As California works to recover from the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season in its recorded history, President Donald Trump declared in a tweet on Wednesday that he has "ordered" the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cut off federal funding unless the state's officials "get their act together". But he tweeted he thinks that is "unlikely".
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. Trump has threatened in the past to halt federal support for California but has yet to follow through.
More than half of California's forests are managed by the federal government, and the letter noted the U.S. Forest Service's budget has steadily decreased since 2016.
The threat, issued on twitter, was immediately taken as a shot at new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on Tuesday night countered Trump's prime time speech on immigration by mocking his "obsession" with a border wall. Jerry Brown's administration has been sending water from "the North" into the Pacific Ocean.
Trump started this fire and he'll have to figure out some way to put it out that doesn't just look like a nasty jab at the nation's largest state.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been puzzled by the claims from the president. "We can't control the climate".
Trump's tweet came a day after Newsom and Govs.
President Donald Trump revived his criticism of California on Wednesday, insisting again the state has mismanaged forest management programs and allowed wildfires to rage. The order directs the Interior Department and the Department of Agriculture to identify ways to reduce "regulatory barriers" to better manage forests and get rid of hazardous fuels, and it calls for "treating" 4.25 million federal acres - an area larger than CT - to cut fuel loads.
"The president not only has signed a presidential declaration giving California substantial funding, but he said and pledged very specifically to continue to help us - that he's got our back", Brown told CBS' "Face the Nation" on November 18.
That included stops in Southern California to view areas affected by the Woosley Fire, and a visit to the northern part of the state, where the Camp Fire devastated the community of Paradise. Newsom also announced $1 billion in forest management spending over five years.