L.A. Mayor Calls Out Trump Over Wildfires Ahead of President's Visit To California

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti rebuked President Donald Trump over his comments about what has caused the wildfires ravaging large swaths of the West Coast, saying the president and his administration have buried their heads in the sand over climate change.

Trump has attracted criticism for staying mostly silent on the record-setting wildfires that have razed large parts of California since mid-August, but will visit the state on Monday for a briefing on the devastating fires.

At a rally in Nevada on Saturday night, the president repeated a claim that wildfires in the state were the result of poor forest management.

During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, Garcetti told host Jake Tapper that the Trump administration was like the "last vestiges of the Flat Earth Society of this generation" and that Californians are insulted that the president "keeps perpetrating this lie."

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He said: "I listen to fire professionals, not the president of the United States or politicians when it comes to what actually causes these fires. It's been very clear that years of drought, as we're seeing, whether it's too much water and too much rain in parts of our country right now, or too little.

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"This is climate change and this is an administration that's put its head in the sand while we have Democratic and Republican mayors across the county stepping up to do their part."

About Trump, Garcetti added: "He's gonna come out here and probably say, 'I'm going to send you rakes' instead of more help.

"Talk to a firefighter if you think that climate change isn't real. And it seems like this administration, the last vestiges of the Flat Earth Society of this generation.

"We need real action. We need to actually reduce the carbon emissions that we have and we need to make sure we can manage that water. And this is not about just forest management or raking. Anybody who lives in California is insulted by that, quite frankly, and he keeps perpetrating this lie."

Garcetti also blasted the Trump administration's response to the emergency, saying its refusal to help states being devastated by wildfires was "unconscionable."

He also accused the president of failing to help states for political reasons.

"We need actual help, material help, not based on our party affiliation or how we voted. Leadership isn't about grudges, it's about governing for all," Garcetti said.

He added leadership from the Trump administration needed to be "earlier" and "stronger."

"From the president, I wish that we would get as much attention, not based on an electoral map but just purely on being Americans and the need for leadership from the White House for all of America whether it's twin hurricanes on the Gulf Coast or fires here on the West Coast," he said.

"We're one nation and sometimes looking at the leadership that comes out, it's easy to forget that. It's taken three weeks, I'm glad he's coming but we need much more help when we have firefighters dying on the line and Washington refuses to help states and refuses to help local governments that are the first responders to emergencies like this, it's unconscionable.

"So instead of hitting the golf course or going on vacation, the president and Congress respectively should sit down this week and finally make sure that there is assistance for these brave men and women who are protecting our lives and protecting our property."

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Garcetti
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at the Port of Los Angeles on March 27. Carolyn Cole/Pool/Getty Images
L.A. Mayor Calls Out Trump Over Wildfires Ahead of President's Visit To California | U.S.