Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Gives Campaign-Style Speech To Gun Lobby Group; Trump Approval Rating At Historic Lows; Trump Touts Progress But Says He Misses "Old Life"; Trump To Mark 100 Days With Saturday Rally; Markets Have Hit Highs During Trump Presidency; Tillerson Nations Must Downgrade Ties With North Korea; London Police Foil Two Threats In 24 Hours; Francis On Two-Day Visit To Egypt; Trump's Track Record on Fighting ISIS; Gardiner: Trump Reinvigorating Relations with Key Allies; Comedy Show Spoofs Trump Ahead of 100-Day Mark; Human Trafficking Victim Rebuilds Her Life; Trump Impersonator Contest Draws Lots of Laugh. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 28, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET





HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL GUEST ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones sitting in for Hala Gorani live from CNN London and this is


Good evening and welcome. U.S. President Donald Trump is approaching a major milestone. Tomorrow marks 100 days since he took the oath of office,

and the commander-in-chief is sending very mixed signals about how his term has gone so far.

Just a short time ago, Mr. Trump spent part of his 99th day in office addressing the National Rifle Association. He is the first sitting

president to address that powerful lobby since Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump took a positive tone to, again, reflect on his electoral win.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: November 8th, wasn't that a great evening? You remember that. It was a great evening.

Remember that? They said, we have breaking news. Donald Trump has won the state of Michigan, Michigan. How is that -- Donald Trump has won the state

of Wisconsin. Whoa.

But earlier in the evening, remember, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, all the way up. We ran up the east coast. And,

you know, the Republicans have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College, you know that, a tremendous disadvantage.

Then you go with Iowa, and Ohio, and all of the different states, it was a great evening, one that a lot of people will never forget.


JONES: But in a Reuters interview, President Trump struck a more reflective tone and spoke candidly about his time in office. He lamented

the lack of privacy and freedom and said he found the workload to be challenge. Take a listen.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a -- I'm a details-oriented

person, I think you would say that, but I do miss my old life. This -- I like to work so that's not a problem, but this is actually more work.


JONES: OK. Let's take a closer look at Trump's ups and downs so far. From Washington I'm joined by CNN's Stephen Collinson and our Nic Robertson

is here on set with me in London. Gentlemen, welcome to you both.

Stephen, I want to turn to you first. Let's talk about that National Rifle Association speech that the president just gave. He was very buoyant,

looked very confident, but I suppose why wouldn't he be amongst his base?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. He was back in his comfort zone. We've had a week basically in which the president has had to

endure repeated and grim assessments of his first 100 days in office particularly among the media and historians, who have basically pointed out

that he has no grand legislative achievements.

His attempts to do something big like repeal Obamacare, President Obama's health care law, they fought it actually yet again in the last few hours,

and I think what he's doing now is going back to the places he feels most comfortable.

The National Rifle Association, which is the powerful gun lobby which is hugely influential on American politics and where he won a lot of support.

On Saturday, he's going to have a big rally in Pennsylvania, one of the states he mentioned there.

This is about I think going back to where he feels comfortable and also saying, look, the people that supported me in that shock election win in

November are still with me, and to the people who don't like him, and he's got the lowest approval ratings of any modern president at this time in his

administration, it's almost like saying, tough, I'm not going to change, this is what you've got.

JONES: We have to talk about the Reuters interview as well. Very, very candid there of President Trump, he's sort of saying -- well, he said it

exactly that it's harder than it looks being president. Did you sense any hint of regret that he perhaps underestimated the scale of the task ahead?

COLLINSON: Well, I think it certainly raises the question of, is Donald Trump actually having a very good time being president, does he actually

want to be president? It also raises the question of whether, you know, what he was doing running for president if he didn't have a good idea of

what the most difficult job in the world many people say entails.

[15:05:01]It's not unusual for a president to take office and then find, wow, this is huge, everything comes out at me really quickly is really

difficult. What's unusual, I think, is for someone to talk about it so candidly and so openly early on.

Presidents often say things like this when they're headed out the door, but this is what Donald Trump's like. He's very personal. He talks to

journalists in this sort of candid way and that's very unusual.

And also I think underlines, you know, the great inexperience of Donald Trump. He has had no prior political experience. His learning curve

therefore is much greater and the fact that he wasn't a politician was the reason he wasn't elected in the first place.

JONES: And Stephen, just standby, I want to bring in Nic Robertson, who is in studio with me. Nic, a 100 days for Trump presidency, a 100 days of a

lot of foreign policy as well. A surprise perhaps to Trump and to the rest of us.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. I think as we heard from the president, it's been 100 days of learning. I mean, look,

he's learned a huge number of things. Number one, he came in and said China was an enemy and a currency manipulator.

