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State of the Union
Terror in London; Interview With Virginia Senator Mark Warner; Interview With Former Vice President Al Gore; Interview With U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley; Senate's Political Duel In This Week's "State of the Cartoonion". Aired 9-10a ET
Aired June 04, 2017 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Terror strikes again, a deadly attack in the heart of London.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's time to say enough is enough.
TAPPER: As President Trump renews calls for his travel BACON: , the very latest live from the U.K.
And America first? President Trump withdraws from the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was I elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.
TAPPER: And Al Gore is speaking out.
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to solve the climate crisis, no matter what President Trump does.
TAPPER: Why Ivanka thought he could change Trump's mind about the planet -- a rare interview with the former vice president next.
Plus, what really happened? Fired FBI Director James Comey finally speaks out in front of Congress and cameras.
TRUMP: All I want is for Comey to be honest. And I hope he will be.
TAPPER: What bombshells might he reveal? And how could this influence the Russia investigation? We will preview the hotly anticipated testimony.
And the best political minds will be here on what happens next.
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is sending our sympathies across the pond. Terror has struck the heart of Europe again, this time in London,
where a deadly attack has left seven innocent people dead and 48 people wounded. The attack began late last night, when a van rammed into the crowds of pedestrians on London Bridge, sending people flying into the air.
Police believe three terrorists then fled on foot from the van to Borough Market, a popular spot for food and drink, busy on Saturday nights. There, they burst into restaurants, swinging huge knives and slashing people indiscriminately, sending diners into hiding in bathrooms and under tables.
Police arrived on scene just eight minutes after the first call, killing three suspects. In this photo we're about to show you, you can see one of the dead terrorists wearing what appears to be a suicide vest, though police now those vests were fake, designed to stoke yet more year.
U.K. police say they have already arrested 12 others in connection to the attacks so far this morning, with searches still ongoing.
This is the third attack in the U.K. this year, coming on the heels of that bombing outside a concert in Manchester that killed 22 innocent people just two weeks ago and, of course, another vehicle attack on a bridge in Westminster, England, that killed five people.
Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the world this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: CNN's Clarissa Ward was there on Downing Street when the prime minister spoke.
Clarissa, alarming news from the prime minister this morning about other plots there, some of them foiled by authorities, thankfully.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake.
I mean, three terrorist attacks in just three months here in the U.K., and British Prime Minister May saying that five plots had actually been foiled, five significant terrorist plots have been foiled.
Now, she did not announce that the terror level would be elevated to critical. It was after Manchester. Now it remains on severe. That is likely because they don't believe that there's any larger network than the three assailants who of course were killed within eight minutes, the prime minister said, after they began their attack.
They were shot dead by police within eight minutes. So, the terror threat hasn't been elevated. But we did hear the prime minister not mincing words. She said, listen, the thing that all these attacks have in common, while they're not connected by any sort of network, they're connected been an ideological threat.
She talked about the problem of radical Islamist or extremist Islamist ideology. She said that Britain has been too tolerant for too long and needs to review its counterterrorism procedures, Jake.
TAPPER: And, Clarissa, as all of this is unfolding, organizers north of you say tonight's benefit concert with Ariana Grande will go ahead. Obviously, security remains a big concern. How are authorities addressing that?
WARD: That's right. The show will go on. But, obviously, with 50,000 people, a huge amount of stars, they're not taking -- they're taking a lot of precautions.
There will be added security presence on the streets, added security checks at the venue. They have asked people not to bring any bags with them, if possible. They have said that every single person will be searched manually.
So, they're doing whatever they can to prevent any kind of an attack or a catastrophe from taking place. But all the artists who are participating have come out and said, you know what, this is not about fear. This is about solidarity. We will come out. We will sing. We will perform for the people of Manchester, and, indeed, for the people of London, too -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Clarissa Ward in London, thank you so much.
Here with me is the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democratic Virginia Senator Mark Warner.
Thanks so much for coming in this morning. We appreciate it.
So, this is the third terrorist attack in the U.K. in the last 10 weeks. They have claimed the lives of 34 innocent victims.
What can you tell us? What do we know about the perpetrators of last night's attacks? And is there any risk to Americans right now, beyond the normal risk?
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I received a brief this morning from our National Center -- Counterterrorism Center.
And, basically, they have pretty much the same information you have gotten, open source. They still don't know for sure whether this was terrorist-inspired or terrorist-directed, so, whether this was homegrown or actually directed by ISIS or al Qaeda. I think that will take a little while longer in terms of investigation.
There's no specific threat against the United States, but, obviously, we have seen our strongest ally, Britain, now hit three times. Our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to them. But I think what you're seeing in Britain is a resoluteness, but also
a recognition that, as the British went through three decades of IRA- related terrorism, they will carry on. And I think, in many ways, that's what we need to do here in our country as well.
TAPPER: The British prime minister, Theresa May, said there's far too much tolerance for extremism in the U.K.
Do you think we have that problem here in the United States?
