MTP Daily, Transcript 6/5/2017

James Inhofe, Landon Dowdy, Amy Holmes, Azi Paybarah, Juan Zarate, Amy Holmes, Azi Paybarah, James Inhofe

Date: June 5, 2017
Guest: James Inhofe, Landon Dowdy, Amy Holmes, Azi Paybarah, Juan Zarate,
Amy Holmes, Azi Paybarah, James Inhofe

NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: “MTP DAILY” starts right now with Katy Tur in
for Chuck. Hi, Katy.

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: Hi there, Nicole.

And if it’s Wednesday, the clouds darken after another presidential tweet

(voice-over): Tonight, governing in 140 characters from terrorism to the
travel ban. How seriously should the world take President Trump’s tweets?


matter in the sense that it gives him a communications tool. Again, that
isn’t filtered through media bias. But, at the same time, I think that the
media obsesses.


TUR: Plus, don’t forget Paris. We’ll hear from former vice president and
climate warrior, Al Gore, about what’s next in his fight after the Paris
Climate Accord.


if we had not isolated the U.S. – if the president hadn’t isolated the
U.S. from the rest of the world.


TUR: Plus, why President Trump is, once again, taking aim at the Obama
White House.


hell they were doing.


TUR: This is MTP DAILY and it starts right now.

(on camera): Good evening, I’m Katy Tur in New York in for Chuck Todd.
Welcome to MTP DAILY.

We begin tonight with the escalating fallout from the president’s frenzied,
fuming and furious responses to this weekend’s London terror attack which
killed seven and injured nearly 50.

After pledging solidarity with the U.K., the president ripped into London’s
Mayor Sadiq Khan. Again today, he tweeted, pathetic excuse by London Mayor
Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his no reason to be alarmed statement.

That is the second time in two days that President Trump has
mischaracterized the mayor’s comments that there is, quote, “no reason to
be alarmed.” Khan wasn’t talk about the terror attack. He was talking
about an increase in police presence.


SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR, LONDON: Just like terrorists constantly evolving,
finding new ways to disrupt us, harm us, attack us, the police and experts
and all of us are finding new ways to keep us safe. Londoners will see an
increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days.
No reason to be alarmed.


TUR: The White House was pressed on this issue today during the press


directly misrepresented what the mayor of London said.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don’t think that’s true. I think the media wants to
spin it that way. But at the –

KARL: But the mayor was saying there’s no reason to be alarmed by an
attack on the city? Do you think that’s what he was saying?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, I think that the point is there is a reason to be
alarmed. We have constant attacks going on. Not just there, but across
the globe. And we have to start putting national security and global
security at an all-time high. President Trump has been very clear, that’s
his priority and he’s not away from that.


TUR: The president also responded to the London attack with a series of
tweets about his travel ban which is currently held up in the courts.
Today, he said people, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they
want. But I am calling it what we need and what it is, a travel ban.

Those comments directly contradict the White House’s previous argument
about the president’s policy.


This is a temporary pause that allows us to review the existing refugee and
visa vetting system.

to do is make sure that people actually understand what happened, what the
process was and what the order actually does. Because when we use words
like travel ban, that misrepresents what it is. It’s not a travel ban.


TUR: Today, the White House’s argument seemed much more vague.


HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don’t think the president cares what you call it.
Whether you call it a ban, whether you call it a restriction. He cares
that we call it national security and that we take steps to protect the
people of this country.


TUR: Mr. Trump today also slammed his own Justice Department on Twitter
today, saying they should have stayed with the original travel ban. Not
the watered down politically correct version they submitted to the Supreme
Court. The president signed that revised travel ban. He did not have to.

But he wasn’t done. He then seemed to undercut the purpose of that policy,
saying, in any event, we are extreme vetting people coming into the U.S. in
order to keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political.

These statements are, arguably, going to make it more difficult for the
administration’s lawyers as they argue their case in court. But here’s the
bottom line. The president mischaracterized the London mayor, undermined
his own staff, turned a terror attack into a political talking point and
disseminated information about the unfolding tragedy, using a drudge report

This comes after the president recently called an incident in the
Philippines a terror attack. But authorities later said the incident was
likely a robbery attempt. The Associated Press had a brutal lead in their
piece fact checking the president. President Donald Trump can’t be counted
on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are
unfolding abroad.

[17:05:05] So, what happens if there is an attack here at home? I’m joined
now by the NBC News senior national security analyst, Juan Zarate, who was
Bush 43’s national security adviser. He is also a senior adviser at the
Center for Strategic and International Studies. Juan, thank you for
joining us.

My pleasure, Katy.

