tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN April 28, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
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michigan. the president is choosing to skip the annual white house correspondents' dinner in d.c. for the second straight year. the president will, instead, speak to a crowd of his supporters in a state that helped seal his 2016 victory and propel him to the the white house. president trump was the first republican to win michigan since 1988. his live event tonight is scheduled to begin at roughly the same time as the correspondents' dinner, long considered a draw for both members of the media and hollywood heavyweights. cnn has a team of reporters covering everiagele tonight. white house correspondent boris sanchez is inside the trump rally in washington township, michigan. diane gallagher is outside the president's event. and white house reporter caitlin collins is on the red carpet. let's begin there. caitlin, set the scene for us. have you spotted any hollywood stars making their red carpet arrival? >> reporter: well, ana, it depends who you consider a star.
certainly one of the most notorious members of the trump administration has arrived here tonight, the former press secretary sean spicer. he had a very tumultuous time in the white house that came to an abrupt end last summer when they hired anthony scaramucci for a few days. he has just arrived here on the red carpet. ana, this is the second year in a row president trump has chosen not to attend this dinner. last year, he became the first president to not attend a white house correspondents' dinner since president reagan, who at the time was recovering from a gun shot wound. of course, last year, no white house aides attended the dinner either in solidarity with the president. this year we are expecting several white house staffers to be here, including the current press secretary sarah sanders. so several certainly going on. sean spicer here just behind me now, ana. so certainly a very different red carpet that you've seen in the past. of course, with former presidents, this is a type of event that celebrities flock to. but now since president trump has been in office, we've certainly seen a very different type of audience here tonight, but the president, of course,
will not be joining us during this post to press freedom here tonight, ana. >> you're right, that was sean spicer, not melissa mccarthy, despite the jokes that we know are going to be coming here in that event. caitlyn collins, you look beautiful, by the way. i want to turn to boris sanchez. boris, sell us what you are expecting to hear from the president in his counterprogramming tonight in michigan. >> reporter: hey there, ana. well, if the president's speech is anything like the statement put out by the white house announcing this event on the same night of the white house correspondents' dinner, you can expect he's going to have some less than flattering things to say about the press. one of his favorite targets, of course. the president likely also to mention montana senator john tester, who he tweeted about this morning, saying that tester should resign. of course, tester is the ranking democrat on the veterans affairs committee, and he had some role in the sinking of ronny jackson's nomination as the secretary of the v.a. so we may hear from the president on that tonight.
other topics potentially up for discussion, foreign policy. he may mention emmanuel macron, his meetings with angela merkel this week, as well as the discussions about denuclearization in north and south korea. the president is known to go in all sorts of directions at these rallies. he's among his supporters. there are several hundred of them packed in here now. this is an area that is fervently pro-trump. so as far as tonight, he may even mention kanye. with the president in this kind of situation, you can expect the unexpected, ana. >> we see the people piling in there behind you, boris. meantime, outside the trump rally, diane gallagher joins us. any sign of counterprotesters who are about to demonstrate there? >> reporter: you know, ana, you saw those people filing inside behind boris. i just want you to take a look first at how many people -- they're still waiting to get in. we have about an hour before it begins. i'm going to get talking to kind of pull around here so you can also see, we're talking about
thousands still waiting to get into here. now, we did see a few protesters out there. they made the trip up. it's pretty cold out here, to be quite honest. it's about an hour outside of detroit, and so the trip is not something you would make just normally. they've come here, it sounds like most of them want to do the same thing. they'd like to toast their dislike, distrust, to be honest, some of them said straight-up hatred for the media. the president looking for fans. he has them in washington township. this trump unity bridge people have been posing with as they've been waiting. ana, there is no guarantee that every person here is going to get into the rally, but they said they're willing to risk it. they wanted to come out here anyway to show their support for the president. there is a lot of support for him here in washington township, at least right now. those counterprotesters said they wanted to make their voices
heard but very much outnumbered here in michigan tonight. >> i look at that float behind you, trump 2020, to think we're already talking about the next presidential election when we haven't hit the midterms yet. thank you so much. diane gag g die -- >> joining us now from the red carpet, brian stelter, cnn's senior media correspondent and host of "reliable sources." and julian zelizer, princeton university history professor and cnn political analyst. so, julian, let me start with you. presidents and the press, as we know, have always had sort of a love hate relationship, but this dinner is supposed to be more of a lighthearted attempt to bridge that divide. it doesn't come as a surprise when president trump said he wouldn't be attending for a second year, but is it a big deal that he is not there? >> it is a big deal. look, other presidents have missed this, nixon, carter, reagan, after the assassination, but this is different. president trump has built the wall. it's between the press and himself. and so his not showing up means more than i think it did with
