But we have a situation that we just cannot let -- we cannot let what's been going on for a long period of years continue.

And, frankly, this should have been done and taken care of by the Obama administration. Should have been taken care of by the Bush administration. Should have been taken care of by Clinton.


WHITFIELD: All right. Let's discuss with our panel Brian Morgenstern, a Republican strategist, Ellis Henican, a political columnist, bestselling author and a Metro columnist and Elise Labott, a CNN affairs correspondent.

Good to see all of you.

All right. So Brian, let me begin with you. You know, after listening to the president, do you feel like the President he has a strategy to handle North Korea but one he just doesn't want to telegraph?

BRIAN MORGENSTERN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, I think that's it. I mean, the strategies over the past number of decades have really yielded the same results, which is that North Korea acts up. They test a new missile program. They announce their intention to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States and deliver a nuclear warhead. And in response we show up with some aid and we kind of bribe them to put it on the back burner and hold off for a while. And I think the President is really frustrated that now they are, you know, ostensibly doing the same thing to him and he doesn't feel like it has really yielded results. So he wants to try something different. And as we all know Trump loves to be unpredictable and this President really doesn't want other leaders -- he wants them to be on their toes and kind on the edge of their seats and off balance and I think that's what he's trying now. It is something new.

[16:05:20] WHITFIELD: So Ellis, you know, the President described his strategy on North Korea as a chess game. But you know, like in chess, you got to be one or two steps ahead of your opponent. At the same time, he did say, you know, I will not be happy. But then I don't know, we'll see. So does that sound like a definitive plan or he is thinking one or two steps ahead?

ELLIS HENICAN, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Beats me. I mean, I just listened to the same bite that you did. I have no idea what he is saying there. I'm not sure that he knows. He sounds like honestly like my dad when I was 10 years old, I will not be happy, with vague consequences.

As far as we can tell, first of all it is more like tic-tac-toe I think than it is chess. I don't know that the thinking is all that complex. And to the degree we can grasp any of it, it sounds like a lot of what Obama did, use China to try to pressure North Korea which works a little bit but not completely.

WHITFIELD: OK. Then there was Senator John McCain also today on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION." And he spoke about Trump's handling of the crisis. This is how he is assessing things.


MCCAIN: As somebody said this could be a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion. I disagreed with the President's tweet about North Korea by continuing to test disrespecting China. They disrespected us. And the numerous agreements made by three previous Presidents that was supposed to bring this process of their acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to a halt. The key to this is China and the Chinese can put the brakes on this.


WHITFIELD: So Elise, will China, can China step up to the plate on this?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there is certainly much more that they can do. And they have taken some steps. To be fair, in the recent weeks they've caught coal imports and they have also stopped air flights between air China flights between Pyongyang and Beijing which I think is a pretty significant symbolic move.

I think the U.S. is looking for them to do more. I think one thing that really struck President Trump is that China has 90 percent of North Korea's trade. So I think they are looking to cut trade. I think they want North Korea to cut oil shipments as they have done briefly in the past.

I think China is really walking a very delicate balance here. Certainly they are getting frustrated with North Korea and they are sending very clear signals not to take a nuclear test, not to push this too far towards the brink. But I think there is also a limit. They certainly don't want to see any collapse of the regime because that will destabilize China right on their border.

So I think, you know, President Trump I think has been playing them pretty well. But I think there are also limits to what China can and will do.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And if not them, then who steps in.

All right. So let's shift gears a little bit and talk about Trump's domestic agenda. The White House unveil an ambitious, you know, tax reform plan a few days ago, And vice President Pence, you know, trying to make the case for the tax plan on NBC's "Meet the Press" this morning. Listen.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The only way we are going to meet the obligations that why face in deficits today are long-term obligations in our entitlements, Chuck, is through growth. And the President has a growth vision for the American economy that begins with allowing the American people to keep more of what they learn. President has proposed one of the largest tax cuts in American history. And I have to tell you, the early response on Capitol Hill has been very encouraging.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, MEET THE PRESS: I understand people are happy about it. But you are going to increase the deficit.