But he hasn't decided to call China a currency manipulator and said he can work well with the president there. He's realized he's learned on the job

that if he wants to tackle the issue of North Korea, he needs the support of China.

He's learned pretty quick as well with his cruise missile strike on President Assad's forces for using chemical weapons. When he did that,

President Putin of Russia went from being a potential friend.

Donald Trump had talked about, well, if he likes me, maybe that's going to be a good thing to overnight Putin become as foe because he backed Assad

and the United States struck Assad's forces.

So you know, there are some things that he's learned on the job there. There are other things that have been, you know, clearly some lessons to

go. Angela Merkel, not doing the handshake in the oval office when she asked it.

Angela Merkel at the press conference making a glib joke about how in his opinion they both shared somehow President Obama using the Security

Services to eavesdrop on their phones.

That was hugely embarrassing for the German chancellor. Doing that kind of stuff with big guests, that's people -- it's kind of a rookie mistake, but

by his own words and what we see, there's an amount of learning, an amount.

JONES: Theresa May as well clinging onto her hand as well. Slightly embarrassing perhaps for both of them there as well. I wonder what the

rest of the world has learned from the 100 days. Do world leaders now have a better measure of the man?

ROBERTSON: They're beginning to get one. Look, when he came in, he was unknown, untested. That was really unnerving for everyone. I think where

people are at right now, there's a certain amount of unease about it. He's still unpredictable.

This is a man who in his business like, the art of the deal if you like, a great disrupter going in to negotiate business negotiations and deals to

hit the table hard, demand what you want, get your enemies off balance.

The problem is his enemies like North Korea or President Putin or Russia who doesn't know what he's going to do next in Syria may be off balance,

may be off guard, but at the same time his allies are off balance. They don't quite know what he's going to do next.

We have Secretary Tillerson at the U.N. today saying that for the United States view, the international community should support the sanctions on

North Korea. Diplomatically, that's great language that people want to hear, but what has President Trump done?

What has the international community -- what has President Trump done? What has Secretary Tillerson done to engender that goodwill to now freely

demanding and expecting to come from the international community? That's the sort of stuff that takes long-term diplomacy and skills to build up.

They haven't put the box in place.

JONES: Stephen Collinson, I want to go back to you. Everyone is going to have an opinion on how the 100 days have gone so far. His approval

ratings, Donald Trump's approval ratings, I think we have some stats we can put up on the screen, they're at rock bottom at the moment.

However, on the other hand, the markets are doing extremely well over the last 100 days. Do you think that Donald Trump in doing this interview with

Reuters, in which he was so candid, he's basically reclaiming the narrative, getting on the front foot before everyone else seems to have an


COLLINSON: Yes certainly and he's reaffirming the sort of economic nationalism themes that were so successful for him in the campaign. The

Dow as you said is on track, it looks like, to be at its highest percentage of any modern-day president since World War II in terms of, you know,

increasing value during the first 100 days.

I would say that a lot of that, though, is based on expectations. It's based on the expectation that Donald Trump can enact a generational tax

reform plan. We've seen he's not had a great record so far in getting things through Congress. Tax is even more complicated than health care.

So I think a lot of this is sort of frontloaded.

The other thing is that we had first quarter growth figures today, which was somewhat disappointing (inaudible) 7 percent. For most of that period

Donald Trump was president. So there are mixed economic signals.

[15:10:04]I think over the next 100 days and going forward Donald Trump is going to have to produce results if the stock market is going to continue

to be high and that, of course, is going to have an impact on how Americans feel and ultimately on his approval ratings and his capacity to move

legislation, to bend the will of lawmakers to do what he wants.

JONES: Nic, final word to you on this. Tomorrow is Saturday. Tomorrow marks the 100-day milestone. What does Donald Trump do on a Saturday? He

takes to Twitter. What do you expect?

ROBERTSON: I think we are going to -- I think probably if you judge what we've seen this week, there'll probably be quite a stream of tweets from

him. They may come early in the day as well. I have my alarm set on my phone.

Every time he tweets, I hear it. Sometimes it seems that it's starting at 6:00 a.m. in the morning or somebody is for him. So you know, I think we

will have a raft of messages to affirm what he thinks he's achieved, ignore the bad, and even perhaps harp on a little bit about the reporters are not

giving him enough credit as he did with the NRA again today.

JONES: Gentlemen, great to have you both. Our Nic Robertson in London and Stephen Collinson in D.C., thanks very much indeed.

Now later on in the show, I'll be joined by one guest who says Donald Trump is gaining the respect of allies around the world and reinvigorating U.S.

foreign policy.

Plus a totally different political chat, the Simpsons weigh in on Donald Trump. I'll speak to the show's executive producer about how the president

is inspiring comedy. That's all coming up on this show, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

Now President Trump's rhetoric on North Korea's nuclear program has got even sharper as he approaches that 100-day mark. Here's what he told the

Reuters news agency again on Thursday.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, there's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea, absolutely.


