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Mike Pence dodges climate change questions as Agriculture Department buries new scientific studies

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Vice President Mike Pence avoided pointed questions about climate change during an interview on Sunday, even as President Donald Trump’s administration continues to suppress studies about the severity of the climate crisis.

While being questioned by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Pence listened to the anchor quote Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats discussing the geopolitical threat posed by climate change. Tapper then mentioned how the EPA had rolled back part of former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan before asking the vice president, “Do you think human-induced climate emergency is a threat to the United States?”

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Pence responded, “Well, what I will tell you is that we will always follow the science on that in this administration.”

“The science says, ‘It is,'” Tapper interjected.

Pence continued, arguing that what the Trump administration “won’t do — and the Clean Power Plan was all about that — was hamstringing energy in this country, raising the cost of the utility rates for working families across this country while other nations like China and India do absolutely nothing or make illusory promises decades down the road to deal with it.”

He added, “You know, the truth of the matter is with the advent of natural gas, with the natural gas explosion that’s developing, with clean coal technology, we’re seeing we’re seeing a significant reduction of carbon emissions all across this country.”

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Tapper revisited his earlier question by asking Pence, “But is what people are calling the climate emergency — is it a threat? Do you think it’s a threat? Man-made climate emergency is a threat?”

After Pence repeated his earlier reply —”I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the science” — before Tapper added that many experts in Trump’s own administration recognize the seriousness of the crisis. Pence then pivoted back to discussing whether utility rates would be raised by effective climate change regulations.

As Pence dodged Tapper’s questions, the Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies, which reveal the long-term effects of man-made climate change as compiled by scientists at the Department of Agriculture, according to Politico.

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“The intent is to try to suppress a message — in this case, the increasing danger of human-caused climate change. Who loses out? The people, who are already suffering the impacts of sea level rise and unprecedented super storms, droughts, wildfires and heat waves,” Michael E. Mann, a leading climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, told Politico about the suppressed studies.

The site reported that they include “a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice” and learning that “climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.”

Mann expressed similar thoughts to Salon last month, when it was revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency would redefine environmental standards to allow for more air pollution.

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“This is a logical next step in the effort by Trump and the polluting interests that dictate his environmental policies to dismantle the environmental protections of the past half century put in place by past both Republican and Democratic presidents,” Mann told Salon.

He added, “Let me be blunt: Trump is choosing to kill people in order to increase the profits of the polluting interests to which he is beholden. I cannot think of a more craven act than this, and we’re talking about a president who is known for craven acts. There is a reason I warned back in October 2016 that Trump is a threat to the planet.”

You can watch more from Pence’s interview below: 

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Fox’s Chris Wallace stunned as ‘flailing’ Trump tries to order around US companies while the stock market plunges

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Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace seemed stunned by a series of angry tweets from Donald Trump on Friday morning, first attacking Fed Chair Jerome Powell for not lowering interest rates than exploding at China over a new round of tariffs.

Speaking with host Sandra Smith, Wallace sat and listened as she read off the president's Twitter complaints about economic events beyond his control, including one telling U.S. companies to take their manufacturing business elsewhere.

"We are just all learning of this at the same time, but the best I can tell, the American president can’t order U.S. companies how they’re going to do their sales and where they’re going to have their supply chains," Wallace lectured. "We have a free-market capitalist system."

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‘They sense weakness’: Former senator says the world is ‘smirking’ as Trump flails away at latest China tariffs

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Former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) appeared on CNN Friday to discuss how President Donald Trump has completely mishandled his long-running trade war with China.

While talking about trade with CNN's Jim Sciutto, Baucus said that China timed its new announcements of tariffs against $75 billion worth of American goods specifically to humiliate the president.

"They sense weakness," explained Baucus, who has also previously served as an American ambassador to China. "And I think that they see a weakness in the United States today. Trump has been weakened because of the weakened American economy and they're retaliating against the tariffs that Trump imposed after there was a truce there would be no tariffs."

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New video emerges of Trump blurting out anti-Semitic slurs

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President Donald Trump this week said that the majority of American Jews were "disloyal" to Israel because they support the Democratic Party -- but that's far from the first time that the president has made controversial statements that deploy anti-Semitic tropes.

The Washington Post has obtained a video clip from 2011 that shows Trump boasting about how great one of his golf courses is before saying that "even these spoiled, rich Jewish guys, they can’t believe how good this [course] is."

The clip was originally aired on the Golf Channel for the show "Donald J. Trump's Fabulous World of Golf."

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