You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Trump: I’m the scientist-in-chief.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The president’s belief that human-caused climate change is a hoax runs contrary to everything his own government scientists have told him. Why doesn’t he believe their reports that say the problem is real? And if he truly thinks those reports are false, why doesn’t he prevent government scientists from releasing them?

Trump attempted to answer those questions in an interview with Axios released Sunday night. “I want everybody to report whatever they want,” he said. “But ultimately I’m the one that makes that final decision.” Trump also said he could provide “reports where people very much dispute” the science of human-caused climate change.

Axios apparently did not ask Trump to provide such evidence, but his comments make clear that he doesn’t need evidence; at the end of the day, he believes what he believes. That may not sound like much of a surprise, but it does call into question the usefulness of having a Senate-confirmed science advisor. When Trump nominated meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier for the position in August, people thought he might bring scientific reasoning back to the White House. Trump’s implicit assertion that he’s the scientist-in-chief shows that that’s clearly not going to happen.