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CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump May Pull Out of Paris Climate Deal; Theresa May's Absence Looms Over Election Debate; Funerals Begin After Massive Suicide Bombing in Kabul. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired June 1, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:21] DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: You're going to find out very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: Oh, in about four hours to be exact, and all signs point towards President Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate
Agreement. We'll discuss the future of the landmark deal and.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I didn't have -- not (ph) have communications with the Russians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Oh, dogged by controversy -- another member of the Trump administration under scrutiny for potential meeting with the Russian ambassador to the
U.S., details ahead. Plus, one week until British voters head to the polls in snap elections -- the latest on the state of the race coming up.
Hello and welcome to "Connect the World." I'm Zain Asher. Glad to be with you on this Thursday evening. Syria, Nicaragua and perhaps very soon the
United States -- President Trump could be about to take his country into this very small club of currently only two countries by pulling the U.S.
out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
We're expecting to find out what Mr. Trump is going to do in what will be a momentous, huge decision in just about four hours from now, 3:00 local time
here in the U.S. And almost every other country wants the American president to stick with it, to stay in the deal, including other massive
polluters like China and Russia as well as major U.S. allies as well, such as Germany, France, and Britain.
And that is why -- that is why CNN is literally all over the world for you covering this story. We've got our Melissa Bell, is watching all of this
unfold from Paris and Fred Pleitgen in London.
So Melissa, let me begin with you. The U.S. is the world's second biggest polluter when it comes to carbon dioxide. If the U.S. pulls out of this
deal, is this deal pretty much going to fall apart?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. And I think (ph) that sends (ph) the European leaders who've been in (ph) great pains to stress. Of course, it
would mark an important shift.
Of course, it would be a blow to the deal. Of course, it would change Europe's assumptions about the fact that it can or cannot rely on the
United States as an ally in facing global challenges.
But it would not mean the end of the deal. And already, we've been hearing European leaders line up, first of all, to urge Donald Trump not to go so
far but also to explain what it would mean were he to announce in just a few hours' time that the United States was withdrawing.
Here is what the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker had to say earlier on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We explained to Mr. Trump in Taormina that it would not be good for the
world or the United States if America was to literally step off the world stage because the vacuum will be filled and the Chinese are in prime
position to take on a leadership role.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: The shift there would be towards China, the other big polluter that was really one of the motioners (ph) of this agreement struck here in Paris
a year and a half ago, Zain. And already, we've been hearing a lot from Chinese leaders over the course of the last 24 hours, this is clearly a
role that China is prepared or preparing to adopt, one of being Europe's ally in this ongoing fight against climate change should the United States
decide to pull out.
ASHER: So Fred, as Melissa just said, you know, you've got China and the E.U. basically taking a more leadership role. But will there be the same
Will there be the same accountability if the U.S. is no longer involved?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I -- I certainly think that it would be a big blow to the agreement. But I also believe that right now,
especially with China and the European countries, they've really been gearing up their own industries to try and meet the goals of the Paris
And you know, one of the things that's really interesting right now about that visit of the Chinese prime minister currently in Europe and really
visiting the powerhouses in Europe there -- Germany and then going on to Brussels to meet with the heads of the E.U., is they're saying is they want
to use all of this as an opportunity. They don't see the climate agreement -- they don't see combatting climate change as a jobs killer.
They see it as a jobs engine. And apparently, there's going to be a statement that's going to come from the E.U. and China after the summit
And parts of that statement apparently read that "both sides want to underline a tackling climate change and reforming our energy systems are
significant drivers of job creation, investment opportunities and economic growth." So they're already mapping out a plan as to how to move forward
with this to try and use combatting climate change to move into a new future for their industries.
But, of course, as Melissa just pointed out, with the second largest polluter on earth potentially not being on board, that certainly would be a
blow to that agreement. That's why, for instance, the head of the U.N. is also urging President Trump to not get out of the agreement.
He's saying, look, we can maybe make amendments to the agreement. But they do want the U.S. to try and stay on board, Zain.
ASHER: So Melissa, you know, even if the U.S. pulls out, you see (ph) Fred just talks about it being a massive blow, but even if the U.S. pulls out,
all is not technically lost. Is there hope that perhaps in four years or eight years from now, depending on whether President Trump is a one-term or
two-term president, is there hope that perhaps the next president might end up reinstating the deal?
BELL: Oh, of course. And I think even now, over the course of the next few hours, I think there is still hope that Donald Trump will choose a
lesser option because there are, Zain, other options available to him.
Rather than pulling out outright, he could make the still-controversial but possible decision simply to lower the contributions that were fixed by his
predecessor, Barack Obama. That would have the advantage of marking a rupture with the previous administration, all came (ph) -- keeping his
words in many respects depending on how he chose to couch it and in what language, but also keeping the United States at that negotiating table,
being a player going ahead in negotiations on climate and not abandoning its global allies.
It would also, in a sense, expose all the weaknesses inherent in that deal that was struck here a year and a half ago. And if you are, as Donald
Trump claims to be, objecting to it, that might be strategically a good thing to do.
This is also an agreement that was struck on the basis of voluntary contributions. Donald Trump, therefore, has every right to lower those
that were fixed in the past.
And I think everyone is really looking to see whether he will go down that route of the full departure or something slightly -- slightly less than
that, which would still allow him to say that he kept his words but perhaps not go so far in terms of drawing a line between the United States and the
rest of the world. And I think that what we hear from him in the next few hours will be a good indication of really how he intends to conduct foreign
policy going ahead.
There has been this growing suspicion here in Europe that really, we were dealing with an American president. As Angela Merkel stated very
explicitly over the course of the weekend, that could no longer -- that -- that meant that Europe could no longer count on the United States as (ph) a
I think if Donald Trump goes the full hog (ph) tonight, announces that the United States is pulling out altogether against the opinion of world
leaders, against the opinion of many people in the industry (ph) that within the United States as well, for some of the reasons that Fred just
outlined, that these can mark growth opportunities rather than necessarily a break on growth.
If he decides to go down that route, I think that will be a very strong signal about what the rest of the world can expect from the United States
over the course of the next four years.
ASHER: But -- but the hope right now, Melissa, for European leaders, they're certainly crossing their fingers that he ends up renegotiating as
opposed to pulling out completely.
But Fred, you know, when you think about Donald Trump's campaign promises, when you think about the fact that he's referred to climate change as a
hoax invented by the Chinese, he's talked.
ASHER: .about proposed budget cuts to the EPA, 31 percent budget cuts. Does this really -- if he does end up pulling out today, would this really
come as a surprise to European leaders, do you think?
PLEITGEN: No, I don't -- I don't it necessarily would. And I think one of the reasons is the fact that he spoke about it so much during his campaign.
And that's why I think many European leaders are urging him so much to -- to stay in because I think also, quite frankly, they heard during President
Trump's visit to Europe last week when he was there in Italy at the G7 but then also in Brussels at the NATO's summit, because of course, climate
change, quite frankly, is also a huge security issue globally as well. Even the U.S. military, the Department of Defense has said so as well.
I think they heard things from President Trump that really led them to believe that he's very, very serious about pulling out of this agreement.
Now, it could very well be the case that there are still major discussions going on within the White House.
We know that there are people in the White House who want to stick with this climate agreement, apparently Ivanka Trump being one of those. We
know that the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is also someone who would like to stay within the -- the Paris Climate Accord.
So it really is unclear whether those discussions are still going on and whether there is still a chance to persuade President Trump to not get out
of this agreement. It was interesting, as you said, on the campaign trail, President Trump said that he believed that climate change was something
that was invented by the Chinese.
Well, the Chinese right now, as they're courting the Europeans, they came in and then in one of the press conferences, I think it was with Angela
Merkel, the Chinese prime minister said that "fighting climate change is a global consensus" and then said, "not invented by China," obviously also
referencing some of the language that President Trump used in the past.
So if he does decide to get out of the climate agreement, the U.S., then I think it would be a huge diplomatically, something that already seems --
the Chinese already seem to be exploiting. But I do think European leaders, while they're still holding out hope that he might stay in and
maybe take one of the options that Melissa just outlined, I think -- I don't think that it would come as a major surprise if, indeed, he did say
that he wanted to get out of the climate agreement, also because of all of the promises he made on the campaign trail, especially to the folks who
work in the coal industry in the United States.
ASHER: Although it is interesting because last week, when he was in Europe, he did sort of intimate that he was perhaps thinking about it,
maybe dropping signs that he could, indeed, be changing his mind. But we've got three hours and 50 minutes, guys.
So we shall see what he does. Guys, that was a lively, riveting discussion. Thank you so much, our Melissa Bell and Fred Pleitgen as well.
Guys, thank you.
All right, anger, devastation and immense grief -- emotions are still running high after a deadly blast that rocked Kabul on Wednesday. At least
90 people were killed and 461 were wounded, making it one of the deadliest attacks in the Afghan capital in recent years.
Look at that destruction. And while funerals for some of the victims are already underway, there are still a lot of questions that have not been
answered yet about the attack itself. For more -- more on this, I want to go to CNN's Muhammad Lila.
So Muhammad, you're joining us live now from Kabul. The Taliban has denied responsibility for this attack.
But a lot of people are saying that this attack bears all the hallmarks of the Taliban. Just walk us through that.
MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. It's actually not the Taliban as an umbrella group.
But there's a subsection of the Taliban called the Haqqani Network. And this has all of the hallmarks of the way that they operate.
In fact, Afghanistan's intelligence officials have gone so far as to point the fingers specifically at the Haqqani Network. Now, the way that
Haqqanis typically work is they would fill a vehicle with explosives.
And they would detonate that vehicle outside a military base, for example, or outside one of their targets. And the reason that the Haqqanis are so
feared and so successful in their operations is that typically, these explosions are very, very large.
