tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN June 2, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
enforcement hero's act, co-sponsored by senator john cornyn which also un nanimously passed the senate in adding veterans to their forces by prioritizing the department of justice funding to law enforcement agencies used to help veterans. the loved ones of those who have paid the ultimate price while protecting our communities, the president is glad to be signing these important bills today. also in washington today, education secretary betsy devos visited the eagle public charter school to show the administration's support for inclusive school environments and celebrated the launch of the department of education's new individual disabilities act effort. at the state department, secretary tillerson met with foreign minister of brazil and departing for australia.
prior to his arrival in australia, secretary mattis will attend the dialogue singapore where he will reach with counterparts to discuss security issues. with that, i'd be glad to take a few questions. >> i'd like to ask about the push for the travel ban to the u.s. supreme court. is it fair to stay that one of the reasons that the president wants to keep this going is obviously now we have a full court impanelled but also because it gives the white house perhaps a chance to build up momentum, especially if you look back at yesterday which appeared to be pleased with what the president decided to do. is that part of the calculus? i'd also like to ask about a follow-up to the pipeline. what is happening with that in terms of jobs and development. >> i think what we've said with respect to the executive order in question has been fairly consistent since its i
implementation and first court action. last night, we asked the supreme court to hear this important case and are confident that the president's executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism. the president is not required to keep people from sheltered terrorism and until he determines that they are properly vetted and don't pose a risk to the united states. pretty consistent with what we've talked about. i don't have an update on -- are you talking about in terms of production? >> uh-huh. >> i don't have that at this time. >> sean, you asked earlier about the president's personal views on climate change and whether it's a hoax. you say you haven't had a chance to have that discussion with him. now it's been 48, 72 hours. does the president still believe it's a hoax? could you clarify that? because apparently nobody else at the white house has not. >> i have not had an opportunity to have that discussion. >> don't we deserve to know what the president -- >> i think administrator pruitt pointed out that what the
president is focusing on is clean water, clean air and best deal for the american workers. blake? >> quick question for you related to the paris climate agreement. why is it important to export clean energy technology? >> i think he understands the importance of clean air and clean water, as i just mentioned, and helping the environment but doing so in a way that provides the american workers and our economy a way to grow. but obviously, as pointed out, we have a lot of technology that we can export to other countries and help them. >> just a quick question as it relates to climate change. very simple definition of climate change. is it a change in the earth's weather patterns? the administrator says that he feels there's some value to
these studies that say that the earth is warming somewhat. does the president share the epa administrator's thoughts on this topic and why is the administration sort of backed away from using the words climate change? >> i have not -- as i mentioned, i have not had an opportunity to specifically talk to the president about that. >> yesterday the president painted a dire economic picture of the united states if they were to stay in the paris accord, and yet dozens of the top ceos of american corporations lobbied the president in order to stay in the paris accords. why would the president argue that this is bad for the economy if all of the ceos are saying we need to do this? is the president right about the economic forecast and everyone else is wrong? >> there are other sectors that were very concerned about the implementation of it and there were some companies on some organizations that are among those. you mentioned that while they
maybe wanted to stay in, also expressed concern about the target levels. at the end of the day, the president's number one priority is to get the best deal for the american people. this is who they elected last year. one of the things that we've got to remember is that the president was very clear on the campaign trail about his position on this. but he's also clear that he was going to negotiate the best deal for the american people. and if you look at all of the deals that we have, whether it's the trade deals or paris, the president's made it very clear he's committed to getting the best deal for america, america's workers, america's manufacturers. >> replacing will he replace el? >> i don't know. >> critics are complaining that pulling out of the accord will lift china as a global leader. do you agree with that sentiment? what does the white house have to say about that? >> i think part of the reason that the president said it was a bad deal yesterday is because countries, including china, were not making substantial progress in reducing their carbon
