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  • The fire, which ignited November 8, is historically the state’s most destructive.

    The fire, which ignited November 8, is historically the state’s most destructive. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 January 2019

California no longer needs the “billions of dollars” allocated by FEMA, Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Amid the U.S. government shutdown, President Donald Trump is again threatening to revoke federal aid to California fire victims, citing mismanagement of state funds.

California no longer needs the “billions of dollars” allocated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Trump tweeted Wednesday.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen," the president wrote, misspelling the word 'forest' twice.

“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.

Californian officials were quick to criticize the president’s insensitivity.

Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is a potential candidate for the 2020 presidential elections, said, “We should work together to mitigate these fires by combating climate change, not play politics by threatening to withhold money from survivors of a deadly natural disaster."

The fire, which ignited on November 8, is historically the state’s most destructive. Over 83,000 acres were destroyed, 6,700 families were displaced and over two dozen citizens of the Northern Californian town of Paradise were killed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the president’s tweet an “insult to the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes."

According to Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters, Californians "have only begun to be able to rebuild their lives. ... Now, they find themselves being used as pawns in the president’s ill-informed chest-pounding at their expense."

Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote, “We have been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives.

“Disasters and recovery are no time for politics. I'm already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses. The people of CA -- folks in Paradise should not be victims to partisan bickering."

Washington has avoided commenting on the issue and has not clarified whether Trump has already made the order to stall financial payments.

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