Trump won't withdraw from Paris climate deal: report

The Trump administration reaffirmed its decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement Saturday, knocking down reports suggesting the U.S. was reversing course.

The White House was put on the defensive after a Wall Street Journal report said an administration official signaled a policy shift on the global pact at a Montreal meeting with environment officials from 30 countries.

"There has been no change in the United States' position on the Paris agreement," said spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.

"As the President has made abundantly clear, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country."

The Journal reported that White House senior advisor Everett Eissenstat revealed the softening of the White House's climate accord stance.

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U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Vice President Mike Pence clap as President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon walks out after President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump points as he walks back to the Oval Office after speaking about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump points out after speaking about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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The United States "stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris Accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement," the European Union's top climate official Miguel Arias Cañete said after the meeting.

Agence France-Presse reported that Cañete said a meeting would be held with an American envoy at next week's UN General Assembling to "assess what is the real U.S. position."

Cañete acknowledged that the sentiments expressed Saturday by the U.S. envoy marked a sharp departure from the White House's official position.

"It's a message which is quite different to the one we heard from President Trump in the past," Cañete said.

Trump triggered a global backlash when he announced in June that the U.S. was pulling out of the 195-nation accord.

The move nixed one of the Obama administration's signature achievements and made the U.S. one of only three countries — including Syria and Nicaragua — that opposed the pact.

Trump portrayed the long-promised decision as part of his "America first" agenda, saying he was elected to represent "Pittsburgh, not Paris.

Later Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired off a tweet insisting the administration's climate accord stance remains unchanged.

"Our position on the Paris agreement has not changed," it read. "@POTUS has been clear, US withdrawing unless we get pro-America terms."

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