Return to Transcripts main page
President Trump Is Hurling A Fresh Insult At His Fired Fbi Director; The Leader Of A Russian Opposition Movement Wants Protests To Erupt All Over Russia Tomorrow On The Country's National Holiday; Senators On The Intelligence Committee Are Now Debating Whether To Take Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions Offer To Testify Before The Committee Tuesday; General Electric Is Preparing To Close Its 100- Year-Old Plant In Wisconsin Sending More Than 300 Jobs To Canada; President Trump Pulled The U.S. Out Of The Paris Climate Accord He Faced Criticism Not Just Overseas But Here In The U.S. As Well. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 11, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: It is top of the hour. I'm Boris Sanchez. Thank you so much for joining us.
This just in. Members of the Senate intelligence committee are debating whether or not they'll let Jeff Sessions testify on Tuesday. A source telling CNN's Manu Raju, the committee is debating Session's offer and some members are worried that Sessions may be trying to avoid testifying publicly.
Meantime, President Trump is hurling a fresh insult at his fired FBI director tweeting this. Quote "I believe that James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal, very cowardly."
Comey admitted to giving a friend a memo detailing the conversations with the President and then his friend passed it along to "The New York Times." All of this comes amid calls for President Trump to release any recordings if they do exist of his White House conversations with James Comey.
Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein just tweeted this out. Quote "release the tapes, Mr. President. What are you afraid of?"
Meantime, the President's own son may have contradicted his father's version of what was said about the Michael Flynn investigation during one of those Trump-Comey conversations in the oval office. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: Whether I hear the Flynn comment, you and I both know my father along time. When he tells you to do something, guess what? There is no ambiguity in it. There is no, hey, I'm hoping. You and I are friends. Hey, I hope this happens but you got to do your job. That's what he told Comey. And for this guy as a politician to then go back and write a memo, I felt threatened. He felt so threatened but he didn't do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Well, let's go straight to CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones in New Jersey where the President is spending the weekend.
Athena, concerning Jeff Sessions' offer to testify, doesn't Senate intelligence committee ultimately get to decide whether or not it's a closed or open hearing?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You had exactly right, Boris. It's a senate committee that decides whether he will testify at all, whether Sessions will get to testify at all on Tuesday and whether it will be open or closed.
I can mention -- I should mention to you that Manu Raju, my colleague, says that this request by Sessions took the committee by surprise. That's why we haven't gotten a lot of answers, definitive answers yet on what they are planning.
And as you mentioned, there is some concern among senators that attorney general is trying to avoid testifying in public. One of the senators with that concern is the vice chairman, the top democrat on the Senate select intelligence committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.
Another Democrat on the committee, Oregon's Ron Wyden had sent a letter to the chairman and vice chairman asking that any hearings be open which means open to the public. But we will have to see what happens there. Certainly Senate investigators have a lot of questions for the attorney general. Among them, they will talk to him about his involvement in the firing of James Comey. And they may also ask him questions about whether or not there was any sort of third undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The department of justice has denied that. But I can bet that senate investigators are going to want to talk directly to Sessions himself about it.
SANCHEZ: Right. Athena, on the heels of this Comey testimony, another former justice department employee that was fired by Trump is going public about his interactions with the President. What is he saying?
JONES: Right. You are talking about Preet Bharara, who was the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York fired by President Trump a couple of months ago. On ABC's "This Week," he talks about private conversations he had with then candidate Trump that made him uncomfortable. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PREET BHARARA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: So he called me in December extensively just to shoot the breeze and ask me how I was doing and wanted to make sure I was OK. It was similar to what Jim Comey testified to with respect to a call he got when he getting on the helicopter. I didn't say anything at the time to him. It was a little bit uncomfortable, but he wasn't the President. He was only the President-elect. He called me again two days before the inauguration. Again, seemingly to check in and shoot the breeze. And then he called me a third time when he became -- after he became President and I refused to return the call. And then reporting the phone call to the chief of staff to the attorney general, I said it appeared to be that he was trying to cultivate some kind of relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: And what Bharara says there echo what's Jim Comey has had to say although Comey describes dinner he had with the President as -- he thought it was an attempt to establish some sort of patronage relationship. Bharara was asked if he felt the same way about his conversations with then candidate Trump. And he Stopped short of saying he thought there would be sort of a patronage relationship. But he did believe the candidate -- President-elect I should was trying to establish some sort of relationship that made Bharara uncomfortable. So it's interesting to see there is a suggestion of a pattern here of the President doing things that are inappropriate when it comes to justice department officials - Boris.
[19:05:03] SANCHEZ: And according to him, he was fired after refusing that third phone call and reporting it the next day.
Athena Jones, thank you very much.
Let's discuss with our panel. Joining me now, CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin. He is a former federal prosecutor and he also served as a special assistant to Robert Mueller, the man now leading the Russia probe. Also joining us former CIA director James Woolsey. He is the former U.S. ambassador to the conventional forces in Europe treaty and former senior adviser to the Trump campaign.
Ambassador, let's start with you. Thank you so much for joining us today. If Jeff Sessions has nothing to hide, wouldn't he prefer a public testimony where everyone can see that he's open and direct?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Quite possibly. I got to say, though, this all reminds me about a Mark Twain line about the fellow who jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions at once. The first thing they ought to figure out is what criteria they are using and what they are trying to do. I think that, for example, it would have made some sense in the oval office when they were going back and forth about who said what to whom.
For Mr. Comey to have suggested that the President's counsel, White House counsel join them and they have a three-person discussion so people can understand exactly what criteria are applied where. For example, a requirement, I'm told by Andy McCarthy, a very fine prosecutor, for any notion of being able to block discussion or to turn away from having a free and open exchange is -- requires corruption.
Obstruction of justice according to Andy, under some statutes requires corruption. And there doesn't appear to be any corruption that we can see or talked about or have been briefed on so far. And that could affect the discussion of dealing with any kind of limitation on discussion very substantially. And to have Comey decide after he sort of one down in the discussion to go off and present the material that he wrote up of a discussion with the President to an old friend and to tell him to go ahead and give it to the press, that doesn't seem to me to be the way you deal with the President of the United States.
SANCHEZ: So you feel it that his response, even when the President asked Jeff Sessions to leave the room, the vice President and his son- in-law leave the room should have been stronger? At that point, he should have intervened and said something?
WOOLSEY: I think it would have been very reasonable to have -- if he had private discussion first if they want. But at some point to get to a couple of fine lawyers and they had two there together with the President, have a discussion of how this all works with respect to any kind of block on proceeding in a just and sound manner.
I think that one of the things we really need is a pulling together of people in the world of both law enforcement and intelligence. And a discussion of what is need in order to support the country. The law enforcement folks, I think, have to do their job in a much more disciplined and structured and way than we have seen so far that the intelligence people need to call it straight and not be able to be pushed off their position just by somebody in the political side saying, you know, I really wish you would word it this way.
The President has intelligence (INAUDIBLE) board could probably do something like this. But we need go back to square one. Neither the intelligence people nor the law enforcement people I think are doing a good job here.
SANCHEZ: Michael, to you now. Getting back to Jeff Sessions, does it ultimately matter whether or not he testified in a public or private setting? What ultimately is the difference?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, one, the public gets to hear and observe the attorney general and the other one they don't. I have always favored when there is no national security or military override to have people testify in public. So that public can see what is going on here. And I don't understand why absent a national security imperative or, you know, intelligence that has to be protected, why this would ever be considered to be an appropriate closed door session. I think sunshine on these things is much more preferable to our democracy than closed door Sessions as I said except when need for military or national security purposes.
[19:10:01] SANCHEZ: And staying with you, Michael, do you agree with the ambassador that Comey crossed the line or was inappropriate and passing along that memo to a friend specifically to bring about this special counsel?
ZELDIN: Well, let's -- we have to split that into two parts. One is because we heard used by the President and his surrogates the term leak. That director Comey leaked this to the media. It is not technically speaking a leak. It is not a classified document. It is not an official document of the FBI in my estimation, not a 302 interview form that was done in the course of a formal investigation. It is his personal recollection, almost a dear diary entry. And so, I think he has the prerogative to disseminate this as he will.
If you are going to ask them the follow up question of did he do it in the best way possible? Probably not. I mean, probably, it would have been better for him to have done it himself directly.
But I think at this point, he was perhaps so shell shocked by what happened that this seemed to him at the time the most prudent way to accomplish it. But to call it a leak I think is improper classification of what it is.
And the director knows way more than what I is a classified document and what is subject to leaking. I don't think this fits those definitions in any way, shape or form.
SANCHEZ: Ambassador, you have a response?
