The U.S. president approved controversial tariffs on imported washing machines and solar cells on Monday. The move, which is aligned to Trump's "America First" stance on trade, aims to protect domestic manufacturers from foreign competitors.
"I don't typically defend him," Gore said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.
"(But) I will say in this case it really did not start with him. This was a trade action brought by private companies. They chose a kind of midpoint in the range of alternatives ... It could have been handled differently, should have been handled differently but it's not an utter catastrophe," he added.