President Donald Trump is rejecting a key conclusion of a dire report on the economic costs of climate change released Friday by his own administration saying, “I don’t believe it.” (Nov. 26)
WASHINGTON – In a wide-ranging interview, President Donald Trump confronted why he’s voiced skepticism on a climate change report issued over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, telling the Washington Post “I don’t see” the devastating climate change effects warned about in the report.
“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers,” the president said of climate change. “You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean.”
The 1,600-page National Climate Assessment, issued by the Trump administration, details the climate and economic impacts U.S. residents will see if drastic action is not taken to address climate change.
The report notes in a worst-case scenario, top scientists from 13 federal agencies say climate change – primarily caused by human activity – could deliver a 10 percent hit to the nation’s GDP by the end of the century.
“As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it — not nearly like it is,” Trump said. “Do we want clean water? Absolutely. Do we want clean air to breathe? Absolutely.”
The president talked about how other nations have “incredibly dirty” air and water, which in turn would eventually affect the U.S. He also used the discussion to segue into the California wildfires and forest maintenance.
The president took on a variety of other issues, including saying he might not meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he attends the G20 summit in Buenos Aries this weekend after Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels.
“Maybe I won’t even have the meeting. We’re going to see,” the president said.
Trump told The Post he would be getting “a report” Tuesday evening from his national security team “that will determine what happens at the meeting.”
National Security adviser John Bolton says there will be a “full agenda” of talks between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Argentina. After reporter questions, Bolton said “sure,” Ukraine would also be discussed. (Nov. 27)
“I don’t like that aggression,” Trump told The Post. “I don’t like that aggression at all. Absolutely.”
The president also repeated his stance on Saudi Arabia after the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, saying the U.S. would continue to stand by the Saudi kingdom, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. He also told The Post he did not have any intentions of dismissing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by the president.
The president blamed the Federal Reserve for the closure of General Motors plants, saying he is “not even a little bit happy” with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. “Jay” Powell, who he nominated for the role. He said high interest rates and other policies by the Federal Reserve were hurting his policies and causing the closures and stock market declines.
“I’m not happy with the Fed,” the president said. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”