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Stephen Hawking fears he won't be welcome in Trump's US

Commentary: Speaking on a British morning show, the physicist worries about America's direction and believes the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency should be fired.

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Will the US let him back in?

GMB/Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Stephen Hawking has never been a fan of President Donald Trump.

Last year, Hawking confessed to being bemused by Trump's rise and called him "a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator."

On Monday, however, the renowned British physicist went even further in suggesting that America is heading in a troubling direction.

"Trump was elected by people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization," he said in an interview with ITV's "Good Morning Britain."

"His priority will be to satisfy his electorate, who are neither liberal nor that well informed," Hawking added.

Some might find this exactly the sort of elitist view that led to the Trumpist revolt in the first place.

Still, Hawking insists that climate change is a central issue, one that Trump's administration is ignoring -- or, indeed, not even recognizing.

"He should replace Scott Pruitt at the Environment Protection Agency, said Hawking. "Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent. It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for his second term. God forbid."

Pruitt is seen by some as having an interest in, at the very least, diminishing the EPA. This might have contributed to Hawking's rather hawkish thoughts on his talents.

Moreover, in the budget unveiled by the president last week climate change research was allocated zero dollars.

Hawking said he was also concerned with government interfering with what scientists could and couldn't say about their research to the public.

Still, the professor's greatest concerns seem to revolve around coming to the US. He criticized the president's executive order banning travel from seven (and now six) Muslim-majority countries. He also worries that in criticizing Trump, he might be affected too.

"I would like to visit again and to talk to other scientists," he said. "But I fear that I may not be welcome."

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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