PENCE: Well, you know, maybe in the short term. But the truth is, if we don't get this economy growing at three percent, or more as the President believes that we can, we are never going to meet the obligations that we have made today.


WHITFIELD: And so Brian, can a convincing argument be made that there would be three percent growth?

MORGENSTERN: Absolutely. And it was the norm before the Obama years. And I would add that every time a major tax reform has been put into effect from JFK to Reagan to George W. Bush, federal tax revenue has increased due to that growth. So I think that's what he is getting at. And then persuading all the congressmen the frogs that get into the wheelbarrow, as speaker Boehner used to say, is another issue. That's the challenge and persuading them that maybe a short-term deficit would lead to a long-term reduction in the debt. You know, that's the argument they're making.

WHITFIELD: And so, Ellis, you know, what are the chances of this tax plan actually getting the blessings that it needs?

HENICAN: The first 100 days were any indication, not too high to get the kind of cooperation he would need from Congress. Also, I got to tell you, I don't have Brian's optimism about the deficit on this. So as I read it, every one of the major tax cuts of the past generation has led to significantly higher deficits. And there are a lot of deficit hawks in the Republican Party who I don't think are going to be too pleased about that.

[16:10:11] WHITFIELD: All right. Brian Morgenstern, Ellis Henican, Elise Labott, thanks so much. We will leave it there for now.

All right next, the fate of the health care bill back in focus this week. The President is pushing hard for victory after the Republicans failed to gather enough support to hold a vote on Friday.


TRUMP: We have - we are going to have lower premiums. And before you start there, let me just tell you something. Obamacare is dead. Obamacare right now, all the insurance companies are fleeing.



[16:14:45] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

So after a second stumble to get a new health care bill through Congress, today the President is guaranteeing he will include coverage for preexisting conditions in this quote "third phase." listen.


[16:15:01] TRUMP: This has evolved over a period of three or four weeks. Now, we really have a good bill. I think they could have voted on Friday. I say just relax, don't worry about this phony 100- day thing. Just relax, take it easy, take your time, get the good vote and make it perfect. We are going -- most importantly, we are going to drive down premiums, we are going to drive down deductibles because right now deductibles are so high, unless you are going to die a long, hard death, you never can get to use your health care because the deductibles are so lie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what I hear you saying is preexisting is going to be in there for everybody. It is not going --.

TRUMP: Pre-existing is going to be in there and we are also going to create pools and pools are going to take care --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not going to be left up to the states. Everybody gets preexisting no matter where they live.

TRUMP: No, but the states are also going to have a lot to do with it because we ultimately want to get it back down.

Look, because if you hurt your knee, honestly, I would rather have the federal government focused on North Korea, focused on other things than your knee. OK? Or than your back, as important as your back is. I would much rather see the federal government focused on other things. Bigger things. Now, the state is going to be in a much better position to take care because it is smaller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People out there with preexisting conditions, they are worried. Are they going to have the guarantee of coverage if they have a preexisting condition or if they live in a state where the governor decides that's not part of health care or that the prices are going to go up. That is the worry the American medical association says this could make coverage completely unaffordable for people.

TRUMP: We actually -- forget about unaffordable. What's unaffordable is Obamacare, John.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I'm not hearing you, Mr. President, say there is a guarantee of preexisting conditions?

MORGENSTERN: We actually have a clause that guarantees.


WHITFIELD: All right. Let's bring in Tami Luhby. She is a health and policy reporter for CNN Money.

So Tami, what can be expected in this new bill?

TAMI LUHBY, CNN MONEY HEALTH AND POLICY REPORTER: Well, there are certainly going to be some problems probably if this bill passes for those with preexisting conditions. Obamacare had several protections written in. Those with preexisting conditions have to get coverage. The insurers have to provide them coverage and they have to provide them at the same rate as for everybody else. They can't charge them more like they used to in the past.

Also, they have to provide comprehensive benefits. So a lot of things have to be covered. While the new bill does say that insurers still have to cover those with preexisting conditions, that is true, they do allow the states to make changes to the other benefits. So insurers could charge people more in some circumstances, and they may not cover everything anymore. They may provide skimpy policies so people with cancer, people with diabetes, people with heart problems, you know, won't get the kind of benefits that they need.

WHITFIELD: All right. So, when people hear the President, people who have these preexisting conditions, and they hear that the state would make those determinations, should they feel confident that they will be protected?

LUHBY: There are a lot of people who are concerned. There are a lot of health policy experts. There are a lot of politicians. This is why moderates are not coming onboard. They would have had a vote last week if the moderates were, you know, comfortable with this. But there are a lot of politicians, a lot of consumers, and a lot of others who are concerned that this is going to severely weaken the protections for those with preexisting conditions in the states that opt to waive them.

This plan could work very well for lowering premiums for those who are healthy, but it's the people who are sick who are driving up the premiums and this amendment is not going to help them.

WHITFIELD: All right. Tami Luhby, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

LUHBY: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Next, lessons learned. One hundred days into the job, the President reveals the most significant take-away from his first three months in the oval office.


[16:22:07] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The White House is sending mixed messages on the North Korean defense system. The U.S. is deploying the billion dollar system known as THAD to South Korea. On Thursday, the President suggested Seoul should pick up the tab saying quote "I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. It is a billion-dollar system. It is phenomenal, shoots missiles right out of the sky," end quote.

But today, national security advisor H.R. McMaster changed that narrative just a bit. He told Fox News Sunday the U.S. will honor its previous agreement to pay for the Korean missile defense system, at least for now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Well, the last thing I would ever do is contradict the President of the United States. But -- and that's not what it was. In fact, what I told our South Korean counterpart is until any renegotiation, the deal is in place. We will adhere to our word. What the President has asked us to do is look across all of our alliances and to have appropriate burden sharing, responsibility sharing. We are looking at that with our great ally, South Korea. We are looking at that with may know.


WHITFIELD: McMaster went on to say the President's leadership is influencing more nations to contribute more to a collective defense.

All right. Meantime, a day after North Korea's failed missile test, President Trump is taking a defiant tone on Pyongyang. This was his reaction to a potential nuclear test by Kim Jong-Un.


TRUMP: I would not be happy. If he does a nuclear test, I will not be happy. And I can el tell you also, I don't believe that the President of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy, either.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not happy, meaning military action?

TRUMP: I don't know. I mean we'll see.


WHITFIELD: All right. This as the "USS Vinson"" conducts joint drills with South Korea off the waters off the Korean Peninsula.

CNN's Will Ripley is in North Korea and has the latest.


[16:25:01] WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump continues to be very ambiguous about what the United States would actually do if North Korea goes toward with a sixth nuclear test. But here on the ground in Pyongyang, they are anything but ambiguous with their rhetoric blasting the U.S. calling them war mongers for deploying the U.S. carrier strike group to the water up in Korean peninsula conducting joint exercises for the South Korean navy. They say it is yet another example of the hostile United States doing one thing, but then asking North Korea to do another. And so, government officials here say they absolutely will continue to launch missiles and conduct another nuclear test whenever their supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un, decides the timing is right.

Now, you also heard President Trump talking a lot about China and lavishing praise once again on Chinese President Xi Jinping. We know that China has a significant trade relationship with North Korea. At least 70 percent of this country's trade according to economists here, 90 percent by other estimates, outside of North Korea. And then China also controls a large oil pipeline, a significant amount of this country's oil flows in through China. So if Beijing were to cut off this country, it could have severe economic consequences.

But the North Koreans, when we have asked them about this have stopped at the suggestion. That pressure from China, the United Nations, the U.S. or anyone else, will slow down their development of weapons of mass destruction that they view as essential to protect their national sovereignty in the face of what they view as a growing threat in South Korea with the deployment now of the THAD missile defense system, North Korea propaganda blasting the confusion in the south over who is going to pay the $1 billion for the deployment of this highly sophisticated technology. We now know the U.S. will go ahead and pay for it as was made in an agreement prior to the Trump administration.

