POLITICS
06/02/2017 08:49 am ET

Al Franken On Jettisoning Paris Pact: This Is So Bad In So Many Ways

"Donald Trump doesn't know what he's talking about."

A depressed but still funny Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) turned up on “The Daily Show” Thursday night to lament the terrible, horrible, very bad day on which Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

“This is so bad in so many ways,” the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member told host Trevor Noah. For one thing, Franken doesn’t want to answer to his grandchildren 50 years from now when they’re grown and ask him why he didn’t do anything about climate change. (They’ll also ask, “Why are you still alive?” since he’ll be about 116 years old at that point, he quipped.)

The Paris Agreement was a “monumental achievement getting the entire world, minus Syria and Nicaragua ― and now us. ... It’s very depressing,” Franken said.

When it comes to Trump’s complaints that being energy efficient was going to cost American jobs and money, Franken said, Trump “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Renewable energy is “where the jobs are,” he added. 

What is expensive is the fallout from climate change, including fires, rising sea levels and extreme weather like Superstorm Sandy that cost $60 billion in damages, the senator noted.

There are “1.5 billion people in China choking on their fumes. I want to be able to sell them technology from the United States” to help them. “We want to be leaders of the world. We’re giving that away. It’s a bad day,” he said.

When Noah asked Franken which problem was worse — Russia or leaving the Paris accord — Franken said they’re linked. He’s convinced Hillary Clinton would be president had the election not been manipulated by the Russians, so the U.S. would have remained in the climate treaty.

As for Russia, Franken is convinced Special Counsel Robert Mueller will “get to the bottom” of any Russian links to the Trump campaign team. “There’s a saying,” Franken said, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

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