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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Heading to Pennsylvania For 100-Day Rally; U.S. Warships in Drills Off Korea After Missile Test; Renewed Threat of Government Shutdown Six Days From Now; Interview with Rep. Ted Yoho; Trump Marks Day 100 as "Most Successful in History"; Trump Blames Obama Administration for Flynn Scandal; Trump Warns N. Korea Against Another Nuclear Test; Trump Marks 100 Days Amid Protests. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired April 29, 2017 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now. "Endless Campaign." The President is returning to his comfort zone to mark a very busy and often rocky 100 days in office. This hour as Mr. Trump heads to a campaign stall rally, we'll look at the successes, the sit- downs, the scandal and what to expect to the days ahead.
"Provocative Action" after Kim Jong-Un taunts President Trump and the world with a new missile test, U.S. Navy ships now are training for war off the Korean Peninsula. Tonight, one U.S. ally is warning that North Korea wants to, quote, "end the world."
"The Resistance," thousands of protesters marched through Washington to the White House to take on the President and his environmental policies. We'll look at the strength of the anti-Trump movement one hundred days in.
And "Milestones and Missteps," Neil Gorsuch is on the U.S. Supreme Court, but the future of healthcare, the wall, tax reform and more, those are big question marks tonight. We'll fact check the President's claim of big league accomplishments.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world, I'm Wolf Blitzer and this is a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM "The First 100 Days."
This hour President Trump is heading to Pennsylvania to cap his 100th day in office with a campaign-style rally once again embracing his base as he faces political turmoil at home and the threat of a major conflict overseas. Tonight, U.S. warships now in position off the Korean Peninsula engaging in military drills just hours after Kim Jong-un test fired another ballistic missile, the missile failed. But the North Korean dictator successfully demonstrated his defiance of the United States.
The Trump administration now pressuring the international community to isolate Kim Jong-un warning the U.S. is prepared to take military action if necessary. Here in Washington, thousands of anti-Trump protesters are marking the President's 100th day milestone by marching through the city to the White House. Demonstration against the President's policies on climate change held in multiple cities today. They're driving on divisions in this country, with Mr. Trump's
approval rating now at a historic low. The President is undaunted, he's taunting his records so far in his weekly address declaring it's the most successful first 100 days in the history of the country. This hour, I'll talk about all of those stories and more with the Republican Congressman Ted Yoho, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Then our correspondents and analysts are also standing by at this pivotal moment for the Trump presidency.
First, let's go to our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim, he's been president now for 100 days, but Mr. Trump often seem stuck in that campaign mode?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right Wolf, we'll be in that mode tonight. He's leaving the White House right now for that campaign style rally you mentioned up in Pennsylvania where he'll offer his own assessment of his first 100 days in office. He's very likely to take some swipes at the news media. He did that earlier today and this week, he blames the media for why his poll numbers are not where he'd like them to be.
ACOSTA (voice-over): On day 100 in the White House, President Trump is touting his record so far in office.
PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES: I truly believe that the 100 days of my administration has been just about the most successful in our country's history.
ACOSTA: And then sounding defensive. Once again the President is pushing back against what he calls fake news.
TRUMP: You are fake news.
ACOSTA: Namely reports from CNN and other outlets that some of his aids has questionable contacts with the Russians before he was elected.
TRUMP: The Russia is a phony story, all you see is the Russia story, the Russia story. You see all of these other phony stories. It's so bad, and for me to have a great approval records in light of all the faux press and the fake press I think is amazing.
ACOSTA: On one of the low lights of his first 100 days, the firing of his National Security Adviser Michael Flynn who mislead the Vice President about his own dealings with Russia, the President is blaming the Obama administration for failing to vet the retired general.
TRUMP: If somebody has approved at the absolute highest level by the Obama or a previous administration, I mean, does anybody ever ask about them?
