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President Trump Withdraws America from Paris Climate Accord; President Trump's Speech on Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord Examined; Trump: I Represent "Citizens Of Pittsburgh, Not Paris"; W.H. Officials Won't Say If Trump Believes In Climate Change. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 2, 2017 - 08:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The hits keep coming for the White House. Fired FBI Director James Comey is going to testify. It is going to be next week on Thursday. The question is going to be what will he reveal about his private conversations with President Trump? All while the administration turns to the Supreme Court to implement the president's six-nation travel ban immediately.

CNN has every angle covered. Let's begin with Joe Johns live at the White House. Good morning, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. On the Paris accord, the president willing to accept the condemnation of the world in order to keep a campaign promise he made to his base, a base that was looking forward to hearing the president do this. Nonetheless, this is the kind of thing that created a real problem for U.S. standing across the globe.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States will withdraw --


TRUMP: -- from the Paris climate accord.

JOHNS: President Trump making good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the landmark 195-nation agreement but leaving the door open for a potential new deal.

TRUMP: 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.

JOHNS: Trump's Rose Garden speech focusing not on climate change, but Trump claiming instead the accord is hurting American jobs.

TRUMP: The Paris agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country's expense. JOHNS: Touting the decision puts America first.

TRUMP: Our withdraw from the agreement represents a reassertion of America's sovereignty. We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore, and they won't be.

JOHNS: Sources tell CNN the president was dead set on this decision with the nationalist wing of his administration prevailing, while his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who were absent from the announcement, pushed for him to stay in the deal along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

TRUMP: As someone that cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I cannot in good conscious support a deal that punishes the United States. I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.

JOHNS: The mayor of Pittsburgh hitting back after Trump invoked the name of his city.

BILL PEDUTO, (D) MAYOR OF PITTSBURGH: The values that we have in this city follow right along the lines of what the Paris agreement stated.

JOHNS: After the announcement, White House officials struggling on whether the president still believes climate change is a hoax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to actually have to ask him.

JOHNS: Former president Obama, who signed the agreement, responding in a rare statement, saying "The deal was meant to protect the world we leave to our children," adding "The nations that remain will reap the benefits in jobs and industries created."

JOHN KERRY, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Donald Trump is not telling the truth to the American people when he says we have this huge burden that's been imposed on us by other nations. It's voluntary, and the president of the United States could have simply changed that without walking away from the whole agreement.

JOHNS: Backlash also growing among American business leaders who fiercely lobbied President Trump to stay in the deal. Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk and Disney's Bob Iger quitting the president's economic counsel. General Electric CEO Immelt tweeting "Industry must now lead and not depend on government." Cities and states are also vowing to step up, dozens of governors and mayors across the country collectively pledging to uphold the commitments of the Paris agreement.


JOHNS: The president this morning is on a social media spree, re-tweeting favorable things people have said about his Paris accord decision. Today Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, is expected to hold one of his increasingly rare on-camera briefings, and he is expected to be accompanied by the EPA administrator who, of course, is a big defender of the president's decision. Chris and Alisyn, back to you.

CAMEROTA: Joe, thank you very much.

Let's bring in CNN politics reporter and editor at large, Chris Cillizza, and back by popular demand, CNN's senior economics analyst and former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, Steven Moore, for the rematch with CNN global economic analyst and associate editor of "The Financial Times," Rana Foroohar, the clash of the economic titans.


CAMEROTA: So we will get to that momentarily. I do want you guys to debate the facts of this. But first let's talk politics with Chris Cillizza. The president is keeping a campaign promise. What more do we need to know about this?

[08:05:05] CHRIS CILLIZZA, EDITOR AT LARGE, CNN POLITICS: That is right, Alisyn. I keep returning to this. Remember Steve Bannon, there was a tweet that showed Steve Bannon's office, Rabbi Shmuley had that tweet, and it was Steve Bannon's office where he had taken down a bunch of stuff and put up a big floor to ceiling white board, or several white boards, in which he had written all of the promises or at least a lot of the promises Donald Trump made during the campaign. And he was keeping very track on those that Trump had made good on, those that he hadn't addressed yet, legislative accomplishments, et cetera, et cetera.

