West Wing showdown between Bannon and Kushner over whether to pull out of climate change treaty is postponed with White House citing ‘scheduling conflicts’
By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent
18 April 2017
A White House meeting on the future of the Paris climate change agreement that was scheduled for today has been postponed.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a spokeswoman for President Donald Trump, said the meeting would be rescheduled ‘at some point over the next couple of weeks’ and denied that it was being put off because of bickering between White House advisers like Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.
Sanders said the meeting was called off because of ‘a lot of scheduling conflicts,’ including the president’s out-of-town travel.
President Trump had said he’d ‘cancel’ the climate pact when he was running for president, but his White House has yet to take a formal position on the Obama-era agreement that China and India have also ratified.
The climate agreement sets individual emissions and aims to drive down carbon pollution. It’s critics says it lacks a mechanism for firm enforcement.
It’s opposed by Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruit and chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, want the US to stay in it, however. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has talked about the pact favorably, as well.
White House officials were supposed to hold a meeting to discuss the United Nations agreement that’s been signed by 194 nations on Tuesday.
It was postponed and has not been rescheduled, Sanders confirmed this afternoon as Trump flew to Wisconsin with Bannon and other top aides for a manufacturing event.
Kushner did not go on the Trump trip, and was celebrating Passover still as of Monday.
‘Several of the people that wanted to participate in that meeting’ are on the president’s trip to Wisconsin, Sanders said, ‘and a couple of other things.’