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tv   CNN Newsroom With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul  CNN  June 3, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT

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this is a campaign promise he ran on and kept his word. that is the point he made. he pleased the 46% that voted for him. he hasn't given too much of the long list of promises he made. thanks for watching. see you soon. good morning. grateful to have your company. i'm christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. "cnn newsroom" begins now. >> it may be saturday, but a lot of people have eyes on thursday morning. that's when james comey goes to capitol hill for his tell-all testimony. could possibly be a turning point in the russia investigation? and that is if the president doesn't stop him from testifying. if he happens to assert executive privilege. that would prevent him from divulging white house records to congress. >> in a few hours away, vice
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president mike pence will join joni ernst in the roast to ride in iowa. plus, a live look at the white house. trump supporters are getting ready to rally while steps away, protesters are gathering for a march for truth. they will be joined by protesters in new york. live pictures there. several other cities will lead the marches calling for a full investigation into the possible ties to russia. we're covering all this and a lot more with cnn producer dan merica and washington correspondent ryan nobles. dan at the white house. dan, the question if the president will assert executive privilege to prevent the former fbi director from testifying. what is the executive privilege and how can the president use it
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to stop the testimony? >> reporter: executive privilege is almost a nixon era rule that came about during the nixon watergate investigation to allow the president to keep his conversations private in the executive branch. there are some who say he waived executive privilege rights because he talked about conversations with james comey on twitter and interviews. the white house so far is saying they don't know whether he will invoke executive privilege and leaving it up to white house counsel. there are a number of reasons he may not want to as well. it is a p.r. problem. the white house wants a full investigation into the russian ties and they want the investigation to go on. that is undercut if president trump says i don't want james comey to testify in front of congress. see what sean spicer and kellyanne conway talked about with executive privilege. >> the president will make that decision. >> that committee hearing was just noticed.
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i think obviously it has to be reviewed. >> so that's not a no? >> it is saying literally my understanding is the date for the hearing was just set. i have not spoken to counsel yet. i don't know how they will respond. >> reporter: basically wait and see. we asked what they will do. white house staff hasn't gotten back to us. outside the white house is the pro-trump rally. that will happen at 10:00. called paris, not pittsburgh rally. to support the climate agreement decision. down the street, on the national mall, a protest over the ties with russia. >> dan merica, outside the white house. we can hear the rally. let's bring in cnn white house reporter steven collinson.
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we see the pictures in new york. steve, the plausibility of the tweets and discussions and conversations and could pension backlash for the white house? >> victor, there are two issues. the legal question and political question. the legal question is is it likely the president could actually assert executive privilege and it not be challenged given as you say he talked about the conversations with james comey on television. he mentioned them in the letter to comey informing him of his resignation. a question of whether this is legal to go down this strategy. you have the political situation. this is going to be a very, very tough week for the white house with the comey testimony on thursday. the kind of chaos that they can't control. they don't know where it's coming from and what comey is
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going to say. if they were to go ahead and try to stop him from testifying and go down what could be a prolonged legal process, they could make the political situation more difficult because there are points throughout the russia issue is there is nothing going on and nothing to hide. if you try to stop comey from testifying, you raise the question of what are you trying to hide? that undermines the white house defense. >> to what degree is backlash in the white house? they faced backlash after comey was fired and rollout of travel ban one and travel ban two. this is not the first time they would face it. is that major consideration? >> that is right. what you have seen during the president's trip to europe where he berated nato leaders in brussels and pulling out of the paris climate accord. to try to really get a political push on here to get out of the
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shadow of russia. if they were to try the executive privilege route, it would prolong this issue. as i said, it will be a terrible week. it may be better to deal with whatever comey says to discredit it, his testimony, and comey himself in a preplanned p.r. operation rather than stop it. in the end, it will probably happen. it may be good to take the hit now rather than two hits. one over the legal strategy and one over what comey says before committee. >> and let's talk about what the former director will say? no one knows for sure. there is this heightened anticipati anticipation. it is almost a five-day typany roll until he starts talking. what people should expect to hear from james comey? will he be reading directly from the marilyn monremos that he wr
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the meetings with the president? what should people look forward to? >> we don't know what kind of agreement he made with the special counsel robert mueller about what he can say that wouldn't prejudice the investigation. we do know that james comey has quite a theatrical person when testifying in front of committees. he is defensive. since he was fired, he has not been able to speak openly publicly about it. he sort of got his message out by friends of his talking to journalists. he does have incentive to defend himself since the white house said he wasn't up to doing his job. there's a personal sort of angle for this for james comey as well as legal one. it is difficult to say exactly what he will say ahead of time. that's one reason why it is such an anticipated moment in washington. one of the biggest congressional
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testimonies we have seen in many months. at least since hillary clinton's testimony on benghazi at the beginning of the presidential election campaign. >> a crucial testimony from the former director. stephen collinson, thank you. don't miss it. james comey testifies before the senate committee this thursday starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern. vice president mike pence we should point out is at a rally with supporters in iowa. he is taking part in the annual roast and ride event. this is a motorcycle ride and opportunity to promote america first policies. cnn washington correspondent ryan nobles is in des moines, iowa. ryan, you sat down and talked to people. particularly iowans who support trump. what are their feelings now for and a half months in?
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>> reporter: christi, you have a different perspective from voters. particularly from republicans when you hear what is coming from washington. the last week when we see president trump retreat to america first pledge. that pledge he made strongly during the presidential campaign that's part of the reason why iowans voted for him in november and remain committed to him now. >> thank you. >> reporter: the president's america first campaign promise. on full display. >> we don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. they won't be. >> reporter: and here in greenville, iowa. that message is hitting home. >> people are sick and tired of the federal government and in some instance, state governments, not working for their own people. why shouldn't the american citizen be first in the eyes of the american government?
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>> reporter: obamaca carried th state in 2012. donald trump won by nearly ten points. many embraced his promise to stand up to the rest of the world. >> why not at least treat ourselves fairly first. that was the message of donald trump's campaign. >> reporter: for small business owners like aftteresa, she vote for donald trump and believes he has her best interest in mind. >> i think he can make it divisive. i'm going to be fair about it. you know, i think he is trying, but the way he knows how. i think he has a different way. >> reporter: it is a way that sometimes may make her feel uncomfortable. >> it appears strong, but this is actually what he is really trying to do. it makes sense. ev instead of taking everything he says literally, i know he should be careful on that. >> reporter: to the trump
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supporters here, it is still a better way. >> i think every day that he wakes up and gets, you know, taken on by the rachel maddows of the world and kathy griffins of the world, he continues on. >> reporter: the main message that got him elected. >> we will make america great again. >> reporter: we expect to see that support reflected big time today when vice president mike pence comes to iowa. he will be part of the roast and ride with senator joni ernst which is an hour from where we were in des moines. you know, i have to say, christi, i was struck to a certain extent by how republicans react when you ask them about donald trump. they seem a bit uncomfortable with his tweets and his rhetoric is too strong.
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at this point of his presidency, republicans in particular, seem prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. they still feel that the policies that he is pushing and pulling from the paris climate accord and the jobs and economy. they still feel it is very core will benefit them in the long run. they are still sticking by the president. >> do they give you any indication how strongly they will stand by him if the economy changes or if the jobless numbers change? >> reporter: i think that is the big question, christi. you know, i think we are still early enough in the donald trump presidency where they are willing to let this play out. we talked to the small business owner who sells jelly and jam. she feels like business is good. all of her friends have the jobs they need and they're making enough money. right now, at least in her specific situation, the economy is strong and she gives the
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president a degree of credit for that. >> ryan nobles, thank you, sir. happening now, supporters of president trump holding a rally this morning in lafayette park. take note of the location. right near the white house. being called pittsburgh not paris rally. that line coming from president's speech withdrawing from the paris climate deal. not sure if the people rallies here if this is insult or irony here rallying against paris in lafayette park after general lafayette in the work in the american revolution. that's happening. >> very good point to make. no doubt. listen, up next, after repeated denials that russia interfered in the 2016 election, vladimir putin now claiming his country was framed by u.s. hackers. plus, he has been in office less than a month. the new president of france is
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russia is engaged in the hacking and others in europe. the french and german polls that were recently held. and this was a classic case of putin holding up his hands and screaming foul and saying there's no way that russia had anything to do with this. there's been denials before. this time he was making the point that russia does not hack, he was saying. russian security service does not engage in this activity. he went further. saying it could be anyone. it could have been a 3-year-old girl. sort of child like the hacking done. he said it could have been american hackers to cleverly disguise the work of the russians. and he talked some russians not employed by the state, but could have undertaken that kind of work. patriotic hackers is the other explanation he has been offering. this is putin ridiculing the evidence that exists and
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allegations that have been made that russia was involved in the hacking of the presidential election. it could have been anyone except the russians. the russian state definite was not he said. >> talk about his reaction of the u.s. pulling out of the paris accord. >> reporter: that was great. he made one serious point. then he made two jokes as well. incredible. you have to remember, most political leaders around the world, merkel of germany, the french president, canadian leader. they all criticized the decision by donald trump to pull out of the paris climate accord. not trump. sorry. not vladimir putin. he didn't do that. he said don't worry, be happy. quoting the bobby mcfarrin song. that made everybody laugh.
