House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked President Donald Trump on Wednesday after he threatened to cut off federal funding to combat California wildfires, saying the president’s tweet “insults the memory” of those who died or lost their homes in recent fires.
Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, posted the remark on Twitter shortly after Trump tweeted that California fires could be avoided “with proper Forest Management.”
“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen,” he 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!”
More than 80 people died and about 14,000 homes were destroyed in California wildfires last year, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Though Trump has pointed at state officials as the culprits for the spate of devastating wildfires, 57 percent of California’s 33 million acres of forest are under federal control.
Scientists and fire officials have said climate change — and the dried-out trees and shrubs produced by a changing environment — are the real culprits.
When surveying damage last year in Paradise, California, Trump saidraking the forest floor could help limit the spread of wildfires in the state.
“You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important,” Trump said. “I was with the President of Finland. He called it a forest nation and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don’t have any problem.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said he did not remember making such remarks to Trump, adding that their conversation focused on the surveillance system the country uses to monitor its forests for fires.