President Donald Trump posted a new, kinder and gentler tweet about the California wildfires Saturday afternoon after he was slammed for threatening to pull federal aid because of “gross mismanagement of the forests.”
“More than 4,000 are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California that have burned over 170,000 acres,” Trump tweeted. “Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.”
The POTUS’ tone about the devastating fires was quite different Saturday morning when he tweeted, “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
His tweet was met with backlash. John Legend tweeted, “Our National Embarrassment can’t bring himself to show some empathy to Californians dealing with a horrific disaster,” while Katy Perry said, “This is an absolutely heartless response. There aren’t even politics involved. Just good American families losing their homes as you tweet, evacuating into shelters.”
Congressman Ted Lieu also took to Twitter to comment on Trump’s tweet, asking, “What is wrong with you? Disaster victims deserve help & sympathy.”
The Woolsey fires broke out late Thursday evening, affecting the Thousand Oaks, Malibu, Calabasas, Agoura and Hidden Hills areas of Southern California. Many stars like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Caitlyn Jenner, Rainn Wilson and Guillermo del Toro have been forced to evacuate, with “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson tweeting he had lost his home.
The Woolsey fire doubled in size to 70,000 acres overnight. As of Saturday evening it was 5 percent contained.
Two people have been found dead in the burn areas, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Chief John Benedict confirmed. In addition, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said in a statement that over 250,000 people have been evacuated from the Ventura County fire areas, and the shifting winds could bring added destruction.