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President Reverses Himself On One Of His Biggest Issues Trade; Americans Not Impressed With How President Trump Is Handling His Job; Ivanka Has Been Called His Secret Weapon Of President Trump; Exclusive Interview With Country Star Toby Keith. Aired 11:00-12:00mn ET

Aired April 26, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:57] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Another setback for President Trump as he closes in on the 100th day mark.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

The President reverses himself on one of his biggest issues trade, tonight announcing he has agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time after speaking with the President of Mexico -- Presidents of Mexico and the prime minister I should say of Canada, but remember when he said this? It was just last week.



We have these provisions where you have to wait long periods of time. NAFTA has been very, very bad for our country. It's been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we're going to make some very big changes, or we are going to get rid of NAFTA for once and for all.


LEMON: Americans not impressed with how President Trump is handling his job. Our brand new CNN/ORC poll has him at the bottom of the heap of newly elected Presidents.

Plus, she's the most high-profile woman in the Trump White House, a top adviser to the President and unofficial ambassador but is Ivanka Trump good for women? We'll discuss.

Let's get right to the President's new poll numbers though tonight. CNN's John King is at the magic wall for us - John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, our new CNN/ORC poll shows Donald Trump is the least popular President in modern times at the 100-day mark. Let's take a look at the numbers.

Forty-four percent approve of the job he is doing as President, 54 percent disapprove. Of you look more closely in our numbers, this one is not so bad for the president. The country about evenly divided, 48 percent say good job, 52 percent say poor job and the question how is he doing, keeping his big campaign promises.

Here is where the President is in a bit of trouble, on these this big issues, economy, health care, and immigration, his standing now down from our poll just seven weeks ago. Half of Americans approve of how he owes handling the economy, that was 55 percent in March, a little surprising there given how strong the job reports have been and how good (INAUDIBLE).

Healthcare, the Obamacare repeal debacle taking a tow on the president, only 36 percent of Americans approve of how he is handling health care and only 41 percent approve of how he is handling immigration, an issue he has spent a lot on in these early days.

This is tough one for the president. Serious questions about whether he is up to the job of being President. Fifty-one percent of Americans say he is not working hard enough at the job, 56 percent say he has done a poor job assembling a White House team to help him to do the job, only 44 percent say he can manage effectively and only 37 percent of Americans think their President is honest and trustworthy. So bright signs for the President though, 54 percent of Americans say things are going generally well in the United States right now, 14 percent say badly.

This is even better news for the President, 59 percent say economic conditions in the country right now are good. 41 percent say par. Why is this important? Ten years, don, since the good number has been at 59 percent. Generally, people feel good about the President, lifts the President. Not so far for this President but if this number stays up here see if it has an impact on the President heading into the second hundred days.

Donald Trump as always divides Americans along political lines, gender lines, race lines. Republicans like the jobs he is doing, 85 percent approve. Democrats don't like it at all, 91 percent disapprove. Independents more split but 53 percent disapprove.

And let's look demographically. Men approve narrowly, women disapproves, six in ten women disapprove. White voters largely with the President but that's a pretty close divide. Non-white voters nearly seven in ten disapprove of his job performance. Remember Election Day, Don, younger voters didn't support the president, younger Americans don't like his presidency. Two-thirds say they disapprove. Older Americans were Donald Trump's most reliable voters on Election Day, they are most reliable supporters now, older Americans, 53 percent approve, 45 percent disapprove. So overall under water, Don, at the 100-day mark if you look through the different groups, looks a lot like Election Day.

LEMON: John King, thanks very much. It certainly does. Now, I want to bring in Mark McKinnon, the co-creator of Showtime's "the Circus."

Man, we have a lot to talk about. It is a great episode this Sunday, by the way. And also Jon Meacham, the author of "American Line, Andrew Jackson in the White House." We have a lot to talk about you as well, Mr. Meacham. I want to get your reaction first Jon Meacham. What do you think of these poll numbers?

[23:05:09] JON MEACHAM, AUTHOR, AMERICAN LINES: Well, I think that the President lives and dies by ratings and this is not a good first report card. You know, the 100 days construct is from FDR, 1933, was a time of great extension crisis for democratic capitalism, so it's been kind of an artificial test ever since. However, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had at least 15 and in Obama's case a 20-plus point advantage over where Trump is on approval rating, and in their mid-terms, in 1994, the Republicans won I think 54 seats in the House, six in the Senate and in 2010 I think it was 63 seats in the House and about six or eight in the Senate.

