The head of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) on Wednesday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem strategist says party’s leaders struggle to relate to Americans Mexican president staying out of wall debate, calling it an internal US matter China vows to buy ‘substantial amount’ of American goods and services, US trade agency says MORE over his threat to stop sending federal funding to California to fight forest fires.
“This is yet another unimaginable attack on the dedicated professionals who put everything on the line, including their own homes, to protect their neighborhoods,” General President Harold Schaitberger, who leads the union that represents full-time firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in the U.S. and Canada, said in a statement.
“While our president is tweeting on the sidelines in DC, our fellow Americans 3,000 miles to the west are mourning loved ones, entire communities have been wiped off the map and thousands of people are still trying to figure out where they are going to call home,” he said.
His comments came hours after Trump argued on Twitter that California’s damaging forest fires would “never happen” if its forests were managed properly. He also said that he’s ordered “FEMA to send no more money” to the state.
“Unless [California gets its] act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money,” he said. “It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”
Trump threatened multiple times in 2018 to withhold disaster funding from California for its wildfires. He’s argued that the state needs to fix flaws in its forest management practices to mitigate wildfires.
Wildfires devastated California in 2018, with the Camp Fire in the northern part of the state killing at least 85 people and destroying thousands of homes. It was the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history.
Multiple California lawmakers condemned Trump’s comments on Wednesday. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiDem strategist says party’s leaders struggle to relate to Americans Pelosi, Schumer response tops Trump speech in preliminary ratings Conway preemptively chides ‘phony-baloney’ polls showing Trump speech didn’t boost support for wall MORE (D-Calif.) said Trump’s threat “insults” the memory of “scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes.”
She also called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyPelosi: Trump FEMA threat insults memory of Americans killed in wildfires National Governors Association calls for end to shutdown Who the GOP should pick for select committee on climate MORE (R-Calif.) to denounce Trump’s comments.
In addition to Schaitberger, the leaders of CAL FIRE Local 2881 and the California Professional Firefighters condemned Trump’s comments, according to IAFF.
Brian Rice, president of California Professional Firefighters, called Trump’s tweet “disgraceful,” according to Sacramento’s KCRA.