Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Watch this U.S. foreign aid administrator clam up at the mention of climate change

The acting assistant administrator of USAID for Asia, Gloria Steele, greeted a question about climate change with conspicuous, cringe-inducing silence during a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting Thursday, BuzzFeed News reports.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wanted to know if the devastating floods in Bangladesh "have anything at all to do with, I don't know, the warming of the climate?" Under former President Barack Obama, Steele had spoken at length about the disastrous consequences of "changes in climate" in Asia, but on Thursday she said … nothing at all.

"An issue with vacancies at [the State Department and] USAID is you have more acting officials who are reluctant to speak openly [because] they have less job security," BuzzFeed News' John Hudson wrote on Twitter. "Still, if you had a political appointee in that spot, it's possible they would deny the role of climate change (depending on the pick)." Watch below, and read more about the strange moment at BuzzFeed News. Jeva Lange