U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the multinational climate agreement, citing concerns about its fairness to the U.S. Privately, however, he seemed to express a different idea.
According to Politico's "Playbook," a rundown of news and notes in Washington, one source claimed they overheard Trump at his golf course in Virginia showing doubt about the legitimacy of climate science.
"They can’t even get the weather report right, so how come they think they can get that right?" Trump was overheard as saying over lunch, just days after withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement.
During remarks at the White House Rose Garden June 1, Trump described the issue with the agreement in economic terms, saying it was a job-killer and unfair to American workers and taxpayers.
"The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers -- who I love -- and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production," read the statement from the White House.
Reactions to the withdrawal were largely negative, as pundits from both the left and right were critical of Trump's actions.
"Culture matters more than politics, and a culture that abandons truth and the rule of law for the sake of short-term partisan advantage is a culture that sentences itself to death," wrote David French of National Review, according to The New York Times. French also urged fellow conservatives to call out the president when he does something wrong as often as they praise him when he's right.
World leaders also offered criticism of the withdrawal, as well as pledging to continue their efforts regardless of Trump's decision.
"China will continue to uphold its commitments to the Paris climate agreement. ... We realize that this is a global consensus agreement and that as a big developing nation we should shoulder our international responsibility," said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Business leaders took to Twitter to express their displeasure. Magnate Elon Musk said he is "departing presidential councils" after Trump's withdrawal, saying "climate change is real" and leaving the Paris Agreement was good for neither the U.S. or the world.
Disney CEO Robert Iger wrote: "As a matter of principle, I've resigned from the President's Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal."