WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – While vacationing in warm and sunny Palm Beach, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to comment on the frigid temperatures across much of the country.
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
The president did not acknowledge the difference between the weather and the climate. Weather refers to the atmospheric conditions during a shorter period, while climate is a longer view of weather patterns.
Congressional Democrats were not happy with the president’s tweet and neither was Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo who fired back at the president.
If this isn't a joke it should be. Average global temperatures are rising; so are sea levels. That's not good for S. FL. It was a mistake to leave the #ParisAgreement & it's misleading to cite the temperature on any given day to dismiss dangerous risks posed by CO2 emissions. https://t.co/N9gp545Tea
— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) December 29, 2017
Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about climate change science, calling global warming a “hoax” created by the Chinese to damage American industry.
He announced earlier this year his intention to pull out of the landmark Paris climate agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas production. The accord set goals for slowing the rate of climate change by reducing the emissions that contribute to melting Arctic ice, increasing sea levels and changing weather patterns across the globe.
The U.N.’s weather and climate agency said last month that 2017 was on track to become the hottest year on record aside from those impacted by the El Niño phenomenon, which can contribute to higher temperatures.
Last year set a record for Earth’s average global temperature.
In an impromptu interview with The New York Times Thursday at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Trump said he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller is “going to be fair” with respect to his investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year and alleged ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
Trump said “everybody knows” his people did not collude with Russians, insisting the “real stories” involve Democrats and their relationship with Russians during the campaign. Trump also told the Times he wasn’t worried about the uncertainty concerning when the Mueller investigation might be concluded.
Of the Mueller probe, he said it makes America “look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position.”
Mueller’s investigation has led to charges against at least four of the president’s associates and guilty pleas from two of them, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
President Trump fired General Flynn after learning he lied to the Vice President about his contacts with Russia. It was the first of many White House shake ups and more are on the way.
“This level of turnover is abnormal, it’s actually setting a record,” said American University political science professor James Thurber.
CBS News has learned that Chief of Staff John Kelly plans to find a senior level political strategist to oversee Bill Stepien, the current White House political director.
In President Trump’s first year, there’s been a 34 percent turnover of senior staff. In comparison, George W. Bush was at six percent, Barack Obama was at nine percent and Ronald Reagaon was closest to President Trump with 17 percent.
“If the team keeps changing and you have to bring people in and train them it is very disruptive,” said Thurber.
Dina Powell, the president’s deputy national security adviser, has already announced that she will leave early next year. There has also been speculation that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could be forced out. Economic adviser Gary Cohn may be ready to leave now that the tax cut bill has been signed into law.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)