Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Wants Health Care Bill "Passed Quickly"; Comic Roasts Trump, Calls Him "Liar-in-Chief"; North Korea Tensions: Trump Leaves Door Open for Military Action; Texas Tornadoes Leave 5 Dead, Dozens Injured. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 30, 2017 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Steelers selecting running back James Conner out of Pitt in the third round. Conner who is from Erie, Pennsylvania, was overcome with emotion when it was announced that he was playing close at home for the Steelers.

Now, Conner has got an amazing story. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2015 and after undergoing chemotherapy, he returned in 2016 and had an amazing season for Pitt. So, guys, not is he a cancer survivor --


SCHOLES: He's going to live his dream and play in the NFL. And this all happened in the span of two, three years. It's incredible.

PAUL: Emotional stories with this. Thank you so much, Andy.

SCHOLES: You're welcome.

PAUL: Appreciate it.



HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: We have got to address the elephant that's not in the room. The leader of our country is not here and that is because he lives in Moscow. It would be hard for Vlad to make it.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They are gathered together for the White House correspondents dinner without the president.

MINHAJ: As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke.

TRUMP: I could not possibly more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington swamp.

MINHAJ: It is 2017 and we are living in the golden age of lying. Donald Trump is liar in chief.

TRUMP: The Washington media is part of the problem. MINHAJ: Somehow, you're the bad guys.


PAUL: Welcome to Sunday. We are always grateful to have waking up with us. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

PAUL: So, President Trump beginning his second hundred days as president. He has historically low approval ratings, but you know what, you wouldn't know it when you look at the huge welcome he received at his 100 days rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, from the crowd. Look at this.


PAUL: They are chanting USA.

The rally was -- has been characterized as a campaign rerun. The president touted his own accomplishments and slammed the fake news.


TRUMP: They are gathered together for the White House correspondents dinner without the president. And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington swamp, spending my evening with all of you.


BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump also invited the Philippines' controversial president to the White House yesterday and, today, he will be talking to the leader of Singapore and Thailand. We'll have more on that in just a moment.

But, first, let's go to CNN's Ryan Nobles, who joins us.

You're up on the red carpet last night. I saw you there all decked out in the tuxedo.

Ryan, let me ask you about the president's rally, though. What did he say about the White House correspondents' dinner?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Victor, you heard it there. There is no doubt that the president's rally in Pennsylvania last night was a degree of counterprogramming by the president, taking his message directly to the people who support him the most, and arguing that instead of a swanky dinner in D.C., he was instead choosing time to be with real Americans.

But the campaign style rally was also about President Trump selling his supporters on the idea that his first 100 days in office have been a success, as well as convincing them that he is just getting started. Health care was part of this argument. He promised the crowd that he is not giving up on the idea of replacing and repealing the Affordable Care Act and despite the issues he having pushing it through Congress, he promised that he was going to get it done.


TRUMP: We are going to give Americans the freedom to purchase the health care plans they want, not the health care forced on them by the government. 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. They will get it done. We know them. They will get it done. In all things, we are returning power to the people where it belongs.


NOBLES: And the White House did make a last-minute push last week to get the vote on a health care reform package, but despite winning over the fickle Freedom Caucus, Republican leader lost some moderate support. They decided against rushing a vote. But as you heard just there, the president is prepared to put pressure on members of Congress to get something done. He is not afraid to call out specific members by name, as you saw there even pointing at them in the crowd.

[07:05:02] At this point, that strategy has not really been that successful, but it's clear, Victor, at this point, he is not ready to give up quite yet.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we saw the president digitally point to a few of people in the first couple of rounds and didn't get through. We'll see if it works this time through twitter. Ryan nobles, thanks.

PAUL: So, big crowd there as we saw welcoming President Trump. But CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser, David Gergen, he had a harsh critique of the speech last night. Listen to this.


DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: To bring your campaign speech into the presidency is something presidents rarely do. This was the most divisive speech I've ever heard from a sitting American president. Others may disagree about that. He played to his base and he treated his other listeners. The rest of the people have been disturbed about him or opposed him, he treated them basically as, I don't care, I don't give a damn what you think because you're friends with like the enemy, you're like the enemy with this press. I thought it was a deeply disturbing speech.


PAUL: All right. Paris Dennard, CNN political commentator with us now, as well as Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News.

Thank you both gentlemen for being here. I want to listen together here to a clip. We heard what David Gergen said. Let's listen to President Trump on the evening of November 8th at his victory speech.


TRUMP: I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans and this is so important to me.


PAUL: All righty. So, we have the speech we saw yesterday and we have the campaign promise on victory night. Paris, when are we going to see that president be the president for all people, not just his base?

PARIS DENNARD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think you have to look at it through the prism of what the speech was last night. The speech last night was about him touting his successes over the past 100 days and explaining to the American people exactly why he was not at the correspondents' dinner.

Now, what you saw on election night with him saying "I want to bring this country together and be the president of all Americans." And I think if you look at over the past hundred days in the things he has tried to do as it relates to repealing Obamacare, rolling back the regulations, a lot of executive, over 30 -- about 31 executive orders, the things he has been trying to do, tax reform, tax cuts, are things that are going to help all Americans, not just one particular section of America. And so, I think on the whole, what he has done over the past hundred days and what he wants to do, the agenda that he set forth is something that is going to be good for the entire country if we give him the latitude to do.

PAUL: Sure, sure. But the thing is he spent about eight minutes of this speech, Errol, not just bashing the media but actively saying, I would rather be here with you than be in the Washington swamp which is where he lives. So, a lot of people might look at that and just think, there might be a lot of people saying, "I want you to be my president but I want to know you're my president whether I agree with you or not."

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes. I mean, that last part that you mentioned there, Christi, has been absolutely absent. Not just from the speech yesterday but the first hundred days of the Trump presidency. He has shown no interest in working with Democrats. He has shown no interest in reaching out to people who vote for him, frankly.

He has been, I think, you know, for political reasons, very much sort of hobbled by the fact that he didn't win the popular vote and that he has sort of upside down approval rating. Fifty-four percent of American adults say that they disapprove of what he has done the last hundred days, compared to 44 who do and that is unprecedented for a president just kind of coming out of the gate.

Now, he's had a choice and he has refused that choice. He's had the choice of whether or not to reach out to people and those who are dissatisfied with him into his camp. He turns down that chance every chance he gets and yesterday was no exception. I mean, when they are chanting "lock her up", that is not a conciliatory message and not what President Trump is interested in.

And so, you know, politically going forward, he will get whatever he get in the next hundred days, but if he is not interested in bringing the country together, he'll have to do it with a much narrower base, which as we saw with the failure to repeal Obamacare is not as easy as it looks.

PAUL: And I was just going to get into that because I want to talk policy here real quickly. He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare and said he would be, quote, "so angry if it doesn't get passed." How, Paris, does that kind of verbiage bring some understanding amongst Congress and make that passage happen?

DENNARD: Well, I think what you see the support of 90 percent of Trump supporters who support him and vote for him again, we understand that he kept his promise. He said he is going to bring it to the table and try to get it repealed.

[07:10:03] He did what he had to do, he did what he needed to do.

PAUL: Well, he said last night he is going to make it happen. How does he make it happen with the verbiage he is using?

DENNARD: He is telling the Congress you better listen to the American people. When you look at those premiums, the premiums are going to go down. Premiums are a real thing. The high increase in costs are real.

So, he is telling the Congress, listen to the people. Listen to your constituents. Obamacare is not all bad. There are portions of it that are positive and those things are going to keep, but things that are terrible, that are hurting Americans, we are going to fix it,.

And he is telling the Congress, listen to the people because people want you to listen and they -- I listen to them. I listen to them regularly. That's why I'm here in Pennsylvania. Get it done. If you don't, I'll be upset.

PAUL: Errol, I've got 15 seconds. I want to give you the last word there.

