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STATE OF THE UNION

Trump Thought Being President 'Would Be Easier'; Interview With Arizona Senator John McCain; Interview With Samantha Bee; President Trump Jabs Republicans On Health Care; Trump On Presidency: I Thought It Would Be Easier; Former President Barack Obama To Make $400,000 On Wall Street Speech; The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner In This Week's "State of the Cartoonion". Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 30, 2017 - 09:00   ET

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


[09:00:22]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): One hundred and one days in, and President Trump says the gig is hard.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.

TAPPER: But there's no turning back now. So, what's working and what's not? And what can we expect next from his White House?

And firing back, North Korea defying global pressure and launching another missile, as President Trump warns of possible war.

TRUMP: We could end up having a major conflict with North Korea. What is Kim Jong-un's next move? Senator John McCain joins us live in an exclusive interview.

Plus, political hangover. President Trump skipped last night's White House Correspondents Association Dinner, in favor of his own party among friends.

TRUMP: I couldn't possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's swamp.

TAPPER: But he was the still the center of attention in Washington.

SAMANTHA BEE, HOST, "FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE": He ran away from two different Republican debates. And now he's run away from the Correspondents Dinner.

TAPPER: Comedian Samantha Bee, fresh off her Not the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, will be here live.

And the best political minds will be here with insights on what happens next.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is deeply divided on day 101 of the Trump era.

Where you stand on his performance so far depends on where you sit. His fans are as loyal as ever, and his critics just as loud. So, as thousands of marchers packed the streets of Washington yesterday to protest the White House's refusal to acknowledge the scientific consensus -- consensus about manmade contributions to climate change, which President Trump has incorrectly called a hoax, he fled D.C. for a more hospitable environment, one of his own rallies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: ... spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: And the president touted what he sees as his accomplishments in his first 100 days of his presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We are going to have jobs, and you're seeing them already. We also have been very busy on the legislative front, which we have gotten no credit for. And yet I am signing away. I have signed 29 new bills, a record not surpassed since the Truman administration.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: We asked the Trump White House to provide an official to speak with us about the president's first 100 days in office. They declined.

But I'm joined this morning by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. He's in Phoenix.

And, Senator McCain, it's great to see you. Thanks for joining us.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Let's turn to North Korea, obviously an issue of real concern.

The president was asked this weekend, do you have a message for North Korea? Do you think you're putting enough pressure on them? This is what he had to say in response. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

QUESTION: Does that mean military action?

TRUMP: You are going to soon find out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: "You will soon find out, won't you?"

And then the question, "Does that mean military action?"

He writes -- he says again, "You are going to soon find out."

You and Senator Graham had dinner with President Trump Monday. Is the president considering a preemptive strike on North Korea?

MCCAIN: I don't think so, Jake.

But, as somebody said, this could be a Cuban Missile Crisis in slow motion.

I disagreed with the president's tweet about North Korea, by continuing to test, disrespected China. They disrespected us and the numerous agreements made by three previous presidents that was supposed to bring this process of their acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to a halt.

The key to this is China. And the Chinese can put the brakes on this. I do not believe that Kim Jong-un is going to do that by himself. I don't think he's irrational, but I don't think he's concerned about the welfare of his people, to say the least.

So, I think that China has the key to this. And we have got to tell the Chinese that there's a whole lot at stake, unless they bring this to a halt, because, if they get the weapon and they have the missile, we cannot afford to have that threat to the very United States -- continental United States of America.

TAPPER: So, what does that mean, though? What if -- the testing continues. They have done -- they have conducted nine missile tests just in the Trump administration.

[09:05:05]

Obviously, they have some nuclear capability. If the U.S. were convinced that they had the ability to -- I mean, as you know, every time they fail a missile test, they learn something new.

If the U.S. were convinced that they were able to marry a delivery system with a nuke, do you then think that President Trump would push forward a preemptive strike?

MCCAIN: I think that we have to consider that option as the very last option, and for a number of reasons.

And one of the reasons is because there's artillery on the DMZ that can strike Seoul, a city of 26 million people, and the carnage would be horrendous. It's not just like the Cuban Missile Crisis, in that there isn't any other aspects of it.

This is very serious. Their capabilities of firing artillery on Seoul is absolutely real. And this, again, is why we have to bring every pressure to bear. And the major lever on North Korea today, and maybe the only lever, is China.

And -- but to say you absolutely rule out that option of course would be foolish. But it has to be the ultimate last option.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about something that just happened.

Reuters is reporting that General H.R. McMaster, President Trump's national security adviser, just told the South Korean government that the U.S. will honor its prior agreement, and the U.S. will pay for the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea to defend that country from a North Korean missile attack.

This is in direct contradiction to President Trump, who earlier this week told Reuters he had -- quote -- "informed South Korea" it would be appropriate if they paid. It's a billion-dollar system.

As you know, sir, this is hardly the first time that the president has made a statement completely at odds with U.S. policy and completely at odds with his own Cabinet.

How do explain this? What do you tell world leaders when they ask you about it?

MCCAIN: I tell them that he's surrounded himself with an outstanding national security team.

I can't guarantee...

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: ... to world leaders that he will always listen to them, but he has so far.

I believe that the cruise missile strike in Syria was the first time in eight years that we have stood up to the carnage and horrible war crimes that are being committed by Bashar al-Assad, along with their partners, Vladimir Putin.

So, I tell them that we have a great national security team and that we have now a military that's in very bad shape and needs rebuilding. And I'm embarrassed that the Congress of the United States continues the sequester, which has given us 1,000 pilots short in the Air Force, ships that can't leave port, and 60 percent of our F-18s, our front- line fighters, not able to fly for lack of spare parts.

TAPPER: Right. MCCAIN: It's disgraceful.

TAPPER: Senator, with all due respect, I know that you admire General McMaster. I know that you admire retired Generals Kelly, retired General Mattis. I get that.

But when President Trump says something that is completely at odds with U.S. policy and completely at odds with what people like McMaster are telling the South Korean government, when he claims an armada is heading towards the Korean Peninsula, when it is not, I know and you know that world leaders, allies are confused, frustrated and sometimes alarmed.

Are you not?

MCCAIN: They are. But, sometimes, it's important to watch what the president does, rather than what he says.

I think that some of the things that he -- actions that he's taken, particularly the cruise missile crisis, including examining the fact we're not winning in Afghanistan, that we are going to need more troops there, after, as you mentioned earlier, 16 years, and we're losing, or certainly not winning.

And there are measures that he's listening to these outstanding military leaders and taking their advice. And, again, we need a Congress that will fund and authorize this kind of action, because, right now, our military is in very bad shape.

TAPPER: Let's turn to domestic policy.

The tax plan, such as it was that President Trump put out there, about half-a-page on a piece of paper, it would be, based on the information provided and based on what President Trump has proposed before, a boon to the wealthiest Americans.

"The New York Times" reported it amounts to a -- quote -- "multitrillion-dollar shift to the wealthiest Americans." It would take several steps, including cutting the top tax rate, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, repealing the estate tax.

Back in 2001, only two Republicans voted against the Bush tax cuts. You were one of them. And this is how you explained your position back then.

Let me read it to you -- quote -- "I just thought it was too tilted to the wealthy, and I still do. We have a wealth gap in this country. And that worries me."

[09:10:01]

The wealth gap is even worse today than it was back then, Senator. Will you oppose the Trump plan, as you did the Bush plan? And are you concerned about how much it is shifting money towards the wealthiest Americans?

MCCAIN: Jake, this is the opening bid.

And, obviously, we haven't even seriously put together anything in the United States Senate. The president proposes. Obviously, we will see how we dispose.

I do believe that the first step should be to reduce the corporate tax rate, which is now the highest in the world, which might bring that couple trillion dollars that's parked overseas home, so we could spend it on infrastructure.

So, reducing the corporate tax rate is an important pillar of it. I wonder if maybe we could take it step by step. But I would have to see the whole plan before and how we -- how it winds its way through the Congress first.

TAPPER: But, as a general principle, sir, I know that you -- I know you feel that way about the corporate tax rate.

But in terms of the personal income tax rates that he's talking about proposing, bringing down the top rate significantly, does that concern you at all, based on what you have seen?

MCCAIN: It's a concern.

But, as you know, the regulations and the taxes the last eight years have given us the last quarter one of the slowest periods of growth in recent history. We have got to stimulate this economy. And I think that reducing regulations, which has already had an effect in the stock market and places like that, and reducing taxes are fine.

Let's try to do that for middle-class America, middle-income America, because, as you pointed out, the gap between the wealthiest and the least wealthy is growing, has been growing, and needs to be closed.

