President Trump tweeted on Sunday evening about the ongoing California wildfires, stating that "bad environmental laws" have "magnified" the disaster and "made [it] so much worse."

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!"

Our thought bubble, via Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: President Trump appears to be referring to endangered species protections, which mandate availability of water for some species. However, firefighters haven’t complained about lack of water for firefighting, but rather, the extreme nature of these fires.

  • The factors contributing to these fires include decades of national forest mismanagement and climate change, which is making summers hotter and drier than they otherwise would be.
  • The Trump administration is working on broad changes to the Endangered Species Act — as well as opening federal forests to logging, oil and gas drilling. This tweet appears to tie the fires to both policy goals — without any evidence that they are key factors in the state’s devastating fire season.

What they're saying:

  • Ryan Maue, a meteorologist who works with the Cato Institute: "Blue check marks: please take a deep breath and read up on California's forest management issues that are decades in the making. Governor Brown blames climate change for wildfires and avoids any meaningful conversation on policy solutions."
  • Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA: "Lost in recent conversation over #wildfire risk is the following point by @thirstygecko: Warming #climate & drying forests/vegetation across American West is clearly not the only relevant factor behind emerging era of megafires. But it is large & growing contributor.#CAfire #CAwx"

Go deeper: In vast stretches of the warming, drying American West, there is no well-defined wildfire season anymore.

Go deeper

Judge orders Eric Trump to testify in New York probe before election

Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

A judge on Wednesday ordered Eric Trump to comply with a subpoena to testify in a New York probe into his family business before the presidential election.

The state of play: New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) last month said her office had filed a lawsuit to compel the Trump Organization to comply with subpoenas related to an investigation into whether President Trump and his company improperly inflated the value of its assets on financial statements.

47 mins ago - Podcasts

Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus on the rise of Silicon Valley SPACs

Silicon Valley venture capitalists are no longer content with investing in startups and then eventually handing them off. Instead, many are now forming SPACs, or blank-check acquisition companies, to ride tech unicorns into the public markets themselves.

Axios Re:Cap digs into this trend with the co-founders of a new tech SPAC called Reinvent Technology Partners: Reid Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn and partner at Greylock, and Mark Pincus, the founder and former CEO of Zynga.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 31,717,955 — Total deaths: 973,014 Total recoveries: 21,795,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 6,913,046 — Total deaths: 201,319 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Fauci clashes with Rand Paul at COVID hearing: "You're not listening" — FDA chief vows agency will not accept political pressure on coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  6. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.

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