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President Donald Trump and other officials tour damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Florida, Oct. 15. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump touted his "natural instinct" for science, while claiming that the cause of global warming is in dispute, in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. The transcript of this interview was released Wednesday.

Why it matters: Trump's comments come just a week after Hurricane Michael destroyed parts of the Florida Panhandle. The storm was that region's most intense hurricane on record. His statements also come in the wake of new, more urgent warnings from climate scientists about the need to reduce global warming emissions.

The details: During the interview, Trump presented his view that many climate scientists disagree with the scientific consensus on global warming.

When asked about scientists' views that climate change is nearing a point where it can't be effectively reversed, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a report on Oct. 8, Trump stated:

"No, no. Some say that and some say differently. I mean, you have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture."

Trump was referring to his father's younger brother, who was a nuclear physicist at MIT.

Reality check: The existence and severity of human-caused climate change has been spelled out in reports published by the Trump administration itself.

There's virtually no disagreement in the mainstream climate science community about what is causing the pronounced global warming trend and ensuing trends in extreme weather events, ecosystem changes and other impacts since the mid-20th century.

For example, a federal report published in 2017 found that the period from 1901 to 2016 "is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization."

The report stated:

"This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence."
— U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report

The report also calculated how much of modern-day global warming is caused by human activities, compared to natural variability such as solar output and volcanic eruptions, coming up with a range of between 92–123% of the observed change from 1951 to 2010.

Go deeper: UN details massive changes needed to slow global warming; Key global warming target slipping out of reach, UN scientists warn

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

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