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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Believes N. Korean's Kim is Not Crazy; White House Looks to China to Change N. Korea's Path; Poll: Americans Divided on Trump Foreign Policy; Michael Flynn Investigated for Payments from Russia; European Union Dividing Force in French Presidential Election; Trump Gets Nostalgic for Former Life; Trump an Unconventional President; Trump Impersonator Contest Draws Lots of Laughs. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 28, 2017 - 02:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:00:22] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live in Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour --

(HEADLINES)

SESAY: Hello, and welcome to our viewers from around the world. I'm Isha Sesay. This is NEWSROOM L.A.

The leader of North Korea may be ruthless, belligerent and unpredictable, but the U.S. does not believe he's crazy. U.S. President Trump tells Reuters News Agency he assumes Kim is rational. Mr. Trump acknowledged that when Kim took power. This is what he said about him. He said, "He's 27 years old, his father dies, took over a regime. Say what you want, but that is not easy, especially at that age. I'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit. I'm just saying that's a hard thing to do. As to whether or not he's rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he's rational."

The president also warned of possible hostilities if Pyongyang doesn't abandon its nuclear weapons. Here's what he told Reuters New Agency just a few hours ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Our Paula Hancocks is standing by in Seoul. David McKenzie joins us from Beijing.

Paula, we'll start with you.

The president opening the door to the possibility of negotiations with North Korea. The question is, is there still a moment for it. Is there appetite on the part of North Korea for any kind of diplomatic move?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Isha, if you go a couple months' backs, you can see that there was interest from Pyongyang to have a different kind of relationship with Washington. We heard it from diplomats. We heard it in the state-run media, from opinion pieces, saying they were looking for a different path, a different relationship. We also saw them holding off on any missile strikes or missile launches at that point, although some say that could have been to do with the South Korean political situation as well. Certainly, at that point, there seemed to be an opening. Of course, a lot has changed since then. There have been missile launches. The drills between the U.S. and South Korea are still ongoing until the end of the month, and the relationship is pretty bad between two. There's this massive increase in U.S. military hardware here as well. But the fact that just a couple months ago Pyongyang was suggesting they would be open to a different kind of relationship would suggest that they are still open to that. It's really impossible to know for sure -- Isha?

SESAY: Yeah.

David, to you now.

In the same interview, President Trump lavishing praise on China's President Xi saying this, "I believe he's trying to very hard. He doesn't want to see turmoil and death. He doesn't want to see it. He's a good man, he's a very good man and I got to know him very well. With that being said, he loves China and the people of China, I know he will like to be able to do something, perhaps it's possible that he can't."

How will this flattery go over in China? It's quite remarkable to hear a U.S. president flatter the Chinese leader in this way.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPODNENT: It certainly is remarkable. And it is certainly -- wouldn't say completely unprecedented in the history of China/U.S. relations. But since I've been following China, I haven't heard President Obama say something so glowing about Xi Jinping.

There is the sense that Trump is saying he has his close personal relationship based on their lengthy meetings in Florida with President Xi Jinping. And President Trump has regularly said that he hopes China will help the North Korean situation. And diplomats in the U.S. have said that this is the key to the North Korean situation. Unclear whether the Chinese state media, which is controlled by the Communists Party, will delve into that flattery. I haven't seen it yet.

But we do see a sense from Communist state media and foreign policy experts I've spoken to that there might be a different calculation about North Korea and China. Because of the repeatedly military moves by North Korea, the repeated nuclear tests and missile tests that China might have changed its outlook on North Korea and might be willing to turn the screws a little bit tighter on the regime -- Isha?

[02:05:27] SESAY: Paula, back to you. The U.S. policy on North Korea, the sum total, seems to be get China

to do something about Pyongyang. I'm wondering what the view is there in Seoul. Do they believe there's an overreliance on China? How are they going to view the flattery of the Chinese leader?

HANCOCKS: There's been no response to that exact part of it at this point of the flatter. But certainly, officials I was speaking to in the past were more hopeful about Chinese engagement. Certainly, there was a suggestion that the relationship between China and the U.S. was appearing to be improving. But, of course, everybody said let's just wait and see. It was far too early to see if this this was any kind of long and far-reaching change in China's attitude when it comes to increasing the implementation for sanctions in North Korea. There's hope in South Korea that sanctions work. That's where officials are pinning their hopes. Obviously, China is integral to that. For many officials, they were heartened that there seemed to be a better relationship. They were pleased there appeared to be a more willing Beijing to implement these sanctions. But of course, it was a very much a wait-and-see, see what happens and what changes on the ground.

SESAY: Very much. Let the actions do the talking.

Paula Hancocks joining us in Seoul, South Korea, and David McKenzie in Beijing, China. My thanks to you both.

The U.S. House will vote next week on new sanctions against North Korea. The Trump administration is also hoping China can persuade Pyongyang to change course. Beijing does have leverage because the North Korean economy is heavily dependent on Chinese goods.

More now from CNN's Will Ripley, the only U.S. television correspondent in North Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): North Korea says it values one thing above all else, self-reliance. A concept they call ju chang (ph). Driving around the capital, it's clear this independent nation is not entirely self-reliant. Many everyday items are imported, from cars on the streets, electronics in the stores, even food in the supermarkets. These shelves are surprisingly full of imports, especially from one particular country.

(on camera): It's interesting. A lot of the canned food items you see here come from China. It shows there's a lot of trade happening between the two countries, despite heighten international sanctions.

(voice-over): North Korea claims to locally produce most of the products they sell, and the government says domestic production is increasing.

China is North Korea's neighbor and most important ally, a powerful patron that pumps billions of dollars into this still largely impoverished economy.

We're not allowed to see life outside the show-piece capitol. Inside, people say life is getting better.

"Under Kim Jong-Un, our living standards are improving," says this doctor.

North Koran economists say China still accounts for at least 70 percent of their trade. And not just consumer items. A Chinese oil pipeline literally helps this country's engine running.

President Trump is urging China to use its economic leverage to punish Pyongyang for provocative behavior. North Korean officials say China's action won't affect their weapons development.

"Whatever new sanctions we're likely to face, whatever trade restrictions, we're not afraid," says Sok Chul Wan (ph).

Everyday North Koreans also insist they'll be just fine with or without China.

"We don't worry much," says this housewife, "because we have a strong military. We can overcome anything."

Despite five nuclear tests in the last decade, Beijing has been reluctant to get too tough on Pyongyang. North Korean serves as a buffer between China and South Korea, where 28,000 U.S. troops a based. China also worries, a destabilized Koran peninsula could trigger a refugee crisis at its border.

China has taken some steps to sanction North Korea, temporarily suspending coal imports, a major source of revenue for the regime. But in the first quarter of this year, trade is still up nearly 40 percent. The true test will come if Pyongyang keeps its promise to launch more missiles and conduct more nuclear tests. North Korea says they will remain self-reliant no matter how China and the world responds.

Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:10:06] SESAY: A new poll shows Americans are sharply divided when it comes to President Trump's foreign policy.

CNN's John King reports from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: Some interesting numbers as we asked Americans about the global hot spots and other big foreign policy stories have dominated the first hundred days of the Trump presidency.

First, to North Korea. Obviously, the stare-down now over North Korea's provocations, its missile program. What do Americans think about that? 37 percent of Americans think North Korea is an immediate threat. 49 percent take the view it's more a long-term threat. 13 percent, despite the headlines in recent weeks, think North Korea is not a threat at all. Remember, early in this stare-down, the president announced the "USS Carl Vinson" carrier group was steaming to North Korea as a show of force. Turns out, it was going in the other direction, to previously scheduled military exercises and would later turn around and head that way. Did that misdirection hurt the White House? 42 percent said, yes, it did. 56 percent say no. But on many international questions, we're seeing a partisan breakdown. 66 percent of Democrats say, yes, that hurt U.S. credibility. Only 15 percent of Republicans think that. 83 percent of Republicans say not at all. You see a much smaller percentage of Democrats willing to waive this one off.