footprint. they weren't doing enough and america was carrying the load. so i think by negotiating a better deal, hopefully we can get a better result for our country and the world. john? >> thank you, sean. yesterday, president macron of france delivered a sharply worded speech attacking the president on the climate decision and saying it is bad for all of our children and specifically called on scientists to come and move to france. what's the president's response to president macron? >> i think that the president has made it clear, since day one, that his job is to protect the interests of this country and our citizens. as said yesterday, he was elected to represent pittsburgh, not paris. hunter? >> thank you, sean. "the washington post" has reported that the administration is considering returning these properties in maryland and new york to russia. >> uh-huh. >> what is the reason for that
and what would the white house have to see before giving back those properties? >> the state department issued comments on that earlier saying, quote, the u.s. and russia reached no agreements that projecting negotiations further along than they are. we have been clear where we stand on that. charlie? >> has the president been following the kathy griffin meltdown and does the family want a personal apology? >> does what? >> does the family want a personal apology from kathy griffin after the beheading -- >> the president and first lady and secret service have all made it very clear their view on those thoughts. steve? >> sean, as a matter of curiosity in this town for a couple of days now, is the white house going to invoke executive privilege to prevent james comey from testifying before the intelligence panel next week? >> that committee hearing was just noticed and i think obviously it's got to be reviewed. >> so that's not a "no"? >> it's just saying literally
and my understanding for the date for that hearing was just set. i have not spoken to counsel yet. i don't know what they're going to -- how they are going to respond. jen? >> two questions, sean. one on the tax bill and one on the debt ceiling. in the rose garden yesterday, the president said something about our tax bill moving along in congress very well. we've heard something about a bill being drafted in house ways and means. is that what he's talking about? what tax bill is he referring to? >> as you know, secretary mnuchin and director cohn were here and they've had several discussions, both in the house and senate, bipartisan and industry groups. the reception that the president's initiative has received in both chambers is moving along very well with leadership and rank and file members. >> we've been getting mixed messages from administration officials on whether you'd like to see a -- can you explain what the president's feeling is on whether he'd like to see riders
attached? >> i think mnuchin and mulvaney weighed in on this. this is something that we're working with congress on. we're not there yet. jessica? >> thanks, sean. two questions. number one, when we heard the administrator talk about his decision on the paris climate accord, he said it's not a signal that the u.s. wants to disengage on climate policy. what steps is the administration taking to engage internationally with regard to climate? secondly, climate has been a key part of cooperation between the u.s. and china. will you try to replace that interest with something else or continue to do technological cooperation with the chinese? do you have any thoughts on that? >> well, this decision was just made yesterday afternoon and i think the president will engage both with domestic stakeholders and he said he looks forward to talking to leaders in both
parties about a way forward and reasonable ways in which we can engage in that and then he'll continue to talk to world leaders. but that's a process that has to evolve. what's that? >> the relationship with china, the point of cooperation, have you put thought into how you'll manage? because the model was you manage tensions with china as the u.s. government has areas of cooperation and this was previously an area of cooperation. there's obviously other areas that the white house is working on now with china. do you envision other cooperation with the chinese government? >> well, the president that has been established with president xi has been quite remarkable. he's talked about it very clearly. it's a model in which they'll continue to talk about issues, whether it's this or north korea or other areas, economic areas that they're going to work together on. so i think the great thing about this issue is that the relationship that the president has and continues to build with president xi is one that will
allow them to move forward. >> thank you, sean. in a recent statement by senator mccain, he said that vladimir putin is a greater threat to the united states to the security to the u.s. than isis. has the president had any conversation with you about that comment? >> no, he hasn't. >> sean, thank you. secretary mnuchin has said that he wants the debt ceiling raised before the -- this morning he wants it clean as well. this morning, gary cohn said that the administration is willing to do anything with congress to get it passed and the freedom caucus has said they want spending cuts. so what does this look like? it doesn't sound as if the treasury secretary is going to get a clean bill. what are they willing to take as far as spending cuts to get the debt ceiling raised? >> i think that was the nature of what jen was asking. that's a conversation that they've had with congressional leaders and other members about what it's going to take. there's bipartisan recognition that we need to get that done.
