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Nikki Haley says 'Trump believes the climate is changing' and 'pollutants are part of the equation'

Nikki Haley on CNN

"President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview that taped Saturday and aired in full on Sunday. "Just because we got out of a club doesn't mean we don't care about the environment," she added.

These comments were more direct than those from EPA chief Scott Pruitt, though Haley echoed his phrasing in saying Trump believes "the climate changes" rather than "in climate change."

Haley also argued a main reason Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is he wanted to be honest about what could realistically be accomplished. The climate pact terms former President Obama negotiated weren't "achievable, even if we had stayed in the Paris Agreement, and this is the part everyone needs to think about," Haley said, "If we had stayed in the Paris Agreement ... what President Obama submitted the U.S. to was not achievable under our standards or any other country's standards, and then we've got to look at the fact we didn't want to be in violation of the agreement."

Watch two excerpts of Haley's interview below. Bonnie Kristian