ACOSTA: The President maintains those stories are a big reason why his approval number set far below those of his predecessors at the one hundred day milestone. Mr. Trump argues he's had achievements from his Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch, chose proposal on tax reform, a plan he says will force him to pay more to Uncle Sam, even though he won't prove it by releasing his own tax returns.
TRUMP: I'm going to end up paying more than I pay right now in taxes. All right? I will pay more than I pay right now. The reason I am going to pay more is because I lose all the deductions. They have deductions on top of deductions.
ACOSTA: The President also appears to be pointing the finger at his fellow Republicans in Congress who failed short of the votes needed to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you disappointed with how the Republicans have handled these big issues? How CARE went down the first time?
TRUMP: Yes. I'm disappointed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there was some suggestion it might happen today but now it's not going to happen.
TRUMP: I'm disappointed that it doesn't go quicker.
[17:05:15] ACOSTA: All of which explains why the President is jumping back in the campaign mode, at a speech to the National Rifle Association he returned to attacking one of his favorite foe Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, potential rival he predicted in 2020.
TRUMP: It may be Pocahontas, remember that. And he is not big for the NRA that I can tell you.
ACOSTA: And he is holding another campaign-style rally tonight in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a city he once compared to a war zone during the campaign.
TRUMP: I flew into Harrisburg, Pennsylvania yesterday, and I looked down and it looked like a war zone where you have this massive plans.
ACOSTA: Aides say, the event will serve as a contrast with the White House Correspondent Dinner that the President is skipping, a dinner where he was mocked by President Obama in 2011. That was when the President needled Mr. Trump over his fascination with Obama's birth certificate.
FMR. PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: For the first time I'm releasing my official birth video.
ACOSTA: And not only is the President skipping tonight's White House Correspondent's Dinner, the White House has instructed its staffers to avoid the dinner and all of its surrounding events as well. So, Wolf we'll have to find out later on tonight whether or not the President has watched any of the festivities and decide to comment on them via Twitter. But at the same time top aides say he is focused on his next 100 days in office talking to White House officials and aides up on Capitol Hill on the Republican side of the aisle. They maintain they will try once again to repeal and replace ObamaCare in the coming weeks -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We see your ready Jim Acosta, for the lock tie dinner. We'll see you later. Thanks very much.
Now on the escalating threat of a military conflict with North Korea. Kim Jong-Un's latest missile test pouring more fuel on a potentially very exclusive situation.
Let's go to our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott. Elise, the U.S. Navy now has re-enforcements in the region. Update us.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right Wolf. U.S. warships arrived near the Korean Peninsula and got right to work today demonstrating a show of force while President Trump tried to use North Korea's latest missile launch to try and drive a wedge between Kim and his backers in China.
LABOTT (voice-over): Just hours after North Korea test fired another ballistic missile, ship from the USS "Carl Vinson" strike group in a stemming towards the Sea of Japan and arrived off the Korean Peninsula. Immediately starting military drills with South Korea aimed at tracking and intercepting North Korean missiles. Tensions rising in the region. But Kim Jong-Un's latest act of defiance as the U.S. mounted an effort at the United Nations to rally global pressure against his regime. On Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned of quote, "catastrophic consequences." But the world failed to pressure Kim into abandoning his nuclear and missile program.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: With each successive detonation and missile test, North Korea pushes Northeast Asia and the world closer to instability and broader conflict. The threat of a North Korea nuclear attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real. It is likely a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the U.S. mainland.
LABOTT: U.S. and South Korean official says, the medium range ballistic missile broke up within minutes after taking off reaching an altitude of 44 miles before disintegrating over North Korean territory. Hoping China would put a diplomatic and financial squeeze on North Korea, President Trump cast the missile launch as a snub by came on his closest backer, tweeting quote, "North Korea disrespected the wishes of China and its highly respected president when in launch though unsuccessfully a missile today. Bad."
The day earlier Trump warned of a worst case scenario in an interview with Reuters.
TRUMP: There's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.
