Fri, Sep 20, 2019 - Page 6 News List

US president stokes his squabble with California on visit

AP, SAN DIEGO, California

US President Donald Trump remains on a war footing. With California.

Trump’s primary mission during his two-day visit to the state was to raise millions of dollars from wealthy Republicans, but he also made a point of deriding the state’s handling of its homeless crisis, and on Wednesday he issued a long-expected challenge to California’s authority to reduce its vehicle emissions.

Later, he threatened that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would pursue San Francisco over its homeless population, accusing the city of allowing a tremendous amount of waste, including needles, to go through storm drains into the ocean.

“It’s a terrible situation that’s in Los Angeles and in San Francisco,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned to Washington. “And we’re going to be giving San Francisco — they’re in total violation — we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, publicly called out the White House for a lack of “moral authority” and lamented the state’s “unfortunate relationship” with the US president.

The president and many Republicans see little downside to him making the nation’s most populous state a ready villain.

“The voters that he’s targeting in rural America look at California as an out-of-touch liberal state,” Republican consultant Alex Conant said. “There’s no political cost to him bashing California.”

Trump and the Democratic-led state have battled throughout his two-and-a-half years in office, with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filing more than 50 lawsuits against the Trump administration.

The filings cover the president’s initiatives on immigration, healthcare and the environment, and have slowed and occasionally stopped the administration altogether.

Trump on Wednesday also announced via a tweet that his administration would revoke California’s authority to set auto mileage standards, insisting the action would result in safe, less expensive vehicles and more jobs.

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