Return to Transcripts main page


Russian President Vladimir Putin Said That Hackers Who Are Patriotic; French President Macron Issued A Video Message On Twitter To American Scientists, Engineers And Others Who Are Disappointed By President Trump's Decision; Trump Administration Is Taking In Its Travel Ban To The Supreme Court; President Trump Announced Today That He Quits The Paris Climate Accord. Aired 11:00-12:00mn ET

Aired June 1, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:44] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Breaking news on Russia and why world leaders say the President Trump is turning his back on the planet.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Vladimir Putin said that hackers who are patriotic, his word, might quote "act on behalf of their country." So did he just admit to hacking the election? And you know what else Vladimir Putin says? He supports the Paris climate accord. So do more and more American business leaders, mayors and governors, they do as well. One of them joins, Washington governor Jay Inslee, joins me in just a moment.

And on the other side Utah Senator Mike Lee, Mike Lee joins me here in studio. He says President Trump made the right decision for America's economy. We are going to talk to both men in just moments.

Let's get right it to Washington now Governor Jay Inslee. He calls quitting the Paris accord shameful. Again that's his word, and is one of the many prominent officials around the country and the world speaking out against what President Trump did today.

Good evening to you, governor. Thank you so much for coming on.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: Good evening thank you.

LEMON: Here are some of what the President said today in a Rose Garden when he announced to withdraw from the accord. We will talk about after this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania along with many, many other locations within our great country before Paris, France. It is time to make America great again.


LEMON: So governor, what about the people of Washington? INSLEE: Well, the people of Washington wanted America to follow our

tradition, the nation that defeated fascism, the nation that defeated communism, the nation that went to the moon under this President's pathetic lack of leadership has now joined Syria being a caboose rather than the engine of progress.

My state and many other states in the leadership of other governors, are allied in the belief that we can grow in our growing our economy, we now have twice as many jobs in solar and wind energy than in coal industry. And the places that are enjoying economic growth are the places that are embracing this new future of clean energy.

My state is actually has the number one rate of growth in the United States. And it's not a coincidence that we have a cap on carbon pollution. My state is meeting essentially the goals of Paris, as is California, as is New York, Virginia. We have governors who today have started an organization, United States climate alliance. But we will remain committed.

Look, Washington State is going to lead a clean energy revolution, even without leadership from Washington, D.C.

LEMON: So let me talk to you about that. Let me talk to you about that, just told a viewer that today along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and California governor Jerry Brown. You created this called United States client alliance. So what are you hoping to accomplish beyond the Paris accord?

INSLEE: Well, several things. Number one, we want to hearten the international community not to give up on their ongoing efforts. You know, we have 90 million people today, Americans who live in States, they already are embracing constraints on carbon solution. It's important that message is received by the rest of the world.

Number two, we want to inspire other states to join us. We are not the only state, Governor Brown of Oregon p, Governor Malloy of Connecticut, Virginia, Terry McAuliffe. We are already moving forward. We want to find ways that we in fact are going to join our efforts. There are efforts underway already to have common markets, to have carbon constraints. My state already has a cap that I put on by executive order. And the important thing to understand is President Trump might belong to the flat earth society and it's clear that he does, but he cannot, under our constitutional principles stop the states from building our economies by embracing our clean energy future. And we are doing this big time.

[23:05:05] LEMON: But I apologize for the delay. But there's so much I want to get in, governor. Again, apologize for the delay. But in the short time together, I want to ask as much as I can.

INSLEE: You bet. Go ahead.

LEMON: What's this mean for jobs in your state?

INSLEE: Well it means, to some degree, an advantage. My state is now going to continue to grow jobs, building carbon fiber to go in electric cars. My state has the largest manufacturer of carbon that goes into electric cars in the world. My state is developing a whole new way of making solar panels and this is going to allow us to continue to do that. Donald Trump will not be a little retard to put a brake in our progress. But it will hamper some of these other state that don't have progressive governors to some degree.

But I am convince that we will continue to grow my state's economy. We look forward to other states joining us. We are a nation that will lead. Right now the leadership has moved from Washington, D.C. to the state capitals. That those state capitals are led by governor who believe in economic progress, we are going to have that.

LEMON: So governor, the French President Macron issued a video message on twitter to American scientists, engineers and others who are disappointed by President Trump's decision. Watch this.


EMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizen who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States. I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I tell them come and work here with us. To work together on concrete solutions for our climate.


LEMON: So he is telling experts to go to France. Could today's decision result in a brain drain here at home?

INSLEE: It's not going to result in brain drain in my state because we are embracing the clean energy future.

