Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SATURDAY
North Korea Defies Global Pressure With Missile Test; Climate Change Protesters Heading to White House; President Trump's First 100 Days. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired April 29, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: Well, good morning and happy Saturday. We're always so grateful for your company, having spent the first -- or the last 100 days here - the first 100 in Washington, of course. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: Seems like the right place to be, right? I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. From a crisis on the Korean Peninsula to his coming victory lap in Pennsylvania tonight, this is a busy 100th day in office for President Donald Trump.
PAUL: Yes. We're taking stock of the executive orders, the promises, how the people who voted for change are feeling 100 days in now.
First, though, we do want to talk about the latest act of defiance from North Korea. Another ballistic missile launched. President Trump responding on Twitter now saying, "North Korea disrespected the wishes of China and its highly-respected president when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!"
Also, new this morning, we're getting word that a U.S. Navy strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, has arrived in the waters off the Korean Peninsula. CNN's Will Ripley live from Pyongyang, North Korea with more.
Will, do we have reaction from North Korea yet on the Vinson and its placement now?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that news just breaking within the last hour, Christi. So, no official reaction to the confirmation that the Carl Vinson is here, but the North Koreans did launch a missile in the early morning hours here, the kind of missile that they could use to try to sink an aircraft carrier, like the USS Carl Vinson.
So, clearly, there was a message there. This is at least the ninth missile launch attempt by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
And, clearly, despite mounting international pressure, the sense we're getting on the ground here is that this regime is not backing down. In fact, they are ready to step on the gas in terms of their missile testing. And one official told me another nuclear test is also on the horizon. They say they're not concerned about Washington or the UN Security Council. In fact, they thought the statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were inflammatory and they say that there will be more responses from North Korea, more provocations to come. Victor, Christi?
PAUL: All right. Will Ripley, thank you so much. We appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in our panel now. Hilary Rosen, CNN political commentator; Doug Heye, CNN political commentator and former RNC communications director; Paris Dennard, CNN political commentator; Kimberly Dozier, CNN global affairs analyst and senior national security correspondent for "The Daily Beast"; and Tom LoBianco, "CNN Politics" reporter.
Welcome, everyone. And, Kimberly, I want to start with you. The success or failure, we'll talk about the implications of the missile launch in a moment, but simply the test of it, coming hours after the comments from Rex Tillerson, the impact there.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST AND SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY BEAST": This is a disappointment for the Trump White House. They had hoped in Rex Tillerson's comments yesterday at the UN to offer a carrot, in addition to the stick of US military increased presence in the region.
They had talked about offering in past administrations more than $1 billion of aid to the Korean people. So, the idea - a senior administration official explained to me - was to offer Pyongyang a narrow path out. They didn't make any specific requirements on what Pyongyang would have to do to get to talks, but they said we just want to see moves of some sort towards denuclearization.
They had hoped, ala Libya and Qaddafi, when he denuclearized, that they would take this opening, but instead they got this defiant missile launch.
PAUL: All right. Want to listen here real quickly to Rear Admiral John Kirby. He had some very direct words about what happened overnight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: This is Kim giving us the finger, giving China the finger, giving the UN the finger after what happened today. There's no question about that. I think the timing is absolutely planned and preordained in his mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Doug, you're chuckling a little bit (INAUDIBLE). Yes, yes, that's very technical, isn't it?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yes. That's something we would expect actually the president maybe to say or to tweet about. I think one of the reasons people are so concerned, if you look at the president's tweet from this morning is now China is - it has a respected leader. During the campaign, it was bad China. It was a leader that wasn't to be respected, the currency manipulator.
[07:05:12] We need to see more clarity from this White House, especially as they are testing Donald Trump right now.
BLACKWELL: Yes. I want to get to the rest of the panel, but you've actually got a piece out about the North Korea Twitter strategy.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST AND SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY BEAST": So, what the White House is explaining to me is that what president does is put out a tweet or an interview where he knocks down the status quo, whether it's North Korea or the wall with Mexico, and then his cabinet comes in with the strategy, the reasonable plan.
So, basically, it's a high-stakes art of the deal negotiation tactic. Good cop, bad cop. Trump is the bad cop and they come in as the good cop and lands the foreign policy goals.
BLACKWELL: (INAUDIBLE) in place. They don't have those at the State Department.
