Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh returned to the airwaves Monday to hit back at critics who slammed him for saying concerns about Hurricane Irma were intended to advance political arguments for accepting climate change.
"This is all over the place that I told people there is no storm. That I told people you don't have to run away from Florida, you do not have to evacuate, because I said the storm isn't coming," he said on "The Rush Limbaugh Show" Monday. "I did not say that."
Instead, Limbaugh — who is based in Palm Beach, Fla. — insisted he simply "explained how the world works" because hyping up disasters can be advantageous for television ratings and grocery store sales.
The "series of lies and misstatements" about his comments were a result of him not capitulating to "groupthink," Limbaugh continued.
"You're not supposed to give people an alternative way of looking at something outside the groupthink," he said. "If you do, they're gonna come after you and try to destroy your credibility and smear you, because they have an agenda that they seek to advance using every public event they can."
Earlier, Limbaugh said hurricanes were one of the "best ways" to "advance the climate change agenda" because they helped to create an environment of "fear and panic."
Limbaugh's remarks drew ire on social media, including from NBC meteorologist Al Roker, who said Limbaugh put "people's lives at risk" and his behavior bordered on being "criminal."