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President Marks 100 Days With Campaign-Style Rally; Trump Leaves Door Open Fore Military Action Against N. Korea. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired April 30, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:12] JOHN KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): One hundred days in and trademark Trump, and all is well giant rally.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because make no mistake, we are just beginning in our fight to make America great again.
KING: Lots of executive actions but not one marquee legislative achievement. But there's plenty of infighting in the White House and across the GOP.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I talk 200 days because I thought the kind of agenda that we're attempting to put together here, they take a long time, at least a year.
KING: Plus, a disruptive 100 days on the world stage. No reset with Putin. Missile strikes in Syria. And tense stare down with North Korea.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It is likely only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the U.S. mainland.
KING: INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories, sourced by the best reporters, now.
KING: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King.
To our viewers in the United States and around the world, thanks for sharing your Sunday.
We're keeping a watchful eye on a tense North Korea peninsula. U.S. and South Korean naval ships conducting joint exercises that the Trump administration argues yet another North Korea missile firing proves its case for economic and diplomatic sanctions.
Here at home, President Trump had a big rally in Pennsylvania last night. He has no doubts about his first 100 days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: For the last 100 days, my administration has been delivering every single day for the great citizens of our country, whether it's putting our coal miners back to work, protecting America's steel and aluminum workers -- we love that steel and aluminum -- or eliminating job killing regulations, we are keeping one promise after another.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Your grade, however, much less enthusiastic. Let's take a look, several barometer of the president.
One, his approval rating. This president historically unpopular, all the way back to Dwight Eisenhower in 1950s. Donald Trump, a 44 percent approval rating at the 100-day mark. Bill Clinton was the previous low in 1993 at 55 percent. You see the numbers as you go across. Historically on low rankings for this president, despite his saying he's kept all his promises.
Now, the president has liked to make the case he's a man of action. He scorned President Obama for executive actions, but President Trump has been working hard at using his pen as president. Thirty-two executive orders, including one yesterday, second to Harry Truman, but we'll ahead of his more recent predecessors.
Some of these could bring big change down the road if regulations are rolled back, if they keep their promise. Some of them, though, more or less glorified press releases, just ask for studies on campaign promises. The president, he's right when he says he signed more bills than his previous predecessors, but most these, Republicans congressional actions to roll back things done late in the Obama administration. Not one of these 29 originated in the Trump White House.
There are, of course, many ways to judge a president. Is Washington disrupted? Very much a yes. Is he as promised unpredictable? Very much a yes. Is the Trump base still loyal? Overwhelmingly yes. And that's important.
But has he enacted or made big progress on any signature campaign promises? Mostly no.
Obamacare has not been repealed. The travel ban is on hold. China has not been labeled a currency manipulator.
The border wall not funded, let alone built. Planned Parenthood not defunded. The Common Core education standards, still the land of the law.
The list of unfinished, untouched an in some cases abandoned promises is a long one. And the president's 100 day interviews included a very candid reflection on one lesson learned.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is more work than 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.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KING: With us to share that reporting and their insights this Sunday, Julie Pace of "The Associated Press", CNN's Manu Raju, Karen Tumulty of "The Washington Post", and CNN's Maeve Reston.
Welcome to day 101.
Let's -- when you listen to the president there saying it's a lot more work than I thought, and if you listened to the president last night, defiant, bashing the media, saying that we're -- we have it all wrong, that he's keeping his promises, he's off to a fantastic start, the most fantastic start ever, if you listen to the president, where are we on day 101 and as we talk throughout the hour what lessons have we learned as we look ahead to the second 100 days.
JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I think what's interesting to listen to President Trump over this last week or so is he vacillates between this supreme confidence, outward confidence in his own abilities, truly believes that in some ways, he is fulfilling campaign promises and enacting a robust agenda, and then this naive realization about how difficult this all is going to be.
[08:05:12] You can almost feel Hillary Clinton like banging against the wall, like, yeah, I told you this was going to be hard.
