During a White House press briefing today, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt repeatedly declined to say whether President Donald Trump believes that climate change is real.
This press conference took place a day after Donald Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. The first question of the press conference was about whether President Trump believes climate change is real and is a threat to the United States. Pruitt would not answer, instead saying that he and the president have been focused on whether the Paris agreement is good for business.
“All the discussions we had through the last several weeks have been focused on one singular issue: is Paris good or not for this county? That’s the discussion I’ve had with the president,” Pruitt said. “That’s been my focus.”
Pruitt was then pressed to provide a yes or no answer to the question of if Trump believes climate change is real. Pruitt did not answer.
Another reporter soon chimed in to ask Pruitt for the third time whether President Donald Trump believes in climate change, noting that Pruitt did not answer the original question. Pruitt gave the exact same answer as he did twice before, saying that he and Trump have been focused on whether the climate agreement hurts the U.S.
Another White House reporter then asked Scott Pruitt for his own personal opinion about whether human activity contributes to climate change. Pruitt said that he personally believes that global warming is occurring and that human activity is a factor but that scientists have exaggerated how much of a threat climate change is.
Later in the press conference, Sean Spicer took the podium, and he too was asked about Trump’s view on climate change. Spicer said that he has not talked to Trump about whether he believes climate change is a hoax.
Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he believes climate change is not real, in 2012 saying that it is a hoax created by China. It is unclear whether the president still believes this.