Kushner reveals Trump’s real thoughts on conservation: ‘What is this trillion trees bulls***?’

Former President Donald Trump’s disdain for environmental and climate policies was no secret during his time in the White House.

But a new memoir, by his son-in-law and former advisor Jared Kushner, puts a finer point on his conservation approach.

“What is this trillion trees bulls***?” Mr Trump demanded, while looking through a keynote speech he was set to make at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2020.

Mr Kushner explains that his father-in-law had come across a line in the speech that pledged America’s support for an initiative to plant one trillion trees around the world by 2050.

The initiative is part of a global push for nature-based solutions to tackle the climate crisis, as forests are known to effectively sequester carbon and be havens for biodiversity.

“Are you trying to push more liberal s*** on me?” Mr Trump then asked, according to the book, Breaking History, which published on Tuesday.

Mr Kushner wrote that he responded by appealing to his father-in-law’s often touted support for “clean air and clean water”, calling the trillion trees initiative a “smart idea”.

“It costs zero dollars right now and conservatives like Kevin McCarthy love it. You always say you agree with the environmentalists in wanting clean air and clean water. The quality of both has actually improved under your presidency, but you never get any credit for it,” Mr Kushner wrote.

“Fine. I’ll leave it in,” the president huffed, according to the book.

The pledge for a trillion trees remained in Mr Trump’s Davos speech. “Today, I’m pleased to announce the United States will join One Trillion Trees Initiative being launched here at the World Economic Forum. One Trillion Trees,” he subsequently told the Swiss gathering, to applause.

“And in doing so, we will continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing, and better managing our trees and our forests.”

While Mr Trump often touted his environmental credentials, his administration rolled back more than 100 regulations that tackled the climate crisis and protected the environment.

He repeatedly called the climate crisis a “hoax” when he was president and has continued to push climate misinformation after leaving office, recently targeting global sea-leve rise.

“The world is going to be destroyed because the oceans are going to rise 1/100 of an inch within the next 300 years,” he claimed at recent rallies. “It’s going to kill everybody.”

He continued: “It’s going to create more oceanfront property. That’s what it’s going to do.”

Average sea level along the US coastline is expected to rise by 10 – 12 inches (25-30cm) in the next 30 years, according to a 2022 update from the National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Mr Trump’s home of Florida tops the list of states threatened by sea level-rise.