TUR: I really do want to focus on the issue of trust. And that A.P. lead
really got down to it. And the president is tweeting out unverified
reports from drudge in the moments after a terror attack, before the U.K.
even comes out and blames it on that. If he’s talking about the
Philippines and calling it terror, when the Philippines later says it was
likely a robbery attack, do you trust the president if he comes out and
gives a statement on Twitter?

ZARATE: Well, I think the problem is the president acting as the first
witness in the first – providing the first testimonial as to what’s
happening. And I think one of the first things you learn in the White
House is you’ve got to take breath, a breather, to understand what facts
are unfolding. There’s always the fog of war whenever an attack is
unfolding or a crisis is emerging.

And so, the president being the first fact witness is never a good idea.
And you always counsel a president not to get ahead of the facts or to
convey things in a way that he’s going to have retract or explain later
that will undermine his credibility. Ultimately, you need the president to
have the trust and confidence of the American public. The government has to
be trusted at a time of crisis to explain what’s happening.

And, frankly the president’s judgment, then, that has to be front and
center when he asks the country either to sacrifice or even, in the worst-
case scenario, to go into conflict. And so, preserving that capital and
his trust and confidence is critical. And you don’t want to whittle that
away needlessly. And I think that’s a – that’s a danger here.

TUR: Juan, do you think the President trusts his own national security
advisors? Does he trust the intelligence community? He tweets out a
drudge report headline with a bunch of unverified facts, at that point.
Presumably, he should have the best information of anybody in this country.
He’s got a whole national security team behind him that are – that are, in
effect, talking to intelligence officers overseas.

What does that say to you? Does that say – does that say that he doesn’t
trust them or is he trying to capitalize, politically, by tweeting out
scare tactics?

ZARATE: Well, I think, unfortunately, it seems like the president hasn’t
fully realized that the bureaucracy, the diplomatic core, the intelligence
community, the law enforcement community, his national security apparatus
and his closest advisers are there to serve him and the executive and to
give him the best information possible to tee up the best options in a time
of crisis. And, frankly, then to help him make good decisions.

He seems to, at times, undermine the credibility of his own actors. I
think he obviously has his own voice and wants to get it out there via
Twitter. And it is, obviously, in furtherance of a political narrative
that is to the president’s advantage.

And I would hope that the president realizes that the advisers that he’s
brought on, that lead to agencies intended to serve him, are there to aid
him and the country in furtherance of the best decision-making possible.

And I – you know, if I were advising him, I would say, look, you know,
take the best advice of the great advisers you’ve brought on board. Your
cabinet secretaries, folks like H.R. McMaster, his national security
advisor from whom I have the greatest deal of affection and respect.

And listen to them and take a breather. Especially in a moment of crisis
like this where an ally like the British need to hear the trust and
confidence of their most important ally, and where we don’t need to get
into a political fist with the mayor of London.

TUR: Juan, can Americans trust the president?

ZARATE: I think we need to and I think we need president to succeed. He’s
our president, after all.

TUR: Do you trust the president, Juan?

ZARATE: Well, I think – I think we need to look for signs that he’s
worthy of that trust. And I think part of it is relying on his key
advisers, his key cabinet secretaries, and that he is actually listening to
the information being provided to him. I want to trust the president. I
want to support him.

And I think we need him to successes succeed. Otherwise, we have a crisis
of confidence that is going to be very dangerous in a moment of crisis for
the United States. If we were to have a terrorist attack in the homeland
or, god forbid, we were to have to go to conflict with a country like North

TUR: I hate to put you on the spot, Juan, but that was not quite a yes.
I’ll leave it there though.

ZARATE: I think we need him to succeed. I think that’s my bottom line.

TUR: Yes, absolutely. Thank you, Juan Zarate. Appreciate it.

Let’s bring in the panel. Amy Holmes was an aide to Republican Senate
majority leader, Bill Frist. MSNBC Political Analyst Elise Jordan has
worked for the State Department, the National Security Council and the Rand
Paul campaign. And Azi Paybarah is a senior reporter with “Political.”
Guys, thank you so – “Politico” excuse me. Thank you so much.

[17:10:11] Juan was being diplomatic, if we put it lightly. But he had a
hard time saying, yes, I do trust the president – Elise.

shown himself to be worthy of trust lately by putting out so much false
information. And by also just being an embarrassment in his response to
the attacks in London. And showing a side of his character that really
makes you question the human – basic human decency that we should have to
our strong friends and allies like the U.K. in their time of need.

TUR: What do you make, Amy, of him going after Mayor Sadiq Khan?

AMY HOLMES, FORMER AIDE, BILL FRIST: Well, there is bad blood between
them, that the mayor had tweeted a year ago something that was unflattering
to Mr. Trump. And we know that President Trump –

TUR: Was it appropriate to go after the mayor right after a terror attack?

