Trump Posts Debate Talking Points From Former Coal Lobbyist

Presidential debates take plenty of preparation. A candidate ideally wants to seem clever, quick-witted, and knowledgeable about the issues, all while maintaining an image of unscripted charisma before voters. Campaigns will spend weeks drilling their candidates on talking points and potential responses in deeply guarded secrecy — lest their opponent get a preview of what they plan to say.

But ahead of Thursday’s highly anticipated debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the former president posted suggested talking points provided to him by a former coal lobbyist.

On Truth Social, Trump posted a screenshot of a message from Andrew Wheeler, the former head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under his administration. Prior to her service at the EPA, Wheeler worked as a lobbyist and attorney representing coal magnate Robert E. Murray.

“Mr. President, I am sure that a climate question will come up during your debate this week and I suggest the following talking points,” Wheeler wrote.

The message contained suggested responses to climate and energy policy questions including touting the reduction of CO2 emissions under Trump’s administration, noting that America became more “energy dominant,” blaming Biden for increased energy costs, and accusing Biden’s energy policies of strengthening China.

Wheeler also suggested that if Trump faced pushback from Biden, he should accuse the president of “shutting down US energy, canceling pipelines, [and] stopping federal leases.”

The Biden campaign quickly picked up on the post. Rapid Response Director Ammar Moussa wrote “Thanks I guess” in response to the post.

The Biden-Harris campaign wrote on X: “A desperate Trump posts debate talking points given to him by the coal lobbyist he put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Voters will simply have to tune in Thursday night to see if the former president provides his own answers, or simply repeats Wheeler’s suggestions.

More from Rolling Stone

Best of Rolling Stone