Lindsey Graham Pushes Back on Trump Threatening to Revoke California’s Funding: ‘Now is Not the Time’
After President Donald Trump threatened to block federal aid from California as wildfires continue to rip through the state, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pushed back on that message, saying it was the wrong tone at the wrong time.
Speaking to Face the Nation‘s Margaret Brennan on Sunday, the senator offered his sympathies to those affected by the disaster while still supporting Trump’s argument that land management was an issue.
“Number one, my heart goes out to the people who lost their homes,” he said. “These are historically large wildfires in California, but we do have a forest management problem all over the country we need to address.”
Graham then assured Brennan that the state wouldn’t be denied assistance, stating, “California will receive the money they need, but going forward we need to look at some of the underlying causes of these fires, and it’s just not California. We need to look at better forest management in terms of federal lands all over the country.”
Pushed a bit further by Brennan to comment on Trump’s controversial remarks, Graham conceded that the statements didn’t sit well with him.
“This has been a debate for a while about under brush clearing in federally owned lands, but now is not the time to talk about cutting off funding with all due respect,” he said. “We’re going to help our friends in California. They need help.”
On Saturday, Trump took to Twitter slamming California for “gross mismanagement of the forests,” writing, “Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
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