and so secretary mnuchin, direct director cohn and mueller will work with leaders to figure out what it takes to get it done. >> april? >> how is the president dealing with the fact that there are several mayors, many mayors who are against the president's withdrawal from the paris agreement? how does this president move forward with what he's saying about making coal great again and walking away from the economics of clean energy and then walking out of paris when you have mayors who say we're going to continue with the paris agreement? >> well f. a mayor or governor wants to enact a policy, that's -- they're accountable to their own viewers and they should be. we believe in states rights. if a municipality or a state
wants to enact a policy that their votes or american citizens believe in, then that's what they should do. >> and one other question -- >> i will say that with respect to elected officials, there was, i think, a large contingent of officials that were very pleased with the president's decision and applauded them for that. >> we have bipartisan support. >> and there are numbers of reports that have been found at the museum and also [ inaudible ]. what is the president saying about this and specifically as people are saying for the last 130 perp pet waited from this white house. >> well, i would respectfully disagree with the premise.
we need to denounce hate in any form, in any act and this president made it clear from election night that he wants to move it forward. >> did secretary tillerson enforce endorse withdrawing from the paris agreement? >> we have not discussed that. >> secondly, can you clarify the nature of the discussions that were had with russian officials in december and what was the date of the meeting with the banker? >> i cannot. and as i mentioned the other day, we're focused on the president's agenda and going forward all questions on these matters will be referred to outside counsel. >> how can you not answer questions on it when the president himself tweets about it? >> we're focused on his agenda and going forward all questions on this matter is referred to outside counsel. jill? >>. >> i don't know where you guys are in finding spokes people or people who want to respond to
those, that would be helpful. >> okay. >> do you have any update on the search for the fbi director? >> as i mentioned yesterday, i guess, a couple days ago, the president continues to meet with candidates. when we have an update on that, we'll let you know. >> you said you had to talk to the president about whether he still believes that climate change is a hoax. would it be possible to have that conversation with him and then report back to us at the next briefing? >> if i can, i will. mary? >>. >> you can't say where the president stands on this climate change. does that mean that they helped the president make this decision to withdraw from the paris accord without knowing where the president stands, without knowing whether or not he thinks [ inaudible ]? >> he made a decision on what was best for the country and our people on the merits of the agreement. >> we know the president heard a lot of points of view on both sides of the issue and there was maybe a false impression that it was a difficult decision and
that he was wavering. yesterday he was emphatic about getting out of the agreement. in the end, was this an easy decision or a close decision? >> i honestly don't know. that's what the president is the ultimate decider and when he comes -- gets the information that is required, he let's us know that he has a decision and announces it. >> there's a lot of talk about renegotiation. why renegotiate? the united states has the authority to simply reduce the targets. why not just do that? >> because the president believes it's in our country's best interests to renegotiate the deal. >> sean, the president signed a waiver yesterday to move the embassy to jerusalem. i know you've said that this was to not hinder any sort of peace deal. but how confident can his supporters be that this is a campaign promise he's going to keep? >> i think when the president signed the waiver under the act and delayed moving it from tel
aviv to jerusalem, no one should consider this a retreat from the president's strong support for israel and the u.s./israel relationship. he did this to successfully negotiate a deal between israel and the palestinians fulfilling a solemn obligation to defend america's national security interests. but as he repeatedly stated, his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens but when. >> he said he was going to do it on day one. is there a time frame? >> his ultimate goal is to get peace. >> following up on caitlyn's question and then something after that, is it still the administration's position, though, that jared kushner was in the meeting with the russian banker as a representative of the transition, representing the president-elect? >> as i said to caitlyn, going forwarding, all questions are
related to outside counsel. >> does the president still have confidence in jared kushner? >> absolutely. >> thank you, sean. one of the ethics [ inaudible ] concerning discussions with the news media retroactive. was that aimed at -- did white house have steve bannon's communications with breitbart news in mind? was that applied retroactively to address those communications and any response to director's claim that would you violate a rule? >> that's correct. there's two pieces that are important. one is, remember, this didn't have to do with the law or regulations. this had to do with the president's pledge. his ethics pledge. he is the ultimate decider on that. this isn't with respect to a law or regulation. and that what we discovered was that several individuals on staff had previously worked for media organizations and in order
to continue having those discussions and advancing the president's agenda and priorities, it was important to ensure that all individuals had the opportunity to be able to speak to the media about what the president was doing to make the country stronger. for what it's worth, today happens to be national leave work early day. i hope you all get a chance to participate if you can go home, if you participated in national donut day and go home early and work it off. with that, i hope you get to take advantage of that day. have a great weekend. thank you. >> are you going home early? >> you've been watching the white house briefing. the administration defending the president's controversial decision to pull out of the paris climate deal. we heard from scott pruitt, the epa administrator. both refusing to say whether they refuse to say if climate change is real. let's go to david chalian on
that. on that note, why does this administration continue to not answer the question? >> it's confounding, ana. it's even more confounding because here we are in the week that this white house made this -- this president made his biggest move on the issue of climate change and for days now this white house is unable to answer a fundamental question about his beliefs about climate change. in the past he's called it a hoax. they can't answer that. and not only do they even attempt to, they just say it's not important here, that the focus has just been on paris. that's what pruitt said over and over again. what is more astounding is that the president's press secretary, this is the person who is supposed to be able to communicate to the american people through reporters about the president's thinking, his decision making, can go into the oval office and say, hey, boss, let me understand this so i can go out and explain it.
well, he can't because he just said that he has not had the opportunity to speak with the president on whose behalf he speaks. he hasn't had an opportunity to speak with the president about his fundamental belief about the central policy issue that dominated the president's week. it makes no sense. >> i want to bring in jim acosta, who was just at that briefing. we heard him asking questions about the science, in fact. and, jim, this administration continues to deflect when it comes to the issue of climate change, which, of course, is at the heart of the paris climate agreement. >> that's right, ana. they've had 24 hours to come up with the answer to this question, does he believe it's a hoax or if climate change is real. the white house even having 24 hours to come up with an answer to this question, and it's been asked before for days, weeks, months, for a very long time now, just doesn't have an answer to that question. it's astounding because when you look at the preponderance of
evidence and what the science community says all over the world with almost near 100% certainty that the planet is warming, climate change is occurring and that human activity is contributing to that climate change, you heard from not only the epa administrator, white house press secretary, top officials who spoke about this yesterday, it is really sort of a stunning lack of answer to what is a critical question and it appears that the president made this decision for a campaign promise that they believe to be essential to some of these very key battleground states with their eyes focused to 2020, as incredible as that may sound. that is how a white house works no matter who is in office. there are always operatives inside to look to the midterms, et cetera. there are other important
questions that were not answered. first among them during this briefing, you heard it during sean spicer's portion of the briefing, asked whether the president will invoke executive privilege to block james comey who was fired by the president from testifying next week. sean spicer said that is being looked at. they did not -- he did not give an answer to that question. so we now have, starting today, even though sean spicer said it's leave early work today, people are going to be focused on this question all weekend long and next week as we head into the comey hearing whether or not the president's legal team will determine at the last second that perhaps the president can attempt this. so now, in addition to all of these other questions about climate change, we now have a very, very big question for this president that needs to be answered because it's critical as to whether or not we'll hear from james comey next week. >> national leave work early day on a friday, that is a convenient excuse to get the
heck out of there from the press conference when we've had so limited access to this administration in terms of asking questions. there have been limitations to these press briefings. let me bring in -- >> the climate was getting warm in this room. >> i can only imagine the temperature was going up. you can hear it in some of those reporters' questions. no doubt about it. jim, stand by. i want to bring in stephen moore, also a trump supporter and you were an adviser of the president during the campaign. stephen moore, why can't his administration answer the fundamental question about whether or not the president believes climate change is real? >> i don't know the answer to that. but i will say this, that i think it's not fair to say that president trump took this action for political reasons. now, yes, he did promise this during the campaign. it was a very popular campaign
pledge. and when talked about getting out of the paris accord in pennsylvania and ohio -- >> shouldn't he be able to answer the question about climate change? that is what this is all about, is it not? >> i don't know what his belief is. but i'll say this. the fundamental issue here is how is this going to affect our economy? we've done some really amazing research at the heritage foundation, a number of other studies that put the job losses between 500,000 and a million. we can't afford to do that. we have too many unemployed people right now. our steel workers, oil workers, we just had a report that there was an increase in mining jobs. we're seeing a turnaround in the coal industry. >> 400 mining jobs were added in the last month. but also worth noting that the steel worker in union from the steel workers came out yesterday speaking out against this move. we've also heard a backlash from