So, in some ways, you're watching him learn on the job. He's candid about the lessons that he's learned from foreign leaders, from people in his own cabinet, yet he does retain this confidence in his own ability and wants people to believe that even some of these smaller pieces of legislation that he signs, some of these executive orders that maybe just order a study or two are signs of real progress.
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: And also, if you -- I mean, it's so ironic that he's, you know, went back to Pennsylvania. Remember his Gettysburg address last year, right? Maybe one of the lessons here is don't be so ambitious about your 100 days if you're not sure what it's going to take to get things done, because that speech as you pointed before, if you go through and look what he promised to do in the first 100 days, it's not the media that was, you know, deciding what he should be doing that first 100 days, he laid it out in very clear terms and then did not accomplish a lot of those things.
I think at the same time, this is very much the infancy of his presidency. I think he has learned a lot of lessons in the first 100 days. I think that he is taking a more collaborative approach now with Congress and giving and empowering Mike Pence in a bigger way to go in and figure out, as well as his deputies, Gary Cohn, others, to figure out what they can actually accomplish, and also, doing a lot of reaching out to Democrats on the phone. I don't know how far that's going to get him at this point, but it will be interesting to watch in the next 100 days. KING: It will be interesting to watch. As Karen and Manu join the
conversation, I want to play a little bit from the president last night, because again, he says this is fake media. To Maeve's point, and it's a good one, if you're a Trump supporter out there, go back and read the Gettysburg speech. It doesn't mean he can't rebound the second 100 days.
Bill Clinton didn't have a great first 100 days either. He did get a couple of signature achievements.
But read the Gettysburg address. Read all the things the president said he would do, not talk about, but do in the first 100 days. And he hasn't met that test. That's OK, welcome to Washington.
He says everything is going fine. But you can hear his own frustration last night in Harrisburg. Everyone thought the Republicans, after six, seven years of saying we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare, could do that in the first 100 days of the Republican presidency. President Trump is pretty frustrated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We'll repeal and replace Obamacare. You watch.
And I'll be so angry at Congressman Kelly and Congressman Marino, and all of our congressmen in this room if we don't get that damn thing passed quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN TUMULTY, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think if there's an epithet to the first 100 days, it's "no one knew health care could be so complicated."
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes.
TUMULTY: I mean, it just does seem like the president's assumptions about sort of just the force of his personality and power that it would have, he's learning very much the hard way and over and over again that, you know, there's a system here and you cannot change that system overnight.
The fact that not only their second run up to try to get this bill on the floor this week failed, they were struggling to just keep the government's lights on. The hallmark of congressional dysfunction is a threat of a government shutdown and we were there in the first 100 days as well.
KING: And he throughout the candidate laughed at politicians for that, saying you just need a businessman, you need a negotiator. It will be easy. He said repeatedly.
RAJU: The problem is also, he doesn't necessarily believe in the details on some of these key proposals like health care, whereas a lot of members of Congress are very ideological, they believe deeply in some of the core principles of the health care bill, and that's why there was a massive revolt within the ranks.
Donald Trump just wants something passed. He doesn't necessarily care about the nitty-gritty of the legislative process. I think we've learned also his views can easily be shaped by the person he talks to. That can mean it can be change. You know, whether his decision to -- speaking about pulling out of NAFTA and then deciding not to after having these discussion with his own team and also with Mexico and Canadian leaders.
So, you're seeing a president who believes getting work the will, his will on Congress, people who are pushing back on him, but also a president who can make quick decisions, some abrupt about-faces and we'll see how that plays out.
KING: He hasn't grown. If you look at the data, if you talk to voters, he has not grown his base but he has held his base. He's held his base in part because of some of the things he did do in the first 100 days.
And give the president his due, he had Neil Gorsuch confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. The conservative base likes that very much. They have ramped up immigration enforcements around the country. And again, the Trump base likes that very much.
[08:10:00] He green-lit the two pipelines, the Keystone and the Dakota access pipelines. He promised to do that in the campaign.
He withdrew from the TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership. That was sort of already done. In the Obama administration, Congress made clear they weren't going to go along. But the president did do that.
