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Trump Skips Correspondents' Dinner, Holds Rally; Trump Short on Deeds, Long on Rhetoric; U.S. Relying on China for North Korea; Climate Protests Take On Trump; Trump Voters Reflect as Milestone Arrives; Political and Economic Turmoil Hit Venezuela; Turkey Blocks Access to Wikipedia; Russia's Aeroflot Accused of Discrimination. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired April 30, 2017 - 05:00   ET





DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the media's job to be honest and tell the truth, then I think we would all agree the media deserves a very, very big, fat failing grade.

HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): On day 100 of his presidency, Donald Trump returns to his campaign trail persona, blasting the media in front of a large rally of supporters.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Well, that's because he skipped the White House Correspondents' Dinner but he was still the main topic of conversation and the zingers kept coming at his expense.

JONES: Plus a deadly tornado ripped through Eastern Texas we'll have the latest on how that region is being affected.

HOWELL: We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

JONES: And I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live for you in London just on 10 o'clock this Sunday morning. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: It is 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast.

The U.S. president looked like he was still campaigning for the job Saturday, exactly 100 days after he was sworn in as the President of the United States. Here is the scene in Pennsylvania.


HOWELL (voice-over): He told a large crowd of supporters that he was glad to be out of the swamp of Washington for a few hours. That rally overlapped with the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, taking place in Washington.

Typically, the sitting president is the guest of honor at this black tie event. But Mr. Trump decided not to attend. The president used that rally in Pennsylvania to go after one of his favorite targets, a very common line that we've heard many times, focusing on the media. Let's listen.


TRUMP: The Washington media is part of the problem. Their priorities are not my priorities and they are not your priorities, believe me.


how In fact, our priorities are just to report the news. We get more now from CNN's Jeff Zeleny.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump delivering a rerun of his campaign from last year. In a speech on Saturday evening in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, President Trump ran through a litany of grievances with familiar attacks on the media, familiar attacks on the Obama Administration, taking little responsibility for any of his own crises and chaos in the west wing during his first 100 days.

But he was speaking in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to loyal supporters at the same time, the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner was going on back in Washington. He made that clear from the very beginning of his speech.

TRUMP: A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now. They are gathered together for the White House Correspondents' Dinner without the president.

ZELENY: The president did not tell his supporters that he in fact has attended this dinner for years and he will likely attend it next year, he says. He did turn to other issues as well particularly on China. His language on China so different than during the campaign and he explained exactly why he now says China may not be a currency manipulator.

TRUMP: And I think it's not exactly the right time to call China a currency manipulator right now. Do we agree with that?

ZELENY: The president also said he will decide within the next two weeks whether to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Of course this was the accord reached during the Obama Administration about can climate change. He's being advised by some of his officials inside the west wing to withdraw from this. Others say he should stick with it.

Now this is one of the big decisions as he said, that's facing him going forward in the next chapter of his presidency. So many more decisions, as well as well as some legislative accomplishments like health care and other matters he has yet to achieve during his first 100 days -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


JONES: As Jeff mentioned there, while the president was rallying his supporters in Pennsylvania, members of the media gathered in Washington for the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. Despite Mr. Trump's absence, journalists still addressed his frequent attacks against the press.


CARL BERNSTEIN, "VANITY FAIR": We're reporters -- not judges, not legislators. What the government or citizens or judges do with the information we've developed is not our part of the process nor our objective. Our job is to put the best --


BERNSTEIN: -- obtainable version of the truth out there, period. Especially now.

BOB WOODWARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON POST": The effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith.

Mr. President, the media is not fake news.


JONES: Hasan Minhaj headlined the event and jokingly took Donald Trump to task for not showing up. But things got serious when the comedian spoke about freedom of speech.

HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: We got to address the elephant that is not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow, and it's a very long flight. It would be hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can't just make it on a Saturday. It's a Saturday. The other guy is in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke.

Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy. From college campuses to the White House, only in America can a first- generation, Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president.


MINHAJ: The orange man behind the Muslim ban.

And 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.

(APPLAUSE) MINHAJ: 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.


