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NASA Administrator James F. Bridenstine testifies before a Senate committee on May 23, 2018. Credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

In an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine details his learning process on the climate issue, and how he went from climate science contrarian to agreeing with most Democrats on this issue.

Why it matters: Bridenstine occupies a unique position within the ranks of senior Trump administration officials. Unlike leaders of the EPA, Interior Department, Energy Department, and other agencies, he recognizes the mainstream scientific findings on climate change. His climate science views have rapidly evolved during the past year.

The big picture: Bridenstine's views on climate science are important because NASA is one of the top agencies that monitors the planet's climate.

Bridenstine, a former congressman from Oklahoma, said during his time in the House he learned about climate science, and came to agree with scientists' conclusions.

“I heard a lot of experts, and I read a lot. I came to the conclusion myself that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that we've put a lot of it into the atmosphere and therefore we have contributed to the global warming that we've seen... And we've done it in really significant ways.”

Go deeper: Where climate change will hit the U.S. the hardest

Go deeper

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.