And he got some credit even from a lot of Democrats for striking the airfield in Syrian.
The question is, can he keep that base? You heard in the past week, Rush Limbaugh saying he caved. The president came in to this last week of the 100 days saying, vote again on Obamacare repeal. They refused. They didn't have the votes.
Give me a billion dollars or trillion dollars for my wall as a down payment. Congress said no. And the president blamed Democrats. But a lot of Republicans didn't want to give him that money.
When he spoke to the NRA on Friday, again, just like you just heard him on health care, the president trying to reassure his home base, OK, we didn't get it passed, but we'll get it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We'll build the wall. Don't even think about it. Don't even think about it. Don't even think about it. That's an easy one. We're going to build the wall.
We need the wall. I said to General Kelly how important is it? He said very important. It's that final element.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: He is -- he was in the campaign, he was before he became a politician and is as president a creature of impulse. I want you to listen here -- the Senate Democratic leader says those impulses are hurting the president, not helping the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Just what happened this past week is a metaphor for how poorly the president has done in his first 100 days. It's chaotic. It's ineffective. It's impulsive.
It's as if the president suddenly realized he was approaching his 100 days with next to nothing to show for it. So, he scrambled to make progress on the wall, on health care, and on taxes. In all three areas, this desperate sprint has only left these three efforts more damaged than before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Off your take and as you do, I just want to tell our viewers if you have a device in your hand, the president, as we speak, is tweeting about the Democrats, saying they don't have a national leader and they are being the party of obstruction.
PRESTON: I mean, on the impulsive front, I think that, you know, the people who voted for him certainly knew that. And -- but the White House was scrambling over the last, you know, two or three weeks to lay out what they think is a very robust 100 days. And I think a lot of other people, I did a long piece for a new digital magazine at CNN.com/states about his first 100 days.
And a lot of people just wanted to say to him, slow down. Don't slam through legislation and all of these executive orders that don't mean anything, like have an agenda. You know, sit down with people, try to work things through.
And he hasn't done that. And he does act on impulse, and I think to Manu's point, you never know exactly where he's going to go because he does absorb information and then quickly change his mind. But a lot of Republicans certainly would like to see more of a clear agenda here.
KING: And normally, when a president asks for things and blinks, it hurts his credibility and it hurts his standing. We'll see. This president is different in many, many ways. We'll ssee if it does going forward.
Everyone sit tight. We'll continue the conversation.
Up next, the world stage: no warming with Putin, missile strikes in Syria, and the risky stare-down with North Korea.
And as we go to break, a look back at inauguration day and what's become catch phrase of the Trump presidency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first. America first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[08:18:01] KING: Welcome back.
On his way out, President Obama told President Trump, North Korea would be his most urgent global challenge. The first 100 days have proven that observation to be correct. North Korea tested another ballistic missile on Saturday, hours after the United States appealed to the United Nations Security Council for new steps to isolate the regime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TILLERSON: For too long, the international community has been reactive in addressing North Korea. Those days must come to an end. Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The test was a failure, according to U.S. and South Korean military officials, but it was nonetheless another act of defiance coming as U.S. and South Korea naval forces staged joint exercises, and after President Trump made clear his patience is running short.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, there is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KING: One of the many interesting global challenges in the first 100 days and on this one, President Trump is actually following the playbook of prior administrations, appealing to China for help. Counting on a personal bond he says he made with President Xi at their summit in Florida.
But it's the old playbook, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, now Donald Trump asking China for help. What does it tell us? But he's also muscular about the military language, as he does so.
What does it tell us about this president and how he's being commander-in-chief?
PACE: He's learning how difficult that playbook is, the same lessons these previous administrations learned. That when it comes to North Korea, you're dealing with a regime that just doesn't have a lot to lose. So, when you make threats of military action, when you implement tougher sanctions, when you try to push China, you're talking about a regime that is essentially starving and repressing their own people. They are not willing to bend to these threats like other places around the world might be.
I think the main difference is the tougher language, the very overt talk about military action, but behind-the-scenes, same steps are happening.