LOUIS: Well, sure. I mean, look, where it all falls apart, of course, is this -- what the president can do with the executive orders the stuff that is clearly just within his scope of power but then almost everything else requires cooperation with Congress and then you're right back to square one. The government almost shut down this weekend, in part, because the Republican leadership, including the president, refuses to talk to Democrats. As long as that continues to be the case, this will be sort of government on the brink.

PAUL: All right. Paris Dennard and Errol Louis, always grateful to have your voices with us this morning, I should say. Thank you so much.

LOUIS: Thank you.

DENNARD: Any time.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, the president's speech and the way forward is part of the conversation this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. Senator John McCain is on the show and Samantha Bee stops by to talk about her not the correspondents dinner bash. Be sure to watch "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Now, hours after President Trump slammed what he called the fake news media, journalists gathered in Washington to tout the power and purpose of the free press. Next, we'll break down the greatest moments of the correspondents' dinner with President Obama's former speech writer and comedian and host of CNN's "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA", W. Kamau Bell.

PAUL: And I don't know -- have you seen this video yet?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this thing.


PAUL: One monster tornado ripping through northern Texas overnight. Five people killed. Dozens injured. And there is possibly more of this to come today. We will tell you where the severe weather is headed now.



HASAN MINHAJ, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY SHOW: We are here to talk about the truth. It is 2017 and we are living in the golden age of lying. Now is the time to be a liar and Donald Trump is liar in chief.

And, remember, you guys are public enemy number one. You are his biggest enemy. Journalists, ISIS, normal like ties. And somehow you're the bad guys.


PAUL: Comedian and "Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj there, not pulling any punches really to President Trump at last night's annual White House correspondents dinner.

BLACKWELL: Yes. As you know by now, the president was not there to hear it. He held 100-day rally last night in Pennsylvania instead. It's the first time since 1981 a sitting president did not attend that event.

All right. Joining us now, former speech writer for President Obama, David Litt. David, good morning to you. You were at the dinner last night and you tweeted out, "That was a hell of a performance from Hasan Minhaj." I assume that is a compliment. Why?

DAVID LITT, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes, it really was. I mean, I think last night, Hasan Minhaj was fearless, but also more importantly, he was just really funny, and I think that is the number one goal of any comedian at these dinners. You have to have good material and deliver it well. And he did but he also spoke about how he felt and he took some real shots. He didn't hold any punches back.

PAUL: Did you get the sense that people were disappointed that President Trump himself was not there?

LITT: You know, I have to say, I don't really think anyone missed him. I think they were disappointed he wasn't there because it says something for the president to show up and demonstrate that he can take a joke. And I think it also says something for the president not to show up. I don't think anybody thought, oh man, if President Trump was here, he would be delivering hilarious jokes right now. That's not really his track record.

BLACKWELL: All right. Speaking of the president not being able to take a joke, here's from Hasan Minhaj. Let's listen.


MINHAJ: We got to address the elephant that is not in the room. The leader of our country is not here and that is because he lives in Moscow. It is a very long flight. It would be hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can't just make it on a Saturday. It's a Saturday!

As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke.


BLACKWELL: So, you imagine, I mean, you were the joke guy for President Obama. I hope joke isn't too dismissive, but you were the comic writer, the comedy writer. Do you think it's more difficult to roast the president who is ten feet away from you or, in this year, president not being there for the first time in 36 years, roast him when he is not there?

LITT: Well, I think it is generally easier to roast this president because, at the moment, his slate of accomplishments is pretty thin and his slate of controversies is very long and I think you saw last night. In that sense it's an easier job. I think that in some ways it's easier to roast the president when he is there because it's part of this tradition.

It was a brave decision to go after President Trump and tell the jokes he wanted to tell without worrying about how it's going to look. He is saying you know what? This is what I want to do. This is my moment. And I'm going to do the kind of comedy I believe in. PAUL: As a speech writer, as a comedy writer, as Victor pointed out,

you had to have, were you not, sitting in the audience listening to some of this thinking of some of the things you might have written for this moment? Do you have any of those and would you share them with us?