I think that if you need a blueprint to understand what Donald Trump does here, is he tries to keep promises he made to his base. He doesn't keep all of them. Obviously the decision about Jerusalem and the capital of Israel yesterday, he did not. But he tries to keep most of them and he defaults to that position.

I also think there's a broader philosophical point here. I think this is Trumpism realized. This is make America first, make America great. This idea that sort of you heard in the clips you played, these global activists, foreign capitals that we've been kowtowing to them for too long. It's been bad for the United States. We refused to acknowledge it because we're afraid that they'll be scorned, that the so called world community will scorn us. Donald Trump doesn't care about that. Donald Trump is going to do the right thing by the steel worker in the manufacturing communities of the Midwest. That's what he cares about. He believes this decision is an affirmation of that, though it's somewhat debatable, but that's why this decision was made.

CUOMO: Quick other point. Just tell me if I'm making too much of this. But you've got all of the big fossil fuel makers, you've got Chevron, Shell and Exxon. You've got China and Russia, all who are on the same page when it comes to global warming, which was the underlying premise of these accords. If you read in the beginning of the accord documents, it's about their mutual recognition of everybody except Syria and I guess us that global warming, greenhouse gases, have to be addressed. What does it mean, Cillizza, that none of the advisers so close to the president on this decision will even acknowledge having talked to him about whether or not he believes in global warming?

CILLIZZA: I find that odd. Obviously Donald Trump said during the campaign or in prior that he believed climate change was a hoax. That's his words.

CUOMO: Created by China to steal our jobs.

CILLIZZA: That's right. They have steadfastly refused, including Kellyanne Conway this morning, to engage in any conversations, essentially saying you have to ask the president. If they're smart, they're understand that engaging with this question, particularly if Donald Trump is going to say anything similar to it's a hoax created by China, is a massive distraction from what they are trying to push, which is this is about jobs, this is about putting American workers first. This is about rejecting the salons of Europe and their tutting about it.

I would say Donald Trump applauds when Emmanuel Macron makes a joke about it because he believes that that fundamentally is good for him and is a validation of why he was elected. But that view -- remember, he did not use the words climate change one time in what was quite a long speech yesterday. That was not accidental.

CAMEROTA: OK, let's talk about the facts. Rana, the president says that this is about jobs, and in fact this economic research group, this study that he's basing his numbers on, says that if the U.S. stayed with Paris, it would cost the U.S. 2.7 million jobs over the next eight years. What's your retort?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Wrong. This research has been questioned by many experts. And what I find really amazing about the president's argument is that if you want to create jobs, you need to stay at the forefront of green tech and clean tech. That's where the job growth is. Let's just look at the coal industry. This is something, a line that he's been pushing, that we can keep these coal jobs in America and they are going to somehow go to China if we stay in Paris. Coal jobs were at their peak right after World War II. They actually fell by two-thirds by 1970 before the EPA was even invented because we were switching to different methods, more high- tech methods of producing coal. Even now, coal is actually not the most competitive kind of fuel from an economic standpoint.

CAMEROTA: So you just reject those numbers outright?

FOROOHAR: I do. I think if you look at the coverage of the study, which by the way, was paid for partly by the chamber, which is a conservative group and anti-climate change, I just don't think those numbers stack up. You hear CEOs saying, please, let's stay engaged in climate change because that's where job growth is.

CUOMO: So Steve, you say that argument is a lot of greenhouse gas. Why?


STEVE MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well put. I like that. We did our own study at Heritage Foundation at a center for data analysis. We found about 500,000 job losses.

[08:10:00] You don't have to imagine what this would be like. We saw what regulations under Obama on climate change did to the coal industry where we lost several tens of thousands of coal miners, partly because of lower gasoline prices, natural gas prices, but in no small part because of regulations that really stuck a knife in their back.

