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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  June 1, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

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matter. mit rimny still one the electorate i'm not arguing that doesn't matter. >> great thanks everyone for being here. appreciate it that's it for the lead i'm jake tapper i turn you over to wolf blitzer in the situation room. thanks for watching. happening now breaking news going it alone. president trump announces that starting today he is pulling out of the -- he is pulling the u.s. out of the paris climate agreement in which nearly 200 nations pledged to fight global warming. the president says he is ep open to northbounding a new deal that he says would be fairer to americans. growing oppositions. there were objections to the president's move within the would you say, the cabinet and the president's own family. major corporations and dozens of u.s. mayors have already signaled zma. what will the real impact be? investigating sessions. lawmakers confirmed cnn reporting that they're investigating whether the attorney general jeff sessions had another secret meeting with the russian ambassador.
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and they revealed they asked the fbi to look into possible perjury. putin's denial. u.s. intelligence are will said the election meddling trail leads to the kremlin but russian president putin says his government isn't to blame. now he says patriotic russian hackers may be responsible. i'm wonderful blitzer. you're in the situation room. breaking news in a and a stunning move putting the nuns opposition to the rest of the world. president trump announced he is pulling the u.s. out of a nearly 200-nation paris accord aimed at limiting global warming. the move fulfills a campaign pledge and will find favor among his base especially in coal mining case and other hard hit areas of the economy. but it comes over the opposition of cabinet members and senior
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white house officials even his daughter ivanka who urged the president to change u.s. commitments to the agreement without withdrawing from the agreement. also breaking right now, fired fbi director james comey is set to testify before the senate intelligence committee one week from today. he is expected to address his private encounters with president trump who reportedly urged him to end his investigation into michael flynn's russia advertises that comes at senate democrats reveal they asked the fbi to investigate ties between attorney general jeff sessions and russia and possible perjury during his confirmation process. and russia's president vladimir put isn't shrugging off but not flatly denying charges that the kremlin sponsored cyberattacks on america's election campaign. uten claims there may have been patriotic private russian hackers acting independently on behalf of russia. i'll talk to democratic congress william a jackie speier and lee
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zeldin and our correspondents specialists and guests. all standing by with full coverage of the day's top stories. let's begin with president trump's blockbuster announcement he is pulling the united states out of the nearly 200 nation paris climate agreement. go straight to white house correspondent sara murray. sahr are plaek it down for us. >> in many ways we saw president trump go back to basics today. he hit the sort of nationalist theme, the america first theme he campaigned on and o ohs o as he made the monumental announcement the u.s. would no longer be a part of the paris climate agreement. >> the bottom line is that the paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the united states. >> today president trump is putting a economic mark next to one of his key campaign promises. >> in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect america and its
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citizens, the united states will withdraw from the paris. [ applause ] climate accord. [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you. but begin negotiations to re-enter either the paris accord or a really entirely new transaction. >> trump announcing the withdrawal from the paris climate agreement in the face of protests from business groups, world leaders and even trump's own daughter, ivanka while critics have said backing out of the deal will put the u.s. at a disadvantage on the world stage trump insisted the agreement was bad for u.s. business and the u.s. economy. >> major economic wound.
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we would find it very hard to compete with other countries. >> in the trump preclaimed climate change is hoax but he shifted his rhetoric on thursday. >> as someone who cares deeply about the environment which i do. >> insisting his decision was driven by economic factors rather than his view of global warming. >> this agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the united states. >> but trump also left the door open to renegotiating the agreement or striking an entirely new climate deal. >> we'll set down with the democrats and all of the people that represent either the paris accord or something that we could do that's much better than the paris accord. >> the move to withdraw distances the united states from nearly every nation on the globe. just two countries, syria and nicaragua, refused to sign on to
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the 2015 global agreement to curb climate change. but it also scratches off another campaign trail promise, one that is sure to be cheered by trump's conservative base. >> i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. >> former president obama whose administration negotiated the climate deal quickly did he announced trump's decision. warning it could diminish america's standing on the world stage. ? a statement obama said even in the absence of american leadership even as this administration joins a handful of nations rejecting the future i'm confident states cities and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way. and help protect for future generations the one planet we've got. now the president may have said he cares about the environment. but his associates still are not saying whether he believes in climate change and if humans contributed to it.
