Despite President Trump claiming he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord so that he could negotiate a “better” deal, his White House and top EPA official cannot definitively say if the president even believes the scientific consensus on climate change—the key element motivating the Paris deal in the first place. “The president believes in a clean environment, clean air, clean water,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told ABC on Friday morning when pointedly asked if Trump believes climate change is real or a hoax. Later, during a White House press briefing, EPA chief Scott Pruitt declined to answer the same question three times, telling reporters his focus is solely on whether the agreement “hurt” the U.S. economy. And when asked the same yes-or-no question, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that he does not know Trump’s thinking on climate change because “I have not had an opportunity to have that discussion.” Trump’s most famous comments on anthropogenic climate change were that it’s a hoax created by the Chinese government to weaken America.
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