Syria is another one. Remember, the president launched Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base. It puts front and center the question, what should American policy be in the Trump administration? 45 percent of Americans say priority one should be defeating ISIS. 33 percent say it should be spreading humanitarian aid to the people of Syria, who desperately need it. 7 percent, a small number, say support the anti-Assad rebels as priority one. 8 percent of Americans say all of these challenges here. And 5 percent say none of these challenges. But again, look at the partisan break down. Republicans more likely to say priority one is defeating ISIS. Democrats, just sort over the map, but 40 percent, almost twice the percentage of Republicans say priority one should be humanitarian aid. So yet again, you see a split between Democrats and Republicans on what should be at the top of the priority list.

Now, we all have been following the possibility that Russia meddled in the presidential election, e-mail and other steps to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. If that's proven that the Russians meddled to help President Trump, what do Americans think of that? 16 percent say it would be a crisis. 46 percent say a major problem. 24 percent say only a minor problem. 13 percent say not a problem at all even if that's proven. But again, look at the break down. 31 percent of Democrats, crisis. 55 percent of Democrats, major problem. Republicans much more inclined to think it's a minor problem. A quarter of Republicans say not a problem at all even if you prove an international state, Russia, meddled in the election. A little partisanship in that answer. The question here, what if improper contacts are actually proven between Trump campaign associates and Russians during the election year. If improper contacts are proven, what would that amount to? 18 percent of Americans say it's a crisis. 40 percent say that would be a major problem. 29 percent a minor problem. 11 percent, again improper contacts between the campaign and Russia proven, 11 percent say that's not a problem at all. Why did that happen? Because of the partisanship involved. Again, look at the numbers among Democrats. 36 percent of Democrats, crisis. 50 percent of Democrats, major problem. Republicans, much more willing to play this down, in part, because it's their president. 28 percent say major problem. But 44 percent of Republicans say minor problem. 20 percent of Republicans say it's not a problem at all even if it is proven that the Trump campaign improperly colluded, coordinated with Russian officials. Now do Americans they think the allegations are true? Do they think the Trump campaign associates actually improperly coordinated with the Russians? 25 percent of Americans think that's extremely likely based on what they've heard in the news. 20 percent say very likely. 27 percent said somewhat likely. 16, not too likely. 11 percent, not likely at all. Again, look at the big partisan differences. Democrats more inclined to believe there was hanky panicky and improper contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Republicans much more likely to think maybe it happened or not too likely. 20 percent say not at all likely. So Democrats think it's true. Some Republicans do, but more Republicans think not that likely, or at least I hope not.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Thanks to John King for that.

More trouble for President Trump's former national security advisor, Michael Flynn. The Pentagon is now investigating whether he accepted payments from foreign governments, even though he was warned against that back in 2014.

CNN's Jim Sciutto has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have regrets about Michael Flynn.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, President Trump ignoring a question about his fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after new documents show that Flynn was warned he was prohibited from receiving payments from foreign governments.

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER & FORMER DIA DIRECTOR: Thank you so much for inviting me and having me here.

[02:15:00] SCIUTTO: Just one year before, he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Russian state television for this speaking engagement in Moscow in 2015.

The documents released by the House Oversight Committee showed that the DIA informed Flynn that he could not receive, quote, "consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses, honoraria, or salary from foreign governments during his retirement."

Despite the warning, however, the DIA told the committee in a letter it "could not locate any records referring or relating to Lieutenant General Flynn's receipt of money from a foreign source." And the DIA "did not locate any records of Michael Flynn seeking permission or the approval for the receipt of money."

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D), MARYLAND: We have no evidence, zilch, that he obtained permission from the secretary of the Army and the secretary of state to accept any foreign government payments as required by law.

SCIUTTO: The inspector general of the Department of Defense has launched an investigation. In a statement to CNN, the inspector general's office says the probe will cover, quote, "if Lieutenant General Flynn accepted payments in violation of the Emoluments Clause, implementing laws or Department of Defense regulations."

FLYNN: I'm going to be really, really provocative here.

SCIUTTO: The Kremlin-funded news agencies Russia Today, or RT, paid Flynn $33,7500 for his appearance in Moscow in 2015.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Flynn.

SCIUTTO: In interviews last year, Flynn acknowledged accepting payment but denied the source was the Russian government.

