Former President Donald Trump didn’t shy away from echoing his adamant denial of climate change during a town hall Tuesday in Iowa hosted by Sean Hannity.
During the event in Davenport, Trump slammed John Kerry and the efforts made by the presidential envoy for climate.
“Our country can be rich again. John Kerry has to be stopped. He’s destroying our country,” Trump told Hannity and the crowd at the town hall.
Kerry, a former senator and secretary of state, announced Tuesday that the U.S. would collaborate with other governments to speed up the process of making nuclear fusion a new source of carbon-free energy, which could be used to power cars and heat and cool homes instead of using fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.
“The only global warming we should be thinking about or worrying about is nuclear global warming, not global warming,” Trump said at the town hall, echoing comments he made earlier this year minimizing the climate crisis.
Trump’s digs didn’t end there. He added that when Kerry speaks about climate change around the world, people “treat him with respect,” but then say “what an idiot, what a jerk” when he leaves.
His comments arrive amid the United Nations climate summit (COP28) in Dubai, where the event’s leader, Sultan Al Jaber, came under fire for suggesting that fossil fuels don’t necessarily need to be phased out, claiming that there is “no science” behind calls to do so, The New York Times reported.
Kerry pushed back on his statement and emphasized the need for countries to prioritize efforts to keep global warming from topping 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
During the event, Trump took the opportunity to slam the Green New Deal, a framework of proposals to help mitigate climate change, saying that it would “destroy our country,” and he emphasized that the U.S. shouldn’t stray away from using oil as a fuel source, despite climate activists, experts and leaders pointing to the importance of pivoting away from fossil fuels.
“I am an environmentalist, but we’re going to destroy our country with this Green New Deal stuff that doesn’t work just to finish, we have so much wealth and power under our feet. No other country has it,” Trump said, later making additional attacks on the manufacturing of electric vehicles.