In yet another completely schizophrenic episode of Donald Trump’s presidency, he told journalists at a press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg that the United States could “conceivably” re-enter the Paris climate agreement. From Politico:
Trump spoke during a news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, whose country has shown strong support for the Paris agreement and had expressed disappointment over the U.S. decision to leave the deal.
“The EPA and commissioners are very powerful in the sense that they want to have clean water, clean air, but we also want businesses that can compete,” Trump said Wednesday. “And the Paris accord really would have taken away our competitive edge. And we are not going to let this happen. I’m not going to let that happen.”
“As usual, they made a bad deal,” Trump said. “So we can conceivably go back in. But I say this, we are very strong on the environment. I feel very strongly about the environment.”
Firstly, the deal was categorically not a bad one. It was supported by the vast majority of US businesses, many of which pled with the president to stop him from pulling out of the agreement. Secondly, Trump is not “very strong on the environment”. He has pledged to drill in environmentally sensitive areas, boost coal production, and is in the process of gutting the EPA. Thirdly, no one should take his latest statement seriously in the slightest.
As Michael Wolff wrote in his book “Fire and Fury”, Trump has a tendency of agreeing or flattering whoever he is in a room with. He will say whatever he thinks the other person wants to hear, then pretend the interaction never happened and he didn’t say what everyone heard him say. He has done this publicly many, many times, most recently notably in his total abandonment of Carrier, the company he pledged to save on the campaign trail in 2016. As Matt Taibbi wrote:
As anyone who covered Trump in the 2016 race knows, the man’s brain is an ooze of fast-disintegrating neurons. Moreover, he has a long and storied history of forgetting stuff he only just said, and people he only just met.
The weirdest case came when Trump appeared to genuinely forget he’d spent much of the home stretch of the Republican primary campaign promising not to let the Indiana-based HVAC company Carrier move jobs to Mexico. He spent four months on the trail babbling promises about Carrier.
After the election, he balked at the idea he’d ever made such promises.
“I made it for everybody else. I didn’t make it really for Carrier,” he said.
Trump will forget he spoke to the Norwegian prime minister, and he will forget he made the statement that the US could “conceivably” re-enter the Paris Agreement. Trump is only interested in doing what is in his own best interest — he will sell out, cheat or lie to anyone if there is a short term gain, and there is no reason to believe anything he says particularly in regards to the environment. After all, this is a man who believes climate change is a “Chinese hoax” and can’t exist because it got unusually cold on the East Coast of American during winter.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.