Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special

Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special
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President Trump will not appear in a Weather Channel climate change special airing next month that features Democrats and Republicans looking to challenge the president in 2020. 

The Weather Channel announced the one-hour “2020: Race to Save the Planet” special Monday. It will air on Nov. 7. 

In addition to top Democratic candidates, the special will feature all three of Trump’s long-shot Republican challengers. The president, a climate change skeptic, is not in the lineup, although The Weather Channel said it extended an invitation to Trump.

Trump declined to participate, according to The Associated Press

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A Trump campaign spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. 

Although Trump won’t be participating, the special won’t ignore him or what his administration has been doing, Rick Knabb, the network's on-air hurricane expert and former director of the National Hurricane Center, told the AP.

Knabb conducted the candidate interviews along with meteorologist Stephanie Abrams and climate desk journalists Sarah Holder, Jamilah King, Rebecca Leber, Brentin Mock and Nikhil Swaminathan. 

The interviews were recorded in communities impacted by extreme weather that “have seen the effects of the changing climate firsthand,” according to the network. 

“Extreme weather events are increasing due to climate change, and they affect every American in many ways, from our safety to our finances. ... We look forward to showing viewers how the presidential candidates aim to address this critical issue,” Knabb said in the announcement.

The Democratic candidates who are participating are Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats' Obama-to-Sanders shift on charter schooling This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Juan Williams: Black votes matter MORE (N.J.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. House passes historic legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives MORE (Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDNC warns campaigns about cybersecurity after attempted scam Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Biden looks to shore up lead in S.C. MORE (I-Vt.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket The Hill's Campaign Report: Gloves off in South Carolina MORE

The Weather Channel decided to pick the top seven Democrats in the polls at the time of the programming decision, a network spokesperson said. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket MORE was also invited, the network said, but will not appear in the special. Biden's campaign told the AP it was a scheduling issue. 

Biden’s campaign was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Hill. 

Republican challengers former Rep. Joe WalshJoe WalshBoston Globe endorses Trump's GOP challenger Bill Weld Joe Walsh: 'I'd rather have a socialist in the White House than a con man' Limbaugh on Buttigieg: 'America's still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage' MORE (Ill.), former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldBoston Globe endorses Trump's GOP challenger Bill Weld Overnight Energy: EPA moves to limit financial pressure on 'forever chemical' manufacturers | California sues Trump over water order| Buttigieg expands on climate plan Buttigieg expands on climate plan with new proposals MORE and former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordBoston Globe endorses Trump's GOP challenger Bill Weld Trump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary MORE (S.C.) are also participating. 

Climate activists have pushed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to hold a climate-focussed debate, but the DNC has said it will not hold an issue-based debate. 

Last month, CNN hosted a seven-hour town hall on climate change with 10 Democratic contenders.