other presidents. he's trying to insulate himself from anyone other than sympathetic media. >> you mentioned reagan, the last time a president didn't attend the dinner, it was reagan, but it was because of the assassination attempt in 1981. even that year, reagan still called in. he still joined by telephone. this is obviously on a much more pointed snub by president trump two years in a row. >> but, brian, this year, someone will be representing the administration at the head table. white house press secretary sarah sanders. what do you make of her attending the dinner this year? is this supposed to be a warming of relations? >> i think it shows how hollow the president's attacks really are. how empty they really are. actually, dozens of officials will be at the dinner tonight from various branches of government. i noticed last night at one of these house parties in washington, jared kushner and ivanka trump were the stars of the show. kellyanne conway and sarah sanders and former press secretary sean spicer have been at lots of parties this weekend. you know, this is a weekend full of festivities.
you see a lot of these white house aides, current and former, wanting to be a part of it. even though spicer doesn't want to talk to the press here, he wants to promote his upcoming book with the entertainment talk shows. there are a lot of different agendas at play. the president will continue to attack the rally and do it at his rally, pour more salt in that wound, the fact that sanders and other white house aides will be here, shows how hollow his rhetoric really is. >> julian, what are your thoughts on the president doing this counterprogramming, his rally in michigan, where he will likely rail against the press? >> well, he needs the press and he's always used the press as an adversary. it's been central to his presidency. but what he doesn't like to do is allow the press to control what stories are being covered or where they want to move, so this is classic president trump. he will control the agenda by having his rally. he's made this event in part about president trump versus the press. so this is quintessential.
but i think brian's right, in that in the end this is a president who very heavily depends on media coverage to get his agenda out there to shape who he is. so the walls are only walls where he can control that access. >> and as we've been discussing, he loves the spotlight. so why do you think, brian, president trump was willing to participate in the grid iron dinner, something that was off-camera, but a similar event with journalists, but not the white house correspondents' dinner? >> well, maybe precisely because it is off-camera and because here at the white house correspondents' dinner, you have a comedian on stage who is going to roast, yes, the president, yes, the press, but especially the president. you know, almost every year, a comedian gets up there. usually it's a pretty gentle ribbing. sometimes it's a more aggressive roasting. the most famous example is stephen colbert speaking truth to power when president george w. bush was a few feet away. that happened more than a decade ago, but every year comedians bring some material that is going to make a president
uncomfortable. normally in the past, we've seen presidents kind of sit there, accept it, grin and bear it. not with president trump, though. i don't think he wants to be in a room with a comedian making fun of him, throwing tomatoes essential his way. he'd rather have a split screen where there are a bunch of journalists dressed and up he's with his voters in michigan. however, all that said, i think it's a good thing to have an evening to talk about the role of the first amendment and the role of the press. yes, a lot of this tonight is about president trump and why he's not coming, but ultimately the president wants to come next year, he can. every year this is a chance to think about the media's role in democracy, and i think a lot of our vurts are feeling that right now in the past 15 months. so much accountability journalism from the reporters who are dressed up here in tuxedos tonight. there has been so much great reporting from washington in the past year. and that's what tonight's about, celebrating. >> i mean -- >> julian, who will you be watching? >> yeah, the irony of president trump is by making the media an
adversary, he's created a level of introspection among reports about what they do and how they do it and what the role of the press is in the 21st century. a conversation we don't have very often. so tonight i'll be watching for those kinds of discussions outside of the comedy and listening about how reporters think of their role in the age of trump. and i think that's an important discussion to have, not just for this president, but for all who come after. >> thank you so much, julia zelizer, brian stelter. we know you'll be keeping us posted from the red carpet. stay tuned because we have a special program for you, our special coverage of the white house correspondents' dinner with john berman and poppy harlow begins tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. we ha. a few problems actually. we're overproducing, overcrowding, and overheating. we've got aging roadways, aging power grids, ...aging everything. you're kinda bumming me out clive owen. no, wait... it gets worse. we also have the age-old problem of bias in the workplace.
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cnn's special coverage, again, begins in less than an hour. we'll keep an eye on the happenings there. meantime, white an extraordinary, historic past few days for the people of both north and south korea. that monumental moment when the leaders of both countries shook hands at their border, walked over it together, and then promised to get rid of all nuclear weapons and formally finally end their long war. president trump sharing in the positivity, tweeted this morning, just had a very -- a long and very good talk with president moon of south korea. things are going very well. time and location of meeting with north korea is being set. our correspondent will ripley is in seoul, south korea, right now. will, i'm sure the people there of south korea are still trying to process the past 48 hours or so. they'd have good reason to be skeptical after so many decades of tension and distrust, but is there optimism there today? >> reporter: there is. i mean, people saw something
along the demilitarized zone, ana, they had never seen before, and that was kim jong-un essentially with a disarming almost charm. it's hard to square the smiling, joking kim jong-un that we saw with the man described by north korean defectors and human rights activists, who say that many people in north korea live in constant fear that any political dissent is brutally crushed. kim jong-un was there with the south korean president making self-deprecating jokes about things like north korea's bad roads. he talked about the pyongyang cold noodles. they brought a chef to prepare the noodles for all of the guests. it's almost like two different faces for someone the last six years we've only seen from afar and heard bellicose rhetoric and threats and seen missile launches and nuclear tests. but there is optimism. people on the ground here are hoping that this time will be different, that perhaps north north and south korea can officially declare the end of the korean war and sign a peace treaty, something they say they want to do. hoping they can bring about
total denuclearization of the korean peninsula. they know they can't do that without president trump and the united states playing a major role. that's why president moon jae-in spoke for an hour and 15 minutes on the phone with the president. we're expecting a briefing here at the blue house in seoul, a short distance from where i am right now, within the next couple of hours to give us more information about that phone call. what details did president moon tell president trump about the conversations happening inside peace house behind closed doors? if you listen to president trump talking about all of this, he's very optimistic that his summit with kim jong-un is going to yield results. >> things have changed very radically from a few months ago. you know the name-calling and a lot of other things. we get a kick every once in awhile out of the fact that i'll be watching people that failed so badly over the last 25 years explaining to me how to make a deal with north korea. i get a big, big kick out of that. but we are doing very well. i think that something very
dramatic could happen. >> reporter: there is a lot of debate here in south korea and really around the world about how much credit president trump deserves for this. he obviously gives himself credit. the south korean government, the australian government, japan, a lot of key allies are saying that president trump is responsible for bringing north korea to the table, but i would say that when i've been in pyongyang many times over the past several years, north korean officials repeatedly told me they wanted to build their nuclear arsenal up to a certain point so they could come to the negotiating table with the united states from a position of strength. arguably this could all be part of kim jong-un's long-term plan playing out exactly as he intended ab-na. the big question moving forward, is he going to get what he wants, which is relief and -- that's what the united states says kim jong-un needs to do. really, there is no indication, at least not now, that he's actually going to do that. >> all right. will ripley reporting in seoul, south korea. you have been on top of all things on the korean peninsula from the beginning.
thank you. no honeymoon for mike pompeo. his third day as secretary of state and he is already on a multination overseas tour. he arrived in saudi arabia a short time ago from brussels. he's talking to arab and israeli officials about the iran nuclear agreement, a deal president trump is threatening to leave. up next, on the attack. president trump calling for a member of congress to resign. we'll explain why. plus, some live pictures now outside trump's rally in michigan. protesters on one side, supporters of trump on the other. and you can see police in the middle. we'll take you there live. coming up. ♪ ♪ from only the thickest, juiciest heinz tomatoes. no one grows ketchup like heinz™. so we swapped your car out for the all-new chevy travyes..
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you're live inside the "cnn newsroom." i want to take you back live now to michigan, where the president is gearing up for a rally and right now outside that event, protesters are confronting trump supporters. our diane gallagher is also there. set the scene. what is happening right now there, diane? we hear people chanting behind you. >> reporter: that's right. and the deputies and the police have gotten involved. you can kind of she the sheriffs deputies on their atvs here, they're here on horseback. they split the two groups up that were very much in each other's faces with the flags. the protesters kind of behind my photographer here. you can see him. the trump supporters and those here to see the president on this side. i apologize for some of the gestures being made on camera at this point. part of the issue right now, ana, is that they appear to be at capacity inside the
president's event in there. so they started turning the -- it appears to be thousands of excess trump supporters here for that event away. they told them that they could go and watch on a jumbotron. not necessarily a jumbotron, it's a very small television set up outside. but that means that those trump supporters are now walking back past the small group of protesters that are here. they had a little bit of this conflict here. but, again, you see the horses out here, the sheriffs deputies that came through with atvs, beeping the horn, busting through the crowd and telling the trump supporters antagonizing the protesters to keep it moving to the jumbotron or go home. back up and stay away from each other. i've watched when they remove when one or the other goes on the other side. it is a small number of people on the protesters side. we have a large number of trump supporters coming back this way now. so the police are going to stick
around this area just to kind of make sure that things stay okay as well. >> people are passionate. tensions are running high. diane gallagher, we know you'll keep us updated. thank you very much. reporting live from washington township, michigan. a quick break. we'll be right back. my digestive system used to make me feel sluggish
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white house correspondents' dinner. a tranquil veevent right now. people are happy. on the right side is where the president has just arrived. his rally in michigan. police officers are in full force as we are now starting to see confrontations between the president's supporters who are turning out for his rally and counterprotesters. who have also shown up to rally against what the president is doing there in their state. you can hear the chanting, our diane gallagher is continuing to keep an eye on the emotions and tensions on the ground. so far she tells us things have remained peaceful, yet impassioned. now, the president has been very busy on twitter today, calling on democratic senator john tester to resign after apoetzing trump's pick to run veterans affairs. senator tester, however, says it's not going to happen. in a just released statement, he writes, it is my duty to make sure montana veterans get what they need and have earned and i'll never stop fighting for
them as their senator. the president tweeted, quote, allegations made by john tester against ron jackson are proving false. the secret service is unable to confirm, in fact, they deny any of the phony democratic charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful jackson family. tester should resign. the allegations the president is referring to were made by 23 of jackson's former and current colleagues. the secret service has since released a statement, saying it had no record of any incidents involving jackson, but jackson has now withdrawn his nomination to run the v.a. i want to talk this over with our janel. joining us, cnn political commentator ben ferguson and cnn political commentator maria cardona. so, ben, president trump could be ending this week, touting major foreign policy with north korea, with france, with angela merkel from germany. instead, he is fueling a fight with a u.s. senator over a nominee he failed to vet. why? >> well, i think it's because it's personal for him, and i
think it's unfortunate that you have someone like this, who all of a sudden information gets leaked out about them that ends up being not true. the secret service has said he did not wreck a car, which is what people were saying happened. in fact, three instances that apparently he had in a government vehicle, none of them his fault, where someone hit minimum in a car. not his fault. someone hit him from behind, not his fault. a road rage incident where someone came up and banged on his car. again, not his fault. the president says, i'm not going to let this man sit here and be slandered by i r. a u.s. senator who chooses to come after me, by default going after my nominee. this is the reason why good people don't want to work in politics. good men and women don't want to get involved in the process on either side of the aisle because it's turned to this, where people go out and try to destroy your life with false information. it's wrong. >> all right. guys, i'm going to hit pause. hold your thought, maria.