[07:20:02] LITT: No. I will tell you this was a great year for me to be watching because I had nothing at stake other than getting to enjoy the open bar beforehand. I was very much enjoying being totally just an on-looker last night.

PAUL: But you didn't have anything going through your head you thought you would have used had it been under your employment to do so this year?

LITT: No. I mean, you know, you always watch jokes and you're thinking in the back of your head. You're not just laughing but thinking was that good, was it not? But I thought Hasan Minhaj's material, the writing of the jokes was very solid.

So, it wasn't just the fact that he was in the room and President Trump was not. He went out with really good material and he delivered good stuff. So, I certainly didn't find myself thinking, man, I should have had a hand in that. I thought his writers did great and he did great.

BLACKWELL: All right. The president says he hopes to attend next year. We'll see if that happens.

David Litt, thanks so much for being with us.

PAUL: Thanks, David.

LITT: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: Sure.

And let's bring in comedian and host of CNN's "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA", W. Kamau Bell.

Good morning to you, sir.


PAUL: Give us your take on what we have seen so far in the last 24 hour.

BELL: Yes, I mean, I know -- I've known Hasan since he started as a baby comedian in San Francisco. So, I was super proud. I don't think since we have seen a comic that good since Colbert when he did it. As far as being funny as speaking truth to power, that was amazing.

BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about the show and the first season was pre-election, second season now post-election. Have you seen a difference in the divide? Is it broader? Is it narrower? And is it along the same lines as before? BELL: I mean, I really do -- I feel pretty lucky that we got to do a

first season before the election because last year, you know, we sort of -- the country has its spots we needed to go to, but this season it felt more critical. Felt like we had been able to practice for this season. Last season was a like mixed tape, this is like an album.

So, it really felt like we really -- you know, it was very clear what groups we need to talk to and we needed to go to Chicago and talk about gang violence. We need to go to talk to Arabs and Muslims outside of Detroit. We went to Standing Rock. We were lucky to go to Standing Rock. In the first episode, we talk about immigrants and refuges.

And so, those groups were all targeted during the election. So, it's very clear we needed to talk to them.

PAUL: New shades of -- new season, I should say, of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA", of course, premieres tonight, everybody, be ready. And I know immigration issues appear in your first episode here and you talk with alt-right leader Richard Spencer.

Let's watch a little of this together.


BELL: So, I think white people do need to talk about their whiteness more. We are here doing it.

RICHARD SPENCER, ALT-RIGHT LEADER: We are here to talk about white privilege. We want to bring it back and make white privilege great again.

BELL: So, you're a fan of white privilege?

SPENCER: Oh, yeah.

BELL: I mean, what do you love about white privilege?

SPENCER: It looks great. Like, you know, I mean, the people are good looking and nice suits. Great literature. Like, yeah, I just want to bathe in white privilege, the greatest most awesome thing.

BELL: It's working out for you.


PAUL: So, here is the thing. I can't get over the fact you're laughing. Very gracious, obviously.

So, what were you thinking in that moment and what are you thinking as you watch it again now?

BELL: My wife also hates it when I laugh at things that shock other people, but I'm a comedian. That's what I do. Some people find things shocking and my response is to laugh. And, you know, what I was thinking was that I was happy we were going

to be able to put this on TV and let people see it. You know, a lot of people are like did you eviscerate him? Did you destroy him?

No, I let him talk, because I think a lot of people think we know the same thing and I know a lot of people don't know the same things. A lot of people don't realize that that is in out there and those (INAUDIBLE) in the White House. And so, I'm hoping by letting him talk and get all of his points out, that people who are shocked and do something about it.

BLACKWELL: So, Richard Spencer is, and I've heard you say in another interview on this network is having a moment right now because of some of the political realities. Do we know if what is happening in Washington and what we are seeing in some of these rallies from the president is just a reflection what is out there divide that exists right now or if he is exacerbating this divide?