So in numbers after the hundred days tend not to go up, so this is, to me, it's a significant bellwether that if you are a Democrat thinking about making a challenge in 2018 after tonight, I would be making some fund-raising calls.

LEMON: Interesting. Mark, I want to ask you, because your episode of "the Circus" on Sunday night was about the resistance, right. Do the poll numbers that Jon just cited match with what you have been hearing out there?

MARK MCKINNON, CO-CREATOR, SHOWTIME'S THE CIRCUIT: They do. It shows there's a lot of energy on left, though the left like the Republican Party was for so many year was divide and purists on one side and have the old guard on the other. You know, we saw Dianne Feinstein town hall and remember, we all thought she was a liberal from San Francisco and now she is being boot by the progressive left which is kind of an interesting development.

I'm really struck by the poll because I have never seen a poll that had the -- where people -- had you such a majority of people who think the country is on right track and think the economy is doing well and that's so disconnected from the favorability of the President. Generally, those things are tied together. And I will tell you what that means to me. It means that it doesn't really matter much what Trump does. There is going to be a lot of those people that just don't like him and a lot of his supporters that are going to stick with him regardless.

LEMON: It's interesting. And I wonder how long that that's going to happen if he continues to flip-flop or at least not keep the promises to this date that he promised out on the campaign trail, Mark, because tonight the President spoke to both the Canadian and Mexican leaders and agreed not to terminate NAFTA which he spoke so much about on campaign and even last week out in the campaign trail and even last week. The President just reversed not only a campaign promise but a view he held as recently at last week?

MCKINNON: I think his supporters are going to give him a lot of latitude. They have already. They did during the campaign. I think they look at him much more stylistically. I mean, those are the cues that they take from him. I heard a wild theory from a supporter and colleague, somebody we both know, that was saying there's actually sort of an intention or strategic design to not getting a lot done because his supporters thought that Obama did too much so they don't want Trump to do too much.

MEACHAM: That is the -- boy, they are finding a silver lining.


MCKINNON: I like that one.

MEACHAM: They have x-ray vision glasses for that.

LEMON: Go ahead, Jon. What do you think about this NAFTA saying maybe they are going to renegotiate another point? But I mean, the rhetoric has been, you know, we are going to repeal and replace Obamacare on the first day and first 100 days we are going to do NAFTA at least very quickly and then now this.

MEACHAM: The one consistent thing really in Donald Trump's quasi- political career going back to appearances in the late 1980s on Donahue I think on "Today" show has been about bad trade deals. And NAFTA since its passage, negotiation under several Presidents, but its ratification in 1993, has been a populist staple anti-NAFTA sentiment. This is what Ross Perot ran on, remember. This is when got 19 percent back when 19 percent meant something and this is what Pat Buchanan ran on in 1992 and 1996.

I'm interested in what Mark said. My sense is all of us have a strike count in life, you know. Maybe it's three strikes. Maybe it's six if you're lucky. And I do wonder what Trump's strike count is with his supporters. If it's no wall, if its NAFTA stands, if it's no infrastructure, at what point do they begin to think, you know what, I'm glad Hillary Clinton is not President but I don't really want this guy.

LEMON: Yes. And, again, he said he may renegotiate it in the future, not that he's dropped it all together, but, again, the whole point was to do it.

MEACHAM: But Don, as you know, whenever Trump says I will have something in two weeks that is his tell that he is bluffing. You know, that is like the birth certificate. You know, I have got something coming on that soon. When he punts, that ball goes a long way.

[23:10:005 LEMON: OK. So I want to ask you about, again, the poll in particular has President Trump done a god job choosing top advisers, OK? Fifty-six percent of people say no. What do you think is behind that, Mark McKinnon, and then John?

MCKINNON: Well, again, I think that's more of a reflection of how people feel about him generally. I will say that people that I have talked to, a lot for this episode that we are doing this week where we are focusing not on what he has accomplished but more on what he has learned. And I think he is learning the importance of senior staff and cabinet members. And Democrats and Republicans, it's not a partisan judgment, but think that he has put together a very solid national security team. LEMON: Do you think that he all along, when he was on campaign trail,

saying this is, you know, going to be so easy. We are going to do it. Do you think he has really learned? Do you think he knew all along it was going to be hard or do you think he is actually learning?

MCKINNON: Well, from everybody I have talked to this week including, you know, people that are in the White House, they admit. They say, listen, this -- this was a lot different than we thought it would be, a lot tougher than he thought it was going to be. And you know, it's tough for anybody. It was tough for George W. Bush. It was tough for Bill Clinton. It's tough for people who have had government experience. If you've had none, it's kind of - it is an acid bath shock, you know. I mean, it is awakening for whoever is President, particularly coming from the business world.

LEMON: Jon, that's a big admission because when he was warned, even from his competition and when the media talked about it, it was fake news or it wasn't real, but it is real. He is -- this is on-the-job training and he is probably he has a learning curve probably, you know, higher, a bigger learning curve than any other President beforehand.

MEACHAM: Yes. This is, to me, this is maybe the most important or one of the two most important temperamental questions. Great Presidents, great leaders of any kind, great people, learn from their mistakes. They have the humility, not a Franciscan sense, but the humility to say I was wrong about this. How do I do it better?

In 1961, Jack Kennedy becomes President and he launches the bay of pigs operations. It is disaster. He says that if this were a parliamentary system, I would resign. He calls Dwight Eisenhower. He seeks council. Eisenhower says you have got to, you know, have people in the room. You got to debate this more fully. Cut to October 1962 when missiles are going into Cuba, Kennedy convenes the longest committee meeting in American history in order to apply that lesson that Eisenhower taught him. He was able to do that.

I just -- we haven't - we know that Trump is adaptable, but is he humble enough to truly hack knowledge a mistake and learn from it? I just don't know.

LEMON: Mark, I want you to watch. This is a clip from Sunday night's episode of "the Circus." John Heilemann is asking killer Mike, I saw killer Mike, by the way, in the barber shop, a rapper, an actor and activist from Atlanta of what he thinks Trump's first 100 days so far.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we learned is Democrats have finally got mad enough to go vote in the midterm election, right. Jon Ossoff might win here in Atlanta based on the fact that young Democrats are pissed on. The Democratic Party held on to the old guard longer what they shouldn't even when the people are telling them there is a new wave happening, there is a new type of Democrat.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Do you think that that's Democrats already know how they will vote in 2018?

MCKINNON: Yes. As he reflects, the activism is real. I think that runoff is going to be a real test because it's been traditionally a Republican district and Ossoff got close. But the thing that killer Mike said that I loved in that scene is he close it had by saying what's really important is what happens the day after Trump.


MCKINNON: And the Democrats have to get focused on that.

LEMON: That was a great interview.

LEMON: And by the way, can you tell Mark Halperin to stop dancing. He is not a great dancer for the Easter egg roll. I was watching and I'm like that was bad.

MCKINNON: That was a little "Wayne's world."

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. Always a pleasure.

MCKINNON: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: When we come back Ivanka Trump's role in the White House is under scrutiny. Why some are asking is she helping or hurting women?


[23:18:23] LEMON: Ivanka Trump, a top adviser to her father, the President, but how is she doing? Let's discuss now. Democratic strategist Jonathan Tasini is here, CNN political commentators Kayleigh McEnany and Paris Dennard and political contributor Maria Cardona.

Welcome everyone.

We are going to start with Kayleigh. We have this new CNN poll. It shows that 60 percent of women disapprove of the job President Trump is doing. His daughter Ivanka has been called his secret weapon. Yesterday she was booed and hissed during a Berlin summit when she defended spoke of her father's record. Is there a reason that, you know, to believe that she is good for women? That she is a moderating influence or is she become a polarizing figure?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: She is moderating influence and she is a great influence on the president. What I would love to see what her influence on the campaign trail brought about transpire in practice. We know that the reason Donald Trump was the first Republican candidate to my knowledge to ever propose paid family leave for mothers on maternity leave, he proposed that because of Ivanka, because she put the pressure on him to do that.

If that transpires in practice, that is a huge influence, not only on the GOP but on American society. So if she can bring that into practice she will be one of the most important people in the White House undoubtedly.

LEMON: Maria, do you agree with that?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's a huge, if. And what we have seen if anything from this President is that he says something one day and not even the next day, Don, but the next minute he will say something that is completely 180 degrees the opposite. So really we shouldn't take anything about what he said on the campaign trail regardless of who it came from as indication of anything that he will do while he's at the White House.

So to me that says that Ivanka Trump is kind of irrelevant, and I know that her heart is in the right place. I know that she believes the things that she says she believes in in terms of wanting to be a champion for women, but her supposed influence over her father has done nothing for women thus far, and you don't hear Trump proposing the paid family leave. You don't hear Trump proposing equal pay for equal work, so where is that influence? Until I see it she is completely irrelevant.

