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Trump Leaves Paris Accord; Putin Throws a Piece of Bone. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 1, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: ... hand it over to Don Lemon. CNN Tonight starts now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Here is the breaking news. Did Vladimir Putin admit to hacking the election?
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
The Russian president saying that hackers who are patriotic, his word, might, quote, "act on the half of their country." Is it an admission or is he trolling President Trump? We're going to ask the experts.
Plus, so much for America as the leader on of the free word we are out of the Paris climate accord because the president thinks it's a bad deal for America. We know this president likes maps and charts. So here's one. Take a look at this.
The United States stands alone against the word on this except for Syria and Nicaragua. We'll explain all of that. So let's get right to the breaking news. Our CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza, senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski, and national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem join us right now.
Good evening to all of you. Michelle, you first. Did Putin essentially admit Russian involvement and meddling in this election?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Putin has gone farther than he has before. I mean, you know, every other time Russia has been ask about meddling in the election, they love to find an even stronger denial. You know, either calling it fake news or ridiculous nonsense. There's a long list of denials of this.
But this time, Putin sits down and says well, there would be people who are patriots out there that have been inspired criticism of Russia to do this on their own. He even compared them to artists. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Hackers are free people just like artists. They wake up in a good mode and paint things. Same with hackers. They woke up today, read something about the state or states releases, that they are patriotic. They contribute in a way they think is right. To fight against those who say bad thing about Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: So he is opening the door for what really seems to be the first time that the possibility that some Russians could have been involved. He is still denying that he or his government had anything to do with it. But he is kind of opening the door for that being a possibility in terms of the U.S. trying to prove it.
Saying that if someone wanted to try to fool investigators into thinking that the government was behind it, they could have manipulated code or put in a drive somewhere and he is saying that is easy to do in today's technologically advanced world.
But I think what's interesting about this is why is he now saying that these are possibilities, could it be that he's afraid the U.S. is going put out some irrefutable evidence that he or his government was behind all of this.
LEMON: The timing is a bit suspect. Chris Cillizza, it's interesting that you say this is just manipulation. Why do you say that?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, CNN: Well, I don't know just manipulation, Don. But I do think any time you see Vladimir Putin making statements, to Michelle's point, what you saw here is some people hack. You know, I mean, that's essentially the Vladimir Putin point of view. Now the government...
LEMON: And it's a patriotic act to do so. It's like, some people do it.
CILLIZZA: Right. You know, these things happen.
CILLIZZA: I can't be held responsible for all of this. I mean, look, I think that he is someone who understands, I would put him in contrast somewhat to our president, someone who does understand that he chooses his words carefully, I think he is very strategic when and why he says things.
So I do think what you are seeing is more muddying of the waters, essentially saying, well, you mean if there is evidence there, it's not necessarily the government, the Russian government, it would could be just people, you know, people, patriots like artists who get up and hack.
You know, I do think I would say less and less and less manipulation but certainly purposeful in the words he chooses and the time he chooses to make this news. LEMON: Interesting. Juliette, more of Putin now. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PUTIN (through translator): I can imagine that someone is doing this purposefully. Building a chain of attacks so that the territory of Russian federation appears to be the source of that attack. Modern technologies allow to do that kind of thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Juliette, the Kremlin has denied this for a while. Why would Putin change his tune now?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, CNN: It's very bizarre. I will say this admission goes further than our own president which is ironic beyond belief at this stage. I mean, he sort of does admit that the Russian, some Russians, some patriotic Russians try to hack our election.
I think there's two explanations. I'm leaning towards the second. The first is that he is worried about what is going to come out in these hearings that are coming up. He is also worried about Congress that is less than pathetic to him than the president and might put on more sanctions, so that would be the first. And he's not an idiot. He knows our politics.
[22:05:00] I think the second is that it sort of scare, you know, it sort of makes me a little bit more nervous, which is Putin has been signaling to Trump his growing dislike of what is going on. And if you believe that -- you know, collusion is a strong word. I don't say it.
But if you believe that there is a, you know, sort of common interest between Trump and Russia or Trump's people and Russia, you know, that Putin may be signaling to him, like, I'm going to mess this up even more for you. And the proof of that is about nine days ago, Putin put out a tweet. We also have missed it about saying. "If you don't give us back our Russian compounds, we're going to make a lot of noise and make some statements about this as well." Lo and behold, the...
