EPA Chief Dodges Questions On Whether Trump Believes Climate Change Is A Hoax

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt delivered the press briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, on Friday, June... White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt delivered the press briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, on Friday, June 2, 2017. (Photo by Cheriss May) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***(Sipa via AP Images) MORE LESS
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June 4, 2017 10:21 a.m.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Sunday ducked questions about whether President Donald Trump believes that there is manmade climate change.

“I think the President made it clear in that statement that the climate changes,” Pruitt said on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to Trump’s announcement on Thursday that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

“But doesn’t it matter whether or not the President believes there is manmade climate change, whether he believes it’s a hoax?” George Stephanopoulos asked. “That’s the predicate for the entire decision.”

“With respect to the Paris accord, the focus is on the efficacy, the merits of the deal and the demerits of the deal,” Pruitt replied.

“It’s a pretty simple question. Why can’t the President just say whether or not he believes in manmade climate change?” Stephanopoulos pressed. “You speak for the President. You’re the EPA administrator. Do you know what the President believes?”

“Well, frankly, George, I think the whole question is an effort to get it off the point and the issue of whether Paris is good for this country or not,” Pruitt said.

“Do you know if President Trump still believes that climate change is a hoax?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Our discussion, George, has been about the agreement, the efficacy of the agreement,” Pruitt replied.

Pruitt is just one of several members of Trump’s administration who have repeatedly declined to say in recent days whether Trump believes the science behind climate change.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Saturday broke ranks, and said Trump “believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of that equation.”

“He knows that it’s changing, he knows that the U.S. has to be responsible with it,” she said. “And that’s what we’re going to do.”

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