The climate-denying Heartland Institute hosted its 13th International Conference on Climate Change on July 25 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference typically attracts “dozens of climate change skeptics” who “converge to discuss issues and strategies to oppose climate action” and this year’s conference was no different.
During the event’s keynote address, climate-denying meteorologist Joe Bastardi -- who regularly appears on Fox News programs such as Hannity to downplay extreme weather events -- gave a speech titled “Weaponizing Hurricanes.” In an apparent attempt to lighten the mood a few minutes in to his remarks, Bastardi received a phone call from a President Donald Trump impersonator. What followed was a bizarre and cringe-worthy interaction which included the presidential impersonator claiming that climate change is “a complete hoax,” “just like the fake news story on Russia,” adding, “There is no collusion between CO2 and temperature.”
JOE BASTARDI (METEOROLOGIST): And I’m often amazed by his -- Could you hold on a second here? Hold on a second. Oh my gosh. Hello? Hello?
PRESIDENTIAL IMPERSONATOR: Hello, Joe. Joe, this is Donald. This is Donald. Is this a bad time?
BASTARDI: No, Mr. President, I’m talking here at --
IMPERSONATOR: Well, you don’t even need to answer because it's never a bad time talking to Donald Trump. I was actually just sitting here, down the street at the White House. And I’m actually streaming the climate conference live, and I just saw you come on. And I just wanted to say a couple of things. I wanted to say that Heartland’s running a great organization with great people, wonderful people, doing some great work on climate, unbelievable work on climate. And I love climate, I love climate, and I’m working hard on climate.
But Heartland, very smart people, some of the smartest people. You want to know how I know they’re smart people? They’re holding their conference at Trump International Hotel. What a wonderful hotel. An unbelievable hotel. Am I right, is it a wonderful hotel? Everybody, is it a wonderful hotel?
BASTARDI: Yeah, your wine’s a little expensive, but yeah.
IMPERSONATOR: And it was on time and under budget by the way, I just wanted everybody to know that. But I’m hearing so many great Americans are over there at the hotel, at the conference, and actually, I’m hearing there’s so many -- there was thousands and thousands of people that couldn’t even get in the door, just like a Trump rally. It’s unbelievable over there.
And I even hear -- listen to this -- I even hear there’s non-Americans that love our country that are there, I hear that. And I’m not sure if this is true, but I hear the great Lord [Christopher] Monckton was in attendance today. And that is a guy -- he loves America, loves Trump, which is beautiful, it’s a beautiful thing. And Joe, listen to this real quick, I’m actually hearing from the State Department, and this is unbelievable, the State Department wants to trade AOC and the squad for Lord Monckton. Unbelievable, that’s unbelievable to me. It sounds like a wonderful deal. It sounds like a wonderful deal. She can go to the U.K. and talk with Prince Charles about the world ending in 18 months, and they can spend their last few months there, while we get a great man in our country. It will be unbelievable. It’s a wonderful deal. I think it’s a great deal.
BASTARDI: Well, Mr. President -- does everybody appreciate the president checking in? I’ve got to go back to this talk because I’m trying to explain what’s going on with hurricanes, OK?
IMPERSONATOR: Joe, can I say one thing on climate real quick? One thing on climate -- it's just like the fake news story on Russia, which was a complete hoax by the way, a complete hoax. There is no collusion between CO2 and temperature. No collusion whatsoever. Take care, Joe -- if you have half a good a speech as the ones I make, it will be a wonderful speech. Take care.
BASTARDI: Goodnight, Mr. President.