'This Week' Transcript 4-30-17: Reince Priebus and Nancy Pelosi

PHOTO: Reince Priebus participates in a discussion during CPAC 2016 March 4, 2016 in National Harbor, Md. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference February 16, 2017 on Capitol Hill.PlayAlex Wong/Getty Images
WATCH White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on President Trump's first 100 days

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' on April 30, 2017 and it will be updated.

ANNOUNCER: Starting right now on THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE KARL...

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DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Is there anyplace like a Trump rally?

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump playing to his base.

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TRUMP: I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's (INAUDIBLE).

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As cheers and protests mark his 100th day in office. But after a failed health care bill, stalled travel ban and border wall delay, can he deliver on his cornerstone promises?

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MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In just 100 days, President Trump has turned America around. And he's just getting started.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tough questions ahead for White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

And will Democrats try to block Trump's agenda or seek compromise?

We'll ask House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Plus...

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- battle at Berkeley.

Is free speech on campus being silenced?

Ann Coulter and Robert Reich both here live.

From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK.

Here now, chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl.

JONATHAN KARL, HOST: Good morning.

Washington is a town obsessed with milestones and all week, it's been all about President Trump's first 100 days.

But for all the hype around that, as it turned out, day 100 of Donald Trump's presidency looked and sounded a lot like day one.

There was the president delivering a hard-edged America first speech, his tone and his message as dark and foreboding as his inaugural address.

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TRUMP: If you try to illegally enter the United States, you will be caught, detained, deported or put in prison and it will happen.

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KARL: And just as they did on day one, protesters filled the streets of the Capitol, this time demanding action on climate change. The 100 day marker has been an obsession of those in power and those writing about those in power since Napoleon's reign ended in Waterloo precisely 100 days after he returned as emperor.

For American presidents, it's been a marker since FDR passed a blizzard of bills in his first 100 days in response to the Great Depression.

But let's face it, President Trump is right when he calls 100 days a ridiculous standard to judge a presidency. Of course, he elevated that ridiculous standard as a candidate by raising expectations for his first 100 days in a campaign speech at Gettysburg, no less.

The truth is, history will little note nor long remember any 100 day judgments made in the midst of all that is happening right now.

10 years before he was elected president, Abraham Lincoln eulogized another president, saying, quote, "The presidency, even to the most experienced politicians, is no bed of roses. No human being can fill that station and escape censure."

But the true judgment on a president's accomplishments does not come in the midst of political battle, it is not found in the polls.

The true assessment of a president comes in what Abraham Lincoln called "the calm light of history."

So in this show, today, we won't waste time with 100 day report cards. We will look to the next 100 days or maybe the next 1,360 days until the next presidential inauguration.

We begin with the biggest challenge facing President Trump at this moment, North Korea, continuing to test missiles despite repeated warnings.

Back stage in Harrisburg, ABC's Katherine Faulders caught up with the president.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATHERINE FAULDERS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Your message to North Korea after the missile launch?

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

FAULDERS: Does that mean military action?

TRUMP: You'll soon find out.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

KARL: And joining me now, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Reince, thank you for joining us here.

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHIEF OF STAFF, DONALD TRUMP: Happy to be here, Jonathan.

KARL: So what did the president mean by that, "soon we'll find out?"

How is the U.S. going to respond to North Korea?

PRIEBUS: Well, first of all, the administration and the president and our country always seeks peace. And so -- but the other piece of this is that the president is someone who's made it very clear that he's not going to telegraph his next moves. He's not going to put out the plan for North Korea in "The New York Times" or "The Washington Post."

He's working with General Mattis. He's working with Rex Tillerson. He's working with General McMaster and his team and making determinations of how to move forward in a pretty delicate, complicated matter.

KARL: The president had some interesting remarks about Kim Jong-un in his interview this week with Reuters.

Is there any scenario where you could see Donald Trump engaging in direct talks with Kim Jong-un?

PRIEBUS: I'm not sure about that, Jonathan. And I don't want to get ahead of him or the foreign policy team on that matter.

But certainly, we have a situation where lots of administrations before us and many others have just watched this transpire, watched North Korea build the capability it has today, watch them put missiles into mountainsides, and here we are today.

And we've got a president that means business. And he's used his, I think, negotiating skills very wisely, befriending and becoming very close to President Xi in China, working with China to put pressure on North Korea, working with our allies. Yesterday, he had a conversation with the president of the Philippines. Today, he'll talk to Singapore and Thailand. And, as you know, keeps in close contact with President (sic) Abe in Japan. This is a mission-driven president who spends a lot of time working with our allies and talking to his experts on how to handle the situation and do it wisely and do it the right way for the American people and actually for the people around the world.

KARL: I want to ask you about that call with the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. The White House put out an official readout of that call praising Duterte for, quote, fighting very hard to get rid his country of drugs. But this is a president of the Philippines that so many say has blood on his hands. Just take a look at what Human Rights Watsh said last month: "since the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte on June 30 and his call for a war on drugs, Philippine National Police officers and unidentified vigilantes have killed 7,000 people. Duterte's outspoken endorsement of the campaign implicates him and other senior officials in possible incitement of violence, instigation of murder and command responsibility for crimes against humanity."

This is somebody who, by the way, also said of President Pbama that he was the son of a whore. Why is President Trump honoring President Duterte now with a visit to the White House?

PRIEBUS: I'm not so sure it's a matter of honoring this president or any of the facts that you've laid out there, it's really a matter of a potential for nuclear and massive destruction in Asia and the potential, at least according to North Korea, of developing an ICBM that could, at some point down the line if we do nothing, potentially reach the United States. This is a different level of problem that we need cooperation among our partners in Southeast Asia. And I think what...

KARL: Does that mean human rights don't matter now?

PRIEBUS: absolutely not. It doesn't mean that human rights don't matter, but what it does mean is that the issues facing us developing out of North Korea are so serious that we need cooperation at some level with as many partners in the area as we can get to make sure we have our ducks in a row. So if something does happen in North Korea, that we have everyone in line backing up a plan of action that may need to be put together with our partners in the area.

KARL: Help me understand how the president sees this. When you're look agent the list of priorities when you're dealing with a foreign power, a foreign country like the Philippines, where does human rights, promotion of democracy, all those things that Reagan put center and George W. Bush put front and center in foreign policy, where does that stand in a list of priorities for President Trump?

PRIEBUS: Look, it stands very high at the top of the list, but when you...

KARL: Was it even mentioned?

PRIEBUS: When you have North Korea, and you have them flagrantly talking about developing nuclear war heads, which they have already done, and wanting to -- putting out videos of how they're going to launch these things to the United States and across the globe, that has to remain at the highest level.

But when it comes to human rights, look what President Trump and his team did in Syria. I mean, that was matter of human rights. And the president said enough was enough. And he wanted to make a statement to Assad and the rest of the world that there are some lines you don't cross.

So, the president's shown his willingness to stand up for human rights.

KARL: But let's to back to the official readout of this call with Duterte. It praises him for working very hard to rid his country of drugs. This is somebody with an abysmal human rights record who has been accused of basically mass extrajudicial killings. Did that not come up in the phone call and why is it not mentioned?

PRIEBUS: Well, I didn't sit through the entire call, Jonathan, but it is something that this president in The Philippines is claiming that he's working towards. Obviously, we want to encourage him to do better. But this call, the purpose of this call, is all about North Korea. The purpose of all of these calls, as you have seen on the schedule. I know you watch every little move that happens, and you should, that's your job. He's been speaking a lot to all of our partners in Southeast Asia.

The issue on the table is North Korea and there is nothing right now facing this country and facing the region that is a bigger threat than what's happening in North Korea.

Now if we don't have all of our folks together, whether they're good folks, bad folks, people that we wish would do better in their country, doesn’t matter. We have got to be on the same page.

KARL: OK, let’s turn to domestic issues. You unveiled at least the outline of the president's tax plan. And you have heard critics say this is a giveaway to the rich.

So I want to ask you -- and I know you disagree with that -- but are you open to a compromise that would actually raise the top rate, raise the rate on the very wealthiest in this country, to, say, 40 percent?

Is that something you would be willing to do as a part of a final compromise?

PRIEBUS: I’m not going to get ahead of where we're at on the negotiation side. And obviously we have got to work with our leadership on the Hill, in the House and the Senate. We got to talk to people across the country that are affected by whatever tax reform plan is ultimately signed into law.

But if you look where this tax plan is going, while the top rate is lowered to 35 percent, there's also a lot of deductions that have been taken off the table. So a person like Donald Trump or a person like our -- some of our folks that -- Steve Mnuchin and others, they are not going to see much of a reduction in their taxes because a lot of the deductions --

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: Well, the president could see a --

PRIEBUS: --- lot of the deductions that they enjoy are taken away. And so quite frankly, it's not a tax increase for people at the top. It’s actually a massive tax deduction and what the president cares most about is the middle class. This is a targeted tax deduction for the middle class.

It's also targeted at attracting business in this country and making sure that businesses can pass on savings to their employees so people can put more money in their pocket, they can enjoy the American dream, put their kids through college and retire like people used to do, back when places I grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where you could work 30 years at American Motors or Chrysler and you could have a great life.

That's the way things used to be. It’s not the way things are in a lot of places anymore and that’s what President Trump cares about, the middle class, the American dream. That's what's in his heart.

KARL: So I remember quite well, many times over the course of the campaign, Donald Trump, candidate Donald Trump, talking about how he was going to raise taxes on the hedge fund guys as he called them. He said the hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.

Now I want you to take a look at the way the tax plan was received when it was released this week.

Reuters headline, "Fist bumps at hedge funds over Trump's tax plan."

"The New York Times," "Tax plan silent on carried interest, boon for the very rich."

"Axios," "Trump plan would lower taxes on some hedge fund managers."

So I’m, it looks to me, at least initially here, that the hedge fund guys are still going to be getting away with murder?

PRIEBUS: That balloon is going to get popped pretty quick.

KARL: It is?

PRIEBUS: So just stay tuned on that. So, I mean, carried interest is on the table and --

KARL: This is the loophole that allows hedge fund managers to get a much lower --

PRIEBUS: The president wants to get rid of carried interest. So that balloon’s not going to stay inflated very long. I can assure you of that.

KARL: Now this brings me to the question that you’ve dealt with a lot over the last --

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: -- yes, I like. See, we got some news. But now I want to ask you about the president's own taxes. It was interesting; Secretary Mnuchin -- Treasury Secretary Mnuchin speaking of the president’s respond to my question in the Briefing Room about whether or not he would release his tax returns.

Said the president has no intention of releasing his taxes.

Was he speaking for the president there?

Because until then, I had been hearing you all say and the president saying that he would -- needed to wait until the audit to be done.

First of all, audit or no audit?

PRIEBUS: Well, his position is the same is that he’s under routine audit and when the audit is done, he'll look at releasing his taxes. But let's go back for a second.

First of all, this was an issue on the table for the American people. They didn't care. I mean I hate --

KARL: Well, polls suggest that they would like to --

(CROSSTALK)

PRIEBUS: -- same polls that said he was going to lose and he won. Hang on. You care. Other people apparently that are involved in the news and journalists and --

KARL: But I actually don’t want --

PRIEBUS: -- tax release -- but the one tax release that was released showed that our president paid $38 million --

KARL: Did the president release that?