It is very interesting you bring this up. Last week I had CEO of a French company that is expanding some work in the carbon field that can help us build more fuel efficient vehicles. This can be a win for Washington State, a win for the mid-west where there is new development in wind turbines. We have wind turbines blades being manufactured in the mid-west and sold around the world.

All states can create clean energy jobs in our United States. But now our ability to seize that future and work with France in alliances is a possibility open to all states. If you want to doubt that, come to - here in Washington where we have hundreds of jobs making hundreds of batteries in the world so that we can integrate solar and wind power. Come to (INAUDIBLE) state, Washington, where we have the largest manufacturer of silicon substrate that goes into solar panels. We will show you tens of thousands jobs moving forward because of this optimistic view of future of (INAUDIBLE). I think that's what our country is about, I mean that is what our state is about.

LEMON: So governor, this is not the first time that states have fought back against this administration. As you well know, states have had success fighting the travel ban as well. When he took office on January 20th, do you think that taking a stand against President Trump's policies would become such a big part of your job? INSLEE: Unfortunately, yes. I actually knew the day he took office

that he would not be a positive force to grow clean energy jobs. It was pretty clear that he was a flat-earth society member and saying that climate change is a hoax. And I knew that in the end that we would have to be emboldened and know that we would have to stand on our own two feet. He basically said that we are on our own in the states. So to some degree it is not a shock. We have been willing to stand up against him. I'm proud that our state is the first state to defeat him on his wrong handed travel ban. So we're not afraid --

LEMON: So governor, as you speak now, as you are answering, again, pardon of the delay, but as you speak now, we have some breaking news that we need to tell you about. The Trump administration is taking in its travel ban to the Supreme Court. We are just learning now. We are going to get our correspondent Ariane de Vogue up.

But tonight, if you can, tonight the Trump administration lawyers are asking the Supreme Court to allow the President's travel ban to go into effect pending the court's full legal review later this year of lower court's decisions that block the travel ban.

Again, governor, I'm not sure if you heard all of that but what do you make of this new action by the Trump administration?

So we don't have the governor? I think the governor - OK.

OK. Let's get now to Ariane de Vogue. She is our Supreme Court reporter.

Ariane, fill us in on the breaking news.

[23:10:12] ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, yes, the Trump administration lawyers have gone to the Supreme Court and they are asking the court to allow this travel ban to go into effect while the court reviews its legality. And this comes of course after that scathing lower court opinion, the 4th circuit court of appeals. It says that the ban was likely unconstitutional. In fact, it said that the executive order drips with religious intolerance and discrimination.

And the Trump lawyers say that the lower courts are getting this ban wrong. They say it is necessary for national security. They say it is not a Muslim ban and they say that the President has broad authority when it comes to immigration.

So tonight, what is an important number is five because it would take five justices to agree to this request to allow it to go into effect. And what usually happens is that petitions like this are sent to the full court and the full court asks the other side for its response. And that should happen in couple days.

LEMON: OK, stand by, Ariane. I want to - governor Inslee, did you hear what the breaking news is regarding the travel ban?

INSLEE: Yes, I did.

LEMON: What's your response governor?

INSLEE: Well, so far there has been an overwhelmingly powerful and comprehensive decision by multiple courts that the court system could not ignore the truth and the truth came out of the President's own lips that he intended to implement a travel ban on Muslims.

His intent was clear. It was un-ambiguous. And there is one good thing about the judicial system. It can't have totally ignore the truth. And now the President is asking the judicial system of the United States to ignore the absolute truth from his own lips. I don't think they should do that. I don't believe that they will do that. So we are going to continue to pursue justice in this case which is a continuation of American ideals, a constitutional principles and tolerance for the people of this country.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, governor Inslee. I appreciate you joining us here on CNN.

And Ariane de Vogue, our Supreme Court correspondent standing by.

So, stand by. I want to bring in now Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, is author of "Written out of History, the forgotten founders who fought big government." I have the book right here. I can't wait to read it.

I'm so glad to have you here. This is an opportunity moment to have you here. What's your response to the breaking news, senator?

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: It's interesting news. It's not entirely uncommon when an injunction has been issued by a court. If someone seeking review of that decision to seek to have that injunction stayed while it's under review.

LEMON: And so, it's not a surprise at all.

LEE: No. Not a surprise at all. I'm not sure whether it will be granted. I think there's a decent chance it will be but it's difficult to predict.

LEMON: Yes. The nine justices will hear that including the new justices as well, yes.

I want to talk with you and gets your thought on what I discussed with the governor earlier as we talked mostly about clean energy and we will talk about. But also get your response to Russian President Vladimir Putin what he said about the election. Watch this.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Hackers are free people just like artists. They wake up in good mood and paint things. Same with hackers, they woke up today, read something about the state relations, but they are patriotic. They contribute in a way they think is right, to fight against those who say bad things about Russia.


LEMON: How do you interpret those comments? Is he defending hacking there, you think?

LEE: He is an interesting cat. I don't know exactly how to read that, but it is weird. It's goofy. There was obviously an attempt by people in Russia by the Russian government to mess with our election, in one way or another. It is not yet clear what impact it had. But they clearly didn't necessarily mean as well on this.

LEMON: Yes. I want to talk to you about the FBI director James Comey, you know. He is going to testify next week in open session. If he testified that the President pressured him to end the investigation into former national security advisor, what do you think? What happens next?

LEE: Well, first of all, if he testifies to that effect, I'm going to have a whole lot of additional questions for him. He was in front of our committee, sit on the judiciary committee in the Senate just a few weeks ago on May 3rd. He testified quite clearly, you know. One thing I have not seen is political pressure to end or to change the outcome of a political investigation. He said I just haven't seen that.

So if he changes that add, if he gives an answer like what you just described that would be flatly inconsistent with that, I would want to find out why. Why did he tell one thing on May 3rd and why is he filling us another thing now.

LEMON: Today, senator, it was Patrick Leahy and Al Franken were release letters asking the FBI to investigate attorney general Jeff Sessions' meeting with Russian. Are you concerned that the attorney general may have had additional meeting with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and that he has not admitted to at this point?

LEE: Yes. Look. I have no idea. I would highly doubt it, but I have no idea.

LEMON: So there's no certain?

[23:15:00] LEE: No. No. I think he has disclosed what needed to be disclose. I think he has told us what he knows.

LEMON: There are other major headlines tonight that I want to discuss with you. We talked about the travel ban. We now want to talk about the Paris. There are so much going on. So you can keep up --. I'm sure you guys in Washington feel the same way.

Talking about the Paris climate accord. But condemnation was swift. It came from a number of people. And I want to talk - this is U.S. treasury secretary Larry Summers told my colleague Richard Quest, the former U.S. treasury secretary. Watch this.


LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: This is the biggest U.S. foreign policy error since entering the Iraq war. And it is one that unlike the Iraq war will be felt a century from now.


LEMON: The biggest U.S. policy error since entering the Iraq war? Why would Summers be wrong about this issue?

LEE: I'm sorry, that's paranoid fantasy. I mean, he can't back that up. It's not true. Look. It cannot be the case that any time one President decides that he want to enter in to an agreement, knowing full well in negotiating that agreement in such a way the he knows he can't possibly get senate ratification for that as a treaty, then a subsequent president reversed his course as a subsequent president is entitled to do on the best circumstances because it's not law of the land. It cannot be that that creates a foreign policy catastrophe. That's just wrong.

LEMON: But if there - I heard people say there is no teeth to it. If there is no teeth to it, if did it really didn't mean anything and each country got to pick whatever they were going to do with themselves and why the urgency to back out of something that is didn't really matter much according -- this is according to supporters of the president.

LEE: Let's peel it back what you mean by no teeth to it. International law generally isn't really toothy. It is something that is observed among nations. I mean, I don't think you can say there's no teeth to something in which the United States agrees to contribute many tens of billions of dollars to the global climate fund. I don't think you can say there is no teeth to international agreements generally. So we are dealing here with the relationships between nations. I don't think you can say that's completely toothless or that it has no impact. And if it does have no impact, why is everybody freaking out about it?

LEMON: Are you concerned about (INAUDIBLE), about Tesla -- Elon Musk, you know, saying President is wrong backing out of becoming his -- on his team - advisors on his team. Is that concerning to you that these business leaders are doing that?

LEE: It's not entirely surprising given that some people have very strong feelings about that.

LEMON: I get that. Is that concerning because I mean, these are big players.

LEE: Sure. They are big players. And they are big players who also believe that this is a good thing. There are a lot of people more importantly who are hardworking Americans, middle class Americans who are worried about their jobs who feel like the President is standing up for them. I think the President was right to put Pittsburgh before Paris and that's what he did today. I applaud him.

LEMON: I want to ask you about your book, the come that come out. Did they just come out?

LEE: Just came out day before yesterday.

LEMON: Before yesterday, "written out of history," by Senator Mike Lee. Who is, in your opinion, who is being written out of history?

LEE: There are a number of forgotten founders who have been written out because their stories are inconvenient. People like can (INAUDIBLE), Indian chief who introduced the concept of federalism to the United States. Federalism is concept embodied in the tenth amendment that says on most issues, we should have government at the state and at the local level. We will have a few issues that have to handle nationally. We learned that from the (INAUDIBLE) from (INAUDIBLE) who taught it to Ben Franklin who in turn taught that to the other founding fathers.

LEMON: Are you concerned at all, and I don't know if this is in a book. I haven't read it about some of the monuments being removed down south. Is that part of being written out of history, you think?

LEE: The monuments being removed from down south. So, if you mean the 1.35 million acres designated as part of the (INAUDIBLE) national monument, in my state, in Utah's poorest county where we have got --.

LEMON: I mean the confederate monuments in all of those because some people believe that there is sort of erasing history when doing that.

LEE: In that circumstance, when we remove a monument, remove a statue of someone, that's up to the locality deciding to do it. That's their choice. But if they are going to do that I think they need to take extra steps to make sure that person isn't forgotten. Because whether they were good or whether they were bad when we remove someone's story from history, we avoid opportunities to learn from mistakes they may have had.

LEMON: We got to talk a lot from the travel ban to your book to climate change. Thank you. The book is called "Written out of History" and it is by Senator Mike Lee. I appreciate you joining us. Join us again.

LEE: Thank you very much.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

When we come right back more on Vladimir Putin's comments about election hacking, what this could mean for the Russian investigation.


[23:22:58] LEMON: Did Russian's President with a wink and nod admit to hacking the elections.

I want to discuss this now with Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst. Matthew Murray, the deputy assistant commerce secretary for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the Obama administration. And CNN national security analyst, Steve Hall, retired chief of CIA Russian operations. He joins us tonight via Skype.

Good evening to all of you.

Steve Hall, I'm going to start with you. Because Vladimir Putin today conceded that Russian, though not the Kremlin, may have been involved in the election, the hacking of this election which he had previously denied. Listen to this.


PUTIN (through translator): Hackers are free people just like artists. They wake up in a good mood and paint things. Same with hackers. They woke up today. Read something about the state to state relations. But they are patriotic. They contribute in a way they think is right to fight against those who say bad things about Russia.


LEMON: So Steve why would he changed his tune now?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, because he can. I mean, this is Russian propaganda. It is Russian (INAUDIBLE) in Russian. So I could measures. It started back in 2007 probably the first time that they really had a shot at doing some good cyber stuff in Estonia. And what did they said? No, it wasn't us. It was patriotic Russians who were upset about the situation in Estonia. They did it actually in Georgia. Now, we are seeing it in Ukraine and so on. You know, this is something that is really nice about having covered operations. It provides the state with deniability which is exactly what is going on here.

But the second thing that is really - that Putin and the Russians are really good at is playing on our value system. I mean, there is going to be people on the West in the United States who go, you know, maybe hackers are kind a like artist. They get up in the morning and who is going to limit their free activities? It is an open society. The problem is that's not the way it works in Russia. Putin knows where all these people are. And if he wanted he could reach out and find out what computers are using and stop it but he didn't. So it is all just pretty much more to understand from Putin and the Kremlin.

LEMON: Nada, I have heard that this is the closest that Putin will come actually confessing that Russian had something to do with our elections. Does it seem like, you know, maybe the trail of evidence is getting closer and closer to him and he is doing it now?

[23:25:11] NADA BAKOS, FORMER CIA ANALYST: I mean, it certainly seems like it. And you know, kind of what, he was saying where it started in 2007 overseas when they are influencing other campaigns and other propaganda efforts, looking at what they did in the United States. You know, all this majors were starting here in 2014 pushing Russia foreign policy majors. I mean, that doesn't seem like a typical artisanal hacker thing to do is pushing the Kremlin's bottom line.

LEMON: Why would it be a patriotic or patriotic Russian thing to do to interfere in the election, Nada?

BAKOS: Well, I don't think necessarily it would be a patriotic option for just the average person is, you know, struggling to survive maybe looking for a job. But how we think, you know, if you put yourself in their shoes, they would be doing something that would then help Russia itself. So when you look at these groups, these hackers they are two degrees or more separated from the probably the Kremlin and the Russian government. And as Steve said, that's a great covert operation. So they have plausible deniability. They have employed these people in a concerted ways so that their social media influence campaigns have been directed and very strategic.

LEMON: Yes. I have to ask you a similar question Matthew then I ask Steve. I asked Steve, why do you think he changed his tune now? My question to you is he has denied this for a while, why do you think he opened the door like this today?