JONES: We have to talk more about President Trump's first 100 days with Inderjeet Parmar. He's a professor of international politics at (INAUDIBLE) University here in London.

Inderjeet, thank you very much for coming in, we appreciate it.

Donald Trump's 100 days, 101 days it is now, his approval rating at home is at rock bottom. But he has ruffled quite a few feathers on the foreign stage, some would say in a very positive way over the last 100-odd day.

Where have his successes been?

INDERJEET PARMAR, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: I think it's interesting. It depends on who you are when you look at his successes and failures. His approval rating is very, very low, probably historically the lowest ever.

On the other hand, Republican voters see him as a great president already and their approval rating is over 90 percent. So it's quite clear that although he's rolled back on the foreign policy issues toward military first, as opposed to America first, and is much more interventionist than he promised to be, and at home, he has put billionaire businessmen into the cabinet and in charge of financial and economic policy, which doesn't necessarily put money in the pockets of his working class workers, they are -- clearly are some parts of his message which are resonating very strongly with his core voters.

JONES: We saw in the rally yesterday, he is very much appealing to his base, the people who already do support him. He stood on a platform of division.

Do you see this president reaching out to wider America and the people who are his critics at any point during his administration?

PARMAR: I think he's got a pretty smart strategy, even if I don't like it, and that is that he always refers to the United States and the people of it being diverse and bleeding the same blood and so on which I think allays some of his supporters who do not want to be ranked as discriminatory or racist or divisive in any kind of way.

But I don't see him having to cross the aisle, if you like, to reach out too much to voters if he can secure his core base. But there are elements of his core base which are insecure as well. Those workers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are looking to see where the jobs are going to come back into their communities and currently, they don't see it. JONES: To get that kind of success on the jobs front as well, you need legislative action. He hasn't had any of that yet. It's all been about executive orders.

How long can he go with just issuing more executive orders without actually getting anything through Congress?

PARMAR: That is the big question. (INAUDIBLE) issue is there's two things. There's one is economic anxiety and the other is a kind of state of anxiety about the diverse character of American society.

On the economic front, people voted for him because they thought he was going to bring back jobs and so on. The issue is, he may well bring some jobs back or create some jobs.

But what kind of jobs are they?

Are they secure?

Are they kind of long-term jobs?

That's an issue. But I think his master strategy seems to be who is to blame if those jobs don't come back, if they're not good jobs?

And the blame is going toward the outsider, the foreigner, the illegal immigrant. And on that front, he says he's very successful.

JONES: From an --


JONES: -- international perspective, foreign policy by the Trump administration, North Korea is what everyone is talking about at the moment. President Trump has said he is not happy with what Kim Jong- un is doing, is threatening at the moment.

How is that rhetoric being received abroad?

It is working?

PARMAR: Well, I think there's two levels, there's the rhetorical level, which is frightening everyone because, in a way, they are used to North Korean leaders upping the ante on many, many occasions. We're not so used to American leaders doing the same.

But (INAUDIBLE) now we have two leaders speaking the same kind of game, which is a sort of military first strategy. That is frightening.

On the other hand, I think there are private talks which are going on between Chinese leaders and North Koreans. North Korean leaders and American leaders, that is to say that, at the deeper level, it may well be that we can see some tensions decreasing.

But unfortunately, at the moment, the saber rattling is what is getting everyone's attention and worrying very many people. JONES: Yes, want to watch, busy time for you, no doubt, Professor Parmar, thank you very much for coming in this Sunday morning, we appreciate it.

HOWELL: Now with regards to the tensions on the North Korean Peninsula, the U.S. president is not ruling out taking military action, that is if North Korea carries out another nuclear test. In a new interview, Mr. Trump also seems to downplay the latest missile launch attempt by Pyongyang. Listen.


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 a missile, he has going to have to do what he has to do. But he understands we will not be very happy. And I will tell you a man that I have 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 mean military action?

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


HOWELL: CNN has the only U.S. television reporter in North Korea, Will Ripley on his 12th trip there, joining us now live from Pyongyang.

Good to have you with us, Will. So you heard the president's comments there.

