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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: Trump’s Climate Claims to the Post

In this week’s fact-checking video, CNN’s Jake Tapper looks at three climate-related claims President Donald Trump made in an interview with the Washington Post.

Trump’s comments came in response to reporters asking why he was skeptical of the findings of the recently released National Climate Assessment. The report documents the current and future impacts of climate change on America and was produced by more than 300 governmental and non-governmental experts.

The president first erred by conflating the greenhouse gas pollution that drives climate change with more typical air and water pollutants.

Trump, Nov. 27: One of the problems that a lot of people like myself — we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers. You look at our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean.

Countries can have good air and water quality and still have very high carbon footprints. Indeed, the United States has some of the highest CO2 emissions in the world. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2016 the U.S. produced more CO2 than any other country except for China.

In the Post interview, Trump also cited older articles about global cooling as further evidence for his skepticism. But as Tapper explains, those views were not held by a majority of scientists, and in fact, more scientists in the 1970s were concerned about warming.

The third claim is one of Trump’s oft-repeated lines questioning whether climate change is “man-made.” The scientific evidence points to human activity as a primary driver of the observed temperature increases, and does not support alternative explanations.

The video is based on our SciCheck article “The Science Trump Got Wrong in the Post Interview,” which also details a fourth false claim about wildfires and forest management. You can find all of our past collaborations with CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper” here.