MATTHEW MURRAY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMMERCE SECRETARY FOR EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: I think it's important to look at his statement in light of the signal he's also sending to those artistic hackers. And essentially he is endorsing their activity and at the same time giving them license to do more such activity. And you know, I think it's best to understand his comments in light of an aggressive foreign policy that is based on new doctrine known as the new generation warfare doctrine that Russia has adopted in order to fight what are become known as hybrid wars in which they can go in to places like Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine and other countries and without appearing to be fighting a war take very concerted efforts to destabilize the situation.

And so, as both Steve and Nada have indicated, this is part of that play book. And the President has artfully in front of a huge audience, by the way he made these statements in a press conference in St. Petersburg against the backdrop of the St. Petersburg international economic forum which is the annual event which Russia makes a sort of state of Russia economy address, invites foreign investors to invest in their economy and buy to into Putin era.

And so, in effect I thought -- I see this far from a front. I see the statement far from being a kind of admission or compromise. I see it as a direct challenge to our President. And don't think it should go unanswered. I think it is high time President Trump stop equivocating about whether he thinks that Russian interfered with our election and that he should, in response to President Putin's statement, he should make it very clear that he accepts the intelligence communities conclusions.

LEMON: Yes. Well, good luck with that. And here's what Vladimir Putin said earlier, more of it.


PUTIN (through translator): I can imagine that someone is doing this purposefully, building the chain of attack so that the territory of Russian federation appears to be source of that attack. Modern technology is allow o do that kind of thing.


LEMON: So Steve, given your experience in the intelligence world, what do you make of his explanation? HALL: This is -- again, Don, this is more plausibility deniability as

I have said. I mean, this is, you know, what Putin can do is he can spin all sorts of different explanations and reasons why and, you know, this and that, to show that, you know, it really wasn't the Russian government that was responsible for this. And you know, it's pretty clear from the forensics done by our own intelligence community that it was indeed not just Russians but the Russian government and notably the Russian intelligence services.

So - but you are asking the right question which is OK, why is he talking about it now? Why did he sort of allow it to say, OK, well, you know, it was Russian but it wasn't Russian government. And it could be simply that, you know, the forensic evidence which is so strong, that it is silly to continue to say it had absolutely nothing to do with Russia. So it is a fallback position as well. We just have good patriots in this country who are concern in Russian, who were concerned about all horrible things that are happening in the United States and the west and they took it upon themselves to do this because they are artist and this is what they do. It's poppycock.

[23:30:01] LEMON: So Nada, do they know what evidence we have?

BAKOS: That's a good question. I would think they have, you know, somewhat of an idea. I mean, we have been talking about this openly in media of now for quite some time. We have had open testimony on the hill. And I don't know whether or not they understand the technical data behind the evidence and what the United States would have, but I would think would assume how we would trace it back to them.

LEMON: Yes. All right, thank you all. I appreciate it.

When we come back the scientist who left the energy department after Donald Trump became President. I'm going to ask what she thinks of today's decision on the climate accord.


[23:34:46] LEMON: President Trump announcing today that he is quitting the Paris climate accord and he says is it is all about protecting American jobs but what are the facts.

CNN's Rene Marsh has that.


RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump has walked away from the Paris climate agreement saying it will handicap the U.S. economy.

[23:35:04] LEMON: TRUMP: Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord and owner's energy restrictions that is placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the national economic research associates. This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs. MARSH: But a long list of Fortune 500 companies from Silicon Valley

to utility companies and even big oil disagree with the decision and many believe the Paris agreement would actually generate jobs and put the U.S. in position to dominate the clean energy sector. There are about 374,000 solar jobs compared to 164,000 coal jobs.

TRUMP: The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.

MARSH: The President is talking about one financial component of the Paris agreement that helps poor countries address climate change. The United States has voluntarily pledged $3 billion to the green climate fund more than any other country, but that represents less than 100 of one percent of the roughly $4.1 trillion the U.S. government is expected to spend in 2017. The President's claim is a massive exaggeration.

TRUMP: Under the agreement, China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years, 13, they can do whatever they want for 13 years, not us.

MARSH: China does have a growing economy and with it growing emissions. But China's coal consumption has declined for the last three year and plans for several new coal fired power plants have been cancelled. When he says China can do whatever it wants under the agreement that's the case for all parties because it's a voluntary agreement.

TRUMP: It is estimated it will only produce a two-tenths of one degree, think of that, this much, Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount.

MARSH: That may sound small but tiny temperature changes could make a big difference for island nations and coastal communities. It could be the difference between surviving or being under water. And of course without any effort to curb carbon pollution temperatures are expected to keep rising.

Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: All right Renee, thank you very much.

I want to want to bring in now Jane Zekkova, climate change scientist.

Jane, good evening to you. It is so good to have you on. You are a scientist who resigned from the department of energy after Donald Trump became President. What was your reason for leaving?

JANE ZEKKOVA, CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENTIST: Well, thanks for having me. I didn't resigned I left the department of energy to move back to the state of Colorado where I can work remotely but I'm resigning in the next two weeks. But my reason really was I didn't feel like the work that we had been doing was going to continue and the action on climate change that I was really passionate about helping push forward wasn't happening anymore because many of the policies that the new administration was putting in place were pretty obstructionist to action on climate and also to science in general.

LEMON: Are you alone in that? Do the people who were working for your department or where there a number of you?

ZEKKOVA: I think it is actually really interesting, there were a number of us that were very concerned. I think the day after the election and actually for the few months after, there were a lot of really drawn faces as if somebody. Puppies had been kicked, everyone was very upset. And part of it because they felt like the mission that they have been working towards and the things that are passionate about were no longer a priority.

But the other part of it us that they were very worried about their jobs. The proposed budget was basically look like it was going to cut a lot of the jobs that a lot of us scientists had. You know, the proposed budget cuts for science specifically are really drastic. And so people are post worried about the things that they have working on for a long time, the things they are passionate about and also about just having the ability to feed their families and have a job.

LEMON: Criticism from conservatives or from Trump supporters, they will say that you are a Hillary supporter, you are a liberal and therefore those are the reasons you were upset not because of anything that had to do with the incoming President.

ZEKKOVA: I mean, that's a fine thing for them to say. I am a liberal voter and I did vote for Hillary Clinton. But my concerns are really not based on my personal political belief but really on the science of climate change, something I have dedicated my whole life to and the imperative I feel to push for action and to actually made progress. And I felt like when I came to the department of energy I was working towards that goal and I was working with really passionate, smart, dedicated people at the department of energy. And the reason I was upset and the reason I felt like I had to leave had little to do with my voting for Hillary Clinton, a lot to do with wanting to continue to push for progress on making changes to our economy to our energy systems to make sure that we reduce emissions and that we can meet our climate goals.

[23:40:43] LEMON: All right. Stand by, Jane. Because I want to bring in now David Mohler, former deputy assistance secretary at department of energy.

Welcome to the program, David. Thank you so much. You were Jane's boss at the department of energy. Did you hear similar concerns from other scientists?

DAVID MOHLER, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANCE SECRETARY AT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: I did. And just a quick clarification, I consider doctor Zekkova much more of a colleague than subordinate. So I didn't think of myself as her boss so much. But yes, there's a real scientific consensus around the need for action. And part of the reason I went to department of energy after retiring from Duke Energy as chief technology officer was because of the passion and that commitment and the mission focus to really try to accomplish something real.

LEMON: So today then, what's your reaction, David, to today and the President leaving the Paris climate agreement accord?

MOHLER: Well, it didn't come as a huge surprise. I must say I'm disappointed. But I think that the net outcome is more negative for the U.S. than for the rest of the world, largely because I think that by stepping back away from the agreement, we will essentially stimulate other Asian and European countries to feel the technology development void and to take a position where they can commercialize clean energy technologies in a way that might be antithetical to the U.S. competition in global market.

LEMON: Well, the President says that the climate agree - accord, the way it is cost jobs. You are saying by pulling out of the accord that it will cost jobs?

MOHLER: That is what I'm saying, over the long haul, yes.

LEMON: OK. How so? You know, the President has his opinion on it. He is using the facts as his disposal. You are using the facts at your disposal. And I have heard there are more jobs, you know, from just about every expert I had on the show, there are more jobs in clean energy than they are in coal and the old way that we did it.

MOHLER: Yes, that's abundantly true. And what I'm really envisioning here is technological developments and equipment developments going forward. You know, we are on the cusp of number of breakthroughs in the energy arena. And you know, I did significant amount of international work in my career including my work at DOE and got to talk to people in other countries, especially in Asia, who were doing work that was really very future-focused. So they were looking at what is the world going to need for clean energy production, for clean energy technologies, you know, 10, 20, 30 years from now. And how do we position ourselves to really compete effectively in those markets. And I don't see the U.S. doing that, especially with the step back from Paris.

LEMON: David, Jane, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

MOHLER: Sure. Thank you.

