Trump claims he's cutting FEMA aid for California wildfires

Jan 10, 2019, 01:41
Trump claims he's cutting FEMA aid for California wildfires

President Trump said Wednesday that he ordered a halt on federal emergency funding to California to fight wildfires - claiming the money is being wasted amid mismanagement.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest (sic) fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen", the president said on Twitter Wednesday morning.

Trump deleted his tweet and reposted it to correct his spelling of the word "forest".

Trump's tweet today comes as he faces heat over the ongoing government shutdown, in which FEMA is partially affected.

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The latest announcement drew an immediate response from the state's new governor. The Woolsey fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties left three dead and levelled about 1500 structures. "We can't control the climate".

Additionally, a little more than half of forestland in California is owned and managed by the federal government. Another 40 percent is held by companies, Native American tribes or families. He signed two executive orders related to wildfire management, and joined a partnership with the governors of OR and Washington asking for double the current federal funding to manage forestlands in their states.

Trump's threat to withhold FEMA funds from recent wildfire survivors drew a swift rebuke from California Sen. Trump toured the fire devastation with Newsom.

"Declaring disasters is entirely the president's discretion; FEMA only makes recommendations", Fugate said in a phone interview.

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In a tweet, Trump accused the state of failing to properly manage its forests. "I would under no circumstances say that Cal Fire and the state of California are neglecting this", he said, referring to the state fire agency. A Democratic strategist who previously worked for Newsom also weighed in, quipping to Politico that Trump should be more concerned about the "dumpster fire that is his administration".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents a district in California, condemned Mr. Trump's tweet Wednesday, calling it a "threat insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires previous year & thousands more who lost their homes".

California has suffered a series of increasingly massive, deadly blazes in the past two years that have destroyed homes and businesses and put burnt areas at a greater risk of mudslides.

State officials and local firefighters have accused Trump of not understanding the issues involved in fighting fires, adding that climate change has worsened the impact of the natural disasters. "Attacking victims is yet another low for this president".

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