LABOTT: In an odd twist, firebrand Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urged Trump to exercise restraint, warning a miscalculation would be disastrous.
PRES. RODRIGO DUTERTE, PHILIPPINES: Everybody suffers, and only because two nations are playing with their dangerous toys. It behooves as I said on America because it's a more responsible country. I am sure President Trump by now is cautioning his military to just, maybe, hang on there and not to start something which they cannot control
[17:10:05] LABOTT: And China too has called for a suspension of U.S. military exercises with South Korea and Japan calling them provocative. But no sign yet of the U.S. letting up, it's display of military might, the USS Michigan, a nuclear powered submarine armed with a 254 Tomahawk cruise missile just in South Korea. And while he reiterated Friday that the U.S. prefers diplomacy, Secretary Tillerson reiterated that the U.S. would be prepared to take military actions against North Korea if necessary -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Like the President and others they always say all options around the table.
BLITZER: Elise Labott reporting for us. Thank you.
Joining us now Republican Congressman Ted Yoho, he's a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. This act of defiance, that's what it's being called by Kim Jong- Un's regime, this missile test, this missile launch yesterday, how should the President respond?
REP. TED YOHO (R), FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Well, we've got to take very credible, how he should respond is how Kim Jong-Un responds. You know, our actions are going to be predicated by what Kim Jong-Un does. You know, nobody wants to go to war here. We've seen enough war. But he has to know that we're very serious. And it's different than it was in the past. You know, we can't have the veil threats, the strategic patients of administrations gone by. We have to show a force and we have to be able to back that up.
And the goal here, and I thought Rex Tillerson's interview yesterday or his speech at the U.N. was spot on. You know, the way he talked about that of what has to be done, we want a diplomatic resolve to this, and this is where China can come in and really help us as far as, and the rest of the world community, international community, they can come in there and help bring this to a peaceful resolution.
BLITZER: What you say and the President said in that Reuter's interview, he said, there is a possibility right now, his words of a major, major conflict with North Korea. That kind of heated rhetoric though helping or hurting this currently very tense situation.
YOHO: I think it's very conclusive. I think he's very direct at what he said he would do and we saw what he did with Syria. And again, I think he doesn't want to act but I think he's prepared to act. And you know let's hope Kim Jong-Un comes to his senses. And there is nobody trying to invade North Korea. This is something that we have to have a peaceful resolution and I think President Trump is -- if they were to attack our troops or one of our allies I think he would be willing to act.
BLITZER: Because you know there's a huge difference between what North Korea could do to U.S. allies like South Korea and Japan, to U.S. troops almost 30,000 on the Korean Peninsula, another 50,000 in Japan as opposed to what the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad could do in response to 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles being launched at one of their air bases, it would be a total disaster. Seoul, the capital of South Korea is only 30 miles south of the demilitarized zone.
BLITZER: Fifteen or 20 million people would be in harm's way, not necessarily from a nuclear bomb but simply from their conventional artillery.
YOHO: That's right. You know, they estimate within the first few minutes it will be
about 130,000 people could be killed in that. You know, and this is different than what we did with Syria. And, you know, in Syria, you have we had five years of a civil war going there. We've had countries go against the chemical weapons convention. And after what Russia brokered with Syria and we destroyed the weapons, there's 100 percent approval of those weapons being, verifications of those weapons being gone.
But we found out that wasn't so. And so, there are 198 countries that have signed on to the conventional weapons agreement, and when they break this -- in fact we just had a hearing on this in our subcommittee, when a country breaks a chemical weapons convention agreement, who enforces that? Now, we've had the world stand by for five years, why 400,000 people have been slaughtered, somebody has to intervene and President Trump took a decisive action.
BLITZER: Well, by the way, we want to show our viewers a live picture right now. Congressman, Marine One just landing. A Joint Base Andrews right outside of Washington, DC. The President will emerge momentarily. He'll walk over to Air Force One and then board Air Force One for the short flight to Pennsylvania. We'll have live coverage of that coming up around 7:30 p.m. Eastern later tonight.