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he said it was snowing outside st. petersburg north of the moscow city in the middle of june. we can blame the weather on u.s. imperialism. >> good point. matthew chance, thank you. we appreciate it. a clear and present danger. that's how defense secretary james mattis describes the growing nuclear threat from north korea. he was speaking at an asian security conference. secretary mattis promised to defend from the enemies in the region. others have to step up and pressure pyongyang to stop developing nuclear weapons. >> president trump made clear that the era of strategic patience is over. as a matter of u.s. national security, the united states regards the threat from north korea as a clear and present danger. the regime's actions are illegal under international law. there is a strong international
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consensus that the current situation cannot continue. >> secretary mattis told the crowd that the u.s. will in its words do the right thing when it comes to standing by its allies. up next, we just heard what president putin was saying about the climate accord. now french president macron has very bold words for president trump, we should say. how he is standing up to world leaders. acka it's also a story about peop 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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into the trump administration's possible ties to russia. we will continue to watch these pictures and we have others. >> we have these coming in. the supporters of donald trump holding a rally near the white house at lafayette park. this is pittsburgh not paris rally. you remember that line from the president's speech this week withdrawaling fring from the pa climate deal. as you see the sign, promise he made and kept it. pulling out the deal. being ridiculed from leaders around the world. could be looking ahead to what is coming up on thursday one of the most consequence al moments of the presidency. on thursday, the country will be watching fired fbi director james comey. his testimony set for thursday. >> a source tells cnn he is
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expected to address private conversations he had with trump. that will be what he discusses with lawmakers. the question is, is this going to happen? the white house says president trump will review whether to block comey's testimony through executive privilege and claim the ckoconversations were priva. the president of france is among the world leaders taking aim at president trump over the paris agreement. emmanuel macron has been on the job for less than a month. that is not stopping him from criticizing president trump. it raises questions of the climate change debate and questions with the u.s. and france. >> we get more on the trump v. macron match up. we have melissa bell in paris and cnn political reporter stephen collinson. melissa, talk about how people in france are reacting to the
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bold words from their president macron. >> reporter: with a great deal of interest. this is a man who is a political novice. here in france a few weeks ago and now he is france's president. really managing to shine on the world stage as a result of things beyond his control. the calendar with the g7 and the declaration made in the rose garden which donald trump reminded the world of his particular brand of internationalism. it is hard to believe it was less than a month ago. on may 7th, emmanuel macron was the youngest man elected to france's presidency. >> mlet me say a few words. >> reporter: also the first ever to make speeches in english publicly. >> wherever it will leave, whoever we are, we all share the
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same responsibility. make our planet great again. >> reporter: it was a stinging rebuke to what president trump announced in the rose garden. >> i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. >> reporter: within hours, macron's call was the most widely shared tweet from a french account. leading the question to whether the french president was now the leader of the free world. emmanuel macron's first steps on the world stage were sure. >> congratulations. >> reporter: as was his handshake with the american president. a handshake that was far from innocent. he wanted to show his strength. days later, macron welcomed another leader with whom he shares little. vladimir putin got a firm handshake and challenge that few
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had the courage to deliver directly before. >> translator: precisely indicated to putin the intention of france with lgbt people in chechnya. we came to follow this matter closely together. president putin will take the investigation and local authorities in chechnya and i will stay on top of this and follow-up. >> reporter: it is not simply that emmanuel macron, speaks english, but speaking the language of the vision of the world based on the idea of common values rather than interests. a vision of which the united states had been a champion until recently. >> melissa, speak on me quickly about the importance in the piece of president macron speaking in english. there is an intention there. >> reporter: absolutely. this is unusual. french presidents don't speak