JONES: The president forecasting a potential major conflict with North Korea, and today his secretary of state shared a special session of the

U.N. Security Council where he steps up the pressure on members to distance themselves from a nuclear North Korea.


REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We call on countries to suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with North Korea. North Korea exploits its

diplomatic privileges to fund its illicit nuclear and missile technology programs and constraining its diplomatic activity will cut off a flow of

needed resources. In light of North Korea's recent actions normal relations with the DPRK are simply not acceptable.


JONES: So how is North Korea reacting to all of this? Well, our Will Ripley is the only American television journalist currently reporting from

Pyongyang. Take a look.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in North Korea, the government watching very closely the outcome of this U.N. Security Council meeting

chaired by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

President Trump ratcheting up the rhetoric saying openly that a major, major conflict could break out with North Korea which is really unusual a

U.S. president to use that strong of language when dealing with a country like North Korea which responds in turn with its own rhetoric.

In fact, there's a new comment out from the North Korean state media, KCNA saying, quote, "In case a war breaks out on the peninsula, the U.S. will be

held wholly accountable for it no matter who made the preemptive attack."

They also in that commentary called the United States a gangster that's trying to turn the world against this country, but instead of backing down,

they say they are speeding up their developments of nuclear weapons and missiles that could potentially carry them to the United States and other


Speaking with North Korean officials here, they are defiantly opposed to any notion that they will buckle to international pressure. Even these new

statements that are coming out of Beijing saying that the Chinese government is willing to work with the United States to try to find a

solution to de-escalate the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

China does have a considerable amount of economic leverage over this country with at least 70 percent of North Korean trade. They also control

a major oil pipeline flowing into this country. If they were to cut that off, it could be a very severe situation for the people who live here.

But in conversations with North Korean government officials they say they will not back down, they are not afraid, and, in fact, they only feel like

they should work faster to build these weapons as fast as quickly possible to protect against what they view as the growing threat, perhaps the

imminent threat of war with the United States.

We have heard this kind of rhetoric before, but what we don't know, what is untested is how this is going to play out with North Korea's supreme

leader, Kim Jong-un and President Trump, both who are clearly in this to win for their respective sides. Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.


JONES: Will with that exclusive insight into what's going on inside North Korea right now. Richard Roth has been tracking today's special session on

North Korea at the United Nations and joins me now with all the details.

[15:15:04]Richard, we hear from Secretary Tillerson that all options are still on the table, but reiterating it as well, what a military leader just

a couple of days ago, that this is all about bringing Kim Jong-Un to heel, not to his knees.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: The idea was to put pressure on both North Korea and China, the main ally of North Korea on the

international scene. Whether that's achieved, I don't know. It was a sobering matter of fact, the detailed series of remarks especially by the

U.S. secretary of state.

He said it's time for the Security Council to live up to all of its resolutions and that it's really time to move into a different era.

Strategic patience is over and North Korea is now the one calling the shots and it's our turn in effect he was saying.

China said there should be suspensions of activities. The U.S. and South Korea should stop its military maneuvers and North Korea would stop

testing. The U.S. thinks it shouldn't work that way.

That it really should be North Korea to take firm actions first before there is any talk of dialogue, which is what China favors.


WANG YI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): China makes two concerts efforts to address two urgent tasks. First, given the grave

situation on peninsula China urges all parties to remain calm and exercise restraint provocative actions that would lead to miscalculation.

There is and should be no double standard on this issue. Why we demand the DPRK to on serve the council's solutions. We also demand the U.S., the

U.K., the other parties to refrain from or conducting exercises against the DPRK.

TILLERSON: We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea. We will not reward their violations of past resolutions.

We will not reward their bad behavior with talks. We will only engage in talks with North Korea when they exhibit a good faith commitment to abiding

by the Security Council resolutions and their past promises to end their nuclear programs. And that is why we must have full and complete

compliance by every country to resolutions that have been enacted by this body in the past.


ROTH: The U.S. secretary of state, his Chinese counterpart meeting right now in the U.N. building. There was no resolution, Hannah, no votes. It

was not expect at the end of this session. All eyes will be watching to see how North Korea behaves in the coming days and weeks ahead.

JONES: Richard, we appreciate it. Richard Roth live for us there at the United Nations in New York.

Stay with us here on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Still to come on the program, British police say they have foiled two potential terror attacks in 24

hours. We'll have the details.

And Pope Francis becomes just the second pontiff ever to visit Egypt. We'll get a live report from Cairo coming up.