Given his response about North Korea and the possibility of a military response, is that having any noticeable impact in Pyongyang?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korean authorities have always thought that the United States could take military action against them at any moment. That is their justification to continue to test these missiles and continue to develop nuclear weapons.

They believe and they tell their people here that they are under the imminent threat of invasion by the United States. And that is how they justify spending a tremendous amount of their resources on weapons of mass destruction, even if it means cutbacks in other areas. This is an impoverished country overall even though we do see a lot of new construction and a higher living standard here in the capital, Pyongyang, we are never allowed to go outside of the capital, where 22 million other North Koreans live to find out what their lives are like under the current supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, although officials here do insist that the living standard standards are growing in the countryside as well.

And so what you have from North Korea today, not a direct response yet to President Trump's latest interview, but they did put out some state media editorials. They talked about the mix-up in the South over who's going to pay that $1 billion for the THAAD missile defense system.

They talked about a group in South Korea that's calling on that government to deescalate tensions with Pyongyang. And what we haven't seen is that sixth nuclear test that President Trump talked about, that reportedly China has warned Pyongyang not to conduct.

The president saying that that test could have happened as recently as a few days ago, really was news to us. Because the last that we heard from the United States, they did not feel that a nuclear test was imminent at Pungari (ph) last wee, even though they had believed that for several weeks prior, that the North Korean leader could have pushed a button on that test at anytime.

So is this strategy working?

Is the president sending a message that it's OK for North Korea to test some of these small missiles but not bigger missiles like ICBMs and not OK for them to conduct a nuclear test?

The North Koreans say they will conduct a nuclear test whenever they see fit. But they have not done it yet -- George.

HOWELL: Both China and Russia are calling for more dialogue.

Is that something that North Korea is even open to considering, to eliminate its nuclear arsenal?

RIPLEY: Absolutely they are open to dialogue. And in conversations with officials on the ground here, what they really would like is to have a seat at the table, to have diplomatic discussions with the United States and the other global powers.

But in order to get there, they want to be respected and recognized as a nuclear state. In the past, the criteria for the U.S. to sit down with North Korea has --


RIPLEY: -- been denuclearization. And the North Koreans say they are simply not willing to do that. They have come this far and have invested this much and have really gone all in when it comes to nuclear missile development because they feel that these weapons are their insurance policy to protect against an Iraq situation or a Libya situation, where other regimes were toppled by the U.S. and its allies because they didn't have that nuclear deterrent.

So expect to see North Korea hold on tightly to its nuclear program. But at the same time, there is a willingness here and a desire to engage with the outside world. They say they don't want to be isolated and they don't want to be cut off. But they do want to be respected and they want to be allowed to exist with this socialist system with their Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, in power.

And they say they will not accept anything less than that.

HOWELL: A very important line to hear there, coming from you, your experience there reporting in North Korea. Thank you so much, Will Ripley. CNN has the only TV journalist in Pyongyang. Thank you for your reporting.

Still ahead here, a deadly tornado ripping through the U.S. state of Texas. Take a look here at the destruction and the aftermath. We have the latest for you.

Plus, across the U.S., thousands of protesters march in blistering heat, even snow in some places, demanding that the president change his environmental policies. Stay with us.




HOWELL: Near Dallas, Texas, a massive tornado ripped through a community and killed at least five people there and injured dozens of others. The system that spawned that twister is not done, cutting a deadly path through the area. Let's bring in our meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, to talk about this.

Derek, so this is near Dallas, Texas, just to the east of it.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, about 60 miles to the east of it. That's where the five fatalities from the tornado that ripped through the region. There are also two confirmed fatalities, one on flooding and another from a tree that toppled over onto a mobile home. That coming out of the Arkansas and Missouri region, respectively.

Let's get to the footage of the tornado that caused the damage, 55 injuries taking place and unfortunately five fatalities. Take a listen to this.

A lot of times people will describe the sound of an approaching tornado as a freight train approaching you. You can almost hear it in that video as well. Look at the aftermath from this particular tornado. This is in the --

[05:20:00] VAN DAM: -- Canton, Texas, region, just east of Dallas. You can see cars overturned like they were weightless, roofs ripped off of buildings. Unbelievable footage.