WARNER: I think we don't have it the same way as the U.K., but it's obviously a challenge in modern society to maintain free societies and freedom of speech, but still recognize that we have to be on guard against some the hateful venom that is oftentimes spewed over the Internet.
TAPPER: Why do you think it is that we see these attacks in London, but we haven't, knock on wood, seen such a thing happen here in the United States?
WARNER: I believe, in many ways, the Muslim-American community is better integrated into our society. They -- I think that's always been our secret sauce in America, that you can come here, first generation, and if you accept our laws and rules, become American.
That's not always been the case in so many of the European countries. And I think we're seeing, again, the benefits of that. And that's why it troubles me so much to see the kind of -- the type of tweets that the president has put out in the last 12 hours or so.
TAPPER: Prime Minister May also said that she thinks Internet-based technology firms are giving extremism the safe space it needs to breed. She wants new regulations of cyberspace. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Facebook, Twitter, Google, do you think that these tech firms are doing enough?
WARNER: Jake, I think -- and my background, as you know, was in technology business before I came in -- went into politics.
I think we do have to reexamine these platform companies that, for years, have said they have no responsibility to curate the information that flows across their platforms.
They have started to change. Originally, they changed their policies as related to child pornography. Now they're changing their policies as related to terrorism. I was just out on the West Coast last week talking with folks at
Facebook. They're now recognizing the weaponization of false information, even around elections. They shut down 30,000 fake accounts right before the French elections. But this is going to require, I think, a much broader conversation than we've had to date.
TAPPER: You have a lot of big hearings coming up. On Wednesday, you will have the director of national intelligence, the head of the NSA, the acting director of the FBI, and the deputy attorney general, and then, Thursday, of course, the big one, James Comey, the former FBI director.
Do so you have any indication whether President Trump will try to exert executive privilege to block Comey from testifying about their conversations?
WARNER: I would hope that he would not. I think he would be on shaky legal ground, to say the least.
Director Comey was fired by the president. And you have the president himself making derogatory comments, in effect, at least reported to the press, calling Comey a nutjob in front of the Republicans. Totally inappropriate.
The question I have...
TAPPER: In front of the Russians, I think you mean.
WARNER: In front of the Russians...
WARNER: ... which is, again, just -- regardless of what you feel about Comey, that's not how he should be treated.
And the question we have, and I think most Americans, have is, you know, going back to Watergate, there's a series of rules that have kind of emerged out of Washington, one, that a president shouldn't ask about an ongoing investigation, particularly shouldn't ask if that investigation is connected to affiliates of the president.
And it would be absolutely unthinkable if the president of the United States asked the FBI director to basically back off an investigation that was directed at some of the affiliates of Mr. Trump.
TAPPER: Hillary Clinton said something very interesting this week that reminded me of something that you said in a hearing not long ago.
She said that she believes that the Russians, in their interference in the U.S. election, must have been guided by Americans. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Russians, in my opinion, and based on the intel and counterintel people I talk to, could not have known how to best weaponize that information unless they had been guided. And here's...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guided by Americans?
CLINTON: Guided by Americans and guided by people who had polling and data information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Is that true? Do you agree?
WARNER: This is one of the questions we have to sort through, again, one of the questions I was asking when I was out on the West Coast.
It does seem strange, it appears, that Russian-paid Internet trolls who created bots were then able to put forward fake news, selective stories in a way that seemed targeted.
Now, we don't...
TAPPER: Targeted at certain states?
WARNER: Targeted it at certain states, at certain demographics.
We don't have fool proof of that. So, I'm not where Secretary Clinton is in terms of jumping to a conclusion. But this is one of the many questions that we need to investigate.
TAPPER: One of the big questions, of course, is, is there any evidence of collusion that you have seen yet?
WARNER: Listen, there's a lot of smoke. We have no smoking gun at this point. But there is a lot of smoke.
And, again, one of the questions we will have, not only for Director Comey on Thursday, but on Wednesday for Director of National Intelligence Coats and NSA, National Security -- NSA Director Admiral Rogers, I'm going to want to ask them, because there have been reports that the president also talked to both of them in terms of asking them to downplay the Russian investigation.
That would be very concerning to me.
TAPPER: Have you heard any accusation yet that you think, if it is proven, in terms of what the president has said to either Coats or Admiral Rogers or James Comey, that, if it's proven, it is obstruction of justice?
WARNER: Jake, I went to law school, but I'm not a practicing attorney. I will leave that for much better attorneys than I. But, clearly, it would be very, very troubling if the president of the
United States is interfering in investigations that affect potentially the president and his closest associates.
We have seen already the NSA director, the NSA adviser General Flynn get fired because he didn't fully disclose his contacts with Russians. We've had the attorney general, Sessions, have to recuse himself because he didn't fully disclose his connections with Russians.
We see other reports of Mr. Kushner having a series of contacts with Russians and others. And the American people deserve to get to the bottom of this.
