In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, both of which struck the United States over the course of the last several weeks, a reporter who traveled with the President on Air Force One asked about the impact that climate change had on the two hurricanes.
“We’ve had bigger storms,” Trump responded.
Trump’s remark, of course, directly contradicts his previous statements regarding the storms. Prior to and immediately following Harvey and Irma, the President tweeted about the sheer magnitude and danger of the storms.
Hurricane Irma is of epic proportion, perhaps bigger than we have ever seen. Be safe and get out of its way,if possible. Federal G is ready!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2017
After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey,my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2017
When he was confronted with the idea, however, that climate change may have exacerbated the severity of multiple simultaneous record-breaking storms, he was quick to change his tune.
Reporter: Has the severity of Harvey and Irma made you rethink views on climate change?
Pres. Trump: "We've had bigger storms than this"
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 14, 2017
Harvey broke the record for rainfall in the continental United States, dousing Texas and even parts of Louisiana with more than 51 inches of rain.
Irma maintained its status as a Category 5 hurricane for three days and three hours, the second longest for any storm on record. With winds reaching 185 miles per hours, it was one of the top five strongest hurricanes to ever form in the Atlantic Ocean.
In other words, we really have not had “bigger storms.”
While Trump was busy relishing his moment as the President during a natural disaster, eager to show off for photo-ops, he was quick to point out the historic nature of the storms. However, when faced with the clear and scientifically-proven link between climate change and the severity of the storms – because it goes against his “climate change is a hoax” narrative – he instead downplayed the catastrophic effects.
It seems that the only thing bigger than these back-to-back storms is the President’s glaring hypocrisy.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.