[23:20:34] LEMON: But I want to get Kayleigh to respond to this because I wonder if her words are ringing true because some people think they aren't and if you want to defend her, I think you will. Some people say that she hurts women by glossing over the issues like the Megyn Kelly issue, like the women who have accused him like the "Access Hollywood" tape and things that he said about professional women like Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina. Do you think that she glosses over those very serious words?

MCENANY: No. I think look, we have talked about those issues for the last five months. You know at a certain point we move forward. President Trump asked for forgiveness for the comments in the "Access Hollywood" tape. I have given it to him. Others should, I think. And after five months of talking about this, I think she just wants to move on to addressing things like the Syria chemical weapons attack. And I think it's time to move forward.

LEMON: Jonathan?

JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. I would just build on what my friend Maria said and remind people that it wasn't just comments that Donald Trump made. He basically in my view committed the crime of sexual assault if not argued for it when he talked about and I don't want to use the words here. But Donald Trump is a sexual predator. And he is treated women with disrespect. And I don't think whatever Ivanka Trump does I think it's so built in. You pointed out 60 percent. But it's not just about policy. People, women, see Donald Trump as a disgusting human being. That he does not treat women with respect and I think that is baked in.

LEMON: But Paris, women did -- a lot of women did vote for him?

PARIS DENNARD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's the absolutely truth, Don. A lot of women did vote for him. A lot of women support him and a lot of women who have historically worked for him in the highest offices within the Trump organization when he was a businessman would feel something different.

But I would also challenge, Maria. I do not believe that Ivanka Trump is irrelevant. And I am tired of liberals and I am tired of pundits coming on network television and demeaning the work of these women who happen to be Republican or happen to be working for the Trump administration and calling them irrelevant. She has a voice. She has a powerful voice and she has an influence and she is relevant and we should celebrate that.

LEMON: Paris, I understand that. Listen.

CARDONA: We haven't seen it.

LEMON: Why weren't you tired of the President demeaning women on television when he was a candidate? I never heard you say that once, never once.

TASINI: When he talked about sexual assault which is a crime --

LEMON: Let him answer.

DENNARD: If I was asked about some of the things that the candidate Trump said about women, I would have responded in kind. But to your point, Don, I didn't hear national organization for women, I didn't hear a lot of other organizations stand up against Cedric Richmond who was the head of the CBC when he made that comment about Kellyanne Conway saying that she looked very comfortable sitting on the couch in the oval office that way.

LEMON: A lot of people did come out.


LEMON: Paris, Paris, that's not true.

DENNARD: Speaker Pelosi did not.

LEMON: And a lot of people said that it was wrong.

DENNARD: National organization of women.

LEMON: Those people are not running for President. But to my question, you didn't really answer my question. You never said that you were never sick and tired of hearing the President demean women when he was running for president.

DENNARD: Well, you know, what, I didn't hear the President demean women when he was running for President.

CARDONA: Oh, my word.

TASINI: Paris, it wasn't just demean. I'm going -- when you say I grabbed a woman's pussy --

DENNARD: Well, let me tell you something.

TASINI: Excuse me. Let me finish, Paris.

DENNARD: That was not said while he was running for President. If you want to go -- if you want to go back and litigate what somebody said 20, 30, 15 years ago before they were a and can a date for President, that's one thing, but President Trump, candidate Trump did not demean women while he was running for President and if he had I would have come out against.

CARDONA: Paris, do you believe that.

TASINI: This is not credible, not credible.

LEMON: Paris does that speak to character?

CARDONA: You should not be part of the conversation, Paris, if you really believe that that is the case.

DENNARD: Well Maria, unfortunately, you don't have the power to have me not be a part of the conversation.

CARDONA: Unfortunately, this is why Donald Trump has the dismal numbers that he has, not just with women but with Americans in general.

DENNARD: That's not true. He has these numbers because the media constantly demeans him --.

CARDONA: Oh, come on.

DENNARD: If you think his -- if you think his poll numbers -- this false narrative --

CARDONA: You're beating up your own credibility.

DENNARD: No. You are beating up your own credibility for standing up for women. How you stand up for conservative women.

LEMON: OK. One at a time. I have got to take a break.

And when we come back, we are going to talk about something that happened over at Fox that's been very controversial. We will get both sides of it. Jessie Waters and a comment about a microphone and Ivanka Trump. We will be right back.