BELL: I mean, I do think -- I mean, certainly, Trump -- a lot of Trump's base are people who are either like Richard Spencer or adjacent to those idea. But I think a lot of people who voted for Trump didn't realize how that was going to affect the lives of people in their community. There's many communities where people are finding out that members of the communities who are beloved and accepted are being deported. There's many communities where people are afraid to go to the grocery story. They don't know what is going to happen.

So, I think these things are being exacerbated right now and proof what is going on in Berkeley. I'm from Berkeley and people are showing up in Berkeley to start trouble. They were doing that a year ago. They're doing it now because they feel emboldened who is in the White House.

PAUL: So, Kamau, real quickly, anything you learned this year in taping this that did shock you?

BELL: You know, when it comes right down to it, are the -- shocked me?

[07:25:02] I think -- if I'm going to be honest, I'm shocked by the fact that where we went in the country, if you could take away the rhetoric, all of the scandal, all of the fervor, people are just worried about their families. And I think that that's -- if we could get away from the team politics or electoral politics, we would find out people are worried about jobs and their schools and their health insurance. And a candidate who was able to talk about that stuff with all of the rhetoric and all the divisiveness would really do well in this country.

PAUL: All righty. W. Kamau Bell, looking forward to it. Again, it is tonight. Thank you for getting up early and taking time for us.

BELL: Thank you.

PAUL: Yes, we will be watching, Kamau. He believes, you know, uncomfortable conversations do indeed create change. The new season of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA", it starts tonight, tonight, 10:00 p.m. East Coast Time.

BLACKWELL: The president is leaving the door opened for military action against North Korea. So, what is the president's plan in the wake of the regime's latest ballistic missile test? An inclusive live report from Pyongyang, that's next.

PAUL: Also, there's an awful lot of destruction and five deaths after what you're seeing on your screen there. Oh, this monster tornado struck northern Texas overnight. The death toll may rise officials tell us. The search and rescue efforts are under way right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are out there picking up patients that are at the areas where the devastation went through, where the tornados hit, all of the destruction. There's a lot of calls that's coming in. They are having trouble getting to those calls because of the destruction on the roads.



[07:30:53] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Waking up and winding down the weekend. We are glad you're with us. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

PAUL: So, President Trump is not ruling out military force in the wake of North Korea's latest ballistic missile test adding that leader Kim Jong-un is, quote, "going to do -- going to have to do what he has to do," he says.

Listen to what the president told CBS's "Face the Nation."


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would 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.

INTERVIEWER: Not happy, meaning military action?

TRUMP: I don't know. I mean, we'll see.


BLACKWELL: Now, the failed missile launch blew up yesterday over land in North Korean territory. But it's succeeded in escalating tensions around the globe. The president appeared to downplay the significance of the test, calling it a small missile launch.

And after President Trump's 100th day rally in Pennsylvania, reporters pressed him on the message to the North Korean regime. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


TRUMP: You'll soon find out, won't you?

REPORTER: Military action?

TRUMP: You'll soon find out.


BLACKWELL: All right. Let's go to CNN international correspondent Will Ripley live in Pyongyang. For a political perspective, we also bring in CNN political analyst Errol Louis and CNN political reporter Eugene Scott.

But I want to start with Will.

You are there on the ground. Any indications on what will be Kim's next move?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor, before I answer that I want you to listen to this for a moment.

This music plays almost hourly here in Pyongyang. It's a sign to remind the citizens here of the sacrifices of the late North Korean leader, so we are not inserting music here. This is what comes with living in the North Korean capital.

There is propaganda everywhere from the music that people listen to, from the newspapers and television, and that propaganda machine is in full force on the ground here telling the citizens of this country that the United States and its president are hostile, that they are ready to attack and that justifies this government spending tremendous amount of its money and resources building missiles and nuclear weapons. And the officials say they will continue to test them despite mounting pressure from the United States and U.N. Security Council and China as well.

