Despite previously claiming that climate change is a “hoax,” and amid criticism of his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump believes the climate is changing and that humans have played a role in it, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday.
“President Trump believes the climate is changing, and he believes pollutants are part of that equation,” the former South Carolina governor told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “So that is the fact. That is where we are, that’s where it stands. He knows that it’s changing, he knows that the U.S. has to be responsible with it and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Haley’s appearance on “State of the Union” came three days after Trump said he was pulling the U.S. from the global pact, which 195 countries signed in agreement to cut carbon emissions and combat global warming. Trump called the move “a reassertion of America’s sovereignty,” a statement Haley defended.
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“I was a governor in South Carolina,” she said. “I know how tough these regulations President Obama put on us, because of the Paris Agreement, were on our businesses and our industries. ... We will always be a leader in the environment – that’s what we do, that’s who we are. But we’re going to make sure that we’re not hurting our companies in the process and (that) there is a balance.”
Former President Barack Obama entered the U.S. into the pact through an executive agreement last September, bypassing the Senate ratification process. Haley criticized Obama’s action, saying the regulations in the agreement were too strict and unachievable.
“I don’t think we’re the skunk at the party,” she said when asked by Tapper if Trump isolated the U.S. with his decision. “I think that what we did was, we watched out for our country.”
Haley made similar comments on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” which aired Sunday as well.
During the interview with Tapper, Haley also reaffirmed Trump’s support for Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s charter, after he did not specifically state his support for the clause during a visit to NATO headquarters last week. The clause states that an attack against one NATO ally is an attack against all allies.
“Of course we believe in Article 5,” said Haley, adding that she met Friday with NATO ambassadors. “We said a threat on one of us is a threat on all of us. We’ve never swayed from Article 5. The focus is always going to be on taking care of each other.”