(CROSSTALK)

FLYNN: I didn't take any money from Russia, if that's what you're asking me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, then, who paid you?

FLYNN: My speaker's bureau. Ask them.

SCIUTTO: Now Representative Cummings say the White House is refusing to release documents related to their probe.

CUMMINGS: I do not understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn, I don't get it, after the president fired him for lying.

SCIUTTO: Today, White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, blamed the Obama administration for renewing Flynn's security clearance.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: All of that clearance was made during the Obama administration, and apparently with knowledge of the trip that he took. So that's how the process works. And I welcome the Department of Defense's I.G.'s review.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: CNN's Jim Sciutto reporting there.

Flynn's attorney says his client notified the Defense Department about his payments for that speech in Russia.

Time for a quick break. Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, how the European Union is becoming a dividing force in next month's French presidential election.

Stay with us.

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(SPORTS REPORT)

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[02:21:29] SESAY: With the election over a week away, the two candidates battling to become France's next at it is fighting for every vote. If elected, Marine le Pen has says she will quickly begin negotiations with other E.U. member states to change the nature of France's membership. If her demands aren't med, then she wants a Frexit referendum, meaning she wants France to leave the E.U. But her opponent, Emmanuel Macron, says he supports a pro-European approach.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, INDEPENDENT FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translation): First of all, not going to be against Berlin. We have differences and we have disagreements, but I will not tell the French today that I'm going to defend their interests against Berlin. Why? Because Berlin is a construction. We sovereignly took that decision. We did it for our peace, our prosperity and our freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Joining me is CNN's Paris correspondent, Melissa Bell.

Melissa, good to have you with us.

Macron trying to prove he's an outsider after le Pen tried to paint him as part of the establishment.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. Now they are head to head, we're in a new phase of this presidential campaign. It just got over a week until France decides between these two different visions. What Marine le Pen has been seeing is with Emmanuel Macron you're just getting more of the old. He is trying to say in fact he is not the candidate of the system. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACRON (through translation): We are all products of the system, but I'm not a product of the political system. I'm new to politics and I haven't got years behind me, with some understanding and knowledge, and that's the difference between me and Marine le Pen, who has been in politics for ages. But it's true I worked in the private sector. I've been in civil service. I've been a minister. So I'm not someone from outside the system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BELL: Emmanuel Macron is really trying to reply to Marine le Pen's attacks and to convince people that in fact he is the right man to choose because he will come in and change the political system in the way many people believe it does need to be changed.

SESAY: Melissa, he doesn't really have a traditional political party. So what did he say to you about political ideology?

BELL: One of the things we've noticed covering his support or potential support is that the French really struggle with Emmanuel Macron because they can't understand him. I put to him that he was depriving people of an ideological prism to understand who he was, that he wasn't giving the French the keys to understand what his position was on those issues. Have a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACRON: There's an element of predictability, unpredictability in all presidents. The ideological angle has been that of France for more than 30 years. It's absolutely amazing. There's an ideology which allowed Sarkozy to be elected, for example. What is the basis of the debate which we had during the lost presidency? I respect him enormously, but he's problem over the past five years is that was an ideology. The left was saying we want you to elect a left president and you are not left enough. The leftists saying, he betrayed us. He's absolutely unacceptable. This ideological straightjacket is old ideas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:25:18] BELL: And so trying to defend himself from that. But it's a worry for many French people. They say we don't understand what he stands for. The French are quite ideological. They are used to parties. They are used to certain prisms to allow them to understand people. In a sense, this is gearing up to be a second run election that has something of the American election in it as well. There's Marine le Pen, the far-right candidate, that many people are worried about. There is Emmanuel Macron that many others are concern about because they can't understand what he stands for. So you're really heading for a poll where many people are going to be choosing the candidate that they feel is the least worrying heading into the palace -- Isha?

SESAY: Very much like the American election. Strong echoes of that.

Melissa Bell, joining us from Paris. Melisa, thank you. Congrats on the interviews. Fascinating conversation.

Time for a quick break. "State of America" with Kate Baldwin is next for our viewers in Asia.