And that would fit the pattern of what we saw yesterday. Some estimates suggest that this vehicle was filled with more than 1,500 kilograms of
explosives before it went off.
And if you look at the footage, Zain, it's simply terrifying. You can actually see the shock wave.
As that shock wave spreads out throughout the rest of the city, there were people that were miles away whose windows were completely blown in. They
were woken up simply because they thought the explosion happened right next to them.
And we know in the aftermath of the explosion, it -- it blew a crater about four meters deep into the ground. That shows you just how powerful this
And of course, that raises questions about how a truck filled with so many explosives can get to one of the most fortified parts of the city, passed
through several checkpoints and detonate outside so many high-profile targets like the German embassy, the Indian embassy, the Canadian embassy.
All of them were in very close proximity to where this attack took place.
ASHER: Yes, a lot of people are going to certainly have to rethink security in the diplomatic quarter in the wake of this attack. So the U.S.
we know is weighing sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Just explain to us how much of the country, how much of Afghanistan is under control of insurgents right now?
LILA: Well, we don't know the exact numbers in terms of percentage. But we do know there were areas that hard-fought and hard-won by NATO and
American troops that were on the ground.
They sacrificed their lives to recapture some of those districts from the Taliban. Well, fast forward to what's happening this summer and the
Taliban are back in charge in some of those districts.
And obviously, that's a difficult thing for -- for family members, for example, of soldiers who gave their lives trying to keep Afghanistan safe,
seeing that just a few years after the -- after the American draw down here and American troops going back home in large numbers, some of those
districts are once again ruled by the Taliban.
And that's why the Pentagon has been discussing for quite some time now the possibility of sending more troops to Afghanistan. And the idea, Zain, is
that those troops would help improve Afghanistan security.
And it's a very difficult proposition because either you send more troops and you put more American troops and more international troops on the front
line risking their lives to keep Afghanistan safe or you step back and you accept that the sacrifices made by previous soldiers in previous fighters
were, in fact, in vein because the Taliban are now ones in control in several districts.
ASHER: Yes, so many questions that need to be answered. All right, Muhammad Lila live for us there, thank you so much.
All right, want to turn my attention to the U.K. right now. With one week to go, things are certainly heating up in the U.K. elections, some polls
indicating that Theresa May's party could actually end up losing her majority in parliament.
The prime minister was in the firing line last night when she actually skipped a T.V. debate. She decided simply not to show up.
And she sent a home secretary instead. Her rivals were quick to attack. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISHAL HUSAIN, MODERATOR, BBC ELECTION DEBATE: Caroline Lucas.
CAROLINE LUCAS, CO-LEADER, GREEN PARTY OF ENGLAND: Well, I think the first rule of leadership is to show up. You don't call a general election.
.you don't call a general election and say it's the most important election in her lifetime and then not even be bothered to come and debate the issues
HUSAIN: Tim Farron (ph), what -- what -- what are your qualities of leadership?
TIM FARRON, LEADER, BRITISH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: Well, good leaders don't run away from a debate. Theresa May undoubtedly should be here.
Without -- Mishal (ph), whatever we discuss this evening, her absence is undoubtedly the shadow that hangs over this election.
How dare you call a general election then run away from the debate? Now, I -- I.
.so we are.
HUSAIN: Yes, the question is about your talents and character in (ph) leadership.
FARRON: .we are all problems (ph) -- all problems (ph) -- we are all problems (ph).
HUSAIN: (Inaudible).to Angus Robertson (inaudible).
ANGUS ROBERTSON, DEPUTE LEADER, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY: So -- so real leadership is about putting the country before you put your party. And I
think we all now know that this was a totally unnecessary election.
And the only reason Theresa May called it was that she thought she was going to have a massive majority as a result of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Oh. They certainly pulled no punches. I can't imagine what Theresa May thought listening to that.
I want to bring in our Nina dos Santos, joining us live now from London.
So Nina, we know that debates are obviously high risk. But for the prime minister not to show her face, I mean, how much or if at all is that going
to cost her with voters, do you think, next week?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think she was decidedly wrong-footed by Jeremy Corbyn on this one saying because right up until the last minute,
Jeremy Corbyn hasn't confirmed whether he actually would be taking part in person. So you can imagine perhaps the conservative party had assumed that
he'd send somebody a bit more junior in his place.
But of course, that is not what ended up happening. Jeremy Corbyn did turn up for this debate.
And so Theresa May was left out on a limb being represented instead by her home secretary Amber Rudd. Amber Rudd was duly ambushed by all of these
leaders of these other parties, including the Welsh Party, Plaid Cymru.
We also had the Scottish National Party's leader in Westminster, Angus Robertson. He has run about 56 MP (ph) seats, including himself there.
So the SNP is the third largest party in Westminster. And all of them, as you just heard there said, well, frankly, it's insulting for the electorate
if you call a general election, then you can't actually turn up to debate the facts.
And it's not the first time that we're seeing Theresa May be criticized for this. But I should point out saying, it's not the first time that a
conservative party prime minister has refused to take part in one of these.