BLACKWELL: Errol, let me come to you. We heard in that CBS interview, when asked about military action, the president said, "I don't know. We'll see." Not going as far as we heard earlier in the week, saying that there's a potential for a major, major conflict with North Korea.

Are we seeing a president who is responding to the criticism that came after that? Or is this potentially just one off?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it's more of a one off, Victor, honestly, because the criticism that matters is that this president, like his predecessors, as much as he wants to be different, as much as he wants to be an outsider, has got to send signals not just to foreign despots and dictators like the mad man in North Korea, but to the allies of the United States, to the other affected countries that border North Korea, that there is going to be stability, that there is going to be a rational policy, that there is going to be some predictability.

You know, try to deal with dangerous instability with more dangerous instability is really a formula for a catastrophe. And so, you know, when the president says, we'll see, the reality is, he's kind of locked in the same box as all of his predecessors. There's 900-mile border between North Korea and China. China is a super power not to be trifled with. You got South Korea that is right on the border with 30,000 U.S. troops who are there, and that eerie stuff going on in North Korea that we just heard.

This is not a place for the president, I think, to sort of try to sort of brinksmanship. It really makes the tension go up and not down.

BLACKWELL: Anyone paying attention, Eugene, knows that there is no great options when dealing with this problem there in North Korea. But it reverts to the question when you have a president who is not used to making these types of decisions and is again reluctant to, you know, show the card in any way, is it strategic to not talk about potential for military action or does this administration not yet have an alternative to the Obama administration's strategic patience?

[07:35:06] EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think what we have seen with President Donald Trump on this issue and other issues related to international affairs is that his foreign policy is still being determined. I truly believe that he said we'll see because, quite frankly, he doesn't know yet. We saw previously that he said, following his conversation with Chinese president, explaining the tense relationship between the country and North Korea that he learned so much new stuff in only ten minutes.

As much experience as Donald Trump has in international business, he doesn't have a lot of experience in international affairs and so what we are going to see hopefully very soon, he said perhaps in the next two weeks, is just a firmer grasp on what it is that he thinks the U.S. should do to respond to this situation.

BLACKWELL: Will, let's head south to the Philippines and this invitation that the White House has confirmed to the president of the Philippines, Duterte, there. And, you know, this is a man who's called the former president, President Obama, a son of a, and you can fill in the blank, I'm sure people know what goes there, told him to go to hell, said he could slaughter drug addicts like Hitler massacre Jews, and even said he would eat a terrorist's liver if you gave him salt and pepper.

I mean, you've covered Duterte's war on drugs extensively. What does this mean, this invitation that the White House has extended?

RIPLEY: Yes. Well, this is also a president who joked about reports he threw a government official out of a helicopter and never completely denied it. Look, President Duterte horrified the Obama administration when he enacted this war on drugs that has killed thousands and thousands of mostly poor people in that country's poorest slums, essentially wiping out the bottom layer of the drug problem without doing anything to really address the larger issues like poverty, larger drug cartels, just killing off the slumlord drug dealers and users.

And so, President Obama expressed his displeasure and Duterte fired back. He doesn't like anybody to question what he is doing in the Philippines. He also used similar course language, bolder language, referring to the leaders of the E.U.

And yet, President Trump, when I was in the Philippines, and I asked President Duterte what he thought after President Trump won the election, he said he was happy. He said he thought that the two of them could connect on a personal level and that he thought they might have a better relationship. Because keep in mind under the Obama relationship, Duterte was threatening to cut off military association with the United States, a longstanding military allied that could have shaken up the whole balance of power in Asia Pacific.

Now, it seems that the two leaders have a much more friendly rapport even as Duterte talks like this about killing tens of thousands of people in his own country. Listen.


PRES. RODRIGO DUTERTE, PHILIPPINES: I tell you, I will triple it. (SPEAKING FILIPINO) to get rid of my country, you can expect about 20,000 or 30,000 more. There is a war going on. I'm losing two, three policemen a day. It's a war.