And by the way, those statistics that CNN keeps putting up about the number of jobs -- wind, solar, the number for the oil and gas industry is closer to 6 million to 10 million jobs. So when you talk about moving beyond fossil fuels, you're talking about not just tens of thousands but millions of people in the petroleum industry that would be put out of business.

CAMEROTA: Right, but did that have anything to do with the Paris accord?

MOORE: Sure it does, because the whole agenda here, listen to what climate change people are talking about. They want to keep all of our fossil fuels in the ground. They want to move to virtually 100 percent, quote, "clean energy" within the next 50 years, which would put a huge number of people out of work.

CUOMO: When you say the climate change people, Steve, does that mean you don't believe in global warming?

MOORE: I'm a skeptic. Hang me in the public square, but I think the idea that this is settled science is complete nonsense.

FOROOHAR: Oh, Steve, come on.

MOORE: There are thousands of scientists who really question this.

But I want to make one other quick point, if I may. I am so sick of these sanctimonious Europeans talking about how the United States isn't stepping up here. Let's be very honest about this. First of all, there is a climate change deal already. It was called the Kyoto treaty. And Europe was a signatory to that. We were not. Europe never abided by any of those. And the second point is that we, the United States, we're not the villain here. We have reduced our carbon emissions more than the Europeans have and we didn't sign these agreements.



FOROOHAR: I'll agree with one thing. Which is I think the U.S. is doing more, particularly U.S. business is doing more already than it gets credit for. And I think one of the things that was fascinating actually about President Trump's speech is he wasn't actually denying the science of climate change. He wasn't coming out and saying I don't believe in this. He was leaving a little bit of a door open to what I suspect the next few weeks is going to be a broader conversation amongst business leaders. I think you're going to see CEO coming out and saying let's think of other ways that we can engage with this issue.

The bottom line is business wants to be engaged with climate change because they know it will make the U.S. more competitive. We don't want to see China and Europe getting ahead of the conversation about standards and smart grids. We want to be part of that conversation, and I think you're going to see a lot of that.

CAMEROTA: Now there is a vacuum of leadership.

CUOMO: Cillizza, so brother Moore is advancing a political argument about these thousands of scientists that question this. I've got to tell you, Steve, it's just not true. There's overwhelming consensus in the scientific community about greenhouse gases, about humans' impact on it, and about the warming. The predictions, the indexing, the forecasts, that can get very shaky, but not the underlying premise for it. But Cillizza, you weigh in.

CILLIZZA: I would just urge people to go and read Donald Trump's speech. It's about 10 pages long. I'm not saying you should take out of your day, but if you have time over the weekend, go read the speech, because it's not really about climate change. It's much more about the Donald Trump worldview.

I don't say that as a critique. I don't say that as a critique. I say it as sort of this is -- Steve and I were talking about this on the air yesterday. This is Trumpism. Everyone says, well, what does Donald Trump really think? What does make America great again, what is that beyond sloganeering? Go read the speech. You may not agree with it, but it is clear distillation, it is pure Trumpism, which is the capitals of Europe laugh at us. They mock us because we make bad deals. It's a much more cynical worldview that we have been taken advantage of by these people, that we have gone up above and over our commitment. This is to Steve's point. We've gone above our commitments. They have not. We are being rooked here in a fundamental way and I will not have it anymore.

Again, I wouldn't say you have to agree or disagree. You should read it because it's really important to sort of understand how he views the world and how different that is from people who have been president before him.

MOORE: Chris, let me add to that. We as conservatives are very, very skeptical of international deals for two reasons. One is we are concerned about sovereignty. We don't want what happened in Britain where you basically had Brussels bureaucrats telling people in Britain what kind of teapots they could use because they're in violation of some kind of climate change deal.

But the other point is that it really is true. You look at all of these deals, and these other countries never follow through. China is building -- I made this point yesterday. It's absolutely true. They are building dozens and dozens of coal plants as we're shutting down ours.