And what I hope our committee is able to do, and we've -- I'm very proud of the fact that it's maintained its bipartisan approach -- is, we're going to just follow the facts. We're not going to be taken out by some of these one-off stories. We're going to continue to follow the facts.
TAPPER: The FBI's probe of the meddling is also looking at the Trump campaign's data analytics operation, which was overseen by Jared Kushner.
Are you focusing on that?
WARNER: Listen, we're going to follow all of the facts in terms of what kind of contacts and whether the contacts were inappropriate between individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign and the Russians.
They are contacts that were made before the election. There have been a series of stories about contacts between the election and the inauguration. And then we have got these very troubling reports about the president intervening and, in the case of Director Comey, fire him because -- potentially because of his activities with the Russia investigation.
TAPPER: Senator Mark Warner, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it, as always.
WARNER: Thank you.
TAPPER: Coming up after the break, Al Gore will be here. He's speaking out after President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What were you thinking? Couldn't you hear what the scientists were saying? Couldn't you hear what Mother Nature was screaming at you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
The U.K. is reeling this morning from yet another terrorist attack, this one in the heart of London. Three terror suspects are dead, along with seven of their innocent victims.
President Trump says the attack is proof that his travel BACON: , currently blocked by the courts, needs to be reinstated.
This morning, the president tweeted -- quote -- "We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don't get smart, it will only get worse."
TAPPER: And Vice President Al Gore joins me now.
Thank you so much for being here, Mr. Vice President.
GORE: Thanks for having me.
TAPPER: So, I want to get to the Paris climate accord in a second.
But, first, I do want to get your reaction to the attack last night in London, London Bridge.
President Trump just made a tweet I want to get your reaction to.
He wrote -- quote -- "At least seven dead and 48 wounded in terror attack, and mayor of London says there is -- quote -- 'no reason to be alarmed.'"
What's your reaction to that tweet?
GORE: I actually happened to see the statement from the mayor of London. And that's not what I heard him say.
And I don't think that a major terrorist attack like this is the time to be divisive and to criticize a mayor who's trying to organize his city's response to this attack.
The terrorists want us to live in a state of constant fear. And having an effective response is the main thing. And it looks to me like the London police were there in six minutes.
And this scourge of terrorism has to be defeated, but we have to defeat it not only with force of arms, but with the force of our values.
TAPPER: All right, let's move on to the Paris climate agreement.
President Trump said the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement was about putting America first.
Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Paris agreement handicaps the United States' economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country's expense.
They don't put America first. I do, and I always will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: What's your response?
GORE: Well, the fastest-growing sector of our economy is clean energy and part of the sustainability revolution.
Solar jobs are now growing 17 times faster in the U.S. than other jobs. The single fastest-growing job for the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is wind turbine technician.
So, we're seeing a sustainability revolution that is historic. It has the magnitude of the Industrial Revolution, but the speed of the digital revolution. And rather than trying to recreate the 19th century and paint a picture of a past that's gone, we need leadership to gear America for the 21st century.
President Trump's decision was unfortunate. It undermined our country's stature.
But here's the good news. With the leadership of governors like Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo and others, and mayors -- Mike Bloomberg is doing a great job. We're seeing civic leadership, businesses, Apple, Google, General Electric. You can go right down the list.
We are going to see continued reductions in emissions in the U.S. We're going to meet the commitments under the climate pact in Paris, regardless of what President Trump does.
And so we're seeing a lot of progress.
TAPPER: If we're going to meet it, if we're going to meet that goal of a 24 to 26 percent reduction in carbon gas emissions without being in the agreement, then is there an argument to be made that we don't need to be in the agreement?
GORE: No, the requirements were voluntary. He could have simply changed those requirements.
But my point is, we're seeing a technological revolution that is greatly needed. Somebody once said, the Stone Age didn't end because of the shortage of stone. Something better came along. Same is true of the age of fossil fuels.
But the Paris agreement was really historic. But it laid the foundation for the faster progress that's needed in order to solve the climate crisis in time. And we could have faster progress with presidential leadership, but we're going to keep moving forward, regardless of President Trump.
TAPPER: I want to get your reaction to something, an argument being made by the EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PRUITT, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: It is a failed deal to begin with. And even if all of the targets were met by all nations across the globe, it only reduced the temperature by less than two-tenths of one degree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Less than two-tenths of one degree, President Trump made a similar argument.
GORE: Well, first of all, it's not true.
But, secondly, you know, there was a famous economist, Rudi Dornbusch, who once said, things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then they happen much faster than you thought they could.
That's what's happening here. And the Paris agreement gives tremendous momentum for movement all around the world.
You know, India just announced that, within 13 years, 100 percent of all their cars have to be electric vehicles. China's emissions have come down four years in a row.
All over the world, we're seeing this movement. And now electricity from solar and wind in many regions is less than half the cost of electricity from burning fossil fuels.
So, we start making this transition, then pick up steam, and then, suddenly, we cross the tipping point. That is what is beginning to happen.
But the U.S. ought to be leading this revolution and creating more of the new jobs here in the United States.