GORANI: Hello, welcome back to the program. Like many countries in Europe, the United Kingdom is facing a grueling fight against terror. Just

a month after a man killed five people in Westminster, police say two other attacks were foiled in just a few hours, and in a rare occurrence, a 20-

year-old woman was shot in the process. Our Phil Black explains.


PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is normally a quiet suburban London street. That changed when it suddenly

became the focus of a large police counterterrorism operation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden we heard loud bangs.

BLACK: Alexandra Sebano (ph) lives next to the house stormed by police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they actually raided through the door, they had guns pointed at all angles. They had them in the guards and they have them

in front, everywhere. There was no escaping from the house.

BLACK: Gas canisters were fired through the windows first before armed officers broke through the doors. One of those officers opened fire,

shooting and injuring a woman in her 20s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had a woman screaming. She had a really loud scream like a scream of despair.

BLACK: Police say they moved on the house to interrupt an active terror plot.

NEIL BASU, DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: We have that under observation as part of a current counterterrorism

investigation. The armed entry was necessary due to the nature of the intelligence we were dealing with.

BLACK (on camera): Police here say terrorist activity across the United Kingdom has increased to the point where they are making arrests almost

every day, but shoot-outs like this are rare and it happened just hours after another dramatic security incident in Central London.

In the shadow of Britain's parliament, armed officers surrounded, held, and searched a man. The 27-year-old was carrying large knives in his bag.

Police say they knew him. He was another terrorist suspect they had been watching.

They stopped him just across the road where five people were killed in a car and knife attack on March 22nd. London's police dramatically

disrupting two separate plots just hours apart made for an extraordinary day even in a country where frequent terror arrests are now considered

business as usual. Phil Black, CNN, London.


JONES: Now, here's something you don't always see in the halls of government.


GORANI: Yes. Believe it or not, this is Macedonia's parliament as protesters came to blows with MPs after an ethnic Albanian lawmaker was

elected to speaker. Most of the protesters were nationalist opposed to any form of coalition with Ethnic Albanians. Dozens of people ended up in

hospital after this brawl. Albanians, a minority in the country, led an armed rebellion in the early 2000s, which ended with NATO-backed peace


Pope Francis is on a peace mission in Egypt. Francis appeared with his Coptic Christian counterpart at a church where 28 people were killed in an

ISIS-linked blast just last December. They prayed for victims and left flowers in their memory.

Vatican correspondent, Delia Gallagher joins me now from Cairo. Delia, how well is Pope Francis being received in Egypt albeit amid was I presumed

very, very intense security?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: There is, Hannah, very large security as you can imagine. Of course, the Vatican says that the pope is

traveling in a normal unarmored car. He will be out tomorrow saying mass in a stadium, traveling around in a golf cart.

So for the Vatican, it's business as usual despite obvious high obvious security here in Cairo. Now, Pope Francis was invited by the grand imam at

what's like the Vatican there. It's one of their main centers of learning and interpretation of the Koran.

The Vatican considers it an important partner in dialogue in the interpretation of the Koran and in the fight against terrorism and Pope

Francis spoke at a peace conference at Al-Azhar University in which he emphasized the importance of teaching future generations, the younger kids

the path to peace and the need for all religions to unite against violence in the name of God.

Of course, the pope, as you mentioned, is also here to meet with the minority Christian community. They're Coptic Orthodox Christians. They're

about 10 percent in this predominantly Muslim country, and they have undergone a series of ISIS-inspired attacks against their churches at

Christmas time and again in two churches just before Easter.

[15:25:08]And so the pope laid that wreath there in memory of the victims and to show solidarity for this Christian community here -- Hannah.

JONES: Delia, it's a delicate line to walk, isn't it, to stand up for a minority Christian community while being welcomed by a majority Muslim

host. Has he managed to strike the right tone?

GALLAGHER: Yes, absolutely. In fact, he acknowledged that President El- Sisi said he was helping in the case of Christian minorities here in Egypt. Of course, there are Christian observers and, indeed, human rights

observers who don't agree that the human rights situation here in Egypt is the best it can be.

But Pope Francis is a guest in this country and we've seen in times past that he doesn't tend to outright criticize governments when they're hosting

him. He does have private conversations with them. So presumably he raises some of those issues as well in private.

But important for Francis, and this is really his style, to publicly show friendship and solidarity at the same time. He has to obviously do the two

things. Solidarity with the Christian community here but friendship equally important with the Muslim community here -- Hannah.

JONES: Delia, we really appreciate it. Delia Gallagher there in Cairo.

Still ahead on the program. He said no one would be tougher on ISIS and he perhaps threw in a few other choice words as well.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would bomb the (inaudible) out of them.


JONES: How has his record matched the rhetoric? We'll see how Donald Trump's plans for fighting ISIS are faring as he nears 100 days in office.

