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Trump Vows Not to Allow Caravan of Asylum Seekers into Country; Comic Sparks Controversy with White House Dinner Monologue. Aired 7- 7:30a ET

Aired April 30, 2018 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've gotten Mexico to work with us, but we have the worst laws.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's so much at stake. So many people wondering what will happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God, are they going to prosecute children at the border?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!

TRUMP: Nobel.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: I give him credit. Don't ease up. You've got to be very careful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would never use the word "honorable" to describe Kim Jong-un.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We at least have an opportunity here to do something that's incredibly important.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I invited her, because I thought that she's a talented comedian who had a message to deliver.

MICHELLE WOLF, COMEDIAN: If a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I'm not suggesting she gets hurt, just stuck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was wholly and totally inappropriate. And my opinion of it is that it was just wrong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. So that caravan of asylum-seeking Central Americans is now at the

Mexico-U.S. border. But the U.S. Border Patrol has temporarily turned them away, saying they do not have space to accommodate them at the moment.

President Trump has repeatedly vowed not to let these people into the country, setting up a showdown now at the border.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump also ripping the White House Correspondents' Association after a comedian's controversial roast of the Trump administration. The journalists' group now distancing itself from the comic. Will President Trump use the uproar to intensify his long-running war with the media when he holds a Rose Garden news conference today.

Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Kaitlan Collins, live at the White House.

Get ready to rumble.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, it was quite a weekend for the president here. He had several calls with foreign leaders, that free-wheeling rally in Michigan on Saturday night, some criticism over the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and calls for one Democratic senator to resign.

But the big issue facing the president today is that caravan of migrants from Central America that have arrived outside a border crossing. And now we are set for a showdown between those migrants and the president's anti-immigration rhetoric.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): Dozens of migrants seeking asylum in the United States, now awaiting processing at the California border, despite warnings that the immigration center there has reached its capacity. The migrants reaching the United States border after a month-long journey from Central America. Some climbing the border fence and waving to supporters on the U.S. side of the beach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We welcome the Central American refugees. You are welcome here.

COLLINS: But President Trump sending the opposite signal, instructing the Department of Homeland Security last week to turn the migrants away.

TRUMP: Are you watching that mess that's going on right now with the caravan coming up? Are you watching this? And our laws are so weak, they're so pathetic. Given to us by Democrats, they're so pathetic.

COLLINS: The president repeatedly referencing the caravan during a free-wheeling rally Saturday night as he criticized U.S. immigration laws. TRUMP: We've gotten Mexico to work with us on stopping a lot of

what's pouring in, but we have the worst laws anywhere in the world. We don't have borders. We're going to build the wall. And if we don't get border security, we'll have no choice. We'll close down the country.

COLLINS: President Trump also defending his former nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, Dr. Ronny Jackson. Mr. Trump calling for the resignation of Democratic Senator Jon Tester after he put out a list of misconduct allegations from Jackson's current and former colleagues.

TRUMP: Well, I know things about Tester that I could say, too. And if I said them, he'd never be elected again.

COLLINS: Jackson has denied any misconduct. And the White House has presented documents disputing claims of an alcohol-related car accident and improper pill distribution. But questions remain.

Multiple outlets now reporting that Jackson won't return as the president's physician but will continue to work in the White House medical unit.

President Trump also taking aim at the White House Correspondents' Dinner after the comedian Michelle Wolf's controversial roast.

WOLF: I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful. Like, she burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's lies. Probably lies.

COLLINS: The president calling the event an embarrassment and Wolf's stand-up act, quote, "filthy." The White House Correspondents' Association expressing regret that Wolf's monologue was, quote, "not in the spirit" of the group's mission to celebrate the First Amendment.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Now Chris and Alisyn, we will hear from President Trump himself today during a press conference with the president of Nigeria. And there's a chance we can hear from him before then, but we've made it to 7 a.m., and there are no tweets yet.

[07:05:06] CAMEROTA: That is noteworthy. Thank you, Kaitlan, very much.

OK, let's bring in CNN political analysts John Avlon and David Drucker. Great to have both of you.

So David, let's talk about what the president was doing this weekend when he was talking about this caravan, as he has been for weeks now. Right? So it's very nervewracking when you hear this. Caravans of hundreds of people rushing our border? The president went so far as to say, "We don't have borders." Actually, the process is working. What's happened is they've been

stopped at the border, and they are now going through the process of political asylum. And when this happened last year, this same caravan came, three people out of hundreds were granted political asylum after they found out if they were being persecuted or victims of violence or whatever back in their home countries. So what do you think the president is doing here?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And I think I see a wall there in my screen. So, you know, we do have a controlled border, at least in the area where these migrants are trying to cross.

