LA Mayor Garcetti: Trump Administration Is ‘the Last Vestiges of the Flat Earth Society’

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the Trump administration “the last vestiges of the Flat Earth Society of this generation,” while discussing climate changes role in the California wildfires on Sunday’s broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Anchor Jake Tapper said, “The Bobcat fire burning fewer than 25 miles outside of Los Angeles. As of yesterday, that fire had destroyed almost 30,000 acres. It’s only 6% contained right now. President Trump is going to travel to your state tomorrow to meet local officials. Are you satisfied with the Trump administration’s response?”

Garcetti said, “Well, we always have great cooperation with our federal agencies. And I want to thank them for that because they do step up, whether it’s coronavirus or whether it’s fires. But I think leadership at the very top needs to be earlier, stronger, and 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 to be from the White House for all of America, you know, whether it’s twin hurricanes on the gulf coast or fires here on the west coast, we’re one nation. And 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 firefighters are dying on the lines, and it’s unconscionable. Instead of hitting the golf course or going on vacation, the president and congress should sit down and make sure there is assistance for these brave men and women who are protecting our lives and our property.”

Tapper said, “What exactly are you saying that President Trump in your view would have done differently if California were, say, a Republican state like Louisiana or other states in the Gulf Coast, Texas? What would’ve been done differently? Because he did declare disaster three weeks ago.”

Garcetti said, “Absolutely. And I always say that. That’s very important that those agencies respond. We get good coordination. But there’s a refusal in blaming blue states over red states in his mind. There’s a million Republicans that live in the city of Los Angeles. You should be stepping up with empathy. You should be stepping up with helping with a new CARES Act when people are laying people off. This is bad for our economy. This is bad for our emergency response. It’s terrible for our coronavirus response. And so we need leadership that is equal across this country instead of being partisan and divisive. And it’s very clear this president seems to divide more. He is going to come out here probably tell us I am going to send you rakes instead of more help. Leadership isn’t about grudges. It’s about governing for all.”

Tapper said, “Let’s talk about that because at his Nevada rally last night, President Trump repeatedly told his supporters that containing the wildfires is all about forest management. And as you note, he has frequently criticized California for failing to rake the forest floors to prevent wildfires. What is your response? What are the facts behind this?”

Garcetti said, “Well, 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 clear that years of drought, whether it’s too much water and too much rain in parts of our country or too little, 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 country stepping up to do their part, this is an administration, a president who wants to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords later this year. The only country in the world to do so. 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 reduce the carbon emissions that we have. And we need to make sure we can manage this water. This isn’t about forest management or raking. Anybody that lives in California is insulted by that, quite frankly.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN