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California Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Trump view damage from wildfires in Paradise, California, November 2018. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump lashed out at California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) Sunday in a series of tweets in which he threatened to cut U.S. funding to California for the wildfires that have engulfed the state this fall.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Why it matters: As California spearheads liberal states' efforts against Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 elections, Newsom and the president have clashed on several issues.

  • This is Trump's first major tweet on California's devastating wildfires since the massive Kincade Fire erupted on Oct. 23.

What he's saying: Trump tweeted that Newsom had done a "terrible job of forest management."

  • "I told him from the first day we met that he must 'clean' his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers," Trump tweeted.
"Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing-and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor. You don’t see close to the level of burn in other states ... But our teams are working well together in putting these massive, and many, fires out. Great firefighters! Also, open up the ridiculously closed water lanes coming down from the North. Don’t pour it out into the Pacific Ocean. Should be done immediately. California desperately needs water, and you can have it now!"
— Trump lashes out at Newsom on Twitter

Reality check: The federal government manages most forest land, whereas the state is responsible for a small percentage of it, as AP points out.

The big picture: Trump made similar funding cut threats over the 2018 Malibu and Paradise wildfires in California during which he accused the state of "gross mismanagement" of forests, AP reports.

  • In November 2018, Andrew Freedman noted in an Axios article that Trump "touted the virtues of Finland's 'raking' of the forest floor to clear it of flammable material, thereby averting wildfires like those California has seen over the past 13 months."
  • Freedman pointed out that Finland's forest management practices "are not a panacea and don't center around raking. Rather, they consist of some of the same tactics used in the U.S., including setting controlled burns, thinning forests, and clearing brush and trees from around communities to create a buffer between human settlements and the forest."
  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris picked up on the raking point as she sided with Newsom in the Twitter dual.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

3 hours ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.