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Trump Pulls U.S. From Paris Climate Accord; Comey In The Hot Seat; Clinton's Blame Game; Belle Of The Bee. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 2, 2017 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[07:30:00] REP. CHRIS COLLINS, (R) NEW YORK, ENERGY & COMMERCE COMMITTEE: Well, I do accept it. In fact, I traveled to the Arctic Circle a week ago to meet with the scientists. We discussed this in great depth.

CUOMO: And?

COLLINS: They pointed out that most of the models that have been put out there are not playing out for a variety of reasons but there is some level of warming -- not a debate. With that, we're getting more vegetation. The vegetation, in turn, is absorbing the CO2 at rates which were not expected.

CUOMO: Did any of the scientists --

COLLINS: The dire consequences are not where --

CUOMO: -- tell you that global warming isn't a problem? Did any of them tell you that? Any?

COLLINS: They did not -- we did not use those terms. We tried to stay away from the political terms. Yes, temperatures are rising but with that, we're getting more vegetation. The ocean's acting as a heat sink in an unexpected way. The vegetation is absorbing the CO2. We just talked about hard numbers. The numbers are not going up the way they were predicted and at some point, you know, we have all kinds of climate change issues going on. You know, the rotation of the earth and so forth. But we need jobs. We need to focus on jobs. We don't need to kill jobs deliberately.

CUOMO: I understand, but I don't understand why it's an either/or proposition. I don't know why you would have to deny science to make jobs. I don't get it. You can dance if you want --

COLLINS: Well, I'm certainly not denying science.

CUOMO: -- but no scientist told him that that's there no global warming problem and our president says it's a hoax.

COLLINS: No.

CUOMO: You don't see a disconnect there that's a problem?

COLLINS: Well, I have not discussed this with President Trump.

CUOMO: Shouldn't you?

COLLINS: I have not heard him use the word "hoax."

CUOMO: You just went to the Arctic Circle. Don't you want to know if the president agrees with the scientists you just traveled all the way up there from New York to the Arctic Circle to find out about?

COLLINS: No, I needed to do my own investigation. I came back and -- I've always said that human behavior has an impact on climate. There no way you could ever debate that.

CUOMO: The president says that you're selling a hoax.

COLLINS: But I also found out that the dire predictions are not as dire as some people have made.

CUOMO: So the models may be off, it's an inexact part of this. But the science that is the foundation --

COLLINS: Right.

CUOMO: -- of it -- look, I've got to go. We don't have enough time. But this is an important thing for the American people to hear. You didn't hear any scientists say that there's no global warming. You say you don't know what the president thinks about it. And we just pulled out of an accord that has every country in it except Syria, Nicaragua, and us, on the basis of understanding about global warming. Do you think the president needs to step up and say something about that?

COLLINS: No, he didn't -- I don't believe the president pulled out because of global warming. He pulled out because it was a God-awful deal, the same that Barack Obama negotiated time and again. It was going to cost us millions of jobs and we're about growing the economy three percent GDP year-over-year. There was no growth under Obama. This was a job decision -- an economic decision to put America first and get our economy growing. That's what it was.

CUOMO: I just don't know how you can pull out of an environmental accord and not discuss the main issue of the environment but, Congressman Collins, I appreciate your perspective on the show, as always.

COLLINS: OK, good to be with you, Chris.

CUOMO: Alisyn --

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: OK, another top story. What will James Comey say when he takes the hot seat next week? We have a Democrat on the House Intel Committee joining us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:36:25] CAMEROTA: Former FBI director James Comey is scheduled to testify next Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. These will be his first public comments since President Trump fired him. Will Comey share what President Trump told him about the Russia investigation?

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman from Connecticut, Jim Himes. He's a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, thanks for being here.

REP. JIM HIMES, (D) CONNECTICUT, MEMBER, HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE: Good morning, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Congressman, if James Comey says, as has been reported that he will, that President Trump asked him to back off of the investigation into Michael Flynn, what will you do? What will Congress do with that information?

HIMES: Well, that would obviously be a pretty serious charge, right? I mean, it points in the direction -- and I really want to use that phrase advisedly -- it points in the direction of the possibility of the obstruction ofjustice and, you know, this is in the context, of course, of the firing itself. And, you know, we've got three different stories from the White House and from the president himself and his people about why James Comey was fired. As we know, the president told, of all people, the Russian foreign minister that he fired him because it lifted a great deal of pressure off of him with respect to the Russia investigation.

So we need to get to the details of exactly what the president and what the president's people said to Jim Comey. What they might -- what other forms of pressure they might have put on the Justice Department or on the FBI because this gets to the question of whether there was a systematic, rather than just sort of a casual, off-hand attempt to slow down or stop one of the most series investigations that we've seen in this country's history.

