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tv   Washington Week  PBS  June 3, 2017 1:30am-2:01am PDT

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robert: the art of ditching the deal. president trump walks away from the historic paris climate accord and embraces his america first world view. i'm robert costa. the politics of climate change and the expanding russia probe. tonight on "washington week." >> this agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the united states. >> president trump makes good on his campaign pledge and pulls out of the paris pact. president trump: we're not going to buth put our businesses out of work. rob: -- robert: but the decision has drawn criticisms from world leadsers, saying the multi-national agreement is
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irreversible. >> we all share the same responsibility. make our planet great again. robert: former president obama, who signed the deal, called out the administration for the absence of america leadership and said the plan was meant to protect the world we leevepl to our children. inside the west wing, a power struggle among the president's inner circle, pitting family advisors and moderates against the harmedliners. plus, russian president vladimir putin's new theory about who may have meddled in the u.s. election. we explore it all with indira lakshmanan of the boston globe. michael michael of "time" magazine. kelly o'donnell of nbc news, and jonathan swan of axios. >> celebrating 50 years. this is "washington week." funding is provided by --
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>> their leadership is instinctive. they understand the challenges of today and research the technologies of tomorrow. some call them veterans. we call them part of our team. >> additional funding is provided by -- newman's own foundation. donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. koo and patricia ewen to the ewen foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
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thank you. once again, live from washington, moderator robert costa. robert: good evening. president frump's decision to exit the paris climate accord has sparked an international detective, in particular among allies, who would like the u.s., the world's second greatest carbon polluter to share the burden of reform by in his rose garden remarks, the president talked less about global warming and more about his america-first zenled agenda. president trump: i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of america's sovereignty. we don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore and they won't be. robert: they may not be laughing anymore. they're paying attention. but you were born and ratesed in
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pittsburgh. you know the area and strip places like it. what's the economic and violate arl effect on a place like pittsburgh because of this decision? indira: my ears really perked up when i heard the president say he was elected to represent pittsburgh and not paris. as the mayor of pittsburgh pointed out yesterday, pittsburgh went 80% for hillary clinton in the last election. pittsburgh is not that kind of rust-belt idea that donald trump has put out there in his inaugural he talked about the rusting tombstones of empty factories. that's not pittsburgh. when i grew up in the 1970's, 1980's, it's true, it was the end of the steam industry but the city leaders came together and managed to really reinvent the city and right now the city
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has high-tech jobs. google has a campus there. they've double their edge nearing staff. uber launched their self-driving cars there just last year. it's medicine, it's high-tech. it's green energy, clean-energy jocks so pittsburgh has completely reinvented itself and the average per captaina average income in pittsburgh is now 70% over the national average and 70% of the jobs are clean-energy jobs is -- so pittsburgh is not happy about donald trump pulling out of the paris agreement. robert: michael, you've been such an observer for the president. if the economics of doing this are debatable, what else is behind the decision? michael: this is the mags rationale of donald trump as the politician, that he is the guy fighting for the forgotten
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america against global leaders mistreating them for decades. it was a message he found in the course of his campaign although it goes back to the late 1980's when he said jim: was robbing us -- us mind and he was going to fix is. that is trump where he's most comfortable. it's the rationale of his presidency. on the policy side, this is not actually going to in itself do anything to the amount of carbon the u.s. is releasing. the paris is an volume taxpayer accord. he can -- run is tear accord and he can back out any time. he said amount the rothse rose garden, maybe i can renegotiate a new deal. maybe not. that would be ok as well. two issues -- is he going to continue to give foreign aid from developing countries? the answer is almost certainly
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going to be no unless congress stops him and the second issue is in terms of regular la stormy changes, other things he does to the clean power plan that obama got in place, what he is going to allow for more carbon in the u.s. robert: so the policy amp math is still kind of unclear. jonathan, you've been scoop after scoop this week on paris and the climate deal. when i looked that want rose garden crowd on thursday and i saw stephen bannon in the front row beaming, was this decision by the president a return to power that forsteve bannon and perhaps a demoralizing moment for the more moderate forces within the white house like gerald kushner, the son-in-law and his daughter ivanka trump. juliet: it was definitely demoralizing, especially for i
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vanc -- ivanka trump. she tried. she really tried. she worked hard. i think you guys reported that she tried to place opinion in the "wall street journal," with business leaders. you know how i found that out? not from her p.r. aide smbingts, from movement conservatives who remember complaining about her. trump has never really wanted to stay in this deal. the misconception i think was that he was actually going to stay in. when i spoke to people close to him for weeks he was saying he was going to get out. he told scott pruitt last week and at least one senator he was going to get out. robert: so you don't buy that he was convinced by steve ban season you think his instincts were always to get out of it? jonathan: absolutely. yes, it looks good for bannon. but i don't buy it's a bannon