Look, if the president was as concerned about immigration as a lot of people believe that he is and that he has expressed over these past couple of years, the first thing he could have done after being inaugurated is put an immigration reform or overhaul plan on the floor of the U.S. Congress and told Republicans, "We're doing nothing until we fix our broken immigration laws."

And actually, a lot of Republicans and Democrats believe that a lot needs to be changed about immigration. The president has chosen to do other things and wield immigration as a political bludgeon. That's his right. Democrats have done the same thing over the years. But it really serves the president's political purposes to present this idea that our immigration laws are out of control.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

DRUCKER: Because a lot of people believe that the system is unfair for citizens and for people who get in line and don't try and use other avenues to get into the country.

And so I think on this, it's important to point out that, while there are parts of the immigration system that could use fixing, it's a bipartisan issue. The president is not always forthright in the manner in which he talks about this. Because as the president, he has the power to do something about it.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

DRUCKER: And other than demanding funding for the wall, he has not really asked Congress to do anything.

CUOMO: But the wall is what sells, John. And I'll tell you, just that one picture was, you know, funny. As David was saying, it looks like we do have a wall. Yes, all these people are climbing over it.

CAMEROTA: Well, they're sitting on it.

CUOMO: Whatever it is. I'm saying this picture.

CAMEROTA: Yes, actually, there they are climbing.

CUOMO: Yes. It is what gives people -- this gives Trump the fuel to say we've got to do better. Look at them. They're celebrating flouting our laws and our walls. We get the politics of it. The problem is he's picking a bad example.

This is not new, this caravan of people seeking asylum.

AVLON: No.

CUOMO: It happens before. Last year, almost none of them got asylum. The numbers are very small.

AVLON: Three, yes.

CUOMO: And that's because of the laws and the vetting. So the idea that the laws are all terrible is demonstrably false.

So how does it help fix the legitimate problems with the system when you have a president who exaggerates the situation so much that he almost forces the Democrats to dig in and want to do nothing?

AVLON: It doesn't. But it's not about solving problems. And that itself is the problem. It's about governing and grandstanding rather than governing.

David makes the point that, you know, the president could lead on this issue, so-called Nixon and China, and have bipartisan immigration reform, which George W. Bush was the last president to try to pursue sincerely. But he was a border-state governor. And as he looks back on his presidency, he regrets not doing that first at the start of his second term. A lost opportunity for the country there.

It does take presidential leadership. It does take bipartisan commitment and therefore bipartisan coalition building. And the president doesn't seem interested in that. But that's an opportunity lost for the country.

CAMEROTA: OK, next controversy. David Drucker, were you at the White House Correspondents' Dinner this weekend?

DRUCKER: I was at the parties surrounding the dinner, which explains my voice. But trust me, I am very aware of what was said during the dinner. And I think that what is getting lost in a lot of the legitimate criticism for the comedian. And look, my -- I am a failed stand-up comic. I have tried this. It is difficult.

But the first rule of comedy is make people laugh, even if you're being satirical, even if you're trying to make a point about society to reveal, get people to confront facts that are uncomfortable, make them laugh. She did not make them laugh, Michelle Wolf. She was mean.

And that gives Republicans who are critical of the media an excuse to say that we're all in cahoots together when everybody who understands the dinner knows that Margaret Talev, who is a top-rate journalist, and nobody at the White House Correspondents' Association vetted the routine and said, "Oh, yes, this is great. We're all for it."

CAMEROTA: They didn't even ask her if they could see it beforehand. They believe that comedians have the right to say whatever they're going to say. I mean, we can debate whether that's right or wrong, but they said they didn't see any of her act, and they intentionally didn't ask.

DRUCKER: No. And they never do see it.

CUOMO: Right.

DRUCKER: But look, as reporters -- and you guys knows this -- we have to be right 100 percent of the time, because when we're wrong, we get nailed a lot harder than the politicians we cover who spin and are wrong a lot more often than we are.

[07:10:13] CUOMO: That's fine. Although look, it's a legitimate discussion. That boy, if we lower the bar for a president of the United States, I mean, the obvious hypocrisy, being upset about this comedian.

Did I think everything she said was funny? No. But that's comedy. Was some of it, seemingly, in a mean spirit? Yes, I think that's a fair criticism.

CAMEROTA: Let's play the Kellyanne part.

CUOMO: Here's some -- this isn't now -- Sarah -- the stuff about Sarah Sanders is what's getting most of the controversy. But this byte was about --

CAMEROTA: Kellyanne.

CUOMO: -- Kellyanne Conway. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF: You guys have got to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don't give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. It's like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I'm not suggesting she gets hurt, just stuck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: People actually did laugh there.

CUOMO: Yes. I mean, look, hat wasn't one of the lines that was as cringeworthy as what we were watching in the coverage. You and I weren't there. I don't go ever, unless I'm told to, for personal reasons.

But the -- the point is you can disagree about what's funny and what's not funny.

AVLON: Yes.

CUOMO: I think going after people's looks in that capacity is wrong. I thought it was wrong when "Saturday Night Live" did it.

AVLON: Yes.

CUOMO: But the hypocrisy of people who support the president saying, "This was really wrong. She said mean things. They weren't funny."

The president says this kind of stuff all the time, and he's not joking. He means it when he mocks people and tries to divide people. Where's your outrage about that?

CAMEROTA: John.

AVLON: He's the president of the United States. And we do -- we're in a peculiar problem when we are worried about holding ourselves to a lower standard than the president of the United States does on a routine basis when it's not humor.

At the end of the day, you know, you can have debates about comedians and all that. They tend to look foolish in the rear-view mirror of history. Part of the purpose of the dinner is supporting the First Amendment. That would include comedians. And so she may or may not have been your cup of tea. You may have wanted Mark Twain and you got an insult comic, but I think there's way too much pearl clutching about this stuff after the fact.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Except that what they said the stated point of the dinner was, in this divided moment, to show unity and to show solidarity.

AVLON: Yes. I think civility is not what you're going to get when you put a comedian up on night. That's not the purpose of comedy.

DRUCKER: There's a lot of stones -- stones being thrown from glass houses in this whole thing.

AVLON: Yes, exactly.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, but about the Sarah Huckabee complaint that you brought up, people did think that it was going after her looks. We've heard the other argument that it's not going after her looks. She was compared to Aunt Lydia. OK? I don't watch "The Handmaiden's [SIC] Tale," but apparently, Aunt Lydia is not one of the more attractive.

DRUCKER: It's not even that, Alisyn. Aunt Lydia, if you watch the show, and I do, is a sadistic character.

CAMEROTA: Sadistic.

DRUCKER: She is horribly sadistic. She is one of -- I mean, the actress does an amazing job. But if you know the show -- and look, if the audience and the wider world and if Sarah Sanders would have found it funny, it would have worked. The best comedy is when even the butt of the joke knows that something has been pointed out and they can laugh.

The people in the room, my friends, my colleagues that I talked to afterwards, Republicans, Democrats, all over the place, said it made them uncomfortable. They didn't think it was funny.

CAMEROTA: Yes. It was painful to watch Sarah wince. It was. It's just uncomfortable. Now I hear you. Sometimes comedy makes you uncomfortable. But to watch Sarah have to sit there as theh body blows come in, and they did seem mean-spirited, I don't know. Isn't that --

AVLON: I don't know. I think a lot of members --

CAMEROTA: -- asking a president to do that in the --

AVLON: A lot of members of different White Houses have been the butt of jokes at the dais. And you know, I am not a fan of meanness. And -- but kindness is not usually what you go to for comedy.

I don't think there was as much evidence that Wolf was making jokes at Sarah Huckabee Sanders's expense with regard to her looks. I think that was an accusation from it that doesn't necessarily bear out when you review the transcript.

CUOMO: Except that all of the references to her had something to do with demeaning her, whether it's how her eyes look, that she burns fat.

CAMEROTA: Facts.

AVLON: Facts.

CAMEROTA: Facts.

CUOMO: Whatever. Burns facts.

CAMEROTA: That is different.

CUOMO: The smoky eyes. You know, I just think that you've got to be careful about that stuff.

But it's OK to like it and not like it. I just think the two points are being lost in all this talk about her jokes. And I'm not going yet. Is that one, she said some really good stuff that the media has got to remember about how Trump got where he was, how he was covered, who went after him and didn't go after him, who exploits him because he does help the ratings and not. That was really important.

And the second point is the hypocrisy. You can't be upset about what this comedian said and not be upset about what the president says on a regular basis. And he is not trying to be funny. All right?

CAMEROTA: Well, David Drucker, John Avlon, we shall see, because our next guest walked out of the White House Correspondents' Dinner, because he was so offended. What did he find so offensive? Matt Schlapp explains, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: The White House Correspondents' Association distancing itself now from comedian Michelle Wolf after her controversial monologue, saying it was not in the spirit of the Correspondents' Dinner mission to protect the First Amendment. Many say that Wolf's jokes about White House press secretary Sarah Sanders crossed the line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF: And of course, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We are graced with Sarah's presence tonight. I have to say I'm a little star struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in "The Handmaid's Tale."

I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful. Like, she burns facts, and then, she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: All right. Joining us now if former political director for George W. Bush, Matt Schlapp. He and his wife, Mercedes, who is the communications advisor to the president, walked out of the dinner.

Good morning, Matt.

MATT SCHLAPP, FORMER POLITICAL DIRECTOR FOR GEORGE W. BUSH: Great to be with you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: What moment was it that caused you to get up and walk out?

SCHLAPP: Well, I think when she was just continuing to pummel Sarah, it just got more and more uncomfortable. This is my wife's colleague. You can like or not like Sarah. You can like or not like her politics. It just seemed mean-spirited. Everybody around me was groaning.

[07:20:11] I was the host of Politico. The host of the tables eventually apologized to me for having us at their table. They felt it was cringe-worthy.

But for me the worst part I have to say, it's kind of one of these things where you're sitting there watching it, this kind of train wreck happen.

I think the jokes about abortion for my wife and I were particularly just galling. It was shocking. The you know, "Don't knock it until you try it." You know, everyone should at least have one. You've got to get the baby out. I mean, it was just repulsive. It's not funny. I mean, you can have your views on abortion, but I don't think anybody thinks it's funny.

And I think she just was someone who went over like a lead balloon. And of course, she did seem to have political animus against those of us who are conservatives. And --

CAMEROTA: Well --

SCHLAPP: And look, she has a right to do what she did. She has a First Amendment right.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: She was -- that's perfectly the American way, and I have a -- I have the right to stand up and say, "I don't need to listen to this crap."

CAMEROTA: For sure. For sure. But I just want to -- on that second note, you tweeted, "My wife Mercedes Schlapp and I walked out early from the White house Correspondents' Dinner. Enough of elites mocking us."

SCHLAPP: Right.

CAMEROTA: That part confuses he me.

SCHLAPP: Right.

CAMEROTA: Because she went after Hillary Clinton. She went after Jake Tapper. She went after Ted Kennedy. She went after Starbucks. She went after CNN. She went after Megyn Kelly. What part was elitist?

SCHLAPP: I don't know if you were there, Alisyn. But there was nobody who watched her monologue who would think it was somehow balanced from an ideological point of view. And if I could --

CAMEROTA: Why not? I just pointed out to you that it wasn't just -- she wasn't just going after known conservatives.

SCHLAPP: No. She was -- her monologue was dead focused on mocking people like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee and anybody who has a conservative view --

CAMEROTA: And Jake Tapper, Hillary Clinton and CNN. I mean, maybe you're being overly sensitive.

SCHLAPP: She might have mentioned them in her talk. She mentioned Jim Acosta in her talk. But there was no question no -- the reason why the White House Correspondents' Dinner is disassociating itself or distancing itself, as you said, from this comedian. And almost every journalist I respect sent a tweet out over the weekend saying that this was a low moment for the dinner, and they felt shame for what happened there.

I don't think it's fair to now say, with all of those eminent journalists, that somehow this was an attack on everybody. It wasn't. And nobody in that room felt that way.

CAMEROTA: Well, I'm just telling you the jokes that she made. I mean, I read it. OK? So I went through it and read it. And obviously --

SCHLAPP: And I watched it.

CAMEROTA: Right. When you read it and you watch it there's different impressions, for sure. But I'm just saying that she seemed to be an equal opportunity make-funner-of.

SCHLAPP: I'll just say this, Alisyn. Andrea Mitchell and all these other wonderful -- even Mika Brzezinski came out and disassociated herself from it, and she's not exactly a Trump fan.

The dominant members of the media came out. Look, when I went to the party afterwards, I had people walking up to me and apologizing, just saying, "This is not the way we wanted the dinner to come across."

You know what's ironic, Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: The White House press corps had its moment to really look graceful. Because the president was risking looking like the little guy who wasn't willing to come to the dinner and take the shots.

CAMEROTA: Yews.

SCHLAPP: And instead, they made his decision to skip the dinner look like it was the best political decision ever. And they really missed their opportunity.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: They say it's about the First Amendment and all these values. Instead, it just went into the gutter. And I just didn't need to listen to it.

CAMEROTA: I mean, look, the journalists who are involved with the White House Correspondents' Association said that they didn't know what she was going to say. In the interest of giving a comedian free reign --

SCHLAPP: Right.

CAMEROTA: -- and letting her have her creative expression, they didn't tell her what she could and couldn't say.

SCHLAPP: You know, Alisyn, a little bit of me has sympathy for them. You know, I put on CPAC every year with our board. And, you know, I don't always make the right decisions on invitations.

CAMEROTA: Sure.

SCHLAPP: It's not an easy thing to do. So I give them grace for that.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: And I also applaud them for the fact that when it bombs and when it's off-target and when it's mean when you're trying to be funny, it's the right thing to do is to stand up and take ownership for it.

CAMEROTA: Yes. SCHLAPP: So I give them -- I give them credit for doing that. And I think they have a real -- there's a real moment to figure out whether this dinner is serving a purpose or not. And it gives them a chance to think about that.

CAMEROTA: And so Matt, what part was it about the jokes, the few about Sarah Sanders? Did you think that she was -- the comedian was going after Sarah Sanders' looks?

SCHLAPP: I thought the smoky eye thing, definitely. There was this whole conversation about bringing a makeup artist into the White House. And there has always been sometimes an obvious and sometimes a subtle reference to Sarah's appearance. And -- and I felt like that's -- that was beyond the pale.

I also think when it just says, "She lies, she lies, she lies." Look, we have big political disagreements in this country. And I think it's wrong for journalists to take that next step. And granted, she's a comedian. But plenty of journalists do it, as well, is they take the next step. Just present the facts. Let the American people decide --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: -- if they think someone's lying. The journalists shouldn't be the one to say that the president or that his spokesperson is lying. Because what that does to 50 percent of the country --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: -- is it makes them feel like they're not credible to listen to anymore.

CAMEROTA: I understand that debate. Obviously, we're fact-based, so when the president is fact-free, or he doesn't stick to the facts, we do have to call that out.

[07:25:05] But in terms of the -- about going after Sarah Sanders's looks, I just want to ask you did you feel the same way when President Trump said in an interview with "Rolling Stone," "'Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that? The face of our next president.' The laughter grows faint behind him. 'I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things. But really, folks? Come on. Are we serious?'"

That was about Carly Fiorina.

SCHLAPP: Yes, look, I was on your show throughout the campaign. And we talked about these moments with -- with the beauty pageant and with the judge and with Carly, who's a friend of mine. And I feel like the president is at his worst when he talks about, certainly, a woman's looks or someone's physical appearance. If he'd stick on the agenda, he'd do much better.

CAMEROTA: Fair. But did you -- but did you speak --

SCHLAPP: Dinner was about Sarah -- the dinner was about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who's a staffer.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Hold on a second. Wait, we're not done with that, Matt. Would you have -- would you have walked out of the president's speech if he said that about Carly Fiorina?

SCHLAPP: I don't know. As I said, you know, the thing that was the most appalling to me at this dinner was joking about the killing of unborn children, which I don't find funny. And I don't think anybody finds that funny.

CAMEROTA: I understand.

SCHLAPP: The comedian wasn't just about Trump. It's about her mocking the values of a lot of Americans across this country --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: -- and a lot of conservatives.

CAMEROTA: But you -- obviously, there's been a lot of focus on her -- whatever she said about Sarah Sanders. Some people didn't interpret it as going after Sarah Sanders's looks.

SCHLAPP: Almost everybody did.

CAMEROTA: I hear you. For sure. But some people have said that, you know, it was actually about her character and the character of this, well, Aunt Lydia.

But what about this? I just want to remind you, because I just want to check your -- your comedy meter, OK?

SCHLAPP: Sure.

CAMEROTA: Matt, so this moment that President Trump has always said was a joke when he mocked a disabled reporter. Let's watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Right after a couple of good paragraphs -- and it's talking about northern New Jersey draws the prober's eye (ph), written by a nice reporter. Now you've got to see this guy: "I don't know what I said. I don't remember." He's going, like, "I don't remember."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Should the people behind him have walked out?