And for everyone else, President Trump gets nostalgic ahead of the 100-day mark. How he compares his old life to his new one, just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:00] SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

The headlines this hour --

(HEADLINES)

SESAY: Donald Trump will be president for 100 days on Saturday, but the milestone has Mr. Trump in something of a nostalgic mood. He told Reuters this president thing wasn't exactly what he expected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I love my previous life. I love my previous life. I had so many things going. I actually -- this is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more -- I'm a details-oriented person. I think you would say that. But I do miss my old life. I like to work, so that's not a problem, but this is actually more work. And while I had very little privacy in my old life, because I've been famous for a long time, I really -- this is much less privacy than I've ever seen before. I mean, this is something -- something that's really amazing. At the same time, you're into your own little cocoon because you have massive protection that you really can't go anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: More work, less privacy, who would have thought it?

As promised, Trump has been unconventional in his approach to the White House. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the world stage.

Nic Robertson looks back on his foreign policy "Hits and Misses."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: That all changes starting right here and right now.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: For President Trump, the first hundred days in office has been full of surprises.

TRUMP: NATO is obsolete.

ROBERTSON: Such as discovering he likes NATO.

THEREA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Mr. President, I think you said, you confirmed you were 100 percent behind NATO.

ROBERTSON: Although it was several months before he was able to say it for himself.

TRUMP: I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.

China, a currency manipulator.

ROBERTSON: And discovering enemies can be friends. That China is more than a currency manipulator.

TRUMP: I have great president for the president of China.

ROBERTSON: It can an ally against worse enemies, like North Korea.

Another discovery, enemies will pick the worst time to act up, like while you're hosting the Japanese prime minister at your favorite club. North Korea testing multiple missiles. Side lesson here, don't do the national security on a public patio between the salad and main course.

And then perhaps his toughest discovery.

TRUMP: If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.

ROBERTSON: That will-be friends turned enemies fast.

TRUMP: It crossed a lot of lines for me. When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies.

(SHOUTING)

ROBERTSON: To wit, smacking down Assad for killing babies with nerve agents prompted a show of U.S. strength, but it turned Assad's sponsor, Putin, into a foe.

TRUMP: Hello.

ROBERTSON: Indeed, Trump has not been idle. Hosting leaders, Israeli prime minister, Jordanian king, Saudi royals, Egyptian president, Canadian prime minister, to name just a few.

But still, some nuances of hosting big shots need finessing, like shaking hands when asked.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Thank you.

ROBERTSON: And then not saying stuff that embarrasses your guest.

TRUMP: Wiretapping I guess by this past administration. At least we have something in common perhaps.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTSON: Still, better than his first few days in office. Hanging up the phone on the Australian prime minister, a big ally, or Twitter spatting with the Mexican president that shut down his visit over a border wall that he says they'll pay for.

But the first hundred days has not all been meetings and missteps. Dropping the Mother of All Bombs for filling a campaign pledge to --

TRUMP: Bomb the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of them.

ROBERTSON: So what then of his number-one overseas campaign pledge?

TRUMP: My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.

(CHEERING)

ROBERTSON: On Iran, not much.

Trump's biggest surprise, it's a complicated world, more than he might have imagined.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:35:24] SESAY: Still to come, a lighter side of Trump. Comedians compete to see who does the best Trump impersonation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN DI DOMENICO, ACTOR & COMEDIAN: I did a lot of the high-pitched voice because a lot of people do that. But then of you to do the low- pitched voice. Everybody wants this low-pitched voice. That's what I want. But I like the high pitch because nobody does that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Meet the winner of the contest when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: So a lot of comedians have tried to impersonate Donald Trump but who is the funniest?

CNN's Jeanne Moos tries to help us find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gentlemen and ladies, start your impersonators. 11 Trump imitators competed at the Los Angeles Comedy Club's the Laugh Factory.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: I want to assure everyone here, I have no Russian ties. They're all made in China.

MOOS: Riffing on the president's words.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: The media has been so unfair, believe me.

MOOS: Aping his gestures, clapping, pointing, pouting, even breathing like him.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: But I mean, you know --

MOOS: Among the judges --

DARRELL HAMMOND, COMEDIAN: Ay, yay, yah, look at this.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: -- former "SNL" star, Darrell Hammond.