TAPPER: Let me read to you what House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted this week -- quote -- "The tax plan rolled out by Donald Trump would have cut his taxes by $30 million in 2005, the only year we have returns for" -- unquote.

Pelosi is basing that on President Trump's 2005 tax return, of course.

Given that President Obama is proposing changes that could benefit him personally by tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, do you think that the American people have a right to see his tax returns, so that they can know how this plan would affect his bottom line?

MCCAIN: I think they -- I have said all along I thought that every candidate for president should disclose their tax returns, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes.

MCCAIN: I haven't changed.

TAPPER: There was a big climate change march on Saturday. This past week, the Environmental Protection Agency removed most

climate change information from its Web site to -- quote -- "reflect the approach of new leadership."

As you know, President Trump has wrongly referred to climate change as a Chinese hoax.

You have been a Republican leader on the need to combat manmade climate change. This must concern you.

MCCAIN: Well, it concerns me, but I think one of the aspects of it that does concern me is my friends in the environmental community outright rejection of nuclear power, which is the cleanest that there is. And their refusal to even consider it is something that has been an impediment in moving forward.

Yes, I think climate change is real, but I also think that some of the remedies that are being proposed can harm our economy as well. This is another one of these things where we need to have legislation, debate and discussion and amendment.

This is the same thing with so many of these issues. We just sit there and argue about them. Well, why don't we let the legislative process go forward, rather than seeing everything done by executive order?

TAPPER: Senator McCain, always good to see you, sir. Thank you so much. Thanks for getting up early. I know it's early there in Phoenix. Appreciate it.

MCCAIN: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Coming up: President Trump skipped the White House Correspondents Association Dinner last night, but that does not mean he avoided getting roasted.

Comedian Sam -- Samantha Bee is here, fresh off her very own Washington spectacular. And she joins me now live.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:18:00]

TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Last night was the White House Correspondents Association Dinner here in Washington. It's an annual event.

The president usually attends, but this year, the president made other plans, attending a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: As you may know, there's another big gathering taking place tonight in Washington, D.C. Did you hear about it?

(BOOING)

TRUMP: A large group of Hollywood actors...

(BOOING)

TRUMP: ... and Washington media...

(BOOING)

TRUMP: ... are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: President Trump, however, was not the only one who planned some counterprogramming.

Samantha Bee, host of the TBS show "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee," planned her own alternative, Not the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, where she roasted the press, the pundit class, and, of course, the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEE: We want you all to have a great time. I know it looks like we have a cash bar tonight, but as I promised you in the invitation, at a later date, I will get Mexico to pay for all your drinks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: And I'm delighted to have her with me.

Sam, thanks for coming in.

BEE: Thank you.

TAPPER: I should point out that TBS is our sister network.

BEE: We are -- we are a sister. Yes, we are.

TAPPER: So, we're cousins of some sort.

BEE: We're cousins. It's completely -- completely familiar.

TAPPER: Yes, I don't want anybody -- I don't want any angry conflict of interest tweets.

BEE: There's -- no, that can never be. That can never be.

TAPPER: So, let's start with the big dinner.

BEE: OK.

TAPPER: The not -- not the -- not -- your dinner, not the other on. BEE: OK.

TAPPER: Not the White House Correspondents Dinner.

And, more largely, what do you see as the role of comedy in the Trump era?

BEE: Well, you know, I mean, listen, we -- we mostly do the show for ourselves.

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: We just need catharsis. We need catharsis. We need a place to kind of analyze things in a different way. We need to see -- we see things through a different filter. We just need to break it down for ourselves in a way that we can understand.

[09:20:05]

It helps me greatly to do the show.

TAPPER: And when you're doing the show...

BEE: Yes.

TAPPER: ... if you come to a point and it's like, this is funny, but this is an important point I want to make...

BEE: Yes.

TAPPER: ... do you just -- I mean, is there one you lean towards more than the other, or do you just call it depending on the situation?

BEE: Well, we always lean -- we always lean in the direction of funny.

I mean, you really are walking -- when you're doing topical comedy like this, you really are walking a razor's edge.

TAPPER: Yes.

BEE: And you don't want to drop over into the activism side of things too often. You don't really want to do that at all. So, we always err on the side of comedy and hope that everything works out.

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: We try.

TAPPER: Although -- although you know -- and you commented on this last night obliquely -- you have been cited as part -- not part of the reason why Hillary -- Hillary lost, but part of the problem, part of the liberal -- liberal America's problem.

BEE: Sure.

TAPPER: Ross Douthat specifically wrote this column.

BEE: Of course.

TAPPER: "Hillary Clinton's Samantha Bee Problem."

BEE: I know.

TAPPER: You -- did you -- I didn't...

BEE: So flattering.

TAPPER: I didn't know that there was a Samantha Bee problem.

But let me read part of it to you: "The Democratic's Party problem in the age of Trump isn't really Jimmy Fallon," who you had criticized and others had criticized for being too soft on Trump. "Its problem is Samantha Bee, not Bee alone, of course, but the entire phenomenon that she embodies, the rapid colonization of new cultural territory by an ascendant social liberalism."

First, what is your response? And, second of all, how does it feel to be the face of the problem?

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: Oh, my God, my name was in an article.

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: It's me. It's not racism. It's just me.

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: No, you know what? I will wait for all -- I will wait for all that evidence to roll in, and then I will -- then I will make up my mind after that.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: So, just because there was no backup. It was just...

BEE: You know, it's one person's opinion. Wonderful chap.

TAPPER: Wonderful.

BEE: Love to have on the show.

TAPPER: He's a nice man.

BEE: Yes.

TAPPER: But let me ask you -- let me ask you a question.

Does he have a larger -- and you have addressed this on your show.

BEE: Mm-hmm. TAPPER: So, remove yourself from it.

BEE: OK.

TAPPER: Does he have a point about smug liberals? I'm not talking about you.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: But does -- but is there a smug liberal problem?

BEE: You know, that is something that I can't really -- I mean, I just can't take responsibility for the way the election turned out. I just absolutely don't. I can't.

TAPPER: No, no.

BEE: Is there a smug liberal problem?

TAPPER: You told her not to go Wisconsin.

BEE: I guess I'm -- I guess -- you know, I don't think there is.

Like, I do the show for me and for people like me. And I don't really care how the rest of the world sees it, quite frankly. That's great. We make a show for ourselves. We put it out in the world. We birth it, and then the world receives it however they want to receive it.

TAPPER: Fair enough.

BEE: What can I do?

TAPPER: But let me ask you about the actual dinner...

BEE: Yes.

TAPPER: ... last night, the White House Correspondents Association Dinner.

Hasan Minhaj was that -- who you worked -- who you worked with at Comedy Central.

BEE: Yes, I love Hasan. He's great.

TAPPER: He joked about President Trump's use of Twitter, among many other things. Take a listen.

BEE: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: You know Donald Trump doesn't drink, right, does not touch alcohol, which is oddly respectable.

But think about that. That means...

(LAUGHTER)

MINHAJ: ... every statement, every interview, every tweet, completely sober.

(LAUGHTER)

MINHAJ: How is that possible?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: I don't know if you had a chance to see -- to see it.

BEE: I haven't watched it yet, but I'm dying to watch it, actually.

TAPPER: You're a fan of his?

BEE: Yes. No, Hasan is great. Hasan is great.

Everything -- I sort of read about it like a tiny bit, and it was very well-received. I'm really happy for him.

TAPPER: This is a strange question that I thought you might...

BEE: Oh, I love strange questions.

TAPPER: ... I thought you might enjoy.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: So, the Rock is on the cover of this week's "National Review" magazine, the Rock.

BEE: The Rock?

TAPPER: Yes, there he is.

BEE: What?

TAPPER: See, "The Celebrity We Need."

Now...

BEE: I can't disagree with that.

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: He's the celebrity I need.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: I don't know how Jason will feel that.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: But seeing the Rock on there reminded me of something that Michael Moore when he was on this program...

BEE: OK.

TAPPER: ... after the election.

He said Democrats would be better off if they ran for president a celebrity.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks, or why don't we run beloved people?

We have so many of them. The Republicans do this. They run Reagan and the Terminator and other people. Why don't we -- why don't we run somebody that the American people love?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: You have met a lot of these celebrities.

BEE: Why don't we run you?

TAPPER: I'm not...

BEE: You're beloved.

TAPPER: I'm not beloved, nor am I a celebrity.

BEE: Beloved by -- by me.

TAPPER: What about you? Would Samantha -- well -- oh, you're not American.

BEE: I am American, Jake.

TAPPER: Oh, I'm sorry.

BEE: How dare you say that?

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: You were born in...

(CROSSTALK)

BEE: I was not -- well, I was not born here, yes. I'm both.

TAPPER: OK, so you couldn't be president.

BEE: I couldn't be president.

TAPPER: But you have never thought about running for anything?

BEE: Are you kidding? Oh, kill me, please.

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: No.

TAPPER: But do you think about the idea that the Democrats should take a page out of the Republicans' book and run a celebrity?

BEE: They should take a page out of somebody's book.

(LAUGHTER)

BEE: I don't know that that solves all the ills of the Democratic Party. But I'm willing to try anything.

[09:25:03]

TAPPER: Are you having fun? Did you enjoy your show last night?

BEE: I enjoyed it.

TAPPER: Do you like doing "Full Frontal"?

BEE: I enjoyed it so much.

You know, I feel like it takes so much grit and determination and blood and sweat to make a show, and the least I can ask for is that, when I'm standing on the stage, I can actually enjoy myself and let go, which I totally did.

TAPPER: So, your surprise guest actually surprised me. For people...

BEE: Did he?

TAPPER: Yes. For people who haven't seen, Will Ferrell appeared as President George W. Bush.

BEE: Yes.

TAPPER: How did that happen?

BEE: He -- I don't -- it was a miracle that it happened.

But he kind of -- everybody kind of reached out at the same time. And he -- but just bringing back that character was so meaningful to me. I thought he was amazing.

I actually really enjoyed the surprise -- like, observing people's surprise as he came out, and they realized that it was him, because it took a minute for everyone to really see him.

TAPPER: Yes.

BEE: And you could feel it kind of reverberate through the crowd. It was a great moment.

TAPPER: Well, congratulations.

BEE: Thank you so much.

TAPPER: And it's always great to see you, Samantha.

BEE: It's always great to see you.

TAPPER: Thanks for being here.

BEE: Thanks.

TAPPER: Coming up: I'm not mad, Congress. I'm just disappointed.

President Trump says Republicans should have set him up for a win on health care. Does he have a point?

That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:30:54]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I once said it's complicated. It's not complicated compared to other things being complicated. It's not that hard. I was disappointed that they didn't have more in line by the time I walked in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: President Trump taking a swipe at the Republican controlled Congress on health care. Is he really ready for round two? Here to talk with me about it former Republican presidential candidate and senator from the Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum. Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic governor of Michigan. CNN political commentators Ana Navarro and Van Jones.

Ana, doesn't President Trump have a point, Republicans have been in Congress and controlling Congress now for quite some time? They've been waiting for a Republican president. And Senator Santorum a few months ago was -- expressed surprise that the Republicans didn't have a health care bill ready to go. I don't know that he's wrong. What do you think?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it's a good point. I think they caught the bus and then they weren't ready to catch the bus. Oh, Lord, look what happened.

But also I think that Donald Trump's victory was a surprise even to most Republicans in Congress, certainly to the leadership. It's also, you know, right now I think the toughest thing going on in Washington is the inter Republican Party infighting. It is a family that is in shambles right now. There are so many different factions. So it is a tougher job than it used to be. And on the other hand, Donald Trump should put out some detailed policy. I think he's actually done a pretty good job reaching out to Congress, better than President Obama did. Not something that was his forte. But he hasn't been good about the details and about leading in policy.

TAPPER: Van?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The Republican Party was a good anti-Obama party. But Obama is gone. And so now you actually -- this party passed a gazillion bills to repeal health care.

I mean, I think, 4,800 --

TAPPER: OK. When they weren't going to count.

JONES: When they weren't going to count. When no one was going to sign these things. Suddenly someone may sign the thing and they can't figure out how to pass a bill because they weren't serious in the first place. You had an anti-Obama party. Not a populist party. Not a conservative party. Not a right wing party, an anti-Obama party. Now they can't govern.

TAPPER: Is the problem, Senator Santorum -- to try to play devil's advocate on behalf of our Republican congressional friends -- is the problem that President Trump's positions don't necessarily line up on many of these issues with Republican congressional orthodoxy, more populist on trade and issues like that?

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I think that's true overall. I don't think that's true on health care.

I think, on health care President Obama -- I mean, excuse me -- President Trump is very much in favor of doing something and really punted to the Congress. And the Congress wasn't ready. The Congress dropped the ball. I mean, they put together a plan that wasn't -- wasn't -- wasn't passable.

And I know there are folks working on alternative plans right now. I'm working with some of those folks. I hope we can get something that is -- that is workable. The president has to be more engaged and involved in these issues.

There's one failing I would give the president that maybe isn't talked about very much is he really needs to get his policy chops, you know, in line. He has to start understanding the details, particularly when it comes to health care and understand that unless he engages and is convincing members not I'm going to run somebody in a primary against you but here's a policy reasons why we need to do this, here's why this is best for America we're in trouble.

But on your major point you're right. He is a populist. He is not your typical Republican. And on a lot of issues going forward this is what always surprises me about the Democrats. There's so many issues out there Democrats should be embracing Donald Trump on.

TAPPER: Trade.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: ... one of them. You know there's --

JENNIFER GRANHOLM (D), FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: I think they will.

SANTORUM: And infrastructure. And right now it's just hard core no because they hate him.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Governor, let me ask you. I mean, President Trump -- I think what Senator Santorum is saying and hopefully he's listening because it's coming from Senator Santorum, we know he watches CNN -- is that he doesn't know what's in his bills that he's supporting, and it's very clear, nobody is fooled when he says you're going to have the best health care, you're going to have lower cost, you're going to have lower premiums, everybody is going to be covered. I mean lot of these -- a lot of these -- the points that he's making are completely in conflict.

[09:35:09]

GRANHOLM: Right. At odds with the bills that are actually being considered continued to get worse.

TAPPER: Sure.

GRANHOLM.: I would say if you look at, for example, this period of time in all of his predecessor's points, time in office, you know, Reagan and Obama and Bush, they all had significant bills through that involved complex issues like the budget. They were all through one chamber. They were -- or tax plans that were all through chamber and in committees that were signed within weeks of that. Each of them were working it. They worked it inside of Congress. He has not done that.

He doesn't know the substance as Rick is suggesting. He could really have come out strong and done something on renegotiating NAFTA. There's lots that can be done that Democrats would agree on. He could have -- he could have point trade prosecutors. He could do things that really spoke to his base but he's not -- he didn't do any of that and that was foolish.

JONES: One of the great benefits for Democrats is he started with the stuff that was easy to unite us against.

GRANHOLM: Yes.

JONES: If he -- if he had started with trade and infrastructure, you would be seeing a big problem on the left. He started doing all this stuff we hated, helped us build the resistance up. I give the resistance, you know, an A-plus in terms of being able to take advantage and be able to put up real opposition. But the other thing is I give Trump an F-minus for letting down his own base. There's -- there's real pain in the Trump voter base that he hasn't dealt with.

The opioid crisis is worse than ever. His health care plan would have let insurance companies off the hook for helping with addiction. You have coal miners right now who are about to lose -- 20,000 of them are going lose their health care. He hasn't done anything about it.

SANTORUM: He's talked about it. There's a bill working its way through Congress right now. That's going to get done.

JONES: But here's -- I'm going to tell you this, though. He is getting the benefit of the doubt from the Trump days, first 100 days they're going to (INAUDIBLE). But if he continues to just offend liberals and then not deliver for his own base at some point this begins to pile up. He has not done anything --

NAVARRO: You know, let me tell you. I spent a year saying that. At some point this is going to start mattering. At some point the lives going to start mattering. At some points the "Access Hollywood" tapes are going to start mattering. At some point the insults are going to start mattering.

We went through an entire campaign and it never mattered. And I think it's incredibly impressive to see how much of his base is sticking with him...

SANTORUM: Ninety-six percent.

TAPPER: Yes.

NAVARRO: ... despite of what you say. I think the people who voted for Trump have a pride of authorship (ph) and it is going to take a lot. I mean, like felony lot to get him -- you know, to get them and maybe not even that to not be (INAUDIBLE) impressive.

JONES: Listen, he's doing a great job keeping his base. But here's -- I have to say I spent a lot of time down in Trump territory. There is a desperation...

TAPPER: Yes.

JONES: ... that I think Democrats and Republicans should pay more attention to for real relief for people who are really hurting.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: The opioid crisis -- opioid crisis is still not being handled.

TAPPER: (INAUDIBLE). Everyone stay right there. We're going to come right back.

Donald Trump getting personal about his first 100 days as president of the United States. His biggest regret so far? What is it? That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:42:28]

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TRUMP: I loved my previous life. I loved my previous life. I have so many things -- no -- I actually, this is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

TAPPER: Being president of the most powerful country in the world, in history is actually hard work. (INAUDIBLE). So where does President Trump go from here?