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a number of senior administration officials just held a briefing here at the white house. and they refused to answer those questions. back to you, wolf. >> sahr are murray he white house thanks very much. let's dig deeper cnn fareed zakaria. what kind of outrage can we expect from the international community? >> wolf i think it's not so much outrage but disappointment. the paris accords were really a symbol of global cooperation, the idea that there are some problems that are global in nature. you know sort of china is polluting the atmosphere. we all get affected. if some country is polluting the seas we all get affected. as a result of that there has to be some kind of common solution, some -- everybody has to chip in. everybody has to jump in at the same time. and for the united states which has been the leader of the world, the one that has shaped the agenda so often in history,
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to renege on its commitment, to walk away from the treaty, it's a very dramatic and symbolic blow. as i said the united states almost resigned from its role leading the world. >> that's a strong statement. elaborate a bit because your words have an important impact. >> if you think about what the united states has done since 1945, what it has tried to do is construct an international order which says, look, for thousands of years everybody fought and killed each other and there was just competition. let's try to find a way to compete economically and through diplomacy and create a zone where we can try to deal with some of the things in a more peaceful way. and that's what nato and the european union and all the institutions you hear from the world bank and imf and the world bank happen that's what it's been. it's been bipartisan american
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policy for 70 years that the united states having created in system benefits enormously because we get to write the rules, set the agenda. as the person who negotiated in deal on the obama administration said america's interests were front a and center in a way no other country's were because the united states was leading. so to the united states to walk away -- first of all it means that the glue that has held the international community together starts to dissolve. and secondly it's an ee ee norms seven goal for the united states we're walking away from the system where we have been at the center, the united states has been the arbiter, rule maker, referee. and all of a sudden we don't know what will happen. china might step up. germany might step up. so it's a sad day in that sense. and i think most countries want some greater leadership from the united states. you saw that even in the obama years when it seemed to be
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pulling back what. . the world has realized they need somebody to set the agenda. and they have been comfortable with the united states doing it. and in that environment for the united states to volunteerly leave -- it's kind of an abdomen indication of power and responsible but it means who is going to look at america's interests? is it china, germany, the european union, india? i don't think so. >> fareed zakaria with his analysis of this major, major move on the part of the president. nangs for joining us. >> pleasured wg wolf. >> joining us now republican congressman lee zeldin of new york he is a member of the foreign affairs committee. also iraq war veteran thanks for joining us. >> thank you wolf. >> i want to get your reaction. the president says pulling the u.s. out of the agreement is part of his america first promise. but this agreement has been signed, as you know by nearly every nation in the world, only
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what, nicaragua and syria are not signatureries. do you worry in decision ice lates the u.s. from allies? >> i believe it creates an opportunity. if the president is real in what he said regarding working with democrats, working with members of congress and the american people, very concerned about climate change and addressing it, not just here within the country but globally then what we should do is continue to work and engage with the international community and try to negotiate a better deal. that would not just help serve the president's purpose of fighting for the american economy, the american worker and american interests. but it would also help those democrats and republicans, those who are deeply concerned about climate change to accomplish their goals of actually ending up with an agreement that's better for the world than paris. >> you were the only member -- i'm told -- of in bipartisan coalition that did not write a
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letter -- did not tell the president, don't drop out of this agreement. why did you avoid sending a letter to the president saying, you know what you can make changes but don't leave the paris accord? >> well because the paris accord is flawed. what i really would love is for the united states to be making really ambitious and obtainable, feasible commitments and for these other actors around the world to be agreeing to it and be making those -- that same level of ambitious commitment. but what was happening here with paris was we were attempting to lead and we were signing off on other nations admitting that they're not going to follow us and that in many respects they would actually be going in the wrong direction, emitting even more emissions into our environment and for anyone on either side of in issue -- if you care about clean air and clean water, if you believe the
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president was hitting all the marks or someone who believes that he was completely wrong today, i would really hope that we we look at the merits of paris that we as a nation would find a way to come together with the goal of getting a nation like china to be pledging to reduce emissions and not us signing off a deal allowing them to emit it. with india we shouldn't have to bribe them in order to make commitments that they should be making on their own. so leadership would be to bring the other nations to the table and to get them to be making sacrifices that america has hone we're willing to pak make and for america's san franciscos it's important it's obtainable. we've seen growth in our effort to reduce emissions with our development of alternative energy, clean and green energy, rereducing relevant eisen and fossle fuelless being better for our environment that effort needs to continue regardless. >> i was gg toz congressman, a lot of changes could be made
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while the u.s. still remained a signatory to the paris climate accord. what do you say to those like fareed zakaria we just heard hem he says the u.s. has resigned position as a world leader? >> well i would disagree with that notion as long as the president follows through with his pledge to work with those in our own country who care deeply about climate change who want to tackle it, who would want the president to try to negotiate a better deal. if the president follows through with that commitment and at the end of the day after some elbow grease and working hard with foreign leaders we can end up with a better deal then we haven't relink wished anything. and we're showing more leadership than if we accept the united states is making sacrifices and the rest of the world is contributing even more towards exactly what is creating the issues with the environment altogether. >> you know if the paris agreement- which you supported
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originally but now you're supporting the president's decision -- if that agreement was so bad why do you think so many major u.s. companies including energy companies like exxon mobil, you see some of them bp, chevron, shell they support the agreement? >> well there are many different reasons why different individuals in the energy sector and different companies in the energy sector have supported paris over the course of the years. there was a lot of advocacy by the last administration to build additional support. you have some companies that -- that benefit from -- from the agreement. but what's most important, again, that -- this is a moment in time where on so many issues we as a nation -- we find ourselves poll arized it was like this last year during the presidential race. when you get this moment if you care so deeply about the issue whether you agree with the president or completely disagree with him we need to do a better job coming together working
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together, prouvgt substantive conversations dialogue, solutions to move better. so we're not rejecting paris and then walking away from our commitment and going in the wrong direction here in our country. it's a renewed commitment that we as a nation we're coming together, going back to the international community and going to mc, going to india, going to the other countries and asking them to actually sacrifice as opposed to from they get to play us in a way that actually has harmful effects for our agreement are environment. >> i know congressman zeldin you believe that climate change is a serious, serious concern. but you know that during the campaign the president called it a hoax. and there are a lot of people right now who are not convinced as you are that this is an opportunity to renegotiate this deal. they don't believe the president is very sincere and even believing the whole nature of this problem, very quickly your response. >> well we're going to have to continue working with the president, with the administration and encouraging them on the merits to follow
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through on that commitment, to talk to all of us work with us go back to the international community and try to negotiate a better deal. he is following through with his commitment and everyone who cares about climate change is actually happen happy they end up with a better outcome. >> congressman lee zeldin thanks for joining us. >> thank you wol zbloof up next with the fired fbi director james comey flou set to seven about his encounters with president trump on the russia investigation. lawmakering confirm they're looking into a possible third undisclosed meeting between the attorney general jeff sessions and russia's ambassador. stay with us. (avo) if their alzheimer's is getting worse, ask about once-a-day namzaric. namzaric is approved for moderate to severe alzheimer's disease in patients taking donepezil. namzaric may improve cognition and overall function, and may slow the worsening of symptoms for a while. namzaric does not change the underlying disease progression.
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. our top story right now, president trump announcing that starting today he is pulling the united states out of the nearly
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200-nation paris climate accord aimed at limiting global warming. but there is breaking news in the russia's investigation interference and contacts with the trump associates. let's bring in our justice correspondent jess kwa snyder. what's the latest. >> a date is set for fired fbi director comey to testify one week from today. this that news coming at the same time the members of the committee showing they've been asking the fisher fore months to investigate ties between attorney general jeff sessions and the russians and to find out if he committed perjury. fired fbi director james comey will testify publicly next thursday and expected to detail his conversations with the president, including whether president trump urged him to drop the bureau's investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn and flynn's ties to russia. a move many experts could amount to obstruction of justice. this as newly released letters show democratic lawmakers called on the fbi to investigate
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whether attorney general jeff sessions lied to senators after it was revealed in march that sessions met twice with with sergey kizlyak during the despite this answer during his hearing. >> i did not have communication was the russian. >>s senators al franken and patrick leahy wrote to the fbi three times asking for investigation into his false testimony before the jat senate judiciary committee and any unthroesed contacts he may have had with russians. a senate source tells cnn senators franken and leahy have not received any response to the letters. the letters were released after cnn reported congressional investigators are looking at the possibility sessions had a third undisclosed private meeting with ambassador kizlyak at the may flower hotel in washington on april 27th, 2016. >> if it's true it's extremely disturbing. and i'd rather let it come out. >> the department of justice responded saying, the facts haven't changed.
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the then senator did not have any private or signed conversations with any russian officials at the may flower hotel. meanwhile, the house intelligence committee issued seven new subpoenas including three seeking details of the purported unmasking of u.s. drents by norm national security susan raise, john brennan and former u.n. ambassador samantha power. the congressional source case the subpoenas came directly from devin nunes despite his pledge to remove himself from the russia investigation. >> this is what the white house wants to see happen. they'd rather be talking about the issues >> chairman nunes fired back and twitter seeing a lot of fake news from media elites and others who have no interest in violations of american civil liberties v.ia unmaskings. meanwhile the trump administration is discusses whether to return luxury compounds to russia. they were lowsed it obama are in december in rae talgs for russia meddling in the election. president putin talked about president trump at the
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st. petersburg economic foreign after stressing the two never met. >> translator: he is a straightforward sincere man. you can't classify him as a traditional politicians. he never worked in plingts. this is a person with a fresh view of things whether you like him or not, but this always very often brings something good. >> and president putin also invoked trump's word during the campaign that trump was ready to work on the normalization of u.s. russia relations. uten said his country is ready for that dialogue with the u.s. president. president's putin and trump are set to meet at the g-20 summit in july. >> jessica reporting for thanks for that report. democratic congresswoman jackie speier of california a member of the armed services and intelligence committees thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> you just saw chairman nunes. he did step aside from leading the russian investigation. he is a chairman of the house intelligence committee. why is he still involved in
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issues subpoenas that are related to that overall investigation? >> good question, wolf. in part it's because i don't think his recusal is a real one. and since he made it volunteerly and he can withdraw that recusal i suppose -- it's a real affront to the committee. because not only is he doing that. but my understanding is he is gone to the cia and looked at documents on the russia investigation. and has sat in on what are called gang of eight briefings which continue to talk about the infiltration by the russians into the u.s. elections. >> as you know, the whole purpose of your committee's investigation, the intelligence committee, is to find answers on russia's election meddling. hear here is the question is chairman nunes cause ago distraction for your bipartisan effort with that pursuits by raising all the unmasking requests? >> well i think he is doing that
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for one reason. he is doing it on behalf of the president, again to create a distraction so that we aren't focused on the investigation into russian interference but into this bog bogus unmasking issue which has been put down by the then director comey and nsa director rogers. it's a nonissue. but it's one they are using as a deflection. >> the speaker by the way speaker paul ryan he supported chairman nunes in this motion. spokesman for the speaker put pout a statement. let's move on. what can you tell us about the other four subpoenas issued which the committee those four do relate directly to the russia probe and were supported by members of both parties, the republicans and democrats. >> so those subpoenas have gone out in part because when we requested information from those individuals any declined.