WOOLSEY: Quite correct. I think technically this is not a leak. It wasn't classified. But it was private right up of the discussion with the President on a very sensitive and important matter. The system is not going to work if everybody decides whenever I have a discussion with the President I'm going to make sure I go right to the times or the post or journal or whatever. That's what this says. This says that it's fine to go public with most private discussions with the President of the United States. And that just seems to me to be a recipe for disaster.
ZELDIN: So I guess I disagree a little bit with that as a legal proposition. I have no political interest in outcomes here. Mine just a legal analysis. And if the President believes that nature of the conversation that he had with director Comey was one that involved policy determinations that which are privileged under the United States versus Nixon, then he should have asserted privilege and not allowed Comey to testify at all. But he didn't do that. And so to say now after the fact that the distribution of those memos somehow implicates or even violates the executive privilege that the President is entitled to assert doesn't seem to me availing.
WOOLSEY: I don't think they violate executive privilege. I think it's a very bad idea to do what Mr. Comey did.
SANCHEZ: And some people are arguing the fact that President tweeted about it further complicates the matter. I want to move on to the tweets.
WOOLSEY: Tweets confuse everything.
SANCHEZ: They certainly do, especially in this administration.
ZELDIN: And they also may constitute a waiver, if you will. If the director's proposition is probably ideally it's not good for either party to discuss private conversations in public, then the shoe fits on each foot and the President shouldn't be doing it as well and then complaining about others who try to do the same. So no one has clean hands here.
SANCHEZ: Sure. Ambassador, I really want to get your perspective on this. We heard from some Republicans including Paul Ryan who say that President in his approach to James Comey, they are not outright denying James Comey's account. But they are saying that President in his approach in saying that he hoped this Flynn thing would go away just didn't know any better. That he didn't understand the protocols when it comes to the President's relationship with the FBI director. What do you make of that?
WOOLSEY: If Andy McCarthy is right, and I have never known for him on a matter like this to be wrong, Comey did not get involved in the President didn't get involved in obstruction of justice because there wasn't any corruption associated with it. That's a statutory matter.
SANCHEZ: Sure. But do you think the President should have known better and not staying alone with the FBI director?
WOOLSEY: I practiced law for 22 years. I haven't been practicing for the last few years. But I didn't know what the criteria were for being able or not being able to use something like this in limiting the use for the purpose that has we have been talking about. I think the President and Comey and the White House counsel could have sat down and talked about this a little bit before everybody got on his horse and started riding off in every direction. And helped the President understand what the criteria were.
I think what he said from what I have heard now about corruption being required under the statute, doesn't sound to me as if there was anything done that was wrong. But by Comey -- I mean, about President. But let's see. Let's examine it.
[19:15:30] SANCHEZ: Michael, very quickly because we are running out of time. Your response to that?
ZELDIN: Yes. There are a couple things here. First, the communications between the White House and the director of the FBI are clearly set forth in regulation. It is not to be done by the White House unless there is some emerging need for it. It is black and white law. If the President isn't aware of that, that failure is on his White House counsel or his department of justice. Not on the FBI director. And in fact, the FBI director when the President tried to have these one-on-one communications with him told the attorney general to please make him stop because it's not protocol.
With respect to the question of whether or not this is a violation of statutory obstruction of justice, that's still remains to be seen. There is a big debate about whether if the President does something which he has the legal right to do absent another criminal act, whether he can be indicted for obstruction of justice. We will see how that plays out over the course of time.
But to put anything on Comey as a matter of law because he neglected to tell the President of the United States what the protocol is for the President of the United States to communicate with the FBI director, I don't think is fair to Comey. I think that's on the President and his advisors.
SANCHEZ: And important to point out that Comey continued taking private calls from the President after -- rather Jeff Session that's he shouldn't leave him alone in the room with him.
Gentlemen, we are out of time. But we thank you very much for joining us on this Sunday.
James Woolsey, Michael Zeldin, thank you.
ZELDIN: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Some discussion this weekend on both sides of the pond over whether President Trump will visit the United Kingdom any time soon. A report of the British media today suggests the President told Prime Minister Theresa May that he is not comfortable traveling to the UK at least until he is more popular there. Prime Minister May invited Trump for a state visit back in February. A date has yet to be set. Reaction from the White House today, it's not true. A senior Trump administration officials tells CNN that the subject hasn't even come up in recent phone calls between the White House and Downing Street. The President is increasingly unpopular in Britain, especially since his public slamming of London's mayor after last weekend's terror attack.