The panel is back with me. Senator Santorum, you ran for president twice. You were senator for many years. What do you make his -- the idea that he thought that --

SANTORUM: This -- it actually reminds me. I met with Trump in the summer of 2014 and we talked about my book, actually.

TAPPER: "Blue Collar Conservatives."

SANTORUM: "Blue Collar Conservatives."

And he talked about, you know, that this was something that he agreed with and that he wanted to -- and that -- he started (INAUDIBLE) about running for president. And he spend about 10 minutes telling me why his life now would be better -- was better than, you know, than being president.

TAPPER: I don't doubt it.

SANTORUM: And that, you know, he would have to really give up something. And I think that's reflected here is he felt like he's given up a lot. And this job is tough.

Why would he think it's easier -- why would he think it would be easier to be president than to be host of "Celebrity Apprentice"?

SANTORUM: You know, I think --

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: You don't have to answer that.

SANTORUM: I'm not --

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: We know he hasn't given up golf. He spent 20 percent of the first 100 days golfing. He did 20 golf trips a lot, to my state of Florida, which is really costing us a lot of money.

TAPPER: Not 20 percent of his presidency. That's fuzzy math. But he golfed a lot. He golfed a lot.

NAVARRO: OK. He golfed 20 times in 100 days...

TAPPER: OK. Yes.

NAVARRO: ... in Trump properties by the way.

We know he hasn't given up tweeting. We know he hasn't given up promoting his brand, neither has his family. We know he hasn't given up lying, exaggerating and telling mistruths. And we know he's riding around in a really nice plane. He hasn't even given up his private jet. So what exactly has he given up?

TAPPER: This is a really insightful quote from an interview the president did with the Associated Press that hasn't gotten much attention. I want to read it to you.

"Here" -- in Washington -- "everything, pretty much everything you do in government involves heart, whereas in business most things don't involve heart. In fact, in business you're actually better off without it."

This is fascinating that government is about heart, business --

GRANHOLM: Where is his heart? Where is his heart when he is promoting a health care bill that will cut off pre-existing conditions for people? Where is his heart in that speech last night which was all about division instead of unity?

I want a president who has heart too. I don't want a president who evokes hate. I want a president who takes us higher and not into the gutter.

[09:45:03]

I want a president who causes us to feel proud all of us and not just a small slice. It's just very disturbing that that heart quote has not been brought into the presidency. But he's feeling wistful about being president there's a lot of us who are also feeling wistful about him being president.

SANTORUM: Well, first off, I don't think his speech was that divisive last night. I think that --

GRANHOLM: You wouldn't have given that speech, Rick.

SANTORUM: I would not have given that speech and -- but a lot of the things that he said in that speech were things Democrats --

GRANHOLM: Some of them.

SANTORUM: A lot of the things that he said in that speech to -- were things that Democrats -- it was a populace speech. It reaches -- he's a whole new politician. He's not a conservative --

GRANHOLM: That snake -- come on. Now, that snake poem where he equates refugees with snakes, where he equates people who are fleeing their country with snakes, I mean, that's just --

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: He equated radical Islamic terrorists that he was talking about --

GRANHOLM: No, no, no, no. He was talking about Syrian refugees, women and children who are fleeing --

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: He was talking about...

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: ... terrorists -- is what he was talking about.

NAVARRO: So that he has had -- in 100 days he had about two minutes of unity in -- 100 days. And I will tell you when he introduced the widow of the deceased Navy SEAL at the joint Congress.

TAPPER: It was a powerful moment, no question.

NAVARRO: He has got to do more of that. I thought -- I thought yesterday was so symbolic of the last 100 days and it tells me of the next 100 days.

You had Trump and -- President Trump in Pennsylvania, speaking to his base. Feeding red meat to the base and being divisive. You had the press -- celebrating the press standing up for journalism and you had the resistance marching in sweltering heat in Washington for climate change and against Trump.

Folks, that's what the last 100 days has been. That's what the next 1,360 days are going to be.

TAPPER: Or if not longer.

NAVARRO: Oh, God don't.

TAPPER: There's a bit of controversy -- who can beat him? Tell me who's going to beat him.