This is what the President tweeted about this latest provocation from North Korea. "North Korea disrespected the wishes of China and its highly respected president when he launched the one successfully a missile today. Bad."
Everything you know and you're on the Agent Subcommittee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, is China cooperating right now with the U.S. in trying to scale back North Korean provocations?
YOHO: I think China is, I think China could do a lot more. BLITZER: What else do you want him to do?
YOHO: Secondary sanctions. You know, China said they weren't going to buy anymore coal. You know, they said they already hit their quota, they weren't going to buy anymore. But yet we know there's six cargo tankers or ships there unloading coal and or in one of the Chinese ports. And so, we know China is not being complicit or they're being complicit in allowing money to go to North Korea by putting secondary sanctions on there. And this is where Chairman -- the North Korea sanctions and policy enhancement act which gives us more tools in our armament to put more pressure on this secondary sanctions.
[17:15:36] BLITZER: There is the President walking down Marine One and we're going to watch him walk over to Air Force One to board that short flight to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, usually a Democratic state and the presidential election but it went for Donald Trump first time since 1988 last year and he's very grateful to the people in Pennsylvania. He's going to make that point later tonight at this rally. You think, you know, there's a big White House Correspondents' Association Dinner that he is skipping tonight and he's told his staff as well to skip the dinner, first time that's ever happen. Do you think that was a mistake?
YOHO: No, I don't. I think he is playing to his base. Rallying the base. You know, the country is so divided now. I think he needs to keep that support going, and you know charge up the people. And I think he does a great job at this. This is one of the things he's very astute at and does very well. And so, I applaud him for doing this.
BLITZER: Tonight's the first time since 1981 when the President has not attended the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. That's when President Ronald Reagan was shot during his first year in office.
BLITZER: There is the President boarding Air Force One for this short flight. We're going to continue to follow the breaking news. Congressman, we have much more coming into the Special SITUATION ROOM. We'll be right back.
[17:21:09] BLITZER: We're back with House Foreign Affairs Committee member Ted Yoho and a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM to mark this, the President's 100th day in office. Congressman, please stand by.
I want to take a closer look now and what's ahead for the President next week including their renewed threat of a government shutdown six days from now.
Our Congressional correspondent Sunlen Serfaty is joining us. Sunlen, Congress did vanish to avoid a shutdown this past week, but that only delayed some crucial political battles.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Wolf. This is essentially a big punt by Congress. They essentially bought themselves just a little bit more time by passing a one week short term spending bill yesterday. And notably leaving out funding for a border wall of course a big promise of candidate Trump which he had initially pushed for to be included in this spending bill.
So, Congress is now steering down another shut down deadline for this upcoming Friday. He'll need to negotiate a longer term deal that keep the government funded through September. Also on the agenda next week, another big ticket item and another big promise of President Trump's to repeal and replace ObamaCare, there was this week an aggressive big push by the White House. They wanted to have a vote by today, but Republican leaders in the House they were just unable to wrangle the necessary votes that they needed so it was never even brought to the House floor.
They are clearly getting a bit closer but very clear they are not close enough. There are still many of the same policy sticking points between House conservatives and House moderates that still do remain. And Republican aide say they are hopeful that they could potentially hold a vote, potentially as early as next week -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Sunlen, thanks very much. Representative Yoho is still with us. Do you think that vote on healthcare repealing and replacing ObamaCare will take place this week.