LEMON: He got his wish.
KAYYEM: Yes, the Washington Post yesterday reports that there is -- that we are going to give the compounds back to Russia. So I think Putin maybe, this may be some sort of communication both -- let me put it this way. Neither is good but the second is just very disconcerting.
LEMON: Yes, some people hack. It's a coincidence we got our compounds back. So, Michelle, listen, Putin also said this off camera. Here is what he says. How can I be friends, speaking of President Trump, and they're saying, you know, they're buddies, right?
He said, "how can I be friends with someone I never met. I think Mr. Trump can't call me a friend either. We don't know each other." So, I mean, what is the latest on the relationship between President Trump and Putin? Because Trump used to talk about Putin a lot.
KOSINSKI: Yes. I mean, maybe Putin is sort of saying what has he done for me lately. I mean, first, sure during the campaign, it seems like maybe Putin was the type in terms of campaign rhetoric that Trump could embrace as the strong man leader, the nationalist. I mean, we've seen his embrace of other world leaders in the same way.
He even said that he might see Crimea as being part of Russia, that he might consider lifting Russian sanctions. But then when this hacking evidence came out that, you know, Obama commissioned this report on the hacking during the election, it became politically impossible really for there to be a relationship there.
That's when we saw the cooling off. No more this rhetoric. The U.S. government now saying again that Crimea is part of Ukraine, that the sanctions are not going to be lifted. So the public statements have shifted to being apart from Vladimir Putin, no they are not friends. They've only spoken on the phone what, three times. They haven't met in person yet. They might this month.
But I think the last strongest thing we may have said and heard Trump say in favor of Putin was that we might be able to have a relationship. And that was pretty much the end of it. And the Russians know that politically it's not as if there's going to be a warming there any time soon.
MCSHANE: You know, Hillary Clinton talked about the Russia investigation yesterday. And I'm wondering, you know, Chris, what was your -- what did you think of what she said about the Russia investigation? I mean, she mentioned all of it. She said of course it hurt her. But what did you think -- and coming up now at this point, that's a timing issue as well.
CILLIZZA: Yes, so she's writing a book. So some of it I think is to gin up excitement and interest in the book. I thought the interview yesterday with Recode on the West Coast with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher was odd. In that what Hillary Clinton said was, look, it's my campaign, I take the blame but my mistakes aren't why we lost.
And then she goes to detail a number of things that without question, Don, James Comey coming out 10 days before the election saying the investigation is reopened mattered. The released by WikiLeaks of the hacked e-mails mattered.
In fact, those two things conflated together even if they're not the same things. Her private e-mail server and then the WikiLeaks.
A lot of people just kind of stop them together. That stuff mattered. Donald Trump, the kind of campaign he ran that mattered. But it's just strange to me because it feels as though she is taking a lot of agency of her own out of this when it is her campaign. It is Hillary Clinton for president.
She is the one who decided not to visit, for example, Wisconsin for one day between the convention and the general election. Obviously she lost there in one of losing the presidency.
So, I think it is difficult to lose a presidential bid. That is probably the understatement of the century. I think it is even more difficult to lose when you are every poll suggest -- every person like me was out there saying she is very likely to win.
I think it's even more difficult than that to lose to someone you not only fundamentally disagree with. But you believe will take the country in a bad direction. So I think she continues to look at the idea of Donald Trump as president.
He is obviously acting in ways that she erratically different. Then she would I think she grasps more so than many people that Donald Trump's presidency, whether it lasts four years or eight years is going to set the country off of an a different course.
[22:10:06] The Paris climate accord is a perfect example. He has a fundamentally different vision for what America's role in the world should be than George W. Bush did, than Mitt Romney would have, than Barack Obama, and certainly than Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: Certainly than Hillary Clinton.
CILLIZZA: I think she sees those stakes.
KAYYEM: Can I?
LEMON: I've got to go -- we'll get it next time. All right, Juliette. Sorry about that. I will get to Fareed Zakaria, host of Fareed Zakaria GPS. Thank you, panel, by the way.
So let's talk about this. We'll get to Hillary Clinton in just a moment. But Russia meddling in the election. Is Vladimir Putin admitting, saying, you know, it could have been Russian. You know, I'm not -- I don't know?
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN: It's actually fascinating that he has done this. Because it follows exactly the sequence of events that took place in Ukraine and Crimea. If you remember, when the invasion of Crimea and the de-stabilization of eastern Ukraine took place, Vladimir Putin said, I don't know who these people are.