Then we get to the injuries. Authorities tending to the injured there, 55 injuries confirmed here to us at CNN.

So let's talk about the details, what's causing this.

Where do we stand in terms of tornado season in the Central United States?

We are reaching peak tornado season. In April, we average about 155 tornadoes; in May, 276. We are really starting to live up to those numbers as we speak. Numbers really starting to pile up to at least four tornadoes throughout the course of the day today and, unfortunately, we have had a little bit of a computer problem here but I do want to talk about the threats that have been ongoing across the central U.S.

It's not only the tornadoes that have caused problems but it's also heavy rainfall; over 30 million Americans under a flash flood watch or warning as we speak. We have had several reports of half a foot to even a foot of rainfall that's already caused some massive problems, flooding that high school caused over 30 swiftwater rescues across parts of Missouri.


JONES: Incredible pictures there.

Now here at CNN we are continuing to mark President Trump's first 100 days in office. Many people are concerned about the president's plans to roll back environmental protections. Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax and has yet to determine what he will do about the Paris climate accord.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Isa Soares in London. President Trump has raised many eyebrows and ruffled many feathers when it comes to climate change.

He has signed an executive order rolling back policies put in place by Barack Obama to combat climate change. He eliminated the clean power plant. Reversing it means the states are no longer required to regulate power plants.

He has re-introduced a federal coal leasing program, meaning that energy companies can once again buy the rights to mine on federal lands. In doing so, he says he's putting an end to the war on coal and he's creating jobs.

All eyes now on whether he sticks to his campaign promise to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.


HOWELL: Isa Soares, thank you.

That is the question. The Paris accord was negotiated before Mr. Trump became president. Under that agreement, nearly 200 countries, including the U.S., have committed to reduce carbon over the next decade. On Saturday, President Trump said that he will soon decide whether or not the U.S. should pull out of that deal.

TRUMP: And I'll be making a big decision on the Paris accord over the next two weeks. And we will see what happens.

HOWELL: As he decides, thousands of people marched across the U.S. in protest on Saturday against the president's environmental policies. CNN's Brian Todd was in Washington, where celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, joined the demonstrations.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A mass of thousands making their way up Pennsylvania Avenue from the United States' Capitol to the White House. They are here today to mark President Trump's 100th day in office and shine a light on policies they say constitute the biggest assault on the environment from any administration in history.

TODD: (INAUDIBLE) the administration says that they can drill for resources that they desperately need without hurting the environment.

Do you believe them?

And what do you say to that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not one bit. They've had over, what, 800 spills. And it's not going to work out.

TODD (voice-over): These protesters say the Trump administration's policies have prioritized economic growth over environmental concerns. But Trump's tweets suggest a balanced approach.

Quote, "I'm committed to keeping our air and water clean. But always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter."

In Trump's first 100 days, his Environmental Protection Agency has moved swiftly to roll back Obama-era regulations on fossil fuels and given the green light to the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration --


TODD (voice-over): -- had blocked. And on Friday, the EPA removed most of the information on climate change from its website, explaining in a press release, it's being updated to, quote, "reflect the approach of new leadership."

Activists here say that, under the Obama administration, there was steady progress toward clean energy sources and away from fossil fuels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So that was start to happen and it was slow but there were signs of momentum. And if every single one of those decisions is being challenged and being blocked and we have got oil tycoons running the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the 100th day of the Trump administration, the most anti-environmental, pro-polluter administration in our history. And today's a critically important day to send a message to the president that the public is against all that he is doing.

TODD (voice-over): After arriving at the White House, a sit-in. Silent, except for the simulated heartbeats to show their unity and conviction.

This protest, held in conjunction with hundreds of similar events across the U.S. and around the world, participating in the D.C. event, like-minded politicians and celebrities including former vice president Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After today what is the most important step for people on climate change?

We need to take the energy here, we need to take these people's energy, we need to go back to our communities. Please, run for office. Let's take these people's power and build it right up until we retake control of the building behind us.

TODD (voice-over): Two protest leaders stress to me they don't want an adversarial debate with President Trump over these issues. They point out economic growth doesn't have to come at the cost of the environment.