HEYE: Exactly. And China being one of the big ones where we have the Iowa governor -
BLACKWELL: Yes, Terry Branstad.
HEYE: Who is going to be a great ambassador, but we need him nominated and confirmed.
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think this idea, though, that there is an - and I hear what you're saying, Kimberly, but I think this idea that there is a strategy behind Trump's Twitter finger is just White House staff cleaning up what is a constant battle for them about bringing him back from the edge because this is somebody that they just aren't really controlling.
And I think you saw Secretary Tillerson, I think, at the UN Security Council do a fairly good job about outlining the stakes. I personally thought he raised them too high and was a little bit too aggressive. And I think that he did that to try and match what the president was saying.
But I do think that this kind of back and forth between the president and the people who work for him is just not helpful. It doesn't send consistent signals. It doesn't help our allies understand where our bright lines really are.
PARIS DENNARD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I would have to disagree with Hilary. The president is strategic when he does his social media and his tweeting. He's always been strategic about it. He says what he means and he means what he says and he does it on purpose every single day throughout the campaign and now as president.
Your piece is absolutely correct. There is a deliberate strategy and that's part of his negotiation tactic. But I think back to Doug's point that he said about the candidate versus the president, what we see right now is that this man is understanding the delicacies of the presidency.
He tweeted about China, calling him a respectable leader, because he has just met with him, he just has engaged with him, and so he needs to have more allies. So, he cannot say what he said during the campaign trail because now he's president. He's understanding that diplomacy is different from a candidate to now president. And that's what we're going to see more of as he moves into this new role after the 100 days.
BLACKWELL: But that begs the question again, is Twitter the forum for diplomacy?
DENNARD: It's 2017. It's the new normal for this White House that we have to get used to and the world leaders are all paying attention to it. Corporations, businesses and foreign powers are now looking at Twitter to see the mood, the minds of this president and where he is going and his direction -
PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) Hilary, go ahead.
ROSEN: You can't have both ways, though. You can't say he tweets as a negotiation tactic and then say he tweets and means what he says. It's one or the other. So, he's either - it's actually not the same. No, the negotiating tactic is sort of setting a bar, being willing to move it around, setting a strategy there.
But if he means what he says, he will be taking us to the brink every time. If what you're saying is, oh, no, the president is going to be the bad cop because he wants other people to be the good cop, that's not really the role of a president in that regard.
The role of the president really is to just be a leader, is to just demonstrate to the rest of the world where we want to go as a country and as a world in terms of what's acceptable.
PAUL: Tom, want to give you a chance to turn in here.
TOM LOBIANCO: You know what's really funny about this. We were up the Capitol this week and originally they were planning to brief - the security team was planning to brief the Senators at the Capitol.
We have secured classified information settings inside there (INAUDIBLE). They moved it at the last minute over to the White House and you're thinking, OK, this is going be a big deal. You talk with hawks like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, people who know the stuff inside and out.
OK, something is coming out of this. You wouldn't move it to the White House without that. So, they get on this charter bus. It looks like it was kind of got together at the last minute. There was a duct tape on the windows. It was very amusing watching senators pile into this thing like a field trip down Pennsylvania Avenue.
And they come back and they say, we didn't learn anything, though. So, it was very strange. Just here, inside DC, the performance has been a little - according to the senators, at least, has been a little underwhelm in how they handle this.
HEYE: That's been a lot of what we've seen from the Trump White House so far. It was fantastic stagecraft. No substance behind it. And that's why so many senators left that meeting troubled.
DOZIER: Think about how North Korea looked at that, all these senators coming to the White House to hear about the policy towards Pyongyang. That was a deliberate signal.
[07:10:08] BLACKWELL: So, you think it was mission accomplish for what -
BLACKWELL: All right. All right. Everybody, stay with us. We will continue the conversation. We are on the road to - or at least one of our reporter is on the road here to the nation's capital with a group of climate change activists preparing for march on Washington today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This bus, one of hundreds headed to Washington from all over the country to carry that message to President Trump. Coming up, we'll have more about that message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: States of America. We find out what voters think of President Trump's first 100 days in office. This hour, we're looking at the swing states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I'm a true Trump believer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I usually go Democrat and I ended up voting for Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[07:15:08] BLACKWELL: Fifteen minutes after the hour now and fresh provocations from Pyongyang, greeting President Trump on his 100th day in office.