TAPPER: During the transition, you met with president-elect Trump at the time, at the invitation of Ivanka Trump.
Last month, when you were at the Cannes Film Festival, you said -- quote -- "I think there's an excellent chance that President Trump will surprise many by deciding to stay in the Paris agreement."
Why did you say that? And tell us about your meeting with president- elect Trump at the time.
GORE: Well, I've kept the details of my conversations with him confidential. It seems like the right thing to do. None of it would surprise you.
I did think there was a chance that he would come to his senses and not make the decision that he announced this past week.
TAPPER: Why did you think that?
GORE: Well, I -- it made sense for the country. All he had to do, under the terms of the Paris agreement, was change the commitments. They're voluntary, and each country can determine its own commitments.
So, I thought it made sense. And I thought that he would come to his senses on it. But he didn't.
TAPPER: Did you -- have you talked to Ivanka Trump at all since that meeting at Trump Tower?
GORE: Oh, yes, I have.
TAPPER: About this issue?
GORE: Yes. Yes. I have not talked to her since the decision last week.
TAPPER: She must be very disappointed. She apparently was lobbying internally to have her father stay in the Paris agreement.
GORE: I assume so, but I haven't talked to her since then.
TAPPER: President Trump has gone after you directly when talking about this issue of climate change.
I want you to -- I want to give you an opportunity to respond to something he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Al Gore wants to eliminate the combustion engine, essentially, and flies around the world on jets and pushes plans that would help create China, make it stronger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: This is a criticism we hear from conservatives all the time when talking about people like you or Elon Musk or Leonardo DiCaprio, that you, yourself, have a large carbon footprint.
Well, I don't have a private jet. And what carbon emissions come from my trips on Southwest Airlines are offset. I live a carbon-free lifestyle, to the maximum extent possible.
But the point is, our whole country and our entire world has to change. And we are beginning to change. Today, we'll put another 110 million tons of heat-trapping pollution up there. We're treating the sky as an open sewer.
And now we see these climate-related extreme weather events virtually every day. Every night on the news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.
But we've seen something else as well. Now we have the solutions to the climate crisis, and they can create tens of millions of new jobs.
So, the direction to move in the future is very clear. It's -- we are now seeing governors and mayors and businesses and civic leaders really beginning to move, regardless of what the White House says.
I was in one of the most conservative Republican cities in the country, Georgetown, Texas, recently. They've already gone 100 percent renewable in an oil state.
Why? Because it's cheaper. And they're proud of the fact that they're putting less pollution in the sky, but they did it because it's cheaper and it's creating employment.
TAPPER: I want to ask you about Hillary Clinton, just because you are the only other living person who has experienced what she is living, which is, you won the popular vote, and yet the electoral vote didn't work out.
I don't want to get into the whole Florida recount right now, but...
TAPPER: As I'm sure you don't either.
But what is she going through? What is it like to actually have the support of more voters, but not be able to walk into the White House to take the job?
GORE: Well, she's a strong person, and I'm sure she's going to be fine.
In my own case, I learned earlier in my life that there are worse things than having a Supreme Court decision go against you. And there are people that we encounter in our day-to-day life who have incredible burdens that they don't talk about.
So, I'm fine. And I'm sure she's going to be fine, too.
TAPPER: I do want to get one last thought from you on the president's decision on the climate change deal.
You've been very optimistic and tempered in your remarks today, talking about how the United States is moving along towards the direction you want it to, even if President Trump is not going along.
But, in your initial remarks, in your initial response to what President Trump decided to do, you seemed more upset. You seemed to think it was a bigger deal, a disaster of sorts.
GORE: Well, yes, I think it was reckless. I think it was indefensible. It undermines America's standing in the world. It threatens the ability of humanity to solve the climate crisis in time. It's -- the decision was a terribly mistaken decision.
But, in the aftermath of that decision, we need to move forward, regardless of what he decides. And the good news is that the American people are going to provide leadership, even if President Trump will not provide leadership.
TAPPER: What's your message to President Trump? He likes to watch cable TV. He might be watching right this minute.
GORE: I think that he's kind of taken himself out of the climate debate. The other countries are -- have said they're not going to talk with him about climate anymore.
You know, every country in the world is on this train that's leaving the station, except for Syria. They've kind of got their hands full with the gates of hell opening there.And Nicaragua said it wasn't strong enough for them. But that -- those are the only other countries that stand with Donald Trump.
The American people are going to move forward regardless.
TAPPER: It has been 17 years since I sat down with you and interviewed you. Please don't let it be another 17.
It's great to see...
GORE: That's a deal.
TAPPER: It's good to see you.
TAPPER: Vice President Gore, thank you so much.
GORE: Thank you.
TAPPER: President Trump has offered support for the U.K. following the terrorist attack in London, but relations with America's European allies have been strained following his announcement this week that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, an agreement that almost every other nation in the world has signed on to.
Before last night's attack in London, I spoke about American leadership in the world with United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.