But moving forward what we don't know is are there discussions, back channel discussions, the efforts to engage in diplomacy. We get a sense from North Korean officials, they are willing to talk with China and the United States. They want a seat at the table with the rest of the world. But what they don't want is to be bullied into giving up their nuclear weapons after they have invested a considerable amount of time and resources into developing these weapons. And they say they are entitled to have them. They want to be recognized as a nuclear power before they sit down and start to try to hash out a resolution to all of this without going to the option that nobody wants, which is a military conflict.

Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.


WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Will.

All right. Coming up, what Donald Trump has learned in his first 100 days in office.

But first, at 14, this week's CNN hero, (INAUDIBLE) was living alone on the streets. And after years of struggling she managed to create a stable life and has spent the last 32 years providing vulnerable youth in Israel not only a safe haven but something much more. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be homeless in the young age, it is very lonely. When you don't have your family you would always have (INAUDIBLE). I know exactly what they are going through. I want children to believe. I want them to feel alive. I want them to feel secure. I want them to feel that they can be hugged and they will not be in danger. We can see it in a different way and with life.


WHITFIELD: To see how (INAUDIBLE) helps these young adults win at life, go to And while you're there, nominate someone you think should be a 2017 CNN hero. And we will be right back.



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: Alright, just a couple of days ago the president acknowledge a Reuters reporter that he thought being leader of the free world would "be easier." And today on CBS, he was asked what he learned in the first 100 days of his presidency, and this is how he answered.


JOHN DICKERSON, FACE THE NATION SHOW HOST, CBS NEWS: You said in an interview with Reuters that you thought it would be easier. Why?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, it's a -- it's a tough job, but I've had a lot of tough jobs. I've had things that were tougher. Although I'll let you know that better at the end of eight years, perhaps eight years. Hopefully eight years, but I'll let you know later on. I think we've done very well with foreign policy. I think we've done very, very well with relationships with other leaders.

DICKERSON: What do you know now on day 100 that you wish you knew on day one of the presidency?

TRUMP: Well, one of the things that I've learned is how dishonest the media is, really. I've done things that are I think very good. I've done -- I've set great foundations with foreign leaders. We have NAFTA, as you know, I was going to terminate it but I got a very nice call from a man I like, the president of Mexico. I got a very nice call from Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada. And they said please, would you rather than terminating NAFTA -- I was all set to do it.

In fact, I was going to do it today. I was going to do it as we're sitting here, I would have had to delay you. I was going to do it today. I was going to terminate NAFTA. But they called up and said would you negotiate? And I said, yes, I will negotiate.

DICKERSON: That's all you've learned, about the media? You knew from the campaign about the media. You've said it all the time --

TRUMP: No, no, but the media didn't cover it that way. The media said, oh, I didn't terminate NAFTA. First of all, if you look at my statements I said --

DICKERSON: No, no, I meant --

TRUMP: "If I'm not able to renegotiate NAFTA, I will terminate NAFTA." Well, I'll make that statement right now.

DICKERSON: Here's a question.

TRUMP: If I'm not able to renegotiate NAFTA, we will terminate NAFTA.

DICKERSON: Let's step back a minute.


DICKERSON: Presidents have to learn how to adapt. Every president comes into the job, it's different than they expect, they must adapt. Surely you've learned something else other than the media is dishonest.

TRUMP: No, no, I'm just saying --

DICKERSON: And how do you adapt?

TRUMP: -- it was one of my disappointments.

DICKERSON: Give me another thing you learned that you're going to adapt and change because all presidents have to at this stage.

TRUMP: Well, I think things generally tend to go a little bit slower than you'd like them to go.


WHITFIELD: Alright, let's talk about all of this

[16:35:00] back with me, Brian Morgenstern and Ellis Henican. Also joining us now, CNN contributor and author of the book "The Truth About Trump," Michael D'Antonio. Alright, Brian, first, the president expressing his distrust of the media, you know, as a lesson learned. Why does he continue to make this a main concern or even a lesson learned? How is this advantageous to him?