Back to the U.S. now. It is widely believed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. But back home what one Putin critic is taking his call for protests to a new medium and skirting government control. We will explain.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:22:08] SANCHEZ: News from overseas this weekend.
The leader of a Russian opposition movement wants protests to erupt all over Russia tomorrow on the country's national holiday. This is Alexei Nuvalny whose supporters have applied the whole demonstrations in about 200 towns and cities across Russia tomorrow. Nuvalny is an anti-Putin activist who thanks to the internet has gotten very firmly under the skin of the Kremlin.
CNN's Clare Sebastian has more.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The show is about to start and Oksana Baulina is checking final details under the watchful eye of her boss.
OKSANA BAULINA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, NUVALNY LIVE: The idea was Alexei Nuvalny's, of course. He wanted a special channel with live streams.
SEBASTIAN: The channel Nuvalny Live has grown from nothing to more than 300,000 subscribers in less than three months. That is on top of the one million that subscribed to Nuvalny's original You Tube channel.
It is important for your country? BAULINA: I feel somehow that people need it. They are sick and tired
of these years of without any possibilities to be heard.
SEBASTIAN: Nuvalny's movement came of age on March 26th with protests in almost 100 cities across Russia. Many who turned out responding to this video. A flick in detail expose alleging corruption by Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev which has more than 20 million views. Medvedev denied the allegations.
On that day, Oksana's team was out the door screaming protests. Then the police arrived and that was live streamed two. Baulina and some her colleagues spent seven days in detention accused of refusing to heed a supposed bomb threat in the office.
SEBASTIAN: Are you worried about the risk of what you do here?
BAULINA: It is not in fear. We are trying to build a beautiful Russia of the future.
SEBASTIAN: While the Kremlin goes out of its way to ignore Nuvalny who is banned from running in the next Presidential election, (INAUDIBLE), a close ally of Vladimir Putin had this response to the claim that he is part of Medvedev's corrupt circle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I spit on you, this man who tells Nuvalny. He has since successfully sued Nuvalny for defamation. A small price to pay, says Baulina.
BAULINA: Not very long time ago no high ranked authority or would even pronounce Nuvalny's name. I think it is a good thing.
SEBASTIAN: In the face of the Kremlin's might this online insurgency is trying to build momentum right to next big test with a few modern tools and some old fashioned ones.
[19:25:11] BAULINA: It says only Nuvalny, only hard work.
SEBASTIAN: Clare Sebastian, CNN, Moscow.
SANCHEZ: And Clare, thank you.
It may be a little surprising that after James Comey's explosive testimony this week not a single administration official went on the Sunday shows to defend Donald Trump. So why the silence from the White House? Our panel discusses next.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:29:49] SANCHEZ: We have more now on the story we told you about at the top of the hour. Senators on the intelligence committee are now debating whether to take embattled attorney general Jeff Sessions offer to testify before the committee Tuesday. Some committee members are concerned that Sessions may be trying to avoid testifying publicly since he canceled appearances at the Senate and House appropriations committees this week. A source tells CNN that Sessions offered to testify caught intelligence committee members by surprise.
Joining us now CNN senior media correspondent host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter and CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin. Both joining me now. Thank you, gentlemen.
Josh, starting with you, what do you make of some of this concern by senators on the intelligence committee that Sessions might be trying to avoid testifying in public?
[19:30:35] JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. Well, in his letter to the senators, Jeff Sessions said he was pulling out of his budget testimony because of what James Comey said last Thursday. And James Comey indicated that there was other information that came up in the courts of their investigation to Russia that related to Jeff Sessions. So he won't tell us what it was. So it is clear that Jeff Sessions is taking that testimony very seriously.
Now, the Senate intelligence committee has no reason not to hear from Jeff Sessions. They might as well. But there is a lot of concern that Jeff Sessions may be using this to avoid talking publicly and senators don't want to be seen as being played off one another. They don't want Jeff Sessions to be able to shop around his testimony and shop around for a forum. So they are caught between a rock and hard place. They want the testimony off the record. But they also want the testimony On the Record. And frankly, as, you know, of observer and journalist in America, I'd like to see them do both as well.