ZEKKOVA: Thank you.

LEMON: When we comeback, Lebron James speaking out after his home was vandalized with racist graffiti. Why he says racism is part of America.


[23:48:06] LEMON: Basketball great Lebron James on the court tonight in game one of this NBA finals. His Cavaliers losing to the warriors by the way 91 to 113. But he is also in the news because someone spray painted the "N" word on the front gate of his Los Angeles home. Here is what he had to say about it.


LEBRON JAMES, NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER: My family is safe. At the end of the day they are safe. And that's the most important. But it just goes to show that that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America. No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know being black in America is -- it's tough.


LEMON: Let's discuss now. Kamau Bell, host of the "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," CNN legal analyst Mark O'Mara and political commentator Ben Ferguson.

Hello gentleman. I mean, Kamau, where do we start? I mean, I think it's interesting maybe more powerful coming from someone like Lebron James who has seen, you know, almost every word of success, you know, as an athlete, as someone who is famous and someone who is wealthy, but coming from him, you know, he still feels like the N word somewhat. What's your reaction?

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: I mean, I really give Lebron James a lot of credit. He could have swept this under rug considering he has got, you know, he is one of the biggest moments of his career right now. But he came out and said something about it. And Lebron has done a lot over the last year. But yes, it shows that he has been famous since he was like 17 years old and yet still in that moment, he is just another nigger. He has no -- he can't get away from that.

LEMON: Yes. I should say people still think of him as the n word. He doesn't think of himself as that.

But you know, Ben, I'm interested to hear what you have to say about that, because you know, if he has so many fans, all over the world, for him to feel that way, do you think that most people understand that or there are people who still deny like why is he doing this? Let him go cry on his pile of money.

[23:50:10] BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there are certainly people out there that say come on, look at the life you are living. There are always going to be haters whether in sports or it is in race. There is always going to be ignorant racist bigoted people in the world, not just this country, but the world. You are never getting rid of stupid ignorant people. They will always exist.

I do think however the way that Lebron James put it talking about the safety of his family might resonate with a lot of people that might normally say hey you are a rich guy. Get over it. Take the heat. Move on. You know, you are not some sort of big victim here.

The way that he talked about this I think was incredibly -- not only mature you but also opens up a conversation that needs to be had with many people about the issue of race in a conversation way where it's not so intense or a fight or you got to pick a side here because a lot of people like Lebron James. A lot of people root for Lebron James. Remember he has had controversy, the way he announced, the way he was going to Miami. And he took a lot of heat. People burning his jerseys, but that didn't deal with race like this one did. And I think him saying his family, I'm glad my family is safe, really put it in perspective.

And look. There is always going to be ignorant people if there is any good that can come out of it's the conversation. And I also think the other thing is the fact that social media is bringing things like this to light, most of the time now we are seeing more times than that. We are seeing the people that do these type of things, one get busted. And two, they get shamed as they should. And I hope we find out who these people are.

LEMON: But I hear so many people, Ben, I hear what you are saying. I hear so many people deny that it even exists. Or the reason I made that comments about let him go cry on his file of money, because I have heard that. Not that that makes any difference just because he is, you know, wealthy. It doesn't mean that it doesn't excuse what happened. It doesn't mean that it doesn't still doesn't hurt in this society. And it certainly doesn't mean that he shouldn't be, you know, that he should be a victim of this. But there is so much denial out there. And during the election, we have heard so much denial about race. You know, everyone is crying about racism and racism in America. You should be happy to be in America on and on and on. And then, you know, you have this happening to Lebron.

Mark, go ahead. What do you --? What do you think of that?

MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think my concern, Don, is there is no question Ben is right. We - there are always been and always will be racist idiots and haters. But my concern over the past several months is that we seem to now have an environment where it is spurring more of this. That all of the sudden hatred and the active hatred is much more acceptable whether it was from Trump talking about Mexicans being all rapists or the way, you know, grabbing women by the crotch.

The problem that I see over the past several months is that the bizarre behavior that we used to truly only see in a courtroom as a hate crime is now truly showing up more and more. Yes it got to Lebron James, but it's getting everywhere. We know that there is a lot more visual hate crimes that are happening in this country. And unfortunately, we who are not the idiot haters and racists out there, I think have an additional obligation to now be even more vocal or visual, more personal with how we present ourselves as finding this activity to be exactly what it is, completely reprehensible. Because it is growing and it is getting more and more dangerous as time goes on.

LEMON: Ben, you wanted to jump in.