And a unique look at Trump's first 100 days from "The Simpsons." I'll speak to the show's executive producer. Stay with us for that.


JONES: Let's take you through the headlines this hour. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is stepping up the pressure at the United Nations. He

said it's time for Security Council members to standby their promises on North Korea's nuclear programs and demand full compliance to previous


Here in London, police say they foiled two active terror plots in a span of just 24 hours. Six arrests were made in a counterterror operation late on


[15:30:00] A woman was shot and wounded during one of those raids, and she is now under police guard in hospital. The latest operation came just

hours after a man armed with knives was detained near the British parliament.

We are just days away from France's presidential race, and German leader Angela Merkel told the German media outlet RND that the centrist Emmanuel

Macron would be a strong leader. Marine Le Pen has threatened a referendum on France's relationship with the European Union.

Also today, a lesser-known right-wing candidate threw his support behind Le Pen. He won around five percent in the first round of voting.

Donald Trump talked tough on ISIS when he was running for U.S. president, promising to, quote, "bomb those suckers until there was nothing left." A

bold statement but does it match his actual strategy now that he's in office?

Nick Paton Walsh is in Iraq tonight, analyzing Donald Trump's record.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, Donald Trump said he knew more about ISIS than many of the generals. But the key

question is, how much has his presidency changed the fight against them?

He inherited a detailed and already in action plan to attack ISIS, specifically here in northern Iraq in their major stronghold here of Mosul

and then also still under way across the border around their de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. But how much has he really altered the

progress of that fight?


WALSH (voice-over): He said nobody would be tougher on them.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would bomb the (inaudible) out of them.


WALSH (voice-over): But 100 days in, how are ISIS doing under Trump? In Iraq, they're losing badly. Now controlling only seven percent of it, down

from over a third.

Several civilian casualty instances have led to questions whether Trump's eased rules of engagement made it easier to bomb. Yet in West Mosul,

civilians are so easily caught in the crossfire or dragged into it by ISIS. A higher death toll was always a risk at the fight's bitter end.

WALSH (on camera): And you can see the problem. These Iraqi police and army have in streets as tight as this where, frankly, any item around them

could be a booby trap. Any roof could have an ISIS sniper on it.

WALSH (voice-over): But is this retreat down to Trump? Not really. You will struggle to find officials who say it isn't just the same plan the

Obama Pentagon put together being followed through. And then there's Syria. Trump's decision to launch strikes against this regime for using

chemical weapons possibly complicated the fight against ISIS by making a clear enemy of the regime who were, on paper at least, also fighting ISIS.

But the plans to retake their capital city Raqqa, moving along fast, regardless. With coalition-backed fighters set to encircle it from the

south. But the ultimate symbolic prize, the capture or death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi eludes them.

WALSH (on camera): Do you think he Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still in Mosul or greater Mosul?


sure hope he is because if he is, we've got him trapped. And I'd like to see his end. Yes, I'd like to see him end in Mosul.

WALSH (on camera): Where's your best pointer where he is right now?

TOWNSEND: No clue.

WALSH (voice-over): Elsewhere, like in Afghanistan, they are on the rise. His commander is deploying the MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb the U.S.

has ever dropped in anger, and a strategic review is underway. But there aren't really any new options in America's longest war, just more of the

same. And still, the Taliban are the bigger problem.

But it's hard to know how Trump or anyone can fight ISIS' most enduring threat, the idea transferable now indefinitely, online, inspiring deranged

thugs from London to Paris. Defeating that idea requires a better one, and nobody's found that yet.


WALSH: Now, Hannah, really, territorially, it's pretty much a case of watching the clock to see when ISIS lose territory, both here and Iraq.

And in northern Syria, too. They are losing in western Mosul. It will be bloody and awful for those civilians caught in the crossfire, certainly,

but it is simply edging slowly towards its horrifying denouement.

The things question about Raqqa is more long-winded and may take a number more months. But there's no real doubt here in Iraq and Syria, they're

losing territory. They're losing territory in Libya as well. They may be on the front foot in Afghanistan, but that country's own collapse is a

whole separate question for the Trump administration to answer.

The broader issue of how do they defeat the idea of ISIS is way more complicated as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. Without the State

Department functioning fully in diplomacy, quote, "he's going to need more ammunition." You really can't fight your way of this situation. There has

to be a bigger idea at the heart of defeating ISIS, and so far, they don't appear to really have one, Hannah.

[15:35:15] VAUGHAN JONES: Nick Paton Walsh reporting there for us from northern Iraq.

Now, from the battle against ISIS to how to handle North Korea, and even trade turmoil in North America, Trump has already faced a series of huge

foreign policy challenges. My next guest says Trump has handled them well, improving relations with allies and putting adversaries on notice.

Nile Gardiner is the director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation and joins me now. Nile, great to have you on

the program, welcome.


