Speed Reads

Paris Agreement

President Trump is reportedly leaning toward pulling America out of the Paris climate pact

President Trump's top advisers are split on whether Trump should pull out of the global Paris climate agreement signed in 2015, but after two meetings — one with relevant Cabinet officials and top aides last Thursday and another with administration lawyers on Monday — those advocating for scrapping the landmark deal "have gained the upper hand," The Washington Post reports, citing "participants in the discussions and those briefed on the deliberations."

The momentum away from staying in the climate pact reportedly started with White House counsel Don McGahn, who is arguing that staying in the agreement will cause legal headaches for Trump as he works to unwind former President Barack Obama's clean-energy programs; State Department lawyers, previous White House counsels, and international diplomats strenuously disagree with that interpretation, saying nothing in the Paris accord prevents any of the 194 signatory nations from reducing targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Along with McGahn, chief strategist Stephen Bannon and EPA chief Scott Pruitt are in favor of pulling out of the accord, while economic adviser Gary Kohn, daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are said to back sticking with the Paris climate pact. Now, "this is solely down to the big dogs in the West Wing," an industry source tells Axios. "Support staff has been told to stand down and the president will sort it out with input from the Bannons, Cohns, and Kushners of the world." Trump has said he will make a decision in a few weeks, before a G7 meeting at the end of May.