President Trump refuted the idea of the Paris climate change agreement being legally non-binding on Wednesday night, saying the country would have been sued if he didn't make the decision to exit the deal.
"And they all say it's non-binding. Like hell it's non-binding," he said in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "When we get sued by everybody because we thought it was non-binding, then you can tell me it was non-binding."
The Obama administration touted the non-binding nature of the deal as a way to avoid having it ratified by the Senate, where it would have likely failed to be approved because of Republican opposition.
A number of conservative groups had argued that the deal was binding in urging Trump to exit from the agreement quickly or give environmental groups the opportunity to codify former President Barack Obama's climate regulations in the courts.
Trump reiterated his position that the Paris climate deal was a "disaster" that would have harmed the U.S. economy, costing the nation billions of dollars to boost a Green Climate Fund.
But it is not entirely clear what the president meant by being sued. There are no enforcement mechanisms under the deal through the United Nations. Individual countries could impose sanctions on the U.S. for exiting the deal, but no nations are currently doing that.
Trump said Wednesday that he supports all forms of energy, including both coal and renewable energy like wind.