Scarborough, Pruitt Clash Over Climate Change: 'This Interview Has to Stop in Its Tracks'

June 6, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt clashed with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough Tuesday on climate change and whether President Donald Trump believes it is real.

At one point, Scarborough said he had to stop the interview completely until Pruitt answered his question.

C0-host Willie Geist asked Pruitt about the Paris climate accord, which Trump withdrew the U.S. from last week, and whether he had discussed with him the human impact on climate change.

"The focus of the discussion was on the merits and demerits of what Paris sought to achieve. Do you want to know what's interesting about the whole discussion?" Pruitt said, before getting interrupted by Scarborough.

Scarborough called it a "simple question" and then demanded that Pruitt answer the question on whether he talked with Trump about whether he believes climate change is real.

"I think what's important, Joe, is that the president has said that when you make decisions on environmental decisions internationally, that we put America's interests first," Pruitt said.

Scarborough agreed with putting America's interests first, but said that he disagreed on getting out of Paris voluntarily and that the American people deserved to know whether Trump believes that global warming was hatched as a Chinese conspiracy theory, as he has tweeted in the past.

Pruitt shot back at Scarborough's suggestion that the Paris climate accord would have been voluntary, saying that was not the case.

"I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I got to stop. I want to stop it," Scarborough said. "This interview has to stop in its tracks until I just get a yes-no answer from you on whether you believe it’s important that Americans find out whether their president believes that climate change is a conspiracy theory based out of China."

Pruitt said that Trump has stated the climate is changing and that he himself indicated during his confirmation hearing for EPA administrator that there is a human contribution to climate change.

Geist then asked for more specifics on climate change, which prompted Pruitt to fire back.

"I think the reason you are asking this question is to get away from the merits of the Paris Accord," Pruitt said.