[08:20:06] You're talking -- you're dealing with China, trying to push them along and you have Tillerson and Nikki Haley talking about diplomatic channels, having direct talks. That's the exact same playbook that we've seen for years.
TUMULTY: And that was what I was really interested in this week. Secretary Tillerson did something he doesn't normally do. He gave several long interviews.
And the message that he seemed to be getting out in those interviews that he seemed to be trying to get out. Number one, that this administration considers Kim Jong-un a rational actor not a mad man and that we're not interested in regime change. And I think that even as we're hearing this muscular language from the president, we are also seeing a very determined effort to sort of tamp things down, and as you said, perhaps open communication.
KING: But that's one of the great interesting challenges. The president talks one way and often his team then has to be more establishment if you will, more diplomatic. To the Tillerson point, he offered direct negotiations, which Mike Pence when he was in Korea just a few weeks ago seemed to think it was not a good idea.
But I'm told that's a play for China. China is talking to the North Koreans. And the North Koreans, they only have their nuclear program. They're not going to give it up. They have their missiles and their nuclear program. So, their thing is, well, what do they want? Negotiations. Can we have -- China has offered something to North Korea and they're saying the United States will sit down with you. That's what the secretary says.
But, listen to the president on "Face the Nation" today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I didn't say don't test a missile. He's going to do what he has to do.
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS HOST: You say not happy what does that mean?
TRUMP: I would not be happy if he does a nuclear test. I will not be happy. I could 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 mean military action?
TRUMP: I don't know. I mean, we'll see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: It's just -- we smile about this because it's so different. We'll see.
RESTON: But I think that, you know, the president is always going to have that kind of unpredictable rhetoric at the top and then have his team working behind him. I think on this issue, he really has evolved in the sense you think about his rhetoric on the campaign trail, about China. I mean all of that has been washed away. China is the currency manipulator. He is beginning to grasp the realities of the situation, talked about, you know, his education on that issue.
And I think also it's important that he really is listening to his national security team. And that they have been some of the most important advisers around him. So, even if his tweets and sometimes bellicose rhetoric, it doesn't match -- there's a dance going on there.
RAJU: And he -- definitely, he sacrificed a lot of political capital by his change of position on China. I mean, this has to -- if China does not do what he wants to do, it's going to look very bad for the president.
Friday, I sat down with Chuck Schumer, the top Democratic leader. He said very clearly he thinks Trump should take a harder line on China in Chuck Schumer's view. He believes this would help in this effort with North Korea, that he's scared (ph) for the United States, in his view.
That's clearly not the way the president is thinking. He thinks being nice to them will help them take a tougher line with North Korea and if they don't, then, it will look that he may have flip-flopped for no particular reason.
TUMULTY: But also trading economic issues for strategic one, China's position with North Korea is a national security issue. It's not an economic issue. And so, it's unclear whether this kind of bargaining, trading an economic issue in hopes they will do something on the national security front sort of works in global politics.
KING: China in the past has only been willing so far to its line, not up to the U.S. line of what they want, it's line. It doesn't want a refugee crisis. It doesn't want a unified Korean peninsula. So, this is the game here. It's interesting. But we'll watch, while carrying to the second 100 days.
Coming up, one big 100-day lesson, President Trump communicates his way even if it stirs up trouble or crosses the fact checkers.
And as we go to break, comedian Hasan Minhaj had this advice for the media at last night's White House correspondent's dinner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: So, that's why you got to be on your A-game. You've got to be twice as good. You can't make any mistakes, because when one of you messes up, he blames your entire group. And now you know what it feels like to be a minority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[08:29:06] TRUMP: I have a feeling that in the next election, you're going to be swamped with candidates but you're not going to be wasting your time. You'll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you're going to say no, sir, no, thank you. No, ma'am. Perhaps ma'am. It may be Pocahontas, remember that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now, some consider that Friday attack on Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to be racist. It is without doubt more middle school than presidential.