HOLMES: I don’t think it’s – I don’t think it’s this time and I think
that the important point was made with political capital. And that’s
something that’s very precious and very easily, you know, whittled away.
And that’s something that –


TUR: Has he (INAUDIBLE) all of his political counsel?

HOLMES: You know what? On the question of trust, I would say there are a
lot of voters who do trust that President Trump realizes what is the threat
that’s facing the United States of America. And the previous president
called ISIS J.V. ISIS grew under his watch and there were a lot of people
who didn’t trust the judgement of the previous president, when it came to
this severe national security threat.

TUR: Why do arguments entrusting this president always devolve into how
you couldn’t trust the last president?

HOLMES: Because I think – I think that you’re asking a question, trust
that involves a number of things, including trusting someone’s judgment, in
terms of what are their political priorities. And I think that President
Trump prioritizes national security in a way that can be trusted.

TUR: Azi, what is your take?

AZI PAYBARAH, SENIOR REPORTER, “POLITICO”: I’m just speechless. And this
has gone beyond lunacy. When a person has – when you can’t trust the
person and you can’t control the things that come out of their mouth, they
usually get help. And, unfortunately, the person in the White House is not
getting that help in any way, shape or form.

And when you have a city that’s attacked, to misrepresent the mayor of that
city’s remarks is reprehensible and disgusting. Anyone that stands to
defend that, I just don’t know how you can live with yourself.

And when people say the president should be trusted and that the voters
trust him, look what he’s done. Look what he said. Like is – you know,
like, I live (ph) in our city just like any number of people. And there
are times when we have to go and report immediately in the – whether it’s
a Times Square car accident that we don’t know if it’s a terrorist attack
or whether it’s a cop that gets injured and you’re at the hospital and
you’re hearing Mayor de Blasio, sort of, explain what’s going on.

You need accurate information so people know what’s going on. And to have
the president tweet out stories of anonymous sources after he trashes
anonymous sources, after he, you know, calls on supporters, that reporters
are the enemy of the people.

TUR: It sounds like, if he were to come out and say something after a
terrorist attack here, Azi, you would have a hard time trusting what he

PAYBARAH: Absolutely.

HOLMES: But I don’t think we should even be discussing if we had a
terrorist attack here. It’s almost as if we’re suggesting –

TUR: Why not?

JORDAN: That’s what this is all about. This is about terrorist attacks.

HOLMES: I don’t think –


HOLMES: It is almost as if there’s some goading going on here if we had a
terror – that’s not something anyone should wish or –

TUR: No one’s wishing for that.

HOLMES: Well, there was discussion yesterday that President Donald Trump
was provoking a terrorist attack.

TUR: The president is saying we don’t want a terrorist attack here so we
need to take extreme measures.

HOLMES: And I think – I think that we can have a reasonable rational
discussion over policies that address terrorism. I actually have
disagreements with the president –


TUR: The president, himself, said, if there is a terror attack, blame the
courts. I mean, the president goes into these theoreticals all the time.

HOLMES: Well, I don’t – I don’t like the theoreticals because I live in
this city, too, and I lived in Washington D.C. on 911. And I think these
theoreticals can be irresponsible when we’re discussing them and just
batting them around and suggesting that the president is provoking a
terrorist attack which happened yesterday in media discussions and I
thought was totally irresponsible.

JORDAN: Well, you could argue that his policy tool is the travel ban, as
he calls it. That is what he wants to do to mitigate the risk of terrorism
in the U.S. This morning, he undercut his own ban to such a degree by his
own lack of discipline that that measure will never pass. So, as –


HOLMES: Hold on. On that note, George Conway – George Conway who is
Kellyanne Conway’s husband – George Conway is Kellyanne Conway’s husband
who was initially looking for the judge role in this administration, a
judgeship in this administration and has recently pulled himself out.
Tweeted this morning, these tweets, referring to the president’s tweets,
make some people feel better but they certainly won’t help OSG get five
votes in Scotus which is what actually matters. Sad. He followed up by
saying he support the president. He does support his wife who works in the

HOLMES: And he said (INAUDIBLE) of the policy.

TUR: But then, he said – but then, he said, ultimately, these tweets are
going to make it very difficult for them to argue their case in front of
the Supreme Court.

[17:15:02] HOLMES: And I trust – I trust and respect Mr. Conway’s legal
judgment. I’m not a lawyer. But he also said he supported the policy.
That’s why he opposes the tweets.

TUR: What is the extreme vetting policy in this administration right now?

HOLMES: We don’t know. We know that a Hawaii judge actually tried to put
a block on extreme vetting from this administration. But I think we do
need extreme vetting.

TUR: They said they already have extreme vetting in place but I don’t know
– I’m wondering what it is.

HOLMES: We don’t know. We know that the press secretary, or deputy
rather, today was asked about that and she said that should be referred to
the Department of Justice. We also know that a Hawaii judge tried to put a
block, a ban, on the administration’s attempts at extreme vetting. I think
we need to get – you know, we need to get those facts as well.

TUR: I agree. Amy, Elise, Azi, guys, you’re coming back. Don’t worry,
there’s more of this to come.

Up next, we’ll talk to Republican Senator James Inhofe. He joins us live.
Keep it right here.


TUR: Welcome back.

The White House plans to focus on infrastructure this week, beginning today
with air traffic control reform. President Trump endorsed a plan proposed
in the past by Pennsylvania Republican Bill Schuster that would transfer
air traffic control duties from the FAA to a nonprofit corporation which
advocates say would speed up the modernization process.

The president talked about the plan this afternoon in the White House East
Room and used the opportunity to criticize the Obama administration’s past
efforts at reform.


spent over $7 billion trying to upgrade the system and totally failed.
Honestly, they didn’t know what the hell they were doing.


TUR: It may look like the president was signing a bill or an executive
order today, but an actually – it actually was just a set of principles
for Congress to act on, nothing binding.

The administration hopes to attract bipartisan support in Congress for its
infrastructure package. Something Democrats, so far, have not yet
committed to.

We’re back in 60 seconds.


[17:20:08] TUR: Welcome back to MTP DAILY.

As we mentioned before the break, the president’s response to the terror
attack in London has the White House in the midst of yet another conflict
of confidence and credibility.

Joining me now is Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe who serves on
the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator, welcome. Thank you for
joining us.


TUR: I want to get your reaction first to a lead from the Associated Press
today. We’re going to throw it up on the screen and I’m going to read it
to you. President Donald Trump can’t be counted on to give accurate
information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding abroad. Do you
agree? Do you disagree, Senator?

INHOFFE: As to whether or not that should be shared with the public?

TUR: No, as to whether or not the public can count on the president of the
United States –

INHOFFE: Oh, I think so.

TUR: – to give accurate information.

INHOFFE: I think that’s true that he can’t. But the president of the
United States has another function. And that is to be careful and not to
say anything that might disclose something that our intelligence is working
on right now that might end up apprehending terrorists. So, he has to be a
little careful with that. But other than that, I’d say that –

TUR: Well, do you agree with him tweeting out an unverified drudge report
headline in response to the attacks instead of, say, pausing and waiting
and talking to his National Security Council?

INHOFFE: So, I think you’re – Katy, I didn’t know about that and so
you’re asking me something that I’m not sure of.

TUR: Are you, in general, supportive of just tweeting out unverified

INHOFFE: Well, I think sometimes – I think what this president has done
has gone straight to the people because he was not getting fair treatment
from the media. That’s you guys. And so, I can’t blame him for doing
that. I think he’s –

TUR: I understand – I understand your argument there. And the argument
that you are making respectfully. But the president can go directly to the
public with information that he gets from his National Security Council and
not necessarily from an unverified drudge headline. That is still the
media, after all.

INHOFFE: OK, well, I’ll let him be the judge of what he wants to use his
communications for. What he wants.

TUR: OK. Why do you believe that the – that Americans, though, should
believe this president, given the track record? And I could – I could,
you know, name a bunch of – a bunch of things that have happened recently.

For instance, him saying that there was terror in the Philippines before
the Philippines could just – could figure out what it was. Now, they’re
saying it was actually just a robbery gone bad. There are a number of
different occasions where he said information that hasn’t quite turned out
to be true.

INHOFFE: Well, you know, I think you can say that about anyone if you want
to really micro look at these people and say –

TUR: But this is president of the United States, Senator. It’s not just

INHOFFE: Katy, yes, I’m fully aware of that. You have never said this
about any other – about a Democrat president. And I think it’s just fair
that you give the guy a chance. When you say he hasn’t done a lot of the
things, he’s done almost everything he said he would do.

You know, I’m very excited about the fact that he did – actually did some
47 regulations that he – that he actually felt strongly about, campaigned
on and won on. And so, I just – you know, give him a chance. He’s doing
a good job. To those of us who really want to believe that we were going
down the wrong path before and I’m one of those.

TUR: But for the record, Senator, if a Democratic senator tweeted
something that was false, I would call him out or her out for that as well.

INHOFFE: OK. Sounds good.

TUR: And then, I want to get your opinion on something that “Politico” is
reporting about Article Five. The president gave a speech to NATO allies
last week in which he did not express support for Article Five. According
to “Politico,” his National Security Council said that he was going to
include that in his speech. It was in his speech.

