Politics - News Analysis
Trump Tells Biden to Fire His ‘Incompetent’ Joint Chiefs for Saying Climate Change is America’s ‘Greatest Threat’
Former President Donald Trump has long claimed climate change is a hoax, and Thursday he issued a statement dismissing it as a threat and saying President Joe Biden should fire the joint chiefs of staff if they consider it a hazard for the U.S.
The message from Trump comes while he’s still banned on Twitter, Facebook, and several other media platforms, as Biden continues his first European visit as president, The Hill reports.
It’s widely expected that Biden will discuss climate change while he meets with other European leaders.
Trump is continuing to downplay climate change and repeatedly called it a hoax during his presidency, where he also worked to remove regulations that the Obama administration had put in place to reduce carbon emissions. Perhaps most famously, Trump removed the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, something that Biden rectified during his first week in office by restoring the U.S. to the historic agreement.
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In his emailed statement Trump also took Biden’s comments out of context. But this should come as no surprise. This is Trump, after all.
“Biden just said that he was told by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Climate Change is our greatest threat. If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent!” Trump wrote, apparently not understanding the irony here.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have continually warned that climate change is a real threat and Biden in his speech to American troops stationed in the United Kingdom shortly after his arrival in Europe referred to a warning the Joint Chiefs gave him early in his vice presidency.
“When I went over in the tank in the Pentagon, when I first was elected Vice President, with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were,” Biden said.
In his speech to the troops, he emphasized the seriousness of the situation.
“And this is not a joke: You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming. Because there’ll be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia, because of the fights over what is arable land anymore,” Biden added.
Now here’s the funny part: The current Joint Chiefs, are all Trump appointees, and the chairman, Gen. Mark Milley, in his testimony before Congress on Friday, said in typical no-nonsense military fashion that climate change is a real threat.
“Climate change is a threat. Climate change has significant impact on military operations, and we have to take it into consideration,” Milley said. “Climate change is going to impact natural resources, for example. It’s going to impact increased instability in various parts of the world. It’s going to impact migrations and so on. And in addition to that, we have infrastructure challenges here at home, witness some of our hurricanes and stuff.”
“But the president is looking at it at a much broader angle than I am,” Milley added. “I’m looking at it from a strictly military standpoint. And from a strictly military standpoint, I’m putting China, Russia up there. That is not, however, in conflict with the acknowledgment that climate change or infrastructure or education systems — national security has a broad angle to it. I’m looking at it from a strictly military standard.”
That led Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer (North Dakota) to respond in typically GOP fashion by quibbling.
“I just think it’s peculiar that the president would go to another continent and tell our service members there that the No. 1 threat is climate change, albeit a threat.”
Trump can deny climate change all he wants but the science surrounding climate change is solid whether he and his fellow Republicans like it or not. Unfortunately, these folks will likely be quibbling over nothing until the last glacier melts.