In a conversation with NBC's Cynthia McFadden at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington Governor and 2020 Democratic primary hopeful Jay Inslee blasted President Trump for denying the "existential threat" of climate change:
CYNTHIA MCAFADDEN: There are those, including the president of this country, who are climate change deniers. Is it worth having the debate with them, the scientific debate with them? Or do you just skip over them and go to the people who believe?
GOV. JAY INSLEE: Well, first off, a lot more people, despite the constant lies—and, by the way, we ought to be aggrieved morally by this. I was thinking—I was shaving this morning thinking about what we were going to talk about today. The fact that we have the elected leader of the United States of America who willfully lied to us about something that is an existential threat ought to be something that we are outraged about. We should not become inured to this or passive about this. If we had a president of the United States who told us that the communist threat was just a hoax perpetrated by the Council of Foreign Relations.
INSLEE: You know, that would have been if not treasonous, at least something that—a moral abomination. And we cannot allow ourselves to become accustomed to this.
This is a moral outrage. It is a gross failure of the commander in chief. And I don’t use the word treason very often, but when someone lies to the American people, when the entire intelligence community is telling the president of the United States that this is a national security threat of the first dimension and he is willing to lie to the American people, I don’t think we should take this lying down. I don’t think it should go without comment. And I think people should raise their voices about it, as I am here. And if you want to know why some people still deny climate change, well, the president of the United States is telling them to deny climate change. It’s really not really their fault. And so I think that we need to be a little more vocal about this, number one.
Number two, he is failing. He’s failing in many ways. He’s failing on trade policy. He’s failing to unite the country. But he’s failing to fool people, because in the last twelve months the number of Americans who believe climate change deserves a commonsense response has gone up twelve percent, despite his lies and his tweets. And the reason this is happening is you just can’t ignore seeing a town of twenty-five thousand in Paradise, California, burn to the ground. I went there at night and drove around at night with Jerry Brown’s security forces. And it felt like a post-apocalypse Hollywood movie. You cannot deny the floods in the Midwest. I went to Hamburg, Iowa. It was a town founded in 1858. 1858, had never been flooded until this year it was under eight feet of water. And then the floods came back a month later. You can’t deny Miami Beach taxpayers having to pay taxes to raise their roads a foot and a half. So when you go shopping at Miami Beach now you look down at the shops. It’s the weirdest thing. So because people are now seeing this in their own lives, the people are demanding a response.