a lot of different companies saying -- >> did you say that the steel worker union came out against it? >> a steel worker union came out against it. >> okay. because i've talked to a lot of the steel workers and they are dead set against this. >> absolutely. >> because they know that their jobs are in jeopardy. >> that's a controversial point. jeffrey, i know you have a different opinion on the economic side of things. jeffrey? >> it's just unbelievable. every word has been a lie for the last two days. so much ignorance and you have stephen moore and he is from the heritage foundation paid for by the koch brothers who have engineered the whole story here. mr. moore and his heritage foundation is a koch brothers financed operation and this is corruption and it's so clear and it's disgusting after a while because they are all lying. >> jeffrey, this study was the
economic research associates study that stephen was just citing that we've heard from the trump administration. why do you not believe that's a summer source? >> out of 150 million people, this is so bogus. it's unbelievable. everything that trump has said is bogus. every idea is an agreement that is against america that's biased against america. this is a completely symmetrical agreement in which all 193 countries have agreed to the same thing. they have agreed to submit national plans of action under a common framework. and so it's all a lie and the important things for your viewers to understand is this man is wrecking the planet and it's because of the oil, gas and coal interests that have funded the heritage foundation, that
have funded stephen moore and that have funded the 22 senators that wrote to the president last week saying to do this. this is a game. it's disgusting. >> stephen, i'll give you a chance to respond. >> jeff just needs to get his facts straight. we get less than 3% of our budget from the koch brothers. >> i know where i'm getting my facts right. you're on the take. >> one of the points that needs to be made, there's a climate change industrial complex -- a multibillion dollar movement now that -- elon musk. why is he against us pulling out? elon musk has two major businesses -- >> and the koch brothers are $100 million and you know it. >> but they don't get government money, jeff. elon musk gets 4.9 million. >> the republican party in the congress, they finance the heritage foundation and the cato
institute. >> i don't work there. >> and you have been taken over and i'm shocked that you're a correspondent for this network. >> he said that the coal mining industry was dead and we've seen a 16% increase just since donald trump was ee equity willlected. you're just wrong, jeff. >> let me move the conversation forward here. i want to put in an opportunity to get our other analysts into the conversation. let's listen to jim acosta. his exchange with the epa administrator, scott pruitt, and then we'll talk on the other side. >> why is the arctic ice shell melting? why are the sea levels rising? why are the hottest temperatures in the last decade essentially the hottest temperatures that we've seen on record? >> we've had a hiatus since the late 1990s. >> but sir, when nasa says that 95% of the experts in this area around the world believe that the earth is warming and you are up there throwing out information that says, well,
maybe this is being exaggerated and so forth and you talk about climate exaggerate fors, it seems like to a lot of people that you're denying the reality and the reality of the situation is that climate change is happening and it's a significant threat to the planet. >> let me say this and i've said it in the confirmation process and i said it yesterday. >> arctic ice and the sea levels and -- >> there is -- we have done a tremendous amount as a country to achieve reductions in co2 and we have done that through technology and innovation. we are part of the u.n. ccc and that encourages voices by subnational groups and countries across the globe and we're going to stay engaged and try to achieve outcomes that put america's interests first. this is not a message to anyone in the world that america is somewhat -- should be apologetic
of its co2 position. we're making tremendous advances. we're just not going to agree to frameworks and agreements that put us at an economic disadvantage. it hurts citizens of this country. >> you're putting your head in the sand. >> there's no evidence of that. >> you're connected to the scientific community, miles. what do you think of that? >> let's pick apart this so-called pause in global warming. that's a classic cherry picked piece of information. in the late '90s there was an el nino effect and from that point on they say there was a pause. 15 of the last 17 years have been record heat for the climate for the planet. period. the evidence is there. this is not about belief. these are facts. and there is apparently an attempt here to go for alternate facts. it's like saying, do you believe the sky is blue or if the sun will rise? it's not a belief thing. the facts are.
