Trump says he doesn’t agree with government climate report that he never read

Without reading his own administration's report, the president repeats old climate denial talking points.

President Trump disputes his own government’s scientific findings, which state that intensifying climate change is caused by humans. CREDIT: Axios/screenshot
President Trump disputes his own government’s scientific findings, which state that intensifying climate change is caused by humans. CREDIT: Axios/screenshot

President Donald Trump revealed in an interview aired Sunday night that he has not read a national climate assessment, released in November 2017, that clearly stated humans are the overwhelming cause of climate change.

The National Climate Assessment projected a United States devastated by climate change — including 18°F Arctic warming and sea levels rising a foot per decade — if we stay on the nation’s current path of unrestricted carbon pollution. The report makes clear just how grave a threat Trump’s plans are to abandon the Paris climate deal, undo Obama-era climate rules, and boost carbon pollution.

Despite not reading the report, Trump, in an interview with Axios reporters aired on HBO on Sunday night, emphasized, “I don’t necessarily agree” with the findings of the assessment.

“Ultimately, I’m the one that makes that final decision,” Trump said. “I can also give you reports where people very much dispute that. You do have scientists that very much dispute it.”


But there aren’t many scientists at all that dispute the findings in the report, countered Axios CEO and long-time reporter Jim VandeHei.

Trump disclosed he hadn’t read the National Climate Assessment when asked by VandeHei whether he would include scientists who dispute the findings of the assessment in developing the government’s climate policy.

“Well, I haven’t seen this,” pointing to a paper copy of the report in VandeHei’s hand.

During the interview, instead of addressing the substance of climate change policy, Trump sought to use distractions, questioning what human-cased climate change should be called. He opted to bring out the “politically correct” term to distract from the discussion.

“Man, meaning us people. Man and women, to be politically correct, because everyone says man but now we have to add women to that one, too,” Trump said. “Man and women, we do have an impact, I don’t believe the impact is nearly what some say.”


Trump repeated his climate denial assertions from a couple weeks ago in an interview with reporter Lesley Stahl on CBS News’s “60 Minutes.”

“Is there climate change? Will it change back? Probably,” the president told Axios.

In the October 14 interview with “60 Minutes,” Trump slammed climate scientists who have warned about the catastrophic impacts of climate change if forceful action is not taken immediately as “having a political agenda.”

On “60 Minutes,” Trump refused to concede any ground on climate change. “I’m not denying climate change. But it could very well go back” to a period of stable temperatures or global cooling, Trump said.

“But that’s denying it,” Stahl countered.

Trump continues to deny the overwhelming evidence that humans are sending the world toward catastrophic climate change if action is not taken in the next dozen years.


A month ago, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit could be reached in as little as a dozen years — and almost certainly within 20 years without major cuts in carbon dioxide emissions.