Trump draws criticism after threatening to withhold federal aid to California

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President Donald Trump talks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The president of the California firefighters union says President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold federal funds to California is “shameful” and “dangerously wrong.”

In his first comment on the massive wildfires, Trump tweeted Saturday “so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

California Professional Firefighters President Brian Rice says the “shameful attack” on California is an attack on the thousands of firefighters on the front lines.

Rice says Trump’s assertion that California’s forest management policies are to blame for catastrophic wildfire is “dangerously wrong.”

He points out wildfires are sparked and spread “by parched vegetation, high winds, low humidity and geography.”Rice says natural disasters are not red or blue, “they destroy regardless of party.”

The International Association of Fighters also took aim at President Trump for his remarks:

The San Francisco Firefighters Executive Board added,” Firefighters and first responders are currently risking their lives for fellow Americans, putting themselves in harms way because they took an oath to serve. It is now time for you to abide by your oath to ‘preserve, protect, and defend.'”

President Trump changed his tone late Saturday, taking a more empathic approach in responding California wildfire devastation.

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