President Donald Trump aced his cross-examination by Lesley Stahl on climate change on 60 Minutes.
Even left-leaning Variety has grudgingly admitted: “60 Minutes was outmatched by Trump.”
The more sympathetic Climate Depot, meanwhile, has fact-checked the president’s climate remarks and found them to be “scientifically, politically and economically accurate.”
President Trump to 60 Minutes: “I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs … I’m not denying climate change.”
Reality Check: President Trump is frankly giving his assessment of man-made climate change and his understanding is in agreement with some very high profile scientists. Trump has been remarkably consistent with his climate views, demanding that the “The Nobel committee should take the Nobel Prize back from Al Gore” in the wake of the Climategate revelations in 2010.
The BBC isn’t any better – with one honourable exception: the Daily/Sunday Politics and This Week, which of course the BBC have decided to cancel.
When President Trump refused to take a question from a CNN reporter at the Chequers press conference last week, I imagine a lot of British viewers thought —as Theresa May clearly did — that he was being graceless, capricious and anti-freedom of speech.
But I think we’re in danger of underestimating the extent to which the media landscape has changed in the past few years. Gone are the days — if they ever existed — when political interviewers were dispassionate seekers-after-truth on a mission to get the best out of their subjects. Now, it’s mostly activism-driven, the aim being to advance your preferred narrative while showing up your ideological opponents in as unflattering a light as possible. When someone sincerely believes you are a shit and their only purpose is to persuade everyone else that you’re a shit, why would you choose to grant them that opportunity?
The Prince of Wales, Prince William, and the younger royals all deliberately snubbed President Donald J. Trump on his visit to the UK, the Sunday Times reports. I blame the Meghan effect.
Of course we can’t hold the arrival into the Royal household of a pretty actress who used to be in Suits wholly responsible for this outbreak of crass, thick, petulant behaviour: as we know, the Prince of Wales is more than capable of that without much prompting; and in Will’s case, the acorn doesn’t look as if it has fallen too far from the tree.
Still, I’m blaming Meghan Markle mainly.
The appearance on the scene of a fully-fledged Hollywood Social Justice Warrior with almost the glamour of Princess Diana and definitely the pushiness of Wallace Simpson seems to have deluded the younger royals into thinking that their job is to be sexy and modern and on trend with all the modish ‘woke’ attitudes.
And it really, really isn’t.
Their job is to do what the Queen does so well – as she demonstrated again over the weekend with Donald Trump.
This job is to be dignified, uncontroversial, slightly old-fashioned – and, above all, dutiful.
“Boris Johnson’s a friend of mine. He’s been very, very nice to me, very supportive. And I maybe well speak to him when I get over there. I like Boris Johnson, I’ve always liked him.”
This is what diplomats would call a “gaffe.” May, after all, is the leader of the nation to which Trump will shortly be making his first official visit. Johnson, meanwhile, is May’s new public enemy number one. Having just resigned as her Foreign Secretary (in protest at her watered down Brexit plans), he no longer has any status within her government. Yet here is President Trump, publicly proposing to humiliate her by promising face time to a nobody she considers persona non grata.
Sure, Trump found time for some kind words about May too.
“I get along with her very well, I have very good relationship.”
But that’s just polite formula. It’s the Johnson comments that will be noticed – as of course, Trump intended them to be.
President Trump just dropped the Mother of all Brexit Bombs on Theresa May.
His Sun interview – warning that if the UK Prime Minister goes ahead with her watered-down Brexit plans then she probably won’t get a trade deal with the US – has poured nitroglycerine on an already explosive political issue which threatens to destroy May and possibly even bring down her government.
His fiercest criticism came over the centrepiece of the PM’s new Brexit plan — which was unveiled in full yesterday.
It would stick to a common rulebook with Brussels on goods and agricultural produce in a bid to keep customs borders open with the EU.
But Mr Trump told The Sun: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.
“If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”
In truth, Trump was doing no more than stating the obvious. As May’s Brexit White Paper stands, Britain would indeed remain so shackled by Euro regulations it would be quite impossible to negotiate a meaningful free trade deal with the U.S.
But it’s the symbolism of Trump’s comments rather than the substance that matters here.
President Trump has warned at a NATO summit that German dependence on Russian gas poses a major security threat to the West. It’s about time somebody said it!
This problem has been brewing for decades. In fact it goes right back to the communist era of the Soviet Union, when the Russians saw the burgeoning green movement as the perfect way to undermine their enemies in the free West.
Originally, the Soviets funded the “Peace Movement” in Western Europe mainly as a way of promoting the campaign for nuclear disarmament (in the West, that is, not behind the Iron Curtain). They were especially successful in Germany.
As Rupert Darwall writes in his book GreenTyranny – as discussed on Curt Schilling’s show – one of the leading figures in the German Green movement Petra Kelly was actually dating a Soviet agent. Ostensibly, her lover Gert Bastian was an ex-NATO general who had quit to head the Peace Movement’s Generals for Peace and Disarmament. In reality, he was a Stasi spy – and when the details were about to emerge in the early 90s after German reunification, Bastian shot first Kelly then himself.
President Trump really couldn’t have picked a better moment for his first official visit to the United Kingdom.
He likes a fight and when he steps off the plane in South East England tomorrow he’ll walk straight into the biggest brawl since Brexit. Britain is in turmoil. Democracy is at stake. And rather than do the polite, mimsy, diplomatic thing, Trump has already rolled up his sleeves and weighed into the fray by coming out on the side of Team Brexit.
Team Brexit, as I reported yesterday, is currently being led by Boris Johnson – the most senior politician to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s despicable Bremain sell-out by resigning as her Foreign Secretary.
Trump’s intervention will have given a huge boost for Boris, who at that stage was looking fairly isolated. Sure his cabinet colleague David Davis and a few other Conservatives had resigned too. But most of the Cabinet, including leading Brexiteer Michael Gove, had expressed their loyalty to the prime minister. So it looked as if a Brexit coup might have been averted, with Boris left flapping like a beached basking shark.
Since then though, the forces of Brexit rebellion have swollen. They now include Brexit’s kingmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg who, in alliance with fellow backbench Brexiteers, has lodged four amendments which should kill Theresa May’s proposed EU trade bill stone dead.
Trump’s prospective new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is a drastic improvement on his predecessor.
For a start, being a skeptic, Pompeo is far less likely to undermine his president’s position on energy and climate change.
You get a good idea of Pompeo the man, his style, and his principles from this 2013 C-Span interview.
Pompeo was Representative for Kansas at the time and sat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
What he was saying back then about President Obama’s disastrous climate and energy policies could have come straight out of one of Trump’s campaign trail speeches:
What it’s [Obama’s war on fossil fuels] done is to drive up the cost of energy for folks who can least afford it. And it’s going to do nothing to solve one of the most enormous problems facing our country today which is jobs. It’ll put folks out of work. It’ll drive manufacturing to other places.
He went on to accuse Obama of “unilateral economic disarmament,” saying:
President Trump’s best hope of draining the Green Swamp has just been nixed by his Chief of Staff. The New York Times has the bad news:
John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has killed an effort by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to stage public debates challenging climate change science, according to three people familiar with the deliberations, thwarting a plan that had intrigued President Trump even as it set off alarm bells among his top advisers.
The idea of publicly critiquing climate change on the national stage has been a notable theme for Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the E.P.A. For nearly a year he has championed the notion of holding military-style exercises known as red team, blue team debates, possibly to be broadcast live, to question the validity of climate change.
And yes – that really is bad news. In my view, it’s one of the biggest mistakes so far of Trump’s otherwise winning presidency.