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White House Press Briefing; First 100 Days Benchmark; Mexico Paying for Wall; Border Wall at Center of Shutdown. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired April 24, 2017 - 14:00   ET

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


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: But secondly, I think the president's priorities since he took office have been very clear, that the focus would be on folks who presented a danger to public safety.

[14:00:03] And that's what it's been and that's where it continues to be.

And I think he is someone who understands the issue and the priorities that need to get laid out by this country. And so, everything that he has done has been consistent with what he had said from the get-go.

Jonathan?

QUESTION: I understand that you said the criminals would leave first. But last August you said that DACA defied federal law and was illegal. So does he still think it's illegal?

SPICER: I understand. And I think that he's -- his comments that he made last week, that he understands that in a lot of cases this involves families and small children who've been here, and he has a heart and we're going to work through the immigration...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SPICER: I understand. What I'm trying to do is answer the question.

That I think the president wants to make sure that he addresses the issue of illegal immigration in all of its components, in terms of visa reform, border security, the wall, all of these things in a system of priorities. And right now the priority is to make sure that folks who present a public safety concern to the United States and to our citizens are dealt with first. And that's what (inaudible).

He's also very pleased that through his action and his vision for how he wants to move forward on this, sees a hug drop of illegal border crossing. That is a big accomplishment for this presidency and it's something that we're obviously very proud off.

QUESTION: What about the other big thing? The amnesty of is a big part (inaudible).

SPICER: I understand that. I just walked through the question.

Jonathan? QUESTION: Sean, how confident are you that there will not be a shutdown? Can you from that podium guarantee that there will not be a government shutdown?

SPICER: I -- I can't guarantee.

(LAUGHTER)

But -- but I think that the -- the work that Director Mulvaney and others have made in this -- in these negotiations has been very positive. They feel confident that that won't happen.

QUESTION: So, he won't -- he won't insist that his priorities get funded on the border, the wall, increased security?

SPICER: That's not what I said. I -- I said that I think that...

QUESTION: Or is he willing to shut down the government...

SPICER: No -- no -- it's not -- look they're currently negotiating. We feel very confident that they understand the president's priorities and it will come to an agreement by the end of Friday.

QUESTION: And on the hundred days, if I could just follow up, the Contract with the American Voter that the president signed...

SPICER: Yeah.

QUESTION: ... included 10 pieces of legislation. Right now he's 0 for 10; only one of those has actually been introduced.

SPICER: Right. And I think that we're going to continue to work with Congress. As he says in that document, "I will work with Congress to achieve these things." We are going to continue to work with Congress to achieve those.

QUESTION: But why have nine of them not even been introduced yet?

SPICER: I think when you look at what he has done, in terms of a Supreme Court justice, the executive orders, the number of legislation, there's a lot that has gotten done. I don't think anyone -- I remember very clearly the first few weeks and still to some extent the comments that got made about the pace that we were keeping and we have kept.

The president has been extremely busy and I think when you recognize the amount of issues that he's tackled and the amount of progress that he's made, it is -- it is -- it is very significant. And we will continue to present all of that throughout the week.

But again, as I said to Major, I think you can look at a few of these areas and nitpick a couple of them. But I think overall, you know, he has signed a record number of executive orders, he has rolled back regulatory reforms...

(CROSSTALK) SPICER: No, I understand that. But -- but -- but -- right.

QUESTION: He didn't promise to take action. He promised to...

SPICER: But I don't think there's any question that the president has done a significant amount for the American people on -- on the issues that he has put forward during the campaign.

Jim? Jim?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... or is nitpicking?

SPICER: Jim?

QUESTION: Are you?

SPICER: I'm not. Neither of the -- no -- I'm not -- those pieces are not small. What I'm saying in terms of overall what he has accomplished has been unbelievably significant, when you talk about all of the other areas, the regulatory relief, the efforts that he's made on immigration, on trade, all of those issues.

And again what I'm trying to say is, when you look at everything that he's done and the amount that he's accomplished in these first hundred days, I think you can go back and find an area, one or two and say, "OK, well, he didn't do this." But I think you have to look at in totality of what he actually did get done.

Jim?

QUESTION: Sean, on the wall, why is there even discussion about shutting down the government over paying for the wall? Isn't Mexico supposed to pay for the wall?

SPICER: Well, I think, Jim, the president's made very clear that initially we needed to get the funding going, and there's to be several mechanisms to make sure that that happens. That funding piece will happen in due time.

QUESTION: That is a promise that the president made during...

SPICER: I understand that.

QUESTION: ... the campaign...

SPICER: Yes, I know. But he also said...

QUESTION: ... that Mexico would pay for the wall. And now -- now we're having a discussion that the government might shut down over the wall and who's going to pay for it.

SPICER: Right. So a couple of things.

One, as I pointed out to Jonathan, we feel very confident the government's not going to shut down. Number two is I think the president has been very clear in the past

about the fact that -- and this is not a new thing; he talked about this. That in order to get the ball rolling on border security and the wall, that he was going to have to use the current appropriations process. But he would make sure that that promise would be kept as far as the payment of it.

QUESTION: And just a real quick follow up.

If border crossings are down -- and that's a talking point that the White House uses time and again -- is the wall even necessary?

SPICER: Absolutely. The -- the wall is -- it does several things.

QUESTION: Then how can the border crossings be down, the president's saying, "Well, we're going to have all these drugs flowing in if we don't have a wall"?

SPICER: Because you can't -- just because you have a couple good months in a year, I think you want to make sure you take prudent long- term steps.

I mean -- so the president is going to fulfill -- and frankly, it's a promise that he made to the American people. I think if you're coming in from our southern border, he has taken a lot of steps so far that has deterred border crossings.

But this is a permanent step that will extend beyond his presidency. Eight years from now, the next president will have that wall in place to make sure that -- that it doesn't continue so that...

QUESTION: Mexico is going to pay for it.

SPICER: That's right. Thank you.

Alexis?

QUESTION: This might relate (ph) to Jim's question too, but on Wednesday -- I have two questions.

On Wednesday, when we see the outline that Secretary Mnuchin was just describing, will the president help aim Congress toward his decision about whether the border adjustment tax is the right idea? And also, related to that, whether the pay-fors for the wall that might be of interest to lawmakers will become evident as part of the outline of what he'd like to do in terms of tax reform?

SPICER: Right.

Well, I don't mean to evade that, but I think there's a reason he chose -- we're waiting until Wednesday to have the details that he wants to share out. I'm not going to -- we've got a couple days before that happens, so I'm going to have to ask you to wait 48 hours.

QUESTION: Can you say whether we will have a general...

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER: I can tell you...

QUESTION: ... generally better idea of where he...

SPICER: I think you'll have a better idea of where the president stands on tax reform and what he wants to accomplish, yes. John?

QUESTION: Wait, wait. I have one follow-up.

SPICER: OK.

QUESTION: When -- when you were just describing and Secretary Mnuchin was describing achieving an economic growth of 3 percent or higher, which is slightly lower than what the president talked about in the campaign, which was a very ambitious goal of 4 percent.

I'm just trying to figure out, what is the timeline for that? Is the president thinking he would like to achieve 3 percent or higher in his first term, because of the headwinds that were -- you know, obviously the United States is facing abroad? I mean, that's a very ambitious goal still, 3 percent.

SPICER: Right.

Well -- and I think that he has taken a lot of steps not just on the tax side, but on the regulatory side as well, that I think are clearly already paying dividends in terms of you're seeing -- we talked about this before -- manufacturing come back and jobs coming back. And I think there's going to be a renewed commitment of many manufacturers, American companies to bring back jobs, to grow, to hire, to expand here in the United States.

And so I think that that growth will precede the president's actions, both on the tax front and on the regulatory side.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks a lot, Sean.

As you know, the first go around at replacing Obamacare was not successful. Since then, are you any closer to getting 218 votes in the House to pass or replace the Affordable Care Act?

SPICER: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Can you elaborate a little more than yes?

SPICER: Well, I -- well, first of all, we only need 216. You're making it a little tougher on us right now.

But I do think that we have seen progress with members in terms of some of the changes that have been made to make it a stronger bill. But we're getting close. And as I mentioned at the outset, when I think the president feels confident that -- or when the leadership of the House tells him that they feel confident that they have the votes, then we'll -- I'm sure they'll call a vote. But that's up to them to decide. QUESTION: And a separate one, it's obviously a different topic, and that's the election over the weekend in France.

SPICER: Yeah.

QUESTION: Any comment on the results that came out of France over the weekend? Would the president be satisfied with either alternative, Macron or Le Pen?

SPICER: Yeah.

Obviously, it's up to the people of France to decide who their next leader are (sic) and we respect their -- the decision that they make in May. So let's -- our job is to work with whomever the French people choose.

Anita?

QUESTION: Two questions.

One, on the budget, the spending plan, what is the president doing -- I understand Mick Mulvaney and others are doing things. Is he calling members? I don't see anything on his schedule for this week. Are members coming over? What is -- what is his...

SPICER: As needed, he'll be involved. I think his -- the legislative team has been giving him updates. And, you know, as he's needed...

QUESTION: Is he calling members?

SPICER: He has talked to members of course. I mean, I just mentioned he's having dinner tonight with Senator McCain and Senator Graham. He's had lots of discussions with members at various times.

This is not -- we're not at a position now where he is actively engaging on a -- the way he was at say the end of health care. I think as his team tells him that he needs phone calls -- but he is actively monitoring and being given updates by the senior team that is working with him.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... talking about his priorities (inaudible)?

SPICER: I think his priorities have been crystal clear. I mean, remember starting in the first week of March, Director Mulvaney engaged with appropriators on the House side -- and I'm not sure when he started with -- so that has been an ongoing discussion now almost for eight weeks with the senior team here and -- and appropriators in the House in particular.

QUESTION: OK. And then on the second issue, on the 100 days, someone mentioned the president tweeted that it was a ridiculous, you know, timetable or whatever. Why is the White House doing so much this week?

You have indicated that some -- all these activities this week, from hearing from different people, are because of the 100 days. Why do this 100-day push if it's a ridiculous (inaudible)?

SPICER: I think we've gotten a fairly decent amount of inquiries from you and your colleagues, so in order to answer those inquiries...

QUESTION: (Inaudible) something for us?

SPICER: Yeah. Well, you know, we're givers.

(LAUGHTER)

We -- but you know, I mean, I don't think there's anyone in this room that hasn't lodged (ph) a request to say, "We're writing a story on the 100-day mark, we're doing this on the 100-day mark." And so, you know, we want to make sure that we answer your questions as truthfully as possible and as thoroughly and comprehensively. So we will have to fulfill all of these requests that are coming in from you and your colleagues.

But I also think that we are very proud and the president's very proud of what he's been able to accomplish in the first 100 days.

And, you know, as we sprint towards these final 100 days, there's two things. One, I think because of the inquiries that we've had, we want to make sure we take an opportunity to make sure that people understand how much he's done in all of the different areas. But we also want to start talking about the next 100 days and what else is left to be done and what -- how much -- you know, how we're going to continue to work hard to get all of that done.

But there's a lot that has been accomplished and I think it's -- there's an appropriate -- it's appropriate to comment and to share with the American people all of the things that he has done to fulfill the pledges that he made to the American people.

QUESTION: Just to clarify, are we going to hear -- prior to the rally on Saturday, are we going to hear directly from him? There was some talk of a press conference. SPICER: Yeah, I'll have further updates on the schedule going forward on...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SPICER: Huh?

QUESTION: The press conference...

SPICER: No, no. I will have -- we're work out some scheduling issues for the rest of the week. I'll make sure I give you an update as we move forward.

Kristen (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.

I just wanted to circle back on health care (inaudible) agenda items for the first 100 days was repealing and replacing Obamacare. So does the president want to -- expect to see a vote on health care (inaudible)?

SPICER: I'm sure -- look, he'd love to do it. If the speaker and the majority leader and the whip come and tell him that he's got -- they've got the votes, then we'd love to do it.

I think his goal isn't to fit it into a finite timetable, as he mentioned on Friday. If it happens this week, that's great. If it happens next week, that's great too.

The goal is to get it done and get it done right, and so we're not going to jam it through just for the sake of it.

QUESTION: So he's concerned about potentially rushing it through? I hear what you're saying...

SPICER: No, no. He -- right.

QUESTION: ... he doesn't want it to happen this week just to meet that...

SPICER: Exactly.

QUESTION: OK. Let me ask you about tax reform.

I know you don't want to get ahead of the announcement on Wednesday.

SPICER: Thank you.

QUESTION: But there's a sense that it is more realistic to pursue targeted tax cuts as opposed to broad tax reform. Will we on Wednesday see a proposal for targeted tax cuts?

SPICER: As you stated in your question, I'll let the president and the team speak on Wednesday with respect to what they're going to outline. But I'm not going to get...

QUESTION: Does the president think that it's realistic to do broad tax reform without having repealed and replaced Obamacare?

SPICER: I -- I think that the president said he's going to make -- there's a lot of things that are possible. But let's let the president -- you know, he made a commitment to get it out on Wednesday, so let's be patient and wait until Wednesday.

QUESTION: And just one more.

SPICER: Of course.

QUESTION: Is there a plan for infrastructure reform in the works? Will we get that (inaudible)?

SPICER: That's another thing that's on the list, but I think we seem to have our hands full right now with health care and tax reform. He's obviously still committed to seeing infrastructure, something he's talked about a lot in terms of roads and bridges and rebuilding things. But let's get these first two things moving.

But I think you're going to see a continued commitment to infrastructure as well.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SPICER: I...

QUESTION: Is there urgency to get infrastructure reform passed?

SPICER: So either we're doing too much or we're not doing enough.

But I think -- look, he has made it very clear that that is a priority of his. As you point out, it's something that I think both sides of the aisle and both chambers probably agree on. There's a public- private partnership that could really benefit our infrastructure in terms of the financing piece of this; we'll have further details on that moving forward, though.

Thank you guys very much. I'll see you tomorrow. Have a great Monday.

[14:14:33]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's take it. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You've been watching the White House press briefing as President Trump begins this pivotal week in his presidency. You heard all those questions about the 100 days, right? This 100-day mark is this upcoming Saturday. And before that happens, President Trump has a jam-packed schedule to pump up his accomplishments in the days ahead.

So let me bring my panel in to discuss all things that Sean Spicer was asked about.

And let me begin here with David Chalian and Shelby Holiday sitting to my right.

[14:15:00] First, just on, you know, government shutdown deadline looming, but it seems to me that they're shifting language, perhaps, the White House, from, we must have, you know, this border wall funding in that spending bill, to maybe something a little different.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, because yesterday we heard on "State of the Union," John Kelly, the Department of Homeland Security secretary, say that the border funding wall was going to have to be in this, that that was really important to the president. You didn't hear Sean Spicer just now say that that was the case. He sounded a little bit more like Reince Priebus was sounding in the last 24 hours, saying that certainly want to see border security funding, but it wasn't sort of, we're going to live on this hill of the wall must be funded or we're not going to move forward with funding the government. I think it's clear the White House doesn't want a government shutdown. They understand they would take the brunt of the blame for that.

BALDWIN: Right.

CHALIAN: And so I think what you're hearing here is a possible path out that they're trying to find for themselves.

BALDWIN: I want to hear from you, but let me just pause and play - this was the exchange with our own correspondent in the room, Jim Acosta, with Sean Spicer on this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Why has there even been discussion about shutting down the government over paying for the wall? Isn't Mexico supposed to pay for the wall?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think, Jim, the president has made very clear that initially we needed to get the funding going. And there would be several mechanisms to make sure that that happens. That funding piece will happen in due time.

Alexis (ph).

ACOSTA: But that is a promise - that is a promise that the president made during the campaign, Sean.

SPICER: I understand that. It is. No, no, but he also -

ACOSTA: That Mexico would pay for the wall.

SPICER: Right.

ACOSTA: And now - now we're having a discussion that the government might shut down over the wall.

SPICER: No, no, we - no, no. I -

ACOSTA: And who's going to pay for it (ph).

SPICER: Right. So a couple things. One, as I pointed out to Jonathan, we feel very confident the government's not going to shut down. Number two, is I think the president has been very clear in the past about the fact that - and this is not a new thing. He talked about this. That in order to get the ball rolling on border security and the wall, that he was going to have to use the - current appropriations process, but he would make sure that that promise would be kept as far as the payment of it.

ACOSTA: (INAUDIBLE) and just a real quick follow-up. If border crossings are down, and that's a talking point that the White House uses time and again, is the wall even necessary?

SPICER: Absolutely. The wall is - it does several things. ACOSTA: How can - how can - how can the border crossings be down and

the president saying -

SPICER: Because I think -

ACOSTA: Well, we're going to have all these drugs flowing in if we don't have a wall.

SPICER: Because you can't - just because you have a couple good months in a year, I think you want to make sure that you take prudent, long- term steps. I mean - so the president is going to fulfill. And it's - and, frankly, it's a promise that he made to the American people. I think if you are coming in from our southern border, there - he has taken a lot of steps so far that is deterred border crossings. But this is a permanent step that will extend beyond his presidency. Eight years from now, the next president will have that wall in place to make sure that it doesn't continue so that -

ACOSTA: And Mexico's going to pay for it?

SPICER: That's right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: All right, Jim's up with us now.

It's a great question.

ACOSTA: Yes.

BALDWIN: I mean the bit about, hey, I thought Mexico was supposed to pay for it. And it is a talking point from the White House -

ACOSTA: Right.

BALDWIN: About, you know, border crossings being down. What did you make of his answer?

ACOSTA: As you know, Brooke, I covered a great number of those Trump campaign rallies. So a few of those moments were burned on my brain. And the moment that might be burned the most on my brain is that Mexico is going to pay for the wall on the U.S./Mexico border. And as you heard from Sean Spicer there during this briefing, yes, the president is going to insist, his administration is going to insist at some point Mexico is going to pay for this wall. But for the time being it appears to be one of these sticking point in getting some kind of budget resolution, some sport of spending bill resolution before the government shuts down at the end of the week.

But I think it's important, and I think you were just picking up on this, Brooke, during this briefing today, Sean Spicer was not drawing any lines in the sand.

BALDWIN: No.

ACOSTA: He was not saying, if we don't have border wall funding, this government is going to shut down. And you also heard, when he was asked by my colleague Jon Karl, you know, can he guarantee there won't be a shutdown, he, obviously, wasn't going to take the bait on that kind of question. But he did say that they have great confidence that's not going to shut down.

And so I think, at the end of the day, this administration is starting to sound like it is going to take one on the chin here and perhaps not get that border wall funding in exchange for not letting this government shut down on the 100th day in office for this president, which would be a lot of egg on his face as he wraps up these 100 days, Brooke.

BALDWIN: That's a great point. And on the egg note, Shelby, let me just follow up with you.

I mean, you know, David put it perfectly with General Kelly on over the week-or General Kelly saying what he did, Reince Priebus saying what he did and the question being, is this - is this mixed messaging or is it exactly what Jim said, that at the end of the day they realize they don't want the government to shut down because they would have egg all over their face?

SHELBY HOLLIDAY, POLITICS AND BUSINESS REPORTER, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": It's true. I would say a little bit of both because the Trump administration loves the art of the deal. That's how Donald Trump conducts his administration. People are saying different things. They're sending different signals. So it's not a surprise that we're hearing these different - this different rhetoric over the weekend.

However, if you look at polls, and I know Trump doesn't like to look at polls, but the wall is not popular. Mexico's not going to pay for it and shutting down the government right before or right on his 100th day mark is way worse for him than anything else that could happen this week. So it's just - when Sean Spicer said I'm confident the government won't shut down, to me that was a clear signal border wall funding will not be a part of this - this fight.

[14:20:02] BALDWIN: So, Chris Cillizza, we heard Sean Spicer say this 100 day deadlines was artificial. Questions were asked about the president calling this deadline, what's the word he used, ridiculous.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Ridiculous, yes.

BALDWIN: Ridiculous. Yet, you know, the president's schedule, albeit it's not all on camera, but it is jam packed this week leading up to this big 100 day mark. What's up with that?

CILLIZZA: Yes. It doesn't matter unless it's going well and then it does matter. No, yes, I mean, look, I think this is - Donald Trump buys into media narratives more than any other candidate because he consumes more media than any politician that we've ever seen before. I would remind people that the 100 days is an FDR creation, not a media creation. But even if you say it's a media creation, Donald Trump is a believer in these sorts of symbolic landmarks. What he wants is the credit for the things he's done. You heard Sean say repeatedly in that briefing, unbelievable amount of progress. He wants the credit for things like Gorsuch for the - the decline in border crossings, but he doesn't really want to answer for health care and the struggle there, the travel ban is still legally up in there. Someone asked him, a reporter in that room asked him, well, isn't health care sort of a major thing that you don't get done? Well, I don't want to minimize it. and that's the point, he wants to celebrate the victories, ignore the losses. And then 100 days is good for them, when it's good for them, and then ignore it when it's not. It - it's the duality of Donald Trump extends to almost everything, including whether 100 days matter or not.

BALDWIN: Yes. A quick break. Let me keep all of you with me. We'll be right back. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:25:25] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: On the 100 days, if I could just follow up.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yes.

KARL: The contract with the American voter that the president signed -

SPICER: Yes.

KARL: Included ten pieces of legislation.

SPICER: Uh-huh.

KARL: Right now he's 0-10. Only one of those has actually been introduced.

SPICER: Right.

KARL: Is that -

SPICER: And I think that we're going to continue to work with Congress, as he says in that document, I will work with Congress to achieve these things. We are going to continue to work with Congress to achieve those.

KARL: But why have nine of them not even been introduced?

