President Trump to visit California on Monday for briefing on wildfires


FILE – US President Donald Trump (C) looks on with Governor of California Jerry Brown (R) and Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, as they view damage from wildfires in Paradise, California on November 17, 2018 (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images – FILE)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit California on Monday where he will be briefed on the wildfires impacting the state, according to White House officials who told Fox station KTTV in Los Angeles.

The planned visit was confirmed by Judd Deere, Deputy Assistant to Trump and White House Deputy Press Secretary, in a tweet.

The president is expected to visit McClellan Park in Sacramento County and be briefed by local and federal emergency officials.

Deere released the following statement to KTTV:

“Since mid-August, President Trump and Governor Newsom have spoken by phone and the White House and FEMA have remained in constant contact with State and local officials throughout the response to these natural disasters. The President continues to support those who are battling raging wildfires in a locally-executed, state-managed, and federally-supported emergency response.”

JUDD DEERE, Deputy Assistant to Trump and White House Deputy Press Secretary

Trump spoke with California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday “to express his condolences for the loss of life and reiterate the administration’s full support to help those on the frontlines of the fires,” according to Deere.

But the president has a history of criticizing California’s response to wildfires and threatening to withhold federal funding.

In 2019, months after the deadliest wildfire in California history tore through the town of Paradise in Northern California, Trump said the Federal Emergency Management Agency should stop giving the state money and blamed the fires on poor forest management. Fire scientists say climate change, not forest management, is a driving factor behind the state’s fires becoming worse and more deadly.

Still, Trump has always approved California’s request for major disaster declarations, as he did Aug. 22 as the state battled blazes across Northern California.

That approval came a day after he again blamed California for mismanagement and Newsom hit back in a video that aired during the Democratic National Convention in which he highlighted Trump’s threats.

“Just today the president of the United States threatened the state of California, 40 million Americans who happen to live in the state of California, to defund our efforts on wildfire suppression because he said we hadn’t raked enough leaves. You can’t make that up,” Newsom said.

Trump visited California in November 2018 after Paradise was ravaged by the most deadly wildfire in state history.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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