Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told senators Tuesday that he still supports the Paris climate change agreement, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from it.
Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., was the most vocal voice in the Trump administration pushing the president to stay in the pact.
He told Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative Democrats hope to salvage Biden's agenda on Manchin's terms Senators introduce bill aimed at protecting Ukrainian civilians MORE (Md.), top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that he respects Trump’s decision but disagrees with it.
“My view didn’t change,” Tillerson said at a hearing on the State Department’s budget. “My views were heard out. I respect that the president heard my views, but I respect the decision he’s taken.”
He said Trump was “quite deliberative” in his consideration of the Paris pact. The president “took some time to come to his decision, particularly waiting until he had heard from European counterparts in the G7 on it,” Tillerson said.
The State Department is the chief agency responsible for international agreements and treaties. Under former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team The Memo: Biden looks for way to win back deflated Black voters 6 in 10 say they would back someone other than Biden in 2024: Fox News poll MORE, Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryBiden's second-ranking climate diplomat stepping down A presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day Equilibrium/Sustainability — Dam failures cap a year of disasters MORE was the key point person in developing the Paris pact.
But Tillerson didn’t participate in Trump’s public events surrounding his decision earlier this month to pull out of the Paris deal, including a grand White House ceremony to announce the withdrawal.
Instead, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, an outspoken opponent of the Paris agreement, took the lead among administration officials in those events.