Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says that President Trump believes that the climate is changing and that “pollutants are part of that equation.”
Haley’s comments, which she made in interviews with CNN’s Jake Tapper and CBS News’ John Dickerson, make her the first member of the Trump administration to say that the president believes that the climate is changing.
Several White House officials have refused to answer that question in the wake of Trump’s rollback of the Paris climate accord earlier this week. The administration has been pressed on Trump’s stance on climate change because he has called it a hoax in the past. He once tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
“President Trump believes the climate is changing. And he believes pollutants are part of that equation,” Haley told Tapper in an interview airing Sunday.
“So that is the fact. That is where we are. That’s where it stands. He knows that it’s changing. He knows that the U.S. has to be responsible with it, and that’s what we’re going to do. Just because we got out of a club doesn’t mean that we don’t care about the environment,” she added.
Haley offered a similar talking point during her interview with Dickerson which airs Sunday on “Face the Nation.”
“He believes the climate is changing, and he believes pollutants are part of that equation. I know that he is absolutely intent on making sure that we have clean air, clean water, that he makes sure we do everything we can to make sure we can to keep America’s moral compass in the world when it comes to the environment,” Haley said.
Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, also reiterated Trump’s rationale for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, which President Obama entered last year with 190 other world leaders.
“What I will tell you is the regulations from the Paris agreement were disadvantaging our companies. We know that. I knew that as a governor, we know that now. The jobs were not attainable as long as we had to live under those regulations,” Haley told Tapper.
While Haley says Trump does acknowledge climate change is occurring, she appeared unwilling to say Trump believes that it is caused by human activity.
Haley dodged questions from Dickerson on whether Trump believes that the pollutants causing climate change are the result of human activity.
“I mean, John, I just gave you the answer. That’s what he believes, so that’s as clear as I know to give it,” Haley told Dickerson.