Trump Discounts Climate Change Role In California Fires & Tells Scientist ‘It Will Start Getting Cooler’
President Donald Trump visited California on Monday, to address the issues over wildfires that have swept across the state, killing at least 33.
He gave remarks after landing outside of Sacramento at McClellan Park, a former U.S. Air Force Base.
“I got a call from the governor immediately and I called him immediately,” Trump said after being asked about his slow response to the natural disaster. “On that call I declared an emergency. I gave an emergency declaration so don’t tell me about not doing it. That included FEMA coming here immediately…That’s a nasty question.”
Trump signed an emergency declaration for California to receive federal funding to address the fires, but had not tweeted about them until Friday night.
“THANK YOU to the 28,000+ Firefighters and other First Responders who are battling wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington,” he wrote. “I have approved 37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work. We are with them all the way!”
THANK YOU to the 28,000+ Firefighters and other First Responders who are battling wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington. I have approved 37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work. We are with them all the way! pic.twitter.com/Uu9vArw70Z
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2020
Trump also boasted about his “good relationship” with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), despite being “obviously from different sides of the political spectrum.”
The president was also previously a Newsom donor, giving him $2500 in 2010, shortly after he changed his political affiliation back to Republican.
Trump met with Newsom and other state officials within minutes of landing.
“It is self-evident that climate change is real,” Newsom told the president. “I feel very strongly the hots are getting hotter, the dries are getting drier.”
California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot urged the president to “recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests.”
“If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians,” Crowfoot said.
Trump downplayed the concerns of climate change in his response saying, “It will start getting cooler. Just you watch.”
“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot said.
“I don’t think science knows,” Trump answered.