During Monday’s presidential debate, Donald Trump’s most publicly called-out lie was his denial that he had said climate change was made up by the Chinese.
About ten minutes in, Hillary Clinton criticised Trump for calling climate change a “hoax perpetrated by the Chinese”.
To which Trump retorted: “I did not say that. I do not say that. I do not say that.”
Trump’s notorious Twitter account begs to differ. Notably a tweet from 2012, in which he said: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
The pants-on-fire tweet that caught Trump’s lie was the most retweeted of all during the one and a half hour debate, according to Twitter’s politics aggregator.
In January, after Bernie Sanders attacked him on the same charge, Trump tried to roll back the comments, saying they were a joke. It’s a comment he has repeated multiple times (see a selection of tweets below) over the years. If its a joke, everyone is tired of it.
Renewable energy was at the top of Clinton’s agenda, as she framed a vision for jobs growth in her opening pitch. Later, she filled out her vision for a renewable boom. She has promised a $60bn stimulus for solar power among other packages.
“Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks climate change is a hoax, perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real. And I think it’s important that we grip this and deal with it,” said Clinton.
Trump denies Clinton claim about his climate change denial pic.twitter.com/lCwhdbhWTT
— Mashable News (@MashableNews) September 27, 2016
“I’m a great believer in all forms of energy,” said Trump, who has promised to roll back regulations that have cause a decline in coal power – the most polluting fossil fuel. He said Clinton’s plan for reform was impossible because the US was in too much debt.
Last week, Climate Home released analysis revealing that Clinton reduced the number of speeches in which she mentioned climate change by more than half after she received Sanders’ endorsement. Analysts said she was likely trying to speak to undecided voters, for whom climate change is not a vote deciding issue.
There were no direct questions on energy or climate change from the NBC host Lester Holt. Meaning the only real discussion of the planetary crisis that threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions in America and abroad, was over a four year old tweet by a billionaire reality TV host.
Even without any substantive discussion on the screen, energy and the environment was the third most tweeted about topic during the debate, Twitter said.
NBC News just called it the great freeze – coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2014
Let's continue to destroy the competitiveness of our factories & manufacturing so we can fight mythical global warming. China is so happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2012
We can't destroy the competitiveness of our factories in order to prepare for nonexistent global warming. China is thrilled with us!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012