RIPLEY: But those two presidents apparently had a friendly conversation about North Korea. Duterte urging President Trump ironically to use restraint in this situation and very soon, we could see a photo-op with those two presidents standing side-by-side smiling at the White House.

BLACKWELL: All right. Will Ripley for us there in Pyongyang, Eugene Scott and Errol Louis as well, thank you.

SCOTT: Thank you.

PAUL: Still to come: severe weather is popping up today and it's going to be part of the Midwest and the Southeast who are seeing it. But this is coming after deadly tornadoes like this one slammed overnight in Texas, I should say, overnight.

The question is, is that what's going to continue?

BLACKWELL: Also, we spoke with a storm chaser who captured the dramatic video of one of those monster tornadoes. That's coming up next.



[07:42:59] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy cow! Look at this thing!


BLACKWELL: Look at that. A massive tornado touched down in northern Texas overnight. In fact, officials now confirmed that at least three hit the ground.

This severe storm ripped through Van Zandt County, leaving loads of destruction in its path.

PAUL: And it's not just the destruction here. Five people died so far and 55 were taken to the hospital with injuries because of this storm. So, search and rescue efforts we know still under way this morning and the threat is not over. There is more severe weather expected today. Parts of the Midwest are still under tornado warnings even this morning.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is following the system.

What does it look like to you at this hour, Allison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is very active, stretching from Chicago, all the way down towards New Orleans. And a lot of lightning, for folks that are waking up, and they're looking outside, you got quite a spectacular light show, again, stretching all the way down, especially the further south you go. We have lightning out west where there is snow, which means in turn, you've got some thunder snow.

But on the serious side of this storm, the tornado threat is ongoing. We have a tornado watch in effect right now until 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. And, yes, even a couple of tornado warnings mixed in around the Jackson, Mississippi, area.

So, again, take this threat seriously. We have seen what these storms could do in the last 24 hours. They have the potential to be very damaging.

Going through the rest of the day, again, stretching from Chicago down to New Orleans, the threat will still exist throughout the day. We are talking damaging winds. We're talking large hail, but we're also, yes, talking the potential for tornadoes.

Your timeline on the western edge of that is going to be into the morning hours. Once we get into the afternoon, we start impacting cities like Nashville, Louisville, and then into Cincinnati and some others by the evening we get to the evening hours. Now, the concern with that is nighttime tornadoes can be so devastating because your guard is down. Many folks are sleeping. You're not paying as close attention.

And three states where we see a majority of our nighttime tornadoes are states that are going to be impacted today -- Kentucky, Tennessee, and also into Arkansas.

[07:45:04] Now, the long-term threat with this also includes rain. Look at how much rain has already fallen. Numerous locations picking up at least eight inches of rain. Victor, Christi, the problem with this, is when you start talking

about rivers, that's a long-term effect. There are many points along the Mississippi River and some of the outer lying rivers that are likely going to hit close to or above record flood stage on Monday and Tuesday of this week. So, still something to keep in mind in the coming days.

PAUL: No doubt.

All righty. Hey, Allison Chinchar, thank you so much for the heads up.

BLACKWELL: Now, earlier this morning, we spoke with a veteran storm chaser who shot the video you just saw there.

PAUL: Uh-huh. This is what he said about being so close to a tornado of this magnitude.


CHRIS COLLURA, SHOT TORNADO VIDEO (via telephone): This one was one of the bigger ones. This is one of like -- it will probably go up to the top five to ten chases. Now, I'm saying top chases. Of course, this is aside to the property damage.

I would prefer to see this over, you know, an open field and not hit anything. It's kind of an indescribable feeling. Your ears are popping, you sometimes feel the ground shaking like in the case yesterday. A little vibration in the ground. It sounds like a very cloud waterfall basically.


BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, the battle for climate action rages on. Now, thousands of activists poured into the streets across the country in protest of President Trump's climate policies. Now, the president did address at least one of their concerns at his rally in Pennsylvania last night.


TRUMP: I'll be making a big decision on the Paris Accord over the next two weeks. And we will see what happens.


