President-elect Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (Photo: Twitter)

President-elect Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (Photo: Twitter)

NEW YORK – In a move deeply troubling to the base of voters who helped propel him to the White House, Donald Trump told the New York Times he had “an open mind” on whether or not to support the United Nations climate accord, prompting the left-leaning Mother Jones to feature the headline “Trump Now Believes That Manmade Climate Change Is Real.”

Defenders of Trump, such as Marc Morano at ClimateDepot.com, were quick to point out that in the meeting with Times reporters on Tuesday, Trump restated his skepticism of global warming, charging the media had “falsely spun” his comments.

“The media have created a cartoon-version view of Trump’s climate views,” Morano told WND. “If he says anything short of global warming is a hoax created by Chinese, (which he said was a joke tweet) then they say he flip-flopped.”

Yet, in his attempt to defend Trump, Morano also expressed disappointment.

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“The reality is Trump has been very clever about presenting his climate views. What he told the New York Times was very nuanced and scientifically correct,” Morano said.

“While I wish he would have said the U.N. Paris agreement was finished, I think he was trying to be nuanced with the onslaught of climate activists at the New York Times,” Morano concluded.

WND was unable to reach for comment Sen. James Inhofe, a frequent critic of climate-change activists who seek a United Nations tax on the U.S. consumption of carbon-based fuels that effectively would redistribute wealth to developing nations.

WND received no response from a detailed email asking Trump spokesman Jason Miller and Sean Spicer of the Republican National Committee to respond to questions regarding Trump’s comments to the Times.

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Instead, WND received a phone call from a Trump campaign insider who had played an important role in the campaign and insisted on not being named.

The insider expressed concern that Washington-based Republican Party operatives – including Reince Priebus, Trump’s newly appointed White House chief of staff, and Spicer, among others – were attempting to moderate Trump’s message to make it more compatible with the views of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

At issue in the phone call was an article Politico published Tuesday, “15 Trump flip-flops in 15 days,” alleging instances in which Trump has moderated policy positions he held during the campaign.

“If Trump had said on the campaign stump what he told the New York Times on Tuesday regarding the U.N. climate accord, Hillary Clinton would be president-elect, not Trump,” the insider said.

The insider noted that like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the U.N. climate accord is a global governance agreement poorly negotiated by the Obama administration, placing an onerous international cost on U.S. taxpayers that will drive up the cost of energy while dampening economic growth.

Times presses Trump to save Obama’s legacy deal

On Nov. 10, two days after Trump won the U.S. presidential election, the New York Times published an article noting that during the campaign, Trump had called human-caused climate change a “hoax” while vowing to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Mr. Trump cannot legally block other countries from fulfilling their Paris agreement commitments, nor can he quickly or unilaterally erase Mr. Obama’s climate rules,” New York Times reporter Coral Davenport wrote.

Davenport said Trump’s campaign position against the U.N. climate accord was putting at risk a central component of outgoing-President Obama’s “proudest legacy.”

“But if Mr. Trump makes good on his campaign promises, experts in climate change policy warn, that legacy would unravel quickly.” Davenport continued. “The world, then, may have no way to avoid the most devastating consequences of global warming, including rising sea levels, extreme droughts and food shortages, and more powerful floods and storms.”

As reflected in the transcript of Trump’s Tuesday meeting with the New York Times, Trump gave the newspaper reason to relax.

When questioned by James Bennet, the editorial page editor, whether there was any causal connection between human activity and climate change, Trump equivocated.

“I think right now … well, I think there is some connectivity,” he said. “There is some, something.”

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