Then, suddenly, when he was delivering it, it wasn’t there. There’s some
suspicion out there, among the government, that that was something that was
deleted by the president, himself. So, does it concern you that the
president is not expressing full-throated support for defending our NATO
allies on the world stage?

INHOFFE: Well, we are defending our allies. We’re doing such a – a much
better job now than they were doing before during the Obama administration.

TUR: How so?

INHOFFE: Well, the Obama administration, he says he – he said, at one
time, he was going to be drawing the line – if they crossed the line, he
was going to get tough action and then backed away from that. He refused
to allow to us send equipment in, defensive equipment to the Ukraine when
they had been our best ally.

For the first time in 96 years, did not have one – they don’t have one
communist on their – in their parliament. He is – so, he is standing up
for a strong America and in a way that we didn’t get out of President Obama
at all.

TUR: I want to get you on the record about climate – not climate change.
I know where you stand on climate change.

INHOFFE: About the Paris set back.

[17:25:00] TUR: About the Paris Agreement, exactly. How do you feel about
the president withdrawing? After all, it was a nonbinding accord. Do you
think that it’s a good idea to –

INHOFFE: Sure, it’s a good idea.

TUR: – take the United States out of the running or out – off the table
for future negotiations?

INHOFFE: Well, first of all, let’s keep in mind, I was criticized when I
was on the Andrea Mitchell show last Thursday. You brought this guy in,
Michael Mann in. Michael Mann was the same scientist that was discredited
through climate gate. And that was something that was very, very
significant at that time to have him come in and say things that just flat
weren’t true.

Now, as far as the Paris treaty was concerned – not – it wasn’t a treaty,
of course, but the Paris Agreement. Yes, I was glad that he did that.
Because if he didn’t do it, there would always be people out there,
radicals, some of the far left groups that would sue the United States,
they would sue the president. And I think it would be very disruptive.
And I think everyone pretty much agreed that was the major reason that he
wanted to do it.

TUR: Let’s talk about jobs, though. And they specifically appointed to
this accord hurting jobs at home. They were relying on research that is
not being upheld by the majority – a majority of people, at least. And
there is a concern that China is going to be able to take over and fill
that hole, when it comes the new technology, clean energy technology.

Are you concerned that Americans are not going to have the same access to
good, clean energy jobs that will sustain themselves in the future by us
not being a part of any sort of future negotiations on the world stage and
allowing China to fill that gap?

INHOFFE: You know, that’s just – well, the reason I’m not concerned is
because it’s not true. In 1992, we made the agreement. That was back at
the very first that said, we’re going to have these annual parties that
they have every December. And we will be a part of it from now on,
regardless of what happens.

So, they didn’t lose the place at the table as some people have said that
they did. Now, as far as the American people are concerned, they
understand. They understand what is going on. Why do you think –

TUR: The majority of people wanted to stay in this agreement. The
majority of the people believe in climate change, Senator.

INHOFFE: Well, let me ask you this, Katy. If that’s the case, why hasn’t
– why wasn’t President Obama able to get anything through on climate
change when he had the House, he had the Senate, he had the White House?
And, still, the American people overwhelmingly did not support him in that
whole issue.

TUR: Can you promise – can you promise your constituents that they’re not
going to access to better jobs in the future? That they’re going to
continue to have well-paying and long-lasting jobs in clean energy, even
without us being in this agreement?

INHOFFE: I would say, Katy, I can – oh, absolutely. There’s no question
about it. It has nothing to do with that. We have abundant, clean energy
in this country that we were refusing to use. We need to develop our own
resources. That’s what we have been doing in the past.

Right now, the president – President Obama had a war on fossil fuels,
right? That’s coal, oil and gas. Between fossil fuels and nuclear, that
was 89 percent of the energy it takes to run America. So, you’ve got to be
able to run America.

There are a lot of things in renewables that may work in the future. Right
now, the technology is not there. And I think that what this president did
by refusing to be in that agreement was to provide jobs. Provide jobs in
America that we can depend on to be – to – and not have to go to other

Now, if you look at the agreement that was made, our president said, in
Paris, he said we’re willing to reduce our CO2 emissions by 27 percent by
2025. Well, his own EPA said that’s impossible. There’s no way in the
world that we can do it.

Then, China comes dancing in. And China says, no, we’re going to continue
our – to have our coal-fired power plants that we’re cranking out now
every 10 days until 2025. Then, we’ll consider reducing our CO2 emissions.

Then, there’s India. India said, yes, we’ll join in. As long as we get
$2.5 trillion.

TUR: Yes, but this is – this is a nonbinding agreement. So, the
president could have reduced his goals. He could have just said, I don’t
agree with what President Obama targeted.