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and so subpoenas were then required in order to compel their testimony. >> and tell us about those four subpoenas. what specifically are you looking for? >> well -- they are to individuals that we believe can weigh in on the potential interference that took place with the russians, whether or not there is coordination by trump operatives and the russian operatives relative to the intervention into the election cycle. we will be talking to mr. flynn and to mr. cohen and others that have been called upon. >> michael flynn, the fired national security adviser and michael cohen ab, the president's long-term private attorney. to be precise have they both agreed through their attorneys that they will fully cooperate with the four subpoenas you issued involving them? >> i believe they have. i can't verify that specifically. but i believe that when they're
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compelled they would come forward to -- to be questioned. >> another issue, sources telling cnn wsh, the congressional investigators are looking into whether the attorney general jeff sessions had an additional private meeting with russia's ambassador to the u.s., sergey kizlyak, during the presidential campaign, a meeting not acknowledged, disclosed. if that meeting did take place at least two if snores al franken and patrick leahy they're calling on sessions to resign. would you agree? >> well if he perjured himself as the attorney general for the united states, i don't know how he could continue in that role. much like michael flynn by lying really was a situation where he could no longer be the national security adviser and was fired as well. so we'll have to wait and see whether or not that was indeed what happened. >> but you have no independent knowledge whether or not there was this third, unacknowledged
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meeting that took place between sessions and kizlyak. >> i wouldn't be able to tell you if i did know. >> all right. let me move on talk about the -- the former fbi director james comey. as you know he is set to testify in open session a week from today before the senate intelligence committee. what questions does director comey need to answer for the committee and for the american public? >> well, it probably will be the most explosive and most watched hearing since watergate. and i think the questions that will be asked of him will relate to whether or not the president of the united states ob obstructed the investigation that was ongoing around michael flynn, the former national security adviser. it is really -- would be a reprehensible act by the president if in fact what has been reported actually took place. >> a week from today. it will be as i say must watch tv. we'll be watching.
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finally congresswoman i'd like to get your reaction to president trump's decision today to pull the united states out of the paris climate agreement. he says he is willing willing to renorthbound, open up talks to make a better agreement. but in the meantime the u.s. no longer is part of that paris accord. your reaction. >> well i would say that he has made himself totally irrelevant. probably the most important thing that's happened here is that cities and states are going to go it alone. businesses and corporations are going to go it alone. the governor of california is on his way right now to china to forge new relations with the chinese government around climate change. i would say that the biggest thing that has happened as a result of this action today is that our international relations with our european friends is in -- is in shambles. when we're walking hand in hand with blast from syria on climate change, something is seriously
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wrong. >> almost 200 countries are signatories to the paris climate accord. only two now three the united states joining syria and nicaragua. congresswoman jackie speier thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> we're going to have much morehead on the breaking news. also ahead vladimir putin makes a slight but very important change to his usual defiles of russian meddling in the u.s. presidential election. and the only thing that's going to stick, is a healthier new you you pam do it!
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we're following breaking news. president trump's announcement that the united states is withdrawing from the paris climate accord. the president says he is doing to keep his campaign promise to
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put american workers first. however his decision is drawing lots of criticism from around the worm. let's get invieth from specialist willings. briona keeler as you know the president says part of his promise to put america first. but it's also true that nearly every other country on earth, with the exception of syria and nicaragua, have signed on to this deal. so what signal is the president sending to the rest of the world. >> well the signal that they're receiving is certainly one of shock. i think the signal that donald trump is sending has much more to do with his supporters. has to do with americans and specifically those americans who support him and very happy he made this move. but we're hearing this reaction from around the world of leaders, people who are just stunned. and many of them feel that the u.s. is saeeding ground when it comes to being a global leader. the message they're receiving
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from the u.s. is we're moving towards isolationism and that's something that has been shocking to them, wolf. >> i want to bring bianna to this conversation. the the president argues that pulling out saves american jobs. but as you know many of america's largest companies including exxonmobil they supported the paris agreement and urged the president to not have the u.s. drop out. tell us why they think it's good for american jobs to be part of the international agreement. >> yeah, including rex tillerson his secretary of state who was noticeably absent from the rose garden statement today. he was a supporter when he was the ceo of exxon mobil. interestingly shareholders et voted for the tires that the the 60% should be for more open about the dangers and risks opened opened seesed to the company. bp, congo, they basically feel, wolf that they have a better
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opportunity with them sitting at the table we global table and participating in the conversation of lowering fuel emissions around the world, that ultimately it benefits their bottom line. the ceo of bp in st. petersburg russia said we have to transform the word to lower cashen emission forms of energy. interestingly i thought it was enough lloyd blank fine the ceo of goldman sachs just issued his first tweet saying today's decision is a set back for the environment and u.s.'s leadership position in the world. interesting and ironic, obviously wolf given the amount of attention dedicated to goldman sachs in the role some former are employees played gary cohen was present in the ceremony. >> we have some live pictures coming from paris right now. you see the new president president mark macron saying
