Graham jokes: If you said 'Mueller thinks climate change is a hoax,' then Trump would believe in it

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet Why Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Memo: Toxic 2020 is unavoidable conclusion from Trump tweets MORE (R-S.C.) told those gathered at a Dallas-based sustainability conference that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE has a long way to go in acknowledging the science behind climate change.

“Climate change is real, the science is sound and the solutions are available," Graham said, adding jokingly, "If I told Trump that [special counsel Robert] Mueller thinks climate change is a hoax, we'd be well on our way."

ADVERTISEMENT
Trump has a long history of lashing out at both the special counsel investigation and global warming as a concept, repeatedly saying winter storms are a sign that climate change isn’t real.

Graham was speaking on a panel at the EarthX2019 conference with Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip MORE (D-R.I) and Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerrySenior Trump administration official to leave post next week Overnight Energy: Trump doesn't mention climate change in speech touting environmental policies | Green groups fight EPA's new FOIA rule | Trump emissions rollback hit with legal challenge Trump touts environmental policies, but says nothing of climate change MORE.

For his part, Perry mirrored some of Trump’s vocal skepticism about renewable energy sources, according to reporting from the Dallas Business Journal.

"Some people just want to rely on them solely," he said. "Our air might be cleaner, but the energy supply isn't nearly as reliable. Imagine what a single natural disaster or cybersecurity attack would do to us when the sun doesn’t come out, or the wind doesn’t blow. The cost to our economy would be huge."

Trump has made a number of controversial false statements about renewable energy, including comments that wind turbines cause cancer and that a more wind-reliant future would mean people would not be able to watch TV if the wind stopped blowing.