TAPPER: United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us, Ambassador Haley.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Good morning, Jake.
TAPPER: So, 194 countries have signed the Paris climate agreement. Only three nations are not signatories to it, the United States, Nicaragua, which thought the emissions standards were not tough enough, and Syria.
So on the one issue that unites the world, essentially, the United States is now isolated, the proverbial skunk at the garden party. Are you not concerned that this will affect your ability to lead on other issues?
HALEY: Well, I don't think we're the skunk at the party. I think that what we did is we watched out for our country. Look, I was a governor in South Carolina. I know how tough those regulations President Obama put on us, because of the Paris agreement, were on our businesses and on our industries. It directly hit our jobs.
And so what we want to do is say, look, we are a sovereign country. We're going to make sure we're looking out for the U.S. first. We will always be a leader in the environment. That's what we do, that's who we are. But we're going to make sure that we're not hurting our companies in the process. And there is a balance.
There is clearly a difference between us and Nicaragua, and us and Syria. The world knows that. So to put us in that category is not a real assumption.
TAPPER: Well I'm not the one that put us in the category. The President did. But when it comes to those agreements, reduction in carbon emissions, that was -- every country set their own standard. Why didn't President Trump just renegotiate the United States' standards so to make it less imposing? Why withdraw?
HALEY: Why didn't President Obama get this through the Senate? There's a reason President Obama did this from an executive standpoint as opposed to going through the Senate, because he knew he couldn't get it to pass. It was too onerous. The regulations were too strict. And it wasn't achievable.
Even if we had stayed in the Paris agreement -- and this is the part everyone needs to really think about. If we had stayed in the Paris agreement, which the countries told us, oh, you can do it, we won't say anything, that's not who the U.S. is. One, we're truth tellers. We're going to tell the truth. Two, it was not achievable. What President Obama submitted the U.S. to was not achievable under our standards or any other country's standards.
And then we've got to look at the fact, we didn't want to be in violation of the agreement. And if you look at the executive order that President Trump signed, that rolled back the Clean Power Act a few months ago, that was already moving towards a pro-business situation. But what we do have is a lot of companies who care about green technology, care about making sure that we take care of the environment, and you have a President who's very focused on clean air, clean water, and jobs.
TAPPER: Well, you say we're truth tellers. Let me tell you what President Trump has tweeted about climate change. Quote -- "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive" -- unquote.
Are you willing to acknowledge that that is nonsense?
HALEY: What I will tell you is the regulations from the Paris agreement were disadvantaging our companies. We know that. I knew that as a governor, we know that now. The jobs were not attainable as long as we had to live under those regulations. It wasn't possible to meet the conditions under the Paris agreement, had we even attempted to do that. And so I think we have to look at what's realistic.
We've got a President who is going to watch out for the environment. It's what we do, it's who we are. We're going to continue to be a leader in the environment. The rest of the world wanted to tell us how to do it, and we're saying, we will do it, but we'll do it under our terms.
TAPPER: The standards were set by the United States for the United States. But just to be clear, on this climate change --
HALEY: No, the standards were set by President Obama, and not passed through the Senate...
HALEY: ... because the standards couldn't have been achieved.
TAPPER: No, but you -- my point is, you said that the world was imposing standards on the United States. President Obama, the President of the United States at the time is the one who set the standards.
But moving that aside for one second, I just want to be clear on this, you're not willing to acknowledge that calling climate change a Chinese hoax is just a big box of crazy?
HALEY: President Trump believes the climate is changing. And he believes pollutants are part of that equation. So that is the fact. That is where we are. That's where it stands. He knows that it's changing. He knows that the U.S. has to be responsible with it, and that's what we're going to do. Just because we got out of a club doesn't mean that we don't care about the environment.
TAPPER: Let's talk about another club that we're in, NATO. One of the biggest concerns in Europe right now is that President Trump visited NATO headquarters, but was not willing to publicly reiterate the U.S. commitment to article 5, the principle that an attack on one nation in NATO is an attack on all. Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested this weekend that these squabbles at NATO are helpful to Russia. I understand that the President wants every country to pay its fair share, of course. But why was the President not willing to underscore the United States' commitment to our allies in NATO?
HALEY: Because there was no change to policy. Of course, we believe in article 5. I just met with all of my NATO ambassadors yesterday. We said, a threat on one of us is a threat on all of us. NATO is going to continue to be strong. It's going to continue to be united. Russia's going to try and divide us. But the truth is, we've never swayed from article 5. We honestly still believe it.
The President didn't mention it because he wasn't changing it. And so the focus is always going to be on taking care of each other.
TAPPER: But why is it -- why can you say it on my show, but President Trump can't say it at NATO headquarters? You know he has made comments along the lines of, that he's not sure that the United States would be there for NATO countries that aren't paying their fair share. European allies. You know this better than I do, but I've talked to some of our European allies. They wanted, they needed to hear him reaffirm Article 5. How come you can do it but he can't?