BRIAN MORGENSTERN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Because the media at large does tend to have a liberal bias. They're very critical of Trump. He's taken a lot of beatings over the last 100 days and he wants to remind the viewers and the readers and the consumers of that media, not to just take everything at its face value and remember that he's done some good things and maybe that's not being covered as much as obviously he thinks it should be. And just as a general matter for Republican candidates and office holders, going after the media just from a pure political standpoint is always gold.

WHITFIELD: Alright, so Ellis, you know, chief of staff Reince Priebus said today that people in the White House have actually talked about amending the constitution to allow the president to sue newspapers that publish stories that he doesn't agree with. Listen.


REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think it's something that we've looked at and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story. But when you have articles out there that have no basis or fact and we're sitting here on 24/7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia and all these other matters -- JONATHAN KARL, HOST: So you think the president should be able to sue

"The New York Times" for stories he doesn't like.

PRIEBUS: I think that -- here's what I think. I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired --

KARL: I don't think anybody would agree with that. It's about whether or not the president should have a right to sue them.

PRIEBUS: And I already answered the question.


WHITFIELD: Alright. So Ellis, lots of different kinds of media, but you know, the White House, Donald Trump, very critical of the media. But at the same time, hasn't he used it to his advantage, hence, winning the presidency?

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, METRO PAPERS: Well, yes. You noticed that, didn't you? This isn't going to happen. I mean libel laws are not going to change. This is just pandering to a part of the base that is, you know, wants to hear how terrible the media is. The problem here is that Donald Trump lacks curiosity and he lacks self-reflection. And those are the ways that you learn, as by being open-minded about this kind of stuff. All he wants to do at this 100-day mark is just to beat up on the same old enemies that worked for him in the campaign and aren't working as well as president.

WHITFIELD: So, last night the White House Correspondents' Dinner, oftentimes the presidents go as, you know, shows a comedic side or self-deprecating side. President wasn't there. The comedian Hasan Minhaj was there and he underscored the evening this way.


HASAN MINHAJ, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY SHOW: It's a sign to the rest of the world. It's this amazing tradition that shows the entire world that even the president is not beyond the reach of the first amendment.


But the president didn't show up, because Donald Trump doesn't care about free speech. The man who tweets everything that enters his head refuses to acknowledge the amendment that allows him to do it. Think about it. It's almost -- what is it, 11:00? It is 11:00 p.m. right now. In four hours Donald Trump will be tweeting about how bad Nicki Minaj bombed at this dinner.


And he'll be doing it completely sober. And that's his right.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: So, Michael, you know Donald Trump well. What's your best guess as to why the president didn't want to attend? He has attended as a candidate, he attended as you know, "Celebrity Apprentice" star. Why wouldn't he attend as sitting president?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, the first thing that comes to mind for me is that you have to have a sense of humor to attend that event, and he's not a guy who has a good sense of humor. What he does is ridicule other people. If you remember, when he appeared at the Al Smith Dinner, that's an event where people are supposed to make fun of themselves and what he did mostly was make fun of his own wife. So, I think he lacks the grace, he lacks the ability, the observing ego to step out of himself and let people make fun of him a little bit knowing that he's the big dog, the most powerful person in the world.

But I think this is also reflective of his belief that nothing he does matters. He promoted himself as a populist. He was supposed to go in and drain the swamp. He has five former Goldman Sachs bankers surrounding him. He hasn't really delivered on any of the big

[16:40:00] promises he made to the people who follow him. And yet only 2 percent of them have decided maybe their vote was a mistake. So, he feels he can get away with a lot, and so far he's right.

WHITFIELD: Instead, he was at a rally last night and, you know, supporters were there. He has enjoyed that his base still finds him to be incredibly likable and they're happy with him. Wouldn't he be interested in kind of, you know, growing that support and might he think about attending next year as a means in which to do that? I know it's a year off, right?

D'ANTONIO: Well, he might attend next year, but, you know, I'm not sure he's interested in that kind of growth you're talking about. We count on our presidents to bring you our country together, and this was on Saturday night, one of the most divisive, angry, resentment- filled speeches I think anyone's heard from a president. And people lapped it up because anger kind of fueled their vote for him in the first place.