SCHLAPP: I don't think -- I don't think it's clear to this day what he meant by doing that. I've seen Donald Trump --

CAMEROTA: You don't think he was mocking a disabled reporter?

SCHLAPP: I've seen Don -- look, we have spent two years of going through all the tape of all the things Donald Trump has done.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: And I understand that there's a point of view that this man is the worst guy in the world. I get that.

CAMEROTA: No, I'm asking if you're offended by that joke. Are you offended by that joke?

SCHLAPP: What you're trying to say is that, because maybe the president has been over the line, that it's fine for the White House press corps to be over the line. I think that's the wrong way to look at it.

CAMEROTA: No, I'm asking for your impression. Unh-unh, Matt. I'm asking your impression.

SCHLAPP: I've heard the president explain --

CAMEROTA: Are you only offended when it's a comedian at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

SCHLAPP: no.

CAMEROTA: But not when the president says are these sort of uncomfortable cringeworthy jokes.

SCHLAPP: I think that the president was trying to make fun of the man physically, yes -- it could be a stretch. I don't know what he was doing. I've seen the president do this kind of approach and --

CAMEROTA: You didn't think that was the president making fun of the reporter's movements, the reporter's body language?

SCHLAPP: I don't -- Alisyn, I don't know. But we spent two years. I've seen that clip probably a thousand times.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: I know the inference is to try to say that the president did that to make fun of this man's physical maladies.

CAMEROTA: It seems like it.

SCHLAPP: If that's why he did it, Alisyn, then it's wrong and it's reprehensible. I don't think it was -- I don't think that is what people felt like he did.

CAMEROTA: What?

SCHLAPP: And look, you guys have prosecuted this case against Trump for two years.

CAMEROTA: Matt, I'm saying that you're giving the president --

SCHLAPP: For two years I've watched this.

CAMEROTA: -- a huge benefit of the doubt here.

SCHLAPP: No, I'm not. No.

CAMEROTA: But you're not giving this comedian the benefit of the doubt.

SCHLAPP: Do you have any doubt -- do you have any doubt in your mind that there's a difference between an elected officials sitting up there at a dinner having to take the tough shots and a staffer --

CAMEROTA: Yes. There is a huge difference between what the president of the United States said --

SCHLAPP: -- and a staffer who had the courage to sit up there.

CAMEROTA: -- and the bar we set for him versus a comedian. There should be.

SCHLAPP: I've heard you and Chris talk about this all morning. I get that. But if you're going to act like there's a moral superiority, which many people in that dinner did --

CAMEROTA: Yes?

SCHLAPP: They act like they're better. They act like they're the truth tellers.

CAMEROTA: Shouldn't the president be better than a comedian?

SCHLAPP: Let me finish, though. Let me finish. When you say it's about the First Amendment and somehow reporters are keeping the president honest -- you said in this interview, "Oh, we have to do the truth-o-meter. We have to say when he's wrong."

CAMEROTA: Yes?

SCHLAPP: Then I just say to all of you who are going to take that moral high ground you'd better be right. You'd better be right all the time. And you'd better make sure that the American people respect that you don't have political animas.

And what that dinner did is it demonstrated to the American people --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCHLAPP: -- that there is a political animus against this president. This president is very imperfect.

CAMEROTA: Look, you know that all the -- hold on, Matt.

SCHLAPP: We've talked about it two years.

CAMEROTA: Hold on one second.

SCHLAPP: For two years, I have taken all the tough questions.

CAMEROTA: The president is always made fun of at that dinner.

SCHLAPP: Alisyn, I have taken all the tough questions for you.

CAMEROTA: Democrat, Republican, they're always made fun of. They're roasted at this dinner.

SCHLAPP: No. No, that's not right.

CAMEROTA: It is right.

SCHLAPP: No, I've gone to this dinner.

CAMEROTA: I've been to probably 18 of these. The president is always roasted. Barack Obama was roasted. I mean, Bush was roasted.

SCHLAPP: Let me -- let me --

CAMEROTA: Always.

SCHLAPP: -- just tell -- let me just --

CAMEROTA: I'm just asking about your consistency. Your consistency.

SCHLAPP: OK. I've been on your show for a long time.

CAMEROTA: And whether or not you think --

SCHLAPP: I'll take all these questions. I've answered all the questions.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And do you -- here's my last question. Do you think the president of the United States should be held --