Jun 19, 2019

Trump’s UN pick breaks with White House on climate change

Kelly Knight Craft. Photo: Tom Williams/ Getty Images

President Trump’s nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations publicly broke with the White House Wednesday, telling her Senate confirmation hearing climate change "poses real risks," USA Today first reported.  

"Human behavior has contributed to the change in climate, let there be no doubt. If confirmed, I will be an advocate in addressing climate change. ... I also understand that fossil fuels have played a part in climate change."
— Kelly Knight Craft statement to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Why it matters: Trump has rejected the science on climate change and announced plans to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in 2017. Craft's statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is in contrast to one she gave in a 2017 interview with CBC Politics in which she said she endorsed "both sides of the science."

Between the lines: If confirmed by the Senate, Craft will represent U.S. interests at the UN, which recognizes climate change as a "potentially irreversible threat to human societies," per the Paris agreement. The Washington Post noted she stopped short of endorsing that agreement.

The big picture: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made tackling climate change a priority, calling it a "catastrophic situation for the whole world." He's called for no new coal-fired power plants to be built after 2020 and ending fossil fuel subsidies.

  • Craft pledged she would recuse herself "where coal is part of the conversation within climate change," per Reuters.

Go deeper: Trump's proposed climate panel would include prominent skeptic

Go deeper

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.