YOHO: I think it's very possible. Yes. I mean, I've changed from a no to a yes. And you know, it made some good reforms, the House Freedom Caucus, did a great job, Mark Meadows and everybody else on that, to change some of the reforms that were in the American healthcare act, but with the new reforms I signed on to it, it doesn't do 100 percent of what we wanted, repeal 100 percent of ObamaCare but it does about 80 percent. But it gives relief to employers and individuals with the government mandates, and it get rids of the fines to opens up insurance across state lines and things like that. So, this is a good thing. I mean --
BLITZER: But you know there are four vacancies still in the House of Representatives, there are 35 members, that some of the yeses have now become nos. Precisely you remember the Freedom Causes that were conservator element on the House of Representatives. You need 216 votes to get it to go on to the Senate where there is going to be a big battle in the Republicans even in a much smaller majority there. So, even if you get it done in the House that doesn't mean it's going anywhere.
YOHO: Absolutely not. But I think it will go from the House, I feel pretty confident that will go.
BLITZER: This week?
YOHO: Yes, I've talked to enough members. I'd be surprised if it doesn't. And of course the Senate goes to work on it, and then they'll bring something back and we'll have a final vote on it. BLITZER: And there will be House and Senate Conference Committee as
BLITZER: You'll see how it can accept that. Will there be any problem extending the spending because once again that spending bill that was passed at the end of this week it only lasts a week, you have to do it again by Friday.
YOHO: Right. And I mean, the short-term CRs are counter intuitive, they're not productive, they kept the government open. This was not enough to worry about because it kept spending at current levels. What we have to do is see the language in the longer term goal, one, and our goals are hopefully keep funding until the end of September.
BLITZER: You got to get it funded until the end of September.
BLITZER: October first, the new fiscal year begins. Will you insist on funding for the border wall with Mexico in this temporary spending bill?
YOHO: Well, you know, if you look at the Department of Homeland Security bill from a year ago, we had funding in there for a wall. I think there will be a wall funding for portions of it --
BLITZER: In this current spending bill?
YOHO: That was going to happen regardless. And if you look at the policies of this administration along with the Attorney General, you see a 67 percent decrease in people coming across the borders. And then the good thing that President Obama did right before he left has got rid of the wet food dry foot which basically stopped the people coming in from Cuba through the Florida straits or the southwest border. Because they have lost out, you know, the ability to get a green card just by getting a foot on the American soil. So, just two policies there has really cut the amount of people --
BLITZER: So maybe we don't need a wall.
YOHO: I think enforcing the laws on the book. And doing border security as we're supposed to, that's already mandated by Congress and authorized --
BLITZER: Not the 15 or $20 billion it will cost. That has not yet been authorized or appropriate.
YOHO: Correct. And you know, I think again parts of the wall will be built because they're needed. You know, I've talk to people in the Southwest, I've talked to border agents, I've talked to members from those Border States and they said there are portions where we do need a wall. But we've seen the problems with wall. You know, you build a 12-foot wall, somebody's got a 13-foot ladder or tunnel under it. It's the enforcement of the laws on the book and let people know that we're serious about, you know, National Security and border security.
[17:26:10] BLITZER: Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida. Thanks for coming in.
YOHO: You bet. You have a great weekend.
BLITZER: Thank you. Coming up, thousands of protesters send a message to President Trump on this. His 100th day in office about his roll back of Obama era environmental policies. This is a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:30:51] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Following the breaking news. Right now, President Trump is on his way to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for a rally to mark his 100th day in office. He's calling it the most successful first 100 days of any president in the history.
Let's bring in our political correspondent and experts.
Gloria, let me play the clip for his weekly address. This is the president speaking today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My fellow Americans, I truly believe that the first 100 days of my administration has been just about the most successful in our country's history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Gloria, your reaction?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's one thing for a president to say our 100 days to be successful and let me tell you what and what I've done and the 28 executive orders that I've signed, et cetera et cetera. But it's another thing -- and I think it's a little unseemly, actually -- for a president to come out and say I'm better than anybody else was. And by the way, he didn't do more than anybody else did. Clinton in his first 100 days did family and medical leave. Barack Obama did the stimulus package. It's easier to achieve more in your first 100 days when the country is in crisis, and it motivates the country and the Congress to be behind you. That's what happened with President Obama and the stimulus plan. But I do believe it's probably not wise for a president after three months in office to start comparing himself to other presidents.
