Denigrated and dismissed on the world stage as an outsider, a menace, and a buffoon, Donald Trump took his revenge on Thursday, spurning the entire international community by announcing his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not party to the global environmental agreement. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump declared outside the White House, where he delivered a feverishly nationalist speech attacking the rest of the world for taking advantage of the U.S. “At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?” The president seemed to revel in his decision, which was instantly and widely condemned by world leaders, business heavyweights, and all five of the country’s most valuable companies. A brass band played lively tunes in the Rose Garden ahead of Trump’s speech, and members of his Cabinet—many of whom were gathered to applaud the announcement ceremony—offered up praise for his leadership. While Disney’s Bob Iger and Elon Musk resigned from the president’s business advisory boards, Hollywood elites rages, and European politicians released blistering statements belittling American leadership, sources close to the president suggested he was galvanized by their sanctimony. “This is religion for the political left, and our supporters are constantly being asked to change their behavior,” one West Wing aide told Axios, explaining that the president was goaded by “snarky comments” from Europe and the preachy attitude of corporate critics who “ride in fossil-fuel-guzzling planes and SUVs, then act holier-than-thou.”
A subscription may be required to read the complete article.