And they say for the past eight years, it didn't. These activists say they are ready to work with the president if he is ready to embrace that idea. But they are also ready to lead more protests if he doesn't -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


JONES: Brian Todd, we appreciate your reporting there.

Up next on CNN NEWSROOM, as the Trump White House marks a milestone, we look at the president's foreign policy and ask whether the U.S. is winning the fight against terror in the Middle East.

Plus, Trump voters weigh in on his first 100 days in office.

Are they still happy with their choice for president?

All that coming up after this break.




HOWELL (voice-over): 5:30 am on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with us. I'm George Howell in Atlanta.

JONES (voice-over): I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. This on 10:30 local time this Sunday morning. Let's bring you up to speed with the headlines this hour.


HOWELL: Returning now to the top story this hour, the U.S. president in campaign mode, though he's already won the job. Now 100 days in office, then-candidate Donald Trump vowed to his supporters to talk tough about destroying ISIS. But so far, there's been no decisive victory over that terror group.

Our correspondents take a closer look not only at ISIS but at the Middle East in the era of the Trump White House.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nick Paton Walsh in Irbil, Northern Iraq. And ISIS were losing when Trump came to power and they still are, despite what's been a torturous, bloody battle for those civilians caught in their grip.

In the last 100 days those losses have continued here in Iraq. They're said to have about 7 percent of territory down from a third at their height and in neighboring Syria, the noose around their self- declared capital of Raqqah, well, that definitely tightening. This issue is, this isn't really necessarily Trump's doing.

You struggle to find people to say he's majorly changed the pace or nature of battle at all. This is the old Obama Pentagon plan simply playing out.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ivan Watson. It is America's longest conflict, going on for nearly 16 years and, by many accounts, the war in Afghanistan is not going well. A Taliban raid earlier this month killed and wounded more than 100 soldiers from the U.S.-backed Afghan army.

Its casualties are at a record high. The U.S. still has around 8,400 troops in country backed by around 6,000 NATO forces. But the Taliban is fighting to control large chunks of territory. And now ISIS is carrying out its own terror attacks.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government is plagued by corruption and periodic infighting. The top U.S. commander recently said he would need several thousand more soldiers to break the stalemate. The decision on whether to send more U.S. troops rests on the shoulders of President Trump.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOWELL: And as for how the president is perceived here in the United States, he may be seeing his lowest approval ratings early in the presidency, earliest in a president's modern U.S. history. But he's doing very well with his political base.

CNN crisscrossed the country to talk with Trump voters, to hear their thoughts about his first 100 days in office, with Martin Savidge on the field.



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.

Around here, the only thing redder than the 'maters is the politics. The county where Greg and Brandi live voting 89 percent for Trump.

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

GREG WESTON, FARMER: 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 --


SAVIDGE (voice-over): -- 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.

SAVIDGE (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.

QUINTON POSEY, TAXI DRIVER: 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.

SAVIDGE (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.

SAVIDGE (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.

SAVIDGE (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 Duke and found similar qualities in The Donald when he met Trump at a campaign event.

BRIAN DOWNES, TRUMP VOTER: Meeting him, 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: 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: And like Alberto, Brian is pleased by Trump so far.

DOWNES: I think he's doing great.

SAVIDGE: 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: Wyoming may be the Cowboy State but here, coal is king.

But on 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: 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. 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: 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.

MIKE WANDLER, L & H INDUSTRIAL INC.: 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: 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.

SAVIDGE (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 by his words about women 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: 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.


HOWELL: Martin Savidge reporting there for us.

Stay with us here on NEWSROOM. Up next, Wikipedia is blocked and thousands are thrown out of work again. We're live in Istanbul, where it's only been two weeks since Turkey's president gained new powers.

Plus, flight attendants who lost their livelihood because of how they look and what they weigh. We'll hear about the Russian airline accused of discrimination.





HOWELL: Welcome back.

It's a time of economic and political crisis in Venezuela. Weeks of violent protests have turned deadly. Our Patrick Oppmann takes a closer look now at the showdown between President Nicolas Maduro's government and the opposition.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As violent anti- government protests in Venezuela rage on, a dire situation is getting worse.

