Vice President Mike Pence refused to say on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday whether climate change was a legitimate threat to the United States.

Jake Tapper: "But is what people are calling a climate emergency, is it a threat? Do you think it's a threat, manmade climate emergency is a threat?"
Pence: "I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the science."
Tapper: "Well the science says yes. I'm asking you what you think."
Pence: "Well, there's many in the science that ..."
Tapper: "The science community in your own administration, at NOAA, at the DNI, they all say it is a threat. But you won't for some reason."
Pence: "What we've said is that we're not going to raise utility rates. Remember what President Obama said?"
Tapper: "But it's not a threat?"
Pence: "He said he his climate change plan, he said it is necessarily going to cause utility rates to skyrocket and that would force us into these green technologies. Now you have Democrats all running for president that are running on a Green New Deal that would break this economy."
Tapper: "Okay. So you don't think it is a threat?"
Pence: "I think we're making great progress reducing carbon emissions. America has the cleanest air and water in the world."
Tapper: "That is not true. We don't have the cleanest air and water in the world. We don't. You get back to me with statistics to show it."

The big picture: As CNN's Tapper points out, the Trump administration's own director of National Intelligence and other agencies have identified climate change as a threat to national security.

  • Pence was asked about the Environmental Protection Agency's recent rollback of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, which relaxes regulations controlling carbon dioxide emissions from America’s coal plants.
  • The vice president appeared to acknowledge that carbon emissions aren't good for the environment — which is further than the climate-denying Trump has gone — but cast doubt on the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are the main cause of climate change.

Go deeper: Trump and Republicans are isolated on climate change

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U.S., Canada and U.K. accuse Russia of trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Hackers associated with Russian intelligence services are trying to steal information from researchers involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to a joint advisory by U.K., U.S. and Canadian authorities published Thursday.

The big picture: This isn't the first time a foreign adversary has been accused of attempting to steal COVID-19-related research. U.S. officials in May announced an uptick in Chinese-government affiliated hackers targeting medical research and other facilities in the United States for data on a potential cure or effective treatments to combat the virus.

M&A activity falls despite early coronavirus fears

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In April, several prominent Democrats proposed a moratorium on large mergers and acquisitions. Their argument was that the pandemic would embolden the strong to pounce on the weak, thus reducing competition.

Fast forward: The moratorium never materialized. Nor did the M&A feeding frenzy.

More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 32 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tens of millions of jobless Americans will soon have a smaller cash cushion — as coronavirus cases surge and certain parts of the country re-enter pandemic lockdowns — barring an extension of the more generous unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.