European leaders urged the United States to stay in the Paris climate agreement so they could suppress the American economy, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Friday.
"The world applauded when we joined Paris, and you know why? I think they applauded because they knew it was going to put this country at an economic disadvantage," he said during a White House press briefing. "And the reason European leaders ... that I think they want us to stay in, is because they know it will continue to shackle our economy," he said.
Pruitt's comments are remarkable because the United States has historically counted many European countries as its closest strategic allies. The U.S. is also the European Union's largest trade partner and its biggest export market.