In the latest clashes, demonstrators have faced down armored vehicles, been bombarded from the air with tear gas, even jumped into a river to escape the calamity.

Both opponents and supporters of the government have taken to the streets in an increasingly bitter stalemate that has divided the country, even families.

On Wednesday, Ibram Assad (ph) released a video, calling on his father, a top government official charged with investigating human rights abuses to take action.

"Dad, at this moment, you have the power to put an end to this injustice that has sunk this country," he says.

"I ask you, as a son and in Venezuela's name, which you serve, to reflect and do what you are supposed to do."

Long riven by social divisions, Venezuela has come undone as the country's economy has slipped into a death spiral. Food and medicine are scarce. Lines to buy basic items stretch for blocks. And inflation is among the highest in the world.

Despite sitting on top of the world's richest oil reserves, Venezuela is now broke. But the opposition blames the socialist policies begun years ago by then president Hugo Chavez and massive official corruption and mismanagement.

Chavez's successor, Nicolas Maduro, says his country is the victim of an international conspiracy and has rejected opposition calls for a new election. The government may be trying to buy time in the hope that oil prices will rise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If an oil resurged to $60 or $80 a barrel, it certainly would give them some more breathing room. And that's what they are hoping. They're hoping that, no, if oil can go up, they can defeat these protests, they can go to elections and perhaps rig the playing field or rig the campaign enough that they can actually stay in power.

OPPMANN (voice-over): Venezuela's embattled president doesn't appear too concerned about the turmoil as he throws around a baseball.

"Peace will continue." he says. "To those violent groups, the law will find them. It has already arrived for many of them. And by way of the law, there will be peace."

OPPMANN: In better economic times, Venezuela bought influence around the region, supplying billions of dollars of oil to other socialist countries like Cuba, which has been a stalwart supporter of Venezuela, criticizing what Havana calls foreign interference in Venezuelan affairs. But Venezuela is increasingly isolated, withdrawing from the

Organization of American States as concerns mount in Latin America that the humanitarian crisis there could soon spread far beyond Venezuela's borders -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Venezuela.


JONES: Nearly 4,000 Turkish public employees have been fired over alleged national security concerns, that is according to a Turkish government website. And now Wikipedia has been blocked.

Turkish state media says the online encyclopedia is part of a, quote, "smear campaign" against Turkey in the international arena.


JONES: Our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman joins me now from Istanbul with more on this.

Ben, worrying developments, a clampdown on free press and free speech with this development on Wikipedia.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, it's really just the latest step by the government that indicates that it's not a big fan of the free press. Around mid-morning yesterday, suddenly anybody here in Turkey and Istanbul, trying to get on to Wikipedia, suddenly found themselves going nowhere.

Now the government says that they shut down access to Wikipedia because of what they called "a smear campaign," in which some of the contributors to Wikipedia were making it appear that Turkey was on the same level as terrorist organizations.

In the past, the Turkish government blocked access to YouTube, to Twitter, to Facebook, but this is the first time that Wikipedia has been blocked. There has been some speculation that this blockage is due to the fact that the entry on the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan included some negative comments and also some of the entries -- or rather some of the passages or sections of the entry for the 16th of April referendum, that branded the president's sweeping new powers, also contained some criticism of the government.

But this is really just the latest. Yesterday, we also saw that 4,000 government employees were dismissed. The suggestion is that they were somehow affiliated with the Fethullah Gulen organization; that is a U.S.-based Turkish cleric, who is accused of being behind the failed July 15th, 2016, coup here in Turkey which set off this purge that has resulted in the dismissal of more than 120,000 government employees and the detention of more than 40,000 -- Hannah.

JONES: Ben, we appreciate your reporting. Ben Wedeman, live for us there in Turkey, thank you.

Almost 10 years after little Madeleine (ph) McCann went missing, her parents are now speaking out to mark that anniversary. Madeline was 3 years old when she disappeared during a family holiday in Portugal. That was on May the 3rd, 2007. She would be nearly 14 years old now. Her parents, Gerry and Kate (ph), say they still have hope that their daughter is alive.


GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE'S FATHER: I think it's been good for the general public to hear the police say that there's no evidence that she's dead and there's n active investigation and there's still hope. So, simply from my point of view, you know, somebody knows what's happened.

KATE MCCANN, MADELEINE'S MOTHER: There is progress being made. You know, it might not be as quick as we want but there's progress being made. I think we need to take heart from that. And we just have to go with the process and follow it through, whatever it takes for as long as it takes. But there's still hope we can find Madeline.


JONES: Detectives in the case of the missing British girl say they are still pursuing critical leads and the search still goes on.

Stay with us here on CNN NEWSROOM. Plenty more after this short break.



JONES: Welcome back.

A Russian airline is accused of discriminating against women because of their size. Aeroflot denies the claims that flight attendants are complaining that they are getting less work because they don't fit the part. Our Diana Magnay takes a closer look.



DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Perfect lips and the perfect manicure.

The hammer and sickle of Aeroflot, staffed, it seems, by just the long-legged.

But what if you don't look like this?

MAGNAY (on camera): Did you do this?

MAGURINA: Yes, because my size is more -- so I had to change my -


MAGNAY: You've done this very well. MAGNAY (voice-over): Last summer, Aeroflot flight attendant, Evgenia Magurina, was told she had to be photographed. And then her career with Aeroflot changed.

MAGURINA: I didn't fly international flights because they have said that I am fat, ugly and old.

MAGNAY (on camera): Your boss said that to you?


MAGNAY (voice-over): Here, an internal Aeroflot document, photographed, showing the salary deductions of up to 100 rubles or just a little under $2 per flight hour to staff who don't meet Aeroflot's standards, size included. That adds up.

Evgenia and another flight attendant took Aeroflot to court, claiming discrimination and lost.

An Aeroflot union rep tells me there are plenty of other female flight attendants who are too scared to speak out against Russia's national flag carrier.

AEROFLOT UNION REPRESENTATIVE (through translation): Several hundred have been affected by this, but most of them have families or small children, so they're trying to hold on to their jobs any way they can.

MAGNAY (voice-over): At a news conference last week, a representative from Aeroflot's public council encouraged larger stewardesses to find another job or to lose weight like he had.

AEROFLOT PUBLIC COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE (through translation): It didn't require any active exercise or expensive supplements or anything that would require spending a lot of money. I just corrected my meal plan. Now I weigh 80 kilograms. I don't understand why the requirement to be within this size range is such a mission impossible.

MAGNAY (voice-over): Aeroflot says these men don't speak for the company. They also deny discrimination, but stand by their policies, saying cabin crew of a national flag carrier are the calling card of their country. Their --


MAGNAY (voice-over): -- deportment and how they serve passengers creates the first impression of and attitude towards Russia.

MAGNAY (on camera): Evgenia and her colleague plan to appeal, but this story with its suggestions of latent chauvinism widely covered in this country and beyond, creates a nasty tailwind for one of Russia's proudest brands -- Diana Magnay, CNN, Moscow.


HOWELL: Diana, thank you for the report. While the White House Correspondents' Dinner was being held in Washington Saturday night, just down the road, an alternative event was taking place. It's called Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Comedian Samantha Bee, who has a late-night political satire show on CNN's parent company, Turner Broadcasting, hosted that event. Indeed, journalism was celebrated, Donald Trump was severely mocked and one particularly special guest made a surprise appearance at that big event. Take a look.


WILL FERRELL, COMEDIAN, "GEORGE W. BUSH": How do you like me now?


Yes, the prodigal son has returned.

As you can see, I exhausted my palette of yellow and oranges. It's a strange hue. It's not really orange or yellow. I mean, I got a new name for that color. They should just call it Mar-a-lago.


HOWELL: I love his impersonation of W. That is Will Ferrell, comedian here in the U.S., who typically plays George W. Bush for president.

Thank you for being with us. I'm George Howell in Atlanta.

JONES: George, it's been a pleasure being with you as well.

I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. For viewers in the U.S., "NEW DAY" is up next. For everyone else, though, Erin Burnett "OUTFRONT" starts in just a moment.