David Cameron actually set the stage in 2015 by refusing to take part in one then.
ASHER: So Nina, how does she go about now by repairing or boosting her reputation? I mean, they've really, really went for the attack there.
How does she go about boosting her reputation in the next seven days?
DOS SANTOS: Well, she's got to do something quick. One of the newspapers was suggesting earlier on today that the Tory Party had decided to abandon
the strategy of continuously attacking Jeremy Corbyn.
You heard during that debate Amber Rudd say, well, look, we know that Jeremy, you want to quote/unquote, "shake the magic money tree to pay for
all of these policies of yours but the sums just don't add up." Maybe we'll see a reversal of fortune there.
She doesn't have a huge amount of time here to try and recoup what she's lost in the polls. Let me just get into those poll numbers.
They are literally disastrous based on the latest poll, which I should point out, the latest Hugo (ph) poll has been conducted on a slightly
different methodology to recent polls. And as we know in the last couple of elections, polls haven't been all that reliable of late.
But it did show her majority over the Labour Party shrinking from around about 20 points when she called this general election only a couple of
months ago to just three. If that's the case, she could have gambled spectacularly and lost.
She could end up being part of a hung parliament and losing her majority. If that's the case, many analysts are saying, she probably wouldn't be
prime minister or leader of the conservative party even if the conservative party managed to hold on with a razor-slim majority.
ASHER: All right. We'll see what happens, the election in seven days from now. Nina dos Santos live for us there, thank you so much.
All right, still to come here on "Connect the World," Vladimir Putin talks about the U.S. president and says, Donald Trump is not his friend. We'll
explain why ahead.
And why one of Mr. Trump's biggest problems will be back in the headlights and the spotlight soon.
ASHER: All right, you're watching CNN and this is "Connect the World." I'm Zain Asher. Welcome back.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin is hosting an economic forum in St. Petersburg right now. But he's not just talking trade.
He's also talking Trump. Mr. Putin says he cannot -- he cannot call U.S. President Donald Trump a friend because the two leaders have never met.
The Russian president says his American counterpart is a, quote, "straightforward sincere man. You can't really classify him as a
He never worked in politics. Therefore, this is a person with a fresh view of things, whether you'd like it or not.
But this always very often brings something good." Mr. Putin also had praise for Russian hackers calling them patriotic but also denying that the
government backed them. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (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. If they are patriotic, they contribute in a way they think is right and fight
against those who are saying bad things about Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Clare Sebastian joins me live now from Moscow.
So Clare, you know, it's interesting, President Putin basically coming out and said -- saying, listen, you know, I'm not friends with Donald Trump.
Why would I be friends with him?
We've never met. I think it will be interesting to see what the White House makes of those comments, Clare.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. I think it's -- it's important to kind of unpack what -- what we've heard from President Putin
today because it's been a lot, Zain. And that is notable in itself.
Once the (ph) Russian officials, including Putin, have been pretty sparing in their commentary about the U.S. over the last few weeks and months but
in recent days, we've really seen an increased level of frankness, even frustration at times. And as you say, Putin said he's not friends with --
But that's because they've never met. He did -- he said, you know, that he does think that in -- in theory, constructive dialogue with Trump himself
As you said, he had a -- you know, he said he had a fresh view of things and that usually leads to good things. But on the other hand, Putin has
complained today and in previous days of what he calls Russia-phobia.
The view in Russia is that that is a political climate in Washington that is making it very difficult for Trump to do anything to fulfill his
campaign promises of building closer ties with Russia. So it's a kind of a complicated set of -- of views that we're getting from Putin today, but
much more frank than -- than we've heard, as I say, in recent -- in recent weeks.
And it'll be really interesting to see what happens when these two leader do meet for the first time, which we expect to be in July around the G20,
how they manage the -- the kind of dichotomy between the political climate in Washington as Russia sees it, and their view that they could still do
deals with Trump, Zain.
ASHER: Right. Clare Sebastian live for us there in Moscow. Thank you so much.
All right, some other stories we are following on our radar right now. Portland, Oregon, residents are organizing a rally against hate.
This is in memory of the two men who you see on your screen here -- two men who were stabbed to death by a man who was apparently screaming anti-Muslim
insults at two young women. Community organizations, labor and faith groups are working on the mass rally set for Sunday to support immigrant
and Muslim communities, and also to fight racism as well.
The highly anticipated movie "Wonder Woman" hits screens around the world this weekend. But movie theaters in Lebanon will not -- not be showing it.
The country has banned the film because it stars Israeli actress, Gal Gadot. And police in Florida have released dash cam video showing Tiger
It apparently shows the golfer stumbling around and confused. Here's our Rosa Flores with more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember being asleep in the car?
RISA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Newly released police dash cam video showing famed golfer, Tiger Woods, visibly impaired and confused during a
DUI stop in South Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you had anything to drink tonight?
TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: I have not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundred percent?
WOODS: Hundred percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure?