PRIEBUS: Someone released it. He paid $38 million in his taxes. No, no, the president didn't release it. Someone obtained it illegally. But he paid $38 million in taxes. And that was supposed to be such a big night for MSNBC, they --

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: No, I remember well. I remember well. He paid a lot of taxes in 2005.

PRIEBUS: -- ended up spending (INAUDIBLE) $38 million in taxes. That was about a 25 percent rate. And everyone said, aw, shucks. You know what? He actually paid a ton in taxes.

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: I want to clarify something. I just want to clarify the president's position on this.

I asked Sean Spicer two weeks ago whether or not it was just now -- well, let's play it. Let me see what Sean --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Always talked about, well, under audit. The president says under audit.

Is it time to just say once and for all, the president is never going release his tax returns?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I have to get back to you on that.

KARL: You won't -- I mean is he -- I mean really?

SPICER: Really.

KARL: So he may?

SPICER: No, I said I'd have to get back to you on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: So I just want to clarify, just button this up and then we never have to ask you again.

Is he never going to release his taxes with or without audit, no audit?

Is it now the policy that he simply will not release his taxes?

PRIEBUS: What the president has said is that he's under a routine audit. When the audit is over, he will look at releasing his taxes.

But again, here's my other point -- nobody cares, Jonathan. You care. No one else cares.

KARL: Well, don't the American people have a right to know how this tax plan will affect the president personally?

PRIEBUS: This issue has been litigated...

KARL: Isn't that...

PRIEBUS: -- before the American people. And the American people issued a judgment in November.

KARL: I got it.

PRIEBUS: And President Trump won in the most historic presidential victories in the history of our country.

KARL: OK.

PRIEBUS: And the only people asking me this question are people like you.

KARL: OK. OK. Sols -- let's -- I mean I think the -- you'll hear some in Congress asking you, as well.

But let me move on. I want to ask you...

PRIEBUS: Like who, Nancy Pelosi?

KARL: -- before you go -- well, we'll...

PRIEBUS: Chuck Schumer?

KARL: They're -- the Democrats are saying they would like to see you...

PRIEBUS: Oh, sure.

KARL: -- make this a condition of a tax plan, any Democratic support...

PRIEBUS: And they're -- and the Democrat Party is in the worst shape it's been since 1925.

KARL: So I want to move on, before you go, we have a segment coming up with Ann Coulter and Robert Reich. Of course, there's a big controversy at Berkeley over freedom of speech.

I want to ask you about two things the president has said on related issues.

First of all, there was what he said about opening up the libel laws, Tweeting, "The failing "New York Times" has disgraced the media world, gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change the libel laws."

That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment.

Is he really going to pursue that?

Is that something he wants to pursue?

PRIEBUS: I think it's something that we've looked at and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story. But when you have articles out there that have no basis or fact and we're sitting here on 24-7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia and all these other matters that (INAUDIBLE)...

KARL: Do you think the president should be...

PRIEBUS: -- no basis at all...

KARL: -- to sue "The New York Times."..

PRIEBUS: I think that...

KARL: -- for stories he doesn't like?

PRIEBUS: Here's what I think. I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired...

KARL: I don't think anybody would disagree with that. It's about... PRIEBUS: But everyone...

KARL: -- whether or not the president should have a right to sue them.

PRIEBUS: And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at. But it's something that as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that's another issue. But I think this is a frustration of unnamed sources, of things that the FBI has told me personally...

KARL: Yes.

PRIEBUS: -- is complete BS, written in a newspaper article, in my office, one-on-one, this here is not true.

KARL: And...

PRIEBUS: And guess what?

But it's sitting there on the front page.

So how is it possible?

And what do we have?

Twenty-four seven cable about a story about intelligence that the actual intelligence agency says is not true.

KARL: And then just...

PRIEBUS: But yet we deal with it every day.

KARL: And then just very quickly, the other thing he talked about is flag burners should either possibly go to jail or have their citizenship (INAUDIBLE)...

PRIEBUS: Our flag needs to -- people need to stand up for our flag.

KARL: Is he going to pursue that?

PRIEBUS: You know, there's one thing that we have in common as Americans is our American flag. And I think it's something that, again, is probably going to get looked at.

But our flag should be protected and it's Donald Trump that talks about that issue.

And you know what?

It's a 70 percent issue in this country. He wins every day and twice on Sunday on our flag.

KARL: OK, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, thank you for spending part of your Sunday with us.

PRIEBUS: Thank you, Jonathan.

KARL: Thank you.

Up next, on college campuses around the country, there is a debate raging on freedom of speech. We'll talk to the woman at the center of the most recent flare-up at the University of California Berkeley, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter, as well as Berkeley professor, Robert Reich.

That's up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KARL: The University of California Berkeley 1964. The birth of the free speech movement. Left wing student activists asserting their right to free expression, leading to mass arrests and a full year of protests.

This year, Berkeley once again is at the center of a national controversy over free expression, this time over the right of conservatives to express their views. And it's the left now being accused of trying to suppress free speech.

This month, Berkeley canceled a speech by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter citing fears her appearance could lead to a violent backlash.

Joining me now, Ann Coulter and Berkeley professor and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

Professor Reich, let me start with you, you and Ann Coulter agree on basically nothing. But you said that Berkeley made a, quote, grave mistake by canceling her speech. Why do you believe that?

ROBERT REICH, FRM. LABOR SECRETARY: Jonathan, as you said, I don't ever remember agreeing with Ann Coulter on anything. Maybe there is something Ann and I have agreed on, but I do believe in the first amendment, and I will fight for her right to say what she wants to say. The first amendment is, and freedom of speech, is the cornerstone of our democracy. And, whether it's college campuses or somebody burning a flag or it's the -- newspapers having a right to say whatever they want, we cannot toy around with the first amendment. It is absolutely critical.

