Early in Monday night’s presidential debate Hillary Clinton mentioned that Donald Trump had said global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Trump interrupted (he does that a lot) to protest that he never said that.
Trump’s problem is that he said it on Twitter — so it’s right there, for everybody to see (and we’ve seen a lot about it, many times). Denying that he said it, was an outright lie. There’s no doubt. Denying it when it’s been seen (and repeated) so often by so many people, is just plain stupid.
It turns out reporters have been asking Trump’s supporters and campaign workers about this; essentially, why did he say he didn’t say what we all know (and can prove beyond doubt) he said? Their replies have been … fascinating.
The Huffington Post has an outstanding story about it — it’s very well worth the read.
The most common strategy was to attempt to change the subject. For instance, when Rep. Marsha Blackburne (R-TN) responded to being shown Trump’s tweet by saying “I don’t have my glasses on,” HuffPost read it to her. She then started talking about “countries that would not be forced to come into compliance” and how they’ll buy more coal — which is a classic case of trying to change the subject. Evidently the subject is embarrassing to them.
HP pressed the issue, asking “Do you believe that climate change is a hoax?” This is where Blackburne admitted that she does, saying “I do not believe in climate change. I think the Earth is in a cooling trend. It is not in a warming trend.” Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.
When Trump’s tweet was read to his aide Sarah Huckabee, the response was “I think what he said was, he didn’t think global warming was the number one threat to the world.” When HP reminded her that Trump had said “I never said that,” Huckabee replied “I’m sorry. I stepped out a couple times. I really don’t know what you’re talking about on that.”
RNC senior strategist Sean Spicer ducked it entirely and rather plainly: “I didn’t follow that. I didn’t hear what actually happened.” He answered the next question with “I don’t know. You have to ask him.”
David Purdue (R-GA) didn’t take long to try to change the subject, to “Right now, it is not proven. There are controversies about that.” Wrong. Of course he also claims that doing something about the problem that will destroy our economy, will destroy our economy.
Jeff Session (R-AL) at least had the honesty to admit “I’m not sure what he had in his mind when he said what he said” rather than deny it, before launching into the usual bullcrap about how saving the world will destroy our economy.
Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway went straight for change-the-subject. Fortunately, HP brought the conversation back to the subject, leading Conway to duck the subject for what Trump has said about climate change recently rather than his flat-out lie about what he’d said earlier.
There’s more complete information about their responses in the article in Huffington Post. Definitely worth a read.
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