FLORES: His speech slow and slurred.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, have you taken any illegal drugs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Have you taken any medication?
FLORES: The medications included the painkiller, Vicodin and two anti- inflammatories, police records show. Woods, who recently had back surgery, released a public apology saying he had an unexpected reaction to those
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to keep your feet together just like that, OK? I want you to keep your arms down by your side, all right? All right?
FLORES: On the golf course, his form and precision brought him fame and fortune. But during the field sobriety test, he wasn't quite up to par.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Left foot and then right foot with your heel touching your toe of your left foot.
FLORES: The officer even offering Woods a second shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to try this one more time or do you want to move on?
FLORES: Woods also has trouble following a light with his eyes, tying his shoelaces and when he was asked to say the ABCs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, what were the instructions?
WOODS: Not (ph) to sing the national anthem backwards.
FLORES: Shortly after reciting the ABCs, he's handcuffed, put in the back of a squad car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, what I want you to do is go ahead and place your hands behind your back, OK?
FLORES: And charged with suspicion of DUI. The next time we see Tiger Woods could be in open court. He is scheduled for arraignment on July 5.
Rosa Flores, CNN, Jupiter, Florida.
ASHER: All right, you're watching "Connect the World." Still to come here, fast-moving developments in the Russia investigation, including a
preview of the bombshell testimony that could be just days away on Capitol Hill.
Plus, moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- it was a major campaign pledge from President Trump. But will it ever -- will it ever
become a reality? That story next.
ASHER: Welcome back, everybody. This is "Connect the World." And let me read you our top stories at this hour. Less than four hours from now,
Donald Trump is to announce whether the U.S. will walk away from the Paris Climate Accord.
Two senior U.S. officials have told CNN he is expected to withdraw from the agreement.
But a source says the announcements might actually include language to satisfy his daughter, Ivanka, who has actually been lobbying her father to
stay in the deal. Russian President, Vladimir Putin has been talking trade with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an economic forum in St.
But he's also answering questions about relations between Russia and the United States. Mr. Putin says he cannot call U.S. President Donald Trump a
friend because the two leaders have never met.
And funerals are underway after yesterday's deadly suicide bombing in Kabul, left at least 90 people dead. Afghan officials are blaming a
Taliban affiliated group in Pakistan for the attack and alleges it receives help from Pakistani intelligence.
Pakistani officials call that accusation baseless. And with a week to go until voters in the U.K. go to the polls, Prime Minister Theresa May is
under fire for avoiding Wednesday's T.V. debate, this as a projection suggests a conservative party could fall short of majority in parliament.
And more now on our top story. The world is already preparing to move forward if -- if the U.S. president abandons the Paris Climate Accord.
E.U. leaders and China have created an unusual alliance aimed at speeding up the global transition to clean energy.
Leaving the accord would isolate the United States in the effort to curb global warming. Syria and Nicaragua are the only countries -- those are
the only two countries that have (sic) signed the accord. I want to go straight now to our John Sutter, who joins us live now from Atlanta.
So John, I really encourage our viewers to go to cnn.com and read some of your articles on this issue because you are incredibly well-versed and you
are also very clearly against President Trump withdrawing from this deal.
So my question to you is if you had the president's ear and you had the next, let's say, three hours and 30 minutes to convince him -- to convince
him as to why he should stay in this deal, what would you tell him, John?
JOHN SUTTER, CNN COLUMNIST: I'd tell him that the U.S. risks losing to China in the race for the clean energy future. I mean, I think the
economics of this are what -- are going to appeal to this president and to his base of conservatives in the U.S.
And I think that the economics really matter. I mean, he is sending the message that the U.S. is -- is spinning around, doing a 180 and walking
back towards, you know, the fossil fuel past of -- of this world. And that -- that is, you know, a dirtier place.
And in the future, it is a less profitable place. That's why you see, you know, business leaders from around the world, including from major fossil
fuel companies, you know, urging the president to stay in this agreement because they see money to be made there.
And so I think it fits squarely within President Trump's message of, you know, of jobs first, America first to be invested in a clean energy future
in -- and in that economy. And I think pulling out of the Paris Agreement leaves the door wide, wide open for China especially in the E.U. to emerge,
if they haven't already, as the leaders, both in terms of diplomacy on this issue, but also importantly in terms of the clean energy economy.
You know, no policies are going to be able to truly revive the coal industry in the way that Donald Trump's rhetoric, you know, indicates that
he would -- he would like to. I think he's trying to placate people with his -- his statements on that.
But you know, what the rest of the world realizes and what the international business community realizes is that the future is in cleaner
power like wind and solar energy.
ASHER: So you would sort of give him the more economic and political arguments as to why he should stay. But there are some people, John, from
the Trump camp who will say, listen, even after the Kyoto Protocol, even after that was signed, greenhouse gas emissions actually increased
So there's no guarantee that this deal will actually do what it's supposed to, to reduce global warming by less than two degrees Celsius.
