White House Slams NYT Again, This Time for Climate Report Claims

The White House punched back against the New York Times on Tuesday after the outlet published a story alleging the Trump Administration might suppress a publicly available climate change report — that it also claimed had not been made public.

On Tuesday the Times ran a report with the headline, “Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report.” In the story about a draft climate change report, the Times wrote, “The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now.”

Katharine Hayhoe, who worked on the report, tweeted about the Times report after, she says, she did a side-by-side comparison and concluded that the version the Times released had already been publicly available:

In a series of tweets Hayhoe stated that the “3rd Order Draft” may be requested and even offered a link to where anyone can do so. She pointed out that the report was available for anyone to read during the public review & comment time. “Few did,” she added.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday:

It’s very disappointing, yet entirely predictable to learn The New York Times would write off a draft report without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies directly involved with climate and environmental policy. As others have pointed out – and The New York Times should have noticed – drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period. The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date.

Hayhoe balked at the BBC for asking her if she had leaked the report, which was publicly available:

In its report, the Times acknowledges that the EPA still has until August 18 — over a week — to approve the report. After a summary of at least a portion of the draft report on cimate change, the Times closes its report by pointing to the Paris Climate Accord with a note that President Donald Trump has announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the accord.

The Times also recently made waves with the Trump Administration with claims that Vice President Mike Pence’s team was running a “shadow campaign” for 2020 to run Pence for President. The report cited a number of NeverTrumpers who have continuously opposed Trump and whose thoughts of running a different Republican for president in 2020 comes as no surprise.

However Pence, who has been one of Trump’s most fervent supporters, has vehemently rebuffed the Times claim of his team running a shadow campaign, a reaction shared by top Pence staff and Trump loyalists.

“This is simply an attempt by The New York Times just to undermine the success that we’ve had on this side of the aisle,” said Dr. Gina Loudon of the claim that Pence’s team is running a 2020 presidential “shadown campaign.”

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