There is just it seems as though there are a lot of patriotically minded Ukrainians and Russians who want Ukraine to be a part of Russia, who want the Crimea to be part of Russia.
He said there was a referendum and he would continue to assert that what was going on in eastern Ukraine was all been done by patriotic Russians who were just helping the Ukrainians to forge this bond with Russia.
Then he started to say a few months later, well, you know, maybe these were retired or these were soldiers on holiday on vacations. That instead of going home to their families they were destabilizing Ukraine.
And then, I think it was very recently, when somebody asked him was the Russian military involved in Ukraine? He answered, of course.
ZAKARIA: So this seems as though, he is following a similar path because he's pointing out that patriotically minded Russians would naturally want to elect Donald Trump and damage Hillary Clinton which is itself interesting. But why is he doing it? I think because Putin sort of want it both ways. He wants deniability but he also wants the world to know that, you know, he can mess with you. He can mess with you.
LEMON: Yes. I said when Chris was talking there, that it was plausible deniability. But you have interviewed him. So when he likens hackers to artists, how do you read that, what is he really saying?
ZAKARIA: I think, you know, the thing about Putin you have to understand is he is very intelligent and he is very modern. So he understand this technology. He understands what going on. So he knows that people in the west think of hackers as these free spirits, you know, kind of libertarian anarchist types.
So he is playing into that idea. Meaning I couldn't control these people. These are guys who are out on their own.
ZAKARIA: However, the idea that that's true of this kind of operation is highly implausible. In Russia and china, there are armies of hackers trained and employed by the state.
LEMON: OK. So this is what I'm going to say, especially coming from a former KGB agent, right? He's being too cute, he knows exactly -- well, maybe it was -- he know what's up?
ZAKARIA: No, of course. Of course. And as I say he both wants to give you the feeling that, you know, I didn't have any control over this. I don't know what you're talking about. But then, he never completely goes there. After a while, he wants to remind you, you know what, maybe we do have a little bit of involvement.
LEMON: Do you they this intentionally that maybe he's intentionally trying to make President Trump looks bad because he calls the whole Russia probe a witch-hunt saying it's democrats which is upset because using Russia, you know, Russia is meddling in the election is an excuse for losing it.
ZAKARIA: I think he is just playing the game where he wants people to know, you know what? I have -- I have many -- I have many kind of weapons in my arsenal. Some of them are straightforward. Some of them are these kinds and I could use any one at any time.
LEMON: Comey testifies next week. He wants to get all out of there. What do you think were -- what are you going to be looking for? So I think this is going to be, yes, I heard someone say on air earlier and maybe we should him earlier that this is going to be the most watched thing at least hearing since Watergate. What do you think?
ZAKARIA: I think the most important thing here is it's all going to be the kind of the symbolism and the emotional feel of it. By which I mean, look, they are going to get into the weeds.
But basically this is going to be a moment where the American people, the world is going to watch James Comey, this tall devout Catholic who has devoted his life to government service and try to make a judgment, is he telling the truth or is Donald Trump? Because they can't both be telling...
LEMON: But have you noticed that the strategy now is to put him on trial and to sort of impugn his reputation and his career before he even testifies. Have you noticed that?
ZAKARIA: Sure. Sure. And that's why as I say, I mean, basically people are just going to look at this guys and say, gut level do I believe him? Do I think, you know.
[22:15:01] And that, I think that's a tough one for Donald Trump honestly. Because you know, his whole life has been -- by his own telling. I'm now using his own words. It's, you know, hyperbole, exaggeration, fudging.
ZAKARIA: A lot of people would say falsehood. So his whole life has been about at the very least shading the truth.
ZAKARIA: And now (AUDIO GAP) mano-a-mano, where he is saying believe me, don't believe this guy.
LEMON: Your words in it, shading the truth. All right. Stand by, we have much more to talk about.
When we come back, another big story tonight. Why you say what the president did today marks the end of America as the leader of the free world.
LEMON: The president announcing today that he is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord upsetting leaders around the world. But he says, I promised America first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At what point do they start laughing at us as a country? We want fair treatment for its citizens and we want fair treatment for our tax payers. We don't want other leaders and 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:19:59] LEMON: All right, back now with me, Fareed Zakaria. Fareed, I know that you have a very clear message about what the president did today choosing to withdraw from the Paris and that message is...
ZAKARIA: One, it's a tragedy. First of all, it's a tragedy because climate change is a real problem and it is causing enormous uncertainty and instability around the word. It's a problem because the United States is withdrawing from a leadership role that has basically occupied since 1945 and constructed this stable peaceful world.
It's also a tragedy because the United States has begun to dominate the energies of the future that are going to dominate the planet.
President Trump says that he was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh and not Paris.
ZAKARIA: He should have somebody look this up. Pittsburgh now has twice as many clean energy jobs as oil, natural gas and coal combined. So if he wants to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, he should do the opposite of what he's doing.
LEMON: By the mayor said that, you know, he was against -- Pittsburgh voted for Hillary Clinton and not for Donald Trump overwhelmingly and he was against the president leaving, pulling out of the climate accord.
ZAKARIA: Well, I think the one silver lining here is that while Donald Trump is withdrawing from the Paris accords, in many senses, America is not. And a lot of states and a lot of cities have committed themselves to a clean energy future, whether they want to invest in these new technologies. They want to make sure that they have an impact.
The most important in California which is you know, the seventh (Inaudible) economy in the world. But it still, it's a sad day for the United States. I've been talking to European leaders. And you know, I don't know, Trump keeps talking about people laughing at the United States. I've never experienced that in my, you know, two o three decades of covering this stuff.
Right now, they are weeping, they're sad that the United States is withdrawing from its leadership role. Because, you know, frankly, they know that it means a less stable world, a world in which there would be less of a sense of rule of law, less of a protection of human rights, and less of efforts to solve global problems together.
You know, a lot of these problems are not ones that any one country can solve. If China pollutes, it affects all of us. The great virtue of Paris was it brought China and India into the tent and for the first time they committed to getting serious about global, about climate change. And you know, to walk away from that is, you know, it's a sad day.
LEMON: Who is going to be -- when is a politician going to be honest with the people in the coal country and the rest -- listen, everyone -- we all want -- everyone American wants every American to be employed but the truth is, it's like saying, you know, telling Texas instrument we need to make more calculators, right? When that, you know...
ZAKARIA: The world has gone by.
LEMON: The world has gone by. Many of the coal jobs are going back. And they are not going to be retrained. It's not going to get back to the way it was unless they start making cell phones out of coal. Who is going to be honest about that. And as you said, the jobs are with clean energy now, not necessarily with coal and that's the stark reality.
ZAKARIA: And here's the opportunity that Paris provided. The Paris Accords has really pushed everyone in the same boat and said let's all commit to a lower carbon future, you know, to a clean energy pump.
So the Chinese, the Indians are actually doing more than they have in the preceding decade. You are seeing real efforts in countries in Latin America. Now what that means is they are going to need that clean energy technology from somewhere. Instead of buying energy from the Middle East and Venezuela and Russia, they need to buy the solar technology, the wind technology, the battery technology from somewhere.
The United States was becoming the world leader. In many ways, it is and some with Germany. We want to dominate that future. We want to be the country from which everybody needs energy. So it was huge economic upside for the United States to have the whole world locked in.
ZAKARIA: Now let's say Paris starts to unravel and the Indians and the Chinese say if you are not series of this and we don't have to be. The United States suffers, who benefits? Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela.
LEMON: Yes, And by the way, you mention laughing, but I mean, even Emmanuel Macron just put this up. The French President said, "Make our planet great again," right. And then he talked about and he actually said it in a speech, what we need to do is make our planet great again. Really sort of that was a criticism of the president, of our president.
ZAKARIA: I think all European leaders are shocked. But it's just European leaders. The Indian Prime Minister, India, you know, people keep saying it is great polluter, has really made clear that they are going to do something about climate change there that trying to wean themselves of coal.
And he said it would be criminal to abandon the Paris Accords. So you have countries like India, and China, and Russia were jealously regard the sovereignty which has never been willing to take part in this global pacts but they got involved and then the United States, the leader, withdraws.
[22:24:59] LEMON: Here we are. Thank you, Fareed. Pleasure. Don't miss Fareed Zakaria GPS Sundays at 10 a.m. and then 1 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
When we come back, more on our top two stories tonight. Did Vladimir Putin admit that Russian hackers meddled in the election? And what happens now that President Trump is quitting the Paris climate accord. I'm going to ask a former director of the CIA and a former State Department official.
