The temperature in the White House Press Briefing Room dropped precipitously when EPA honcho Scott Pruitt joined the ranks of Team Trump-ers refusing to say whether the guy who just pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord remains a climate-change denier.
“The president made a very courageous decision yesterday. He put America first,” Pruitt insisted stoutly to a mostly dubious hall of reporters during Friday’s press briefing.
Asked specifically to answer “yes or no..does the president believe climate change is real?” Pruitt continued the White House Shuffle for a second day. It goes like this: Pruitt answers that his conversation with Donald Trump, in re Paris, was “focused on one singular issue: is Paris good or not for this country…That has been my focus.”
“Does president believe climate change is a hoax” as he said repeatedly during White House race, another reporter asked, noting Pruitt had refused to answer the question the first time. “I did answer the question,” Pruitt continued along those stout-denial lines, then broke out again with the “the discussions had focused on one key issue: Is Paris good or bad for this country.”
Asked and not answered a total of five times by Pruitt and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in Friday’s presser, which has to be some sort of record.
Asked what are his own views on climate change, Pruitt conceded global warming “is occurring” but called it “difficult” to pinpoint how much of this is being caused by humans, adding, “there are climate exaggerators.”
The country doesn’t need the Paris deal to cut emissions, Pruitt said. “There is nothing to be apologetic about…We have done a tremendous amount as a country to achieve reductions in CO2. We have done that through technology and innovation.”
Pruitt finally said he had to catch a plane, and Spicer took over the narrative, saying for a second day he has not had time to discuss with Trump his thoughts on the hoax-iness of climate change.
Spicer also did not know – he got asked – if Trump intended to replace Tesla topper Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger – both of whom exited the president’s advisory council over Thursday’s Paris accord pullout.
Asked if the First Family wanted a personal apology from Kathy Griffin for her provocative photo in which held up what was supposed to look like a bloody severed Trump head, Spicer said Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and the Secret Service have “made very clear their thoughts” on the subject, and nothing more.
Trump tweeted Griffin should be ashamed of herself, calling her “sick” for having traumatized his 11-year-old son Barron. His wife, in a statement, questioned Griffin’s mental health. And, the Secret Service has launched an investigation.
Griffin responded in a presser Friday morning that her brand of comedy is not fit for children, as she says she always has made clear, and that if news outlets, social media, etc. decide to broadcast the image that’s out of her control.