Surely, no one would be too surprised to hear that Donald Trump lacks a concrete position on a hot-button issue. Yes, it happens, but this time, the issue is vital for humanity’s continued existence. During his conversation with the New York Times that almost didn’t take place, Trump fielded questions about climate change, and the dude may have lost his script.
For Trump, the issue of climate change usually has everything to do with money. He confirmed this on Monday while laying out his first 100 presidential days in a video that lasted 2 1/2 minutes, which included promises to lift fossil-fuel regulations, thereby creating “millions” of American jobs. This makes oil companies very happy, but is it sustainable? Trump’s not thinking long term. Remember, this is a guy who once called for climate change action before declaring that global warming is a Chinese hoax.
On Tuesday, Trump’s current stance — though this could change next week — is that there’s “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change. “Some, something,” he thinks, but he’s not sure “how much.” This is coming from Mike Grynbaum, one of the NY Times writers who live tweeted the momentous occasion.
Trump wasn’t quite done yet. He also hinted that he will “keep an open mind” on his previous declaration to pull of the Paris climate accord. “I’m looking at it very closely,” he declared. “I have an open mind to it.” Perhaps he’s realizing that many Americans would enjoy clean air and water? Who knows.
This was, of course, not a very substantive answer, but Trump deftly maneuvered through other subjects in similar ways. He broke white supremacist hearts while trying to shake off the alt-right movement, and then he took a Nixonesque stance on conflicts of interest (that last subject is one to watch). Everything was treated in a cursory manner, but this was never meant to be a detailed meeting on policy. And honestly, it’s amazing that he didn’t spend the whole time calling the room “liars” like he reportedly did during his closed-door meeting on Monday. Time to raise the bar, y’all.