Haley: 'President Trump believes the climate is changing'


USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Friday slammed the current state of the U.N. Human Rights Council, saying nations use their membership to "whitewash brutality" and calling for major changes.

"President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation", Haley told CNN's Jake Tapper in a preview of a "State of the Union" interview Saturday.

On Thursday, Trump announced a decision to withdraw the United States from the agreement but said Washington would look to renegotiate the deal. "He is absolutely intent on making sure that we have clean air, clean water - that he makes sure we're doing everything we can to keep America's moral compass in the world when it comes to the environment", Haley said.

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When asked why the U.S. pulled out of the climate agreement, Haley blamed former President Barack Obama for agreeing to regulations that were "too onerous", too strict and ultimately unachievable. And so, that's as clear as I know to give it. The jobs were not attainable as long as we lived under those regulations. She said Trump pulled out of the pact "because it wasn't possible to meet the conditions" under the pact agreed to under President Barack Obama.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also on Friday called Trump an "environmentalist", but told the "Today" show that the president's controversial decision to pull from the Paris climate agreement was made for economic reasons.

On Friday, nobody at the White House was able to say whether Trump believed in climate change. Between this and his earlier comments, many thought he was a climate change denier.

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After an exchange over the justification for leaving the accord, Tapper wanted to know if Haley was "willing to acknowledge that calling climate change a Chinese hoax is just a big box of insane", referencing a 2012 tweet by Trump.

In response to Trump's withdrawal from the pact, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also pledged to pay up to $15 million to support the United Nations agency that helps countries implement the agreement.

Trump has since shied away from giving his opinion on whether climate change is real.

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