Speed Reads

looking for answers

Does Trump think climate change is real? White House officials are dodging the question.

White House officials are being notably vague about whether President Trump believes in climate change.

When pressed Thursday on whether Trump accepts the science linking global warming to carbon dioxide emissions, a senior administration official provided a rather indirect answer. "The fact that the president in his speech today said that he wants to come back and renegotiate a better deal for the United States and for the world, I think, pretty much speaks for itself," the official said in a briefing after Trump announced that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit carbon emissions to help slow global warming.

Trump slammed the agreement's "draconian financial and economic burdens" for the U.S., but indicated he was open to negotiating a better deal. France, Germany, and Italy swiftly informed Trump that the deal "cannot be renegotiated."

After insisting again that Trump's openness to renegotiating "speaks for itself," the official admitted to not having "talked to the president about his personal views."

Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was similarly circuitous about Trump's views on climate change. When asked at a press briefing if the man who once called climate change a "hoax" created by the Chinese believed that human activity contributes to climate change, Spicer demurred. "Honestly I haven't asked him," Spicer said. " ... I don't know. I honestly haven't asked him that specific question."