KARL: Ann?

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, thank you, professor, for allowing me and my constitutional rights.

But, I mean, I must say, I think this debate has – I mean, first of all, has divided leftists in the country from those who believe in the constitution and those who don't. I think we have seen this thuggish violence at university after university after university. Mario Savio (ph), the one who stood up in the '60s and yelled free speech at Berkeley. That was free speech for lefties. But like they say about democracy in the third world, one man, one vote, one time. As soon as lefties took over the the university, that's it free speech is shut down.

But any way, I think that hill, when we have Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Bill Maher, among others, all saying of course you should let Ann Coulter speak and not let violent thugs shut it done, OK, we're done with that hill.

Now, let's move on to the hill where it's considered – I mean, some of these people, not you, professor, keep saying, well, of course, it's hateful. But hateful speech is allowed to exist. No, I'm sorry, I'm engaging in a public policy debate. That is not a hateful speech. I think those are the lefties we need to discuss with next. These are important issues of public policy.

KARL: But, Ann -- the reaction of students at a place like Berkeley can't surprise you given some of the things you have said.

COULTER: Oh, please.

KARL: Well, let's take a look. You have said that getting rid of women's right to vote is a personal fantasy. You said of one group of 9/11 widows and I quote, I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.

And then there was the tweet that you put out just the day before the election, saying, "If only people with at least four grandparents born in America were voting, Trump would win in a 50-state landslide."

I mean, on that one, by the way, neither Donald Trump or Mike Pence would be able to vote.

COULTER: I -- OK. Let's just take that one. We can go through all the greatest hits of much of my commentary. I watch roughly 24 hours a day, the Hispanic vote, the Hispanic vote, the Hispanic vote, how the -- how the, you know, the browning of America and how are African Americans voting. How are women voting.

I describe one demographic and say how it would come out.

And that's hate speech?

Why isn't it hate speech to keep telling me how Hispanics are going to vote?

What you're talking about are rhetorical flourishes. And I don't know, maybe you guys think you are smarter than the Founding Fathers. But they did not put an asterisk on the First Amendment.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we all agree --

COULTER: The Founding Fathers just forgot about that, that -- and no rhetorical flourishes. No jokes.

REICH: Well, we finally found something, after all these years, where I agree with Ann Coulter, that is there is no hate speech exemption for the First Amendment.

KARL: So I want to ask you about the similar controversy that we saw at Middlebury over Charles Murray’s attempted speech which caused violent protests. He ultimately was unable to speak. And then a student at Middlebury explained the situation to "The New York Times" this way.

"For too long, a flawed notion of free speech has allowed individuals in positions of power to spread racist pseudoscience in academic institutions, dehumanizing and subjugating people of color and gender minorities."

So you’re there. You're a professor at Berkeley. You spent a lot of time with very smart Millennials.

Are you concerned that there is a growing view among young activists that freedom of speech simply does not apply to offensive speech, that there is that asterisk?

REICH: Jonathan, to the extent that there is that view at Berkeley or anyplace else, I am concerned because one of the purposes of a university education is to be provoked, to examine what the evidence is.

And if somebody says something that is offensive, well, that is not per se, you know, a violation of any kind of university norm; in fact, quite the opposite. I tell my students all the time, the best way to learn something is to talk to people who disagree with you because that forces -- that forces you to sharpen your views and test your views.

And you might even, might even come out in a different place. A university of all places is the -- is the locus where we want to have provocative views. We want to have views that some people find to be offensive.

KARL: Ann, can we find another place where the two of you might agree?

I want to ask you, and I talked to Reince Priebus about it here just a short while ago, about what the president has said about opening up the libel laws. And we heard Priebus that this is something they’re still looking into. In other words, giving the president the ability to sue "The New York Times" or other news organizations for coverage that he does not like.

Can we agree that that is not a good idea?

COULTER: I can answer that very quickly, no, I have always thought there should be a pure truth falsity standard and a limit on damages. But I do want to agree with the professor on universities ought to be places where I’m not the only conservative most students will hear in four years of college.

And what this shows, this whole incident shows, again, it shows this radical, insulated Left on the college campus. And the entire left wing, including President Obama and Bill Maher on the other side and what useless institutions our universities are. The prices have gone up 3,000 percent since the '70s.

Is the education better?

No. It's worse. The lefties are on the side of the thugs. They’ve taken over the universities. I don’t think anyone learns anything at college anymore. It's a four-year vacation. And I think that’s what people ought to be looking at because the taxpayers are supporting these universities, not just University of California but with federal grants every university in America.

REICH: If I can just get to your question, Jonathan, the libel laws should not be widened. I mean, we really do need a free press. One thing that concerns me about the present administration is the willingness of the administration to not only talk about widening the libel laws and also criminalize flag-burning but even the President of the United States last night, using an opportunity in Harrisburg to summon his supporters and to criticize the press once again.

This is dangerous. I mean, if we believe in the First Amendment, we believe in a free and independent press.

KARL: All right, Professor Robert Reich and Ann Coulter, a debate that you couldn't have seen at Berkeley, thank you for joining us on THIS WEEK.

COULTER: Thank you.

REICH: Thank you.

KARL: The First Amendment was celebrated last night at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

Coming up, the president of The White House Correspondents Association, Jeff Mason of Reuters, joins our roundtable.

But first, an exclusive interview with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

We'll ask her why two thirds of Americans feel the Democratic Party is out of touch.