VAUGHAN JONES: So much for an inward looking America first. This has been 100 days of foreign policy very much first. Are you surprised?

GARDINER: Well, to some extent, yes. And I do think that, you know, the President Trump that we see today is very different in some respects to the

man who many thought would follow a very isolationist foreign policy. But I think that President Trump actually has succeeded in implementing a

coherent foreign policy strategy, one that advances America interests aggressively on the world stage. And he's certainly very engaged on the

world stage.

So this is a president, certainly, who is now very outward looking, who is concentrating heavily upon building strong ties with key U.S. allies. And

he's also sending, I think, the right messages to America's enemies, stretching from Russia to Tehran to North Korea. So I do think that the

President's record in the first hundred 100 days certainly has surprised, confounded, many of his sharpest critics, and has been welcomed by those

who believe that, you know, American leadership really does matter on the world stage.

VAUGHAN JONES: If you were to compare then President Obama to President Trump and their respective 100 days in office, who comes out on top? Who

actually is the best leader of the free world?

GARDINER: Well, they have very, very different outlooks, and I would certainly argue that President Trump's foreign policy is bolder and

stronger than President Obama's. And this is ironic considering that President Obama went into the Oval Office as somebody who was supposed to,

you know, restore America's standing on the world stage.

He's an internationalist figure, but, actually, I think that President Obama reduced America's footprint on the world stage. And at the end of

the day, we saw a withdrawal, actually, of American global power under the Obama era. Whereas, with President Trump, we're actually seeing a far

bigger U.S. footprint internationally, whether it's in Asia, the Middle East, or in Europe.

VAUGHAN JONES: Interesting you mention the international perspective. From that perspective, Donald Trump was such an unknown entity before he

took to the Oval Office. Do you think the fear factor has now gone, and the international allies really have the measure of the man? They

understand what they get with Donald Trump?

GARDINER: I do think that there is a great deal of trust now in the U.S. presidency. I think that, you know, there was an erosion, actually, of

trust in the United States under the Obama presidency. Many U.S. allies felt that they had been either thrown under the bus or couldn't count upon

the United States.

And I do think, with the new U.S. administration, actually, some of that trust or a lot of that trust is actually being rebuilt, and that's a very,

very positive sign. So soon I think the nervousness that you saw in many European capitals a few months ago has largely evaporated, actually, with

regard to especially Donald Trump's much more robust stance now on NATO and also in opposition to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

VAUGHAN JONES: So he's built trust with allies on the outside. But on the inside, there's still a certain amount of turmoil, I suppose, within his

inner circle. The Russia scandal is still looming. We've had so much discord between President Trump and his own intelligence community as well.

Does he now have the right people around him to make good policy decisions going forward with foreign affairs?

GARDINER: Yes, I think he does. I think it's most important to look at the, you know, big picture team that he has in place with regard to U.S.

leadership on the world stage -- General Mattis, Rex Tillerson. Nikki Haley, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a real rising star.

So I think you do have a very, very competent foreign policy team in place, and they're all believers in a strong projection of U.S. power

internationally. And I think that, you know, Donald Trump has many decades of experience of hiring people. And I think he's chosen very well overall,

actually, with regard to the foreign and national security team that's in place now.

VAUGHAN JONES: North Korea has been very much center stage today, certainly, at the United Nations with Rex Tillerson speaking there. And a

hundred days ago, would you have expected that North Korea would be a priority for the Trump administration?

[15:40:08] GARDINER: North Korea, of course, always looms large, but I don't think that we necessarily expected perhaps the North Korean issue to

be so much front and center as it is today. And without a doubt, I think that President Trump has been perhaps a lot more aggressive than many

people expected, and he certainly put Pyongyang on notice. And I think this is also having an impact on Tehran, Moscow, and a number of other

adversarial powers across the world. And I think that's a good thing, to put them on notice.

VAUGHAN JONES: And just, finally, Nile, Donald Trump's approval rating is very low, rock bottom at the moment. Do you think that has an impact on

the President going forward? I mean, certainly, he is still rallying his base as we saw him in Atlanta just a few hours ago. But with the majority

of America seemingly not in favor of his presidency, does that change his course when he's looking at what to go after next?

GARDINER: I don't think so. But I do think, you know, you'll probably see those approval ratings rise actually as you see a clearer big picture with

regard to both foreign policy and domestic policy. But without a doubt, I think that the recent foreign policy moves that President Trump has made

with regard to North Korea, for example, or the strike on Syria, those are actually popular moves.

And I expect that we're going to see more of that type of maneuver on the world stage, sending a clear message that the United States really is

prepared to act aggressively against, you know, the enemies of the free world. And I think that that's, you know, a popular move, actually, for

the administration.

