The Latest: Trump challenged on climate denial in California
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times local):
California Gov. Gavin Newsom says his state can do a better job of forest management, but he tells President Donald Trump that it is “self-evident that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this.”
Trump and Newsom are participating in a briefing Monday on the deadly fires that have forced thousands of residents out of their homes along the West Coast. Trump has repeatedly discounted the impact of climate change and endorsed raking forests as a means of combating wildfires.
Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, told Trump that “if we ignore that science and sort of put our heads in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together in protecting California.”
Trump replied: “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.”
Crowfoot said, “I wish science agreed with you.”
Trump got in the last word of the exchange: “Well, I don’t think science knows actually.”
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
President Donald Trump was in California on Monday for a briefing near Sacramento on the deadly wildfires before heading to Phoenix for a campaign visit. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, made a speech in Delaware in which he declared the fires and recent extreme weather underscore an urgent need to address climate change.
— Trump, Biden face off on West Coast wildfires, climate change
— Democrats try to streamline mail balloting for their voters
— Biden faces worries that Latino support is slipping in Florida
— In defiance of Nevada governor, Trump holds indoor rally
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
Smoke from the West Coast’s massive wildfires was visible as Air Force One began its approach into Northern California.
President Donald Trump is expected to be briefed about the wildfires during a stop near Sacramento, California, on Monday. He will also recognize the work of the California National Guard, which has airlifted scores of stranded people to safety over the past week.
Trump has blamed poor forest management for the deadly fires, though many of the blazes have roared through coastal chaparral and grasslands, not forest.
When addressing reporters after exiting Air Force One, Trump was asked if climate change was also part of the problem, in combination with forest management.
He says, “I think a lot of things are possible.” But he says when it comes to forests, downed trees and dried leaves on the ground are “really a fuel for a fire, so they have to do something about it.”
The fires have killed at least 33, burned millions of acres and forced thousands from their homes on the West Coast.
Joe Biden says wildfires and hurricanes will become “more devastating” if President Donald Trump wins a second term because he isn’t acting to address the climate crisis.
Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday, Biden said Trump’s “climate denial may not have caused these fires and hurricanes.” But he says Trump’s response had exacerbated it.
In his speech, the Democratic presidential nominee sought to emphasize that the effects of climate change have wide-reaching consequences. He pointed not just to wildfires in the West and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, but also to droughts affecting farmers in the Midwest and even climate-related threats to U.S. military installations around the world.
Biden says, “Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid red states or blue states. Wildfires don’t skip towns that voted a certain way. The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose. That’s because it’s not a partisan phenomenon. It’s science.”
Trump was in California on Monday meeting with fire officials after deadly fires along the West Coast. He has repeatedly discounted the impact of climate change, walked away from a major international climate agreement and proudly rolled back environmental regulations.
Joe Biden has voted in Delaware’s primary, casting a ballot by appointment a day before the polls formally open.
The Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Jill, voted Monday morning at the New Castle Board of Elections. She wore boots with “VOTE” stenciled on each one.
Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech on climate change exacerbating the wildfires raging in California and other states later in the day from Wilmington, Delaware, where the couple lives.
Monday evening, the former vice president will address via internet the Poor People’s Campaign virtual event “Voting is Power Unleashed.”