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france deeply regrets the decision to withdraw from the paris climate accord saying it's a mistake for u.s. interests. skrus saw a tweet from the prime minister of canada saying we are deeply disappointed the united states federal federal government has decided to withdraw. the phil mudd, the president is receiving a lot of blow back. including blowback from national security experts. why are so many in military and intelligence community so opposed to his decision to withdraw from this accord? >> wolf in the heat of the moment we need to -- we need a bit of perspective here. let's go back after world war ii. america has been in the leadership role in the fight against comism. terrorism let's fat fast forward the past 120 days for everybody in this country myself included who thinks america should continue with the lead with the europeans and others. number one we we had the president go to the nato, the post world war ii leadership of europe and not offer the commitment to nato you would have expected the europeans
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steppedway back and said where it is kmerk on the commitment for the past 70 years? the next war coming, a confrontation with russia over krieb o cyberissues not only intervention in our election but in the french election. we have zero credibility to lead the europeans on cyber. the president won't even acknowledge the russian engagement with the american election. and finally the long-term battle. . how does human involvement with the environment affect things like water, famine which lead to war. and those three areas we've told the world we will not provide leadership. people like me look back and say americans want leadership but you can't heed from the sidelines. and that's what we're seeing here. >> chris in in the speech and all of us were paying attention. he mentioned workers in michigan, ohio and pennsylvania. i assume it's not a coincident that those three states were zies i have in the election aurl college victory. >> it's no question in a speech long and prewritten and donald
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trump read and this is not always the case read from the teleprompter wolf. that was 100% on purpose. he also huss the line in there i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh not paris many people on twitter notice noting that he lost the city of pittsburgh though he did win the state of pennsylvania. sort of a a little bit of retiricle parcelless there. what i would say is this is donald trump heavily influenced by steve bannon trying everything he can do to make good on the promises he believes he made to the base in his party. that he believes steve bannon has a white board wall in his office in the white house in which all the promising donald trump made on the campaign trail are written. and there are lots of them wolf. steve bannon believes deep down that the way in which donald trump makes good on the promise he made as a condition and helps himself get re-elected in 2020 is to do what he said he would
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do. don't fall into the trap of going washington. do what you said you would do. shake things up. this is quite clearly phil mudd made this point from the a retraction from the way the u.s. has envisioned itself in the world particularly as it relates to europe in post-world war ii tyson emmanuel marken said he was surprised. he shouldn't be because donald trump said he was going to do in and many other things like it that represent a break not just from the democratic policies of barack obama but from the republican policies of george w. bush. george h.w. bush. we are through the looking glass as it relates to the traditional republican/dynamic democratic sprurm on thee yous. >> briona on this decision he did break a oximeter he made during the campaign, a commitment he made often during the campaign. today he signed a waiver saying that he would not move the u.s.
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embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. he made that promise through the campaign. i did what president obama did what president bush did, president clinton did every six months signing a waiver not to move the embassy citing national security interests. >> if he wants a shot at tackling the issue of middle east peace that was something that was necessary. as you point out this goes completely against what he said during the campaign and also the ambassador that he picked towards israel, obviously -- or to represent the u.s. in israel, it does go counter. but it's certainly i would say a pragmatic move. the white house did indicate it would look at it later. but pragmaticism immediate say swoi sayle of a let me me bianna. i want to get your reaction to the latest developments the
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president -- the president's attorney general jeff sessions may have had another undisclosed meeting during the campaign with the russian ambassador to the united states. you see the new investigations going on. give me your analysis of this. >> well it's becoming harder and harder to say this was just yet another coincidence. he is a seasoned politician. i am curious now as to how many meetings he had with russian officials prior to first engaging with the trump campaign. and secondly, one has to note, he has now stated publicly multiple times that he had never -- he doesn't recollect meeting with russians. a normal situation, any time that happens you go back and check your own records. of course he would have had a handler with him. either the handler didn't know about the meeting or the handler reminded him. once again he chose not to be forthcoming about it and thus waited until a media report outed the meeting and thus made
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it more peculiar as to what is going on with this campaign and russian officials in particular. >> all right everybody stand by. there is a lot more going on. we're following all of the developments. by the way in the next hour i'll speak live with gary, cohen the director of the president's national economic council. we'll talk about the impact of the president's decision to pull out of the paris climate deal. and vladimir putin makes a slight but potentially significant change in his story. stay with us for the russian leaders's latest hints about who may be behind the cyberattacks and meddling in the u.s. presidential election. this is a story about mail and packages.