VAUGHAN JONES: Very interesting to get your perspective. Always great to have you on the show, Nile Gardner. Thank you very much, Nile.

GARDINER: My pleasure. Thank you very much.

VAUGHAN JONES: Now we turn to a totally different kind of political conversation. They have provided a social commentary for the United States

for almost 30 years, covering presidents from Bush Senior to Obama. They even predicted a President Trump, get this, 17 years ago. Well, now "The

Simpsons" are marking his first 100 days in office in their own unique style. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am not replacing him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't wrinkle the suit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hundred days in office, so many accomplishments, lowered my golf handicap, my Twitter following increased by 700. And

finally, we can shoot hibernating bears. My boys will love that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, here's a new bill that you must read immediately. It lowers taxes for only Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't Fox News read and I'll watch what they say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you have to read it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new Supreme Court Justice Ivanka takes Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the bench. You can buy Ivanka's robe with gavel

earrings for only 1,000 rubbles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said you'd replace me with Garland.


VAUGHAN JONES: Let's go live now to Los Angeles and speak to Al Jean. He's an executive producer and writer of "The Simpsons." Al, great to have

you on the program. Thanks for joining us.


VAUGHAN JONES: You know, you're pulling no punches there, let's face it. It's always easier to pick out the flaws in someone, but your reflections

on his first 100 days in office, are you surprised at all, or have you changed your opinion?

JEAN: Well, you know, we tried to sum up his accomplishments, and it took us just one minute. So I think that's a pretty, you know, sure sign he

hasn't done much. And we're still hoping for the biggest reward we can get, which is that he tweets that we're sad. Still haven't come.

VAUGHAN JONES: You might get that. Tomorrow is Saturday, he does tends to take to Twitter. And it's a hundred days come tomorrow. So you never know


JEAN: You know, we're begging --

VAUGHAN JONES: -- you might actually get that.


VAUGHAN JONES: How long did it take you to come up with that?

JEAN: We thought about doing it about three weeks ago because we saw the hundred-day milestone approaching. And as, you know, things happened, like

Bill O'Reilly lost his job, we started adding little details to it. And you know, our biggest goal was just to get it out before anything became

dated. Fortunately, you know, the Trump presidency is so crazy, nothing is too far to go.

VAUGHAN JONES: Yes, there's so much political comedy around at the moment, especially with the late night shows, "Saturday Night Live" and the rest.

Do you ever worry that you're going to run out of material?

JEAN: That's our last worry.


JEAN: I mean, things are so insane in the world right now. And good for comedy, bad for the world. And I'd rather it was the other way around.

VAUGHAN JONES: Al, we mentioned in the introduction to you that you predicted -- I don't know if it was you personally, but "The Simpsons"

predicted that Donald Trump would indeed become President of the United States 17 years ago. I think we have the clip. Let's just take a listen.

Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know we've inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump. How bad is it, Secretary Van Houten?

[15:45:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're broke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The country is broke? How can that be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, remember when the last administration decided to invest in our nation's children? Big mistake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Balanced Breakfast Program just created a generation of ultra-strong super criminals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And midnight basketball. How can they function without sleep?


VAUGHAN JONES: Careful what you wish though, I think, is the thing to take away from that. So has your opinion, though, of Donald Trump changed at

all? We've been reflecting all through the show so far this hour about the hundred days gone. He's sort of grown into the role. It was unexpected

for him as well. Are there any positives that you can take from the last 99 days, 100 days?

JEAN: Well, the two things that have changed for me is, I had hoped he would reach out to Democrats and try to have a more balanced administration

since he lost the popular vote, but I don't think that's the case. And I think he's been less successful, you know, than maybe I thought he might

be. I think you can't really be inexperienced and do a job like this. And even he said it's harder than he thought. So, you know, in seriousness, I

am a little worried. I hope he learns soon.

VAUGHAN JONES: Yes. I mean, he's not known to be sort of big on the details. He says he's not a details man. Did you particularly focus on

the sort of the lack of legislative success over the past 100 days when you were putting the sketch together?

JEAN: Well, it was that and also, he really did sign an order allowing people to shoot hibernating bears. I mean, you read these things and go,

is it true? And it was. And you know, you don't even really have to write it. You just copy it down and animate it.

VAUGHAN JONES: And what's in the pipeline? Have you got more of these planned?

JEAN: We have a couple more ideas, and I'm sure he will provide us with many more. As you say, it's bad. He's got 6.8 percent of his term over

with -- that's if it's one term -- so we've got a lot to go.

VAUGHAN JONES: It's always great to get your perspective through the power of "The Simpsons." Al Jean, thanks so much indeed for joining us on THE


JEAN: Thank you.

VAUGHAN JONES: Do stay with us on the program. Still ahead, she is a self-made success, but you would never guess what this entrepreneur had to

overcome to get there. Her story is next as part of CNN's "Freedom Project."


VAUGHAN JONES: Now, we turn our attention to the incredible story of a young woman who went through a nightmare but has found the strength to

rebuild her life. When she was just 18 years old, Neli Delgado says she was forced to work as a prostitute. Years later, she has turned her life

around and is now fulfilling a lifelong dream. Rafael Romo has her story.


[15:50:08] RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Just about everyone who stops by La Familia restaurant in Mexico City is

welcomed with Neli Delgado's warm smile, but the happy feelings on display are in sharp contrast to her early adult life.

NELI DELGADO, HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVOR (through translator): My father died the month before I was to finish high school, and my family completely


ROMO: At 18, homeless, penniless, and grieving, she says she was easy prey for charming man who promised to care for her.

DELGADO (through translator): I used to eat cheap apples and coffee. That's all I could afford. I was suffering a lot. And when he approached

me offering to help, I felt I had no other option.

ROMO: But the promise of marriage was just a trick. Her suitor was a human trafficker.

DELGADO (through translator): One day he told me, I gave my life for you, and you're also going to have to gives yours for me. I'm struggling

financially, so you're going to have to help me by being a sex worker in Mexico City.

ROMO: Neli was soon forced to work in an alley in La Merced, a notorious red light district in Mexico City.

DELGADO (through translator): Those of us girls who are new would stand at the entrance. They would show us off as if we were merchandise.

ROMO: Neli says she was forced to have sex with 30 to 40 men every night for a month until a police raid finally set her free.

DELGADO (through translator): Ninety percent of those of us there were human trafficking victims.

ROMO: Her trafficker was convicted and sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison, and Neli set out with an ambitious plan to make something out of a

second chance. Opening her own restaurant was a dream Neli had since she was working on getting her business degree after regaining her freedom.

Her new dream is growing her business enough to make it a franchise here in Mexico City.

DELGADO (through translator): This represents everything for me. Now I'm free to do whatever I want. Back then, I wasn't free. He would use me as

an object clients could buy as they please at any time. Now I have the freedom to do what I like.

ROMO: Luis Narciso is Neli's friend and business partner who helped open La Familia. He says he's awed by her determination.

LUIS NARCISO, NELI DELGADO'S BUSINESS PARTNER (through translator): I wonder where she gets the strength to overcome so much and prevail because

you need a lot of will power to get back up again.

ROMO: And this budding entrepreneur has no plans of slowing down.

DELGADO (through translator): We would like to open another chicken rotisserie in about another year. I used to be discriminated against

because I was poor and dark skinned. I would like to empower women so they can become providers for the business group I'll have in the future.

ROMO: And until then, at this restaurant, smiles will always be free.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico City.


VAUGHAN JONES: Stay with us here on CNN. We will be right back after this short break.


VAUGHAN JONES: Hello again. Welcome back. Just a few moments ago, I spoke to an executive producer for "The Simpsons." That comedy show is the

latest to poke fun at President Donald Trump, but far from the only one. Everyone, it seems, is painting themselves orange and wearing a wig, but

who is the funniest? CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.


[15:55:06] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Gentlemen and lady, start your impersonations. Eleven Trump impersonators competed at the Los

Angeles comedy club, the Laugh Factory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 MALE: The media has been so unfair. Believe me.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I mean, you know --

MOOS: Among the judges.

DARRELL HAMMOND, COMEDIAN: Ayayay. Look at this.


MOOS: Former SNL star Darrell Hammond.

HAMMOND: Love thy neighbor as thy self, and like a good neighbor, state farm is there.

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

HAMMOND: This sort of reverse meow laugh, like.

MOOS: Most of the jokes were in the groaner category.

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


MOOS: It's the delivery that counts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And 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 MALE: And a lot of it is this squint and the lips. Those are the two big things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he does a weird side eye thing, like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the good something is that everything is within the same lexicon, you know. Everything is 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.

JOHN DI DOMENICO, COMEDIAN: And it is going be Trump first aid kits.

MOOS: One impersonator not in the contest was Anthony Atamanuik.

ANTHONY ATAMANUIK, COMEDIAN: And then bring in the arms. This is key, the arms.


MOOS: His fake Trump now hosts an entire show on Comedy Central. For impersonators, it's not the wig, it's what is under it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like the way he stops digs, like he's going to come up with something, you know, and all of a sudden he says, terrific.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.

TRUMP: Terrific, terrific.


MOOS: New York.


VAUGHAN JONES: Everyone's doing it. One hundred days, that's tomorrow. CNN will be covering that milestone all through the weekend. This has been


Thanks so much for your company. Do stay tuned our way. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.


[15:59:55] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Day two of Nigeria at the crossroads.