HALEY: He could if you asked him. I mean, I think if you asked him if he was in favor of Article 5, he would say, yes he is.
His intent was to make sure that the burden sharing was happening. And I think we want that, in this day and time when we're seeing so many threats around the world, we just want to know our NATO allies are paying their fair share. And they -- look at how they stepped up. They're all stepping up. They all acknowledge the fact that they -- we have to be strong militarily, we have to be strong united. And I think we're going to do that.
So there's never been a wavering or any sort of thought of changing from Article 5. The U.S. is strong with Article 5. We're always going to take care of our friends. We expect our friends to always take care of us. That's been a longstanding rule. That's not going to change.
TAPPER: I'd love to ask President Trump, but he won't give me an interview. But let's move on. Yahoo's Michael Isikoff is reporting that in the early weeks of the Trump administration, there was an effort by the White House to push the State Department to begin to lift sanctions against Russia.
Now this week, Trump adviser Gary Cohn wavered on whether the President will reconsider sanctions against Russia. Help me understand something. Given the meddling in the U.S. election last year, which you -- not the President, but you have unequivocally stated happened, and a continued Russian occupation of Crimea, not to mention what's going on in Eastern Ukraine, why would the Trump White House ever even consider easing sanctions against Russia? HALEY: I'm not aware of that. So, everything I know is that we have said we're going to keep our sanctions strong and tough when it comes to the issue in Ukraine. I've said that publicly. We'll continue to say that.
There's no easing up on Russia until they start really becoming part of the Minsk Agreement and following through on what they're supposed to do. And we're going to continue to look at the elections. We absolutely think Russia meddled in the elections, and I think Congress is dealing with that, and we'll see what happens.
TAPPER: Well so you're not aware of it, but it did happen. The White House didn't dispute the report, and the former State Department official, Daniel Fried, who went to Capitol Hill to try to get the sanctions codified for fear that this would happen, has stated on the record this happened. There's also been a lot of talk and reporting about Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law and a senior adviser, trying to establish back channel communications to Russia. Were you aware of those?
HALEY: No, I was not aware of any of that if that happened. And really, Jake, there's so many rumors back and forth. It's the reason why I think that this investigation needs to move forward swiftly, get the facts out on the table so that we can all move on.
TAPPER: "The Washington Post" reported that Jared Kushner wanted to use the Russian embassy to make secure phone calls to the Kremlin. Is that something that you, as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. would ever consider doing, making phone calls from the embassy, a Russian embassy, where the Russians could hear you but Americans couldn't?
HALEY: First of all, I mean, I don't know that to be fact. So I can't sit there and agree with an assumption that you're saying. What I can tell you is no, I wouldn't do that. But at the same time, I'm not in that inner circle in the administration. I do my job at the United Nations, and Jared continues to do his job there at the White House. And until we see facts, it's hard to respond to something like that.
TAPPER: I want to turn to Israel because I know this is an issue important to you. During the campaign, President Trump made a very specific promise. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
TAPPER: President Trump this week obviously signed an order this week that will at least for now keep the American embassy in Tel Aviv. We know that the President styles himself as something of a deal maker. Is he hoping to use the location of the U.S. embassy as leverage in a potential peace deal?
HALEY: I think that he knows that it could be very much a part of the peace process. And so I think that what he did want to do is make sure that he wasn't interrupting the negotiations that are happening with the peace process. I think that they feel like it's moving forward in a constructive way, and he didn't want this to get in the way.
He hasn't changed his position on moving the embassy. It's all about time. So I think that he wants to see how the peace process plays out and then handle it accordingly.
TAPPER: All right. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. Thank you so much for your time today. We always appreciate it.
HALEY: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up, President Trump uses the London attacks to renew the call for his travel ban. Will the drum beat of terror hold sway? Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
Seven people are dead in London after a van plowed into a crowd of people followed by a stabbing rampage at a restaurant. President Trump used the events to renew his call for a travel ban.
He tweeted -- quote -- "We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety" -- unquote.
Let's talk with our panel about it. We have with us former Virginia Attorney General Republican Ken Cuccinelli, former Democratic Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm, Editor of the Conservative Weekly Standard Bill Kristol, MoveOn.org Senior Advisor Karine Jean-Pierre. Thanks so much one and all for being here. We appreciate it.
Ken, let me start with you. Some people find it inappropriate for the president to be talking about a travel ban...
KEN CUCCINELLI (R), FORMER VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Right.
TAPPER: ... immediately after the attack. He did eventually, of course, go on to offer thoughts, prayers, and condolences -- offer to help (INAUDIBLE)...
TAPPER: ... as much as possible. But is there anything wrong with what he did?
CUCCINELLI: No, I don't think so. I mean -- and look, they're in the middle of a legal contest over this. I think the courts are violating the separation of powers invading the prerogatives of the executive branch pretty clearly. And there is a political element he's trying to make the case to the public.
