CNN’s Jake Tapper spoke with Pruitt moments after Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
“This is not about whether climate change is occurring or not,” Pruitt said, arguing Trump backed out of the Paris agreement because it was bad for the U.S. economy.
Pruitt also touted Trump’s “America first” approach to foreign policy.
“[The Paris agreement] puts us at an economic disadvantage,” Pruitt said. “The president has said unequivocally that he is committed to continue the discussions around CO2 reductions, but with America at the forefront of those discussions.”
Trump is a known denier of climate science, having referred to global warming as a “hoax” several times before launching his presidential campaign. He once tweeted “the concept of global warming” is a Chinese ploy to hurt U.S. manufacturing, and has also referred to global warming as “bullshit.”
UPDATE: June 2 ― Pruitt again dodged the question Wednesday when asked about Trump’s climate change beliefs during the White House daily press briefing.