MTP Daily, Transcript 6/5/2017

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

Show: MTP DAILY 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 storm.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, U.S. DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I think that they 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They didn't know what the hell they were doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN KARL, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: The president 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY: This is not a travel ban. This is a temporary pause that allows us to review the existing refugee and visa vetting system.

SEAN SPICER, U.S. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Part of what we're trying 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.

(END VIDEO LCIP)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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 headline.

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.

JUAN ZARATE, SENIOR ADVISOR CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: 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 Korea.

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.

ELISE JORDAN, CNN MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the president hasn't 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 --

(CROSSTALK)

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 said.

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 --

(CROSSTALK)

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 --

(CROSSTALK)

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 --

(CROSSTALK)

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 administration.

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The previous administration spent over $7 billion trying to upgrade the system and totally failed. Honestly, they didn't know what the hell they were doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[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.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA, SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Thank you.

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 headlines?

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 anybody.

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 countries.

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.

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Ah-huh.

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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."

LANDON DOWDY, GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER FOR CNBC: Hi, there, Katy. 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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, he listened. But 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.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR, "MEET THE PRESS DAILY" SHOW HOST: 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 decision.

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.

(LAUGHTER) 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 much.

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?

(LAUGHTER)

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?

(LAUGHTER)

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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(START VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: The president's 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

AMY HOLMES, NEWS ANCHOR AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right.

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.

AZI PAYBARAH, SENIOR REPORTER FOR POLITICO: Right. And the people are going 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 expectant?

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.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

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 impeachment?

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 justice?

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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 morning.

(START VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to live, you know. We're not scared of them. We just have to live.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 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.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END