Nov 27, 2018

4. White House criticizes its climate report as "not based on facts"

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders during a press briefing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders criticized the new climate report that the Trump administration published on Black Friday, saying its conclusions were "based on the most extreme model scenario" and were not based on "facts."

The big picture: The report, known as the Fourth National Climate Assessment, warns that the U.S. will suffer increasingly deadly and costly climate change impacts if greenhouse gas emissions are not sharply reduced in the next decade and more aggressive actions are not taken to adapt to extreme weather events and other climate impacts.

Background: On Monday, President Donald Trump told reporters he did not believe the report's conclusions, even though the findings were the product of work overseen by scientists and officials in his own administration.

"We think this is the most extreme version, and it's not based on facts. It's not data driven. We'd like to see something that is more data driven. It's based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you're talking about the climate."
— Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

Reality check: The report does include observational data, everything from the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to the melting rate of Greenland's ice cap, along with cutting-edge computer model scenarios that simulate how climate change may play out.

  • Scientists who wrote the report have been pushing back at arguments by the White House and others, who have said that it's alarmist in its conclusions.

The report underwent extensive peer review and incorporated feedback from the public, in the form of about 10,000 comments.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

8 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.