President Barack Obama met with other world leaders in Paris to discuss climate change, but he’s facing criticism at home for calling global warming one of the biggest threats to the U.S.
“One of the dumbest statements I've ever heard in politics -- in the history of politics as I know it, which is pretty good -- was Obama's statement that our number one problem is global warming,” Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Trump cited other issues like terrorism as being of greater concern, but the Department of Defense stated in a recent report that climate change does present a significant threat to national security.
The Pentagon noted in July that global warming not only “aggravate[s] problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions that threaten stability in a number of countries,” but also threatens the U.S.'s existing defense infrastructure nationally and abroad.
“Climate change is a global problem. Its impacts do not respect national borders," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote in the report. "Politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound planning.”
Secretary of State John Kerry has also outlined the intersection between political instability and terrorism in Syria and the region’s extreme drought, CNN reported. However, Kerry has noted climate change isn’t wholly to blame for the rise of groups like ISIS.
When asked about his own environmental strategy, Trump talked about some of his buildings, which have won awards for their environmental-friendliness.
"I want to make sure we have clean air and clean water,” he said.