Speed Reads

not getting out of this one

Joe Scarborough relentlessly grills EPA boss Scott Pruitt on Trump's climate change beliefs

Joe Scarborough.

Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough had a heck of a time Tuesday getting an answer out of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on whether President Trump believes in climate change. Scarborough started out his interrogation by insisting the question was "simple": "Does [Trump] still believe that it was a hoax launched in China?"

It didn't get him far. "I think what's important, Joe, is that the president has said when you make decisions on environmental decisions internationally that we put America’s interests first," Pruitt said, not at all addressing Scarborough's question regarding Trump's China claim, which he made in a tweet in 2012.

After more dodging by Pruitt, Scarborough delivered an ultimatum. "This interview has to stop in its tracks until I just get a yes-no answer from you on whether you believe it's important that Americans find out whether their president believes that climate change is a conspiracy theory based out of China," Scarborough said.

Pruitt finally answered, saying Trump "has indicated the climate is changing." "There's a human contribution to it, measuring that with real precision is very difficult," Pruitt said. When pushed to provide more details, Pruitt accused the hosts of Morning Joe of asking the question "to get away from the merits of the Paris accord."

Still, Pruitt gave more of an answer than he did at Friday's White House press briefing, when he dodged the question on three separate occasions.

Watch Scarborough struggle to get a straight answer out of Pruitt below, starting at the 4:46 mark. Becca Stanek