search
Sections List
American Journal News

Four White House reporters slam EPA chief for Trump's climate change denial

Donald Trump’s reckless decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord has already been met with disapproval and condemnation at home and around the world. But the move was not entirely surprising, considering Trump’s well-known history of climate change denialism — including the absurd belief that global warming is a “hoax” perpetrated […]

By Alison R. Parker - June 02, 2017
Share
Scott Pruitt

But the move was not entirely surprising, considering Trump’s well-known history of climate change denialism — including the absurd belief that global warming is a “hoax” perpetrated by China.

And having installed Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency — a man with a documented history of climate change “skepticism” who has spent years attacking and even suing the EPA — it was unlikely that Trump would be turning over a new leaf on environmentalism once he began occupying the White House.

Indeed, there have already been efforts to remove all mentions of climate change from the EPA’s website. And the decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord only served to drive home the administration’s blatant lack of concern about this urgent issue.

And when repeatedly pressed about Trump’s denialism by reporters at a White House press briefing, Pruitt stubbornly refused to give a direct answer.

First, ABC News’ Mary Bruce asked the simple yes-or-no question, and got a rambling non-answer in response.

MARY BRUCE: Just hoping you can clear this up once and for all: Yes or no, does the president believe that climate change is real and a threat to the United States?

PRUITT: You know, what’s interesting about — all the discussions we had through the last several weeks have been focused on one singular issue: Is Paris good or not for this country? That’s the discussions I’ve had with the president. That’s been my focus. The focus remained on whether Paris put us at a disadvantage. And in fact, it did. It put us at an economic disadvantage. You may not know this, but Paris set targets at 26 to 28 percent. With the entire agenda of the previous administration, we still fell 40 percent short of those targets. It was a failed deal to begin with, and even if all of the targets were met by all nations across the globe, it only reduced the temperature by less than two-tenths of one degree. So, that is something that the president focused upon, with respect to how it impacted us economically, and whether there were good environmental objectives that were achieved as a result of Paris. His decision was no, and that was the extent of our discussions. (To another reporter) Yes, ma’am.

BRUCE: But on climate change, yes or no?

PRUITT: (To another reporter) Yes, ma’am.

When the Washington Post’s Phil Rucker tried to go back to the question, Pruitt again offered his boilerplate response about the Paris agreement’s economic impacts.

RUCKER: I’d like to go back to the first question that was asked that you didn’t answer: Does the president believe today that climate change is a hoax? That’s something, of course, he said in the campaign. When the pool was up in the Oval Office with him a couple days ago, he refused to answer. I’m wondering if you can speak for him.

PRUITT: You know, I did answer, because I said the discussions the president and I have had over the last several weeks have been focused on one key issue: Is Paris good or bad for this country? The president and I focused our attentions there, he determined that it was bad for this country. It hurt us economically. It didn’t achieve good environmental outcomes. And he made the decision to reject the Paris deal.

NBC News’s Kristen Welker next attempted to get a straight answer out of Pruitt, calling on him as the EPA administrator to give the real answer that the American people deserve.

But once again, Pruitt deflected.

WELKER: You’re the EPA administrator. Shouldn’t you be able to tell the American people whether or not the president still believes that climate change is a hoax? Where does he stand?

PRUITT: As I indicated, several times in the process, there’s enough to deal with with respect to the Paris agreement and making an informed decision about this important issue. That’s what our focus has been over the last several weeks. I’ve answer the question a couple times.

But in fact, Pruitt had not really answered the question — and when another reporter brought up the lack of information about Trump’s climate change views, Pruitt ignored that part of the question and began to lecture the crowd about what the administration has supposedly done to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

REPORTER: Given the fact that you and other administration officials haven’t been able to outline the president’s views on climate change, why should other countries believe that the president wants to negotiate a deal in good faith?

PRUITT: As I indicated in my comments yesterday, and the president emphasized in his speech, this administration, and the country as a whole — we have taken significant steps to reduce our CO2 footprint, to levels of the pre-1990 —

It is distressing to see, in so many members of this administration, how well-honed the ability to ignore direct questions or offer non sequiturs that sound like substantive answers has already become.

And it is troubling beyond measure to realize that, as Pruitt refuses to say if Trump believes climate change is a real threat, the answer is likely “no.”


Read More
AJ News
Latest
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Whitmer creates task force aiming to prevent gun violence in Michigan

Whitmer creates task force aiming to prevent gun violence in Michigan

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - June 20, 2024
Emergency care for pregnant women at stake in Supreme Court case, Missouri doctor warns

Emergency care for pregnant women at stake in Supreme Court case, Missouri doctor warns

By Anna Spoerre, Missouri Independent - June 18, 2024
In Grand Rapids, DeVos declines to say whether she’ll endorse Trump

In Grand Rapids, DeVos declines to say whether she’ll endorse Trump

By Kyle Davidson, Michigan Advance - June 18, 2024
Michigan Republican Mike Rogers worked for organization that threatened privacy rights

Michigan Republican Mike Rogers worked for organization that threatened privacy rights

By Jesse Valentine - June 18, 2024
Nevada Republican Sam Brown has ties to extremist who compared abortion to slavery

Nevada Republican Sam Brown has ties to extremist who compared abortion to slavery

By Jesse Valentine - June 18, 2024
U.S. Supreme Court overturns ban on bump stocks used in Las Vegas mass shooting

U.S. Supreme Court overturns ban on bump stocks used in Las Vegas mass shooting

By Ariana Figueroa, Pennsylvania Capital Star - June 14, 2024