The morning after President Donald Trump announced the United States would exit the historic Paris climate agreement, one of the many lingering questions is whether he believes scientific research that points to a warming planet or stands by earlier statements in which he's referred to global warming as "a hoax."
Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos posed that query to Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway three times during an interview Friday morning and three times she failed to answer directly.
"Does the president still believe that global warming is a hoax?" Stephanopoulos asked Conway, a reference to Trump's repeated insistence that global warming is not scientifically proven despite reams of research that says otherwise. In 2012, he famously Tweeted that the theory of global warming was fabricated by the Chinese.
Conway failed to give Stephanopoulos a yes or no answer:
The president believes in a clean environment, clean air, clean water. He’s received awards as a businessman in that regard. He made very clear yesterday what he doesn’t believe, which is that the U.S. government should stay in an agreement that gives us too much of the financial burden, too much risks to these industries where the coalminers, people who work in cement and paper, people who he looked in the eye…
Stephanopoulos cut Conway off, asking the question a second time, and again, Conway pointed to Trump belief in " clean air, clean water, a clean environment."
"He thinks we have to negotiate better deals for this country," she said, "and that there’s a balance between environmental protection and and economic growth." ( The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said in a joint statement on Thursday that the agreement cannot be renegotiated, "since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economics.")
Stephanopoulos gave it one last go: "D oes he believe global warming is a hoax?"
" You should ask him that," Conway said, "and I hope you have your chance."
Fortune asked the White House whether the president believes global warming is a hoax and will update this post if we receive a response.
Signed by 195 nations and enacted last year, the Paris climate agreement’s main goal is to limit the average global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius. If that threshold is exceeded, climate scientists believe subsequent severe weather events will be irreversible.
Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the climate change accord has dismayed world leaders and corporate executives like Tesla's Elon Musk and Apple's Tim Cook who see the move as a set back in efforts to address the warming planet.