Democrats accuse Trump of negligence in responding to Pacific Northwest wildfires
By Derek Hawkins, Tom Hamburger and Paul Kane
On Sunday, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) pushed back on Trump’s characterizations of the Pacific Northwest wildfires, telling ABC News’s “This Week” that the devastation was the result of a combination of ills, including rising temperatures caused by global climate change.
“It’s just a big and devastating lie,” Merkley said of Trump’s statements. “The Cascade snowpacks have gotten smaller. Our forests have gotten drier. Our ocean has gotten warmer and more acidic.” The changes, Merkley added, are the “consequences of a warming planet.”
“We need to have to have a president follow the science,” he said.
At a speech in Nevada on Saturday night, Trump blamed the wildfires on poor forest management and boasted about the United States leaving the international climate agreement. He made a similar remark at a rally in August, saying, “You’ve got to clean your floors, you’ve got to clean your forests.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) also accused Trump of negligence in responding to the fires. In an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” he suggested the president was reluctant to help California, Oregon and Washington because they have Democratic governors.
“Leadership at the very top needs to be stronger, earlier,” Garcetti said, alleging that Trump’s “blaming of blue states over red states” in how he handles natural disasters hurts the federal response.
“We need leadership that is equal across this country, instead of being partisan and divisive,” Garcetti said.