By ordering the United States to pull out of the multilateral Paris Accords on Climate Change this week, President Donald Trump not only totally screwed future generations of, well, everyone, but also brought upon himself renewed scrutiny over his own, personal stance on global warming—namely, does he still think it’s a hoax “created by and for the Chinese”?
During a press conference at the White House on Friday, Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt was asked that very question, multiple times, by multiple reporters.
Let’s see how he did!
0:03 - Yes or no. Does the president believe climate change is real, and a threat to the United States?
Pruitt: Y’know, it’s interesting about all the discussions we had through the last several weeks have been focused on one singular issue: Is Paris good or not for this country? That’s the discussions I’ve had with the president.
1:13 - Does the president believe, today, that climate change is a hoax? That’s something of course he said in the campaign. When the pool was up in the Oval Office with him a couple days ago, he refused to answer. So I’m wondering if you can speak for him?
Pruitt: Y’know, I did answer the question. Because I said the discussions the president and I had over the last several weeks have been focused on one key issue: Is Paris good or bad for this country? The president and I focused our attentions there.
5:16 - When NASA says that 95 percent of the experts of this area around the world believe that the Earth is warming and you are up there throwing out information that says, ‘Well, maybe this is being exaggerated’ and so forth, and you talk about ‘climate exaggerators,’ it just seems to a lot of people around the world that you and the president are just denying the reality. And the reality of the situation is that climate change is happening and that it’s a significant threat to the planet.
Pruitt: We have done a tremendous amount as a country to achieve reductions in CO2, and we have done that through technology and innovation. We will continue to do that, we will continue to stay engaged. We are part, as you know, of the UNFCCC, and that process encourages voices by subnational groups and by countries across the globe. And we are gonna stay engaged and try to work through agreements and achieve outcomes that put America’s interest first.
6:38 - They will worry that you’re putting your head in the sand.
Pruitt: Well, there’s no evidence of that.
But Pruitt wasn’t the only administration official to awkwardly dodge questions about the president’s questionable personal beliefs. This was, after all, a White House press conference. And what would a White House press conference be without Press Secretary Sean Spicer making a fool of himself?
6:44 - You were asked earlier this week about the president’s personal views on climate change, and whether or not he believes it’s a hoax. You said you hadn’t had a chance to have that conversation with him. Now it’s been, y’know, 48, 72 hours. What does the president actually believe about climate change? Does he still believe it’s a hoax? Could you clarify that since apparently nobody else in the White House can?
Spicer: I have not had an opportunity have that discussion.
7:05 - Don’t the American people deserve to know what the president believes on such an important issue?
Spicer: I think what administrator Pruitt pointed out that what the president is focused on is making sure that we have clean water, clean air, and making sure that we have the best deal for the American workers.
7:19: You said that you hadn’t talked to the president yet about whether he still believes climate change is a hoax. Can you— Would it be possible for you to have that conversation with him and then report back to us at the next briefing?
Spicer: Um, if I can, I will.
That’s a whole lot of questions, and not a single denial to be found. I guess we may never know the truth!