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puppeteer move. bomani: -- robert: there were a lot of people around the world, including german chance lore angela merkel that trump might be convinced to stay in she said the times when we could completely rely on others are now to an extent over. everyone sauna as a shot to president trump and when you look at the reaction, especially in western europe, to visceral with in decision. you were aboard with president trump and i wonder about the critics in his foreign policy. he talked at nato about burden sharing yet when it comes to the climate, he doesn't want to share that burden. what explains that? kelly: it's let me get past you policy and get to the front of the line, right? it is a classic donald trump persona now on the world stage, where he is willing to upend the
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norse. willing to not shake hands when it suits him and at other times embrace leaders and lead us to think that's a change. one of the most puzzling times on the trip was when we were told by the top advisors that the president's views were evolving, that the conversations were so fruitful and that he was really listening and taking in the views of the leaders he was meeting with. there were views that programs they were signaling a change. now in retrospect, that looks like it was participate to have leverage being placed by the president on those around him. he clearly is the man who wants to rip up anything that barack obama managed in terms of a deep. he sort of equivocated there but we could get a better deal. he also wants to be seen as an environmentalist. he is so quick to point ous outs to those world leaders awards he won in his business life for
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different times of environmentally friendly buildings. he wants it both ways in some ways. he doesn't want to look like a climate harriet -- hater. yet we've twied every arm to get officials to say what is the president's views today. and doesn't he need to have a belief about the science to decide what the policy should be and they will not answer that. robert: indira, you haven't just lived in pittsburgh. you've lived abroad. what's going to be the cost for the united states. is it more isolation in global affairs and how does this rock, perhaps, global environmental policy? indira: among my times overseas as a correspondent for the "boston globe," i intent seven years based in china and comploin has some of the knost polluted cities in the world. china and the united states lead the world in terms of carbon emissions and it's most important for those two
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countries to be so-called lead not guilty commitments in paris or other commitments to redoes carbon emissions. what's interesting its in the reaction was even before donald trump formally made his announcement, china and the e.u. came together and said that's ok. we're still going to keep our commitments and india said the same thing. this is key, why? because china and india have literally hundreds of millions of people who live on the coastlines who will go underway if climate change proceeds. robert: california's governor jerry brown. a lot of blue states and blue cities in the u.s. republican massachusetts. are saying they'll have their own policy on climate. >> you're going to have blue-state governors. california is what the 11th largest economy in the world?
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they're going to fight in you have a number of big companies. even companies like exzaun who is making a lot of money right now from national gas as an economic incentive to push in transition, they're going to continue to fight this it may be that even though donald trump and scott pruitt pull back on regulations that the u.s. doesn't actually pull that far behind. also, this is a four-year window. donald trump is going to be in office less than four years. if he doesn't win a second term, it's possible the u.s. never actually leaves the paris climate deal. robert: every republican says don't just pay attention to paris but what pruitt is doing to redeg late. does the president actually believe in climate clang? kelly: they won't answer that in part because if they were to say he does, the quea is about why would you do this from a policy
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stand assistant if they allow him to still be candidate trump, calling it a hoax, that's also problematic. pruitt today did acknowledge that there is a clang in the climate, a human factor. yet he's often described as one of the more stept kabul -- skeptical about science. the way they won't answer a straightforward question is problematic. robert: the business community is revolting against this administration and gary cohen and so many other people within the administration couldn't convince the president. >> that's right and gary cohen was still holding out hope, even on wednesday staying this isn't over privately. these are the people he's been working with for a long time and he was told that lloyd bank fien, the first time helped ever tweeted was about this and gary
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cohen said this took him by surprise. it doesn't. robert: president vladimir putin conceded his country couch had a connection in the election. his alternative theory is that private citizens, so-called patriotic hackers, may have acted on their own. >> they fight against those who say bad things about russia. robert: he was dismissive of this ymed that russia has had a prominent role. how is this going to affect the ongoing probes? kelly: he also said that a child couch hacked the american election and he referred specifically to her daughter. it's akin to donald trump saying he didn't even knew that she had an underage daughter but it's akin to donald trump saying it could be some 400-pound guy sitting on a bed in new jersey
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who would have hacked the election. what i've found interesting -- i've been in the kremlin with secretary of state clinton and secretary of state john kerry and been up close to vladimir putin and watched him. he's a very smooth guy and the way that me behaved with megyn kelly saying don't worry, be happy. don't worry about climate change. it's only two degrees. here in moscow it's cold and rainy so we're happy that donald trump pulled out of the accord. this guy is a smooth operator. defiant. >> he's gloating. he's bragging to the world that not only does he have now an american government that is much more favorable to anything in the past, that his policies are coming his way. are the sanctions going to go away? michael: the sanctions are difficult because you have to go through congress to get the sanctions. >> some of them are executive. michael: and there's also been
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discussions about getting back some of the dep lomatic nasty that they lost. put season telling the world that it's a new day for russia. this is an authoritarian who controls russia. people who oppose them -- him get thrown in jail or killed. for him to say he doesn't know what his hackers are doing, is lamble. >> his upon -- opinion is only one part of the story. inside the white house, the -- a lot of people feel undersieged. bob mueller, the counsel. he's said to be looking into michael flynn. what's the atmosphere as former f.b.i. director james comey prepares to move to capitol hill next week? >> under siege is a good way of describing it. there's a high level of anxiety. people are spending money on lawyers. not just people inside the white house but people who are close
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to the white house and lawering up. once you start pulling on the thread, they don't know where it's going to go. and something i've heard from a lot of people in the west wing is these investigations never end where they start. what they're all aware of is that the bill clinton impeachment started with white water. it ended in the oval office with an intern. no one knows where muleer is going to go with this. no one knows what kind of sloppy things they did during the campaign but they're going to put out . robert: kelly, so often we here about the international counsel and all these ongoing probes. but there was a curveball this week. house intelligent chairman david nunez has issued sup postseasonas for information about alleged unmasking by
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former obama officials. he wants to know why trump aides were caught in the surveillance of foreign official. former n.s.a. advisor susan rice, and former u.n. ambassador samantha power and former c.i.a. director john brennan are in this. >> he is still the chairman of that committee and with that comes a lot of power and he had to nope democrats but he could go it alone when it comes to these subpoenas. he's able to run a simultaneous parallel investigation, at least raising this notion of unmaskinging, which is what the presidents wants the focus to be about. he wants to show that there were obama officials who were unfairly looking at people in the trump woverled. by coining this -- doing this it rocks the plan of the committee
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to give to it the next person in charge and have these above-reproach committee actions where it's bipartisan. nunez has the power to do this unilaterally, to put out these subpoenas. and he can take some criticism over it but he also came to the white house to tell the president about what he had length ever learned. i was standing next to the west exec driveway when he came to tell the president how troubled he was. bomani: michael, if the administration wants to have awful these different sides heard on the russian matter, are they going to block comey from testifying by citing -- privilege? >> sean spicer said they were considering it. there are a couple of problems. one, it wouldn't be effective. there are legal opinions about whether comb illinois could come
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out and say publicly what he knows. but so much of what he knows has already been leaked by his friends. it was -- it would just look like a cover-up more than it would achieve any objective. but i think the fact that they didn't answer the question today shows that they're considering hard ball. and chief of staff rinse priebus is setting up -- reince priebus is -- reince priebus is setting up a committee. the idea is to day -- take the day-to-day legal problems out of the hands of sean spicer and other chief of staff to get on with the business of operations. it could be a good thing or it could be more cause for confusion. >> the way someone described that to me, every time one of these stories lands, there are a lot of communications staffers who -- stafferers who don't know
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the details. scrambling to find a response and one personal said to me during the campaign, if you asked me anything about hillary clinton, i could have told you that like that because we live and would breathed that stuff. we need people just focused on this so they can be nimble when requested. robert: the shake-up hasn't happened yet. kelly: i look forward to this war room so they can actually answer some questions. indira: but the whole idea that you even have to have a war room --, that -- just robert: woach to live it there. our conversation will continue online. we'll talk look the white house's decision to take its case for a travel ban to the supreme court. find that all week long at pbs.org/washington week. find out my rermses for the most must-read articles on the paris accord. i have a swan article in there
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as well. anyway, i'm robert costa. thanks for watching. we'll see you next time. ♪ >> funding for "washington week" is provided by -- boeing. newman's own foundation. donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. ku and patricia ewen, committed
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to bridging cultural differences in our communities at the present time corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs striation from viewers like you. thank you. thank you. >> you're watching pbs.
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