SUTTER: Yes, I mean, I think that's the reverse argument, whether the Paris Agreement is enough. It is the best shot that the world has at
avoiding the very worst consequences of climate change.
And I just want to mention briefly, I think -- because I think that those get underplayed and are hugely important. I mean, we're talking about an
You know, flooding, coastal cities from New York to Shanghai, mass extinction in which in coming centuries, three quarters of species could
disappear. This is big, big stuff.
And you know, this -- I see this as a pivotal moment in how the world is dealing with this. Is the Paris Agreement absolutely perfect in everything
that's needed to -- to fix the climate cris?
No. It is the best shot and often is described as the North Star for, you know, aiming the world towards a clean energy future. And it lets
countries sort of set their own agenda, so to speak, about how they're going to actually make these pollution cuts.
But it does set a really clear framework for, you know, coming back together, publishing information on emissions and -- and sort of racheting
up the ambitions of that agreement going forward. And without the U.S., the, you know, the second biggest polluter in the world, I think that
agreement becomes much less powerful.
Right now, on paper at least, the world can say it is united, you know, in the fight against runaway and dangerous climate change. And without the
ASHER: Right. Aside from two countries, aside from -- right, aside from Syria and Nicaragua. But if the U.S.
ASHER: .pulls out formally, if they decide to pull out formally, how likely are we to see other states like -- individual states, rather, like
California and Iowa perhaps picking up the slack?
SUTTER: Yes, I think, you know, the U.S. energy picture is -- is its own story. And you mentioned Iowa that, you know, is a state in the middle of
the country, very agricultural, fairly conservative.
And it has, you know, I think last year was something like 36 percent of its power -- electricity came from wind energy. So there -- there are
states all across the country, conservative and liberal, that are pushing forward.
There are cities that are putting out statements saying, you know, we're adhering to the -- you know, sort of the call of the Paris Agreement and
are going to keep moving towards clean energy regardless of what Trump is saying and regardless of a formal federal policy. But I think both that
signal from the federal government and the actual policies that they are, you know, reviewing is federal policy, the Clean Power Plan, to try to
push, you know, the country away from the coal era and towards a -- a cleaner future, that -- that those really do matter both in terms of like
the tangible emissions that they control and also as a symbol for the rest of the world.
I mean, the Paris Agreement is often described as this pure pressure system. And it requires all of the big players to be in there and pushing
each other forward.
I mean, I'm very encouraged to hear that China and E.U. are likely partnering on, you know, on a cleaner climate future and on, you know,
emissions trading and some of these things that could reduce pollution. I think that's a big deal.
But I think the U.S. really needs to be in that mix as well.
ASHER: Yes. The U.S. is the world's second biggest polluter. Without them in this agreement, it changes everything.
All right, John Sutter, thank you so much. Appreciate you being with us.
SUTTER: Thank you.
ASHER: The investigation of Russia's influence in U.S. politics is heating up. It now involves the president's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner,
specifically whether he broke laws by meeting with a Russian banker.
That's Sergey Gorkov right here, seen here being interviewed by our Matthew Chance. Gorkov's bank has been under U.S. sanctions for three years now.
Another aspect of the probe, did Mr. Trump fire former FBI Director, James Comey to turn down -- down the heat from the Russia investigation. As
our Joe Johns explains, the man everyone wants to hear from could be speaking very soon.
JOHNS: Fired FBI Director, James Comey, now ready to tell his side of the story, first getting a legal green light from special counsel Robert
Mueller. His testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee could come as early as next week.
A source tells CNN that Comey appears eager to discuss details about tense private interactions he had with President Trump, which he documented in
memos, including a dinner where he says the president asked him for a loyalty pledge and an oval office meeting where Comey says President Trump
pressured him to drop the investigation and to his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the president engage in obstruction of justice?
SEAN SPICER, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: We are focused on the president's agenda. And all going forward, all questions on these matters
will be referred to outside counsel.
JOHNS: This latest bombshell development coming as the Russia investigations are ramping up, House investigators issuing their first
subpoenas to Flynn and President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, seeking their testimony and business records. Congressional investigators
are examining whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions had another undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, this time at a
reception that Sessions and Kislyak attended in April when then candidate Trump delivered his first major foreign policy address at the Mayflower
Hotel in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you met with any other Russian officials or folks connected to the Russian government since you endorsed Donald Trump?
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't believe so. I -- we met (ph) -- you know, we meet (ph) a lot of people so.
JOHNS: Sessions failing to disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador twice before under oath during his confirmation hearing.
SESSIONS: No, I didn't have -- not have communications with the Russians.
JOHNS: And again when he applied for a security clearance. Amid mounting pressure back in March, Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the
Russia probe, the Justice Department defending Sessions, denying any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton leveling a sharp accusation suggesting Russia did not act alone in their election interference.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT CANDIDATE: The Russians, in my opinion, and based on the intel and counter-intel people I've talked to
could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided.
JOHNS: The president reviving his favorite nickname for his former rival on Twitter. All these as the White House offered a bizarre response to the
president's bewildering "covfefe" Twitter typo that was left online for hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did it stay up so long? Is no one watching this?
SPICER: No, I -- I think the -- the -- the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.
JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
ASHER: And Hillary Clinton is weighing in on Mr. Trump's typo heard around the world. When the president said that Clinton blames everybody but
herself for losing the election, she replied, "People in covfefe houses shouldn't throw covfefe."
And a popular applause line for Donald Trump on the campaign trail was that he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But
for now, that's been put on hold.
Mr. Trump just signed a waiver delaying that controversial move for six months. But he's certainly not the first president to do so.
The act was passed in 1995 and every U.S. president, every single U.S. president had signed a waiver every sixth months to prevent the embassy
being moved. The White House says the delay is an effort to keep the peace process ongoing.
I want to go straight now to our Oren Lieberman, who joins us live now from Jerusalem.
So Oren, President Trump obviously promised repeatedly on the campaign trail to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He's now
putting that on hold.
Were Israelis expecting it?
OREN LIEBERMANN: Well, the expectation has been for the last few weeks, if not the last couple of months, that President Trump would -- wouldn't move
the embassy. He had a chance to make a big statement about it when he was here just a week and a half ago.
But he chose not to do so. In all of his public statements, he never mentioned the embassy. He never came out and said the U.S. recognizes
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
And that pretty much solidified the expectation that wouldn't be moving the embassy. In his statement explaining why he signed that waiver, why he
chose to keep the U.S. embassy where it is in Tel Aviv, he said, his commitment to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the moving
the embassy is still there.
It's just the timing as he moves to restart a peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. He sees the embassy as -- or the embassy move
as detrimental to that.
So it'll stay where it is for now as Trump tries to get some sort of peace process restarted. We're now starting to get reactions from Israeli and
Here is what the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has to say. He says, quote, "Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not
move at this time, we appreciate today's expression of President Trump's friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the
So a fairly muted statement there from the prime minister's office. And here is what the Palestinian representative to the United States, Kozom
Zomla (ph) had to say. He said, "This is in line with a long-held U.S. policy in the international consensus.
And it gives peace a chance. We're ready to start the consultation process with the U.S. administration. We're serious and genuine about achieving a
just and lasting peace.
Now, the question, Zain, is what is the next concrete step as Trump tries to restart the peace process.
ASHER: So Oren, aside from the peace process, do Israelis actually believe, do they genuinely believe that President Trump is committed to
actually moving the U.S. embassy? Or do they now see it as something he simply said to win over support during the campaign?
LIEBERMANN: I would say that would depend on who you ask. There are some -- they are sort of cooling (ph) on President Trump and saying, OK, it was
the same statement we've heard from many politicians before. And he's not going to move the embassy.
But there are many who still believe that Trump is committed to doing it. And it will simply happen if and when the peace process either succeeds or
Whenever that comes to its -- its conclusion and who knows that could be months or even years, that's when Trump will move the embassy. But it's
clear to everybody right now that Trump very much intends to restart a peace process.
How serious he is on that promise to move the embassy -- there's only one way to find out. And that we'll -- we'll see every six months.
ASHER: Yes, so December, we'll know what he plans to do there. All right, Oren Lieberman, live for us there. Thank you so much.
All right, you're watching "Connect the World." Still to come, with a week to go, the U.K. election race is tightening.
We are live at a major agricultural show to see what the opinion is on the ground.
You're watching CNN. And this is "Connect the World." I am Zain Asher. Welcome back.
Let's return to the news we brought you earlier. The election race in the U.K. is heating up just a week before the vote.
As polls show, the race is tightening, Prime Minister Theresa May was back on the campaign trail. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, U.K.: You know that there's only one poll that matters. And that's the poll that's going to take place next Thursday
on the general election when people actually go and cast their vote.
And when they do that, the choice they have is a simple one because there is only one of two people who is going to be prime minister after the
general election. It's either me or Jeremy Corbyn.
So the choice people have is do they want to -- how -- how do they see the future? They have a choice to decide who they want to lead this country
into those Brexit negotiations, get the best deal for Britain from those Brexit negotiations but also lead us to building that stronger, more
prosperous future for our country.
It's a very clear choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And Theresa May you just saw there has been in certainly some (ph) hot water for skipping a T.V. debate. And all this week, our Richard Quest
has been on the road in the U.K. speaking to British voters.
He joins us live now.
So Richard, what has happened? I mean, this was supposed to be a very easy, predictable race for Theresa May.
When you talked to voters on the ground there in Bath, what do they make of how much the race has tightened?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think they make an enormous deal over why things have changed, how things have changed, how the election has
become much closer than was originally thought. It is a beautiful day here at the Royal Bath & West Show.
We're -- we're hearing the views. Yesterday, it was seaside. Today, it's countryside. That's agriculture.