[23:28:57] LEMON: And we are back now. Outrage over a comment made about Ivanka Trump on FOX News. Back now with my panel.

So I want to play a clip from FOX News. It was last night. This is Jesse Watters, who is Bill O'Reilly's protege making a comment about the way Ivanka Trump was speaking into a microphone during a summit in Berlin. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JESSIE WATTERS, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I don't know why also saying that, you know, that my father respects families is controversial. I mean, he's probably hired a ton of fathers and mothers and children. So I don't really get what's going on here, but I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone.


LEMON: So Maria, that comment came under immediate fire for being course, sexist and inappropriate. What do you think?

CARDONA: Absolutely. I mean, there is no way you could read it any other way. And I'm sorry, if you're a host at FOX News, really, this is the road you want to go down. I mean, those sensitivity trainings that FOX are really working out for them. I just want to say it was pig-headed. It was misogynistic and it reminds everybody the kind of culture that is clearly has been alive and well at FOX News thus far. They need to do some cleanup.

[23:30:07] LEMON: in a statement today, Watters denied any implications that the comment was innuendo. He says during the break, we were commenting on Ivanka's voice and how it was low and steady and resonates like a jazz radio deejay. This is a no way a joke about anything else. Watters was, again, is going to fire for (INAUDIBLE). But do you believe that explanation, Jonathan?

TASINI: No. And I have got to say I had never heard of this guy. And what struck me when I saw that clip when your producer send it to me, well, first of all came over across as a complete dolt, as a know- nothing. But the comment as Maria correctly said for someone on FOX News to even go there, even unintentionally, not just be self-aware says something and still think about the culture, even if it wasn't, you know, explicitly.

MCENANY: You guys --

LEMON: Let me play the clip and then Kayleigh, we want your respond. After just three evenings on the air Jesse Watters, because you know, they switched the lineup after Bill O'Reilly left, at the end of the show he said he was going to take a vacation with his family. Listen to this and Kayleigh will respond.


WATTERS: I'm going to be taking a vacation with my family so I'm not going to be here tomorrow and Friday. I will be back on Monday. So don't miss me too much.



LEMON: All right. So the last anchor to take a vacation was Bill O'Reilly, did not return. So go on.

MCENANY: Look, I think in all due respect, my colleagues here are looking for salacious innuendo. I watched that comment. I saw nothing inappropriate. He was nothing trying to make a salacious remark. He was clearly speaking to the fact that Ivanka speaks well and did a great job on that panel. And look, if you are looking for sexual innuendo you can find it, but a lot of us watched that and just saw someone praising Ivanka. But, you know, if you're looking for that by all means go and find it.

LEMON: Paris, this is a time when FOX is reeling from claims of sexual harassment, out offing Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ails before that. Is it a bad time to make jokes like this? Did you read anything in that Watters thing?

DENNARD: You know, when I first heard about it, I thought it was negative, but then I actually for the first time actually heard it and watched it on the show just now, and I did not have the same reaction as I had when I -- when it was told to me about what happened.

I think Kayleigh is absolutely right. But I will say this is less about FOX News and more so about the culture of what I believe is this war against Republican women and how people can say things and just get away with it as it relates to Republican or conservative women across the board. So I applaud --

CARDONA: How is this about a war against Republican women? I'm actually defending Ivanka because I think --

DENNARD: And Maria.

CARDONA: This was a very rude comment against her.

DENNARD: Right. And I know it. And I was going to finish my comment before you cut me off and say I applaud Maria for actually standing up for Ivanka.

LEMON: That was a big pause, go Paris, I mean.

CARDONA: Thank you though, Paris.

LEMON: You have never been lost for word.

DENNARD: I was giving respect.

TASINI: Just quickly, I will say what we should remember is that women face -- let's make the broader point, and I think part of why we are sensitive to this is we have someone in the White House who doesn't understand how to be sensitive to women. In fact, has acted inappropriately towards women. That's the culture that's spreading through the country. We have to make the country that women face this in the workplace.

LEMON: OK. Again, he said that they talked about something and that there was in innuendo. That's what he said.

OK. I want to move on because I think this is important and I want to talk about this. Over the years, President Obama bashed Wall Street, now he reportedly accepted a $400,000 to give a speck for Wall Street bank Cantor Fitzgerald. Jonathan, you don't think he should do it, why?

TASINI: No. And I want to make a few points about this.

LEMON: Quickly, though. We don't have much time.

