CNN host Jake Tapper quipped that the United States had become the "proverbial skunk at the garden party" on the issue of climate change during a taped interview Sunday with United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.
President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement this week, claiming it was unfair to American workers but insisting the U.S. would remain a leader on environmental issues. It joined Nicaragua and Syria as the only three countries to not be part of the deal for nations to curb their greenhouse gas emissions, although the agreement was not binding in a legal sense anyway.
"On the one issue that unites the world, essentially, the United States is now isolated, the proverbial skunk at the garden party," Tapper said. "Are you not concerned that this will affect your ability to lead on other issues?"
"Well, I don't think we're the skunk at the party," Haley said. "I think that what we did is we watched out for our country."
Just now @jaketapper to Nikki Haley. "America is like the proverbial skunk at the garden party."
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) June 4, 2017
Haley said when she was South Carolina's governor, the regulations put on by the Obama administration because of the Paris agreement directly affected her state's jobs.
"We will always be a leader in the environment," she said. "That's what we do … We're going to make sure that we're not hurting our companies in the process. There is clearly a difference between us and Nicaragua, and us and Syria. The world knows that, so to put us in that category is not a real assumption."
"I'm not the one who put us in the category, the president is," Tapper replied.