President Trump visits California wildfire zones
President Donald Trump has spent his Saturday in California, where he surveyed the destruction from the wildfires that have been raging across the state.
“Nobody thought this could happen,” Trump told reporters during one of his stops.
He also said, after viewing the destruction, that his views on climate change had remained unchanged.
Read more of CNN's coverage on California's fires here.
President Donald Trump toured several devastated homes in Point Dume, Malibu, during his visit to California on Saturday. There, he spoke to reporters and addressed several topics, including the wildfires, the Thousand Oaks shooting nearby and the CIA assessment about Jamal Khashoggi’s death.
After touring some of the fire damage in Northern California, President Donald Trump was asked whether seeing the devastation changed his opinion on climate change.
“No, no I have a strong opinion. I want a great climate. We’re going to have that, and we are going to have that are very safe because we can’t go through this. Every year we go through this. We’re going to have safe forests and that’s happening as we speak,” he told reporters during a briefing at a command center in Chico, California.
Earlier at the center he was asked about the role of climate change in the recent California fires. He said, “Well I think we have a lot of factors. We have the management factor that I know Jerry has really been up on and very well and Gavin is going to -- were going to be looking at that together.”
President Donald Trump toured some destroyed homes in Paradise, where the smell of smoke sat heavily in the air.
The President toured the area with Paradise Mayor Jody Jones, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom and FEMA director Brock Long. The congressional delegation with the President also followed closely behind.
The homes in the community the President toured are completely destroyed.
Surrounded by fire damage, Trump told reporters it is “very sad to see it.”
He said a lot of people are unaccounted for and “some areas are beyond this” in terms of damage.
“Nobody thought this could happen,” Trump told reporters surrounded by burnt out trees and other remnants.
“Hopefully this is going to be the last one of these,” Trump said.
Without explaining himself, the President said the floors of the forests need to be taken care of and again talked about time needed to be spent on raking and cleaning.
President Donald Trump, who is in California to survey the fire recovery efforts, has arrived at a neighborhood in Paradise, California. The President is expected to walk around to see the damage caused by the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history.
As the motorcade neared arrival, destroyed homes became visible — some with the foundation still standing, others completely leveled. In areas where trees were still standing, there was a dark soot layering the ground.
The President’s motorcade route was peppered with the usual sights of people on the side of the road, holding their phones up to catch a glimpse of the President, except for a key difference: Many of the onlookers were wearing air filtering masks because of the smoke clouding the air.
Here's who is participating in Trump's visit, according to The White House:
- California Gov. Jerry Brown
- California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newson
- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
- California Rep. Doug LaMalfa
- California Rep. Ken Calvert
- FEMA Administrator Brock Long
- Paradise, California, Mayor Jody Jones
President Donald Trump has arrived in California, where Air Force One landed at Beale Air Force Base.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that President Donald Trump spoke by phone aboard Air Force One on his way to California with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
Sanders declined to answer questions about whether the CIA assessed that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and referred the pool to the State Department.
When asked whether the President believes the CIA’s assessment and whether he has confidence in the CIA, Sanders said: “He certainly has confidence in the CIA, but I’d refer you to the State Department” for its statement.