Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special

Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special
© Getty

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

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 BookerHuman rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer MORE (N.J.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - CDC equates Delta to chickenpox in contagiousness Harris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries Why in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? MORE (Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election MORE (Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersAngst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure MORE (I-Vt.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegChasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary 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 BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions 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 WalshThe Memo: 'Hillbilly Elegy' author binds himself to Trump after past criticism Joe Walsh says radio show canceled due to Trump criticism The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE (Ill.), former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldThe Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Ralph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads MORE and former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordTop cyber Pentagon official overseeing defense contractor project placed on leave Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote 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.