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.
Trump criticized for trying to discredit John Bolton in Twitter tantrum: ‘You should fire the moron who hired’ him
President Donald Trump is now trying to discredit his former National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton, who has information on Trump so damning it could be the end of his presidency.
In a Twitter tantrum Trump attacked Bolton Wednesday morning, curiously not by name – presumably after reports said he had waived executive privilege previously by attacking Bolton.
For a guy who couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, “begged” me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying “Don’t do it, sir,” takes the job, mistakenly says “Libyan Model” on T.V., and..
GOP’s Doug Collins reveals Trump’s last line of defense: ‘No matter what happened the president did nothing wrong!’
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) on Wednesday admitted that literally nothing President Donald Trump may have done would justify removing him from office.
During an interview on "Fox & Friends," Collins said that Republican senators should reject hearing from witnesses in the president's impeachment trial because nothing those witnesses could say would change the fact that Trump shouldn't be impeached.
"I think at the end of the day, when they look at the total case, they look at how it was presented, and how badly it was done in the House, and how poorly these articles were drafted... witnesses are not going to help this!" he said. "No matter what happened, the president did nothing wrong!"
Rudy Giuliani eager to testify against John Bolton: ‘If he shows his face I would say — You’re an atomic bomb’
Rudy Giuliani denied claims by former national security adviser John Bolton, and kept the door open to his own possible impeachment testimony.
The former New York City mayor said he was still President Donald Trump's personal attorney, but explained why he had not been added to his impeachment trial defense team, reported CBS News.
"Well, I am, but I can't participate in what goes on in the Congress, because I'm a possible witness," Giuliani said, adding that he's ready to testify if he got White House approval.