That's coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: This event is about celebrating the First Amendment and free speech. Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy. From college campuses to the White House, only in America can a first generation Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president. And it's a sign to the rest of the world, it's this amazing tradition that shows the entire world that even the president is not beyond the reach of the First Amendment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: That was comedian Hasan Minhaj at last night's White House Correspondents Dinner. Legendary White House journalist -- Watergate journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, also spoke, encouraging reporters to, quote, "Follow the money and follow the lies."

More on that later with our roundtable.

But first, we'll be right back with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: The goodies (ph) are coming due for President Trump after an historically dismal first 100 days -- budget, F. Creating jobs, F. Draining the swamp, F. Health care, F minus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: And there's House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi giving her grade of President Trump's first 100 days in office.

She joins us now in the studio.

Leader Pelosi, thank you for being here on THIS WEEK.

PELOSI: My pleasure.

Thank you.

KARL: So we heard you give President Trump an F minus.

What's your grade for Democrats during the first 100 days of the Trump era?

PELOSI: Oh, my gosh, in terms of unity, 100 percent unified. That how we were able to work with an outside mobilization channeling the energy of the American people to defeat their drastic, horrible health care bill.

KARL: But if you look at our latest ABC News/"Washington Post" Poll two thirds of the American people say the Democratic Party is out of touch. That is more than say President Trump it out of touch, more than say Republicans are out of touch.

Isn't the Democratic Party a bit of a mess right now, too?

PELOSI: No, it isn't. The Democratic Party is unified. I would say -- my own critique of the Democrats, we have walked the walk, but we haven't talked the talk. All we do is fight for America's working families against special interests that the Republicans represent.

But that has not come across.

KARL: So you've said you think that Democrats can win back the House.

PELOSI: Yes.

KARL: Let's do the odds.

What is the percentage chance that you are reelected speaker of the House?

PELOSI: Well, it's not about me. It's about...

KARL: Well, the Democrats...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: -- the Democrats...

PELOSI: That -- it's about the Democrats. Better and better. History is on our aside, as you recall, when Clinton was president, the Republicans won. When Bush was president, the Democrats won. When Obama was president, the Republicans won.

It's nothing to be taken for granted. But we feel that, again, history on our side. I've never, in my years in politics, seen so much enthusiasm.

KARL: Let's imagine for a minute that you actually win. Democrats retake the house.

PELOSI: Mm-hmm.

How does a Democratic house, you as a Democratic speaker, work with this president? I mean, you have been the resistance. You look a lot like a party of no right now. You're blocking...

PELOSI: I don't think that at all. What is he proposing a bill that had 17 percent support in the public in his health care bill? He hasn't really proposed anything.

We're looking for the infrastructure bill, which we welcome and want to work with the presidnet on. We welcome some of his ideas as you said in the campaign about work and home balance in terms of child care, et cetera, affordable child care. We look forward to working with him.

We said we would work on tax reform, for fairness and transparency. But what does he put out but a wishlist for billionaires.

I see everything as an opportunity. And I've never have seen so much willingness to help win. And winning means winning for the American people, that either we win or whoever wins understands the priorities of the American people. And they are not the President Bush -- excuse me. So sorry, President Bush. I never thought I would pray for the day that you were president again. But...

KARL: Praying for the day that President Bush is president again?

PELOSI: And so you asked the question, how would I work with a republican president? The way we worked with President Bush. We got great deal accomplished. We opposed him on the war in Iraq vociferously. We opposed him on privatization of Social Security. But we worked with him on many other issues. Biggest energy bill in the history of our country, a tax bill that helped low-income working families that we wanted and we wanted to be big and we found our common ground. The list goes on and on.

KARL: Let me put one hypothetical out there. You clearly have opposed and will oppose funding for the wall. Democrats.

PELOSI: Yeah, yeah.

KARL: No question.

But is there a possibility for a grand bargain on immigration, where Democrats agree to support money for the president's wall, to support money for additional border security, more ICE agents and the president agrees to support a path to legal status? Is there a possibility for the two sides, even on an issue like immigration to come together? Money for the wall but also a path to citizenship?

PELOSI: No.

KARL: No?

PELOSI: No.

KARL: So, you wouldn't even...

PELOSI: No. I mean, we already had a bipartisan bill out of the United States Senate.

KARL: It failed. It's gone.

PELOSI: NO, it didn't fail, House Republicans failed to bring it up. It would have won had they brought it up, but it did not become law. So, there is a path. We don't have to pay for us to do the right thing as a country. And overwhelmingly, the American people support a path to citizenship, for the people who are in our country. We have to protect our borders, that is our responsibility as a nation north and south.

KARL: So why, then, agree to tougher border security, a wall, which was his central campaign promise?

PELOSI: He never said, did you ever hear him say I'm going to charge the American people tens of billions of dollars. Opportunity costs, the education of our children, of infrastructure throughout our country, investments in biomedical research, which is he is cutting now so we can have this immoral, ineffective, expensive, unwise wall. No.

KARL: President Obama came back out on the public stage again, but we also saw he accepted $400,000 for a speech at a Wall Street conference. Are you uneasy with the idea of President Obama taking $400,000 from Wall Street for a speech?

PELOSI: Here's the thing, President Obama led the way on Dodd-Frank, which did more to curb the influence and the greed beyond greed, almost some of it criminal, in terms of what they were doing on Wall Street. He has standing to go any place and say I've done -- I have done.

KARL: And accept any honorary.

PELOSI: I'm not big on – I don't know about these honorarium – I don't speak to who gets what for what. What is important is what we do that affects the lives of American people. President Obama is no longer president. President Trump is, and he has surrounded himself with a cabinet of Wall Streeters after he said, in the campaign I'm going to fire Wall Street. Fire Wall Street and then rehire them in my cabinet.

