Media Runs Wild With Unsourced Claim About Trump And Weather

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The media has been hyping up comments supposedly made by President Donald Trump at his Florida golf course Sunday, just days after announcing the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

On Monday, for instance, Newsweek ran a story claiming Trump “cited inaccurate weather reports as reasoning for pulling out of the Paris accord, seemingly suggesting a disbelief in climate science.” A news tidbit the writer pulled from a Politico newsletter.

Politico’s Playbook newsletter reported this Monday morning:

OVERHEARD AT TRUMP NATIONAL: Trump discussing his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement over lunch after playing a round of golf Sunday. Trump’s post-Paris analysis: they can’t even get the weather report right, so how come they think they can get that right?

That’s it. It’s not a direct quote, and it’s not even sourced. Did a reporter hear this or was it delivered to Politico by an unnamed source? Was Trump joking? We don’t know.

Regardless, the media had a field day. Newsweek and others in the media have passed the unsourced news bit as evidence Trump doesn’t know the difference between global warming and weather.

Newsweek went on to explain “Trump has long been a denier of global warming and climate science, although the White House has grown tight-lipped in describing his beliefs about climate change,” referring to administration’s reluctance to answer the question.

Newsweek added that “Trump has before cited snow or ice in hot climates as further proof that global warming is a hoax” before going on to explain the difference between weather and climate.

Many reporters are still reeling over Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris accord, which the Obama administration joined in 2016 with the goal of keeping future global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

When Trump announced his decision Thursday, he said it was about economics, not the environment. Trump said Paris was poorly negotiated and would hurt American workers.

Reporters began pelting administration officials with questions of whether or not Trump actually believes humans are driving catastrophic warming. Most officials dodged the questions, except U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“President Trump believes the climate is changing. And he believes pollutants are part of that equation,” Haley told CNN in an interview that aired Sunday.

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