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Donald Trump’s split screen America on vivid display … Trump vows coverage for pre-existing conditions … Hasan Minhaj’s best lines

CNN Politics:  Nightcap
April 30, 2017   |   by Eric Bradner

Donald Trump’s split screen America on vivid display

CNN’s Chris Cillizza frames Trump’s 100th-day rally Saturday: The contrast couldn’t have been more stark. In Washington, journalists celebrated the First Amendment (and themselves) at a glitzy and ritzy dinner. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the President of the United States delivered up slabs of red meat to some of his most loyal supporters who had gathered to celebrate his first 100 days in office.

It was the split screen image that President Donald Trump wanted, a living, breathing testament to just how out of touch the “elites” in Washington really are and how he remains, despite all the barbs thrown at him by those elites, beloved among real Americans.

“As you may know there’s another big gathering taking place tonight in Washington, DC. Did you hear about it?” Trump asked the crowd in Harrisburg. “A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now. 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 (the) Washington swamp spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd, and much better people.”

Inside Trump’s tumultuous first 100 days: Don’t miss this deep dive from CNN’s Maeve Reston for CNN Politics’ new digital magazine, STATE, with contributions from many others. Other 100th-day must-reads come from Politico and The New York Times.

STRAIGHT UP

“Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.'”

 

— President Donald Trump to CBS’s John Dickerson on “Face the Nation,” prompting congressional observers to wonder whether Trump knows what’s in his own health care bill.

BUZZING

“Daily Show” comedian Hasan Minhaj celebrated the First Amendment at this year’s President Donald Trump-less White House correspondents’ dinner, telling the crowd, “Only in America can a first generation Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the President.”

Some of his best lines:

On Trump’s golfing: “Every time Trump goes golfing, the headline should read, ‘Trump golfing. Apocalypse delayed. Take the W.'”

On ‘alternative facts:’ “Even if you guys groan, I’ve already hired Kellyanne Conway. She’s gonna go on TV Monday and tell everyone I ‘killed.’ It really doesn’t matter.”

On headlining the dinner: “I would say it is an honor to do this, but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this, so of course it falls in the hands of an immigrant.” CNN’s Eugene Scott has more highlights.

BAR TALK

McCain: Watch what Trump does, not what he says

Sen. John McCain has a message for US allies confused by the mixed messages and miscommunications coming from the White House on foreign policy: “Sometimes it’s important to watch what the President does rather than what he says.”

McCain was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday what he tells world leaders when President Donald Trump and his administration aren’t on the same page — as happened when the President declared in early April that an aircraft carrier strike group was headed to South Korea only for it to be revealed days later that the naval group was not on its way there after all.

“I tell them that (Trump is) surrounding himself with an outstanding national security team,” McCain told anchor Jake Tapper, echoing his past praise for Secretary of Defense James Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster. “I can’t guarantee to world leaders that he will always listen to them, but he has so far.”

Another highlight from Tapper’s interview with McCain: McCain said Trump should consider a preemptive strike on North Korea if the country is able to deliver a nuclear weapon by ballistic missile, but only as a final option. “I think that we have to consider that option as the very last option,” McCain said.

LAST CALL

3 things you might have missed this weekend

Biden supporters have 2020 vision: Former Vice President Joe Biden‘s return to this early primary state of New Hampshire already has Democrats buzzing: Does he have one more race left in him? Biden is giving a speech at the famous McIntyre-Shaheen dinner Sunday night, in a state that the 74-year-old has come to know well through two unsuccessful presidential campaigns of his own and two more as a running mate. Biden has hardly shied away from the public spotlight since leaving office over three months ago, and he’s done little in the last 100 days to persuade supporters that he has completely shut the door to a 2020 presidential run. With President Donald Trump‘s approval rating at a historic low for a new President and the first months of his presidency mired in controversies, Democrats are determined to take back the White House in 2020, and Biden’s name somehow continues to make the rounds. CNN’s MJ Lee reports.
Trump’s Duterte talk raises eyebrows: From The New York Times’ Mark Landler: When President Trump called President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Saturday, the American leader’s national security aides saw it as part of a routine diplomatic outreach to Southeast Asian leaders. Mr. Trump, characteristically, had his own ideas. During their “very friendly conversation,” the administration said in a late-night statement, Mr. Trump invited Mr. Duterte, an authoritarian leader accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, to visit him at the White House. Now, administration officials are bracing for an avalanche of criticism from human rights groups. Two officials said they expected the State Department and the National Security Council, both of which were caught off guard by the invitation, to raise objections internally.”

Ros-Lehtinen retiring: Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican who was the first Cuban-American elected to Congress, is retiring after 38 years, handing Democrats a major opening to pick off a GOP-held seat that Hillary Clinton carried by 20 points last year. Here’s my story.

CLOSING TIME

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein said Saturday night that journalism and the First Amendment are more important than ever. … House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi sees her party’s odds of retaking the House growing “better and better.” … President Donald Trump‘s very short-lived national security adviser Michael Flynn had the worst week in Washington.
Thanks for reading the CNN Politics Nightcap. Your bartender is Eric Bradner. The tip jar: nightcap@cnn.com.
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Your bartender for CNN Politics’ Nightcap is Eric Bradner (@ericbradner) — Tips, thoughts and beer recommendations are always welcome at nightcap@cnn.com.
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