INHOFFE: No, you see, that’s why I –

TUR: No, no, you – it’s nonbinding. You can set your own targets. That
is – that is part of the deal. You don’t need to walk away from it.

INHOFFE: Katy, why do – how can – how can you say that.

TUR: There’s no negotiation here. It’s up to – it’s up to each country.

INHOFFE: Katy, how can you say that with a straight face? You know –

TUR: Because it’s true.

INHOFFE: – all the groups out there that can sue the president, can sue
the country and say that this is – this contradicts what they’re trying to
do in Paris. The president agreed to that.

Yes, it’s nonbinding. That doesn’t stop a law suit. That didn’t stop
other people in groups from keeping us from developing our own resources. I
know that all the liberals want to believe that.


INHOFE: You know, why do you think it is that this – that the previous
President Obama was unable to get anything through the congress when he
owned the congress? Because the American people don’t agree with that.

TUR: Senator.

INHOFE: And that’s what the polling is showing now.

TUR: Senator James Inhofe, thank you very much for your time, sir, and
happy Monday to you.

INHOFE: Thank you, Katy.

TUR: Up next, the other side of the climate fight. We’ll have Chuck’s one-
on-one with former vice president Al Gore. Keep it right here.


TUR: Still ahead, former vice president Al Gore weighs in on what’s next
after the U.S. exit the Paris climate accord. But first, Landon Dowdy has
the “CNBC Market Wrap.”

Thanks. Stocks closed lower on Wall Street. Investigators going cautious
following last week’s record highs. The Dow fell 22 points. The S&P slid 3
points. The Nasdaq dropping 10 points. Meanwhile, Apple dimmed 1 percent
after a rare downgrade by technology focus research firm, Pacific Crest.

Shares are up 33 percent this year and will an all time high last month.
The tech giant unveiled a handful of new products and pick off of its
annual three-day developers conference today. Meanwhile, Google parent,
Alphabet, closed about $1,000 a share for the first time. That’s it from
CNBC, first in business worldwide.


TUR: Welcome back. Former Vice President Al Gore is known for a lot
including being a lifelong environmentalist. He is soon coming out with a
sequel to his documentary, an inconvenient truth. Chuck sat down with the
vice president yesterday and started by asking him about his conversation
with President Trump on the Paris climate agreement.


I have the old-fashioned view that conversations like that should be kept
private. But nothing would surprise you about my advocacy and he did
listen. I wish he had made a different decision. I think this is by all
odds the most serious challenge humanity has ever faced. We’re going to
solve the climate crisis in spite of what President Trump does.

You know, when you put out inconvenient truth, I feel as if you took the
issue from sort of – from just pure activist community to a broader swath
of people. But obviously you’re not there yet. There’s a big swath of this
country that just does not believe the urgency of this. What do you think
you could do to better penetrate that bubble?

GORE: Well, first of all, some 70 percent of the American people believe
that we should have stayed in the Paris agreement. And the majority of
Americans in all 50 states. A majority of Republicans, a majority of Trump
voters all believed that we should have stayed in the Paris agreement. But
here’s the important thing, Chuck.

Despite President Trump’s decision, we’re seeing governors like Jerry Brown
and Andrew Cuomo, lots of others, mayors, Michael Bloomberg is doing a
terrific job organizing mayors in this country and around the world. We’re
seeing businesses like Apple and Google and Facebook and General Electric.
You can go right there on the list.

There is now a determination on the part of the American people to meet our
commitments under the Paris agreement no matter what the White House says.
We have seen our missions go down because these new technologies of solar
and wind and batteries and efficiency, they’re coming down so fast in cost.
And many places, the electricity from solar and wind is half the cost of
electricity from burning fossil fuels.

So we’re going to solve this. It would be easier. We would have a boost if
we had not isolated the U.S., if the president hadn’t isolated the U.S.
from the rest of the world. But we’re going to solve this regardless of his

TODD: But the fact of the matter is there is a significant chunk of people
in this country that believe this is a choice between their pocketbook and
the environment. And I guess my question to you is, how do you change that?
How do you change that mindset because that urgency is what is missing?
That hasn’t penetrated.

GORE: Well, there is a difference between arguments and facts. There are
now twice as many jobs in the solar industry as the coal industry.

TODD: Yeah.

GORE: In fact, solar jobs are growing 17 times faster than other jobs in
the economy. This is part of the pathway to restoring more economic health
in our country. The single fastest growing job for the next 10 years,
according to the bureau of labor statistics, is wind turbine technician.
And we’re seeing efficiency improvements. This is really sweeping the world
and it is the key to creating more good jobs.

TODD: What would you tell a coal community in west Virginia?