>> the facts are the facts are the facts. >> and there's no alternative facts. it's like looking at the mall and saying there's more people there than obama's inauguration. the facts are, this is happening. i think we have our answer from the administration by doing what they have done and not saying whether it's a hoax. they have said, we believe it's not true. and that is refutable on several counts. there's a piece of antarctic ice that is about to drop into the ocean the size of delaware. that won't increase the sea level in any appreciable way right away but unleash the ability for mothre water and ic to come into the ocean and ultimately lead to more sea level rise. the evidence is all around us. the science is as clear as it gets. it's not a hoax. and if you accept the facts, it is incumbent that we all do something about it because there is no greater existential threat
to us all. >> scott pruitt said there's nothing to be apologetic about, the u.s. is still a leader when it comes to reducing carbon emissions and investing in clean energy investment. what say you? >> some of this has to do with the clean power plants, obama's policies. coal is going out. we're not going to go back to whale oil either. this is a natural evolution that is occurring. frac and natural gas is cheaper. it has less carbon. renewables are taking hold. market forces are in place here and the market has already spoken on this. large corporations, small corporations and all of this talk about jobs being lost, let's talk about the jobs being gained. the fact is, the renewable sector has tremendous opportunity. we need to be in this game. >> i want to read you a quote that i found really interesting with the world resources institute, if you simply add up the commitments under the paris
deal until 2025, it's about a trillion dollars of investment opened forbidding. it sounds like there's a big economic upside to being part of this paris deal. shelby holliday? >> this under cscores the confusion with the administration. one hand is not talking to the other, whether it's the debt ceiling or climate or taxes. but they are saying that this is in america's best interests. climate change has a huge economic angle. people say if the temperature continues to rise, that hurts industries, agriculture, manufacturing, incomes will fall. it has a global economic impact. and so that's one of the big reasons everyone in the world has been addressing it. i do think it's really fascinating that donald trump is a jobs first, america first, economy first president but yet he ignored from fortune 500 ceos.
it's not a surprise that he pulled out of the paris agreement. it's something he said he would do on his campaign trail. we can't be shocked that he did it. >> we've got to leave it there for a moment, guys. stand by, everyone. more breaking news to talk about at this hour. the white house suggests president trump is deciding whether to use executive privilege to try and block fired fbi director james comey from testifying next week. the risks and the realities, that's next. and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
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is the white house going to evoke executive privilege to prevent james comey from testifying before the senate intelligence committee? >> that committee hearing was just noticed and i think obviously it's got to be reviewed. >> so that's not a "no"? >> it's just saying i don't -- literally, my understanding is that the date for that hearing was just set. i have not spoken to counsel yet. i don't know what that -- how they are going to respond. >> that was white house press secretary moments ago, sean spicer and we're getting new details into what fired fbi director james comey might reveal during that much
anticipated testimony next week. a source tells cnn that comey was, quote, disturbed by his interactions with the president and thought perhaps president trump needed to, quote, be trained about how to interact with the fbi. furthermore, comey told our source he didn't believe any of the president's individual actions obstructed justice but the quote here, aggregate pattern of behavior could be a different story. joining me now is justice correspondent jessica schneider. what more do we know about this in anticipation of comey's testimony? >> well, at first, we're dealing with the issue of executive privilege. you heard it from sean spicer right there. the decision is still not made. the white house not ruling that possibility out. so there's still a question as to whether or not president trump will try to block some of james comey's testimony on thursday. we know from our sources that comey is eager to tell his story. today, a source with knowledge of comey's thinking tells us that comey, after he met with the president, was in fact
disturbed by his interactions but did think that the president could be taught on how to talk to director. he would have done more than write an memo if any of those actions rose to the level of obstruction of justice. of course, if comey takes all of these things together, he might come to a different conclusion about this. that takes us back to, will president trump try to exert executive privilege to stop the testimony in full or in part. early this morning, this is how counselor kellyanne conway responded. >> we'll be watching with the rest of the world when director comey testifies. the last time he testified under oath, the fbi had to scurry to correct that testimony. he was off by hundreds of thousands in his count. his sworn testimony count of the