It's also a trademark of our 45th president, roll over rhetorical grenade or launch a tweet storm when he wants to change or steer the political chatter. Just one of the many 100-day markers of a president who does things his way.
One way, unlike any other president, the use of Twitter to communicate. See the red lines. Only two, only two of the first 100 days in office did the president refrain from tweeting from his @RealDonaldTrump Twitter account.
Some of the highlights here as we go through them, let's take a look.
On day eight, a doozy, "Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand." This is where the president was supporting those who say 3 million people or more voted illegally in the last election. Didn't happened. Never happened. President of the United States spinning a fantasy there with his Twitter account. Let's move over another day, the failing at New York Times. He's been at that quite a bit, a lot of media bashing. Again, only twice in his first hundred days did he not tweet.
That's significant. What about, how did he travel in the first hundred days? Well, you see all the blue. The blue is Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort in Florida. The gold other Trump properties he visited. One interesting thing about this President of the United States not only did he not leave the country in his first hundred days, never went west of the Mississippi in his first hundred days. One thing he did do a lot, remember Donald Trump back when he was a candidate mocked the last president, Barack Obama, first time on the golf course. You see all those golf balls. That's the president golfing. He mocked the last president, now, when we hold him accountable for this. He says we're not being fair.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They'll say, "Oh, he's going to play golf," I'm not going play golf. I couldn't care less about golf but I have a place there. That costs almost nothing. Well, the problem is every time I go to a club they say, "He's out there having fun," I'm not having fun. When I go to a club I'm working. They hit me for relaxing and I don't want to be known as a person that relaxes because I'm working hard.
KING: I think the president is entitled to relax. It's a tough stressful job. I think a president is entitled to golf if he wants. It's a tough stressful job. He just has to remember he mocked the last one repeatedly and incessantly for this. From a communications standpoint you hear him there, look, he golfs and he just pushes back at us and says, "Yes, I golf. I, you know, I was wrong." From a communications standpoint what have we learn in a hundred days?
JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We've learned that -- we've learned that Trump is going to continue to be the chief communicator for this White House and he's going to do it in ways that are completely untraditional. It's why we all wake up every morning and then the first thing we do is grab our phones and see if he's already been tweeting and I do it before I go to be, see if he still been twitting.
He believes so strongly in his own communication skills, when I talked to people at the White House they say that, you know, the thing that bothers him the most about his team is their communication skills, that he thinks he's just better at this inherently. And he doesn't care if it's traditionally presidential or not.
KING: But he does care -- but he does care about his reviews. He is a reality TV star who is President of the United States continues to care about what the critics think and the ratings think, interviews. He's tweeting right now that Obamacare is dead. And that the democrats are trying to prop it up by demanding payments to insurance companies because I assume he's reading the newspapers and watching the morning shows and he is being held to account for failing to repeal Obamacare in his first hundred days. When we hold him to account for promises he made he says things like this last night.
TRUMP: If the media'sjob is to be honest and tell the truth then I think we would all agree the media deserves a very, very big fat failing grade. Very dishonest people. And not all of them. You know, we call it a fake news. Not all of them.
KING: I don't -- I just don't -- I get the political strategy behind this, 1,000 percent I get it but I don't know how it's fake news to say the republicans and president did not repeal and replace Obamacare in the first hundred days. The president did not keep his promise and labeled China a currency manipulator on day one. He hasn't reversed the Cuba policy. He hasn't (INAUDIBLE) deal, he hasn't moved the embassy to Jerusalem. That's not fakes news, that's fact.
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITCAL REPORTER: No, that's fact and, you know, I think that this is a president who was so obsessed with controlling his image before he got into the White House. And honestly, it was -- it was a lot easier back then, you know, when he's dealing with, you know, page six and the business press and he doesn't like the way that he's being portrayed now and doesn't think that, you know, that we're giving the proper attention to the things that he's done so far.
But this is also a president who has no hobbies besides golf. Caught -- like, obsessively watches television. Added many more television sets to the White House so that he could watch more channels at once. So, you know, there's an irony there to giving the media a failing grade and then spending as much time as he does watching.