GORE: Well, the loss of jobs in the coal industry started with the
mechanization of the coal industry. Natural gas started displacing coal in
the fossil fuel sector. And promising to re-create the 19th century is not
a visionary strategy for a successful 21st century.

I along with late senator Robert Byrd from west Virginia, I was a strong
advocate, always have been, of creating new jobs for ones that we shouldn’t
pretend are going to come back. The coal industry has been collapsing all
over the world because of the smoke and the dust. Not only that, but the
global warming pollution has convinced country after country to shift away
from it.

TODD: As you know, some of this is not fact based. It is cultural based.

GORE: Yeah, sure.

TODD: And this is the hard part to break through. You as someone in
Tennessee should know this, right? That there is some cultural pockets
here, forget the facts. This is about, somebody else was telling me what to
do, telling me how to live.

GORE: Well, some truths are indeed inconvenient, forgive the price, but we
can’t forget the facts. We have to face reality squarely and do what’s
right for our people.

TODD: Forgive me. I am going to ask two political questions of you. One,
who has changed more? You or Tennessee politically?

GORE: Changed more, me or Tennessee? Well, we both changed. I had a woman
come up to me in a restaurant recently and said, you know, if you dyed your
hair black, you would look just like Al Gore.


TODD: I don’t mean physically, but you know what I mean here, politically.
Has Tennessee changed or have you changed more?

GORE: You know, at my farm in Tennessee, it hasn’t changed all that much. I
guess if you’re asking about the political make-up of Tennessee, it has
always been in the upper south, the border state. It is always kind of
swung from decade to decade, back and forth. That part hasn’t changed that

But the world has changed. Our country has changed. But that’s always the
case. What hasn’t changed is that we have the ability and the determination
to do what’s right for our kids. When we face the climate crisis, we’ve got
to pull up that reserve of patriotism and the dedication to the future.

TODD: You’re one of now two people that has won the popular vote but lost
the presidency. Advice for Hillary Clinton on when you get over it? Or do
you ever?


GORE: Well, you know, as I said a moment ago, I feel it is a privilege to
have found ways to try to make the world a better place outside of the
political system. She’s going to do fine and I talked with her after the
election. And I don’t think she needs my advice. I think she’ll do fine.

TODD: How long did it take you to sort of – do you ever get.

GORE: So far?


TODD: Do you ever get over it? I mean, there’s been that joke that George
McGovern I guess said to Walter Mondale, I’ll let you know when I’ve gotten
over it.

GORE: Yeah, well, I learned a lesson earlier in my life. Far worse things.
There are far worse things than having the Supreme Court make a decision
against you at the end of a presidential campaign. And if we walked down
the street out here, we would walk by lots of people who are carrying
unbelievable burdens that they don’t talk about.

I’m fine. Okay? And I’ve got work to do that is really worthwhile. And I
feel privileged to have the opportunity to try the make the world a better
place. And we’ve got a big challenge ahead. And we’re going to need it.


TUR: You can catch Chuck’s full interview with Vice President Al Gore on
our website, Coming up, a preview of this week’s
potentially blockbuster testimony from James Comey on the Russia
investigation. Stay with us.


TUR: Welcome back. All eyes will be on Capitol Hill this Thursday for one
the of most highly anticipated congressional appearances in years. Fired
FBI Director James Comey is set to testify in front of the Senate
Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation.

This is going to be one of those historic moments where the country stops
and watches like the McCarthy army hearings in 1954 which stemmed from
Senator Joe McCarthy communist witch hunt or Lieutenant Colonel Oliver
North’s testimony at the heart of the Iran-Contra affair in 1987.

Or Anita Hill sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court nominee
Clarence Thomas in 1991. And of course, former secretary of state Hillary
Clinton’s Benghazi testimony just last year. We’ll be right back.



power to exert executive privilege is very well established. However, in
order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by
the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not exert executive
privilege regarding James Comey’s scheduled testimony.


TUR: Time for “The Lid.” Azi Paybarah, Elise Jordan, Amy Holmes. You can
see right there Sarah Huckabee Sanders was reading from a statement, so you
know that the White House at least at the moment will not be trying to
invoke executive privilege for Thursday’s James Comey testimony. Elise,
what are you going to be watching out for?

ELISE JORDAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I’m wondering if Comey is
going to bring any color and excitement on Thursday. He can be pretty
straight-laced as we were discussing. And there have been so many leaks up
until this point that some of the shock value may be a little bit more
over-hyped than perhaps everyone is hoping.

TUR: He is something of a – I mean, you were saying he is a lawyer.


TUR: He is going to come in with an argument, you believe?

