President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to the United Nations promised Wednesday to allow climate diplomacy to move forward despite her family’s fortune in coal.
Kelly Craft, at a Senate hearing to confirm her for the high-profile post that has been vacant for nearly half a year, said she would not participate personally in discussions at the United Nations in which coal is discussed.
“I will give you my commitment that where coal is part of the conversation within climate change at the UN, I will recuse myself,” she told Democratic Senator Ed Markey, a leading environmentalist.
“I understand that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. I also understand that fossil fuels has played a part in climate change,” she said.
But she showed no daylight with Trump on his decision to pull the United States out of the UN-backed Paris climate accord, which covers virtually every other country, saying: “We don’t have to be part of an agreement to be leaders.”
She also stopped short of saying she would step back from talks involving all fossil fuels, saying that she was still sorting out details of an ethics agreement.
UN scientists say that the world must drastically curb its use of coal, oil and other fossil fuels by 2030 to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, including intensifying droughts, growing disasters and rising sea levels that could devastate low-lying areas.
Craft, a longtime Republican donor who is married to billionaire coal executive Joe Craft, is serving as ambassador to Canada.
Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pressed Craft at the hearing to provide records on how much time she has devoted to her current job.
The news site Politico, quoting State Department records, found that Craft has been absent for more than 300 days since becoming ambassador, or more than half the time since her confirmation.
Craft insisted at the hearing that she was hard at work and was regularly consulting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a revised North American free trade pact.
Trump’s first ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, left at the end of last year as her star power grows rapidly within the Republican Party.
Trump chose Heather Nauert, a former Fox News anchor who was then the State Department spokeswoman, to succeed her, but the nomination was never formally submitted and Nauert withdrew from consideration.
Someone created a tile mosaic panel to rename the 50th Street Subway station in NYC after Ruth Bader Ginsburg
There continue to be amazing acts of love and honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg across the world and another one has popped up in New York City.
ABC7 discovered that someone created a tile mosaic at the 50th Street subway station so it says RUth Street instead.
Flowers, cards, chalk messages signs and more continue to be left at the Supreme Court for a massive memorial that has started curving around the building. After the first night where mourners sat on the steps and sang, security blocked off the steps and the memorial began to grow with hundreds of things being left.
These global banks defy sanctions and send trillions to terrorists and criminals — and the Justice Department lets them
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed in a shocking expose that international banks are skirting U.S. sanctions and allowing trillions of dollars to flow to terrorists, criminals and oligarchs.
In a Sunday report, the ICIJ called out JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon for refusing to comply with American sanctions, U.S. government documents reveal.
Other banks have even defied money laundering crackdowns, the report said and allowed "staggering sums of illicit cash" to flow from shady characters and criminal networks.
‘He truly despises Black women’: Cohen walks through Trump’s outright ‘hatred’ for women of color
It has become clear to anyone paying attention that President Donald Trump has serious problems with people of color. But his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed that it goes much deeper.
"Trump is a racist white supremacist" is a story that may as well be "water is wet," but Cohen explained Sunday in an interview with MSNBC's Al Sharpton that Trump has a particular issue with women of color.
"The fact is, as much as he has a disdain for Black people, he truly despises Black women because he doesn't know how to handle them," Cohen said. "He doesn't know what to do."
At a rally on Friday in Minnesota, Sharpton noted the "mostly white" crowd was one that Trump heralded for having "good genes," meaning white genes.