Return to Transcripts main page


Report: Trump First President Since Reagan To Speak At NRA; Trump Voters Grade President as Benchmark Nears; Trump Says He Thought Being President Would Be Easier. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 28, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Both of whom voted for President Trump. Gentlemen, thank you both so much for taking the time.

Kevin, you first, and then dale. First 100 days, how's he done? Give me a grade for President Trump.

KEVIN HESSELTINE, TRUMP VOTER: You know, I'd give him an a-minus right now. He's trying to do wonderful things for all Americans out there. It's a tough job coming in as President and trying to unite everybody. I think he's doing a good job of trying to bring it together and, again, make America great again.

DALE PERLEBERG, TRUMP VOTER: You know, I feel like President Trump's done a real good job instead of giving him a grade I want to have people give him a better chance instead of booing him or telling him he's not doing his job and being against him, give him a chance. He's just 99 days today, 100 days. So, we need to work with the guy and not against the guy.

BALDWIN: All right.

PERLEBERG: He's doing everything possible to set this country in the right place. So --

BALDWIN: Totally fair point. Totally fair point. Give him a chance. Kevin, back over to you. He says he's been the most accomplished President in the first 100 days. What's the one thing that he has done that you're proudest about?

HESSELTINE: You know, I think what he's doing on a tax front and he's trying to make America good in the standing of the world. Not only here domestically but internationally, I think he's doing a good job at that. I think he's doing a good job to bring us together as Americans, which is a tough job, as I said again, to bring all Americans together, not just some Americans.

BALDWIN: Can you put your finger for me on one concrete accomplishment, though, one concrete thing?

HESSELTINE: I think currently I like the fact that he opened up the wildlands as hunters and supporters of the NRA that we can go out and enjoy this great country and do the things that god wanted us to do out here, hunt and enjoy ourselves. BALDWIN: Go ahead, Dale.

PERLEBERG: One of the things I see, he may not have done anything with the law or anything but he's taken Obama's stuff and rewritten them as far as executive orders. And I like that. It gets the world started in the right direction and it gives me hope.

[15:35:00] BALDWIN: What about the on the flip side, you know, he made a lot of promises on the campaign trail, Kevin, that the repeal and replace Obamacare, you know, round three, they still can't get a vote on health care, wants to build a wall but we learned the border wall won't be in the spending bill. The travel ban, not successful. So, your reaction, your response to that?

HESSELTINE: Well, you know, I think he put a lot of things on his plate. I think Donald Trump is known for that. I think he didn't realize in coming in to D.C. that it's a whole other ball game. It's a different world in D.C. politics. I've been in D.C. 20 years and I know the environment that's up there. He put a lot on his plate. The time frame might not be exactly 100 days but I know he's going to get to it and try harder. He needs to bring the coalition together, though, of not only the Republicans in Congress but the Democrats, too, to get this done. We'll get it done. I feel very confident and I'm proud to have him as my President.

PERLEBERG: One of the biggest accomplishments he's trying to get things done but everybody seems to interrupt him or put him on hold but we need to work together as Americans. We need to give him an opportunity to do this. I go back on that because he's got a difficult job.

BALDWIN: Just quickly, I know it's loud there, show of hands, who wants him to stop tweeting? No. OK. So, you like the fact that the President tweets? There you go. Go ahead very quickly.

HESSELTINE: I'm not a tweeter, but I think it's a way for him to connect with the American people. We look back to see the fireside chats with FDR and the radio that Jimmy Carter did with folks and it's something that he connects directly with the people and I like that about him.

BALDWIN: Forgive me. Sorry I couldn't hear because the applause was so loud.

HESSELTINE: I just think that he's been much more Presidential than most people probably thought. He's said things that are disruptive but he's been very Presidential.

BALDWIN: Kevin and Dale, thank you gentlemen so much there with your Make America Great Again hats at the NRA convention in Atlanta. Appreciate you.

Breaking news now from the pentagon, releasing new details about a raid in Afghanistan that left two U.S. army rangers dead during this three-hour fire fight, including the possibility they might have been killed by friendly fire. We'll have an update for you from the pentagon.


BALDWIN: Well, the President is spending time in Atlanta today. First lady Melania Trump is here in Washington and she's marking her first 100 days as first lady. Right now, she's visiting patients at Washington, D.C.'s, national medical center. We're told she'll speak afterwards. With me is Kate Bennett fresh off the plane from following Ivanka Trump to Berlin and here you are following the first lady. What notes do we have so far on her visit to the hospital?

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So today she's supposed to dedicate a garden named after Bunny Melon. Bunny Melon designed the rose garden at the White House. It's a garden that -- it's a healing garden at the hospital. I hear she's going to make friendship bracelets with the kids and cut the ribbon and make remarks. She's had sort of a busy week. She spoke at a Senate spouse's luncheon the other day, she's been by her husband's side. She was here for her birthday. She's definitely making more and more appearances as these 100 days push closer.

BALDWIN: What's the word on when she and Barron, their child, move here to D.C.?

BENNETT: Sources tell me it's going to be June but they're very much looking forward to moving here. She still has her interior designer working on the white house, a woman that she announced back in February that she was the official interior designer. Just checked back in, she's still making the house a home and working on the residence. All signs indicate that, yes, they are going to move here. And we're looking at June for that.

BALDWIN: So maybe we'll see more of her around town when she's actually in the White House. Kate, thank you very much. Kate Bennett.

Surprising remarks from President Trump about his life inside the white house. He says he misses his previous life and the job is harder than he expected. We'll talk about that next with Jake Tapper.


BALDWIN: Despite saying the first 100 days are not so important, I think he called it ridiculous. President Trump is on a full-blown media blitz and also admitted in this Reuters interview that being President is harder than he anticipated.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a -- I'm a details-oriented person, I think you would say that, but I do miss my old life. I like to work so that's not a problem but this is actually more work.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Our chief Washington correspondent host of "The Lead," Jake Tapper, good to see you.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you.

BALDWIN: Did you get the sense that he enjoys this job?

TAPPER: I have three thoughts about this.


TAPPER: The first one is, every new President at around this point in his or her tenure --

BALDWIN: Just his so far.

TAPPER: -- realizes, wow, this is tough, even if they thought it was going to be tough. It can sound self-pitying or candid, depending on how you view the President. Take a listen to Barack Obama saying something similar.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The presidency is extraordinarily powerful but we are just part of a much broader tapestry of American life and there are a lot of different power centers and so I can't just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want or, you know, turn on a switch and suddenly, you know, Congress falls in line.


TAPPER: And remember, when he said that, Democrats controlled the house and the Senate.


TAPPER: And the White House.


[15:50:00] TAPPER: And that's another part of this, is that President Trump, probably a lot of people, including him, thought, hey, we've got the house, the Senate, the White House, let's pass some laws and it's proven to be much more difficult. Now, all that said, I think it is also true that if you look at the comment from Reuters as well as different comments he's made about, it turns out that the export/import bank is a good thing or it turns out that North Korea is really tough and who knew health care was so complicated. It's actually quite stunning how unaware he was of how difficult this was, especially when you think about how easy the --

BALDWIN: But he had never been in politics.

TAPPER: No, but anybody who reads the newspaper knows that this stuff is not easy. He promised his voters, this is going to be really easy he thought from the sheer force of his leadership, charisma, whatever, that he was going to be able to do things that really nobody can do. It's a combination of this is kind of par for the course and, yeah, he really had no idea what he was getting himself into.

BALDWIN: So, interesting, because I was talking anecdotally to these Trump supporters down at the NRA convention just now.

TAPPER: They love him.

BALDWIN: Yes. They love him, I said, grade him, a-minus, people aren't giving him as much of a chance, they were saying to me. They love that he tweets and that they do feel like he will fulfill those promises. Do you think people are being too tough on him in these first 100 days?

TAPPER: I mean, I remember Bill Clinton's first 100 days and they were kind of a disaster. You're too young to remember.

BALDWIN: Um, you're sweet.

TAPPER: But Bill Clinton was all of a sudden, they had thrust upon him the whole gays in military controversy which seems stupid now 25 years later. He didn't want to deal with it and then all of a sudden, he wanted to deal with it. It was rather tumultuous and chaotic. I mean, it's our job to be tough on everybody in power. It is amazing the partisan filter through which so many Americans see this President. So many Americans --

BALDWIN: Even more so.

TAPPER: Oh, more so than I've ever seen.


TAPPER: And part of that, I think, is the fact that he's such a controversial person and he lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote but it's just amazing how many people think he could do no wrong and also how many people think everything he does is wrong. You find out, oh, he wants to break up the ninth circuit court. People are like, oh, my god, he's a dictator. This is something conservatives have been talking about, you find out, oh, he wants to break up the ninth circuit court. People are like, oh, my god, he's a dictator. This is something conservatives have been talking about, the ninth circuit, it's huge, very unwieldy, and needs to be broken up.

BALDWIN: We'll see you tonight and --

TAPPER: At the correspondent's dinner.

BALDWIN: I actually have my class reunion.

TAPPER: You're a spring chicken. You're a little spring chicken.

BALDWIN: You're adorable. Jake, thanks. You a "Simpsons" fan?


BALDWIN: The executive producer joins me live to talk about how it came together. Very good.


BALDWIN: At age 14, this CNN hero was living alone on the streets. After years of struggle she managed to create a stable life and for the past 32 years has dedicated that life to helping vulnerable children in Israel, providing them with a safe haven and a family.

MARIUMA BEN YOSEF, SHANTI HOUSE: To be homeless at a young age, it's very lonely. When you don't have your family, you will always have this black hole. I know exactly what they're going through. I want children to breathe, to feel alive. I want them to feel secure and feel they can be hugged and they will not be in danger. We can see it in a different way and win life.

BALDWIN: To nominate someone you know who's changing lives, go to

Now another institution on television taking on Trump's first 100 days in office.


SIMPSONS CHARACTER: I am not replacing him.

SIMPSONS CHARACTER: Don't wrinkle the suit!

SIMPSONS CHARACTER: A hundred days in office, so many accomplishments, lowered my golf handicap, my twitter following increased by 700 and finally we can shoot hibernating bears. My boys will love that.

SIMPSONS CHARACTER: Sir, here's a new bill that you must read immediately. It lowers taxes for only Republicans.

SIMPSONS CHARACTER: Can't Fox News read it and I'll watch what they say?

SIMPSONS CHARACTER: Ah, no, you have to read it.

SIMPSONS CHARACTER: The new supreme court justice, Ivana, takes Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the bench. Can you buy Ivanka's robes for only 1,000 rubles?

SIMPSONS CHARACTER: You said you'd replace me with Garland!


BALDWIN: With me now, the brain child behind that piece, executive producer, writer, show runner for "The Simpsons," nearly 4 million views and counting, al, great to have you on.

[16:00:00] AL JEAN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND WRITER, THE SIMPSONS: Nice to be here. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Watching that clip, I've just got to ask, was there any part of that episode that you thought maybe twice about before it got sketched out?

JEAN: Yes, the beginning. But then we thought we better shock people right away because that's what the administration is doing. And then we wanted to list all of his accomplishments and it took less it and a minute.

BALDWIN: And you're talking about the beginning?

JEAN: Yes. If I had Mr. Spicer's job, I'd say I can't do it.

BALDWIN: President Trump isn't the first one you guys have taken on. Homer was not too kind to Bush 41 in the episode where the President lived across the street. What has your approach been when parodying these Presidents?

JEAN: I try to find something you can do, but Trump's hair is so magic. We say it's a dog on top of his head that moves around. When we read he had made it legal to shoot hibernating bears, we thought this is too funny to be true. We still haven't gotten the greatest reward we wanted, which is a tweet from Trump saying we're sad.

BALDWIN: You grew up Republican, right?

JEAN: Yes, but to quote Ronald Reagan, my party left me.

BALDWIN: Let's talk predictions. I've got you for about 40 more seconds. A past episode predicted a Trump White House. What are the Simpson's predictions for say, I don't know, 20.

JEAN: The next President is Lisa Simpson. So, I'm really excited by that possibility and that's what we're all praying for.

BALDWIN: Will we see any predictions in the upcoming episode?

JEAN: Well, the only thing we mention is that 100 days is only 6.8 percent of his term in office, 3.4 percent if he gets two terms so we've got a lot way to go.

BALDWIN: Al Jean, good luck, not that you need it with the millions of people watching this click.

Thank you for being with me. Have wonderful weekends but don't move a muscle. "The Lead with Jake Tapper" starts right now.