BLITZER: Yeah, he's clearly defensive about all of this.
He tweeted, Brianna, he said, "Mainstream, fake media, refuses to state our long list of achievements, including 28 legislative signings, strong borders and great optimism."
So he's blaming the media for the negative publicity he's been receiving. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It may not be
surprising but that the tweet is informative because there's two sides of what he's saying. He's talking about the legislation signings as proof he's achieved something. There are a number of his executive orders that haven't taken effect yet. So he's done things but there hasn't been action.
And then the other issues of the strong borders, so illegal immigration, down from Mexico. You're seeing a stronger job market there, but we're also hearing from growers who voted for Donald Trump who rely on that labor and are having difficulty getting it. They are very frustrated with the elements of his policy -- well, not his policy -- just the reality of what's going on.
And then he's talking about the optimism. There is an increase in optimism when you're talking about economics. There is a partisan divide. But he's right, there is an increase in optimism that's bigger than we've seen in years. What there isn't though, and he can't tout, are his job approval ratings. Those are dismal. We haven't seen a president where he's at for decades and decades.
BLITZER: It's interesting, he's being, I think, pretty blunt, Abby, when he -- he's increasingly blaming congressional Republicans for the failures to get the legislation through Congress that he wants, specifically repealing and replacing Obamacare.
ABBEY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he's right in one sense that the logjam is in Congress, but the other thing is, he's responsible for that. What he hadn't been able to do is find his allies and coalition on the Hill. He doesn't know where those people are that can help him get things across the finish line. None of his people in the White House have any experience passing major bills. So the president is in a place where they haven't quite figured out what's the formula for getting big legislation across the finish line, and that's the project for the next 100 days of his administration.
BLITZER: Rebecca, a big scandal that's developed over these first 100 days in the Trump administration, the firing of Michael Flynn, the president's national security adviser. Who's to blame for that?
REBECCA BERG, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Well, Trump says it's Obama.
BLITZER: Right, the Obama administration.
BERG: Exactly. Trump says the Obama administration didn't initially vetted Michael Flynn for his job as DIA, director of Intelligence, that they are culpable. It's something that we see with Donald Trump on every issue where he has come up short, it's never his fault, the buck stops elsewhere. It's unlikely that that will change. That is Donald Trump's standard operating procedure. But at the same time, you wonder what voters must be thinking. Because all of the successes belong to Donald Trump and all of the failures belong to someone else. It's doesn't pass the smell test. [17:35:26] BLITZER: I can see a theme here. You blame the news media for the problems, you blame congressional Republicans for problems, and the Obama administration for other problems.
BERG: From a marketing standpoint, from a political standpoint, you see why he want to do that but, at some point, you lose your credibility.
KEILAR: He also didn't manage exceptions well, so there should be a finger pointed at himself. I think we can all agree, having watched other administrations, it's tough to get a whole lot that is not superficial done. In the first 100 days, he set some high expectations, labeling China a currency manipulator, constructing the border wall or least getting started on it. He said that.
BORGER: Yeah. And you know, he's changed his minds on things, which, to some people, is good news, but he's not suffering as a result with his supporters, because they believe they want to give him time. But he came out and said this would be easy, that would be easy. And he's discovered that nothing is actually easy. As he said, he thought this job would be easier. And he is discovering in fact that maybe he didn't have a lot of the credentials that he thought he had to be president.
PHILLIP: And also, some of the things that he promised were maybe for the campaign effects, getting them to pay attention during the campaign, and they weren't ever really intended to be executed. So now he's in a position where he has to execute it, it's difficult --
BLITZER: A lot harder to be president than he thought.
Everybody stand by.
We've got some breaking news. The president now speaking out about the very tense situation with North Korea. We're going to share what the president has just said right after a quick break.