PAUL: And North Korea's latest missile test yesterday came after the president warned of a major, major conflict. It's likely one of the topics on the agenda when the president speaks with the CIA Director Mike Pompeo. That's happening at 10:45 this morning. So, just in a few hours here. BLACKWELL: Later today, the president will travel to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he'll sign an executive order aimed at trade and manufacturing policy. He'll then join supporters with a campaign style rally, which you can watch live right here on CNN.
PAUL: In the meantime, tens of thousands of advocates for action on climate change are expected to pour into the nation's capital for what's being called the people's climate march.
BLACKWELL: Protesters are bussing in from as far out as the Midwest to rally in front of the White House. The march comes on the heels of a massive nationwide science march. You'll remember that was last weekend. Two huge rallies, back to back weekends, and we're covering it at all.
CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung is on one of the buses coming down to DC from New York. Kaylee, good morning to you. And set the scene for us.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you both from the New Jersey turnpike. This bus left Harlem a little more than 30 minutes ago. We've got a solid four hours to go on this ride to Washington.
As you said, buses travelling there from all over the country as far as Kansas and North Dakota to deliver a message to President Trump about the importance of climate change.
Now, the focus on this bus, members and allies of the community organization, WE ACT, run out of Harlem. We have teachers, community organizers, parents and concerned citizens like Michelle Holmes with us.
Michelle, what message do you want to deliver to Washington today?
MICHELLE HOLMES, PROTESTER: Climate change is here to stay. We, as people, who are suffering the impact of climate change, need to change what we've done. We need to soften the impact. We need to stop using certain products that have ruined the ozone layer. We need to get it together.
And we need to let our current administration know climate change is here to stay. If we want this planet to be here for generations to come, we need to fix it now.
HARTUNG: 100 days into the Trump administration, what is your reaction to the attention you've seen that administration pay to climate change?
HOLMES: That administration acts as if it doesn't exist. They are living in a bubble. People like myself, in communities that have experienced devastating effects from superstorms, storms that are inevitable, they're coming more and more. We experience first-hand what happens.
Whereas, this administration, they live in castles basically. They don't experience anything that we do, so they don't believe it exists.
HARTUNG: Thank you, Michelle.
HOLMES: You're welcome.
BLACKWELL: All right, Kaylee, thanks there in the bus coming down from New York. You're on the New Jersey turnpike coming here to DC. Thank you so much.
Still to come. We'll talk with a former Environmental Protection Agency leader who resigned from the agency amid the turmoil.
PAUL: Also, the president counting the number of executive orders he signed as proof of his success, as you see it there. Is that enough for voters?
[07:23:27] PAUL: Twenty three minutes at the hour right now. So good to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. We are living in Washington for President Trump's 100th day in office. And some of the challenges this administration faced in the first months appear to be far from over.
PAUL: North Korea - that's what we're seeing from them - with another act of defiance, launching another failed ballistic missile test despite President Trump's warning. Now, the missile exploded right after launch, we're told. This is the ninth test since President Trump took office.
In the meantime, the president is marking his 100th day with a rally in one of the states that really helped him win the presidency. We're talking about Pennsylvania. That's where he will sign his 31st executive order, mandating a review of the nation's trade agreements.
BLACKWELL: Now, despite criticizing President Obama during the campaign, the president has relied heavily upon the use of these executive orders as an example of his progress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Buy American and hire American.
Improving accountability of the VA.
Promoting agriculture and rural prosperity.
Reducing tax, regulatory burdens.
Eliminate wasteful regulations.
Empower parents and teachers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The president used some of these executive orders to fulfill promises he made in this contract with American voters. He called it "the actions to protect American workers." So, how many of those promises has he fulfilled?
BLACKWELL: President Trump's contract with the American voter, a deal he signed just weeks before the November election. At the center of the 100-day action plan, seven items aimed at protecting American workers. The campaign said a Trump administration would pursue them immediately.
[07:25:14] TRUMP: First, I will announce my intention to totally renegotiate NAFTA, one of the worst deals our country has ever made.
BLACKWELL: Then candidate Trump lambasted the trade deals during the campaign. This week, the president told the leaders of Canada and Mexico that the US will not terminate the agreement and that they should move swiftly to renegotiate the deal.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.
Second, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
BLACKWELL: The 12-nation trade deal was negotiated by the Obama administration, but still needed to be ratified by Congress.
TRUMP: We've been talking about this for a long time.
BLACKWELL: On January 23, the president signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the deal.
TRUMP: OK. Great thing for the American worker, what we just did.
BLACKWELL: Promise number three.
TRUMP: I'm going to instruct my Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator. Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States, which is many countries, will be met with sharply.
BLACKWELL: Since then, a reversal. The president tweeting, "Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?"
And when President Trump met Chinese president Xi Jinping in March, his public rhetoric was anything, but sharp.
TRUMP: The relationship developed by President Xi and myself, I think, is outstanding. It's a tremendous honor for me and all of my representatives to host the president and his representatives.
Fourth, I will direct the secretary of commerce and US trade representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately.
Today, I'm signing -
BLACKWELL: In March, another executive order intended to make trade fair for American businesses.
Promise number five.
TRUMP: I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion worth of job producing American energy reserves.
BLACKWELL: In March, President Trump rolled back six of President Obama's executive actions intended to combat climate change, lifting the moratorium on coal mining on federal lands and ordering a review of the Clean Power Plan.
TRUMP: I like the Keystone Pipeline. I'd make a different deal.
BLACKWELL: Candidate Trump promised the approval of the Keystone pipeline, which will allow Canadian companies to funnel crude oil to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
TRUMP: Today, I'm pleased to announce -
BLACKWELL: Well, last month, the president gave the project the green light.
TRUMP: - presidential permit.
BLACKWELL: And finally.
TRUMP: We're going to cancel billions in payments to the United Nations climate change programs and use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure.
BLACKWELL: According to "The New York Times", the White House prepared an executive order days after the inauguration that would have reduced the US' payments to the UN by 40%. The president has not signed it.
However, the president's 2018 budget blueprint includes the cancellation of the global climate change initiative and "fulfills the president's pledge to seize payments to the United Nations climate change programs."
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in "CNN Politics" reporter Tom LoBianco and CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.
To, first to you, the president has now signed more than 30 of these executive orders, but the raw number itself really isn't as important as it relates to fulfilling these promises as the content, right?
LOBIANCO: What's fascinating about this is that this is the contrast to all the promises he made that he's not kept. And the promises he made rely on Congress. And this goes to - it almost doesn't matter whether you're Obama, George W. Bush or Trump or whoever the next president is, the numbers are not there in Congress to get major legislation through.
This stuff is hard. It is really hard to do. Even when you nominally have control, you have 52 Republican senators, you have control of the Senate, that number is not enough because you need 60.
OK, so what do you have next? You have kind of the second-tier option, right? You got your plan B. And these are executive orders. He is doing exactly what Obama did. When Obama could not get climate change through, all right, when he did not have the votes to make that happen, he relied on executive orders.
And what you're seeing now is the weakness of executive orders. You have Trump rolling back a lot of them via executive action. So, this is - in some ways, it's not surprising. What's more surprising is how much he promised on the trail without seeming to understand that this is what was likely to happen.
BLACKWELL: It's important to point out that part of this - I'm sorry.
PAUL: Go ahead.
BLACKWELL: This contract with the American voter includes ten legislative initiatives, not one of them has been enacted, not one of them has been passed by Congress.
PAUL: Right. And based on what he's saying, what does that mean then, Suzanne, for where do we go with healthcare, where do we go with the law.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting because there is no plan B. You talk to Republicans and they're like, this is it, this is the only plan we have.
For healthcare, it's much easier with the Democrats because they already negotiated this situation with - like, OK, for the budget to move through, we'll go ahead with the subsidies to allow insurance companies some money from the federal government, so that low income folks can pay for their plans.
Otherwise, 7 million people, they estimated, would be without health insurance and a lot of these insurance companies would be out of the market. So, that's OK.
What's more complicated is really what the Republicans and what they're dealing with next week and how flexible they are. Previously, the conservatives were holding it up because they really felt it did not go far enough in repealing or replacing Obamacare and they came up with an amendment just this past week. It failed because essentially it was the moderates that stepped in, moderate Republicans, who said, this is not good enough and it is all about whether or not you give the flexibility to the states, allow them to have these waivers, so that the insurance companies in those states don't have to follow the Obamacare requirements.
For example, pre-existing conditions, having patients not pay more because they are sicker and that is a thing that moderate Republicans, they go home to their constituents, they cannot bring that to the voters and have that be acceptable to them.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the Democrats because this is their 100th day too without a lever of power in Washington. What is their strategy moving forward? How they can - to move forward to possibly do something in 2018 or what the resistance will be over the next year and a half?
MALVEAUX: So, right now, they've just - they're just happy with letting the Republicans do the damage. They don't want to get involved and they're n allowing that to play out.
But I did ask Senator Bernie Sanders just yesterday. Is it going to be more than? Do they have some sort of comprehensive strategy to move something beyond just being obstructionist or just letting the Republicans essentially harm themselves? And here's how he responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I think it has to be a two-fold approach. Number one, Democrats need not just to criticize Trump, but to have a progressive agenda that speaks to the needs of working families.
The other half is that we have got to rally the American people. Tomorrow's march, where I expect hundreds of thousands of people will come out for climate change, is part of it. The rallies that we have seen where people are telling the Republicans, you cannot throw 24 million people off of health insurance. That's another part of it.
So, we need to build a broad grassroot activist movement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: And despite the fact that the president wants this $1 trillion infrastructure package, the Democrats do say that there is some movement, there is some wiggle room here for something that's more modest, and that they also can work with Republicans on things like mental health, child abuse protection bill, those kinds of things.
But when it comes to the big ticket items, they say that they're going to just stand back and the Republicans are going to have to come with something that is much more in the vein of compromise.
BLACKWELL: All right. Suzanne, thanks so much. Tom, thank you again. PAUL: Good to have you here. And listen, as we sit here and speak to you, climate change activists are on their way to Washington. In a second weekend of protests, thousands of people, in fact, expected today. We're taking you to the center of all of it. Stay close.
[07:38:25] PAUL: Second weekend of protests in support of science. You are looking at some of the thousands of activists who are on their way to march on Washington and in cities around the world as well in what is being dubbed as a people's climate march.
This year, the march coincides with President Trump's 100th day in office and advocates for action are gathering in hopes of trying to sway the Trump administration's vision on environmental issues.
BLACKWELL: This march comes at a crucial time for the White House. They're still split on whether the US should remain in the Paris climate agreement. This is an Obama era emissions control pledge. You remember that.
Plus, the fallout of the president's proposed funding cuts to the EPA has forced veteran environmentalist to resign from the agency.
PAUL: Joining us is the former head of the EPA's Environmental Justice Program Mustafa Ali and co-founder of the Indivisible Project Ezra Levin. Thank you both so much for being with us.
I wanted to ask you, first of all, Mustafa, Sharon Boyd (ph), who's with the EPA, talked to CNN yesterday and talked about a very high level of concern for jobs there. What do you know about what's happening in that agency right now behind closed doors?
MUSTAFA ALI, FORMER SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE OFFICIAL: Well, there are a lot of folks who are really, really concerned, folks who have extreme amount of experience, folks who have been dedicated communities for years, and there are offices that are disappearing, information that is disappearing, and it's a real great concern because folks are committed to communities across the country and they want to make sure they're protecting their health.
BLACKWELL: So, I know - these thousands of people who were in Washington last week, who were back this week are not coming just for the purposes of a spectacle, right? You want to effect some change.
We know that there has been this shift in priorities, let's say, at least from the EPA. To what degree do you expect that you will be able to impact this administration, to enact some change.
[07:40:14] EZRA LEVIN, COFOUNDER, INDIVISIBLE PROJECT: The great thing that we're seeing is that this resistance is really persisting. We've seen more people come out during the last congressional recess this April than we did in the first congressional recess in February.
And the bottom line is Trump's agenda does not depend on Donald Trump. It depends on whether individual members of Congress choose to go along with it or choose to resist it, and that gives constituents a lot of power. That's why it is so exciting to see 300 or more of these marches happening across the country.
Members of Congress are going to hear that and that's going to affect their decision-making (INAUDIBLE).
PAUL: I want to point out, the EPA has removed the climate change page from its website, maybe reflective of, obviously, where their values lie.
If you could sit down with the president, what would you say to him, Mustafa?
PAUL: I would tell him that he's placing people's lives in danger. Folks in Mossville, Louisiana and Port Arthur, Texas, in Mobile, Alabama and across the country. You have a responsibility to protect these folks' lives.
These folks are paying taxes and their taxes should not be used to deconstruct their communities. It should be about building up communities. That's what we should be focused.
BLACKWELL: There is still this internal fight that I talked about at the top of whether or not the US will withdraw from the Paris accords on climate. Does it give you any reassurance at all, considering what we heard from the president during the campaign that this was going to be done within the 100 days that there's no decision yet.
LEVIN: I think it should give us all a lot of reassurance. Look, this first 100 days has been a battle between maliciousness and incompetence, largely incompetence has won. They haven't been able to get done the terrible things they've wanted to get done. And that's because people are showing up. It's a great demonstration of constituent power.
As long as folks continue to show up in their home communities, we're going to see a lot more wins in the future.
PAUL: This is the second week. As we said of this, do you believe, Mustafa, having been in the agency that, as Ezra believes, what we're seeing last week, this week, can truly enact change?
ALI: Without a doubt. It's about the power of the people, if you will. When folks get engaged, they get educated and they get motivated, real change happens. We've seen it in the history of our country, from the women's suffrage movements to the civil rights movement that when people say that we're going to make change, it can actually happen.
BLACKWELL: As you think back to what we heard from the OMB director Mick Mulvaney who says, we're not spending money on that anymore, talking about climate change when he was at the White House.
Do you expect that that will change? I think what we're getting to here is that we've seen these marches, but what is the policy fruit in the first 100 days that you're seeing? LEVIN: So, this again comes back to who actually controls levers of power here, who writes the budget. And the answer is individual members of Congress have control over this. They do not represent Donald Trump back in their home districts. They represent their constituents and they are listening to what their constituents say.
Every single member of Congress cares a lot more about their own reelection than they do about any individual thing that this administration wants to get done. If people show up and say, this is not what we want to see happen, they're going to go back and they're going to affect change in the way their constituents want change. We've seen that happening already.
PAUL: There was a story about environmental health on that really took all of us by storm last year with the Flint - the crisis in Flint with the water crisis. And I understand you now being the senior VP of Hip Hop Caucus - I want to make sure I get that right - you traveled to Flint, Michigan recently, what did they tell you there? What did you see?
ALI: That they're still expecting change. They want holistic change. We can't place Band-Aids on problems anymore. They're expecting our federal government, our state governments and local governments to really understand the needs that are existing inside of their community.
Folks are excited about the possibilities of change. And they're getting engaged in that process. And our new administration has a responsibility in that space.
You may remember that when the President-elect had went out to Michigan, he had said that he was going to fix the water quality issues that were happening inside of Flint. They have a responsibility to do that. These are taxpayers.
And we understand the impacts of lead and how they follow you throughout your life cycle, and especially our most vulnerable communities. There are over 4 million children who are exposed to lead on a yearly basis. We've got to address that issue.
PAUL: Alrighty. Mustafa Ali, Ezra Levin, we appreciate both of you being here. Thanks for taking the time.
LEVIN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Well, swing state voters, let's talk about them, sent the president to the White House. So, how are they feeling now on the 100th day of the Trump administration?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he the perfect guy? No, he's not. He was the only guy there that showed sign of change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: CNN is crossing the country to talk to voters about the highs and the lows and any potential regrets.
[07:49:23] PAUL: So, think about it, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, all went for President Obama twice in elections, yet for President Trump in 2016.
BLACKWELL: So, now, on the 100th day, let's go back to those states and ask how are those voters feeling now for our special series Red, Purple and Blue, First 100 Days. CNN's Miguel Marquez visited the swing states to find out.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): 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 stuck in a hard spot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we're all screwed.
[07:50:02] MARQUEZ (voice-over): Three swing states, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and three counties in them flipping by the biggest margin blue to red. What do their voters think now?
TONY DEBEVC, OWNER, DEBONNE VINEYARDS: I think he's sending the right messages in a way, but he doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Tony Debevc, third generation farmer and now owner of Debonne Vineyards in Ohio's wine country, a registered Democrat who voted for Trump.
DEBEVC: Is he the perfect guy? No, he's not.
MARQUEZ (on camera): But you voted for him?
DEBEVC: He was the only guy there that showed a sign of change.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Nine counties of Ohio flipped from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, none by more than here, Ashtabula County. Obama easily beat Romney here by nearly 13 point. Trump did even better, beating Clinton by nearly 19 points. That's a whopping 31.7- point swing.
DEBEVC: I voted out of rebellion of what's happening in Washington.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): A common refrain, voter frustration at fighting between Democrats and Republicans.
JP DUCROW, REPUBLICAN COUNTY COMMISSIONER, ASHTABULA COUNTY: I'm not willing to depend on that.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): JP Ducrow is a new Republican county commissioner here, swept in on the Trump wave. (on camera): First 100 days in office, how is he doing?
MARQUEZ (voice-over): It's a question even some Republicans wrestle with.
DUCROW: How do I answer that question? That is a hard question.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Ducrow says it is his promise of jobs, above all, that Trump will be judged on.
DUCROW: We have had a tough time. We've lost a lot of manufacturing and industry over the years.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): 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 (voice-over): 12 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.
SEAN MUNSON, TRUMP VOTER: We're going to cut this tree down.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): 37-year-old Sean Munson had never voted in his life ever until Trump's promises to bring back jobs and fix healthcare.
MUNSON: I took it as maybe he might try to do like Canada, pay a little extra in taxes and get free healthcare for everybody instead of whoever can afford it.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Bridget Lamoreaux owns, cooks and serves up beers and burgers at Government Lake Lodge.
MARQUEZ (on camera): You live upstairs?
BRIDGET LAMOREAUX, OWNER, GOVERNMENT LAKE LODGE: Correct.
MARQUEZ (on camera): So, you're here 24/7 is what you're saying?
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Trump's promise to lower taxes and create jobs got her on board.
LAMOREAUX: He's very business savvy. And that's what I thought we needed to get into office.
MARQUEZ (on camera): And what are you feeling now 100 days in?
LAMOREAUX: I like it. He's definitely eccentric. I'm not a fan of the Twitter and all that kind of stuff, but I don't care.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): John Brunn is the local tree trimmer and the only Democrat to survive a contested race in Lake County.
JOHN BRUNN, LAKE COUNTY, MICHIGAN COMMISSIONER: Out of 848 votes, I won by 13.
MARQUEZ (on camera): Lucky 13.
BRUNN: Lucky 13.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): He can't account for why the county went so hard for Republicans.
(on camera): This is a Democratic county.
BRUNN: Has been for decades.
MARQUEZ (on camera): What happened?
BRUNN: I'm not - that's a tough question, really.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Donna Featherstone, a retired long-haul truck driver, now scoops ice cream, the independent voter has no health insurance. She says Trump scares her, but -
DONNA FEATHERSTONE, RETIRED LONG HAUL TRUCK DRIVER: If they can get things done, I'm ready to give them a chance.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Finally, there's Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, one of only three in the keystone state to go blue to red. Obama won here by 4.8 points in 2012. Trump easily won the county by more than 19 points. A swing of 24.2 points.
Ann Marie Bossard has worked in the family business and for Anthracite Newsstand for 53 years. She flipped and likes Trump's aggressive foreign policy.
ANN MARIE BOSSARD, ANTHRACITE NEWSSTAND: He's not going to take no baloney off of anybody. He's going to be - he's going to be and he's going to kick it!
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Richard and Eileen Sorokas both volunteered and voted for Obama.
(on camera): You're a Democratic county council member for Luzerne County.
EILEEN SOROKAS, PENNSYLVANIA TRUMP VOTER: Yes.
MARQUEZ: And you voted for Donald Trump?
E. SOROKAS: Yes. And I am on the executive committee too for the Democrats, but I still went for Trump.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Both flipped but watching closely. RICHARD SOROKAS, PENNSYLVANIA TRUMP VOTER: He tried to go with the
healthcare act. It was really a disaster.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): At Chacko's family bowling, we caught up with commercial pipeline construction worker Andrew Coleman. He has a wife, two kids. They have insurance. He doesn't.
[07:55:00] ANDREW COLEMAN, PENNSYLVANIA TRUMP VOTER: Right now, I 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 him.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Christine Napierkowski, a Republican and mother of two, gives the president so far an A.
CHRISTINE NAPIERKOWSKI, PENNSYLVANIA TRUMP VOTER: I think the president is doing well. First time one that has not had, what would you say, government experience before.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Clinton voter and veteran Daryl 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 him. This 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.
BLACKWELL: Coming up at the top of the hour, we dig deeper into the president's tumultuous first 100 days, his promises, his executive orders, his tweets and the challenges that lie ahead.