number of information -- the number of e-mails that huma abedin allegedly sent to her husband anthony weiner. that was off by -- >> so the president is not invoking executive privilege? >> the president will make that decision. >> so the lingering questions as we approach the testimony on thursday, will the trump administration try to block the testimony? ana, it is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on thursday. that's the public testimony and then the closed session after that. comey is a private citizen now. any instruction from the president not to testify wouldn't hold weight and, in addition, some say the president may have effectively waived his executive privilege because he's tweeted about james comey on several occasions, he's referenced their meeting in interviews. still waiting for a word from the white house on what they might do, if anything. ana? >> jessica schneider, that really sums it up as we anticipate that meeting on the 8th. testimony in front of the senate
intelligence committee. i want to widen the conversation and bring in david drucker and page pate, shelby holliday and the author of "the art of being the donald." david, we just heard from jessica schneider's about comey's state of mind, his interactions with the president, that he seemed to think that the president was a project and was maybe asking inappropriate things because he didn't have the experience to know differently. does it change anything, in your view, in anticipation of his testimony? >> no. i think a lot of people are going to watch it and it's going to be highly scrutinized. i think what is interesting here is if the administration actually tried to invoke
executive privilege, it looks like the president has something to hide. if he testifies, we can already see from miss conway's testimony, that they are going to try to continue to tar james comey's character. that's a position they'd prefer to keep. let mhim talk, continue to undermine him and tar his character. that's what they have done since firing him. it's been the most interesting part of this. and this is why i think we're in this position. not so much that they fired comey but the way they did it and ever since they've tried to undermine him. a lot of things you can say about comey, both republicans and democrats are unhappy with how had he handled things last year but nobody's accused the guy of being dishonest. i don't know that it's going to serve the administration well to continue to try to go after him but they are now in this position that they don't really have any better option and trying to stop him from
testifying, even if it worked, would send a signal like, you're really worried he's going to say something that's going to make the president, in particular, look bad. and i don't know that's a position that they want to be in either. >> page pate, we heard from sean spicer and kellyanne conway not rule out whether the president would assert executive privilege. are they considering this? >> ana, i find it incredible, honestly. let's talk about executive privilege. there's no law that sets out what it is. it's not written in the cons st constitution. there is this developed understanding that the president can keep things privileged and doesn't have to talk about it, no one in the administration has to talk about it in front of congress or other proceedings. but every time an executive privilege has gone in front of a court, the court has limited that privilege. they will not uphold executive privilege. in other words, they will
require an administration official to talk if the issue involves something that, number one, has already been discussed by this administration and we have that here because the white house and trump specifically has made public his meetings with james comey. and, two, the issue they are trying to protect has to be in the public's interest, not something to protect the president's personal interests. i don't see them being able to successfully invoke executive privilege and the decision to do it i think would be a huge mistake here unless he has no other choice, unless he's convinced that james comey is going to say trump is lying about what we talked about in our meetings. >> timothy, do you think they are really mulling this over or just trying to build some suspense? >> i think they are not a group of strategic thinkers and i think they've had sort of a slash and burn mentality about how to deal with this fbi probe and with congress since it began. and i think to their detriment. they are not on very firm ground here if trump tries to invoke
privilege. this comes back to watergate when nixon tried to prevent the releasing of the tapes. >> it didn't work. >> and then 16 days or so later he resigned. to continue to go after comey's character and then to invoke executive privilege when trump's been tweeting quite publicly about these matters and spokes people have been out rumbling for him, i think that they are on very weak ground and i don't think it's strategic. i think it's defensive. >> shelby, is it better for the trump administration, the bigger risk for them to invoke privilege and prevent him from testifying? >> it's more risky to clock him from testifying. trump has already fired him. there was tremendous backlash. you have a growing list of events that are now public, including trump's dinner with comey, trump made phone calls to comey, administration officials
