Trump says he has ordered FEMA to cut off funding for California wildfires

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Trump's claim of border "crisis" disputed

President Trump sent a tweet Wednesday morning announcing that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency not to send funding to California to assist in the aftermath of deadly wildfires.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen," Mr. Trump wrote. "Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

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. He has also said that the Finnish president told him that Finland did not have forest fires because its citizens spent time raking the forest floor, although the Finnish president denied ever talking to Mr. Trump about raking.

California faced its deadliest wildfire season this past year, with the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire destroying thousands of homes and burning through hundreds of thousands of acres. Mr. Trump visited California in November to tour the devastation with then-Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, during which he promised that the federal government would continue to support the state in the face of these deadly wildfires.

However, Newsom has been harshly critical of Mr. Trump since taking office this week. He signed two executive orders related to wildfire management, and joined a partnership with the governors of Oregon and Washington asking for double the current federal funding to manage forestlands in their states.

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 last year & thousands more who lost their homes." She called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also of California, to join her to "condemn & call on POTUS to reassure millions in CA that our govt will be there for them in their time of need."

McCarthy has not yet responded to Mr. Trump's tweet.

First published on January 9, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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