FERGUSON: Yes, look. I also think we have to put this a little bit into the context and perspective. If you were in the public eye now, people love to hide behind twitter Facebook and attached. Look at what Kathy Griffin did to Donald Trump's head. I mean that's how low we have gotten in society. But you know, there is -- when you are in the public eye, the reality

is you are going to take a lot of heat. I'm going to have death threats. I'm going to have people that say they wish I died or my parents aborted me. I get that tweet about every week. Lebron James is going to take hate if he lose a game. And he is going to take hate because of there is ignorance --.

LEMON: You are not condoning it, are you?

FERGUSON: No I'm -- my point is this. We also have to understand that as a country, we need to be clear about what is acceptable and what's unacceptable. And not act like when different things like this happen that is it is somehow excusable or humors and many people think that there are certain things whether holding up the president's ahead and we saw that and it was humor or it was funny.

LEMON: I don't see how the two relate to each other, but I'll --.

O'MARA: Ben --.

FERGUSON: He just brought it up about hate crimes. I think that doing that the President is on the same level.

O'MARA: Well, Ben, the problem with it is that - Ben, the problem with it is that now we seem to have an environment where some of those in power, some of those who have authority and are being looked up to seem to be subtly suggesting that these type of hints are OK. That's why it wasn't -- we know there is an uptick in hate criminals against people. We know four days ago in Portland, two women were harassed by an idiot on the train and then he ended up killing two other people. We know there are thousands of other examples that for example, the southern poverty law center is keeping track of. It is seemingly now more acceptable to have these type of behaviors happened.

[23:55:16] LEMON: Before we run out of time, I want to get to Kamau.

Kamau, go ahead. Weigh in on this because I know you are --.

BELL: I don't know. I'm happy to hear these two white guys talk about racism. I don't hear this in my life enough so, please continue. We have people have this discussions all the time. I'm happy to let these two white guys talk about this.

LEMON: You just read my mind.

FERGUSON: I'm glad we can have the discussion.


LEMON: Kamau, you read my mind. But go on.

O'MARA: The race all.

FERGUSON: I'll buy you a beer later, OK.

LEMON: Go ahead, Kamau, please. Last word. BELL: I mean, I honestly am serious about that. Like I heard Ben say

that, you know, we don't have the discussions enough. We have them in my house all the time. Like email just before I came on the show. I mean, we have to have the discussions and you have to call them out. It is especially important when white men like these two white men call them out because we don't hear that enough.


But I always hear, you know, it's an important discussion that we need to have. It is a conversation that we need to have. And then either you don't have it, right, and nothing gets accomplished or you have the conversation and people say that you are race baiting. So then you can't have it both ways when you want to have a conversation. So that you prevent things like this from happening it is then called race baiting.

And I - Kamau, you deal with that on the show all the time.

BELL: Yes. The thing we have to realize those who want to have the conversation have to realize we have to keep having the conversation over and over again. And we are going to be called race baiters or other horrible things. But if this is the times that needs to be to have, we have to have the guts enough to keep having it even when it's hard.

The problem in this country, you want to have one conversation and get it over with. It's not one conversation.

And the other thing I want to say is we have to remember, yes, Lebron is famous. He is celebrity. But famous rich people aren't bullet proof. And the fact that his home was threatened, probably makes him feel more vulnerable than we know who feels walking around. (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON: On this week's episode of your show on "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," you decide to buy a gun because you feel targeted as a black man who discussed his hot button issues. Here is a clip.


BELL: So what are your thoughts on guns?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think everybody should be able to own a gun for protection, especially you know single mothers in-house, you know. I tell to a lot of the women that I know, I say get a gun. Do you have a gun? This isn't like the movie. You can't pick a bat.

BELL: Yes. So growing up on the west side of Atlanta, did you see guns in your life when you were a kid?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I seen them, not played with them.

BELL: OK. Do you have friends who are victims of gun violence?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, most definitely on both sides. Ones who pulled the trigger and ones who was, you know, caused by one.


LEMON: So talk to me about that Kamau.

BELL: Yes. I mean, it was -- the idea was that I have been threatened by a lot of people and I just sort of thing that something I need to think about. I would not normally think about buying a gun, but I wanted to go through the process of buying a gun, see what it feel like and also really have a discussion about what would that be like if I had a gun in the house. And my wife actually is featured in the episode and we have a real conversation about that in the episode. And it was important to talk to black gun owners about how being a black gun owner in America is very different than being a white gun owner in this country.

LEMON: Thank you all. Don't miss W. Kamau Bell's "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" Sunday night at 10:00.

That's it for us. Thanks for watching. I will see you back here tomorrow.