Does President Trump Believe in Climate Change? Aides Won't Say | NBC 7 San Diego
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Does President Trump Believe in Climate Change? Aides Won't Say

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was asked multiple times Friday about President Donald Trump’s beliefs on climate change, which Trump has referred to as a “hoax.” Pruitt gave no direct answer.

    (Published Friday, June 2, 2017)

    Does he or doesn't he? Believe in climate change, that is.

    You'd think that would be an easy enough question the day after President Donald Trump announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the landmark global accord aimed at combatting global warming.

    But don't bother asking at the White House.

    "I have not had an opportunity to have that discussion" with the president, responded Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Friday.

    Ex-Homeland Security Chief: Putin Orchestrated Cyberattacks on US

    [NATL] Ex-Homeland Security Chief: Putin Orchestrated Cyberattacks on US

    Jeh Johnson, former Homeland Security Secretary under President Barack Obama, testified Tuesday before Congress, claiming Russian leader Vladimir Putin orchestrated cyberattacks during last year's presidential elections, but that such attacks did not change the final vote count. 

    (Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017)

    "You should ask him that," offered White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway.

    Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt dodged the question, too.

    The president also ignored it during an unrelated bill-signing.

    It's quite a reversal for Trump, who spent years publicly bashing the idea of global warming as a "hoax" and "total con job" in books, interviews and tweets. He openly challenged the scientific consensus that the climate is changing and man-made carbon emissions are largely to blame.

    "Global warming is an expensive hoax!" he tweeted in 2014.

    But Trump has been largely silent on the issue since his election last fall. On Thursday, he made scarce mention of it in his lengthy remarks announcing America's exit from the Paris accord. Instead, he framed his decision as based on economics.

    'Secret' GOP Health Care Proposal Takes Shape

    [NATL] 'Secret' GOP Health Care Proposal Takes Shape

    Only a handful of Senators currently know what's in the Republican health care plan they're expected to vote on next week. Senators from both sides of the aisle are raising complaints about the closed door process. 

    (Published Tuesday, June 20, 2017)

    Here's what he's said before:

    TRUMP'S TWEETS: The president's twitter feed once was filled with references to "so-called" global warming being a "total con job" based on "faulty science and manipulated data."

    An Associated Press search of his twitter archives revealed at least 90 instances in which he has referred to "global warming" and "climate change" since 2011. In nearly every instance, he expressed skepticism or mockery.

    "This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bulls--- has got to stop," he wrote in January 2014, spelling out the vulgarity.

    Often the president has pointed to cold weather as evidence the climate scientists are wrong.

    "It's 46 (really cold) and snowing in New York on Memorial Day — tell the so-called "scientists" that we want global warming right now!" he wrote in May 2013 — one of several instances in which he said that warming would be welcome.

    AG Rosenstein Praises Sessions at Crime Summit

    [NATL] AG Rosenstein Praises Sessions at Crime Summit

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein voiced strong support for law enforcement, as well as praise for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, during an address at Tuesday's National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. 

    (Published Tuesday, June 20, 2017)

    "Where the hell is global warming when you need it?" he asked in January 2015.

    The same message was echoed in the president's books.

    In "Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America," Trump made a reference to "the mistaken belief that global climate change is being caused by carbon emissions."

    "If you don't buy that — and I don't — then what we have is really just an expensive way of making the tree-huggers feel good about themselves," he wrote.

    CANDIDATE AND SKEPTIC: "I'm not a believer in man-made global warming," Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in September 2015, after launching his bid for the White House. He bemoaned the fact that the U.S. was investing money and doing things "to solve a problem that I don't think in any major fashion exists."

    "I am not a believer," he added, "Unless somebody can prove something to me ... I am not a believer and we have much bigger problems."

    US-Russia Tensions Rise Over Syria

    [NATL] US-Russia Tensions Rise Over Syria

    Russia vows to treat all U.S. planes above Syria as targets after U.S.-backed forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet, further intensifying tensions between the U.S. and Russia. 

    (Published Monday, June 19, 2017)

    By March 2016, the president appeared to allow that the climate was changing — but continued to doubt humans were to blame.

    "I think there's a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I'm not a great believer," he told The Washington Post. "There is certainly a change in weather," he said.

    Then-campaign manager, Conway explained Trump's view this way: "He believes that global warming is naturally occurring. That there are shifts naturally occurring."

    EVOLVING PRESIDENT: In an interview with The New York Times in November, after the election, Trump was asked repeatedly whether he intended to leave the Paris accord and appeared to have a new open-mindedness.

    "I'm looking at it very closely," Trump told the newspaper. "I have an open mind to it. We're going to look very carefully."

    He went on to say that he thought "there is some connectivity" between human activity and the changing climate, but that, "It depends on how much."

    The House Fight Over GOP Leaning Georgia District

    [NATL] Candidates Fight Over GOP Leaning Georgia District in House Race

    Democrat candidate Jon Ossoff hopes to win over a GOP-leaning 6th Congressional District in suburban Atlanta over Republican candidate Karen Handel in Tuesday's runoff election, a win that could rattle Washington ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

    (Published Monday, June 19, 2017)

    Asked about the comment several days later, Trump's now-chief of staff Reince Priebus told Fox News that Trump "has his default position, which is that most of it is a bunch of bunk."

    "But he'll have an open mind and listen to people," he said.

    Stay tuned.