President Trump's Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney waded through reporter questions on the recently released and very controversial budget proposal by Trump Thursday, but one answer especially shocked some viewers.
"Regarding the question as to climate change," Mulvaney bluntly responded, "I think the president was fairly straight forward - we're not spending any money on that anymore."
"We consider that to be a waste of your money, to go out there and do that, so that is a specific tie to his campaign," and then he moved on.
Trump had often said that global warming was not going to be a focus of his presidency, and even tweeted at one point that it was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government to undermine American competitiveness, a suggestion the Chinese mocked later.
There had been some signs from Trump, however, that his administration would be open to dissenting voices on climate change, including his meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, and a report that Ivanka Trump signed on to fight global warming. Climate change activists cited his cabinet appointments as a sign that his presidency would be hostile to such efforts.
Mulvaney's statement Thursday is a clear confirmation of that suspicion.
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney on climate change: “We’re not spending money on that anymore” https://t.co/uJ1zwwqhNH— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 16, 2017
Many people from the left reacted with incredulity and outrage at Mulvaney's response.
Climate change is humanity’s foremost challenge. Trump avoids things that are difficult. So, this is what we get. Four years of this.— Jamil Smith (@Jamil Smith) 1489700473.0
Mulvaney’s response on climate change to the real problem at the heart of Trump’s budget, which is the utter abdication of responsibility.— Jamil Smith (@Jamil Smith) 1489699140.0
Mulvaney: "waste of your money" to fund research on climate change. He actually just said this, out loud, in public, on television.— Richard Preiss (@Richard Preiss) 1489693255.0
May a global warming-induced rogue wave hit Mick Mulvaney's office and wash him out to sea.— Jeff Polman (@Jeff Polman) 1489697625.0
Mulvaney was followed by White House Press Secretary who used most of his time defending Trump's accusation that Obama had ordered wiretapping, or other surveillance, on Trump Tower.