So, let's talk about what matters to the American people in terms of policy if you want to talk about Wall Street.

KARL: How often do you talk to the president?

PELOSI: I have no complaint that I don’t talk to him enough.

KARL: So you hear from him with regularity?

PELOSI: No, I wouldn't say -- well, I talk to him enough. I mean, I have spoken to him and I’ve spoken to his administration about issues. And we have a courteous, really cordial respectful conversation. But -- I always grant people their position. I respect what you believe in and what you have come to do.

I’m not actually sure what he believes in yet. But if it's reflected in his budget, we will fight that. But he knows that. And -- so I think we have -- I think we have a -- shall we say, an understanding.

KARL: Leader Nancy Pelosi, thank you very much for joining us on THIS WEEK.

PELOSI: My pleasure.

KARL: We'll be right back with the roundtable and a look at President Trump's next 100 days in office.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room.

(LAUGHTER)

The leader of our country is not here. And that's 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Comedian Hasan Minhaj at last night’s White House Correspondents' Dinner. Our powerhouse roundtable joins me now.

"The Daily Caller" White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins; Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, also the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and "538’s" senior political editor, Perry Bacon Jr.

So, let me start with you, Jeff. The president became the first president since 1981 not to go to the dinner and that was Ronald Reagan. He had just been shot. So he had an excuse.

But just interviewed; you had a big interview with the president.

Did you get the sense talking to him that he regrets this decision in any way?

JEFF MASON, REUTERS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I didn't get the sense that he regretted the decision. I certainly got the sense that he was still thinking about it and thinking about the issue. He talked about potentially coming the following year. He was following it closely, he was interested in it.

But he didn't say anything about regretting his decision not to come.

KARL: Because this was an extraordinary move, not simply that he decided not to come but the fact that there was essentially a boycott by the entire White House, none of the White House staff.

MASON: Yes, it was unprecedented that the rest of the White House staff was, I think, essentially not allowed to come. It was -- they were said that they did that in solidarity with the president. But I know that there are plenty of White House staff and others in the administration who would have liked to have attended that dinner.

KARL: So, Kaitlan, what was the message that he was trying to send in this, the White House was trying to send?

KAITLAN COLLINS, "THE DAILY CALLER": Well, it's a little artificial because he said he didn't want to come. They said there would be natural tension there and it was naive of them to think that they could come and enjoy that dinner and not be hypocritical.

But he lambasted the press and, last week, he was interviewing the president. So he's obviously cozy with him.

KARL: A lot of interviews last week.

COLLINS: In private, exactly, he’s like such a media-friendly president. And he sat down with him and had an interview with him but then he refused to go to the dinner that he hosted. So it seems a little artificial to me that he didn't go because he didn't want to seem too cozy with the press. He’s very cozy with the press.

MASON: I disagree with the use of the word "cozy." I do think that they have a sort of a dichotomy and an irony in how they deal with the press, particularly the president. And he is acceptable and I talked about that last night at the dinner, the Trump White House has been very accessible to the press.

And that is something that the Correspondents' Association wants and pushes for.

COLLINS: Right, but --

MASON: Then you have got this other rhetoric about how the press is --

KARL: Opposition party, enemy of the people.

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: Exactly. He regularly criticizes "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" and when his health care bill didn't have enough votes and they pulled it, those are the first two publications he called.

So how can you criticize them on Twitter, until your supporters think that they’re not trustworthy and they’re dishonest but then those are the reporters you trust the most to call and tell them what really happened.

KARL: And, look, Perry, I have been covering on and off Donald Trump for, like, a couple of decades, I mean, since I was a reporter for the "New York Post" in another era. He's always been a very accessible and media friendly -- I mean, he may criticize, lash out but essentially a media-friendly figure. That’s been a key to his success.

But you heard from Reince Priebus saying that they're serious about this idea or they're looking into this idea, still, of changing the libel laws.

BACON: That was a strange thing he said, to be honest with you. I was very surprised by that. You asked him about the libel laws and he basically said we're looking into it.

I wasn't convinced he actually is looking into it, but I took it more that they're not going to walk that back. Like Donald Trump tends not to apologize. It seems like they haven't thought of that idea, as well.

And I did think last night fit into the campaign in the sense that I'm going to drain the swamp so I'm not going to party with the swamp, you know.

KARL: Right.

BACON: I think that he senses, to some extent, I'm going to be out there with my people, not with the reporters in tuxedos.

So I thought that may -- it was his message of, you know, from the beginning he's been a president who's going to have a different relationship with Washington than previous ones have.

KARL: So what was the president's -- you had a chance -- I know you were out late at the Correspondent -- I mean thank you very much for being here and looking so rested.

BACON: A pleasure.

KARL: But what was the president's main message last night?

That's needed a little bit like a throwback speech to me.

COLLINS: Oh, definitely. It was like we were all in the campaign all over again.

But I would like to touch on Reince's statement about the libel laws.

KARL: Yes.

COLLINS: It's misinformed. They can't do that. There is no federal statute about libel laws. That's a state thing. So they can't change that.

KARL: You would need a constitutional amendment.

COLLINS: Right, which is...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

COLLINS: -- incredibly unlikely to happen. So...

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: -- that -- I don't even know why he said that. That's misinformed.

KARL: But this -- but last night he was -- this was the hard edge. This was the America first. This was vintage campaign Donald Trump.

COLLINS: Exactly.

BACON: I think that's right. I think that's right. And I think he wanted to go in that direction. I think it was the contrast he wanted. He listed -- and he also wanted to say I've done some of the things that I said I would do.

And if you look at his immigration policy, for example, I think he has. The number of border crossings have went way down in the last few months.

KARL: Right.

