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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

EPA chief Scott Pruitt kicked off Sean Spicer's daily press briefing Friday by commending President Trump for his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord. "The president made a very courageous decision yesterday. He put America first," he said.

As soon as the briefing opened up to questions, Pruitt was immediately asked whether Trump believes climate change is real. Pruitt, like other senior WH officials who have repeatedly been asked the same question, refused to answer. He was asked 3 times. Spicer was later asked the same question, and he also failed to respond, instead saying "I have not had an opportunity to have that discussion."

  • Pruitt on global warming: "Global warming is occurring... the degree of human contribution is difficult... there are climate exaggerators,"
  • U.S. handling of climate change: "There is nothing to be apologetic about," said Pruitt. "We have done a tremendous amount as a country to achieve reductions in CO2. We have done that through technology and innovation."
  • How will Trump renegotiate when other countries say they won't participate? "That's up to them, right?" said Pruitt.
  • On backlash from Trump's Paris decision: "This is who the American people elected last year," said Spicer.
  • Will CEOs Bob Iger and Elon Musk be replaced on Trump's advisory panels? Spicer said he doesn't know.
  • Questions on Russia probe: "Going forward, all questions will be referred to outside counsel," Spicer stated.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
5 mins ago - Economy & Business

Stuart Haselden steps down as CEO of luggage startup Away

Away co-founder Jen Rubio, who will step in as interim CEO. Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Stuart Haselden is stepping down as CEO of smart luggage-maker Away, Axios has learned. He'll be succeeded on an interim basis by company co-founder Jen Rubio, and an outside search firm has been retained to find a permanent successor.

Why it matters: Haselden, formerly with Lululemon, appeared to have established executive stability at Away, whose co-founder Steph Korey previously resigned as CEO before retaking the reins alongside Haselden and then resigning again.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

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