KAREN TUMULTY, THE WASHINGTON POST: When you think about it it's really extraordinary because this is the first president who on an hourly basis, we know exactly what is going on in his mind, what is going on in his thought. Most presidents, historians have to dig for decades to get these kinds of insights. Donald Trump as president is exactly the same person for better or worse than Donald Trump was as candidate. He -- remember on the campaign trail he would so say, "I'm going to be so presidential you're going to be bored. You know, that is one --
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: You know, in honest communication though, getting to Julie's point, what's so fascinating to watch is the challenges that he has given White House officials, his cabinet officials to interpret what he is saying and trying to, sort of, this is what the president means but then the president will say something completely different undercut what his own press secretary is saying, his own cabinet officials are saying on a daily, hourly basis.
KING: Never I've been here for since the end of Ronald Reagan Administration. I never had people paid for by the United States Government, paid for by the president tell you don't listen to what the president says or tweets. Don't pay attention to that. Wait, what? Say what?
KING: Yes. Another thing that you, Karen you mentioned this candidate Trump had a casual relationship with the truth at times. President Trump as well.
TRUMP: We got 306. Yes, it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan. The murder rate in our country is the highest it's been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years. Over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time. And this website that works. This is not the 5-billion dollar Obamacare website. Do you remember that? Nobody remembers that.
KING: All of that and there could have been more run afoul the fact checkers. As we talk about the sometimes veering from fact and truth by the president we should note from day one wen the big fight about the crowd site at the inaugural came up, he's had some help from his staff.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No one had numbers because the national park service which controls the national mall does not put any out. This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. Both in person and around the globe.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: You're saying it's a falsehood and they're giving Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary gave alternative facts to that. But the point --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute. Alternative facts?
KING: Yes, alternative facts. So you were having a flashback there. I'm sorry.
PACE: Good memories from the start. I've covered the Trump Administration. I mean, they get themselves in a lot of problems because the president puts something out that is factually inaccurate and then it's up to his team to go out and often defend it. That's the message from the boss, not to clean it up, not to try to spin it but to actually defend it.
KING: Are they -- are they getting better -- well, you mentioned the wiretapping tweet that was on day 44. Are they getting any better again as we look forward? Have they -- people make mistakes, people get use to it. None of them served in government. Are we getting better?
RESTON: How can you get better at that? Does that mean --
KING: Do less of it is what I mean I think.
RESTON: Not that I mean, it's just -- it's a constant churn.
RESTON: It's -- there's no way to --
RAJU: And --
RESTON: There's no way to --
RAJU: And money is the message and money has been affects their agenda. So it does his real impact because message discipline is very important for White House. And this is White House has no message discipline.
KING: It's a very important point. Everybody sit tight up. Next constant infighting at White House. And Obamacare repeal finger pointing in the house. One hundred days in the all republican house Washington, wrestling with challenge of governing. First, a look back at one of the president's biggest victories.
TRUMP: I've always heard that the most important thing that a President of the United States does is appoint people and I got it done in the first 100 days. That's even nice. You think that's easy? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The presidency is extraordinarily powerful, but we are just part of a much broader tapestry of American life and there are lot of different power centers. And so I can't just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want.
KING: A flashback there to make an important point. Every president has a learning curve when they start the job and every president gets some 100-day bumps and bruises navigating congress and the bureaucracy. A steeper curve perhaps for this president. It is his first job in politics and for all their differences his closest White House aides have this in common none of them had governing experience when they came for the Trump White House. So at 100 days this is a fact. All of his recent predecessors were able to get at last one signature campaign proposal through congress and enacted into law in the first hundred days. Not President Trump. He blames congress.
TRUMP: I'm disappointed that it doesn't go quicker. I like them a lot. I have great relationships. Most of them I don't even know but, you know, I kept -- I have a party that's covering a lot of territory. They have different views. I'm disappointed. I'll tell you Paul Ryan is trying very, very hard.
