The White House announced today, via Press Secretary Josh Earnest, that climate change is more of a threat to the country than terrorism, the Washington Examiner reported today. When questioned, Earnest made clear the president does believe climate change is more of a threat than terrorism.
" 'There are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact of climate change or the spread of a disease' than terrorism," Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House. "When you're talking about the direct, daily impact of these kinds of challenges on the daily lives of Americans … more people are directly impacted by those things than terrorism."
While the president seemed to clearly state climate change is more of a threat, White House press secretary Josh Earnest seemed to struggle with the issue when questioned, the Blaze reported. Earnest suggested more people are affected by climate change than terrorism.
Jonathan Karl questioned Josh Earnest on the statement, which led to his answer attempting to explain what President Barack Obama had said in a previous interview on the subject. Karl asked Earnest, "Is the president saying, as he seems to be implying here, that the threat of climate change is greater than the threat of terrorism?"
Josh Earnest answered, "The point that president is making is that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact, the direct impact on their lives of climate change or on the spread of a disease than on terrorism."
The statement by Josh Earnest is not the first time the White House has communicated this message. The White House has repeatedly stated it believes climate change is a greater threat than terrorism, and Secretary of State John Kerry has echoed the message put out today by Josh Earnest.
"The administration also highlighted climate change as a security threat at the end of last week with the release of its latest national security strategy, a foreign policy blueprint that put climate change on par with such risks as weapons of mass destruction, the outbreak and spread of infectious disease and terrorist attack," the National Journal reported today about the climate change position Josh Earnest discussed today.
Today is not the first time Earnest has struggled to answer questions related to anti-terrorism policies. When asked if the White House wants to defeat ISIS, Josh Earnest reportedly avoided answering directly that question, the Inquisitr reported last year.
"According to an article by the Blaze, CNN's Jim Acosta asked Josh Earnest a simple question that required a simple answer of either "yes" or "no." It was during Wednesday's White House Press when Acosta asked if the president's strategy to defeat the Islamic State was to defeat ISIL. Earnest answered the question, but indirectly," the Inquisitr reported on Earnest's answer to the question of defeating ISIS.
As with today's exchange between Earnest and Karl, the answer given by Earnest that day led to several follow-up questions from Jim Acosta.
[Image of Josh Earnest from the Washington Times]