In the run-up to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, the administration has backed away from using the term “climate change,” and it won’t say if the president still thinks the science is a “hoax.”
In 2009, Trump backed a climate agreement; later, he tweeted that the problem had been invented by the Chinese government to make the U.S. “non competitive.” Trump referenced scientific findings in his address yesterday, arguing that the Paris accord would only improve the climate a “tiny, tiny amount,” but MIT researchers said he had erroneously referenced some of their findings. As Buzzfeed‘s Tom Namako noted on Twitter, the White House officials who have refused to say if Trump thinks that climate change is real so far include
• Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator
• Gary Cohn, economic advisor
• Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor
• Ryan Zinke, interior secretary
• Sean Spicer, press secretary
During today’s White House press conference, Pruitt said he had not discussed the President’s thoughts on the science during discussions about the Paris decision. Spicer said he also had “not had an opportunity” to discuss the matter with Trump. A reporter asked him if he would have that discussion and report back. “If I can, I will,” he said.