President Trump has attacked officials in California and threatened to withhold much needed federal funding to support firefighting, while the state’s deadliest wildfire raged. Now, after attacking Californian officials, the White House announced that the president will travel to California to survey the damage.
Lindsay Walters who serves as a White House spokeswoman said that the president will go to California “to meet with individuals impacted by the wildfires.” It remains unclear exactly where the president will go, but he may visit what remains of the utterly destroyed town of Paradise.
Since November 8, over 8,700 homes have been consumed by the fire. The current death toll stands at 56, with many more yet unaccounted for. Just last Saturday, the sheriff’s department in the Paradise area was reporting about 9 fatalities in and around Paradise. While the sheriff was announcing this tragedy, the president was tweeting attacks on Californian officials and threatening to cut off much needed federal funding.
Trump tweeted from France writing, “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!”
By Monday evening, the president’s rhetoric took a turn. He tweeted about the fires ravaging the state saying, “I am with you all the way. God Bless all of the victims and families affected.”
Trump’s Saturday Twitter attack was harshly criticized by local officials who said the comments risked the lives of emergency workers as they were demoralizing. The federal government owns 57% of California’s forests. After the federal government, 40% of California forests are owned either by companies or Native America tribes. So, if forests have been mismanaged, the bulk of the responsibility falls on federal officials, and the Trump administration, not state agencies as the president suggests.
Suffice to say, Californians do not want Trump in their state:
Lets hope it rains. We don't want him in our state.
— Curly CarlaT (@CurlyCarlaT) November 15, 2018
We MUST neither forget nor excuse this. Trump blamed Californians while they were literally burning alive. Period. End of Story. pic.twitter.com/ElvibLxNos
— Phil Luttazi (@PhillipLuttazi) November 15, 2018
Haven’t Californians been through enough?!?!?!
— CC (@csquared236) November 15, 2018
Yeah, and a year from now we’ll hear trump bragging how he worked the fire lines in California and single handily put out the biggest fire in the history of the world.
— longhorn (@WestTexas61) November 15, 2018
California prays for rain. pic.twitter.com/dQb4Ivrx88
— Rudy Ⓥ (@RudyCordovaJr) November 15, 2018
Um, @realDonaldTrump, we know you’ve always felt comfy coming to Cali because you knew Orange County was a ruby red safe haven. Not any more, muthafucka! Stay out of California! We’re handling our fires! Oh, here’s the new OC Map.👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/L18q5G9pQk
— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) November 16, 2018
We don't need a federal disaster to visit a state disaster. #pray4rain
— Chelle Oh (@Cheezpaper) November 15, 2018
No. stay away. his thoughts on the matter are already clear. He threatened the state as people were dying.
— Spencer Mermelstein (@sjmermelstein) November 15, 2018