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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Friday that President Trump reversed his earlier decision to reject wildfire disaster relief for the state, hours after Trump administration officials explained why the state should not receive the aid.

Why it matters: California is facing its worst fire season on record, with over 4.1 million acres burned this year.

  • The Trump administration's initial rejection "had counties with COVID-impacted economies scrambling to figure out what to do without the aid," the Los Angeles Times wrote on Friday.

What they're saying: "Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response," Newsom tweeted.

  • White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told Axios in an emailed statement that Newsom and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) "spoke and presented a convincing case and additional on-the-ground perspective for reconsideration leading the President to approve the declaration."

Earlier Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Newsom's original request, which was sent last month, for disaster relief funds to clean up the damage from six recent fires across the state.

  • "The damage assessments conducted with state and local partners determined that the early September fires were not of such severity and magnitude to exceed the combined capabilities of the state, affected local governments, voluntary agencies and other responding federal agencies," FEMA officials told ABC News.

Flashback: Last year, Trump threatened to withhold federal aid from California.

  • "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. 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!," Trump said in a tweet in 2019.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump falsely blames Antifa for Capitol insurrection

President Trump walks to the Oval Office. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump on Monday privately — and falsely — blamed "Antifa people" for storming the Capitol, even though clear video and documentary evidence exists showing the rioters were overwhelmingly Trump supporters.

Why it matters: Despite facing an impeachment vote for an assault he helped incite, the outgoing president is still sticking with his tried-and-true playbook of deflecting and reaching for conspiracies.

Jan 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's fight for survival

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is under siege, raising challenges to his best-laid plans for becoming House speaker.

Why it matters: The California Republican had been ready to vault out of the minority at the 2022 midterms. But now he finds his fundraising challenged, his links to President Trump toxic and a tricky impeachment environment to navigate.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.