Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled down on his statement from last March, when he said he would not rank climate change in the list of the top five threats to the national security of the United States.
May 5, 2019

Despite the fact that Trump's own Defense Department called climate change a national security threat earlier this year, his Secretary of State continued to downplay the threat during an interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl this Sunday.

KARL: One more question before you go, I wanted to ask you about climate change. You said recently that climate change is not in the top five national security challenges facing the United States.

We’ve heard the National... Director of National Intelligence talk about climate change, fuelling competition for resources, economic distress and social discontent. We’ve heard the Pentagon warn about climate change.

Where do you put it, if it’s not in the top five national security threats, where do you put it?

POMPEO: Jon, I can’t – I can’t rank it.

KARL: But what –

POMPEO: I mean I can’t – I can’t tell you exactly which number. We – we want to make sure that all the outcomes that are possible and that includes climactic change, that we are – that we are sure that our national security – as a Secretary of State, my job is to make sure our national security is never – or excuse me, never waivers.

And that’s what we’ll do.

KARL: Because The Washington Post reported the State Department tried to strip any reference to climate change from the statement for the Arctic Policy ahead of the summit you’re going to be attending this week.

What are you doing specifically to address this threat or do you not take it particularly serious?

POMPEO: Jonathan, this – this administration takes keeping America safe, keeping our drinking water pure, keeping our air clean very, very seriously. What the debate is about in this document you’re referring to is about the Paris Climate Agreement.

We don’t think that that has any help of being successful. We’ve seen it, we’ve seen America reduce its carbon footprint while the signatories, including China, haven’t done theirs.

To sign a piece of paper, Jonathan, is interesting and fun and you get to cut a piece of ribbon and have a big photo op. But at the end of the day, the world’s no safer. This administration is focused on doing the things that will allow our economy to grow and you know this, countries with high per capita GDP always have cleaner air, safer drinking water.

It’s a virtual certainty that health has improved for citizens around the world as economies grow. We’re determined to do that, we hope other countries will follow our lead and they too can have historic 50 year lows in their unemployment as well.

These are the things that will keep Americans safe, it’s what President Trump is focused on.

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