CAMEROTA: OK, so that's the Senate side and you're on the House side. What is going on with the House Intel Committee that you are on? The chairman of your committee, Devin Nunes, just issued subpoenas about the Russia investigation. But wait, he had said that he had stepped aside and recused himself from this investigation. What's happening?

HIMES: Yes, we had sort of hoped that we might be beyond this friction -- these weird issues that keep popping up. We all went through that period of time when the chairman went to the White House and was given information, and then he went to the White House to give that information back to the White House which, of course, resulted in him stepping away from the investigation and Mike Conaway, a guy who we all respect and we have worked with very, very well for the last several weeks, stepping in.

Now, of course, we have a series of subpoenas and the chairman says that these subpoenas are related to the issue of unmasking. He hasn't said whether that pertains to Russia or not. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps it doesn't. OK, we should look into this question of unmasking but he -- but it is important that he let Mike Conaway do his job of continuing to lead in as nonpartisan a way as possible this investigation.

And I have to tell you, I was terribly disappointed in the chairman's tweets, you know. We're doing an investigation here. We are the Intelligence Committee and the chairman put up a tweet that said that --

CAMEROTA: I have it.

HIMES: -- there was fake news from media leaks about people who have --

CAMEROTA: I'm listening.

HIMES: So, you're showing it. No interest in the civil rights of Americans.

CAMEROTA: Yes. "Seeing a lot of fake news from media elites --

HIMES: I mean --

CAMEROTA: -- and others who have no interest in violations of American civil liberties via unmaskings." What do you make of this?

HIMES: Well, it just stuns me beyond words because we on the Intelligence Committee have an obligation, particularly as investigators, to be careful about the language we use, to be clearly impartial. And all of that tweet -- the word "fake news," the word "media elites" accusing others of having no interest in Americans' constitutional liberties -- that is -- that is a level of inflammatory rhetoric that, quite frankly, I'd be surprised if it came out of Donald Trump.

[07:40:18] So look, Devin Nunes is a friend of mine. We've worked very, very well together in the past but that is language that is going to make it very, very hard for us to do our jobs and it reflects poorly on the chairman, you know. We've got a terribly important oversight role with respect to our Intelligence Community and when our chairman is using language that is right out of the Donald Trump bumper sticker playbook, you know, it just really raises questions about whether he can be an impartial and objective arbiter of the very, very important work we do day in and day out.

CAMEROTA: Congressman, what's your reaction to the president pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord? I know you're in Berlin right now so, obviously, you're getting an earful from people overseas. What's your reaction?

HIMES: Well, you know, it's funny. I was just listening to my colleague Chris Collins talk to -- talk to Chris Cuomo and, you know, I just -- my head was spinning. It's not just the fact that we've joined the elite company of Nicaragua and Syria in rejecting this deal but, of course, pretty much every business leader in America, including a lot of the president's own people from Goldman Sachs to Apple to Google have said this is a terrible idea. So Iunderstand that the president feels some obligation to, I guess, fulfill a campaign promise but this is a promise that is built on lies.

And my colleague Chris Collins, you know, first of all saying that this bound us to a bad deal. This really wasn't a deal. This was a series of voluntary pledges that every country made as part of this -- voluntary pledges. Now look, Donald Trump could have said I don't like the pledge that Barack Obama made and so I'm going to alter that pledge. That, at least, would not have put us at odds with the entire rest of the world and a good chunk of the American job-creating economy.

You know, the speech that the president gave in the Rose Garden, it was sort of hard to part(ph) that speech for something that was actually factual or fair. It was this long stream of campaign rhetoric that had no bearing on reality. And look, the best evidence of the fact is that the whole rest of the world and most of the American business community completely rejects the steps that the president took yesterday.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Himes, thanks so much for taking time out of your schedule for NEW DAY -- Chris.

HIMES: Thanks, Alisyn.

CUOMO: All right. So there's an interesting dynamic developing on theDemocratic side of the ball. Hillary Clinton is back out there and she is blaming everyone, it seems, but herself for losing the 2016 election, adding a surprising new reason for her loss. This reason is not sitting well with some Democrats. What is the DNC to do about this -- the national party apparatus? We have the leader of it, ahead, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:46:00] CUOMO: All right. Now, with the caveat that we keep being told we have to wait for the book for Hillary Clinton's full owning of what happened in her campaign, we have heard her now on the stump several times saying yes, I take responsibility for all the decisions, but then she starts blaming a lot of other people and organizations for why she lost. Russia, the media, James Comey, and now, the Democratic National Committee.

So, joining us is DNC chairman Tom Perez. Of course, Tom was not in a leadership position during the election but it raises a simple question having Clinton out there. Who is the head of your party? Is it still Hillary Clinton, is it you, is there some group? Who's number one?

TOM PEREZ, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIR, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: I think the people across America, Chris, that have been talking about climate change, you know. Talking about the need to grow good jobs. Talking about things after the women's march. I mean, the energy out there -- as Barack Obama said, change comes from the bottom up and I've seen millions of folks stepping up and that's why I'm so excited. And what we have to do as a DNC is up our game and make sure that we're building partnerships with folks at the grassroots level so that we're talking about the real things that matter most to people.

I was -- I was really impressed to listen to you talk to Chris Collins because 30 miles from where he was sitting in that interview is the production of the largest solar panel manufacturing facility in the western hemisphere. Right in Buffalo, New York, my hometown, we're creating good jobs there. In Pennsylvania --

CUOMO: But that's in the middle of his districts also.

PEREZ: -- they're moving forward.

CUOMO: That's in the middle of Collins' district. Look, I hear you about that and they can argue about the jobs and whether or not this was a good deal, but I don't want to run too far away from this basic proposition. I know it's tricky, I know it's sensitive. I know you just got in there and this is a tough task, but do you think for the future of your party you need to make a decision about whether or not Hillary Clinton is allowed to be out there as the punitive head of your party. She's the one that gets all the headlines. She's in a direct combat with the president in the name of the Democrats, ostensibly.

PEREZ: We have a lot of leaders who are out there today, including Sec. Clinton, including so many other folks, and I'm very excited about the leadership both at a state level, at local levels, at a federal level that's out there, and what we're out there doing, Chris, is we're talking about the issues that matter most to people. People want to make sure we have good jobs. People want to make sure that we protect the environment. People want to make sure that we're growing this economy. And people want to make sure -- and what I'm trying to do is make sure that we build that infrastructure. We take this moment out there, we turn it into a movement, and we translate it into success at the ballot box. But I do --

CUOMO: So the question becomes what's your starting point for the change which involves a recognition of how you got where you are right now? So why did she lose? Why is the party in the position it is right now having lost so many seats, especially on the state legislative level --

PEREZ: Sure.

CUOMO: -- which, obviously, came back to bite you in the behind with how they draw up congressional districts?

PEREZ: Absolutely, and this isn't simply about what happened in November 2106. It's about the 900 seats we lost in state legislatures and the governor's seats and all of that --

CUOMO: Why?

PEREZ: -- that you just mentioned, Chris. Because we didn't attend to the basics. We have to do -- we have to do a better job of organizing. That's why we're out there this summer. Resistant summer is a down payment on organizing 12 months a year, not just three months before an election.

We've got to up our game on technology. There's no doubt about that. We have to -- we have to build upon our voter file and do a better job of building the data analytics platform that will enable us not only to succeed in elections today but to be the state of the art for decades to come. And that's why I've spent so much time with leaders out in the Silicon Valley, in Austin, and elsewhere. Folks who understand how we can tap into technology and build those tools for success.

So I'll be the first to admit to you, Chris, that the DNC needs to up its game. I ran for this job because I understood that. When you build that infrastructure for success, strong commitment to organizing, to training, to data. With all of that infrastructure when we are succeeding there, that's how we help elect people. And when we're out there communicating our message of optimism, of good jobs for everyone, opportunity in every zip code, and when we're talking to people in every zip code that's how we succeed. And that's what we're doing right now at the DNC.

[07:50:25] CUOMO: Tom Perez, appreciate you coming out here giving us that Democrat message and being tested. That will continue and you're always welcome on for it.

PEREZ: Always good to be with you, Chris.

CUOMO: Be well -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Chris, do you know what the word "marocain" is?

CUOMO: Of course.

CAMEROTA: How do you spell it?

CUOMO: Right now?

CAMEROTA: Yes.

CUOMO: M-O-R-A --

CAMEROTA: Oh, you're wrong.

CUOMO: -- C-A-I-N-E.

CAMEROTA: You're already wrong. (Video playing) The 12-year-old who won the national spelling bee knew how to do it, though. There she is.

CUOMO: I was right.

CAMEROTA: The new --

CUOMO: I was right.

CAMEROTA: You said M-O-R.

CUOMO: No, no, that's not what I said.

CAMEROTA: Rerack the tape. The new champion wordsmith joins us next.

CUOMO: I was right. CAMEROTA: Rerack the tape.

CUOMO: I was cheated once again.

CAMEROTA: Replay it, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANANYA VINAY, WINNER, SCRIPPS SPELLING BEE: Marocain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She knows what it means.

VINAY: M-A-R-O-C-A-I-N, marocain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: For the first time in four years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has a solo champion, 12-year-old Ananya Vinay wins the championship trophy and a $40,000 first prize, and Ananya Vinay joins us now. Congratulations.

[05:55:03] VINAY: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Now, did you know what marocain is?

VINAY: It's a type of fabric.

CAMEROTA: Of course it is, I knew that. Now, you know what, Ananya? That word was actually easy. Chris couldn't get it, of course, but marocain, M-A-R-O-C-A-I-N, that's easy compared to some of the other ones. You had words like dghaisa, that were D-G-H-A-I-S-A. Did you think that marocain was a little easy?

VINAY: It's easy compared to the others. I knew them all, so --

CUOMO: All right, so remind us how much work it takes for you to get this good at spelling and how you figure out how to spell a word that you've never even heard before.

VINAY: I studied like a couple of hours every day for the whole year and I just try to figure out language patterns and split it into root words so I can see if I can come up with a spelling that makes sense.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, you are committed. What did you parents do right in terms of making you such an avid studier?

VINAY: Well, they just like taught me that like if you work hard you can like -- you can do anything. So, like, I -- since I was a good reader I just became a good speller and I worked at it. CUOMO: Good for you. And, you know, this -- as you probably know better than anybody, the last three years were all ties. What does it mean to you to not just win, but to be the solo winner?

VINAY: It's really exciting to be like finally the sole champion after so many years.

CAMEROTA: OK. So, Ananya, we have a challenge for you. We'd like you to spell a word. It has recently become popular. I'm not sure if you're familiar with it or if you know the definition. Do you know the word "covfefe?"

VINAY: "Covfefe" -- definition, please.

CAMEROTA: The definition is a nonsense word --

CUOMO: Good question.

CAMEROTA: -- made up by the 45th President of the United States in a late-night tweet.

VINAY: Language of origin?

CAMEROTA: Oh, language of origin.

CUOMO: Gibberish.

CAMEROTA: Gibberish.

VINAY: Part of speech?

CAMEROTA: Part of speech? It's a noun.

CUOMO: It could be a noun, but may be used --

CAMEROTA: In any way you like.

CUOMO: -- as a verb and as an insult.

VINAY: Are there any alternate pronunciations?

CAMEROTA: Yes.

CUOMO: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Oh, many, many. Cov-fefe, Co-fefe, Cofefe -- any others?

CUOMO: No, that gets it. Stop stalling. Do you know how to spell this word?

VINAY: C-O-F-E -- covfefe, C-O-F-E-F-E?

CUOMO: Good enough.

CAMEROTA: Close, you win.

CUOMO: Thank you very much. That's the only good answer we've heard about that word in days.

CAMEROTA: It was really C-O-V-F-E --

CUOMO: We don't know that.

CAMEROTA: -- F-E but it, again, is a nonsense word so we're not sure that its root is actually in Sanskrit, which is what you're probably used to using, so I don't know. Anyway --

CUOMO: You did a great job and you know what I love about this? Not only did you make yourself proud and your family, but do you that there are kids all over the country, probably the world, who are going to look at you and say I want to put in that work, I want to be a champion, I want to spell like her.

VINAY: Yes.

CUOMO: What does that mean to you?

VINAY: I always watched the spelling bee when I was younger and I always watched the people and thought like Iwant to be on the stage and now it's actually happening.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, you achieved your dream. Well, Ananya Vinay, you are an inspiration to us and to so many kids around the world. Thank you so much and congratulations, again.

VINAY: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: She's awesome.

CUOMO: Be well, champ.

CAMEROTA: All right. We're following a lot of news, including the fallout from President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, so let's get to all of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America's sovereignty.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our president is choosing to put American jobs and American consumers first.

TRUMP: I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He couldn't have picked a worse city as an example.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The message to the rest of the world is that the United States is abdicating leadership.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: France will not give up the fight. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fired FBI director James Comey to testify.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It probably will be the most explosive and most watched hearing since Watergate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putin likens hackers to artists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps he sees the trail of evidence is getting closer to the Kremlin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Friday, June 2nd, 8:00 here in the East. And we begin with President Trump defying the world, pulling out of the Paris climate agreement to score a political win with his base. The leaders of Germany, Italy, and France condemned this move and they warn the president that the deal is irreversible. It will not be renegotiated.

CUOMO: The hits keep coming for the White House. Fired FBI director James Comey is going to testify. It is going to be next week.