National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday it was a "false report" that President Donald Trump was reentering the Paris Climate Agreement, which he withdrew the U.S. from in June.
"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked McMaster if it was true that Trump agreed to stay in the deal with a reduced commitment on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
"No, it's false," he said. "That's a false report. The president decided to pull out of the Paris accord because it was a bad deal for the American people, and because it was a bad deal for the environment. It gave the worst polluters the ability to continue polluting and emitting carbon without significantly reducing those levels."
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday the Trump administration would re-engage in the international deal brokered during the Obama administration; the White House said Trump's position on Paris was unchanged and had never been set in stone:
"The U.S. has stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement," European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said.
In a statement Saturday afternoon, a White House spokeswoman said the administration’s position on Paris had not changed, but also noted that the president’s stance on withdrawing from the deal had never been set in stone.
"There has been no change in the U.S.’s position on the Paris agreement," said deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters. "As the president has made abundantly clear, the U.S. is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country."
McMaster said Trump was committed to the cleanest water and air on Earth and a strong clean energy policy, but he felt those priorities were not reflected in the Paris agreement.
"So he's out of the Paris climate accord?" Wallace asked.
"He's out of the Paris climate accord, but he's said the door's open," McMaster said, pointing to Trump's remarks in June that he would be open to a deal that reflected American priorities.
"But the allies say they're not going to renegotiate," Wallace said.
"The president's ears are open, though, if at some point they decide that they can come forward with an agreement that addresses the president's very legitimate concerns about Paris," McMaster said.
In a speech announcing the withdrawal from agreement in June, Trump said he was elected to represent the citizens of "Pittsburgh, not Paris." The president said he wanted to renegotiate a fairer deal for American workers while remaining a global environmental leader.