we will come back to this conversation. you talk about people who have left the administration and don't want to get involved in -- look who is there, the former white house chief of staff reince priebus. kaitlan, take it away. >> reporter: yes, of course, ana. we have the former chief of staff of the white house here, of course, reince priebus. did not attend the dinner last year along with president trump, as they held a rally with all of this supporters, but he is here tonight. welcome. how are you? >> happy to be here. doing great. going to hang out with sally tonight and have a good time. >> reporter: that's awesome. welcome to be here. we're happy to have you. so what do you think -- what message does it send for the president to not come a second year in a row? do you think he should have come this year? >> no, i think, look, president trump is being president trump. i hate to say it, but he's playing the media like a fiddle like he always does. he's doing his thing tonight. i think he's doing a great job by getting out and talking to the people. but having his staff here and mingling with the press is a good thing, too.
>> reporter: so last year no white house aides came. this year, the president is, of course, not attending the dinner, but several aides are, sarah sanders, hogan gidley, a lot of people from the communications team. why are staffers attending this year if they didn't attend last year? >> well, i think there might be a little bit of a thaw occurring in the west wing, maybe next year president trump's going to be here, but i think this way the president gets it both ways, he gets the coverage tonight. he'll be on tv, too. but his staff is here and they're doing their thing with the press. think it's a good thing sarah's here. she probably should be here. and i think tonight is going to be -- it's going to be a good night for everyone involved. the trump campaign and the people that are here. >> reporter: do you think relations with the media between this white house and the press are better this year than where we were a year ago at this dinner? >> i don't know about that. i think there is, you know, there is -- i think there atoo much -- too much animosity, but from my standpoint, the press is pretty obsessed with trump and they go out of their way to
bring up any negative that they can, but i also think they do it because there is a lot of money to be made. i mean, trump sells. 24/7 trump makes money for everyone involved and i think that's why a lot of this stuff is happening. >> reporter: but do you think the president shoulders some of that? outcome, he does constantly go after the media, even today criticizing the media on twitter and whatnot. what effect does he have with that? >> well, i think the president probably feels he has a right to do it. i think the press feeds on it and they spin it and make their money, too. so i think everyone wins in the end. >> reporter: you think there is a chance he could attend the dinner next year? why? >> i think he killed it at the grid iron. so in the format of giving a funny speech, self-deprecating, he showed he could do it and did it quite well the at the grid iron. i don't see any reason he shouldn't do it here. maybe next year he will. >> reporter: he did go to the grid iron dinner, another washington dinner with a lot of
reporters, a lot of press there. delivered a speech. he was actually quite funny. a dinner not on camera, though, several staffers told me they think is the difference him choosing to go to that dinner and not the correspondents' dinner. do you think that's what it is? >> no, the man is a showman. he stared at a camera on nbc and killed it for, what, a dozen years? i think the opposite. if the camera is there, the president might do even better. >> reporter: thanks very much, guys. have a great night. ana, reince priebus, of course, the former chief of staff in the white house who left last summer when john kelly took over that role. someone who many said had tightened restraints on the west wing. really sought to calm a very chaotic west wing. lately, outcome, f course, we h reported that chaos seems to have returned. make next year we'll be talking to john kelly at this dinner. >> we'll see. reince priebus did say he believes there is a thaw happening in the west wing and maybe even president trump will
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on the red carpet at the white house correspondents' dinner. we have with us two people who work in this white house, of course. the press secretary, sarah sanders, and the counselor to the president, kellyanne conway. both joining us now, of course. welcome to the both of you. you look great. >> thank you. >> reporter: so the president is not here tonight, as he was not last year either. he is instead at a rally with his supporters. but last year, what's different is that no -- no one who worked in the white house attended the dinner last year, but, of course, we have a plethora of aides with us now. why are you standing this year
if you didn't attend last year? both of you worked in the administration last year. what's the difference this year? >> the biggest difference, the president encouraged his staff and all of us to attend. so we did. we felt it was important for us to come out and be here. >> well, as usual, we're doubling the coverage. we're here on behalf of the president and in celebration of the first amendment. and the president is in michigan touting the very strong economy and the prosperity and security that his administration has brought to bear. >> reporter: so you say he encouraged you to come this year. why did he think his staffers should come but he chose instead to go to michigan for a rally? >> kelly ann, made the point. we have double controversial. promoting the extremely successful first year and a half adds president. i think it's going to be a great night both here and in michigan. >> he also encourages us to have fun. he's a really great boss and he believes in having a fun and social workplace. he talks about that often.
and i guess i would ask the question, kaitlan, why wouldn't we come? >> reporter: what did you do last year during the dinner? >> i went to harrisburg with the president. we went to one of the nation's large wheelbarrow producers. the president signed two executive orders, one establishing his trade office at the white house. another one with some trade measures. given the grade strides he's made on fair but global trade. i'm also here to celebrate the successes we see in korea. allow north and south korea to come together and try to end decades-long war. and it's really terrific that the president can do that and go to michigan and we can come and have fun. i'm so proud of sarah sanders, i have to say. she knows i love her to begin with and respect her tremendously. she's representing the president of the united states at the head
table. >> thank you, kellyian. >> reporter: back to north korea, you just mentioned that. the. of course, on the phone with leaders of south korea and japan. when this meeting was first announced, there was a lot of skepticism whether or not it would actually happen. cautious optimism we see coming from the president on his twitter account in recent days. how likely is it that the president does actually sit down face-to-face with the north korean dictator here in a few weeks? >> look, i think it's very likely. tremendous progress has taken place over the last few months due to the leadership under this president. he's been able to work with other leaders around the world, whether it was president xi in china, president moon of south korea, and really bring people together to put maximum pressure on north korea that's brought them to the table. and i think all of his leadership and efforts you've seen culminate over the last week, and we certainly hope that this meeting takes place because it would be certainly a great thing for the united states, but an even better thing for the world and we're happy about the
progress, but not naive about this process either. and the president's going to be -- take things one day at a time, but we're moving forward. >> reporter: the president said the location choices for that sit-down has been narrowed down to two locations. can you give us a hint of what those two could be? >> absolutely not. i think that's a great way to wrap up and head on inside. >> option a and option b. >> reporter: one more question, reince priebus, the former chief of staff in the west wing, he said he things there is a chance the president could attend the dinner next year. do you think that that is true? >> as the president likes to see, we'll see what happens. there is always a chance. you never know. we'll see what happens. >> he did a great job at grid iron earlier this year, so he obviously appreciates this time of format. at the same time, i suspect and i predict confidently, kaitlan, next year he'll have more great economic and security news to tout. he'll probably be back out there among the folks who want the president to visit their community. maybe he'll send some of us.
like he says, you never know. keeps you guessing. >> reporter: thank you for joining us. enjoy the dinner. ana, you just saw we spoke with sarah sanders and kelly ann. we'll toss it back to you. >> we saw stormy daniels' lawyer, michael avenatti photo bombing a little bit there at the end of that interview. you never know who you're going to run into at the red carpet at the white house correspondents' dinner. kaitlan collins, thank you. our panel is back with me, ben ferguson, maria cardona. maria, back to you first. your reaction what you just heard. >> it's interesting. they, of course, did not commit to president trump coming next year. he might not be in office next year. like he says, who knows, we'll see what happens. >> come on. >> but think it's clear he is not somebody who respects the first amendment. he doesn't like journalists. he has called the media the enemy of the people. that is outside of the norm of not just american politics, but i think american civil society.