But that's only going to get you 40 percent and I don't know what he imagines he's supposed to be doing for the rest of us who either didn't vote for him or are alarmed by his rhetoric. But certainly he didn't do anything to bring us together on Saturday night.

WHITFIELD: All right, Michael, Ellis, Brian, good to see all of you. Thanks so much. And we're back in a moment.


WHITFIELD: At least four people were killed and more than 50 others injured after at least three twisters touched down in Texas last night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to hit the power lines. My god.


WHITFIELD: The storm chaser who shot this incredible video talked to CNN earlier about how strong the storm was.


CHROIS COLLURA, STORM CHASER: You can feel the rumble in your chest. The video doesn't do it any justice. It's a very low subsonic rumble. It does sounds like -- it does sound like the train. It does kind of sound like Niagara Falls when you're standing on the edge there. Your ears are popping pretty much and you're getting slammed by the rear plank down draft winds which are 100-mile an hour winds that come in on back side of the tornado.


WHITFIELD: Homes and businesses are destroyed. Dozens of people were inside this church just last night when the tornado hit. The church was severely damaged but no one inside was hurt. Just moments ago, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, gave an update.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: The first priority is to look after the lives of the people who have been affected by this. That includes first and foremost doing anything and everything we possibly can to ensure that anybody whose life is endangered, that we can do anything about saving and protecting, that is our top priority.

The second priority is to safeguard and ensure the surrounding area of anybody who may be endangered and that means going through the process of search and rescue. There are people associated with these organizations represented here today who are, as we speak, going door to door, house to house, building to building, to find out if there is anybody in those houses or buildings and make sure that we locate them and get them to safety if at all possible.


WHITFIELD: And now that his 100th day milestone has come and gone, the president has promised to focus on a specific epidemic -- opioid addiction. Here the president is speaking to victims at the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't know anything about heroin. I was never warned. I've not that said it's anybody else's fault. I take full responsibility.

TRUMP: So this all began very innocently with an injury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, yes. With a prescription of painkillers. TRUMP: What was the drug they gave?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Percocet. And then from Percocet it went to oxi. From oxi it went to heroin because it is definitely, like you said, more accessible and so much cheaper. Very quickly, I lost everything.


WHITFIELD: Alright, we have a special report on how opioid addictions are creating a generation of orphans as children are being abandoned by their addicted parents. And a staggering 2.7 million grandparents are believed to now be raising their grandchildren. Deborah Feyerick filed this report from Kentucky.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's impossible to be crying in the zoo.

FEYERICK: Meet the Flynn family. Grandma Sandra is 64-years-old. Her husband, Michael, who everyone calls Poppy, is 73.

You are now raising 5-year-old twins.

MICHAEL FLYNN, GRANDFATHER: Yes, ma'am, and the other three.

FEYERICK: They are raising five grandkids in a cramped colorful Kentucky home that's equal parts chaos and love. Willa (ph), now 16, is the oldest.

FEYERICK: When was the last time you saw your mom, Willa?

WILLA BRUMAGEN, GRANDDAUGHTER: Five years ago when I was 10.

SANDRA FLYNN, GRANDMOTHER: She kind of disappeared and no one knew where she was.

FEYERICK: The "she" Sandy is referring to is her own daughter whose youngest children were all born children were all born addicted to drugs.

S. FLYNN: The state came in and said she could not care for them anymore, and they called and asked us if we would take all five, and said, of course.

FEYERICK: An estimated 3 million kids in America are being raised by someone other than their mom and dad. The opioid and heroin epidemic has hit Kentucky especially hard. More than 68,000 children there are now being taken care of by grandparents, relatives or foster parents.

MARY JO DENDY, COORDINATOR, FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER: They've been abandoned. They've been forgotten in a lot of ways in preference for the drugs.

[16:45:02] FEYERICK: When you look at the generation of kids that's being raised, how do you think it is going to turn out?