[08:15:00] And yet they're lecturing us about climate change. You have to watch what they do and not listen to what they say. FOROOHAR: You know, that is -- it's true. It's true that China is

building a lot of coal-fired power plants but it's also cleaning up existing ones and more importantly, it's staying at the forefront of green technologies. It's making green tech, wind, solar power, a strategic sector. And that's something that the U.S. needs to really -


MOORE: Yes, but we're -

FOROOHAR: -- and the worry is that if we pull back from the conversation, if we pull back from being involved in international standards setting and international conversation, that we lose some of that. And that's what business leaders are concerned about.

MOORE: But that argument, what you're saying is, like, this is the future -- by the way, none of us know what the energy future is. We don't know if it's nuclear, wind, solar --

FOROOHAR: Oh, sure, we do.

MOORE: No, we don't.

FOROOHAR: Well, we know - we know - we know it's not going to be renew - we know it's not going to be fossil fuels long-term.

MOORE: Well, how - but that's completely nonsense. 10 years ago, you know, Barack Obama was running around the country talking about us running out of oil and gas, now we have more oil and gas than any other country in the world because of the shale gas revolution. So nobody knows whether it's going to be nuclear, new kinds of nuclear, whether it's going to be shale gas, whether it's going to solar, wind.

FOROOHAR: It's going to be a mix.

MOORE: But we do know that government doesn't know the answer to that.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY ANCHOR: But Steve, are you saying that by pulling out of the Paris climate accord that the $500,000 that you predict would be lost and the 2.7 million jobs that the President predicted would be lost, that those are going to be kept here now?

MOORE: I think - I think it's going to save a lot of jobs. Look -

CAMEROTA: How many?


MOORE: The regulatory - the regulatory burden on America cost $2 trillion to the American economy. Donald Trump, to get to Chris's point, we're about reducing regulations on business not adding more to them.

FOROOHAR: You can't tell those coal miners - you can't tell those coal miners who really are in need that their industry is going to somehow come back and that those jobs are now --

MOORE: It is coming back.

FOROOHAR: No, you know what, it's not because the coal longer term -

MOORE: It's up 16 percent this year. It's up 16 percent this year already.

FOROOHAR: You know what, any expert, any economist in the energy sector will tell you that renewables are already as competitive as coal and that they're going to become more so in the future. These jobs are not coming back. They were gone long before the regulatory issues even came to the fore.

MOORE: Well, let's just get the fact here straight.

FOROOHAR: We need to actually help train those people in new areas and give them hope, real hope.

MOORE: If that is - if that is true, why -- we're having a big debate, Chris, in the next few months about eliminating all of these subsidies to the - to the wind and solar industry. They're embedded in the tax code. We want to get rid of all those and create a level playing field. What the wind industry says is if we get rid of all the subsidies of the wind industry, there's no industry left. So, how can it be competitive if the only reason -- way it can possibly survive is with subsidies?

CAMEROTA: All right. Last answer - last answer to that, Rana.

FOROOHAR: You know, I talk to a lot of CEOs and without question, they're saying, "We have got to stay at the forefront of clean tech, green tech. Even -- I'll tell you something. Even a lot of coal executives, they won't say so on the record, they are happy with the idea of staying ahead in these technologies because they use some things like carbon sequestering.

MOORE: I know. I favor that.

FOROOHAR: It's very crucial. This is - this is - this is really an important industry for the U.S. to stay ahead in, whatever it takes.

CAMEROTA: OK. Panel, thank you.

MOORE: By the way, one quick thing, Alisyn.


MOORE: I do not know what marocain means or whatever that word was. I mean, I sure don't - I sure as hell don't know how to spell it.

CAMEROTA: It's a fabric. It's a fabric. And I also look forward to hearing you explain what covfefe means. For a later date. Thank you, panel.

MOORE: Thanks, Alisyn. CHRIS CUOMO, CNN NEW DAY ANCHOR: All right. So what is the White House saying this morning about the deal and why they're pulling out? What's their message? We're going to have Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is going to join us next and make the case for why this move is better for you.