the media is an incredibly important fourth estate is what we call it here in the united states. it keeps politicians honest. it keeps our leaders honest, which is one of the reasons why i believe trump really does not like it when they call him out on the lies that he -- that he says. the tweets that he does every single day. when he acts un-presidential, which is pretty much every day. >> ben, we heard from some of those trump supporters, his surrogates there, sarah sanders, kellyanne conway, saying the president love this sort of thing. of course he could do well here. why isn't he there? >> look, think he has other things he thinks is more important. talking directly to the american people. part of it i think what you just saw from maria, nat nasty smugness, he might not even be in office next year. that's the stuff if i was the president of the united states of america, why would i want to go hang out with a bunch of people acting like that towards
me? >> because he's the president and he should have thick skin? >> because they're journalists. >> i think the job of the president is to talk to the american people, not sit around with a bunch of people that think they're better than the other americans who are at the white house correspondents' dinner dressed up and acting like, you know, that shows you the animosity that so many have in saying things and so many in the media in that room that have towards the president of the united states. if they wanted to be kind and polite, like he might not be president, which is again, so disrespectful. >> and possibly true. that is the problem here. you say that but you never said that about bill clinton when he was being impeached i'm sure. you've never said that about hillary clinton when she was having issues with the clinton foundati foundation. >> she was never president.
here's what it shows. what it shows is that this president has not acted like he is somebody who is fit toeest o land. i'm not only one who said this. a democratic -- >> one at a time. >> many republicans say this. this is why he enjoys the lowest approval rating in history after his first year. it is why so many americans are disgusted. it is why so many women are running for office in record numbers because they don't like what this president is doing to this country. >> that's fine. >> we'll see what happens in the midterms and then in 2020. >> you can say that. this is the exact reason why the president won without having to go to white house correspondent like dinners. because he doesn't put up with this and doesn't sit there and act like he's going to be friends with someone who's attacking someone on such a vicious level. that's why he said i'm going to
go have a rally. talk to the american people. i'm going to secelebrate the fa we have low unemployment. set brat the fact we did something with north and south korea and what we saw with our foreign policy and i'm not going to sit here and deal with this that does nothing good for the country at all. sfl hold on, maria. hold on just a second. hold on. maria and ben, hold on. ben, just to foe low up on what you're say, should the president be grateful for the democratic process and the fact that america has the free press? isn't that something to celebrate and couldn't he go to the dinner and still talk directly to the american people through that venue? >> yes, he can also talk to the american people through many other venues including having doing interviews and press conferences and taking questions like he did with angela merkel and like he did with france.
i mean, you can't say he doesn't do that when he just did that. >> i don't have even remember when. >> are you telling me that it's not a press conference when you have two world leaders come together and people stand up in the press and ask questions from all oaf the world. >> he picks who gets to ask questions. >> what president hasn't gotten to pick when they're doing a joint press conference? they call on people. that's normal for every president of my lifetime to say i'm going to go to so and so and now go to so and so and now someone in the foreign press. that's totally normal. that's not abnormal to say the president doesn't answer questions from the press when he just did it twice on the international stage with world leaders next to him and foreign press there to say how this president doesn't talk to the press is disingenuous. sxwl he. >> he's had the least amount of
least amounts of press conferences. i think it's because he does not respect the media and the way you were just talking about this room of incredible journalists in the white house correspondents dinner tonight is exactly how the president feels about the media. which is why he is so dangerous because he is calling them enemy of the people. dangerous to democracy. dangerous to democracy to denigrate journalists and to agree with people like putin who you know, ultimately -- >> now you're stretching it. >> to death and journalists have been faced with death threats because of the things that trump has said. so at the end of the day, yes, he is dangerous because his attitude towards the media is a danger to democracy. >> got to leave it there, guys. thank you both. i always appreciate a passionate conversation. stay tuned.
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tonight, the pomp, the politics, the punch lines. two events across half a nation everyone will be talk uing about, laughing about and probably fighting about. reporters, lawmakers, celebrities celebrities gather here in washington to secelebrate. at the same time, the president skipping the ooent. holding rally minutes from now in michigan. will he throw out the script and go after opponents? a five-hour cocktail of campaigning in comedy completely unplugged starts now.