SANCHEZ: Brian, to you now. What does it do to affect public perception? The possibility that this might be a closed door hearing?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right. It enforces the notion that Trump and his aides, whether it's a cabinet member or other press secretary that they are keeping a lot of secrets. I talked about this on my program earlier today. That President Trump has a lot of secrets right now whether it's about big things like whether he believes in climate change, whether he has tapes, whether it is small things like whether he went golfing this weekend. He is keeping a lot to himself.
And the same right now is true for Jeff Sessions. If Sessions wants to look open and available and free and without secrets, then he will speak openly in public on Tuesday to the extent that he can legally. It will be interesting to see how television event this could be. You know, almost 20 million people tuned in for the Comey hearings. They were live on all the major networks. I don't know if we will see that kind of same coverage on Tuesday for Sessions. Certainly CNN and the other cables will have it live. But Sessions will be trying to, I suspect, withhold information. We have already heard Diane Feinstein saying she wants him if front of the Judiciary Committee as well. So it sounds like a lot of senators all want their turns asking these questions.
And to Josh's point, the American people have a lot of questions as well. They would like to hear their senators asked.
SANCHEZ: Yes. We likely won't seat drinking games we saw during the James Comey testimony last week.
STELTER: Probably not.
SANCHEZ: Josh, back to you. I actually spoke to a source close to the campaign and someone who is in regular communication with Donald Trump who said that we should expect a shake-up within the administration once that overseas trip is over. We really haven't seen that big of a shake-up. But do you get the sense that there are people in the White House right now that are hanging on by a thread?
ROGIN: Well, I think we have seen a shake-up in term of the way they operate. Maybe not in terms of the personnel besides the departure of the communication director, who sort of like the last guy in, first guy out.
ROGIN: But you know, as Brian talks about a lot, the briefings have become more scarce. The substance of the briefing is more scarce. You know, more off camera. They are shorter, you know. They are doing business in a different way post trip to the Middle East. But they don't want to be seen as having a shake-up. And if nothing else, it's good for them to avoid story of the shake-up. So you see people up and down inside internally and it is hard to really tell what's what.
But we have seen Sean Spice taker a much less public role, you know. We have seen a lot of the other surrogate not on TV live. That was evident on the Sunday shows. And internally, there are power dynamics going on. But they are not going to do this thing where they drum a lot of -- march a lot of people out the front door because that would give the media, you know, what it wants and prove us all right. And that's the last thing they want to do.
STELTER: I thought it was eye opening. We did not see Trump on the surrogates on the Sunday shows today. Who we did see over the weekend a couple days ago Donald Trump junior and tomorrow Ivanka Trump. So it is really the family members speaking on behalf of their father, of the President right now. We are not seeing Trump aides out there, but we are seeing family members.
SANCHEZ: Very quickly, we may not have the clip ready to fire. But what you heard from Donald Trump Junior yesterday was potentially a contradiction of what his father said on Friday in the Rose Garden when he said he didn't say that he hoped that Flynn investigation would go away. Yesterday Donald Trump p Jr. kind of made it sound like it was Comey's interpretation that was wrong.
SANCHEZ: What do you make of all the miscommunication there?
STELTER: Maybe this is why children can be your best surrogates and also potentially your worst surrogates. Donald Trump Jr. may have made story worse actually in the way he was answering those questions.
SANCHEZ: All right. Thank you so much, Brian Stelter and Josh Rogin. We appreciate you gentlemen for coming on, on this Sunday.
President Trump surprised wedding guest at his Trump national golf club in Bedminster Township, New Jersey Saturday. As CNN national politics reporter M.J. Lee tells us, this isn't first time the President crashed a wedding -- M.J.
[19:35:15] M. J. LEE, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Boris. A couple got that got married over the weekend at the Trump national golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey got quite the unexpected guest, President Donald Trump.
Some guests at the wedding posted some photos on social media. You can see here President Trump mingling with some of the guests as well as the bride and groom. We are also told that he stopped by to sign some -- make America great again hats for the guests.
CNN also got ahold of video of the moment he walked into the wedding reception. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looking good, Donald.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, where is your red hat?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, looking, good baby!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: Now this is not first time that Trump has dropped in unexpectedly on a wedding. Did he this back in February at Mar-a- Largo, his private club down in Florida. And at the time it got a lot of attention because it was supposed to be a working weekend. He was meeting with the prime minister of Japan. Now he spent all of this weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey and he did this because he says that rather than coming home to Trump tower in Midtown, Manhattan, this actually saves folks a lot of time.
If you look last month to the twitter feed when he decided to spend a weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, he tweeted this. He said the reason I'm staying in Bedminster, New Jersey, a beautiful community that is staying in New York City is much more expensive and disruptive.
Now I think New Yorkers certainly would agree that if you did decide to come home to Trump tower every weekend, that certainly would be disruptive. Boris, back to you.
SANCHEZ: Definitely. M.J., thank you.
The Bedminster golf club had come under fire after it advertised a potential Presidential appearance in sales brochures for people thinking about booking their wedding there. According to "The New York Times," the brochure stated if the President was on sight at the time, he would quote "likely stop in and congratulate the happy couple and may even take some photos." A core spokesman said the brochure was discontinued after that times story was published.
Coming up, we take a look at the President's promise to bring back manufacturing jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the first time I ever voted. He was saying things that the average person who wants to see more decent paying jobs that somebody can support a family now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:41:49] SANCHEZ: President Trump's promise to bring back manufacturing jobs helped him win the crucial state of Wisconsin. But now less than six months after Trump took office, General Electric is preparing to close its 100-year-old plant in Wisconsin sending more than 300 jobs to Canada. Angry GE employees say that President Trump and House speaker Paul Ryan whose district is nearby failed them. General Electric is blaming Congress and the dispute over the export, import ban.
CNN Money's Christine Romans sat down with some very angry workers in Wisconsin.
JEFF NEIBAUER, GENERAL ELECTRIC FACTORY WORKER: I came to work on a Monday. Never in my wildest dreams thinking that upper echelon people -- person would come and tell us that you are fired and we are moving to Canada.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jeff Neibauer had built Waukesha engine at the same Wisconsin plant for 24 years. In 2014, President Obama praised this GE factory as a symbol of American manufacturing.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What you are doing at this plant and across this region can be a model for the country.
ROMANS: A model that didn't last. Nearly two years later, Neibauer and more than 300 other workers were told their jobs were moving to Canada. NEIBAUER: They cut out one piece of your heart at a time. They moved
jobs out. They moved equipment out.
ROMANS: This factory drove the community's economy for more than 100 years. It sits just outside of Paul Ryan's congressional district. But some workers here say he fail them.
KENNETH OLSEN, GENERAL ELECTRIC FACTORY WORKER: Doesn't he realize that we voted for him? He should have been there and saw my wife crying. He should have been there.
ROMANS: GE blames the move to Canada on the export-import bank. It's essentially a government credit agency used to finance U.S. exports. GE says it relies on that financing to help sell the products abroad.
Speaker Ryan slammed the export-import bank as corporate welfare and Congress let the charter expire in June 2015. Canada saw an opportunity, offering GE financing if it would build a factory there. GE took the deal. And by the time Congress reauthorized the bank five months later, it was too late.
A spokesperson for Paul Ryan says the speaker finds GE's decision deeply disappointing and says the company's export-import bank reasoning doesn't match up. But GE says if the bank had been reauthorized in those five months, these work workers would still have their jobs. But GE's employees don't buy it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if you want to call it corporate greed.
JOHN KOPPKIN, GENERAL ELECTRIC FACTORY WORKER: A company the size of GE shouldn't need that kind of financial help.
ROMANS: President Trump's promise to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. helped him win Wisconsin.
BRET MATTICE, GENERAL ELECTRIC FACTORY WORKER: This was actually the first time I ever voted. He was saying the things that average person who wants to see more decent paying jobs that somebody can support a family on.
ROMANS: Now General Electric's CEO Jeff Immelt is on the President's manufacturing council before he chaired President Obama's economic advisory board. Little comfort to these workers watching their factory jobs disappear.
[19:45:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought this was going to be the place, you know, where I can retire out of.
ROMANS: Wisconsin's unemployment rate is below the national average. And manufacturers in Waukesha are hiring. But these workers say those jobs don't pay nearly as much as the union jobs at GE.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To find a job with the money we make us going to be pretty impossible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next to impossible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't support a family on $17 an hour.
ROMANS: Even as they search for new jobs, their anger is raw.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't own anything GE anymore. I don't even have a GE light bulb in my house anymore.
ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN Money, New York.