[17:41:30] BLITZER: We're back with our experts as we cover breaking news. President Trump now warning North Korea against conducting another nuclear test.
Listen to the president in this excerpt from an interview he taped with John Dickerson of "Face the Nation" on CBS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST, FACE THE NATION: Mr. President, you and the administration said to North Korea don't test the missile, they have tested a missile, is the pressure not working? TRUMP: I didn't say don't test the missile. He's going to have to do
what he has to do. But he understands we're not going to be happy. I will tell you, a man that I've gotten to like and respect, the president of China, President Xi, I believe has been putting pressure on them also. But so far, perhaps nothing's happened, perhaps it has. This was a small missile. This was not a big missile. This was not nuclear test, which he was expected to do three days ago. We'll see what happens.
DICKERSON: You say not happy, what does that mean?
TRUMP: I will not be happy. If he does a nuclear test, I will not be happy. And I can tell you also, I don't believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either.
DICKERSON: Not happy, meaning military action?
TRUMP: I don't know. I mean, we'll see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Tough words.
That clip just released by CBS. What do you think?
BORGER: Well, we don't know what it means. We'll see, we'll see what happens. China won't be happy, that's true. Donald Trump and the United States won't be happy, that's true. I think he was making the point that the missile test was non-nuclear so maybe that was something better. But it's hard to read into that because you don't know, Wolf, what he's thinking.
KEILAR: He's flattering China.
BORGER: Yeah, right.
KEILAR: He's trying to drive a wedge between China and North Korea. Maybe that's not a bad strategy. I think the issue is the cavalier language, the idea of, oh, maybe it'll mean a missile strike or military action. He's talked about the possibility of a major, major confrontation. Maybe this cavalier language does not have a poor effect, but God help him if he does.
PHILLIP: I think North Korea, we have to pay close attention to what's being done, and also, said by the top diplomats. Rex Tillerson, made it clear this week they are pursuing a diplomatic strategy and a strategy that involves China, which is essentially the same as past administrations. So for all the big talk, there is a sort of continuity here. Maybe the amount of attention being paid to this is ratcheting up, but it's hard to see Donald Trump following through any differently than past administrations faced with the same set of facts about North Korea.
BERG: Although, he seems to think his Trump card, so to speak, is relationship with the Chinese president. And you can see him working that angle in public, at least. His tweet yesterday I found very interesting about North Korea, where he said the missile test was sort of -- I'm paraphrasing here -- but an affront to the Chinese. Basically, saying the Chinese should be embarrassed that North Korea would take such action, sort of using that as a way to coerce the Chinese into working with us, saying with are a better partner than North Korea.
BLITZER: In this clip, Gloria, the president said, about the North Koreans, he, referring to Kim Jong-Un, "He's going to do what he has to do, but understanding we are not going to be very happy. And I will tell you a man I've gotten to like and respect" -- he's referring to the president of China -- "will not be happy either."
BORGER: As Rebecca was saying, he's looking for an ally and he's trying to massage that relationship.
Every time I see Donald Trump talk like this, I think of him as a real estate negotiator. There's a certain amount of bluster and bluffing, trying to get the price down on what you want to buy and the price up on what you want to sell. I see him in that mode every time I seem him publicly negotiation, which is what he's doing. Now this doesn't mean, as Abby points out, that Rex Tillerson isn't willing to sit down and start talks. But I think Donald Trump is going to be the lead bluffer on all of this.
[17:45:42] KEILAR: And he's made it clear that he prefers a diplomatic solution, but that's all of this that goes along with it. I think the issue -- and you might compare this with something else, as we deal with, say, Syria or something. Syria, I think there was a better bet there wasn't going to be a reaction that was going to be catastrophic. As it comes to North Korea, as you know, Wolf, it's just a lot more unpredictable.
