Trump halts federal funding to fight California wildfires

Trump halts federal funding to fight California wildfires

Trump's tweet comes a few months after he slammed state officials by accusing them of mismanaging the forests as the state dealt with a series of highly-destructive wildfires. He has said he'll hold back federal dollars for fire disasters before, but has not executed on that threat.

Trump's tweets appear to have been triggered by California's newly sworn in Democratic governor Gavin Newsom, who yesterday outlined a $305 million budget plan to prepare California for wildfires.

UPDATE -- 11:30 am ET: The "Forrest" tweet has since been taken down.

The cost to federal taxpayers for fighting wildfires has increased dramatically in recent years, hitting a record $1.1 billion in 2017.

California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom speaks after being elected governor of the state during an election night party in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 6, 2018. He said unless the state gets "their act together" he would order FEMA to stop sending money.

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Critics on social media questioned whether Trump could legally withhold FEMA money that has already been appropriated.

Mr. Trump has long claimed that the wildfires which have plagued California were a result of forest mismanagement, instead of the scientifically accepted theory that climate change is impacting the acceleration of forest fires in the state.

California Republican lawmakers are criticizing President Donald Trump for threatening to withhold federal money for wildfire relief.

FEMA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

After his visit, Trump vowed to help those affected by the wildfires - "you've got the federal government", he assured Californians - and Brown had largely praised the president for his efforts.

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"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly fires in California", he tweeted.

Newsom asked for the report to target prevention measures that would benefit communities of lower socioeconomic status with fire education barriers, a factor that helped make the Camp wildfire in Paradise, California, especially devastating.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen", Trump said, misspelling the word "forest" twice.

This isn't the first time the US President has lashed out at California for its handling of the destructive wildfires.

Pelosi slammed Trump's latest threat, tweeting that it "insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires previous year".

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The congressman then tried to direct Trump's attention to the people in his strongly Republican district who have been hurt by the fires. I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.

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