California Gov. Gavin Newsom has changed his tone.
During a press briefing Friday, the Democratic lawmaker thanked the Trump administration for assisting his state in its wildfire relief efforts, confirming President Donald Trump had signed off on five FEMA grants related to the cause. Gov. Newsom also stressed that the State of California had an "effective" working relationship with Trump, although the president's public statements have led many to believe otherwise.
"There’s no phone call that I have made to the president where he hasn’t quickly responded," Newsom said Friday, as reported by Deadline. "He may make statements publicly, but the working relationship privately is an effective one ... I want to thank the Trump administration. I want to thank Bob Fenton in particular, who is here, who is the western regional coordinator for FEMA. There is no greater partner in the Western United States than Bob Fenton."
On Thursday, Gov. Newsom slammed Trump for threatening to cut federal aid that would assist the state in fighting wildfires. Gov. Newsom made the remarks during his Democratic National Convention speech.
"Mother nature has now joined this conversation around climate change. And so we, too, need to advance that conversation anew," he said. "Just today, the president of the United States threatened the state of California — 40 million Americans happen to live here in the state of California — to defund our efforts on wildfire suppression because he said we hadn’t raked enough leaves. You can’t make that up."
Trump had recently suggested the California wildfires could've been prevented had the state managed its forests properly.
"And I see again, the forest fires are starting," Trump said during a Thursday speech in Pennsylvania. "They're starting again in California. And I said, you've got to clean your floors. You've got to clean your floors. I've been telling them this now for three years, but they don't want to listen."
During Friday's briefing, Gov. Newsom announced the number of California fires has grown to 560. He also confirmed there have been at least five deaths due to the blazes, which have engulfed parts of Southern and Northern California.
"We’re grateful for the support we have received so far," the governor said. "We have a federal request in … a bipartisan request to get a major disaster declaration here in the state of California."