[08:21:08] DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We don't want other leaders in other countries laughing at us anymore, and they won't be. They won't be. I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.


CAMEROTA: That was President Trump announcing the United States' withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. The move is a sweeping step that fulfills a long-held campaign promise. Now, last night and this morning, White House officials have not yet been able to say whether President Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax. Joining us now is U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. Good morning, Mr. Secretary.


CAMEROTA: Nice to have you here. Does the President think that climate change is a hoax?

ZINKE: Well, the agreement, like, which is the question today really is, it's not about climate change, it's about the agreement itself. If you read it, and I read it thoroughly, it's a bad deal. U.S. pays for it, we give China and Russia and India a walk, and at the end of the day, even MIT says if everyone were to - were to be a part of the agreement and meet their obligations, it's negligible.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And we'll get to the details at the big -

ZINKE: So, the President did not say anything about -

CAMEROTA: In a second. I do want to get to that, but the overarching question is does the President still think that climate change is a hoax? He had tweeted about that in the past. Does he today believe it's a hoax?

ZINKE: Well, I certainly don't believe it's a hoax. And again, I think at the end of the day, this agreement, what the President's action did, we need to focus on the agreement, is that we need to renegotiate. The President have said we need to get back to the negotiation and make a deal that's actually in our best interest. America leads the world in clean energy, we reduced our emissions. And if we're going to do this right, at least, the agreement should be fair.

CAMEROTA: Well, look, Europe has said that they have no interest in renegotiating. They're happy with as it exists. But I think that it is irrelevant.

ZINKE: I'm sure they are. I'm sure the world is happy.

CAMEROTA: Mr. Secretary, just so that I can get an answer. This is relevant because it does inform the President's decision making. Does - do you believe that climate change is happening? Does the President?

ZINKE: I do not speak for the President. I've been in conversation with him. I think - but this agreement -


CAMEROTA: Have you asked the President? Have you asked him if he believes in climate change?

ZINKE: No, I - Well, the President picked me to be the Secretary of Interior. And in hearing, I have laid out where I think climate is changing. I think man has had an influence. But we still is unsettled what that influence is, what we can do about it, even the best modeling, the best modeling that is used inaccurate yesterday and can't predict today.


ZINKE: But I do think if we're going to make an agreement, let's make an agreement on this. Agreement that's fair. That doesn't give a free walk to India, China, Russia, that we don't pay -- that we don't - that everyone shares, you know, a common burden rather than the U.S. sharing almost the entire -- well, 30 percent of the burden up front. And this last administration gave $1 billion in cash again. And that's --

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, what's interesting - of course, Secretary, not to interrupt you, but it was voluntary. I mean, the President could have changed the tenants of the agreement. In fact, it's up to every country what they want to do, so the President could have done that. But again, I just need to - I just -

ZINKE: Well, that's not - you look at the - if you read the agreement -

CAMEROTA: Hold on, Secretary, we will - we will get to the details, but I just want to get to this overarching question. Because here's what the President has tweeted about climate change. He have said - this was in February of 2015, "Among the lowest temperatures ever in much of the United States. Ice caps at record size. They changed the name from global warming to climate change." Here's where he calls it a hoax. This was in 2014, he says, "Massive record-setting snowstorm and freezing temperatures in U.S. Smart that global warming hoaxsters changed the name to climate change." Then he has lots and lots of dollar signs. He thought it was a hoax. He's on the record as saying it's a hoax. Have you tried to convince him otherwise?

[08:25:16] ZINKE: I have said in committee it is not a hoax. But details, you talk about agreement, the agreement says that only you can accelerate. It doesn't say in the agreement that you can -- they can veto. This is a - this is an unusually bad agreement. And if you read through it, it's about 20 pages, and I invite you to read through it as I have done, it doesn't say voluntary for the United States. We give, you know, $3 billion up front, we lose jobs, everyone else takes a walk, and it doesn't do anything at the end of the day. So, I think the President was right in taking this position as it looked. If we're going to deal with climate change, let's deal it on a fair basis and what makes sense for America. He's the President of the United States, he's not a President of the world.