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english because most have not had the ability. politically, france is politically a fairly inward looking country. this is deliberate move on emmanuel macron's part. france is open to the world. it wants to welcome american scientists in the wake of the announcement by donald trump. france is a country presenting itself as a representative of that other vision of the world. one that is no longer represented, it is thought here in europe, by the united states. >> stephen, you wrote a piece about macron taking on donald trump. you said by cooping the theme when he said he wanted to make our planet great again, macron picked a fight with an adversary about personal slight and lashes out of public humiliatiohumilia. there may be a price to pay for france/u.s. relations. you are right. president trump is not known to
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respond politely to criticism, so to speak. how does this set the stage for future relations with president trump and president macron? >> reporter: it is interesting. macron decided from the start to adopt a confrontational position toward donald trump. that is a position that not many other leaders decided to do. if you look at the way the japanese for example. prime minister shinzo abe approached donald trump. how the saudis honored him during the recent trip abroad. how chinese president xi jinping shown him a great deal of respect and a fellow world leader. these are the leaders decided the best way to deal with donald trump is compliment him and butter him up to some extent and shape him to their world view. you have to say it worked for those leaders. the chinese were not branded a currency manipulator after the summit with xi and trump in
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florida. the japanese have been able to take off the table the issue of should they pay more for u.s. troops stationed in japan to defend japan. they have results by being less confrontation confrontational. as melissa was saying, there is a fundamental clash of world views with european leaders like macron and german chancellor merkel who see the human rights and internationalism and multinational solutions and the creed of donald trump's america first idea. that is why european leaders don't have much choice. donald trump is presenting them with difficult political questions. deeply unpopular in europe. just this week, for example, theresa may was criticized because she did not come out and side with france and germany and italy over the pullout of the
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paris accord. he is giving leaders difficult questions. >> melissa bell and stephen collinson, thank you. the recent train killings are causing a larger problem. could the racial divide lead to more problems in the midwest? we have the rallies scheduled. he says tensions have been at their worst in some time. he will explain next. their experience is coveted.
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attack. >> that attack is investigated as a hate crime. the portland mayor asked to stop the events tomorrow. >> it's okay to be in shock. it's okay to feel a lot of emotion right now and a lot of sadness. for some people, there's a lot of anger. the anger that people are feeling in the community right now is very, very real. >> some people say the train stabbings are part of a pattern of white supremacy in oregon. randy is here with us. he is head of the coalition. i want to get to the duelling rallies happening tomorrow. they will go on despite the mayor's call. you are suggesting or urging people not to go to the rallies. why? >> it is starting to feel a bit of chicago in 1968 here in
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portland. it is clear there are people on both sides that are intent on violence. in my role, we're encouraging people to find other ways of expressing their support for the issue and stand up to racism. it looks like this will not be a family friendly event. there are other ways of making the statement without confronting the folks directly. >> so you compare to chicago 1968. a powder keg at that time. what is it about portland and this region and about this time in american history that justifies that comparison? >> well, this is a new chapter of an old story. it goes back to the portland finding if oregon is a free state or slave state and the compromise of a no slave state or whites only. the only whites only state in the country. that was on the books until the 1920s. there is a running theme in the
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history. in 1990s, it was tagged as skinhead city because of the battles with racist skinheads and anti-racist skinheads. the motto is keep portland weird. there is a built-in response to extreme right wing folks showing up and from the extreme left-win that is already here. they have a dedicated mission to push them out of town. whether they are nazi or not. >> the stabbing on the train. are those reflective of some pinnacle right now in the city or have they made things worse? have they made the stakes higher for tomorrow? >> certainly aggravated things. we had a brutal murder in 1988.