SANCHEZ: Coming up, we head to a part of the United States that could soon be underwater. Locals tell us why they still support Trump even though he pulled out of the U.S. -- or rather he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:50:10] SANCHEZ: When President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord he faced criticism not just overseas but here in the U.S. as well. Some coastal communities are literally vanishing due to rising sea levels. And that's what makes one Virginia island so fascinating, politically.
CNN's Jennifer Gray found out why its voters are firmly behind the President even though their survival is threatened by the environment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are running out of land to give up. We don't have to tell him to do it.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Residents of Tangier, Virginia don't have time to wait for the Washington to debate climate change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our problem is our communities eroding away.
GRAY: They live fewer than 100 miles from the White House on an island in the middle of the Chesapeake bay, population about 450, area just 1.3 square miles and shrinking. During severe weather such as super storm Sandy in 2012, the island is buried under feet of water. The army corps engineers tell CNN erosion and the rising sea levels alone will make this historic crowding community uninhabitable in as little as 20 years, adding that quote "a major storm event striking the island directly could cause abandonment sooner."
It is a heartbreaking prospect rejected by many locals whose families have been living and fishing off the island since the 18th century.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I tell our citizens as mayor is do not lose hope.
GRAY: In a small room, the old town clinic, Mayor James Eskridge meet daily with fellow life-long residents to discuss the island's fate.
There are people out there who say just move. Why do you live here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). You don't just leave your home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are savable right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, if you see this, I mean, whatever you can do, we welcome any help you can give us.
GRAY: Donald Trump received 87 percent of the island's Presidential votes last November. Some of Tangier's local say they care less about his controversial view on climate change and more about his views on infrastructure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has cut the regulations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really just concerned about our safety.
GRAY: The army corps engineers will begin building a jetty to protect the harbor here next year. But the rest of the island will need a far larger and more expensive barrier to survive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is going to cut down when they tell them it takes to study something. We are being studied to death. We just need something done.
GRAY: Mapping data shows just how rapidly the shoreline has waned in the past. And without significant intervention the small American town will continue to disappear into the bay at the rate of 16 feet a year in some places.
So what could Tangier Island look like for future generations if the predictions do come true, well we are about to find out at a place called the Uppards (ph).
Carol Pruitt-Moore is the seventh generation islander. She takes the short boat ride from the main island every day to walk along an abandoned shoreline and reflect on the past.
As recently as the 1920s an entire community lived right here. We are only about a mile and a half from Tangier and this is what is left of the Uppards.
What do you think about when you come here every day and take a walk?
CAROL PRUITT-MOORE, SEVENTH GENERATION RESIDENT: Well, I mean, you know, like when I find pieces of glass and pottery, I try to imagine the people who may have used someone, you know, what their lives were like. I'm sure they never thought, you know, we would have to leave Uppards because of (INAUDIBLE). If we don't get help, it's going to be like Uppards just memory.
Her name was Holly Part. He died in 1913. GRAY: It wasn't many years after this the entire community was under.
So one of your fears is got to be somebody like you one day walking around Tangier taking a piece of the glass wondering about your life.
PRUITT-MOORE: Yes, thinking about my life.
GRAY: Sea level rise isn't just affecting Tangier and its 450 locals. With many larger waterfront cities such as Miami and New Orleans threatened by climate change, convincing outsiders this town is worth saving is a challenge.
EARL SWIFT, JOURNALIST: It seems to me that the decisions we as a country make about whether or not to save this place, will inform how we deal with much bigger problems in cities like New Orleans, Miami and New York City.
GRAY: Earth Swift is a journalist working on a book about Tangiers climate plight. He lives part time on the island researching life here where residents say they refuse to be climate change refugees.
SWIFT: If you make the decision that whether or not you save a place is simply a function of head count, then Tangier doesn't have a chance. You can't make it cost-effective. That's a dangerous slope that start sliding down if that's your chief decider, because then you find yourself having to come up with what number is the baseline. I think it will be a real shame for us to get to that point.
[19:55:06] GRAY: For now, the mood on Tangier is optimistic where some welcoming the new president like Ken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love Trump as much as any family member I go.
GRAY: And hoping his view on climate change won't prevent funding for their future.
If you could say anything to him or his administration today, what would it be?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say --.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Build us a wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, build us a wall. They talk about a wall, we will take a wall. We like that wall all the way around Tangier. We would love a wall.
SANCHEZ: That was Jennifer Gray reporting from Tangier Island, Virginia.
Coming up, more on the new developments surrounding attorney Jeff Sessions and whether or not he will testify before the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)