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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Report: Goldman to settle DOJ probe into Malaysia's 1MDB for over $2B

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Goldman Sachs has agreed with the Department of Justice to pay over $2 billion for the bank's role in Malaysia's multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: The settlement, expected to be announced within days, would allow Goldman Sachs to avoid a criminal conviction in the U.S. over the bribery and money laundering scandal that saw three of its former bankers banned for life from the banking industry by the Federal Reserve Board.

Trump threatens to post "60 Minutes" interview early after reportedly walking out

Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One, Oct. 19. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering posting his interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" prior to airtime in order to show "what a FAKE and BIASED interview" it was, following reports that he abruptly ended the interview after 45 minutes of taping.

Why it matters: Trump has escalated his war on the media in the final stretch of his re-election campaign, calling a Reuters reporter a "criminal" this week for not reporting on corruption allegations about Hunter Biden and disparaging CNN as "dumb b*stards" for the network's ongoing coronavirus coverage.

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