But there's also a question courts can decide how fast to consider these things. Right now they're trying to get the Supreme Court to let the policy stand pending the outcome of litigation. Well, things like this incident can and we'll never know because it won't be in the (INAUDIBLE) to the orders can affect judges. They're human beings, too, to get them to speed these things it up. So it can affect the process by which this is all considered.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: OK. So he tweets about the travel ban. He doesn't know where the people are residents of. He doesn't know anything about it. Rule number one of being --
TAPPER: He might have something. I mean, to be -- I mean, he's the president. He has access to information but --
GRANHOLM: Well, OK. None of it has even, to this moment, made public or said that they know anything...
GRANHOLM: ... about the identities of the people. But I appreciate you giving him the benefit of the doubt on it.
TAPPER: That's my job.
GRANHOLM: Rule number one of being the commander-in-chief of the largest and most important nation on earth, I would say, is that you do not jump to conclusions. You don't attack the mayor of London who is going through the middle of this. And you don't act defensively which -- so he had three tweets that I think were completely off.
One that was on -- the one about the travel ban which was the first tweet out of the box instead of offering condolences and help. The second one attacking the mayor of London. And the third one being defensive about guns saying, you know, you notice this is about knives. You know, of course one might say that if the people had AK 47s, a lot more people would have been killed. But nonetheless, those instincts of his are totally off the mark.
TAPPER: Let me ask you, Bill, just because one of the interesting things that the governor just pointed out is we don't know who this is. And a lot of terrorists, I think maybe entirely the terrorists that struck London and Manchester in the last -- in the previous month -- we don't know about this account -- is that they were -- they were nationals. They were -- they were British.
And the truth of the matter is, home grown terrorism is a bigger threat here in the United States, at least so far, and so far in the U.K. it has been. The travel ban wouldn't necessarily have impacted any of those attacks. BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I guess home grown terrorists who've been in touch with or travelled like in the case of Manchester terrorist, to Libya, and stuff. There is often more international connections than people who say, oh, it's just self- radicalization. But it's also the case of (INAUDIBLE) people who are flying in often to do it they're locals, they're nationals -- they're citizens.
Theresa May made an excellent statement early this morning, in London, about a minute and a half long. You could see it online. I recommend to everyone to see it. I recommend to President Trump that -- this is how a serious leader makes a tough statement not a politically correct statement.
She talks about Islamic extremism. She says, we have to get tougher in denying these extremist safe spaces both in the internet and at home. So she implies the fairly tough law and order stance in terms of asking about (INAUDIBLE) to do more in Britain. That's obviously a problem with a homegrown terrorist. But also a responsible and sober statement. Not the kind of bombast that we get from Trump. So I hope Donald Trump and others take a look at what Theresa May said.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, MOVEON.ORG: Well, I would say this, I hope that the Supreme Court was watching -- or watching the tweets this morning. Because he basically confirms what all of us have been saying is that, oh, yes, this is actually a ban. And that's what the lower courts confirmed and said it was a ban. And it's a dangerous one, at that.
The other thing, too, I would say is like -- look -- and I'm not trying to be funny here but this is in true honesty. Like, I really wish someone in the name of national security that someone would change the password on his Twitter account and so he can be locked out. Because what he is doing is erratic, it's dangerous, and it's also just false.
CUCCINELLI: And, Jake, you made a point a moment ago about home grown versus the foreign connection. And, look, the president can't take away rights here within the country. All right? But the folks that the travel ban is aimed at have no rights. They have no rights under our constitution --
TAPPER: They're coming to the United States --
CUCCINELLI: They have no standing. They have no-- and there's no reason that we should let folks in those categories in -- by the way, identified by the last administration as heightened security areas, risks for heightened security. So there is a difference. You can't just equate the home grown problem, which is, frankly, much more complicated with the contacts and the foreign contacts and the opportunities for terror --
TAPPER: Well, I guess -- I hear what you're saying. I guess my point is, the threat is actually greater from home grown terrorists in the U.K. and the United States, according to national security officials of both countries.
TAPPER: And so the travel ban -- it doesn't argue against it. But that's not a solution.
CUCCINELLI: But that's not a reason not to address that part of the problem. And he's in a better position using executive authority to address that part of the problem.
You can't -- again, the constitution protects the rights of folks who are already here in the United States and that's a different and much more complicated and long term challenge.
TAPPER: Yes. It's just kind of like the guy looking for his keys under the streetlight that's on as opposed to the one where he lost his keys. I mean, if the problem is over here -- that's all I'm saying -- governor.
GRANHOLM: No, no. I totally agree and the Obama administration identified these countries as places -- they don't want Americans to travel to. We don't know that any of these people are relevant in any way with to the travel ban, which is the problem, is that he has not narrowed the scope of his solution to the problem. And that's what I think -- we'll see what the Supreme Court does. He has got a justice now. (INAUDIBLE) the other way.
CUCCINELLI: You know, the small number -- the small number of countries -- the people from those countries have been involved in terrorism in this country. This is not irrelevant. It is relevant.
TAPPER: Well, I'm not saying it's irrelevant.
