By Kevin Freking and Michael R. Blood | The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP) — President Donald Trump remains on a war footing. With California.
Trumps primary mission during his two-day visit to the state was to raise millions from wealthy Republicans. But he also made a point of deriding the states handling of its homeless crisis, and on Wednesday, he issued a long-expected challenge to Californias authority to reduce car emissions.
Later, he threatened to sic the Environmental Protection Agency on San Francisco over its homeless population, accusing the city of allowing a tremendous amount of waste, including needles, to go through storm drains into the ocean.
The president took aim at San Francisco and Los Angeles while talking to the press on his flight back to Washington.
“Well start with those two cities. Were looking at San Francisco and were looking at Los Angeles, and were looking at all of the things that are happening,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned to Washington. “You know, theres tremendous pollution being put into the ocean because theyre going through whats called the storm sewer thats for rainwater. And we have tremendous things that we dont have to discuss pouring into the ocean. You know there are needles, there are other things.”
“Its a terrible situation thats in Los Angeles and in San Francisco,” Trump continued. “And were going to be giving San Francisco — theyre in total violation — were going to be giving them a notice very soon.”
“Youre going to see over the next, I would say, less than a week. EPA is going to be putting out a notice. Theyre in serious violation.”“And this is environmental… and they have to clean it up. We cant have our cities going to hell. These are great cities. And we cant lose our great cities like this.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, publicly called out the Trump White House for a lack of “moral authority” and lamented the states “unfortunate relationship” with the president.
The president and many Republicans see little downside to him making the nations most populous state a ready villain.
“The voters that hes targeting in rural America look at California as an out-of-touch liberal state,” said Republican consultant Alex Conant. “Theres no political cost to him bashing California.”
Trump and the Democratic-led state have battled throughout his 2½ years in office, with state Attorney General Xavier Becerra filing more than 50 lawsuits against the Trump administration. They cover the presidents initiatives on immigration, health care and the environment, and have slowed and occasionally stopped the administration altogether.
And its not just the presidents agenda that California has gone after; the sparring has gotten personal, too. The state passed a law that requires candidates for president and governor to release five years worth of tax returns to appear on the states primary ballot, a pointed slap at Trump, who veered from historical precedent by declining to release his tax returns.
Trump began his latest criticisms of the state before he had even landed on Tuesday, faulting the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco for not doing enough on homelessness. On Wednesday, he jumped ahead of his EPA to announce via tweet that his administration was revoking Californias authority to set auto mileage standards, insisting the action will result in safe, less expensive cars and more jobs for Americans.
With all sides acknowledging the states serious problems with homelessness, the issue stands as a vulnerability for Democratic leaders, and one that Trump can use as part of his broader effort to paint Democrats as out of touch and extreme. The president has yet to provide any specifics on how to deal with the complex homelessness problem, though.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., allowed that Trump was “right that homelessness is a big problem in California. But how he explains the situation is wrong and raises significant concerns that his so-called solutions will only make matters worse.”
GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader and an early ally of the president, said Trump wasnt bashing his home state but pointing out the shortcomings of Democratic leadership that has dominated California politics for years, especially as the Golden State has become the forefront of the Trump resistance.
“When hes talking about homelessness and solving that problem, and affordability, that goes across party lines,” McCarthy told The Associated Press.
“Drive around — every community, even in Bakersfield — homelessness is the No. 1 issue,” he said, referring to his own district in the rural Central Valley, just outside Los Angeles.
“They want to try to attack him, but you see how much support he has out there?” he said. “I think Californians are getting tired of the governor just fighting this president instead of trying to work with him. You dont have to agree with him all the time, but you can find common ground.”
Newsom, in return, said he wants to work with Trump but is determined to “push back when he tries to go after our dreams” on diversity, reproductive rights and more.
“I dont think the attorney general wakes up looking for a lawsuit,” but most of the cases involved are an attack on the stateRead More – Source