Anderson Cooper 360 - Weekdays 8 P.M. ET

Cooper: Yes or no, does Trump still believe climate change is a hoax?

Does Trump believe in global warming?
Does Trump believe in global warming?

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Does Trump believe in global warming? 03:21

Story highlights

  • We still don't know what the President believes, and we've been asking, Cooper says
  • White House officials aren't giving direct answers, he says

(CNN)Just 24 hours after President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, Anderson Cooper began his prime-time program by asking why the White House won't say whether Trump still believes climate change is a hoax.

"We know in great detail why the President decided to pull this country out of the Paris accord on global warming," Cooper said. "He said so, in no uncertain terms -- and you can agree or disagree with his reasoning. That's not the issue here. This is: We do not know what the President actually believes about global warming. Which, as I said, is a bit odd because it's a simple yes or no. And it's not as if we and others haven't been asking about it."
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, along with Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, didn't give a straight answer Friday as to whether the President believes, as he has said in the past, that global warming is a hoax.
    Spicer said earlier this week he didn't know whether Trump believes climate change is happening.
    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and top economic adviser Gary Cohn were also asked about Trump's view on global warming but avoided giving direct answers.
    "The White House (is) acting as if the public simply does not deserve to know the President's thinking about the key issue behind arguably the most consequential decision he has made so far." Cooper added, "It seemed self-evident that on the verge of ditching the climate change accord, people might want to know whether the President still thought the entire subject was a hoax."
    Speaking to a panel of political commentators, Cooper asked Jason Miller, the former senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign, about whether he knew the President's stance on climate change.
    "Does he still believe it's a hoax?" Cooper asked.
    "He's passionate about the environment and he's built a number of these resorts and golf courses and loves the outdoors," Miller said.
    The former Trump campaign official went on to say that Anderson was asking the wrong question.
    "If the question is asked, does the President support the environment, does he want to have clean air, clean water -- the answer is of course, yes," he said.
    "But why isn't it fair to ask whether he thinks it's a hoax, as he used to?" asked Cooper.
    "Because the question what folks -- many in the media and many on the left -- are trying to get to right now is that if he says it's a hoax then he'll be attacked for being a heretic. If he says that it's not a hoax, he'll be attacked for being a flip-flopper."