PAUL: Well, some children are joining this movement. They took their fight all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court.

So, earlier, we talked to two young activists that are suing the government, the Trump administration, for inaction.


KELSEY JULIANA, SUING TRUMP OVER INACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING: We are doing this out of a place of love and deep passion to protecting the things that not only we value, but we hold to be true, to ensuring the safety and security of all people.

LEVI DRAHEIM, YOUNGEST PLAINTIFF SUING TRUMP ADMIN FOR IGNORING CLIMATE CHANGE: My biggest fear is that if climate change continues, I live on a barrier island in Florida and there has been lots of dune erosion. And if the dune keeps eroding, then the sea turtles won't have a place to nest. And then that would be a really big problem. And also, there's been way more wildfires than there has been normally.


BLACKWELL: I need a shirt like that.

George W. Bush painting President Trump? Not exactly. Comedian Will Farrell reprises his role as the former president for the not White House correspondents dinner. We've got that for you, next.


[07:50:20] PAUL: Oh, well, doctors may tell us to lose weight or find ways to deal with stress. A lot of times, they often don't have time to help us make those changes, right? Well, in today's "Staying Well", we're going to see how hiring a wellness coach could make a difference.


DEBBIE NURMI, WORKING MOM: What led notice seek out health coaching was this very daunting career change. My son has had multiple surgeries, the economy crashed, my mom had health issues.

Here's our usual table.

The anxiety seems to hit me when I'm trying to sleep, middle of the night.

MELANIE PRASAD-DELANEY, HEALTH & WELLNESS COACH: What are some things could you do on a daily basis that would be part of that self-care.

Wellness coaching is really about the whole person.

NURMI: Get on the bicycle.

PRASAD-DELANEY: Helping them see a vision for themselves.

NURMI: I was so stressed out and so busy and it just led to become unhealthy. Here's how I would like to eat but I'm not.

Hi, have a good day.

PRASAD-DELANEY: What are those things that are going to happen or open up from losing the weight other than that number on the scale? Shifting that perspective. How can I do the things that truly bring me joy and recharge me?

NURMI: So, I'm trying to figure out things that are satisfying and make me feel good.

We drew a circle. She said, OK, what's in the circle of your life. She said what I notice I don't see you in there. And I thought wow, she's right. There's not a Debbie wedge.

It makes me feel I will get there. I feel optimistic and hopeful.




WILL FERRELL, COMEDIAN POTRAYING GEORGE W. BUSH: You guys sneaking up with me on gotcha questions like why are we going to war? Gotcha.


Why did you not respond to Hurricane Katrina? Gotcha.


What is your middle name? Gotcha.


I just wish somebody had told me all you had to say fake news over and over again.

ALLISON JANNEY, ACTRESS: You people are monsters. Yes, we have freedom of speech and of the press in this country, and that is a beautiful thing. So, if a morally bankrupt gang of racist bloggers, anarchists, dominionist radio hosts and rancid women haters want to call themselves journalists, no one can stop you. But you are part of the reason that no one trusts the real press.

These journalists work day and night to find the truth. Write it down. Tell to it a camera. And sometimes they (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. But when they do, they apologize most of the time. They chase down stories even when the stories put them in danger and their phone batteries die because of the tweeting abuse at them. And you pretend to be them, ruining their reputation.


[07:55:03] PAUL: All righty. So, at the real White House correspondents dinner comedian Hasan Minhaj headlined, gave a long distance roasting, let's say, to an absent President Trump. Take a look.


HASAN MINHAJ, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY SHOW": I don't -- I don't have a solution on how to win back trust. I don't.

But in the age of Trump, I know that you guys have to be more perfect now more than ever because you are how the president gets his news.


Not from advisers. Not from experts. Not from intelligence agencies. You guys. So that's why you got to be on your A-game. You 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.


PAUL: Not an easy job, no doubt about it, what he had last night.

Thank you so much, though, for sharing your morning with us. We always appreciate seeing you. Make some great memories.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after a break.