Republican Senator Says Donald Trump’s Comments That Wind Turbines Cause Cancer Were ‘Idiotic’

Donald Trump speaks at a White House event
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Donald Trump is not getting much cover from his Republican allies after claiming that wind turbines cause cancer.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley called out Trump this week, saying the president’s comments were “idiotic” and harmful to Republican efforts to encourage the development of wind energy. Grassley has been one of the biggest champions of offering energy tax credits to further this form of energy, and didn’t let Trump’s comment pass by this week.

“I’m told that the White House respects my views on a lot of issues,” Grassley told the Des Moines Register. “(Trump’s) comments on wind energy — not only as a president but when he was a candidate — were, first of all, idiotic, and it didn’t show much respect for Chuck Grassley as the grandfather of the wind energy tax credit.”

Donald Trump had blasted wind turbines at a Republican fundraiser this week, saying that anyone who has a windmill near their home will see the property lose 75 percent in value. He then added an odd and unsourced claim that the turbines cause cancer.

“And they say the noise causes cancer,” Trump said. “You tell me that one, okay?”

Donald Trump has a long history of opposing wind energy, dating back long before he was in the White House. As a real estate developer, he put up a pitched battle against plans to put up wind turbines near a golf property in Scotland.

Trump spoke out against the plans and how he thought the wind farm would destroy the appeal of his resort.

“I am not thrilled,” Trump said at the time, via the BBC. “I want to see the ocean, I do not want to see windmills.”

Trump even filed a formal complaint to the Scottish government, saying he was against “the horrible idea of building ugly wind turbines directly off Aberdeen’s beautiful coastline.”

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The plans for the wind farms still went through, even as Trump threatened to file a lawsuit and dump whatever resources needed into winning the case. He lost in court, with the case eventually going up to the U.K.’s Supreme Court, where he lost in a final decision.

While many Republicans have not been as willing as their Democratic peers to support energy tax credits, Chuck Grassley has been among the staunchest supporters of developing wind energy. He has also been unafraid to oppose Donald Trump on energy-related matters, even as he stands with the president on the majority of his agenda.