Wells Griffith, the Republican consultant and President Donald Trump’s international energy and climate adviser, spent several minutes running away from Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman on Tuesday, as the journalist sought to ask Griffith basic questions about climate change and the President’s denials of climate science.
Griffith made global headlines Monday when he was laughed at while hosting the United States’ only public event at this year’s global climate change conference in Poland — one promoting fossil fuel use.
After the planned disruption Monday, Griffith scolded protesters. “All too often, we can’t have an open and honest discussion about the realities,” he said, before returning to prepared remarks.
But the next day, the Trump adviser seemed unwilling to engage in an “open and honest discussion” about the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, or about its refusal to “welcome” — along with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to the frustration of climate scientists and attendee nations eager to address the effects of climate change.
All of Goodman’s questions went unanswered as the pair walked, jogged and eventually ran together toward the U.S. delegation’s office. Once there, a staffer held out a business card for Goodman but then yanked it away, instead reading her an email address to contact in order to request an interview. That interview request, Goodman reported, was denied “due to time constraints.”
Before joining the Trump administration, Griffith worked on Trump’s presidential campaign as battleground states director, and in 2013 was deputy chief of staff to Reince Priebus, when Priebus was chairman of the Republican National Committee. The same year, Griffith unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Alabama’s 1st District. In 2015, according to his LinkedIn page, he worked for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign.
Democracy Now! noted an E&E News profile of Griffith that detailed his only pre-Trump administration experience with energy policy: working at his dad’s gas station.
Watch below, starting at 42:00: