WSJ: Kushner, Ivanka Trump Pushed to Remove Words Critical of Paris Climate Deal From Executive Order

  • Date: 24/02/17
  • Amy Harder and Peter Nicholas, The Wall Street Journal

At the request of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, language critical of a global climate deal was struck from an executive order that Mr. Trump is planning to sign soon, according to multiple people familiar with the move.

Mr. Trump is expected to sign within days at least two executive orders that will begin the process of trying to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s climate and environmental regulations.

Mr. Kushner, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, and Ms. Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, intervened to strike language about the climate deal from an earlier draft of the executive order, according to these people.

The executive order, which targets Mr. Obama’s broad climate agenda, now includes no mention of the climate deal, which nearly 200 nations struck in Paris in 2015, in large part due to a strong push by the Mr. Obama’s administration.

One White House official said both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump have been considered a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate change and environmental issues. The move is the latest sign of influence Mr. Trump’s daughter and Mr. Kushner have in a White House that has seen internal divisions on a variety of issues, including foreign policy.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump promised to cancel the climate deal and said it hurt U.S. companies. He has said once since the election that he would be open to remaining a part of the accord, though his top advisers have since maintained that Mr. Trump doesn’t take seriously the issue of climate change.

Ms. Trump, in particular, has said that she wants to focus on addressing climate change during her father’s administration, a goal that led to a meeting in December between Mr. Trump and former Vice President Al Gore, an influential climate activist. After the meeting, Mr. Gore described the meeting with Mr. Trump as a “sincere search for areas of common ground.”

The U.S. commitment to the Paris deal falls under the State Department’s jurisdiction. White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Thursday declined to comment on whether Mr. Trump plans to follow through on his campaign promise to withdraw from the deal, saying instead that is a conversation Mr. Trump is having with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“I think I will leave that to Secretary Tillerson,” Mr. Spicer said.

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