KING: We had in the first hundred days a fair amount of very public dysfunction. Number one, there was great republican hope, the republican president, republican senate, republican house, we're going repeal, replace Obamacare. We're going to boom with the conservative agenda. It hasn't happened. They've tripped over each other and had infighting. Inside the Trump White House you have Reince Priebus Chief of Staff, Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist, Jared Kushner, son-in- law or ambassador with all portfolio. What do -- what have we learned about the dysfunction in the first hundred days and as we head into the second hundred days have they figured it out, how to make it work?
RESTON: I think they learned that Trump's going with the power and that, you know, maybe nobody else has any real power. He seems to, like, to, kind of, play the chess pieces a little bit. It's amazing with this White House how you -- every week it seems like somebody's on the ropes and, you know, at risk of being fired but with the exception of Flynn, you know, for the most part it's just, sort of, gone up and down. I think that what's so interesting is that his governing style is to pit people against each other. You know, have a division of opinions in the room and maybe that worked well in business but it doesn't so far seem to be working as well in governance and I think they're still trying to figure that out.
RAJU: And John, I think on Capitol Hill I think it's going to get harder and harder to get his agenda through. Not easier. The easier at the beginning of your administration. It's going to get harder particularly as we get closer to mid-terms and these members have to worry about their own constituencies. This health care bill as they're trying to revive it its chances even to somehow manage to get to the house and that is a serious question right now, chances in the senate are very slim. They got to reconcile that, bring the party together, challenging and in tax reform, not even anywhere near where they need to be and that is incredibly difficult for the chief.
TUMULTY: I've been struck as things are getting slowing down like this Trump's reaction is to load more into the system.
TUMULTY: He announces out of the blue to the shock of his own people we'll have a tax plan on the table by next Wednesday this week. Guess what? We're withdrawing from NAFTA on Saturday. He just -- his impulse I think is just keep pushing.
KING: Which would lead to believe either he's going to try to break the way Washington works or continue to try to break or he hasn't learned the lesson that you can't do and I think we -- that's this challenge of the second -- what is it? Can he overload the system to the point it breaks? They're going to say, "OK, we have to listen or do we keep going through this?" To that point I just want to have -- go back to the campaign because again, he never been in politics before but he thought the politicians were stupid. He told you that's what the entire campaign and that being president would be pretty easy.
TRUMP: We'll going to make America great again. It's going to be easy. It's going to be easy. But still -- It's very easy to be presidential. I have great people. We have top, top smart people. But it's so easy to do. We have drugs. We have debt. We have empty factories. That's going to end. That's going to end. So easy. So easy to solve. Believe me the jobs are coming back, folks. That's going to be is so easy. This is so easy. I want to jump start America. And it can to be done. And it won't even be that hard. Folks, I'm going to do so much about it. It's going to be so easy. It's going to be so easy. You know, being presidential is easy. Much easier than what I have to do.
KING: It's not easy. And then candidates say things, all candidates say things that this is not, you know, that the pick on him --
RESTON: They did not said many times.
KING: Not that -- maybe not that many times. All candidates say things that are wildly unrealistic during campaigns and then they get the job. The question is has he figured out I need to be different or does he still think they need to be different?
PACE: I think it's -- I think it's a little bit of both at this point. He certainly is coming around to the idea that it's not as easy as he thought it would be during the campaign but what he does with that realization I think is still an open question. You know, to Karen's point, his instinct is just push more, push harder, more on the table. But the reality of Washington is that to do one of these big things that he's talking about.
Health care, tax reform, infrastructure which guys didn't even really gotten into, those are all incredibly complex and will take months to do. Does he have the strategic patience to take the time to really let congress and his own party work through these issues? Right now he hasn't proven that ability and within his own staff I think it's a question of whether they have the ability to be that patient.
KING: And within his own staff. Again, he to at one point told his son-in-law and his chief strategist at Mar-a-Lago, you know, go out by the pool and figure -- and figure -- work this out. Work this out. Do we have a sense, have they worked it out or is that a continuing drama as we go into?
