In an angry Saturday morning tweet from Paris, President Trump threatened to pull federal funding for California as the state deals with deadly wildfires in Northern California and a large wildfire near Malibu, California.
Trump, who is in Paris to take part in a commemoration for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, tweeted: “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
Trump’s first remarks about the massive wildfires came hours after he declared a state of emergency for California.
State officials late Friday announced that at least nine people have died as a result of the Camp Fire in the area of Paradise, California, near Chico. The inferno incinerated most of the city, destroying 6,453 homes and another 260 commercial structures, according to The Associated Press.
Downed PG&E power lines, amid high winds, may have sparked the deadly Camp Fire, according to firefighter radio transmissions reviewed by Bay Area News Group.
In August, Trump tweeted, “California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!”
“We have plenty of water to fight these fires,” Deputy Cal Fire Chief Scott McLean said in a statement in August.
At an Oct. 17 Cabinet meeting, Trump criticized California’s handling of forest fires, calling it “a mess” and “disgraceful.”
“I say to the governor, or whoever is going to be the governor, of California: You better get your act together,” Trump said. “Because California, we’re just not going to continue to pay the kind of money that we’re paying because of fires that should never be to the extent [they are].”