LEMON: Back now. This is CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.
I want to bring in Ambassador James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and CNN military and diplomatic analyst, rear Admiral John Kirby who is the former spokesman at the State Department.
Good evening, gentlemen. We're going to talk about the climate change decision, ambassador. But first let's talk about Russia. Because today, Vladimir Putin appeared to concede or imply at least that patriotic hackers may have meddled in the U.S. election. What do you make of this considering that he has denied Russia involvement for months?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, the Russians have been meddling in our elections and everybody's elections for decades. They call it disinformation and disinformazzia (Ph).
[22:29:59] It's part of a massive -- they're much more involved in that. They spend more time and money on that than they do on stealing secrets.
LEMON: I think you're right about that obviously. But what do you think of the timing? Because he's denied it. What do you think -- now he is saying, well may be.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I think you're right about that obviously. But what do you think of the timing? Because he's denied it. What do you think -- now he is saying, well may be.
WOOLSEY: Well, I don't know. I think he kind of wants to have an earlier statement on CNN, was I think he wants it both ways. He wants people to understand but he also doesn't want to fully admit. So he is kind of jockeying.
LEMON: Admiral Kirby, were you surprised to hear this today from Vladimir Putin?
JOHN KIRBY, FORMER UNITED STATES STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: I mean, yes. I was quite frankly. I'm not quite the expert that the ambassador he is. But this is a guy that is pretty good at holding his cards. As for timing, I mean, I don't know this.
I mean, I wonder if it has anything to do with him seeing the erosion of trusting credibility of the United States over times here and the divisions now between us and some of our closest European which is what he love to have and love to see and I wonder if he just feels a little bit emboldened by that.
LEMON: Ambassador, I want to ask you. Because you made some news today yourself. Saying that six days after the election that Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, offered up the job as CIA director. What happened?
WOOLSEY: Well, I wasn't absolutely sure that he had authorization from the president to make the offer. But he did make it and he certainly was in a very senior position. I felt that -- the intelligence collection, being the director of central intelligence is a two-part job.
One is, you are trying to collect intelligence for the country from bad groups, terrorist groups from countries that cause us some trouble but are not fundamentally at odds with us on everything, such as Russia.
And you are also managing covert action which is authorize by statutes. If the president wants to try to influence then see (Ph) abroad, rather than merely collecting information, he signs a finding and you can go do it. Well, the CIA can go do that.
This would have put me in a situation in which I was responding to him...
LEMON: So you thought that Flynn would have been -- Flynn saw himself as your boss rather than the president...
WOOLSEY: That is effectively what he said. He wanted me to report to him.
LEMON: That's not normal, is it?
WOOLSEY: Well, the morning briefings are organized in different ways. Sometimes the director of central intelligence will do them, sometimes other people will do it.
LEMON: No, I get that. But at the end of the day, the president is...
WOOLSEY: But the key thing is that you have to be able as the head of the CIA to bypass everyone and go to the president and say we've got a real mess here, Mr. President. No one else is telling you. I'm going to tell you, here's what's happening.
LEMON: You didn't feel that you would be able to do that since he was offering you the job and not the president. So you think the president was aware?
WOOLSEY: Well, it wasn't just the offer. It was he said, that I would report to him.
LEMON: He said...
WOOLSEY: That I would report to him.
LEMON: You report to him. Do you think the president knew?
WOOLSEY: I'm not sure. Maybe.
LEMON: I got -- admiral, is this -- doesn't it seem unusual that the national security adviser would offer someone the role as the head of the CIA rather than the president of the United States himself?
KIRBY: Yes. It does seem to me. And again, I defer to the ambassador and he's much better experienced than me, but that's such a key position in the government that you would think that the commander in chief would be the one making decision and then proffering the offer. So it does seem pretty unusual to me.
LEMON: OK. Let's move on, let's talk more about climate control. Because Admiral Kirby, you were the spokesperson for the State Department. What is today's climate decision mean for the United States our diplomatic influence in the future?
KIRBY: Well, I mean, I associate myself with Fareed's comments in terms of, you know, how bad this is for U.S. leadership around the world. But look, we're still the greatest nation on earth. We still have the most powerful military, the most vibrant economy, the most strongest institutions. That's not going to change based on today.
But what we have seen today is another example of I think a continuing erosion in international trust and confidence in American leadership. We saw coming out of the president's trip especially when he went to Europe and insulted our allies and partners in NATO and again at the G7.
I think this is just another drop in that bucket and over time, it could have longer term, more strategic effects on the ability to have influence, not just military influence or economic influence but real political influence around the world. So I'm worried about it. I don't think that today, you know, was the -- you know, was the end of it but it is something to watch.
LEMON: I want to, Ambassador Woolsey, I want you to weigh in. But let me tell you what the former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted out today. [22:34:59] He said "We are already feeling impacts of climate change.
Exiting Paris agreement imperils U.S. security and our ability to own the clean energy future."
Do you agree with exiting that this puts the U.S. -- it's a security risk for the U.S.? And also do you remember the director Mike Pompeo didn't want to answer questions on climate change at his confirmation hearing.
WOOLSEY: I think we should have stayed in the structure and not gotten out of it. But I think it's mainly a question of American leadership over decades. This particular agreement doesn't do a great deal that one would want to do.
And the reason we -- our electricity bills are one-third those of Germany's per capita is because of largely shale gas and fracking and very cheap gas we have to produce electricity in the United States and the Germans are doing it for more expensively.
So this agreement, this structure is not extremely well designed to move quickly. And in China, don't come into it to actually take steps for some years. But I think the main point is that we lose the leadership position, that really ought to have given our technological abilities and given the importance long term of garbing...
LEMON: Stay in there and keep our leadership roll and then try to make the -- try to make it better.
LEMON: Yes. Admiral Kirby, there's another thing that I want to discuss with you real quickly if we can. Right before the president's climate announcement he spoke out against the violence today in the Philippines. Let's listen and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila. We are closely monitoring the situation and I will continue to give updates if anything happens during this period of time. But it is really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those affected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Admiral Kirby, you know, he was sincere but there's one problem, it wasn't terror. It was suspected robbery by a lone thief. He got a little bit ahead over his keys there. This is another example of him doing that. He often does when it comes to terror many times, he's right it is terror but sometimes it's not.
KIRBY: Yes, this time he was wrong. I mean, originally they said that his National Security Adviser General McMaster briefed him on this before he came out, then somebody on background at the White House said he was freelancing a little bit. Then they clarified it again just a little bit ago and said that he got briefed about media reports that ISIS had claimed responsibility.
Here's the thing. Words really do matter when you are the commander- in-chief of the United States of America and you're standing there in the Rose Garden and talking about violence of this nature. It really does matter that you get it right.
And he is the commander-in-chief. He could just pick up any number of phones and call any number of officials and gotten a fresh report of a fresh analysis of what we thought this was and what we didn't think it was. I mean, there is no need to freelance basically just on media reports. I mean, he has the ability to get this information in real time.
LEMON: That's got to be the final word. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
When we come back, the president announcing the U.S. is quitting the Paris climate agreement to bring back jobs to the U.S. But will that actually cost jobs?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The president is quitting the Paris climate accord no matter what other leaders think. But take a look at this. This is Boston City hall. It's all lit up in green tonight in support of the accord.
So let's discuss now. CNN political commentator Peter Beinart is here. CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen, and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro and Scott Jennings, the former special assistant to President George W. Bush.
I'm so glad to have all of you on. Mr. Beinart, the president's speech today was incredibly polarizing. What's your reaction to what you heard?
PETER BEINART, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: I really think of the many things that we are going to remember about Donald Trump presidency, this will be one of them. I mean, the question is what kind of future are we going to be remembering it from?
I mean, if you just -- if you just read the newspaper about what's happening in the Arctic, for instance. This is a terrifying situation for the world, climate change. And if we now know that if the problem, if we are able to solve what would be one of the greatest struggles of our time, it will not be because of the United States, it will be despite the President of the United States. As an American that's incredibly tragic and sad.
LEMON: Yes, Ana Navarro, here is what the president as said about climate change in the past and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: So I'm not a believer in global warming. I'm not a believer in manmade global warming. It's a hoax. I think the scientists are having a lot of fun.
I mean, it's a money making industry, OK? It's a hoax, a lot of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So he also tweeted over 100 times skeptical comments about climate change. Should everyone have expected this, Ana?
ANA NAVARRO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: I don't know, Don. Because he has changed his mind on so many things between what he used to believe before, then what he said when he was campaigning and now what he has done as president.
