California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-White House counsel interviewed Whitaker about joining Trump’s legal team: report Flake slams Trump for doubting Arizona vote count: No evidence of ‘electoral corruption’ Comey talked about sensitive FBI matters on personal email: report MORE Saturday after the president blamed the fast-growing wildfires in California on mismanagement by state officials and threatened to withdraw federal funding.
“The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines,” Rice, the top executive of the union that represents firefighters in California, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“At a time when our every effort should be focused on vanquishing the destructive fires and helping the victims, the president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires,” Rice continued.
“At this moment, thousands of our brother and sister firefighters are putting their lives on the line to protect the lives and property of thousands,” Rice added. “ Some of them are doing so even as their own homes lay in ruins. In my view, this shameful attack on California is an attack on all our courageous men and women on the front lines.”
Trump took to Twitter earlier on Saturday to blame the “massive, deadly and costly forest fires” in California on “gross mismanagement” of the state’s forests and threatened to withdraw federal funding.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Trump said on Twitter early Saturday morning. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
His first comments about the massive wildfires in the state came shortly after he declared a state of emergency for California, which allows federal assistance to supplement local response as blazes continue to scorch the state.
State officials have said at least nine people have died in a deadly Northern California blaze, which has been dubbed the Camp Fire.