HAMMOND: Love thy neighbor as thyself, and like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: Hammond noted that instead of laughing, President Trump does --

HAMMOND: The sort of reverse meow laugh. MOOS: Most of the jokes were in the groaner category.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: I was very reluctant to drop the bomb on Syria. After all, she's been such a tremendous help on my iPhone.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: It's the delivery that counts.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: I love signing, tweeting and saluting. No one salutes better than me, nobody.

MOOS: The impersonators tend to break Trump down into body parts.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: And a lot of it is the squint and the lexicons, those are the two big things. Yeah, he does a weird kind of side-eye thing, like. But you can see him lexiconing. You know, it's tremendous, fantastic, incredible or it's a total disaster, lightweight, loser.

MOOS: John Di Domenico is no loser. He won with his jokes about replacing Obamacare.

DI DOMENICO: And it is going Trump first aid kits.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: One impersonator not in the contest was Anthony Atonomic (ph).

ANTHONY ATONOMIC (ph), COMEDIAN: And the bring in the arms. This is the kid, the arms.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: His fake Trump now hosts an entire show on Comedy Central.

For impersonators, it's not the wig, it's what's under it.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: I like the way he stops and digs. Like he's going to come out with something, you know? And then, all of a sudden, he says, terrific.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN:

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Terrific, terrific.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: Tremendous.

MOOS: -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:40:13] SESAY: Earlier I spoke to both the host and winner of that Trump impersonator contest. They clued me in on what it takes to win a competition like this one.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: So tell me, how does one stand out from the pack when there are a bunch of Trump impersonators in the room?

DOMENICO: You're asking me?

SESAY: Yeah.

DOMENICO: I didn't do nothing.

(LAUGHTER)

I guess I was better because I - you know. You know, for me I'm very lucky. I have a very long runway. I've been doing Trump since 2004. This last 18 months, I've been doing him almost every day in some voiceovers and commercials, so it's been pretty much nonstop. So it's really helped me redefine him -- because early on, back in "The Apprentice" days, Trump was of, listen, blue team, both did great. But the new Trump during the elections cycle was much more physical and he was kind of all over the place. I'm sure you saw the stump speeches used. Big and brash and everything was -- all of a sudden, his arms are open.

DARRELL HAMMOND, COMEDIAN: I think it has to do with the number much people in the room, don't you?

DI DOMENICO: Yes, to see a crowd.

(CROSSTAKL)

SESAY: Feeding off the energy?

DI DEMONICO: Yes.

HAMMOND: I think so. Do you get the sense that he created the throne and they recreated him because he really got large, you know?

DI DOMENICO: At this point, it's like heroine, because he's got to go out every few weeks to these never-ending victory rallies. He already the president. But he seems to get that adrenaline. And he'll do 90 minutes.

HAMMOND: I did a thing in front of Dennis Leery (ph) once in front of 10,000 people, and that was crack.

SESAY: You were kind of flying?

HAMMOND: Wow. I noticed five or six minutes into it, I was this different performer.

SESAY: Tell me, your winning act that you performed at the competition, do you want to share a little bit of it?

DI DOMENICO: I kind of have a structure that I use for all of my -- usually, I do 35 minutes. So the basic thing is, take some real Trump stuff. So right from the beginning, they know it's Trump. Look at this audience my Secret Service told me there's 5,000 people but CNN, fake news, they're going to say it's only 100 people in a tiny comedy club. Kind of set that up. Get those things. Go into the things he's working on right now. With Obamacare, I said we're going to repeal and replace with something. Terrific, terrific. Starting tomorrow, Trump first aid kits are going out to everyone, everyone. And they have everything you need, sutures, scalpels. You can operate on your children. It'll be great.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Bigly.

Thanks Darrell Hammond and John Di Domenico for a fun interview.

And thank you for staying with us and watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

"World Sport" is up next. You are watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(WEATHER REPORT)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(WORLD SPORT)

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[03:00:10] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The Trump administration said it's looking for a diplomatic solution to North Korea but --