SPICER: I think when you look at what he has done in terms of the Supreme Court justice, the executive orders, the number of legislation, there's a lot that has gotten done. I don't think anyone - I remember very clearly the first few weeks and still to some extent the comments that got made about the pace that we were keeping and we have kept. The president has been extremely busy and I think when you recognize the amount of issues that he has tackled and the amount of progress that he's made, it is - it is - it is very significant. And we will continue to present all of that throughout the week, but, again, as I said to Major, I think you can look at a few of these areas and nitpick a couple of them. But I think overall, you know, he has signed a record number of executive orders. He has rolled back regulatory reforms.

KARL: (INAUDIBLE).

SPICER: No, I understand that but -

KARL: (INAUDIBLE) -

SPICER: Right.

KARL: To take action (INAUDIBLE) -

SPICER: But I don't think there's any question that the president has done a significant amount for the American people on the issues that he has put forward during the campaign.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) you're not describing the wall and health care as nitpicking?

SPICER: Hold on. Jim. Jim. Jim.

QUESTION: Are you (INAUDIBLE) -

SPICER: I am not. Neither are the - no, I am not - those pieces are not small. What I'm saying in terms of overall what he has accomplished, he's been unbelievably significant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That was our reporter there again, Jim Acosta. You know, we're playing these pieces from this White House press briefing that just happened, you know, underscoring the importance of this 100 day benchmark this upcoming Saturday. Got a great panel. Chris Cillizza was making this point about, you know, well, what wins can they really tout, trying to tout the Gorsuch pick and perhaps how that - they're also helping decrease these illegal border crossings. But what else?

And so, David Chalian, let me just turn to you and ask, you know, just whoever the president is, how do you measure success or progress?

CHALIAN: Well, there's no one way to measure it. Obviously we have polls that show us where the country is of whether they're approving or disapproved of the job the president's doing. That's one way.

BALDWIN: Ys.

CHALIAN: We know this president is sort of scoring low on that.

Another way is major pieces of legislation, whether past or making progress on sort of going back to the core campaign promises, such as repeal and replace Obamacare, obviously that sort of blew up in the president's face in these first 100 days. They say they're still going to make an effort at it. I know Republicans on The Hill are talking about a way to get this through the House in the not too distant future.

BALDWIN: Yes. CHALIAN: But it - but it hasn't happened yet. So you can't sort of call that a success yet.

I think the Supreme Court that the White House points to is a perfect example of another way - key core campaign promise, so important to conservatives and a total success for them and a very smooth process of getting Neil Gorsuch on the court. So I don't think there's any one way, Brooke. I think you've got to look at a series of things and, obviously, the White House will try to point to all the things that they think, executive orders or his schedule or how busy he is, talking about a range of issues as their case for success. And then they'll hear from some critics or those of us in the press that are using metrics that we've used looking at previous presidents at this point in history.

BALDWIN: Yes. How do you see it?

HOLLIDAY: I would also add to that list looking at how he's responded to foreign threats. Trump responded to Syria's chemical weapons attack. He's responded to North Korea in ways that more Americans do feel pretty good about right now, at least according to our "Wall Street Journal" poll. And he's met with foreign leaders and his rhetoric has been sort of tamped down from the campaign trail. He did withdraw from TPP, which was a campaign promise. But he's also speaking to Shinzo Abe of Japan and Xi Jinping of China about trade deals. You know, we haven't cut ties completely. And so the business community goes back and forth on Donald Trump. They'd like to be able to plan ahead and understand a bit more about his policies. But at the same time, they have been encouraged by what they've heard so far.

BALDWIN: What about on that note, talking to Prime Minister Abe, talking to president Xi, Chris, over the weekend.

CILLIZZA: Yes.

BALDWIN: You know, on the - the note of personal diplomacy, right? We know that North Korea threatened to sink the U.S. aircraft carrier. All these, you know, provocative notes from North Korea. And, you know, President Trump gets on the phone -

CILLIZZA: Yes.

BALDWIN: With the prime ministers and the president. What do you make of his tact in doing that?

CILLIZZA: Well, that is in keeping with a campaign promise of sorts, which is, I'm a great deal maker, I've sat across from all of these people in board rooms. I know how to talk to them.

[14:29:52] Now, what's difficult here is let's just take China and North Korea, Brooke. What you're having to do at this point is take President Trump's word broadly speaking that his couple days at Mar-a- Lago with President Xi Jinping was illustrative. That the relationship built there means that China is going to help us more with North Korea and