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Gary Cohn: Donald Trump’s ‘Views Are Evolving’ on Paris Climate Change Agreement

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
CHARLIE SPIERING

White House economic advisor Gary Cohn asserted that President Donald Trump’s views were evolving on the Paris Climate agreement reached by world leaders during former President Barack Obama’s administration.

“His views are evolving, which is exactly what they should be,” Cohn explained to reporters during a press briefing in Sicily at the G7 summit.

Cohn said that Trump had several discussions about the climate agreement with global leaders, many of which had worked on the plan to combat climate change for many years.

“If he were standing here, he would tell you that he feels much more knowledgeable on the topic today,” Cohn said.

He said that Trump had not made a decision yet whether or not he wanted to stay in the agreement.

“He came here to learn and he came here to get smarter,” Cohn said. “He did quote say: ‘The environment is very, very important to me, Donald Trump. I care a lot about the environment.'”

In an earlier briefing, Cohn also downplayed the future of coal as an energy source, promoting solar and wind energy instead.

“Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,” he said, referring to energy used for industry. “Natural gas, which we have become an abundant producer, which we’re going to become a major exporter is, is such a cleaner fuel.”

He said that solar and wind power would help the United States become “a manufacturing powerhouse” while still becoming “environmentally friendly.”

Trump’s national security advisor H.R. McMaster reminded reporters that the president’s decision would be based on what was best for the country.

“The one thing that won’t change though is he’s certain to base his decision on what he thinks is best for the American people,” he said, “While his views are evolving, his basis for the decision remains unchanged.”

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