Trump dismisses climate change, calls on Biden to fire joint chiefs

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE issued a statement Thursday dismissing the threat of climate change and saying that President BidenJoe BidenMarcus Garvey's descendants call for Biden to pardon civil rights leader posthumously GOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors MORE should fire the joint chiefs of staff if they view it as a big problem for the country.

The message from Trump, whose is still banned on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, comes as Biden makes his first foreign trip as president to Europe.

Biden is expected to discuss climate change during the trip with other European leaders.

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Trump repeatedly downplayed climate change during his presidency, calling it a hoax and working to remove regulations put into place by the Obama administration to reduce U.S. carbon emissions. Biden in his first week in office returned the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement that Trump had removed the nation from.

Trump’s emailed statement on Thursday also took Biden’s comments out of context.

“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 on Thursday. 

While the Joint Chiefs of Staff have repeatedly warned of the threat of climate change, Biden in his address Wednesday to American troops in the United Kingdom upon his arrival in Europe was referring to a warning the Joint Chiefs gave him at the start of his tenure as vice president.

“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,” Biden said.

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“And this is not a joke: You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming. 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. 

Those officials are no longer in office, as the current Joint Chiefs were appointed by Trump. 

The current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyThe bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns Overnight Defense & National Security — US tries to deter Russian invasion of Ukraine National Guard Bureau chief tests positive for COVID-19 MORE, testified before Congress on Friday that climate change was a threat. 

“Climate change is a threat. Climate change has significant impact on military operations, and we have to take it into consideration,” he said. “Climate change is going to impact natural resources, for example. It's going to impact increased instability in various parts of the world. It's going to impact migrations and so on. And in addition to that, we have infrastructure challenges here at home, witness some of our hurricanes and stuff.

“But 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. That is not, however, in conflict with the acknowledgement that climate change or infrastructure or education systems — national security has a broad angle to it. I'm looking at it from a strictly military standard," he added.

In response, Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerMcConnell leaves GOP in dark on debt ceiling Advocates see pilot program to address inequalities from highways as crucial first step The Memo: Rising costs a growing threat for Biden MORE (R-N.D.) said, “I just think it's peculiar that the president would go to another continent and tell our service members there that the No. 1 threat is climate change, albeit a threat."

Rebecca Kheel contributed.