S. FLYNN: It has to impact them. There's always going to be a want, a need, that something they didn't get from mom.

FEYERICK: Do you feel on some levels that you've been abandoned in some way by your mom?

BRUMAGEN: I know she cared about me. She used to be a really sweet person. But now I don't know. I learned to accept it when it didn't work out.

FEYERICK: Not far away in another part of Lexington, Kentucky, grandmother Kathy Allen, drops by the high school to pick up grandkids Kayla and Madison.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you all have a nice day at school?

FEYERICK: Now 14 and 16, the sisters were small when they were initially placed in foster care.

FEYERICK: How's your childhood compare? How would you describe it?


FEYERICK: It was terrible.

ALLEN: Yes, when you think about childhood, you think about like happy things, but there wasn't really any.

FEYERICK: According to Generations United, nearly 40 percent of grandparents caring for grandchildren are over age 60. One in five lives below the poverty line.

KATHY ALLEN, GRANDMOTHER: Foster parents can earn as much as $600 to $1,200 per month per child, whereas grandparents aren't even receiving the first food stamp.

FEYERICK: Kayla and Madison are in touch with their father who's currently in prison. They say they have little to no contact with their mom. Her choice, not theirs, they say.

MADISON ALLEN, GRANDDAUGHER: I've figured where my mom so many times, but like she just keeps going back like it's hard to forgive every single time?

FEYERICK: A generation of children who feel abandoned by parents who they believe chose drugs over them. Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Lexington, Kentucky.



WHITFIELD: Alright, comedy meets politics at annual White House Correspondents Dinner and although President Trump was a no-show, that did not stop the headliner, "Daily Show" comedian Hasan Minhaj from delivering a long distance roasting.


MINHAJ: You know Donald Trump doesn't drink, right? Does not touch alcohol. Which is oddly respectable, but think about that. That means --


-- every statement, every interview, every tweet, completely sober.


How is that possible? We've all had that excuse, haven't we? Be like, I said what? No, listen, babe! I swear to you, I was hammered! That's not who I really am. What does Donald Trump tell Melania? Listen, babe, last year on that bus with Billy Bush, that's exactly who I am.


He tweets at 3:00 a.m., Sober.


Who is tweeting at 3:00 a.m., sober? Donald Trump, because it's 10:00 a.m. in Russia. Those are business hours.


WHITFIELD: OK. The White House Correspondents' Dinner is a nearly 100-year tradition, and it's also the subject of today's "Cartoonian."


JAKE TAPPER, CNN JOST: The White House Correspondents Association Dinner began in 1921 and was as much fun as prohibition would allow. Three years later, Calvin Coolidge became the first president to attend. Fifteen presidents have attended since then, though not of course, you know, the current one. The entertainment at the dinner used to be musical, Frank Sinatra or Barbra Streisand.

That changed in 1983 when a comedic roast became the tradition, but Stephen Colbert was the one who lift the whole thing on fire in 2006 when he excoriated President Bush while standing right next to him.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Now I know there's some polls are out there saying that this man has a 32 percent approval rating. To guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in reality, and reality has a well-known liberal bias.

TAPPER: Now it is known among comedians as the toughest room in America with comic greats like Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel having made strong showings. Seth Meyers, of course, not only did great, his performance will go down in history for having roasted audience member and notorious birther, Donald Trump.

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke.

TAPPER: After Meyers, the president joined in as well.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDET OF THE UNITED STATES: No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?


TAPPER: So even though Trump did not attend last night --

TRUMP: I'm treated very unfairly and very dishonestly by the press and I thought it was inappropriate to go.

TAPPER: In many ways, he's the one who got the last laugh.


WHITFIELD: Alright, thanks so much for being with me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. "Newsroom" continues with Ana Cabrera right now.

ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: It's 5:00 eastern, 2:00 in the afternoon out west, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York and you are live in the "CNN Gewsroom." Glad you're with us. After with 100 jam-packed days, President Trump heads back into a busy week looking for a victory. Last night he was in Pennsylvania in full campaign mode cheered

[17:00:00] by an adoring crowd talking about his accomplishments and bashing his favorite target, the media.