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much more ahead on the breaking news. president trump's decision to withdraw the united states from the paris global climate agreement but we're also following a rather intriguing change in vladimir putin's usual flat denial of any russian meddling in the u.s. presidential election. let's bring in cnn brian todd. what's putin saying now? >> for the first time is seems vladimir putin admits to hacking of the u.s. election process came from russia. he still denies his government was behind it. instead saying, quote, patriotic russians could have been involved. patriotic russians who cyber investigators say could still be tied to putin. >> vladimir putin again demonstrates his mastery of deflection and denial when it comes to russia's allegations of
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meddling into presidential election. >> they may act on behalf of their country, they're wake up in a good mood and paint things the same with hackers. they woke up today and read something about the state to state relations. they are patriotic they contribute in a way they think is fight to fight against those that say bad things about russia. >> patriots doing it on their own not backed by the government, what do you think? >> the u.s. intelligence community in january concluded with high confidence that vladimir putin ordered and influenced campaign to try to shape the u.s. election and part of that influence campaign were hackers. this is putin trying to obfuscate and blur what is the reality. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence says the russian military action used online personas and d.c. to released hack materials to influence the american election. u.s. officials say putin's fingerprints may not be on the computer keys but the operation
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had to have been approved by the top levels of the russian government. today putin said russia could have been framed. >> translator: i can imagine that someone is doing this purposely, building the chain of attack so the territory of the russian federation appears to be the source of that attack. modern technologies allow that kind of thing. >> reporter: perhaps he sees the trail of evidence getting closer to the kremlin. they're the work of hacking teams known as cozy bear and fancy bear tied to russian government and innocence agencies. >> are these deshelved hackers wearing military uniforms. >> they're more business focused and there's going to be a technical that may be a little informal and casual. >> reporter: experts say putin has plausible denightability that russian hackers outside the government could be targeting the west with the support of the
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kremlin. how sophisticated are they? >> when it comes to he is pea knowledge and offense they are fantastic. they are to close to best in the world probably right after our own here in the united states. >> reporter: tonight analysts are focusing on the next targets of hackers. one cyber experts told the upcoming elections in germany and britain could be targeted and the u.s. congressional committees investigating russia's influence in last year's election, they should be guarding against hacks as well. watch these congressional committees, wolf. they could run into some problems that emanate from the kremlin. >> and today, putin also spoke about his relationship with president trump. what did he say? >> reporter: he did basically saying for the moment he has not donald trump's friend. how can i be friends with someone i've never met, i think mr. trump can't call me a friend either. we don't know each other, end quote. the political battle in the u.s. is raging and preventing the buildup of their relationship.
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of course, wolf, that political battle putin had a large role in creating that. >> certainly did. brian todd reporting for us. thank you. president trump announces that starting today, he's pulling the united states out of the paris climate agreement in which nearly 200 nations have pledged to fight global warning but there's growing opposition to the move at home and around the world.
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happening now. breaking news. in withdraw. president trump says the united states is dropping out of the historic climate agreement
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rejecting desperate pleas from around the world and within his own inner circle to uphold the deal. the president is keeping a campaign promise but at what price. i'll speak live to the president's chief economic advisor gary cohn. secret meeting? his kremlin contacts and whether he might have committed perjury. senators confirming condition's reporting about a possible third undisclosed meet willing with a russian ambassador. day of reckoning. the day is set for fired fbi director james comey to go private about his private conversations with president trump. will his senate testimony be a game changer? acting alone. the house intelligence committee chairman under fire for unilaterally issuing subpoenas related to the russia probe. tonight, a top democrat is accusing devin nunes of violating his pledge to step aside from the investigation. we want to welcome


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