BACON: And that is something he talked about a lot, is I want people not to come here illegally anymore. He wanted to sort of list out what has he done and how has he met his promises, because the media has suggested he's failed in a lot of ways. And there have been, obviously, some major setbacks on health care, the travel ban. And I think he wanted the -- the message last night was here are the things that I'm doing, here are the check marks I'm hitting, ignore the media saying my 100 days were a ways -- were not very good.

KARL: I was struck by Nancy Pelosi being point blank saying not open to a compromise on immigration. Maybe that's not surprising given how deeply divided everybody is, but, you know, I mean the idea of the president getting money for his wall, which he'll get back later from Mexico, in exchange for a path to citizenship, even.

My sense -- and Caitlin, tell me what you think -- but my sense is that within this White House, there are obviously different views on immigration, but there is, I think, a sense that a compromise like that is something that the president would be open to, maybe not citizenship, but comprehensive immigration reform in exchange for...

COLLINS: He's definitely open to it.

KARL: -- security.

COLLINS: And, you know, he relented the other night and said he might not get funding for the border wall until September if he didn't get it in, you know, the CR that they passed.

But I do think he has softened his stance on immigration a lot.

As a president -- as a candidate, he promised to get rid of DACA and the H1-B Visa Program because he said they were illegal and that Barack Obama defied federal law when he signed those.

And he softened his stance on both of those. He said that Dreamers can rest easy on his immigration policies, that he's not going to come after them.

And I'm interested to see how the president's supporters will react to that, when they see that he is not cracking down on it like he said he would.

KARL: So how -- I mean you already see it. I mean DACA is in place.

COLLINS: Right.

KARL: This was something that he, you know, talked about doing away with on day one and it's still in place.

COLLINS: Exactly.

KARL: Is it -- is he getting blowback from the right on this?

COLLINS: I don't think he's getting enough. I've asked him about it repeatedly. And when he had the reception for conservative media last week, I was there. And a lot of people were asking him some really easy questions that you could tell he wanted to answer.

But I raised my hand and I said do you still think DACA is illegal?

Because I don't care about DACA...

KARL: What did he say?

COLLINS: -- but his supporters care about it. That's why a lot of people voted for him.

And he said his usual answer, which is that he has heart and he's not going to deport children who came to the country with their parents and he really didn't take the stance that he said, you know, at multiple rallies where he said he's going to get rid of it and they're not going to live here anymore.

KARL: And, Jeff, you've got to say that flexibility has been one of the defining characteristics of the Trump presidency so far.

MASON: Absolutely. His ability and openness to shifting positions on -- very firm positions that he had as a candidate has been remarkable. And I think it's interesting to see how his supporters react. He seems to be both unique both that, as a candidate and now as a president, to be able to change his opinion without necessarily getting blowback from the people who put him in office.

BACON: So far, the polling tells us no one has changed their mind about Donald Trump.

COLLINS: Oh, definitely. It was like we were all in the campaign all over again.

But I would like to touch on Reince's statement about the libel laws.

KARL: Yes.

COLLINS: It's misinformed. They can't do that. There is no federal statute about libel laws. That's a state thing. So they can't change that.

KARL: You would need a constitutional amendment.

COLLINS: Right, which is...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

COLLINS: -- incredibly unlikely to happen. So...

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: -- that -- I don't even know why he said that. That's misinformed.

KARL: But this -- but last night he was -- this was the hard edge. This was the America first. This was vintage campaign Donald Trump.

COLLINS: Exactly.

BACON: I think that's right. I think that's right. And I think he wanted to go in that direction. I think it was the contrast he wanted. He listed -- and he also wanted to say I've done some of the things that I said I would do.

And if you look at his immigration policy, for example, I think he has. The number of border crossings have went way down in the last few months.

KARL: Right.

BACON: And that is something he talked about a lot, is I want people not to come here illegally anymore. He wanted to sort of list out what has he done and how has he met his promises, because the media has suggested he's failed in a lot of ways. And there have been, obviously, some major setbacks on health care, the travel ban. And I think he wanted the -- the message last night was here are the things that I'm doing, here are the check marks I'm hitting, ignore the media saying my 100 days were a ways -- were not very good.

KARL: I was struck by Nancy Pelosi being point blank saying not open to a compromise on immigration. Maybe that's not surprising given how deeply divided everybody is, but, you know, I mean the idea of the president getting money for his wall, which he'll get back later from Mexico, in exchange for a path to citizenship, even.

My sense -- and Caitlin, tell me what you think -- but my sense is that within this White House, there are obviously different views on immigration, but there is, I think, a sense that a compromise like that is something that the president would be open to, maybe not citizenship, but comprehensive immigration reform in exchange for...

COLLINS: He's definitely open to it.

KARL: -- security.

COLLINS: And, you know, he relented the other night and said he might not get funding for the border wall until September if he didn't get it in, you know, the CR that they passed.

But I do think he has softened his stance on immigration a lot.

As a president -- as a candidate, he promised to get rid of DACA and the H1-B Visa Program because he said they were illegal and that Barack Obama defied federal law when he signed those.

And he softened his stance on both of those. He said that Dreamers can rest easy on his immigration policies, that he's not going to come after them.

And I'm interested to see how the president's supporters will react to that, when they see that he is not cracking down on it like he said he would.

KARL: So how -- I mean you already see it. I mean DACA is in place.

COLLINS: Right.

KARL: This was something that he, you know, talked about doing away with on day one and it's still in place.

COLLINS: Exactly.

KARL: Is it -- is he getting blowback from the right on this?

COLLINS: I don't think he's getting enough. I've asked him about it repeatedly. And when he had the reception for conservative media last week, I was there. And a lot of people were asking him some really easy questions that you could tell he wanted to answer.

