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Trump Interior chief not losing sleep over record CO2 levels

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Trump Interior chief not losing sleep over record CO2 levels

FILE PHOTO: Former energy lobbyist David Bernhardt arrives to testify before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on his nomination of to be Interior secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

(Reuters) – U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told a panel of U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday that he has not lost sleep over record amounts of carbon dioxide recorded in the Earth’s atmosphere, which scientists warn are altering the global climate.

“I haven’t lost any sleep over it,” he told the House Committee on Natural Resources, after Democratic Representative Matt Cartwright asked him to rate his level of concern regarding CO2 levels.

Bernhardt said the United States was a leader among nations in reducing CO2 emissions.

“I absolutely care that our climate is changing and that we need to factor that into our thinking,” Bernhardt said later in the hearing. “I absolutely believe that and I’ve said that over and over and over. That’s the reality.”

The Interior Department oversees about a fifth of the U.S. landmass, from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico, and has helped enact the Trump administration’s pro-fossil fuel agenda by pushing for an expansion of oil, gas and coal development on the public lands it oversees.

But its role has angered environmentalists who see global climate change as a priority problem.

CO2 levels hit a new record on May 11, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Keeling Curve. And scientists say man-made CO2 from burning fossil fuels is driving climate change, bringing increasingly devastating consequences like sea level rise, flooding, drought, and more frequent damaging storms.

President Donald Trump has rejected the science on climate change, announced an intention to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and has rolled back other Obama-era moves aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Bernhardt, a former energy lobbyist, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the agency’s secretary last month, over the objections of Democrats concerned he will favor energy and minerals development over conservation.

Reporting by Nichola Groom in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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Trump, in Japan, meets Emperor Naruhito ahead of news conference with Abe

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Trump, in Japan, meets Emperor Naruhito ahead of news conference with Abe

President Trump on Monday became the first world leader to meet Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, ahead of a much-anticipated news conference where the president is expected to talk about topics ranging from trade to North Korea.

The president has been celebrating the busy trip to Japan, where he’s said he’s been making headway on a trade deal, in addition to taking in the culture.

TRUMP CELEBRATES ‘PROGRESS’ IN TRADE NEGOTIATIONS DURING EVENTFUL JAPAN VISIT

The president and first lady Melania Trump kicked off Monday’s formal visit with the new emperor and Empress Masako with handshakes and greetings at Japan’s Imperial Palace.

Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1, opening what has been called the era of “Reiwa,” or “beautiful harmony.”

Trump then went to Tokyo’s official state guest house to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They will later participate in the joint news conference at Akasaka Palace.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, escorted by Japan's Emperor Naruhito, front right, and Empress Masako, fourth left, during the welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, escorted by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, front right, and Empress Masako, fourth left, during the welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
(Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

It’s the second lengthy day of meeting for Trump and Abe, but the president’s 4-day trip has not been all business, he and Abe enjoyed a round of golf on Sunday, took in a sumo match and had a couples dinner with their wives.

“We were able to exchange our views frankly in a cozy atmosphere. It was wonderful,” Abe said.

TRUMP, JAPAN’S PM BOND ON GOLF COURSE DURING STATE VISIT

The president said Saturday that trade negotiations with the Japanese prime minister have been moving forward, specifically regarding beef and agriculture.

“Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers!”

In a speech before businessmen at the U.S. ambassador’s residence, Trump claimed that Japan has enjoyed a trade advantage, but that the two countries were working on a bilateral trade deal.

“I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years but that’s OK,” Trump said. “Maybe that’s why you like me so much.” He added that “we’ll get it a little bit more fair.” He suggested that removing barriers to U.S. exports to help achieve this goal.

In addition to trade, Trump told the media that he and Abe also covered subjects including the military.

President Trump and Japan's Emperor Naruhito at Monday's ceremony. 

President Trump and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito at Monday’s ceremony. 
(Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

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The president is set to attend a state banquet in his honor Monday evening, and participate in a Memorial Day event Tuesday before heading back to the U.S.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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NYU political science professor blasted for tweeting fake Trump quote, calling it ‘plausible’

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NYU political science professor blasted for tweeting fake Trump quote, calling it 'plausible'

Foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group and a New York University political science professor, got in big trouble Sunday for tweeting a fake quote attributed to President Trump, then claiming it was “plausible” the president would say it.

“Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better President than Sleepy Joe Biden,” Bremmer wrote in the now-deleted tweet, attributing it to Trump.

North Korea has labeled Biden a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being” after the U.S. presidential hopeful recently called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant during a recent speech.

Foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group and a New York University political science professor, got in trouble for a tweet of a fake quote attributed to President Trump. (Mediaite)

Foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group and a New York University political science professor, got in trouble for a tweet of a fake quote attributed to President Trump. (Mediaite)

Biden during a campaign launch in Philadelphia on Saturday accused Trump of cozying up to “dictators and tyrants” like Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bremmer was called out on Twitter by many notables, who questioned his reasoning.

Canadian journalist Daniel Dale tweeted: “This quote is fabricated. As often, no idea what Bremmer is doing.”

10 DEADLIEST U.S. TORNADOES ON RECORD

Geopolitics analyst Ankit Panda tweeted: “This is not a real Trump quote … If you’re basing your views of reality based on Ian Bremmer’s tweets in 2019, please reconsider.”

Bremmer later reportedly responded in a now-deleted tweet: “This is objectively a completely ludicrous quote. And yet kinda plausible. Especially on twitter, where people automatically support whatever political position they have. That’s the point.”

Neither Bremmer nor NYU returned Fox News’ requests for comment.

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Bremmer was most recently in the news earlier this month for claiming no U.S. administration since the collapse of the communism in Eastern Europe has ever been so directly hostile to Russian interests than the Trump administration.

He went to Twitter to dispel the accusation often voiced by Democrats who’ve said the current administration has been soft on Russian efforts to spread its influence around the globe.

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VP Pence tells West Point grads it’s a ‘virtual certainty’ they will fight on a battlefield for America

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VP Pence tells West Point grads it's a 'virtual certainty' they will fight on a battlefield for America

Vice President Pence told West Point’s most diverse graduating class in history that they will go to war for America at some point in their life.

Pence addressed the U.S. Military Academy’s 2019 graduating class of more than 980 cadets at the institution’s 221st commencement on Saturday morning in West Point, N.Y.

“It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life,” the vice president told the graduates. “You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen.”

“Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “Some of you will join the fight on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific, where North Korea continues to threaten the peace, and an increasingly militarized China challenges our presence in the region. Some of you will join the fight in Europe, where an aggressive Russia seeks to redraw international boundaries by force. And some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere.”

PENCE MET WITH ‘I LIKE MIKE’ STUDENTS AT TAYLOR UNIVERSITY

“And when that day comes, I know you will move to the sound of the guns and do your duty, and you will fight, and you will win,” he said. “The American people expect nothing less.“

Vice President Mike Pence salutes a graduating cadet before handing a diploma to her during graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy, Saturday, May 25, 2019, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)

Vice President Mike Pence salutes a graduating cadet before handing a diploma to her during graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy, Saturday, May 25, 2019, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)

The graduating class, their families and other attendees also heard Pence say, “as you accept the mantle of leadership I promise you, your commander in chief will always have your back. President Donald Trump is the best friend the men and women of our armed forces will ever have.”

The cadets leave West Point as U.S. Army second lieutenants.

During his remarks, Pence noted that Trump has proposed a $750 billion defense budget for 2020 and said the United States “is once again embracing our role as the leader of the free world.”

VIRTUES OF WEST POINT THAT BUILD LEADERS AND PRODUCE SUCCESS’ BY PAT WILLIAMS

The 2019 cadets included 223 women, 34 of whom are black. Both totals are all-time highs since the first female cadets graduated in 1980. The academy graduated its 5,000th woman Saturday.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy, Saturday, May 25, 2019, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during graduation ceremonies at the United States Military Academy, Saturday, May 25, 2019, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)

The 110 African Americans who graduated were double the number from 2013. There were also 88 Hispanics who graduated.

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West Point held other events leading up to the commencement, including a wreath-laying on Tuesday featuring the academy’s oldest living graduate, retired Col. Doniphan Carter, class of 1944 and a graduation parade on Friday, the Westchester Journal News reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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