Today Show Panel Horrified At Trump ‘Blowing Up’ Climate Deal

Posted on Sat 06/03/2017 by

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By Kyle Drennen ~

The anchors and pundits on Friday’s NBC Today were beside themselves while decrying President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. The morning show panelists employed alarmist rhetoric to denounce Trump for stopping “history” and “blowing up” the deal.

Turning to Barack Obama’s former mouthpiece Josh Earnest, co-host Matt Lauer feared: “…you were there in the Obama administration when this accord was written and signed. And in one speech yesterday, the President, President Trump, took that 180-degree turn from your boss.” Earnest bemoaned: “I was there in December of 2015, in Paris….And there was a palpable sense that history was being made….the world was finally on the same page to take concrete specific action all together to fight climate change. And now the United States is stepping away from that.”

Lauer used the same language while grilling Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about the White House move earlier in show, aghast that Trump had “rolled back many of the initiatives of the Obama administration and now he’s basically taken a 180 degree turn from what the Obama administration did.”

During the panel segment, fill-in co-host Hoda Kotb implored MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace to “put yourself in the shoes of these world leaders who are sitting and watching this news conference yesterday.” She worried: “What do you think they were feeling as…President Trump was speaking?”

Wallace wasted no time slamming Trump:

Well, I think it was deja vu all over again. They went through this a week ago at NATO when he very gleefully sort of took the stage and almost seemed to relish in thumbing [his nose at] what is a 68-year tradition of saying “one for all, all for one” when it comes to defending our NATO allies.

She sneered: “I think he seems to delight in blowing up the kinds of agreements that have knit us with our longest and oldest allies.”

Later in the discussion, Kotb lamented that Trump was so concerned with the negative economic impact of the climate policy: “He seems to see some of these agreements through the prism of economics. Everything’s about economics with him.”

Lauer saw a different motivation for the President’s action: “Was this about politics, pure and simple, Josh?…Was this about checking the box near the Paris Accord, and what does it tell us about who has the ear of the President in the West Wing?”

Earnest repeated Lauer’s words exactly as he voiced his agreement:

Yeah, this is 100% politics, pure and simple, full stop. This is all about Donald Trump trying to change the narrative of his presidency to send a signal to his supporters across the country, “I’m fulfilling my promise to come and shake up Washington, to shake up the global order.” Facts be damned, in many ways.

The only somewhat challenging question Lauer put to Earnest was this: “…knowing what you know now, what you saw yesterday in the Rose Garden, back when President Obama signed this Paris Accord, should he have gone through Congress as opposed to doing it with an executive order?”

Earnest simply used it as an opportunity to bash Republicans: “Unfortunately, Matt, there are too many Republicans in Congress that are also playing politics on this, and they would have prevented the effective implementation of this agreement.”

It’s just so “unfortunate” when democracy actually prevents Democrats from getting what they want.

Lauer then revealed what he was really getting at: “Would it have been better, would it have made this harder to do?” In other words, wouldn’t getting congressional approval have stopped Trump’s awful reversal of the deal?

Earnest continued his ranting against the GOP:

Ideally, in an ideal world where members of Congress in Washington D.C. are focused on facts, then yes, a bipartisan consensus around this, as exists in 195 other countries around the world, would have been preferable. But unfortunately there are far too many politics being played with climate right now in a way that it poses a threat to our economy and to our planet.

Here is a full transcript of the June 2 discussion:

7:12 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Let’s talk more about this with Nicolle Wallace, host of MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, and NBC News political analyst Josh Earnest. Guys, good morning to both of you.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Good morning.

JOSH EARNEST: Good morning.

LAUER: I’m going to start with you because you were there in the Obama administration when this accord was written and signed. And in one speech yesterday, the President, President Trump, took that 180-degree turn from your boss.

EARNEST: Yeah. Listen, Matt, I was there in December of 2015, in Paris, where President Obama traveled to Paris to meet with other world leaders to try to finalize this agreement. And even in the final weeks before it was signed, President Obama was meeting with the Prime Minister of India and other world leaders to try to get the details locked. And there was a palpable sense that history was being made at this conference not because global warming was going to come to an end when the agreement was signed, but because the world was finally on the same page to take concrete specific action all together to fight climate change. And now the United States is stepping away from that.

HODA KOTB: Nicolle, put yourself in the shoes of these world leaders who are sitting and watching this news conference yesterday, all the ones that Josh was talking about. What do you think they were feeling as they were – as President Trump was speaking?

WALLACE: Well, I think it was deja vu all over again. They went through this a week ago at NATO when he very gleefully sort of took the stage and almost seemed to relish in thumbing what is a 68-year tradition of saying “one for all, all for one” when it comes to defending our NATO allies. I think he seems to delight in blowing up the kinds of agreements that have knit us with our longest and oldest allies. And I think the missed opportunity yesterday was that everything you covered with Secretary Ross could have been amended. What would have been –

LAUER: This was a voluntary agreement.

WALLACE: Trump could have said, “I’m going to make the climate – Paris Climate Accord great again, I’m going to make it a better deal for America.” There was nothing that forced him to stick with Obama’s targets, he could have put his own targets in place.

EARNEST: In fact, the Paris agreement actually is written in to be renegotiated every five years to try to convince people to increasing their ambitions when it comes to fighting carbon pollution. So he could have even done that.

WALLACE: But he could have gone the other way. I mean, he could have put his own brand and his own stamp on it. It was a missed opportunity for him.

KOTB: He seems to see some of these agreements through the prism of economics. Everything’s about economics with him.

WALLACE: It is, but I think it’s a false choice to say to the people of Pittsburgh – and to sort of – it’s very cynical to say you have to either stand with the people of Pittsburgh or the people of Paris. And the whole nature of our alliances are that the people of Pittsburgh fight alongside the people of Paris if any one of our countries was threatened.

LAUER: Was this about politics, pure and simple, Josh? I mean, it’s been reported that Steve Bannon in his office has that white board, and on it is written every campaign promise then-candidate Donald Trump made during the campaign, and he checks them off. The ones they’ve kept and the ones they haven’t. Was this about checking the box near the Paris Accord, and what does it tell us about who has the ear of the President in the West Wing?

EARNEST: Yeah, this is 100% politics, pure and simple, full stop. This is all about Donald Trump trying to change the narrative of his presidency to send a signal to his supporters across the country, “I’m fulfilling my promise to come and shake up Washington, to shake up the global order.” Facts be damned, in many ways. Because, you know, when it comes to the economy, the truth is over the last eight years we had succeeded in creating more than 10 million jobs in our economy at the same time that we have made double-digit reductions in carbon pollution, so we can do both.

LAUER: Real quickly, real quickly, knowing what you know now, what you saw yesterday in the Rose Garden, back when President Obama signed this Paris Accord, should he have gone through Congress as opposed to doing it with an executive order?

EARNEST: Unfortunately, Matt, there are too many Republicans in Congress that are also playing politics on this, and they would have prevented the effective implementation of this agreement.

LAUER: Would it have been better, would it have made this harder to do?

EARNEST: Ideally, in an ideal world where members of Congress in Washington D.C. are focused on facts, then yes, a bipartisan consensus around this, as exists in 195 other countries around the world, would have been preferable. But unfortunately there are far too many politics being played with climate right now in a way that it poses a threat to our economy and to our planet.

LAUER: Josh, thank you. Nicolle, thank you very much.

KOTB: Thank you guys.

Kyle Drennen is the Media Research Center’s Senior News Analyst and a Contributing Editor to NewsBusters.

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