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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 6:30-7a ET
Aired June 2, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAMEROTA: President Trump says pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord was to make good on a campaign promise. So how does it play with his base? Let's discuss with two people who know the rust belt well. CNN National politics reporter, MJ Lee and CNN contributor and author of "Hillbilly Elegy", J.D. Vance. Great to see both of you. MJ you spent much time during the election traversing the country. Talking to voters. What's your sense of what his base feels about this?
MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITCS REPORTER: Well, I mean if you're talking about the people who are at the very, very core of his base, there is definitely a sense that, you know, American workers and American people are getting the raw end of the deal. And I think that's why we heard Trump, you know, as he was going out through out the country, saying things like these trade deals, these agreements are not good for our country. But I also think that having spent a lot of time at Trump rallies, there's also a segment of the Republican base that doesn't actually believe, or didn't believe at the time, that Trump was going to follow through on some of these campaign promises. Talking to voters. There was always a sort of sentiment. Look, Trump is saying what he needs to say right now is to get him through the election, to win the election. But we don't actually believe that he's going to build a wall. We don't actually believe -
CAMEROTA: Now that he is following through in this are they happy about that?
LEE: Well, I think some of Trump's critics and some strategists who are watching him make these policy decisions would say this might be a miscalculation that what he's doing now is solidifying the people who are at the very core of his base, but not necessarily broadening his support to independents, and even democrats that he might need to win over in some of these places in the Rust Belt. And I think, especially for a president who's approval numbers are so low right now so early in his presidency, that, that might be a miscalculation. That's what some strategists might say.
CUOMO: So a little bit of it comes down to who is they? You know, who are you talking about specifically. So, J.D., this does seem to be a pretty straight line bargain with people who are in those beat up towns and communities where you had a deep manufacturing base, and specifically, the coal industry. So, if that's what this was, how much of this is a promise that Donald Trump's going to make their life better. He's going to return those jobs. How big a part of the promise is that? The delivery on something different? Not just getting out of an accord.
J.D. VANCE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's certainly the promise that he made. And if you look at his remarks yesterday when we pulled out of the Paris Accord, what President Trump said is, look, this is a trade off between a global agreement and American jobs. Unfortunately for the president, I think both the political benefits and good for the president, the political costs of pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords is actually pretty minimal because if you look not just at his core base, but if you look at voters in general, most voters just don't care that much about climate policy, so I think the president is doing something that he may see as an act of political theater. An act of political theater that may bring some real political benefits to him. But, I just don't see the evidence in that, either in talking to people or in just looking at the data in how people prioritize climate policy.
CUOMO: Right, except that the numbers show that Republicans, and Americans overall, thought that we should stay in the accord. So, it wasn't like he was doing something that was very popular.
CUOMO: Seems to be a trade on this notion, which I would suggest is disinformation. I don't believe that this accord is why we're losing coal jobs or will continue to lose coal jobs. I think there's a lot of other factors, but what if he doesn't return those jobs? What if those people in those areas aren't given new employment and better wages?
VANCE: Well, Chris, you made a really important point, which is that a majority of the public does support the deal, but the strength of that support is actually pretty weak, so it's not a high priority issue, and consequently, I think the politics are pretty ambivalent here for the president. But, the most important is, actually, the one that you made just there, is you got to actually bring jobs back to these communities and that implicates productivity. That implicates our education system. It, frankly, implicates issues that are much more difficult and much more complex than just pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords. And so, I think while the president may get a short-term, very minor political advantage with his core base of supporters, at a fundamental level over the long term, people are going to be looking around and saying, is my life actually getting better? Are these things actually improving? And unfortunately, I don't think pulling out of the Parris Accord does much good. And I don't think that much of what we've seen so far in the first 120 days does much good. This is a really long term question that the president has to answer better.
CAMEROTA: J.D., I just wanted to ask you, I mean these are your people, right? The "Hillbilly Elegy" was based on your relatives and you know the coal mining industry. And they, of course, know more about the coal mining industry than the president does. Do they believe that their coal jobs are coming back?
VANCE: Well, that's what's so amazing about this entire conversation is, is that the people on the ground are in some ways the most pessimistic of all about whether this coal jobs are coming back. Look, you definitely talked to people who think that maybe the coal industry could get a little bit better over the short and medium term, but people generally recognize that the coal economy is a small part of the economy and that it's never returning to its former glory. And so, folks recognize that there has to be a new economic leaf in the area. We need something else. We need newer kinds of jobs. We need the education that prepares people to actually work in those jobs. And that's why, I think ultimately, what we're seeing with the Paris Accords politically isn't going to affect the president that much one way or the other. If he loses his base, it will be because two years from now, they say, jobs haven't come back. And I think that's really the fundamental question the president and his team have to be asking.
CUOMO: So, MJ, so how do you deal with that, in terms of the challenge for the president that you articulated and J.D. supports, he's got to grow. Sure, he may have please some of his base with doing this because he promised to, but how does he grow?
LEE: First of all, I would just quickly emphasize that it was not a coincidence yesterday that the majority of Trump's speech yesterday had to do with an economic message. That because of this climate deal, we have seen jobs leaving the country. That it is, you know, the workers who are in the Rust Belt states, you know, he specifically mentioned certain places like Pittsburgh, that are losing, that, you know, I want to be the leader of these kinds of towns and cities. I'm not the leader of Paris, however, I think the message that also came across to a lot of people, and that was alarming to a lot of people, was the message that it sends out to the broader world. That he is not being, you know, the leader of the free world. And is only, sort of focused on this very bro - you know, narrow segment of the population that voted for him that he's hoping will vote for him again in 2020.
CAMEROTA: And, I mean of course, the mayor of Pittsburgh was like, thanks but no thanks.
CAMEROTA: This is a gift to us. We have our eyes set on a different future than the one you're describing. MJ, thank you. J.D, thank you very much. We want to let you know that CNN politics has a new online magazine called "State." It's the new monthly issue. It goes live noon Eastern today. MJ Lee wrote the cover story exploring the role religion has played in President Trump's life. That sounds fascinating. You can find it at cnn.com/state.
CUOMO: God and the Don. That's a good title. All right, so, we have another headline for you. Dozens of people were killed in the Philippines. What happened? Well, we now know a gunman set fire to a casino resort in Manila. Why? What was the motive? We have the latest details. Next.
CAMEROTA: Breaking news for you out of the Philippines. A deadly attack at a casino in Manila -
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CAMEROTA: Killing at least 35 people, injuring 70 others. Officials say the victims suffocated after a gunman torched gambling tables and then filled the casino with thick toxic smoke. The attacker later killed himself. The government says terrorism is not the motive.
CUOMO: All right, the big series -
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CUOMO: Started last night and the Warriors remain perfect in the NBA Playoffs. I got to tell you, it did not look like an even match up last night. They took down the Cavs in game one. It was a blow out this first game of the finals. Coy Wire has more in the Bleacher Report. I got to tell you, that Cavs team looked like the first Cavs team that Lebron took to the finals. You remember that, when it was all him and he was looking around, not knowing what was going to happen next.
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COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And they did look like a JV team playing against the varsity. This is one of the most anticipated NBA finals of all time. Warriors and Cavs for a third straight year.
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Last night's game, kind of like a dunk fest for dominance. LeBron James got it started early throwing down on Jebel(ph) Mcghee with authority. Cavs overcame that three to one series deficient. Shocked(ph) Golden State last year, but the Warriors didn't have this guy. Kevin Durant out there crushing it like Cuomo and Camerota in the mornings. He's a future Hall of Famer. Stepped into the spotlight and owned it. A game high 38 points. Warriors win 113 to 91. Here's K.D. after the game.
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KEVIN DURANT, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: This is what you dream about as a kid is to play at the highest level. It was hard to do what we want to do. And it's hard to, you know, stay locked(ph) in(ph) for 48 minutes. LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: You cannot simulate, you know, what they bring to the table, no matter how many days that you have to prepare. But we made a lot of mistakes. They capitalized. And we get an opportunity to get a couple days to see what they did, to see what we did wrong and how we can be better in game two.
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WIRE: Wont' you join us tomorrow on CNN All Access at the NBA Finals, the CNN Bleacher Report special, Dave Briggs and former NBA all star turner(ph) sports analyst Steve Smith with an in depth look at the Cavs, Warriors match up. That's at 2:30 Eastern.
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CAMEROTA: Should be good, Coy. And I am often compared to Kevin Durant, favorably. I might add. So, thank you for that.
WIRE: You're welcome.
CAMEROTA: All right, how will the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Deal -
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CAMEROTA: Affect America on the world stage? That's next.
CUOMO: America first. Does that mean America alone? That's a question that the president raised in announcing his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. President Trump made a case that, look, this isn't even about the environment in his reckoning. It's about jobs and making America great. Let's listen to a sample.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia, and across the world should not have more to say with respect to the US economy than our own citizens and their elected representatives. Thus, our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America's sovereignty.
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CUOMO: All right, let's discuss with Jen Psaki, CNN Political Commentator, former White House Communications Director and Matt Schlapp, former Political Director for President George W. Bush and Chairman of the American Conservative Union. Matt, this is about jobs. Don't bother me with these questions about the climate. This is why we lost all those coal jobs and it's time to put America first again. Is that the case? And if so, do you accept it?
MATT SCHLAPP, FMR POLITICAL DIRECTOR FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I do think that a lot of this has to do with the fact that there's a great swath of working people who have felt like their economic prospects have dimmed over the last decade or decade and a half. Their take-home pay has not kept up with inflation. And they find the staples of life, being more expensive. And every climate solution that is talked about, including the one Obama tried to get passed through the congress, which he was unable to get the votes for, it all comes down to some very simple thing. You either have to buy a credit to use carbon base fuels or you have to pay a tax to use carbon base fuels. And when we say carbon based fuels, we mean coal, but we also mean natural gas and we mean oil. And what happens to these people, the working men and women, is that they become disenchanted with this idea that it should cost more to fill their gas tank. It should cost more to heat or cool their homes. And they also become disenchanted with this idea that we lose more of the jobs that they see as their bridge to giving a better life to them and their families.
CUOMO: So, Jen Psaki, Democrat eyes get wide, because they believe that this is a deception and that the Paris Accord isn't what's behind this type of economic hurt. How do you make that case?
JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's not just Democrat's eyes. It's the eyes of economists, the eyes of business leaders as we saw from the reaction yesterday. The reality is the jobs that are being created in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana, states that Trump won that he wants to keep winning, they're significantly more for renewable energy than they are for coal. And those are areas where there's huge opportunity. So, actually the economic argument that Donald Trump made yesterday and that Matt just made is complete bologna. And it's not one that we should believe. The coal industry has been dying for the past four to five years. It's not because of any policy Obama put into place, it's because natural gas is cheaper. And because there are other sources of energy that people are relying on. So, it's actually shouldn't be seen as a partisan thing. This is a factual issue and one where economists and business leaders and many Democrats and some Republicans are all on the same side.
CUOMO: Matt Schlapp, response.
SCHLAPP: Yes, OK, so basically when we're talking about these carbon constraints, it's not aimed at coal. It's aimed at coal, natural gas, and oil. All the fossil fuels are at the target here. And the fact that everyone talks about green jobs. I'm all for them. I'm from Kansas. I believe in wind energy. I believe in solar energy. I believe in thermo energy. I believe in hydro. But it needs to be economic. And what happens to a lot of these green jobs, alla(ph) salindra(ph) and alla(ph) what happened in Spain with their bubble on green jobs is that when it's all pushed because of subsidies, what ends up happening is that middle class Americans have to pay the way so that billionaires can try these schemes. I'm all for what works and I think there's plenty of renewables that can work, but all these studies, Chris, that show that the job losses that occur when you put these carbon constraints into law, all of these studies are net of the renewable jobs. So, what we're really talking about, and let's be honest, Jen, I agree with you, let's look at the facts. We're just saying energy should cost more and when you're middle class, that really hurts.
CUOMO: All right, so, one concern about this first on each side. First for you, Matt Schlapp.
CUOMO: This really, kind of, like, deafening silence about where the president is on global warming. I mean, you saw the interviews yesterday. No matter how many times these White House officials and supporters were asked, they wouldn't even answer what the president thinks about global warming. Sean Spicer said I don't know what the president thinks about it, I have to ask him, which we would all agree can't be true. What do you make of that?
SCHLAPP: Look, I'm skeptical of some of the science. Some studies I read, I read a lot of, show that we could be in a warming period. Others show that it's different and it's more mixed.
CUOMO: But you know the scientific community has consensus about green house gases and humans impact on it and the president not offering up a position when with - when withdrawing from an accord and none of the supporters even answering it. You don't think that's odd?
SCHLAPP: Chris, I think the UN community, the scientific community, does have consensus around this. I also think there are periods of time when consensus can be incorrect. And I think we should be awfully careful before we make the middle class pay even more and shed even more American jobs for something that might turn out to not be true. Look, when you and I were in school, they were talking about the coming Ice Age. They're all over the - they're all over the map on their predictions on climate. I'm for being responsible, but I'm not for making middle class Americans have to pay the price for all this -
CUOMO: I got that you would like energy to stay inexpensive, but this is not about the science. The science is conclusive for a reason -
CUOMO: What will happen as a result is - Jen Psaki, I'll give you a pass because Matt Schlapp threw me a curve ball there. So, we'll pick up that conversation next time. The challenge for you guys is, can you make enough green jobs to make up for the green jobs that you lose? The proof isn't there yet. Jen Psaki, thank you very much. Matt Schlapp, appreciate it as always, my friend. Alysn.
CAMEROTA: Up next, world leaders reacting with anger and outrage to President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Stay with us on that next.