BLITZER: It certainly is. And at the end of this exchange that CBS just released, John Dickerson says, "Not happy, meaning military action?" The president, "I don't know. I mean, we'll see." Once again, leaving it ambiguous. But he has been saying all options, including the military option, are on the table.
Coming up, tens of thousands take to the street of Washington to protest against President Trump's climate policies. The president was in the White House as they passed by. But will their message be heard?
[17:50:00] BLITZER: On this, President Donald Trump's 100th day in office, a large demonstration clogged the streets around the White House this afternoon while the president was inside the executive mansion.
Our Brian Todd was with the protestors. He joins us now live from the National Mall.
Brian, what was their message?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The message was one of indignation, Wolf, at the president's policies. This protest is wrapping up with art displays and music on the grounds of the Washington Monument. But just a short time ago, tens of thousands of people took to the streets here under the belief that President Trump in his first 100 days has declared all-out war on the environment.
TODD (voice-over): A mass of thousands making their way up Pennsylvania Avenue from the United States capitol to the White House. They're here to mark President Trump's 100th day in office and shine a light on policies they say constitute the biggest assault on the environment from any administration in history.
(on camera): The administration says that they can drill for resources that they desperately need without hurting the environment. Do you believe them? What do you say to that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not one bit. They had over 800 spills. It's not going to work out.
TODD (voice-over): These protestors say the Trump administration's policy prioritized economic growth over environmental concerns, but Trump's tweets suggest a balanced approach, quote, "I'm committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter."
In Trump's first 100 days, his Environmental Protection Agency moved swiftly to roll back Obama-era regulations on fossil fuels, and given the green light to the Keystone XL Pipeline that the Obama administration blocked. And on Friday, the EPA removed most of the information on climate change from its website, explaining in a press release it's being updated to, quote, "reflect the approach of new leadership."
TODD: Activists here say that under the Obama administration there was steady progress toward clean energy sources and away from fossil fuels.
UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: That was starting to happen, and it was slow, and there were signs of momentum. Every one of those is being challenged and blocked, and we have oil tycoons running the government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the 10th day of the Trump administration, the most anti-environmental in our history. And today is a critically important day to send a message to the president that the public is against all that he is doing.
TODD: After arriving at the White House, a sit-in, silent except for the simulated heart beats to show their unity and conviction.
This protest, held in conjunction with hundreds of similar events across the U.S. and around the world.
Participating in the D.C. event like-minded politicians and celebrities, including former Vice President Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio.
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY, (D), OREGON: What is the most important step for people on climate change? We need to take the energy here and the people's energy and go back to our communities. Please run for office. Let's take this people's power and move it up until we take control of the building behind us.
TODD: Two protest leaders stressed to me they don't want an adversarial debate with the president over these issues. They point out that economic growth does not have to come at the cost of the environment. And they say that for the past eight years, it didn't. These activists say they are ready to work with President Trump if he is ready to embrace the idea, but they're also ready to lead more protest if he isn't -- Wolf?
BLITZER: Brian, the president's Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, is trying to ease the concerns of some of these environmental activists over the issue of drilling. How has that played with the protestors and the activists.
TODD: Wolf, they are really up in arms today because the president signed executive orders recently calling for a review of some of these areas off the U.S. coast for oil drilling. They're up in arms about that. Zinke has said they are not just going to review oil and gas drilling but they're going to review possible ideas for wind energy development. He's trying to tell them they're working with them on some of the issues they really care about, but a lot of the protestors aren't buying it. They said they'll believe it from this administration.
[17:55:03] BLITZER: Brian Todd, at the National Mall for us, thank you very much.
Coming up, we're standing by for President Trump in Pennsylvania for a big campaign-style rally to mark his first 100 days in office. CNN will cover it live. Stay with us.
[17:59:57] BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. Rallying his base. President Trump in campaign mode as he marks his 100th day in office, calling his White House honeymoon about the most successful in U.S. history. Tonight, the president is celebrating with a campaign- style rally about to get underway.