President Donald Trump has decided to give a significant address about the environment on Monday, according to reports. But his staff can't understand why they're wasting time talking about issues Democrats care about.
Axios reported Sunday that two senior administration officials know that the president has no chance at winning a debate on the environment.
"I don't know why we'd spend any time talking about their issue," one of the officials told Axios.
Another official is calling it a "Javanka Special," combining Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who tend to moderate Trump's extremism.
White House spokesperson Judd Deere said that it is a group effort that the administration and EPA should "put the facts out on the president's record and what this administration is doing. There should be no surprise about this speech. We've been discussing internally for weeks."
The problem with the "facts," however, is that Trump's deregulation has caused greater problems for the environment.
First, Trump pulled out of the landmark Paris Accord, which brought together all but a select few countries to agree to work to help reduce carbon emissions. Then they waged war against regulations, saying that a safer environment was bad for business. Thus far, 83 key environmental rules have been rolled back under Trump. After years of improvement, air got worse after two years under Trump.
"There were 15 percent more days with unhealthy air in America both last year and the year before than there were on average from 2013 through 2016, the four years when America had its fewest number of those days since at least 1980," the AP reported.
The greater question, however, is a political one. Trump has maintained that his winning strategy is to run to get the far-right base out to the polls in November. By contrast, most state-wide or nation-wide politicians turn to be more centrist the closer it gets to an election. The latter is not the Trump strategy but given leaked internal poll numbers show the president losing to all top Democrats, he might be pivoting to another campaign idea.
Deere floated themes for Trump's Monday speech:
"We are the party of conservation, environmental protection and expanding responsible, clean energy technologies while the Democrats' radical Green New Deal would outlaw cows, cars and planes, crippling America's economy and crushing the poorest communities across the globe that rely solely on fossil fuels to survive."
Most Republicans have denied the science surrounding the climate crisis for decades. Trump called it a "hoax" in numerous public speeches. However, while in Great Britain last month, Trump was lobbied heavily by the royal family to listen to science on the subject.