Story at a glance

  • During a Wednesday speech to military personnel stationed in the United Kingdom, Biden recalled what the Joint Chiefs of Staff told him when he was vice president.
  • “And this is not a joke: You know what the joint chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming,” he said.
  • Former President Trump responded, saying Biden should fire his current Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Former President Trump is lashing out at the Biden administration following President Biden’s warning that global warming is the greatest threat to the United States. 

During a Wednesday speech to military personnel stationed in the United Kingdom, Biden recalled what the Joint Chiefs of Staff told him when he was vice president. 


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“When I went over in the Tank in the Pentagon, when I first was elected vice president, with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were — the greatest physical threats,” Biden said. 

“And this is not a joke: You know what the joint chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming,” he said. 

“Because there’ll be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia; because of the fights over what is arable land anymore,” he added. 

Biden’s comments prompted a Thursday response from former President Trump, who appeared to mix up the current president’s statement. 

“Biden just said that he was told by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Climate Change is our greatest threat. If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent!” Trump said in a statement

While the current Joint Chiefs of Staff have warned about the threat of global warming, Biden was referring to Pentagon officials in the Obama administration who are no longer in office. The current Joint Chiefs of Staff were all appointed by Trump. 

Over the duration of his presidency, Trump often downplayed the threat posed by global warming and rolled back key climate regulations for power plants, industrial facilities and vehicles meant to curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions. 

During a testimony before Congress Thursday, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley clarified his view on climate change and other threats to the nation. 

“Climate change is a threat. Climate change has a significant impact on military operations, and we have to take that into consideration,” Milley said Thursday. 

“The President is looking at it at a much broader angle than I am. I’m looking at it from a strictly military standpoint. And from a strictly military standpoint, I’m putting China, Russia up there,” he said. 


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Published on Jun 10, 2021