So one of the things that has been consistent about Donald Trump have been his inconsistency. That being said he has been pretty good about keeping his promises to the base. What he's been terrible at is expanding that base or bringing in anybody outside of that base and I think today he put in another nail in that coffin.
I think if anything today, he antagonized even more people, certainly young people. You know, and people not only in America. People around the world he antagonized today.
LEMON: Yes. The Washington Post, Scott, is out with a new piece with details on the president's decision making process and how contentious it was, his various advisers made their arguments to him.
"He stayed where he's always been and not for a lack of trying by those who have an opposite opinion," said Kellyanne Conway counsel to the president. "He started with a conclusion and the evidence brought him to the same conclusion."
[22:45:02] He started with a conclusion -- I mean, does that strike you as backwards?
SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think he started with a campaign promise. During the campaign he made a clear promise to back out of this Paris deal. And then I think he went through a pretty normal policy process in the White House.
He had people who wanted to stay in. He had people who wanted to get out. They had external voices making the case on both sides. The president took time deliberate it and made a decision, in a world where we are always complaining about politicians not keeping their campaign promise. Today we're complaining about a politician who kept his campaign promise to pull out of this agreement regarding politics.
I actually think this was a splitting issue for the democrats today. You have a lot of people who have voted democrat, a lot of times in their life that live in the industrial Midwest that probably want to see the president follow through on this campaign promise and he did it. It's one of the reasons he won last year. Because he was able to peel off enough democrats in the Midwestern United States. I think today's decision continues to solidify him with those people.
LEMON: Let's go to the democrat, Hilary Rosen, what do you say to that?
HILARY ROSEN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: You know, last week, we had the president's national economic adviser say that people who think there are going to be jobs in the coal industry are basically crazy. That there is more money and opportunity in alternative fuel and natural gases.
Made the coal industry just cost inefficient. So -- you know, if you are the president's national economic adviser making this point based on what real business realities are and then the president is talking about this is a campaign promise, I just don't think you have a White House that is really thinking about serving the people.
The president making the decision this way. It's not about keeping a campaign promise. It's really about not actually not learning facts and understanding where the economy is going.
LEMON: Well, more of the post reporting tonight. Steve Bannon, EPAC Scott Pruitt. She shouldn't be Scott Pruitt said he wanted to get rid of.
ROSEN: Yes, not surprise.
LEMON: Yes, correct. He said we are armed with statistics that backed up their opinions like they are ready to go to trial. Do you think that made a difference?
ROSEN: Well, the president, you know, cited an MIT study, an old MIT study today at the press conference suggesting that there was going to be less impact on global warming from Paris accords than everybody said. But in fact, it was a 3-year-old study done before all these countries have signed on the Paris accord.
And so, they are using numbers, old numbers and finding numbers to support their claim and instead, same with their economic numbers the fact that -- and Fareed mentioned this earlier. There are more jobs in Pennsylvania in the new energy economy than there are in the old energy economy.
LEMON: Go ahead, Ana.
NAVARRO: I think Scott is completely right. This was a campaign promise and it was ruled today as a campaign promise being delivered. That sounded a lot more to me like a political rally speech than it did a policy speech and it did a presidential announcement. It was a Donald Trump production.
One of the things that struck me about the entire thing was the level of agellation being heap on Donald Trump by Vice President Pence who introduce him and by EPA Director Pruitt who followed him. I mean, it was weird, it was fascinating. It was nauseating.
I have never seen men that have such accomplishments themselves go up to the, you know, Rose Garden podium and feel a necessity, a requirement to engage in such public boot licking. You almost want to hug them.
BEINART: We know because that's what this president responds to, right? We know that this is the president who because his national security advisers have to write his name in every paragraph of the briefing them was because that's the only thing that will him reading, right?
This is a president who has not, doesn't have the intellectual capacity or at least intellectual willingness to actually genuinely try to understand the magnitude of the issue that we are facing. And issue that it could have catastrophic consequences for millions of Americans and billions of people around the world.
That's what so incredibly, extraordinarily frightening about this moment. Donald Trump doesn't even understand the consequences of the decision he is making.