HOLMES: Uh-huh. I think that he might actually have to be lawyerly, as
Senator Joe Manchin, the Democrat from west Virginia was saying this
morning. What his constituents want to know is if Mr. Comey believed that
President Trump was possibly obstructing justice, why didn’t he say it at
the time? Why is he saying it now?

And if he did believe that, he had an obligation at the time to act upon
it. I think James Comey has to kind of wiggle around this issue because
he’s implicated as well.

TUR: Jason Chaffetz made that argument saying that he is going to have a
very hard time proving that there was any obstruction here because he
doesn’t have any proof that there was obstruction, that nothing materially
changed with the investigation.

to be asking Comey questions. They are really going to be making statements
and try to box Comey into justifying whatever position that they already
have. Democrats are going to be leading him on and try to get him to say
things that support Democratic view.

Republicans are going to try to get him to admit that there is no smoking
gun. And that could be a very tricky thing. Comey is a smart person. He is
very straight-laced. He is very lawyerly. He also knows what is going to
make a headline.

TUR: I know and that’s true. And if you look back to the congressional
testimony he gave about the constitutional crisis that he described in that
hospital room between Andy Card and Alberto Gonzales, and he and Bob
Mueller trying to get the – I guess it was NSA spying tools re-upped when
John Ashcroft had just gotten surgery.

So Elise, given that, that was his shining moment. That was what propelled
him to the national stage. It made him a name. Given that, are you thinking
that there is going to be fireworks at this testimony, during this
testimony? Are we going to learn something new or are we all a little too

JORDAN: I think we’re a little too expectant. I think that he is going to
give his explanation of a lot of things that have previously been leaked in
the press and especially his private dinner with President Trump at the
White House. I think that everyone wants to know more details about that.
If he weaves it into an interesting story, I think it is going to resonate
even more with the public.

TUR: Yesterday, Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intel
Committee said there’s smoke but there’s still no fire. Amy, does that say
to you that there’s no there there or are you somebody who believes that
evidence comes when the evidence comes?

HOLMES: Well, we have Robert Mueller rather who is doing this
investigation. So far, there hasn’t been this smoking gun as Mark Warner,
the Democrat from Virginia, that he said himself on television. I think
they’re hoping that Mr. Comey provides it on Thursday. Yes, I think we can
expect some very lengthy speeches from the senators who are themselves are
going to be trying to make press and try to make headlines.

And I know the media is cheering for it. I was thinking the only thing that
James Comey could do is practically show up in spandex and a wrestling mask
considering the expectations for Thursday.

TUR: Azi, is it a concession they’re not even trying to block him I should
say in the White House, a concession they can’t stop him and they can’t do
anything about it?

PAYBARAH: It would look worse for them if they did. Really, the question,
very similar to Benghazi where Democrats said, look, you had all these
hours of testimony and nothing came out of it and Republican voters still
used it as an issue, you might see the same thing on the other side if
there is no smoking gun.

TUR: Azi, Elise, Amy. Guys, thank you so much for the conversation today.
Up next, a simple lesson in carrying on in the face of terror.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman, if the Comey memo turns out to be true,
will you call for impeachment?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing further to add.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you stand by your comments that you will call for

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing further to add.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whose word do you trust more, President Trump or
former FBI Director James Comey?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing further to add.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Earlier today, you said that the president should be
impeached if the Comey memmo is true. Do you see him by that comment?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing further to add.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think the president may have obstructed

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing further to add.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you still have full confidence in the president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing further to add.



TUR: In case you missed it, Londoners are getting on with their lives.
Commuters walked across the London bridge on their way to work. They rode
the buses and the trains in the city’s famous underground, flooding into
central London just like any other Monday. Here’s one commuter this


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to live, you know. We’re not scared of them. We
just have to live.


TUR: It’s a sentiment echoed by many including the London mayor who said,
we will never let these cowards win and we will never be coward by
terrorism. And someone who reminded the world that London is the city that
survived the blitz, the sustained Nazi bombing campaign during World War
II. And as the Brits invented the phrase, keep calm and carry on.

But it’s not just London. Tens of thousands turned out defiantly in
Manchester last night for a concert. New Yorkers go to work everyday in a
skyscraper built on the very same site where terrorists took down the twin
towers. Israelis get back on buses after one is blown up. Parisians went
back to the cafes. Iraqis go back to the market after the explosion.

Egyptian Coptic Christians go back to church after a bombing. And Istanbul
flights were back to operating within hours after an attack on the airport.
Returning back to life as usual after a terror attack isn’t burying your
head in the sand, it’s exactly the opposite. It is acknowledging the threat
and refusing to give in.

It is giving the middle finger to those whose goal is to stoke fear. It
says that Brits or Americans or Israelis or Parisians or Iraqis or
Egyptians or Turks or anyone else won’t be intimidated.


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