CUCCINELLI: Just not complete.
TAPPER: Yes. I think you take my point.
I want to turn to the FBI director testifying on Thursday, Bill. Take a listen to what President Trump had to say about what he wants from Comey's testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: All I want is for Comey to be honest, and I hope he will be, and I'm sure he will be -- I hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Now, Comey is set to testify on Thursday assuming President Trump does not successfully invoke executive privilege and block him from testifying.
First of all do you think he should try to stop him from testifying?
KRISTOL: No, and I think there's no -- almost no (INAUDIBLE) chance of succeeding.
I mean, James Comey is a private citizen. As long as he doesn't reveal classified information. Jake, if you invite Comey to come on this panel right now, he could do it. If Congress invites him to testify in public he can do it.
TAPPER: We'd love to have him on.
KRISTOL: And plenty of cabinet officials and staff have left administrations and spoken about maybe they shouldn't, that's another question, but they have the right to speak about conversations they've had with the president.
But he won't talk about the FBI investigation. One thing incidentally we don't have an FBI director, we have an acting director, and I'm sure he's competent and the FBI can do its thing without having a director. But it just shows how reckless, and in this respect, I do agree -- that's the right word. Donald Trump fired an FBI director without having someone else in place. And here we are three weeks later, there's still no candidate. It wasn't a very prudent thing to do for governance reasons alone let aside from whatever other motives he might have.
TAPPER: Karine, let me ask you a question. Are you ever concerned -- as a Democratic progressive activist are you ever concerned that the base of the Democratic Party are -- have far higher expectations for what's going to come of this investigation into either Russian collusion or obstruction of justice than what is actually going to come? Does that ever bother you or worry you?
JEAN-PIERRE: That's a really good question. I've actually never thought that -- of that question. It's a good one to think about but I think it looks like a five-alarm fire. You know, it's like it just doesn't stop.
Every day we hear from media reports something else that has -- you know, either it's leading to a cover-up or a potential collusion. And so I think we're in the place with Comey, and just to talk about the executive privilege, Donald Trump waived his right to executive privilege because he talked about it publicly. He talked about a potential tape. So I don't think he can even -- if he were to do that, he's actually -- he can't.
But here we are in the situation where we have a former FBI director who is going to be under oath in front of Congress. And if he actually says -- confirms what the media reports have been saying, we could be dealing with a constitutional crisis.
CUCCINELLI: Look, you had Senator Warner on here earlier. You asked him a similar question and he said, look, there's a lot of things that look smoky here but no fire yet. And that is still true. That is still true.
And look, we all know the Russians have been meddling in our elections as long as they've been able to do it. Technology has given them a better ability to do that now at a lower cost. Does that mean there's collusion? There's no evidence of that yet.
CUCCINELLI: There is no evidence of that.
GRANHOLM: There is a lot of smoke because each day there are pieces of wood that are added to the fire.
And what Mark Warner also said is one of the things they're going to ask is why Donald Trump, on the day that Jim Comey announced that he was doing an investigation of Russian collusion, calls Dan Coats, head of the director of National Intelligence and says, can you push back on that? And then calls Admiral Rogers and says the same thing.
All of these things -- then he fires -- all of these things add up to not just smoke but potentially a bonfire. We'll see.
TAPPER: I appreciate your continued use of the metaphor. That was very, very skillful.
CUCCINELLI (ph): That was impressive.
TAPPER: Thank you all for being here. It's officially summer and that means it's time to compile your reading list but if steamy beach reads are not your style, don't worry, Washington has got you covered. No fewer than four sitting senators have new books out and one of them is not afraid to wield his poison pen. It is the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."
TAPPER (voice-over): The Senate is considered the most exclusive club in the world but two of its 100 members cannot seem to get along these days. Senators Al Franken and Ted Cruz currently engaged in the bloodiest political duel since Hamilton V. Burr.
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: He's kind of a toxic guy in office, the guy who microwaves fish.
TAPPER: In Al Franken's new book, he devotes an entire chapter to his distaste for Ted Cruz, and he says he's hardly alone.
FRANKEN: I probably like Ted Cruz more than most of my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz.
TAPPER: It seems to be a bipartisan and bicameral cause.
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner once called Cruz a jackass and here's Republican Senator Lindsey Graham...
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.
TAPPER: Franken even claims that in a secret Santa drawing in the U.S. Senate, his fellow senators refused Cruz.
FRANKEN: I've had people pick out Cruz' name and then drop it on the floor. I have actually had that happen.
TAPPER: As for Cruz, he seems to be taking it in stride, calling Franken obnoxious and insulting, but claiming he's just trying to get liberals to buy books. If that's the plan, it does seem to be working. Franken's book is currently climbing the best-seller list.
TAPPER: Thank you for spending your Sunday morning with us. You can catch me here every Sunday and weekdays on "THE LEAD" at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.
And go to CNN.com/SOTU -- STATE OF THE UNION for extras from the show. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" is next.