TASINI: OK. Jimmy Carter, most ethical person ex-President in my view, other Republicans and Democrats have put their hands out and tried tone rich themselves. I don't think it is right.

LEMON: What's not ethical about accepting money for a speech?

TASINI: Here's why I think. Nobody gets paid $400,000 or Maria, remember, I was critical of Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Nobody gets $225,000 from Goldman Sachs.

LEMON: Quick, quick, quick. I'm running out of time.

TASINI: For just being a nice person. They do it to get access. And I think the last point --

LEMON: He's not running for office anymore.

TASINI: No. But the -- but circle of people.

LEMON: He's not running for office anymore, Jonathan. If someone paid you $400,000 for a speech - let me ask you, would you do it?


LEMON: Kayleigh, if someone paid you for a speech?

MCENANY: Yes, yes and President Obama is a private citizen.

LEMON: Maria, if someone paid you $400,000 for a speech, would you do it?

CARDONA: Hell, yes.

LEMON: Paris, would you if you're not running for office in the future, he is already been president. He is not running for anything, would you do it?

TASINI: I would do it for $150,000. Cantor Fitzgerald, I'm available tomorrow.

MCENANY: I'll do it for $5,000.

TASINI: This is bad for public policy.

LEMON: I said it was OK for Hillary Clinton -- to make money on speeches or Bill Clinton, for Donald Trump to make money as the executive producer of "the Apprentice." Do not stop people from trying to make money. It is the American way.

[23:35:07] CARDONA: The last time I check -- the last time I checked, Jonathan. TASINI: When people see this example of someone taking this amount of

money, the message they get is I want to get into --

CARDONA: It's OK to make money.

LEMON: They want to be President of the United States so they can get $400,000.

TASINI: I want to get into public service to make lots of money. That is not right.

CARDONA: Jonathan, the last time I checked --

TASINI: I'm not against capitalism but the free market.


CARDONA: The last time I checked President Obama did not go into the seminary and take a vow of poverty. This is absolutely OK for him to do.

LEMON: I'm overtime guys. I'm overtime.

TASINI: They get plenty of money when they are ex-Presidents, $200,000 pension, health care that's Cadillac. They did very well.

DENNARD: I wonder what Elizabeth Warren has to say about it. That's what I want to know.

LEMON: OK guys, please let me talk. You can look at it this way. Maybe that kid will aspire to be President of the United States where they, too, can get $400,000.

TASINI: And that is not right.

CARDONA: Absolutely.

LEMON: And we will be right back.


[23:39:28] LEMON: The clock is ticking to the first 100 days of the Trump administration, so what do Trump voters in key swing states have to say about him now?

CNN's Miguel Marquez reports in our special series "Red, Purple and Blue, First 100 days."


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you think of his first 100-days?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's shaking things up, I like it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not failing, but he's like stuck in a hard spot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we're all screwed.

MARQUEZ: Three swing states, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania and three counties in them flipping by the biggest margin blue to red. What do their voters think now?

[23:40:05] TONY DEBEVIC, OWNER, DEBONNE VINEYARDS: I think he is sending the right messages in a way, but he doesn't know how to keep his mouth shot?

MARQUEZ: Tony Debevic, third generation farmer and know owner of a Debonne vineyard in Ohio ice win country, a registered Democrat who voted for Trump.

DEBEVIC: Is he the perfect guy? No, he's not.

MARQUEZ: But you voted for him?

DEBEVIC: The only guy there that showed a sign of change.

MARQUEZ: Nine Ohio counties flipped from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. None by more than here, Ashtabula County. Obama easily beat Romney here by nearly 13 points. Trump did even better, beating Clinton by nearly 19 points. That's a whopping 31.7-point swing.

DEBEVIC: I voted out of rebellion of what's happening in Washington.

MARQUEZ: A common refrain. Voter frustration at fighting between Democrats and Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not willing to bend on that.

Reporter: J.P. Ducrow is a new county commissioner here swept in on the Trump wave. First 100 days in office, how is he doing?

It's a question even some Republicans wrestle with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do I answer that question? That is a hard question.

MARQUEZ: Ducrow says it is his promise of jobs above all that Trump will be judged on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have had a tough time. We've lost a lot of manufacturing and industry over the years.

MARQUEZ: Then there's tourist destination and fisherman's paradise lake county Michigan, solidly Democratic or at least it was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I'm a true Trump believer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I usually go Democrat and I ended up voting for Trump.