LEMON: Well, he is supposed to -- the reason -- the main reason I think for reasons like this is why he had Ivanka and Jared, you why he have appointed them to be his advisers. But is he listening to them? We'll discuss that when we come right back.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President Trump announcing today he is quitting the Paris climate accord. But notice who ask then from the Rose Garden announcement, Jred Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
Back now with my panel. Hey, Peter, you know, officials say Ivanka Trump advocated on behalf of this Paris agreement until the very end. And a source close to the administration says about the Trump's decision to pull out says, obviously, Jared and Ivanka don't have as much pull as we think. Do you agree with that?
BEINART: Yes, evidently. I mean, if look, if you are relying on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to be the voices of conscience in (Inaudible) administration, you've already lost, right? I mean, did these guys walk when Donald Trump he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the country?
Did they walk after the sexual assault tape, right? I mean, yes, it seems to me like they like to play the, you know, it's convenient for them in New York to suggest that they can have some distance from Donald trump's policies. But I've not actually seen either of them actually show any real courage and actually opposing the horrific things that their father has done, father-in-law.
ROSEN: Well, it is ironic so that you know, they haven't done much publicly but they do behind the scenes as our reporter friends know constantly feed stories to reporters about how they have tried to ameliorate policies and we see time after time how they fail.
Ivanka, in particular this time really helped to organize a whole series of CEOs to try and lobby her father on this. And this is the point I was making before where you have the drivers of tomorrow's U.S. economy saying this is a bad mistake to pull out of this agreement. And so you think that the president would be listening to these two he is investing the future in.
ROSEN: And he's not.
LEMON: They weren't there, they said they are celebrating the holiday but they also they went home to celebrate with their kids and Jared also had a meeting at the White House. And you say part of the story can't be overstated. Why is that?
[22:54:57] ROSEN: You know, they disappear when things are tough. They don't want to be associated with bad policies, but look, they're White House advisors, they're not just family.
LEMON: Scott, do you think this decision from the president is an indication that Ivanka and Jared are losing influence?
JENNINGS: No, I don't. I think when you take a job as a top White House adviser you accept certain things. And one of those things is you're not always going to get your way. There are a lot of people that work in the White House. There are a lot of people with good ideas, these are bright people.
Sometimes the president will side with you. Sometimes the president will go against you. But it sort of like in golf you don't leave last hole bad shot in your mind when you're on the tee box. You go put it away back on the last hole and you go and you hit the next shot.
In this case you go and you work on the next set of policies. When you're a White House advisor this is par for the course. You don't always get your way. Ultimately, the president has to make a decision. And there were a lot of credible voices asking him to pull out of this.
You see a long list of people tonight including a democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin praising his decision. So it's not like the position of pulling out of the Paris Accords was without a constituency. It has a large and vocal constituency and obviously they made good arguments of the president.
LEMON: Yes. And Joe Manchin, by the way is from coal country so, you know.
BEINART: Can I say something? I think it's really important this conversation is to disentangle the political conversation from the moral conversation. It's absolutely true that politically there is a case for doing this that maybe Donald Trump is better off. But sometimes the thing that the politically smartest thing to do can also be disastrous for the country.
LEMON: Yes. Ana, what is this...
(CROSSTALK) ROSEN: The world is going forward. That's the long term problem.
LEMON: What does this say that he is siding with the Steve Bannon wing of the administration rather than his daughter and son-in-law?
NAVARRO: You know, we see this all the time in this Trump White House. The level of intrigue and mellow drama that goes in there really, you know, house of cards pales in comparison.
One day we hear some folks are about to get fired, then the next week they're on top again. I mean, this happens all the time. And Hilary Rosen is completely right. The Kushner clan has a funny way of disappearing when the votes and issues are controversial.
They were skiing during the health care vote, healthcare debate. They are celebrating the holiday, they are Orthodox Jewish folks, you know, today. So, you know it's a funny coincidence on the timing. But I think that's less important than the meat of this issue.
And I think Americans today have got to realize that we can't depend on this president to act like a globalist, to act like an adult, to act like so many of us wish he would, and that we have to take it upon ourselves.
LEMON: Got it.
NAVARRO: This is a time when all of us have got to reflect on what we can do to make the world a better place, to make a carbon footprint less.
LEMON: I'm up against the break. Thank you everyone. I appreciate it.
ROSE: That's a new twist.
LEMON: When we come back, Vladimir Putin admit that Russian hackers meddle in last year's election.
Plus, more on the president's decision to quit the Paris climate agreement. Plus, LeBron James home vandalized with racist graffiti and now he's speaking out.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)