RESTON: I think, you know, for those two there is just constantly going to be ideological clashes that are very hard to sort out, so you can tell people to work it out at a personal level but that's never going to change within the White House structure. You've got a lot of people who are more moderate and then Bannon is the person who, you know, is holding the flame for all those Trump voters out there.
KING: Just outside of the oval office, the very faction you see when you try to do health care or tax reform, Capitol Hill, the Republican Party as it gets bigger becomes more complicated. Everybody sit tighter. Our reporter share their notebooks next including what's going to be the democrat's agenda in the next hundred days?
KING: All right. Let's close as we always do, head around the inside politics table. Ask our great reporters, share a little bit from their notebooks. Get you out ahead of the big political news just around corner. Julie Pace.
PACE: There's a lot of anticipation in Israel about the prospect that President Trump could be making a trip there in late May as part of his first trip abroad as president. The White House isn't confirming anything yet but there has been an advance team on the ground scoping out locations for meetings, for a possible speech. That's generally a signed that a trip is in the works. So if President Trump does go he'll definitely be greeted warmly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But there are a lot of questions about whether he would meet with the Mahhoud Abbas, Head of the Palestinian Authority. Whether he would travel to the Palestinian territories. So this would be a big complicated and delicate debut for Trump on the world stage.
KING: Hasn't left the country yet. Looking forward to that. Manu?
RAJU: John, Senator Susan Collins of Maine is considering running from governor of her state. I talked to her about this last week and she said to me I am considering it but I certainly have made no decision and I'm not leaning toward it. She said that she's going to make a decision over the summer, maybe early fall. This would of course be very significant decision. She's one of the more influential members, particularly of the republican conference given that she's one of the last true republican moderates.
She has this a couple occupies a state -- a seat in a blue state towards the decision it would be significant not just for future balance of the senate but also for the senate itself given her role and her influence and complaisant, she has some significant spots including on the senate intelligence committee who is investigating the Russian investigation as well. So it's going to be a big decision we're watching.
KING: Not leaning towards does that mean leaning against? We'll trigger out. The team leads on that one. Karen?
TUMULTY: I think most of the pundit talk I would was pretty underwhelmed when the president announced his tax reform plan this week. But the fundamental -- the fundamental political reality for them as much as they say they are modelling this on Ronald Reagan's tax reform over -- that worked in 1986, is the thing they're looking at doing this on republican votes alone. And in Ronald Reagan's case the democrats, people like Bill Bradley, Dick Gephardt had actually been plowing the ground for six years before he did. And that is yet another reason that this time around is going to be even more difficult and this timeline that they got for getting this done by the -- by this fall is even more unrealistic.
KING: Will require republican discipline that we have yet to see in the first hundred days. Maeve?
RESTON: Well, speaking of democrats, they know that they just can't just be the party of no and so behind the scenes as all the attention has been on Trump and what he's gotten done in his first hundred days. They have been working hard on their own proactive agenda that they're going to will lay out in the coming weeks, you know, things like minimum wage, their own vision of where health care goes next, things that will be important to those voters in 2018 when they try to gain more seats.
KING: 2018 looks good for them at the moment but I'll underline at the moment. I'll closes with this, the United States lost two heroes in Afghanistan this past week and one in Iraq. It's a reminder of the big choices facing the commander-in-chief in his second 100 days. President Trump has already delegated responsibility for troop levels in Iraq and Syria to the pentagon. But as those numbers now climb again, the risk and responsibility rests with the president. And at least for now a decision about Afghanistan remains in the president's hands. Both his National Security Adviser and his defense secretary have visited just in reason weeks. Sixteen years after 9/11, Afghanistan remains a mess. The significant threats from both the Taliban and from ISIS. President Obama we all know desperately wanted to close this chapter but he couldn't.
Now President Trump must decide whether to boost or at least maintain U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan as a frustrating commitment carries over into a third presidency. That's it for Inside Politics. Again, thanks for sharing your Sunday. We'll see you soon. Up next State of the Union with Jake Tapper and 100 day takes to Senator John McCain and comedian Samantha Bee. Have a great weekend. We'll see you soon.