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Trump Threatens to Halt Disaster Aid to California Fire Victims

Trump Threatens to Halt Disaster Aid to California Fire Victims

President Donald Trump revived his criticism of California on Wednesday, insisting again the state has mismanaged forest management programs and allowed wildfires to rage.

President Donald Trump threatened to end federal emergency funding to help aid California's destructive wildfires on Wednesday.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen".

"It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!", the tweet says.

A day earlier, Trump visited the scorched remains of Paradise, a city of 27,000 that was mostly destroyed by a wildfire that killed at least 86 people and leveled more than 10,000 homes.

Newsom signed two executive orders aimed at beefing up California's emergency response to natural disasters, like wildfires, which he framed as preparing the state for the impacts of climate change.

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

Incoming California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) responded to the president's tweet, saying he and the governors of Washington and OR had just sent a letter on Tuesday, requesting the federal government's assistance in battling wildfires in the western states. We have been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives.




California was devastated by a series of rapidly moving fires late a year ago.

One potentially interested lawmaker is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy; a spokeswoman has not responded to a request seeking a comment from him. I will continue to work in Congress, and with the Administration to ensure we have the funds needed to recover from these disasters.

However, Newsom also took aim at Trump in his inauguration speech, saying he wanted to "offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House".

"The President has seen first-hand our fire-ravaged areas in Northern California", he said.

Additionally, a little more than half of forestland in California is owned and managed by the federal government. The Woolsey fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties left three dead and levelled about 1500 structures.

In a tweet, Trump accused the state of failing to properly manage its forests.

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

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