As President Trump reportedly prepares to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate deal, much of the credit for the move belongs to Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist said to have corralled the president into an exit.
According to Politico, Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt have maneuvered for months to get Trump to go along with them.
They sold him on the idea that the White House’s pro-fossil fuel agenda could only be achieved outside the agreement framework and made sure he heard from corporate leaders who agreed with them.
“We made very much the economic message argument,” David McIntosh, head of the far-right Club for Growth, told Politico. “It was bad for the U.S. economy. It would stifle economic growth and the United States should withdraw.”
The move to withdraw apparently faced resistance from supposed moderates within the administration, like senior adviser Jared Kushner, special assistant Ivanka Trump and economic adviser Gary Cohn.
With leaks coming from the White House that Trump will leave the accord, it appears the New Yorker moderates have been routed this time around.
“Ivanka is doing what she can to get him to stay,” an unnamed official told Politico. “But that doesn’t mean he’s going to do it.”