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U.S. Pulls Out of Paris Climate Deal; Manila Casino Attack: 35 Killed; Putin Denies Interfering in U.S. Election. Aired 4:30-5a ET
Aired June 2, 2017 - 04:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[04:30:34] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States will with draw from the Paris climate accord.
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VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And with that announcement, the future of America's role shaping local issues suddenly is in doubt. President Trump pulls out of a landmark climate accord. So, the question is, is the U.S. advocating leadership to some allies and some adversaries?
EARLY START's coverage continues right now. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Victor Blackwell, in for David Briggs.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you this morning.
I'm Christine Romans, in for Christine Romans. It's 31 minutes past the hour, and a lot to get to this morning.
The United States is no longer a global leader combating climate change, folks. President Trump announcing he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. A process that will take until November 2020 to complete. The sweeping move fulfills a campaign promise that is prompting sharp backlash from nations around the globe and business leaders here in the United States.
BLACKWELL: Speaking from the Rose Garden, the president said he wants to renegotiate key parts of the agreement. But there's stark warnings that the U.S. is ceding a leadership role it's held shaping word events since World War II.
Our coverage begins with Jim Acosta at the White House.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, key U.S. allies are telling President Trump they are not willing to renegotiate the Paris climate agreement. Leaders from France, Germany and Italy are all telling the White House there will be no renegotiations in response to the president's comments that he would like to strike a better climate deal. The president made it clear during a speech at the White House that he's thinking more about key voters in states like Pennsylvania than the U.S. allies that are now disappointed that the U.S. is withdrawing from the deal.
Here's more of what he had to say.
TRUMP: It is time to exit the Paris accord and time to pursue a new deal that effects the environment and our companies, our citizens, and our country. It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with many, many, other locations within our great country before Paris, France. It's time to make America great again.
ACOSTA: The president's daughter Ivanka had been pushing the president to stay in the climate agreement. She and her husband Jared Kushner did not attend the president's speech. A White House official said they were observing a Jewish holiday in the morning, but the official noted Kushner opted to keep a prescheduled meeting at the White House rather than attend the president's speech -- Christine and Victor.
ROMANS: You heard Jim mentioned France, Germany, Italy, all swiftly pushing back against the president's intention to renegotiate parts of this climate deal.
CNN's Melissa Bell is in Paris for us this morning. I want to bring her in for more on the response from these key European allies.
Good morning, Melissa. And we understand that the French president, the new French president, pulled out his English to give a speech late at night about the outcome here.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
First here in France, we have a president who can speak English almost fluently, Christine. The response really from Europe has been swift and it's been united and it's been fairly angry.
I'd just like to show you a couple of the headlines here in France this morning, "Goodbye, America" there on the front page, referring to the fact that Europe considered it is saying good-bye to its historic ally not just on climate but perhaps on (INAUDIBLE). Trump there provoking the world. That is the headline and that's very much the sense here in Europe as the continent has awoken to this news.
I have just been speaking to the France's prime minister, also the man who presided over these negotiations a year and a half ago here in Paris. The man considered the architect of the climate deal. He said this was a fault on the part of Donald Trump against humanity and against the world.
I asked him specifically about the concrete challenge which is the $3 billion that the United States was to contribute to the poorest countries to help them achieve their targets. He said that inaction was simply not an option and that therefore that money would now have to be found. But, really, there's been a sense of uniting around this common cause of wanting to fight back and in a sense move ahead faster perhaps with the rest of the world in light of what the United States has announced this morning.
[04:35:02] Paris' Mayor Anne Hidalgo has held a press conference very much in that vein, along those lines, saying that the Paris deal will live, Christine.
ROMANS: All right. Melissa Bell in Paris for us this morning -- thank you so much for that.
BLACKWELL: China is vowing to stick to its commitments to fight climate change, promising to be a, quote, responsible party after the U.S. bailed. The one European leader warning that if America steps off the world stage, the Chinese are in prime position to fill that vacuum.
Let's bring in CNN's Matt Rivers for more on China's plan. His live this morning for us in Beijing.
And what are we hearing this withdrawal means for China?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, whether they're ready for it or not China becomes the leader of the fight against climate change for those countries that remain, 194 countries that remain in the original Paris agreement. And why is that? Well, China is the biggest greenhouse gas emitting country in the world and China is the largest country, the largest economy that remains in the agreement and because of that, China has the biggest ability to affect the most amount of change.
In other countries, smaller countries will be watching what China does here. You know, if China sticks to its commitments and if they are the biggest greenhouse gas emitter then other countries could possibly look at and say, well, if China can do it, so can we. There's a very kind of natural follow of the leader aspect going on here and China does appear ready to take on that role.
China says it's going to stick with the climate agreement no matter what the United States does or does not do moving forward. China has said they will invest 360 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2020 in clean energy development projects and shuttered already this year 140 planned for new coal power plant construction sites. So, they do appear to be putting their money where their mouth is.
Now, in terms of responding to the U.S., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn't directly criticize the U.S. only that China will remain in this agreement but a state run tabloid newspaper called "The Global Times" in an editorial called the U.S. withdrawal reckless and said it was an example of how the U.S. can be selfish and show its responsibility -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Matt Rivers for us there in Beijing -- thank you.
ROMANS: All right. Critics say influence on the world events, Americans find themselves taking backseat and other critical global issues.
I want to go to London and bring in CNN's Frederik Pleitgen.
You know, the president very clear here that he is talking to a domestic audience. He is talking to his base.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
ROMANS: He made promises and he's going to keep the promises for American workers. How is that playing where you are?
PLEITGEN: Well, I think it's playing very badly, especially with a lot of European leaders. You know, one of the things that's so interesting over the past couple of days was where, you know, leadership in Washington, you had H.R. McMaster, the president himself as well saying, you know, that it's going to be America first and also that America was going to have a different style of leadership.
And now, you're having a lot of European leaders asking what is American leadership? What is it going to look like in the future and they're obviously already going in a different direction. They're trying to foster deeper trade ties for instance with these Asian countries, for instance with China, for instance with India, but also deeper political ties as well.
And that's, of course, also something that is going to show on the world stage, especially when you have things like potentially trade disputes between the U.S. and China, which is something that could happen. I mean, you had President Trump being very critical, for instance, of the Chinese. If you have something like that in the future, where are the Europeans going to stand if they not only have deeper climate combating ties to these countries, but if they also have much deeper economic and then also political ties.
Because one of the things we have to keep in mind, Christine, is a lot of the integration that's been going in Europe started with economic integration and then became political integration, and that's something that could happen on the world stage as well, and right now, there's a lot of people here in Europe believe the U.S. doesn't want to be a part of that.
ROMANS: There's a sense in Washington, Fred, that the anger and the unease from the European capitals is a welcome byproduct for this president. It's number two added benefit of him quitting. I'm not kidding.
PLEITGEN: Potentially. I mean, look, I'm sure that there are people who voted for President Trump who feel that the U.S. does need to deal with self-interest more than it has in the past. I mean, one of the things you have to keep in mind is that America has done a huge amount for the world, a huge amount for Europe.
If I look at the country that I'm from, Germany certainly would not be in the position that it's in right now economically if America hadn't been such an amazing ally over decades and decades, not just for security perspective, but essentially also by helping rebuild that country.
But they want a partnership and one of the things that the Europeans especially are feeling is, look, of course, the sense that there might be a global community out there might not be true globally, but they did feel that there was a transatlantic community, that there were things that transcended the interest of countries.
[04:40:02] And I think that's something at least with this administration many, many European leader fear is getting lost.
ROMANS: All right. Frederik Pleitgen for us this morning in London -- thanks, Fred.
So, why did the president quit the Paris accord? This grim future.
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TRUMP: The Paris accord and the onerous energy restrictions that it's placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025.
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ROMANS: OK, 2.7 million lost jobs. That nugget comes from a study that's a favorite of the deal's critics. It was commissioned by a conservative public interest group and some experts say it grossly overestimates the cost of cutting emissions. Why? It only counts losses in heavy industry like steel and coal without balancing out gains in alternative energy.
Job growth and clean energy is outpacing any old school energy sector. For example, last year, solar jobs grew 17 times faster than the average, and solar employs more than twice the number of Americans the coal industry does and so does natural gas.
Experts say the president's policies could impede that job trend. It's why business leaders are calling out the president's decision. They say he is stuck in the past. The future of jobs and investment for workers is in clean tech.
BLACKWELL: So, for the years before his run for president, private citizen Donald Trump and then during the campaign, candidate Trump repeatedly claimed climate change is a hoax.
Well, does President Trump believe that? Listen here to the president's chief economic adviser Gary Cohn repeatedly ducking the question in "THE SITUATION ROOM".
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WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHR: Does President Trump still believe climate change is a hoax?
GARY COHN, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: What President Trump believes is he was elected to grow the U.S. economy and provide great job opportunities for American citizens and what he believes he did today was to do exactly that.
BLITZER: But he has said repeatedly during the campaign, he said often it was a hoax. Does the president still believe that?
COHN: Wolf, as I said what the president is committed to doing is protecting the United States and growing our economy.
BLITZER: But with all due respect, Gary, you're not answering the question. Do you know? Have you discussed this with the president? Does he still believe that climate change and global warming is a hoax?
COHN: I'm answering what the president is committed to. He's very committed to his role as president of the United States and being the leader. He commented today in his speech about the environment and his commitment to the environment.
BLITZER: So, is that a no? He no longer believes what he tweeted during the course of the campaign and years earlier that it's a hoax?
COHN: Look, you're going to have to ask him. You're going to actually have to ask him.
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BLACKWELL: Four times there Wolf Blitzer asked and Gary Cohn did not or could not answer the question.
Now in an off-camera briefing of the White House, two administration officials were asked whether the president believes human activity contributes to climate change. They also dodged the question.
ROMANS: What's so fascinating to me about Gary Cohn there, he used to be the number two at Goldman Sachs? The moment he's on there being grilled by Wolf Blitzer, his former boss Lloyd Blankfein sending his first tweet ever saying this is the wrong move from this president.
So, you know, Gary Cohn, such an interesting position for him to be in.
BLACKWELL: And Wolf asked Gary Cohn if he supports this withdrawal and he didn't give a clear answer to that either. And many who believe he does not support this but he didn't answer for himself there.
ROMANS: Forty-three minutes past the hour.
The death toll climbing after a rampage at a casino in the Philippines. Police are saying this was not a terror attack. But the president, President Trump, claimed it was.
[04:47:55] BLACKWELL: Thirty-five people now confirmed dead in the attack at the Resorts World Casino in Manila. A lone gunman storming the facility early Friday morning, shooting up slot machines, setting gambling tables on fire. But police say all the victims suffocated in the fire. None of them were shot.
The attacker also dead after setting himself on fire and shooting himself.
ROMANS: The Philippines' government and police ruling out terrorism as a motive for this attack, but listen to how the president of the United States described it.
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TRUMP: I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila. We're closely monitoring the situation. It is really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror.
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ROMANS: When the White House was asked why President Trump mentioned terrorism in regards to the Manila attack, a senior official said the president had been briefed that media reports indicated ISIS had taken credit. It is not clear what media reports they are talking about.
BLACKWELL: The Trump administration petitioning the Supreme Court to reinstate the president's travel ban. The Justice Department asking the high court to lift lower court rulings that halted the president's executive order. The travel ban would temporarily barred travelers from six Muslim majority countries. And the administration argues it's a matter of national security. Critics call it a discriminatory ban on Muslims.
ROMANS: All right. The president proclaiming he has created more than a million private sector jobs, a million private sector jobs. We will fact check the exaggerator in chief right after the break.
[04:53:43] BLACKWELL: Seven minutes before the top of the hour now. Russian President Vladimir Putin set to speak about U.S.-Russia business relations. Executives from several American corporations will be at the economic round table in St. Petersburg to listen to his pitch.
Now, the event comes one day after the Russian leader denied the government interfered in the election but he did suggest patriotic hacker in his country may have independently played a role.
Let's bring in CNN's Clare Sebastian live from Moscow.
Again, saying that the government had no role but taking this step we had not seen or heard from Putin up until this point.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, I think we have to be careful not to over-interpret this. You know, this was a franker, more vocal Putin than we have seen in recent weeks but he was on his own stage there, the star of his own show in Petersburg, and perhaps took the opportunity for a little mischief even. We've got the sense with these comments on hackers that he was being deliberately provocative perhaps.
He said that, you know, he compared them to artists. He said they may wake up in the morning in a good move and paint something and perhaps being motivated by patriotism. But he did reiterate that it doesn't mean they didn't have anything to do with the Russian government. The Russian government has maintained all along that it had nothing to do with hacking in the U.S. election and he did not stray from that line.
But he touched on a number of issues. As I say, very vocal in contrast to recent weeks.
[04:55:03] He talked about whether or not he was friends with President Trump. He said, how could I be friends with someone I never met?
But he did call him a sincere and straightforward man. He had a fresh approach and this could lead to good things. You know, the two are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in July. That's just over a month away.
So, perhaps Putin is taking the opportunity here and his annual event in St. Petersburg to almost set the agenda for that and to really get his views out and defend Russia's position.
And as you say, Victor, we expect to hear more from him when he takes to that stage again today. So, you know, a very interesting evolution in tone there, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we know that statements like this in the past have not seemed -- have been spontaneous from Putin. But, again, he's the star of his own show there for us.
Clare Sebastian in Moscow, thank you.
BLACKWELL: Yes, patriotic hacking.
ROMANS: Patriotic hacking.
All right. The date has been set. James Comey will testify next Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The former FBI director is expected to detail private conversations he had with President Trump. He's almost certain to be asked whether the president urged him to drop his investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn.
BLACKWELL: Meantime, letters newly obtained by CNN show that two Democratic senators have asked the FBI three times to investigate Attorney General Jeff Sessions for possible perjury. Senators Al Franken and Pat Leahy say they are concerned that Sessions lied at confirmation hearings about his meetings with the Russian ambassador. They sent the letters monthly from March through May. Now, a source says that so far, they had no response from the FBI.
ROMANS: Now this, it's a word you may have never even heard of let alone spelled, but one 12-year-old showing what she has got.
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ANANYA VINAY, SPELLING BEE WINNER: M-a-r-o-c-a-i-n.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.
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ROMANS: Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California, named the winner of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee. She is a 6th grader. Her victory ending the contest's three-year streak of ending in a tie.
BLACKWELL: I think she was a little startled there by the confetti cannon. It was a bit much at once. Anya and her rifle Rohan Rajiv (ph) battled it out for 41 minutes at the final until Ananya won, you saw there.
She goes home with $40,000 in cash, along with the trophy, and in case you're wondering, marocain is a kind of dress fabric. She can spell it. I have to take a pause before saying it.
ROMANS: All right. Good for her.
Fifty-seven minutes past the hour.
Let's get a check on CNN "Money Stream" this morning.
Global stock markets and futures stretching higher this morning after record highs. That's right. The Dow popping 136 points for its first record close since March 1st.
Overall, a banner day on Wall Street. Stocks shrugging off the business community's protest of the Paris deal decision because corporate America has already made plans for climate change and these CEOs say they're not changing course now. They're looking beyond the next three or seven years. They're looking to the future.
Also, investors also saw a strong reading of private sector jobs ahead of today's monthly jobs report. On that subject, America poised for its 88th consecutive month of job growth, 80 months in a row. The May jobs report due in 3 1/2 hours.
Here's what economists expect: 179,000 jobs added and unemployment rate staying at a ten year low of 4.4 percent. So, far the U.S. added 522,000 jobs since the president took office.
You see him there in the Rose Garden yesterday. Yesterday, he claimed he had created 1 million jobs. Where did that number come from? It's most likely based on the ADP employment report. It said the U.S. added 1.2 million private sector jobs since January.
However, there's two problem with that figure. ADP is an estimate and uses a much smaller sample size than the Labor Department. So, the president looking at a different set of statistics than that official government statistic.
U.S. auto sales fell for the fifth straight months. The big U.S. auto company sold just over 1.5 million cars in May. That's down to last year. Car sales are slowing after seven years of increases, and auto makers are trimming production and jobs to save money. For example, GM has cut 5,000 jobs since November.
Closely watching those auto figures, because, you know, if you're going to buy a car, it's a real sign of confidence in the American economy of seven years of very good sales now seems to have peaked.
BLACKWELL: All right. Reaction to the U.S. withdrawal from Paris accord still coming in.
EARLY START continues right now.
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TRUMP: So, we're getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair. And if we can, that's great. If we can't, that's fine.
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BLACKWELL: This announcement represents a seismic shift in the U.S. role on the world stage. President Trump pulls out of a landmark climate accord. The move has the rest of the world asking, what is America's future in global affairs?
EARLY START's coverage begins right now.