In a Wednesday interview at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington governor and longshot 2020 Democrat candidate Jay Inslee told NBC News correspondent Cynthia McFadden that President Trump’s stance on global warming is “treason.”
A partial transcript is as follows:
CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: Last night President Trump was interviewed by Piers Morgan and he said he was just shocked, amazed that Prince Charles cared so much about climate change. After all, he was a prince and he didn’t need to worry about the future like that. So it’s a serious question. There are those, including the president of this country, who are climate change deniers. Is it worth having the debate with them, the scientific debate with them? Or do you just skip over them and go to the people who believe?
GOV JAY INSLEE: First off, a lot more people, despite the constant lies—and, by the way, we ought to be aggrieved morally by this. I was thinking—I was shaving this morning thinking about what we were going to talk about today. The fact that we have the elected leader of the United States of America who willfully lied to us about something that is an existential threat ought to be something that we are outraged about. We should not become inured to this or passive about this. If we had a president of the United States who told us that the communist threat was just a hoax perpetrated by the Council of Foreign Relations—you know, that would have been if not treasonous, at least something that—a moral abomination. And we cannot allow ourselves to become accustomed to this.
This is a moral outrage. It is a gross failure of the commander in chief. And I don’t use the word treason very often, but when someone lies to the American people, when the entire intelligence community is telling the president of the United States that this is a national security threat of the first dimension and he is willing to lie to the American people, I don’t think we should take this lying down. I don’t think it should go without comment. And I think people should raise their voices about it, as I am here. And if you want to know why some people still deny climate change, well, the president of the United States is telling them to deny climate change. It’s really not really their fault. And so I think that we need to be a little more vocal about this, number one.
Number two, he is failing. He’s failing in many ways. He’s failing on trade policy. He’s failing to unite the country. But he’s failing to fool people, because in the last twelve months the number of Americans who believe climate change deserves a commonsense response has gone up twelve percent, despite his lies and his tweets. And the reason this is happening is you just can’t ignore seeing a town of twenty-five thousand in Paradise, California, burn to the ground. I went there at night and drove around at night with Jerry Brown’s security forces. And it felt like a post-apocalypse Hollywood movie.