But I raised my hand and I said do you still think DACA is illegal?

Because I don't care about DACA...

KARL: What did he say?

COLLINS: -- but his supporters care about it. That's why a lot of people voted for him.

And he said his usual answer, which is that he has heart and he's not going to deport children who came to the country with their parents and he really didn't take the stance that he said, you know, at multiple rallies where he said he's going to get rid of it and they're not going to live here anymore.

KARL: And, Jeff, you've got to say that flexibility has been one of the defining characteristics of the Trump presidency so far.

MASON: Absolutely. His ability and openness to shifting positions on -- very firm positions that he had as a candidate has been remarkable. And I think it's interesting to see how his supporters react. He seems to be both unique both that, as a candidate and now as a president, to be able to change his opinion without necessarily getting blowback from the people who put him in office.

BACON: So far, the polling tells us no one has changed their mind about Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.

BACON: His base is very much with him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bingo.

BACON: The people who hated him on January 21 still hate him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They still hate him.

BACON: So that nothing is now in the -- on the immigration (INAUDIBLE) I would say the way they've enforced policy on like where you can -- they're trying to deport people at courthouses, for example. The Latino community is very concerned that he's been -- some on the right say he's not been aggressive enough.

Some on the left say he's been too aggressive (INAUDIBLE).

So he's in a place in immigration where the policies are very complicated and he's moved on some issues, he's not on others. It's kind of hard to figure out where he stands and where he's going to go to in terms of immigration policy in the next 100 days.

KARL: OK, so before you guys go, I've got to ask you about the other big one. We had the tax plan released, or at least the -- you know, the outline of the tax plan.

COLLINS: Nineteen bullets.

KARL: Yes, 19 -- thank you. I didn't even count.

So I mean where does this go?

Do they have a chance of seeing something by the end of the year pass that incorporates most of those 19 bullet points?

COLLINS: I think that's his dream. He wants to emulate Ronald Reagan and have something significant passed in the first year of his first term.

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: And he’s like a tax cut bigger than Reagan’s.

COLLINS: Right, exactly. The most significant in history, but it’s funny how it’s the biggest one but it only took them 20 minutes to brief reporters on the outline of it. They didn't really answer a lot of questions; there were no specifics in this bill. So I definitely do not think we will see this by the end of the year.

MASON: I also think you have to see how will Republicans accept an increase in deficits?

And why would Democrats give support of or get behind something like this?

KARL: Let me play something very quickly, Nancy Pelosi; I asked her about the corporate tax rate and if she’d be open to a compromise. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: I think we could probably split the difference between the 35 percent and the 15 percent. We have always been for lowering the corporate rate.

KARL: So you would agree to a 22 percent or 23 percent corporate tax rate?

PELOSI: Somewhere there.

KARL: So you think there could be a deal on taxes.

PELOSI: Oh, absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: What do you think?

BACON: I’m less optimistic than Nancy Pelosi. I think the gap between the -- a lot of this proposal so far, detail suggests there’s going to be a large decrease in taxes on the wealthy. And I would be very surprised if Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and other Democrats feel like that’s -- this is not just a corporate tax but there's a lot of other elements here that I think would be more controversial on the Democratic side.

But they can probably pass it without any Democratic votes if they use reconciliation. So it could --

KARL: Although, although Reince Priebus made some news with us, saying that he's going to close --

BACON: -- interesting.

KARL: -- the hedge fund loophole.

All right. That’s all the time we have. We'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KARL: Before we go, I want to address a comment from the president this week that touched off an avalanche of criticism and mockery.

In an interview with Reuters, President Trump said of his job, "I thought it would be easier."

Commentators, journalists and the president's political foes pounced on those words.

How could he have thought it would be easier?

Now it's true that, as a candidate, Donald Trump said over and over again that it would be easy to fix America's problems. But before you mock those words of President Trump, consider the words of John F. Kennedy when Dwight D. Eisenhower visited him at camp David about 100 days into Kennedy's presidency.

It's a story recounted by historian Steven Ambrose (ph) and a story Nancy Pelosi brought up to me at the end of our interview.

Kennedy told Eisenhower, "No one knows how tough this job is until he's been in it for a few months."

"Mr. President," Eisenhower answered, "if you'll forgive me, I think I mentioned that to you three months ago."

Kennedy responded, "I certainly have learned a lot since then."

If President Trump has learned the same lesson, that may just be a 100-day accomplishment worth celebrating.

KARL: Although, although Reince Priebus made some news with us, saying that he's going to close --

BACON: -- interesting.

KARL: -- the hedge fund loophole.

All right. That’s all the time we have. We'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KARL: Before we go, I want to address a comment from the president this week that touched off an avalanche of criticism and mockery.

In an interview with Reuters, President Trump said of his job, "I thought it would be easier."

Commentators, journalists and the president's political foes pounced on those words.

How could he have thought it would be easier?

Now it's true that, as a candidate, Donald Trump said over and over again that it would be easy to fix America's problems. But before you mock those words of President Trump, consider the words of John F. Kennedy when Dwight D. Eisenhower visited him at camp David about 100 days into Kennedy's presidency.

It's a story recounted by historian Steven Ambrose (ph) and a story Nancy Pelosi brought up to me at the end of our interview.

Kennedy told Eisenhower, "No one knows how tough this job is until he's been in it for a few months."

"Mr. President," Eisenhower answered, "if you'll forgive me, I think I mentioned that to you three months ago."

Kennedy responded, "I certainly have learned a lot since then."

If President Trump has learned the same lesson, that may just be a 100-day accomplishment worth celebrating.

That's all for today. Thank you for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT." And until next week, that's THIS WEEK.

END