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ethiopian immigrant killed by skinheads. it was 30 years ago, but it is on people's minds. we have a bubble that we live in. the portlandia liberal paradise. there is a racial tension underneath all along. the stabbings really ripped the scab off the city and revealed the long simmering wound underneath. we are trying to recover from the horrible that i think happened, but figure out we go forward and there's of course some folks that are angry about where we are and ready to do battle. >> you say do battle. these rallies are held in close proximity to one another, i understand? >> two parks right next to each other. separated by one street. it will be a lot of work for the police to try to keep the folks separate. tensions will be flaring. there are people coming from out of town. that is the chicago parallel. people coming from other town to
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participate in both side of the rally. some of the folks have good intentions and expressing free speech rights. others feel there is a need to violently address the other side. >> randy blazak, thank you for the context. we will cover the rallies tomorrow. >> thank you. in the meantime, speaking of rallies, i want to show you the pictures coming from new york at this hour. protesters gathering for a march for truth. there will be protesters in washington. several other cities with the same agenda. calling for the full investigation into president trump's administration and possible ties to russia. we will monitor this for you. there are people coming up this morning in favor of the president. >> let's take you to washington to supporters of donald trump at lafayette park. this is the pittsburgh not paris rally.
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you see the signs supporting the president. that line coming from the president's speech withdrawing from the paris climate deal. the president said the deal was bad for american workers. promise made promise kept sign. you see leaders from around the country. up next, growing questions about the diminishing role of the white house press secretary. why some are calling sean spicer quote the incredible shrinking man. for years, i suffered from abdominal pain and bloating.
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streets. >> meet denise sandoval. >> our idea is to open our arms. josh has you set up. hygiene connects you to a sense of dignity. we learn their names. we learn their stories. we provide the extra support. it is creating community around them. we call that radical hospital y hospitality. >> i love it. to see radical hospitality in action, go to cnnheroes.com and nominate a 2017 cnn hero. white house press secretary sean spicer has not had -- it's been a rough time for him. he has been lampooned on late night television and now called the incredible shrinking man. >> and van jones says this is all making it difficult to do
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his job. >> you are seeing sean spicer as the incredible shrinking man. he was full of plus after. now he looks like a depressed kid. when you see that, he is like a dead man walking in d.c. he looks like a zombie character. he has to stand there and be a pinata for the press. >> his day-to-day role seems to be diminishing. these briefings are getting shorter. fewer of them. they are not daily anymore. >> some are not on camera any longer. as cnn's jeanne moos has her take on it. >> reporter: now you see him. >> you are shaking your head. it is true. you did it. >> reporter: now you don't. >> you are free to use the audio. >> reporter: sean spicer is a little like the incredible shrinking man in the 1957 movie. >> you come right back.
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>> of course i will. >> reporter: not in a doll house, but in the white house. playing cat and mouse. with the press. televised briefings have been rare lately. on friday, spicer resurfaced, but not able to give the views on climate change and exited asap. >> today is national leave work early day. >> reporter: on wednesday, spicer ditched cameras holding an audio only gaggle. with the eyebrow answer about president trump's tweet. >> they know what he meant. >> reporter: leaving reporters scoffing in disbelief. >> hey, turn that off. no cameras. audio only. >> reporter: we, too, can pull a spicer. briefings are getting shorter. >> thank you. >> reporter: one online begged please tell me that news outlets
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play the audio only briefings over melissa mccarthy as spicer. snl may have been prophetic. >> you kiss me and no one ever sees me again. >> yes. >> reporter: it's as if spicer is a hostage at his own briefings as one poster noted with 1,000 yard stare. when he briefed outside the white house, he got more grief. >> he wasn't hiding in the bushes, okay? he was hiding among the bushes. >> reporter: reporters get treated like misbehaving kitties. >> can i see the fish today? >> no. >> hold on. major, cecelia is asking a question. >> last week -- >> actually asking her question. be as polite. >> me, me. me. >> reporter: it is enough to leave reporters shaking their heads. >> stop shaking your head.
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>> reporter: mjeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> you add kids and you never know what you get. >> oh, jeanne moos. >> she is so good. thank you for watching. >> cnn newsroom with fredericka whitfield is next. erby ♪ now give up half of 'em. do i have to? this is a tough financial choice we could face when we retire. but, if we start saving even just 1% more of our annual income... we could keep doing all the things we love. prudential. bring your challenges. i'm in the kitchen. i need my blood sugar to stay in control. i need to shave my a1c i'm always on call. an insulin that fits my schedule is key. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ (announcer) tresiba® is used to control high blood sugar in adults with diabetes. don't use tresiba® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis,
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