A bit of controversy broke out this week on the Democratic side. We learned that President Obama has agreed to accept $400,000 -- that's one year's worth of presidential salary -- to speak in September at a Wall Street conference. Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was troubled by it and Bernie Sanders also did. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I think it just does not look good. It's not a good idea. And, you know, I'm sorry that President Obama made that choice. He's a private citizen. I just think it is distasteful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Is it distasteful to you?

JONES: It's not distasteful. You think that he started off talking to those kids in Chicago and we need a Bobby Kennedy in this country and I hope that he will do a tour, go to Apalachicola, go to Native American reservations where they are shoving these pipelines down their throats and they don't have a clean running water. Go to south central. Go to the Arizona border where you have a lot of poverty.

If he would do a poverty tour first -- listen, he should not be the first president that has to be broke. Listen, every other president went out there and gave big speeches. Don't hold him to a double standard -- don't double standard him. But I'd tell you what, from a moral point of view it would be great for him to do a --

TAPPER: There's a $60 million book deal. I mean, he's not broke.

JONES: Exactly.

TAPPER: But -- no but I mean, like --

JONES: Listen -- listen --

TAPPER: You don't think he was elected to a degree to fight the forces on Wall Street?

JONES: Sure. And he's done with that.

Clearly if I were -- if I were -- if I had the opportunity he has I would do a big poverty tour for six months. Everywhere I go it's poverty, addiction and high death rates from West Virginia to south central. If he would do that, then go ahead and do a big speech later.

GRANHOLM: I would like to see every Democrat do a tour like that where they really are looking into the eyes of people who are terribly hurting.

But I would say I'd like to see more -- I mean, he's not in office any more. He's not running for office any more.

TAPPER: But this is one of the first things he's doing a $400,000 speech to Cantor Fitzgerald.

GRANHOLM: Well -- I mean, and so has -- I mean, George Bush when he left he gave a big speech. And, you know, he gets 200,000 for -- I'm much more interested in those who are coming up and I'm also much more outraged that, for example, we have a president who is profiting off of being in office. Doubling the amount of money people are paying for ownership in his club or membership to his club, $200,000 now. He doubled the price making sure that -- you know, he says he's in a blind trust. All the conflicts that we've heard about that to me is much more outrageous when you have a sitting president who is profiting --

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: That's a masterful pivot (INAUDIBLE).

TAPPER: Quickly --

JONES: I love this one.

TAPPER: I know.

JONES: What she said.

TAPPER: I know. That's a --

GRANHOLM: But it's true. Aren't you concerned about that?

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: He's not making policies.

SANTORUM: Two high-profile Democrats who are concerned about President Obama and thinking about what President Obama should be doing because they have no leaders in that party anymore.

TAPPER: I think that's true.

SANTORUM: That's the real problem. And they are relying upon him to get their message --

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: That is not true that there are no leaders. There are --

TAPPER: I think the problem is there's no leader right now.

(CROSSTALK)

We got to go. Thank you one and all -- except of Van Jones -- you're -- (INAUDIBLE).

So (INAUDIBLE) at D.C.'s fanciest dinner changed the course of American history? It is the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:52:54]

TAPPER: Last night's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner had a more sober feel than in past years. Low on celebrity wattage, bereft on administration players. The focus was on First Amendment and on encouraging young journalists.

Believe it or not, this tradition started almost 100 years ago and it's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TAPPER (voice-over): The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner began in 1921 and was as much fun as prohibition would allow. Three years later Calvin Coolidge became the first president to attend, 15 presidents have attended since then, though not of course, you know, the current one.

The entertainment at the dinner used to be musical, Frank Sinatra or Barbara Streisand. That changed in 1983 when a comedic roast (ph) became the tradition but Stephen Colbert was the one who lit the whole thing on fire in 2006 when he excoriated President Bush while standing right next to him.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Now I know there are some polls out there saying that this man has a 32 percent approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in reality. And reality has a well known liberal bias.

TAPPER: Now it is known among comedians as the toughest room in America, with comic greats like Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel having made strong showings. Seth Meyers of course not only did great, his performance will go down in history for having roasted audience member and notorious birther, Donald Trump.

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke.

TAPPER: After Meyers, the president going in as well.

OBAMA: No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald, and that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?

(LAUGHTER)

[09:55:04]

TAPPER: So even though Trump did not attend last night...

TRUMP: I'm treated very unfairly and very dishonestly by the press and I thought it was inappropriate to go.

TAPPER: ... in many ways he's the one who got the last laugh.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Thanks for watching. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.

"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" is next. See you next time.