asked top officials in the intelligence committee to come out and bat the story down and defend president trump. you also have president trump admit that the russia investigation bothered him. so it doesn't -- i don't think comey is expected to give any sort of bombshell answers. he will possibly address the memos but, in general, we already know a lot of the things that president trump has done. you know, proving obstruction of justice requires intent but he already does have all of these actions that looks like he was trying to mess with the investigation or influence it in some sort of way. >> let me ask you about this idea that perhaps one individual conversation could have been seen as innocent enough and we just heard from our reporting with jessica schneider, gloria borger is talking to sources that there were multiple meetings and each looked at individual low alone, comey
didn't want to obstruct justice. he didn't think there was enough "there" there. perhaps in retrospect he could be asked, could it point to intent when you take the sum of those meet sngs. >> absolutely. and one thing that comey didn't know then but he knows how, the the president fired him to stop the investigation. the conduct continued after the meetings. the fact that the statements continued after the initial meetings, all of that shows intent and think about it, to accuse a sitting president of committing a felony, he's going to be very reluctant to do that unless he's sure. once he got fired, i think the evidence is now very strong. >> timothy, is james comey a credible witness? >> of course he's a credible witness. he's been an inflammatory personality more recently but i don't think anyone has ever thought he's a flat-out liar and
fabricator. we know he went back and drafted memos as part of his work product after he had meetings with trump. i think he consciously did that to create a paper trail and a record of this to substantiate what he believes occurred. i think he's been cautious about how he plans to release that into the public realm. he has a relationship with bob mueller, and i'm sure they've spoken so that comey doesn't get in the way of the mueller investigation and it's a very perilous strategy. up next, is the influence of ivanka trump and jared kushner shrinking inside the white house? new details about their relationship with the president when we come back. sorry about the holdup, folks. we have some congestion on the runway and i'm being told it'll be another 15, maybe 20 minutes, and we will have you on your way.
first daughter ivanka trump and her husband jared kushner, also senior white house adviser to the president, they are keeping a low profile right now. the kushners are not the power brokers that many assumed. the fbi is investigating kushner's role with the contacts with the russian he and has put an unwanted spotlight on the president and an adviser believes that it's time for kushner to take a break. >> jared kushner has to be extremely careful what he says to people. he cannot be in a position where it's later claimed that he's witness tampering. people around him are going to eventually testify. if he goes up and gives instructions about how to think
about this or that, that can be considered tampering. it's one of the reasons why i think that jared kushner should be considering a possibility of taking a leave of absence. >> maeve reston is joining us now. is their influence waning in the white house? >> i think the investigation has created such a cloud around jared kushner at this point that there's no way in which he couldn't be taking a step back in terms of his role which was so vast and broad in the white house before and like david gergen said, there's a lot of concerns now as this investigation escalates about what he says, what he's advising on. but we don't know really what the conversations were between jared kushner and president trump, how much running room he gave him. he gave him a lot of running room. but it's clear that kwhil he's
taking a less visible role, ivanka will be the trumped adviser to her father and she talked about in an interview with april with cbs, talked about speaking quietly to the president, speaking with total candor on a lot of these issues that she disagrees with him on, like climate change and planned parenthood. so i think it remains undiminished. but clearly they know there is a lot of legal jeopardy there and he's certainly taking a less visible role. and today you heard how sean spicer has full confidence in jared kushner and how he thinks the entire investigation is a witch hunt or at least that's what he says publicly. >> well, the answer was absolutely when asked, does the president still have con if
confidence in jared kushner and staying in the paris deal, that didn't happen. up next, more of our breaking news. the white house says the president will reveal whether he'll try to block james comey from testifying next week about their private conversations. stand by for that. stay with us. ho doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. always tell your doctor if you have any signs of infection, have had cancer, if you develop any new skin growths or if anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems
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cabrera. brooke baldwin is off today. the president's spokesman defended the move of pulling out of the paris accord and dodged the question whether the president believes that climate change is happening. >> does the president believe that climate change is real and a threat to the snuns. >> you know what is interesting about all of the discussions that we've had through the last several weeks have been focused on one singular issue, is paris good or not for this country? that's the discussions i've had with the president. and whether they were good object j objectives achieved. >> yes or no? >> yes, ma'am. >> does the president believe today that climate change is a hoax and that's something that he said in the campaign when nicole was in the oval office with him and he refused to answer. >> i did answer the question because i said the discussion that the president