MARQUEZ: Twelve Michigan counties flipped blue to red in 2016. Lake County by more than any other. In 2012 Obama beat Romney here by just over five points. In 2016 Trump trounced Clinton by nearly 23, a massive 28-point swing.

SHAUN MUNSON, VOTED FOR FIRST TIME EVER: We are going to cut this tree down.

MARQUEZ: 37-year-old Shaun Munson had never voted in his life, ever, until Trump's promise to bring back jobs and fix health care.

MUNSON: I took it as maybe he might try to do like Canada, pay a little extra in taxes and get free health care for everybody instead of whoever can afford it.

MARQUEZ: Bridgett Lamoreaux owns, cooks and serves up beers and burgers at government lake lodge. You live upstairs.


MARQUEZ: So you are here 24/7 is what you are saying.


MARQUEZ: Trump's promise to lower taxes and create jobs got her on board.

LAMOREAUX: He is very busy savvy, and that's what I thought we needed to get into office.

MARQUEZ: What are you feeling now, 100 days in?

LAMOREAUX: I like it. I mean, he is definitely eccentric. I'm not a fan of the twitter and all that kind of stuff but I don't care.

MARQUEZ: John Brunn is the local tree trimmer and the only Democrat to survive a contested race in Lake County.


MARQUEZ: Lucky 13.

BRUNN: Lucky 13.

MARQUEZ: He can't account for why the county went so hard for Republicans.

BRUNN: This is a democratic county and has been for decades.

MARQUEZ: What happened?

BRUNN: I'm not -- that's a tough question really.

MARQUEZ: Donna Featherstone, a retired long haul truck driver scoops ice cream. The independent voter has no health insurance. She says Trump scares her but --

DONNA FEATHERSTONE, MICHIGAN INDEPENDENT VOTER: If they can get things done, I'm ready to give them a chance.

MARQUEZ: Finally there's Lucerne County in Pennsylvania, one of only three in the keystone stayed to go blue to red. Obama won here by four points in 2012. Trump easily won the county by more than 19 point, a swing of 24.2 points.

Ann Marie Bossard has worked in the family business and for (INAUDIBLE) newsstand for 53 years. She flipped and liked Trump's aggressive foreign policy.

ANN MARIE BOSSARD, OWNER, NEWSSTAND He's not going to take no baloney off anybody. He's going to be and -- he's going to kick it.

MARQUEZ: Richard and Eileen Sorokas both volunteered and voted for Obama. You were a democratic county council member for Lucerne County and you voted for Donald Trump.

EILEEN SOROKAS, PENNSYLVANIA TRUMP VOTER: Yes, amend I'm on the executive committee for Democrats and I still went for Trump.

MARQUEZ: Both flipped but watching closely.

RICHARD SOROKAS, PENNSYLVANIA TRUMP VOTER: He tried to go with the health care act, was real a disaster.

MARQUEZ: (INAUDIBLE) bowling we caught up with commercial pipeline construction worker Andrew Coleman who has a wife and two kids. They have insurance, he doesn't.

ANDREW COLEMAN, PENNSYLVANIA TRUMP VOTER: Right now don't have insurance through my employer, and I can't afford it the way it's going now, so that's a big thing for me. That was half the reason I voted for in.

[23:45:10] MARQUEZ: Christine (INAUDIBLE), a Republican and mover two, gives the President so far an "A."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the President is doing well for someone who has not helicopter, what would you say government experience before.

MARQUEZ: Clinton voter and veteran Darryl Smith says Trump's lack of experience still worries him.

DARYL SMITH, PENNSYLVANIA CLINTON VOTER: And he's ticking off a lot of people. I'm afraid that it's going to end up backfiring on us is what I'm afraid of.

MARQUEZ: Swing voters still sizing up the new President but expecting results soon.

Miguel Marquez, CNN in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio.


LEMON: When we come back, country star Toby Keith, the political message behind his music and the inspiration behind it.


[23:49:46] LEMON: The CNN original series "Soundtracks" plays the songs that define history. One of those songs came in the aftermath of 9/11. The legendary country singer Toby Keith's music helped define a time of pain and grief but also pride. Dan Rather talks about this moment from the series.


[23:50:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once it had fully soaked in that we would not and could not be the same country after 9/11, it emerged -- I won't say slowly, but my recollection is it didn't emerge all that slowly.

Songs such as Toby Keith's "red, white and blue" that were -- and I don't think it is a wrong statement, were a kind of rallying cry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And sort of delving into your patriotic feelings and striking out at the rest of the world.


LEMON: Toby Keith, welcome. How you doing, sir?

TOBY KEITH, SINGER: Hi. Doing great today. How are you?

LEMON: Doing great. That was a clip. It was from tomorrow's episode of CNN "Soundtracks" featuring your song. It is called courtesy of the "red white and blue." And you cannot listen to that song without becoming emotional.

It is great to have you here. Tell me about it. Why did you write that?

KEITH: Man, I was -- my dad was a soldier and he had just passed away about six months before 9/11. And we was raised, being in a soldier's house and being raised, you were -- you know, you were around those veterans and the pride that they take and their views of the flag and the country and what things stand for. I was like, man, what would my dad do today if he was alive and watching this ha happen.

LEMON: This is why I would imagine because of your father you are an avid supporter of the USO, you make performing for the troops a regular part of your schedule. It is important to you?

KEITH: Well, I went the first time, you know, just to make sure that I honored my father, you know, and then I got over there and found out no one would go do it. The USO was having trouble finding people that would go support the troops. So I saw that void and I said, well, they asked me to help champion it. So my agent because a board member and we became real active with USO about 14 years ago.

LEMON: Listen, I thought it was -- it was amazing that you, despite all of the -- some of the backlash that you got, that you performed at the pre-inauguration ceremony. Why did you do it? You didn't care about the backlash, did you?

KEITH: No, you can't care about the backlash. The reason you do those things, I have played for governors, I have played for all of the Presidents that have been in office I think since I had had my first recording contract. I have been invited to the White House several times and played for functions for all of the Presidents and different governors and stuff. And I have never turned it down. It is more of a duty to me and a true honor to get to go, you know, perform for your country, and they asked me to be in the military part of the show and I said absolutely.

LEMON: Well, I think for you it is about country because you ignore politics and ideology and you support the President regardless of party.

KEITH: Well, you have to. And, I mean the people have voted and they vote every time. And so whether I agree or disagree, we have never had a leader in this country that I agreed with across the board on everything they do because I hate politics. I don't like the way -- I don't like the way it is operated. Everybody wants their side to get what they want. It just seems like we get divided more and more all the time. But at the same time they're the commander in chief and my military guys that have become my friends and my family over the last 15 years all answer to this person.

LEMON: Let's talk a little bit about country music. It took center stage after 9/11, and this upcoming episode of "Soundtracks" explores that. Why do you think so many Americans turn to country music and songs like "courtesy of the red, white and blue" at that time, Toby?

KEITH: Well, I don't know. I'll tell you a little history on "courtesy of red, white and the blue." it was never written to be on an album. "Courtesy" was written in 20 minutes in my gym with, you know, on the back of a fantasy football sheet. I knew when I started doing my USO troops I could sing it for the military and it would be kind of like some of the army songs my father used to tell me they played back in the day.

So when I played the Pentagon, General Jones, the commandant of the Marine Corps was there and I played a little show for him. I got done and I said, you guys are shipping off to Afghanistan tomorrow, and they said yes. I said I want to play a song before you go. I played it by myself, the band didn't know it. I played it by myself on a guitar. They threw their hats in the air, their stuff in the air. They threw their fists in the air and the commandant and said, the will whole military needs to hear this song. It is important we have something new to grab on to that lets them go. I took it home, prayed about it for a while and thought what am I going to do, and he just -- kept going back to Commandant Jones. I thought if it is that important to him, it must be that important to the military so I released it. I had no idea that it was going to create such a -- such a -- such a firestorm. But, you know, after a couple of years of dealing with it I didn't care anymore.

[23:55:26] LEMON: Well, we thank you for your support of our men and women in uniform and we thank you for the music. And it was a pleasure, Toby, a real pleasure. Thank you, sir.

KEITH: They are the very best, and god speed to all of them. Thank you.

LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow. But first, here's a preview of CNN's original series "soundtracks, songs that defined history" airing tomorrow night at 10:00.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The music and artists post-9/11 are reflective of the emotions we feel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We isn't going anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We played for an audience of police, firemen and emergency rescue workers and they needed a boost.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I put a fireman's helmet on the piano to help me concentrate, because if I didn't have it I might have just lost it. I'm in a New York state of mind

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is kind of an anthem for New York City. I didn't think of it when I wrote it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The events that transpired define the music and made it bigger than it was intended to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The music will always remind us that it is possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody has got to put this into words and emotions. That is what anthems are made of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Soundtracks, songs that defined history" tomorrow at 10:00 on CNN.