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Pruitt: Pulling out of Paris climate deal 'not a political decision'

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Sunday denied that President Trump's choice to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement was a political decision.

"It was right for this country, Chuck. This is a decision that was right for this country from a jobs perspective, an economy perspective and an environmental perspective," Pruitt told Chuck Todd during an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press." "It was not a political decision."

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Pruitt said Trump expressed last week that he "wants to engage in discussion with respect to international agreements in CO2 reduction."

"But not Paris," Pruitt said. "Paris represents a bad deal for this country."

However, like the rest of the administration, Pruitt dodged questions on the specifics of Trump's beliefs about climate change. When asked whether he believes carbon dioxide is the primary cause of climate change, Pruitt said it "contributes to climate change."

Trump last week announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. During a speech Thursday, he called the agreement "unfair at the highest level to the United States."

He cast the decision as one that puts the United States first, a central theme of his presidential campaign.