It's listening to the views of the farming community. And when I turned -- turned around this morning and I asked them, look, farmers are used to
That is not new. What they want is certainty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the government have (ph) supporters, yes, it would have a big effect, yes. If -- if -- if the government doesn't come up with
some sort of subsidy (ph), then we -- we will lose a lot of money over it.
QUEST: And are you worried?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not in the least (ph). But no, I don't -- it's not -- it's not a thing that I -- I can't sleep at night. It's -- it's just
one of the things you live with.
And we'll get used to it. If it's not there, it's not there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is the uncertainty. But that's a matter of choice as to whether you spend time worrying about it or whether you meet
the challenge when it actually becomes more relevant to you.
QUEST: Is it an important election, this one, do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it can be a defining election, yes, because of Brexit because they decided to take it -- well, most people has (ph)
decided to take us out of the European Union, put us into a bad place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, it is fascinating the different views we've heard as we've gone from the academics of Cardiff (ph) University through to the seaside,
now in the countryside. And tomorrow, we go to Windsor as we get ever closer to the capital.
ASHER: And Richard, in terms of the race tightening, when you talk to the people, what has really changed Theresa May's fortunes in the past few
weeks? Is it the tax on the elderly care?
Or, you know, is Jeremy Corbyn a much smarter, much savvier politician than people give him
QUEST: I think that -- I think one can hang your hat on either of those. But I think it's more there's starting to become a feeling that this was an
opportunistic dash to increase the majority, maybe justified, if you're the prime minister.
But it is slowly backfiring. And that opportunism is starting to rebel. And there's a resentment against it.
And that, I think, is what you're starting to see. But let's be -- let's be realistic here. We are still a long way from Theresa May actually
losing the election in terms of not being prime minister, although she may -- may be apparent victory if she ends up actually reducing her majority.
ASHER: Yes. So we'll see whether it ends up being a mistake in retrospect for her to have called this snap election. Richard Quest live for us on
the ground in Bath.
I don't see Freddie (ph) Brexit behind you, Richard. I see normal cars on the road there.
QUEST: That's because Freddie (ph) Brexit's the other way. Lovely (ph).
ASHER: It's the other way. All right, Richard Quest, live for us. Thank you so much. Always a pleasure.
And from Britain to America next, where you'll have heard all the president's men but what about the president's words? Millions were left
scratching their heads over this tweet. We'll explain next.
ASHER: All right, you're watching CNN. And this is "Connect the World." I'm Zain Asher. Welcome back.
So you know when you're trying to type something and you just covfefe? Sorry, I meant you just covfefe, which sometimes happens when it's midnight
in the oval office.
Covfefe is, of course, a word that isn't really a word and it all came from, you guessed it, the tweeter-in-chief, who else but CNN's Jeanne Moos
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gibberish goes presidential. It wasn't even a complete sentence tweeted out by President Trump just after
midnight. Despite the constant negative press, what's that word?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Covfefe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Covfefe. Covfefe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Covfefe.
MOOS: Professionals could only guess at how to pronounce it and the public.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is hilarious.
MOOS: But how do you say it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Covfefe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Covfefe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been saying it covfefe.
MOOS: We're pretty sure the president meant to type negative press coverage. But the covfefe tweet stayed up for almost six hours.
It was then deleted. And the president tweeted, "Who can figure out the true meaning of covfefe? Enjoy," which the Internet did. It was turned
into a "Wheel of Fortune" puzzle, a "Make America Covfefe Again" mocked up T-shirt.
Eventually, the White House press secretary only confused things more.
SPICER: The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.
MOOS: Hillary Clinton probably wasn't part of that group.
CLINTON: I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you did (ph)?
MOOS: Tweeted one joker, "Are you suffering from small dysfunctional hands? Ask your doctor if covfefe is right for you."
Tweeted another, "I thought covfefe is what you say when someone sneezes."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds French, covfefe.
MOOS: Covfefe was turned into an Ivanka fragrance. A California man bought the license plate as he noticed the non-word trending.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is a covfefe?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yiddish term for "I've got to go to bed now."
MOOS: Frank an enemy (ph), Ted Cruz, tweeted, "Covfefe -- hard to say but I hear Al Franken's (ph) new book is full of it."
Many assume President Trump just fell asleep.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it's like e, e, e, e, e, e.
MOOS: Mid tweet.
TRUMP: I know words. I have the best words
MOOS: The best non-words, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Covfefe.
MOOS: You say that with such assurance.
Jeanne Moos, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Covfefe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Covfefe.
MOOS: New York.
ASHER: Covfefe. I guess the lesson is do not tweet when you are half asleep. All right, that does it for us here.
And by the way, the "Connect the World" team is looking for many more stories than they can actually fit into the show because it's only an hour
long. To check out some of the other stories we are watching, that we're following, just head over to our Facebook page.
There's a lovely picture of our Becky Anderson at the top there. You just go to CNN or Facebook, rather, .com/cnnconnect.
And you can also get in touch with me directly. Just tweet me @zainasher. All right, guys, I am Zain Asher.
I just said that. And that was "Connect the World." Thank you so much for watching. Appreciate that.