CAMEROTA: Sure. So, if you believe in climate change and the President thinks it's a hoax, and you feel that the U.S. should do something, I assume, about climate change, how are you going to convince the President that it's not a hoax?

ZINKE: Well, I think we go forward here. We make an agreement that makes sense for us. And United States - and I - and I'm the steward of one-fifth of our territory and I have more energy potential within the territory that I - that I have as a steward than anybody. And so, I want to make sure we have clean air, clean water, we go forward on technology. We're all of the above. I'm all of the above energy. You know, there's exciting possibilities in solar, in wind, in nuclear, in gas. So I'm all of the above. But I can tell you the world from a sealed point of view, the world would be a lot safer when America is stronger, and we should not negotiate these deals.

I'm not surprised about the deal. The last administration also negotiated the uranium deal and that hasn't worked out either. So, I think at the end of the day, climate change, let's sit down and negotiate a good deal for everybody that everyone shares equal burden rather than the U.S. having to share more than anyone else. We have to reduce our carbon footprint immediately. Again, China, the biggest gun, they have to - they can wait until 2030.

CAMEROTA: Are you concerned that now China can take the reins and step into the leadership position?

ZINKE: You know, I view China as a competitor, not an enemy. I view Russia as an aggressor, not an enemy. I think U.S. --

CAMEROTA: Sure. So, your competitors are now going to take the leadership in this agreement.

ZINKE: I don't think are competitors take our leadership at all. I think we are taking leadership right now by saying, "Look, we're not going to take these bad deals anymore. We're not going to accept a negotiated deal that was done out of desperation." and clearly it was. Just like the uranium deal, it was done out of desperation to get something on paper, but if it doesn't make sense for the United States, I don't think we should be negotiating these deals. So, you know, U.S. already leads clean energy technology, nobody does it better. I just got, you know, from a trip in Alaska, I can tell you nobody does it better than we do. We're cleaner, we're more efficient, our regulatory environment is the best in standard in the world. And if you want to see catastrophe in energy development, go to the Middle East and go to Africa. It's better to produce it here under our regulatory framework.

CAMEROTA: Just so we understand, what you're saying is that we're going to lead just Syria and Nicaragua. There is no renegotiating Europe - Europe countries say they're not going to renegotiate this treaty. They're happy this accord - they're happy with it. So, where does that leave us in terms of leaving the -


ZINKE: I don't think - well, I don't think the United States is going to bow or bend. I don't think the United States is going to bow or bend to Nicaragua because they - but, you know, these are foreign countries -

CAMEROTA: No, but I mean that's who we're now placed with, in terms, of the three countries that aren't connected to it anymore, Syria, Nicaragua, the U.S.

ZINKE: That's silly. The United States is still the world's leader.

CAMEROTA: That's true. Those are the numbers.

ZINKE: That's silly. The United States is still the world's leader. If you want to look at obligations of other countries, let's look at NATO. I mean, who contributes to NATO? Everyone is supposed to do two percent of the GDP.

CAMEROTA: Right. But on this. Let's just stay focused on this -

ZINKE: And who does it, we do.

CAMEROTA: Because we were seen as the leaders in this accord. We backed out, and that gives an opening to China.

ZINKE: Well, I would imagine if you're a foreign country, you would love this agreement the U.S. signed up to because it gives every competitor advantage to the foreign countries like Russia, like China, like India, but we hold the bag. So, I think the President did the right thing as it looked. It's what's in the best interest for our country? What's in the best interest of cleaner energy longer term? It's not this agreement. This agreement by MIT standards, if everyone - if everyone meets their obligations, it's negligible. So what is the exact agreement say? The agreement says that we hold the bag, we pay for it, and it doesn't make a significant difference. That's not a good deal.

CAMEROTA: Secretary Ryan Zinke, thank you very much for being on NEW DAY.

ZINKE: You're very welcome. Have a great day.

CAMEROTA: You, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's interesting if you've (INAUDIBLE) some of these things in the -