EPA chief and noted climate change skeptic, Scott Pruitt, came in for a tense interview on Morning Joe, Tuesday. Things got heated when Joe Scarborough interjected a question, demanding an answer to what has become the journalistic equivalent of the Maltese Falcon — Does Donald Trump believe in climate change?
“Mr. Pruitt, it’s a simple question. Have you ever talked to the president about whether he believes climate change is real? Does he still believe it was a hoax launched in China? Wouldn’t you like to know?”
The President made that explosive claim in this Tweet from 2012. Pruitt, like many others before him, wasn’t going near it.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
“I think what’s important, Joe, is the president has said when you make decisions on environmental decisions internationally that we put America’s interests first.”
“I agree with that,” Scarborough insisted multiple times. “We should always put America first. I disagree with getting out of Paris because it’s voluntary. The goals set were voluntary. It’s important for Americans to know whether their president believes global warming was hatched as a conspiracy theory in China.”
Nice try, Joe.
Pruitt jumped on Scarborough’s suggestion that Paris would have been voluntary, with the director saying that was not the case. After blowing some proverbial coal smoke on set, an exasperated Scarborough cut him off.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I got to stop. I want to stop it. This interview has to stop in it’s tracks until I just get a yes/no answer from you on whether you think it’s important that Americans find out whether their president believes that climate change is a conspiracy theory based out of China.”
“The President has indicated the climate is changing,” Pruitt finally managed to choke out. “There’s a human contribution to it, measuring that with real precision is very difficult.”
When Willie Geist pressed for specifics, Pruitt shot back.
“I think the reason you are asking this question is to get away from the merits of the Paris Accord,” he snapped.
[image via screengrab]
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