Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43) released the following statement on the Camp and Woolsey wildfires in California:

“As the Camp and Woolsey Fires continue to blaze a deadly path across the great state of California, resulting in the loss of more than 80 lives and leaving more than 800 people missing[1], I am completely disgusted by what we have witnessed from the so-called President of the United States. That Donald Trump would open his mouth to criticize and threaten our state in the face of such a tragic and widespread natural disaster, is a shocking and utter disgrace. After receiving widespread criticism for his response to the California wildfires, Trump is now trying to walk back his inappropriate comments. However, I’m afraid that he is a day late and a dollar short, and the people of California will never forget his shameful lack of respect and compassion. 

“Donald Trump’s absolutely outrageous response to the California wildfires is yet another example of his lack of knowledge, his lack of compassion, and his inability to provide the type of leadership this country deserves in the midst of a crisis. How dare this president blame ‘gross mismanagement of the forests’[2] for these devastating wildfires without presenting any facts or any special knowledge? Instead of running his mouth about things he knows nothing about, he should learn to show some empathy and sympathy for the suffering of others.

“How dare Trump threaten to strip federal funding from California at a time when our state and our families are most in need of assistance from their federal government? Brave men and women, first responders, and fire fighters are outraged at the way that he disparaged their work and their sacrifice – and I too am outraged.

“Furthermore, when he finally visited California in an effort to clean up his despicable handling of this tragedy, how dare Trump state that Finland’s president told him that their country rarely had wildfires because of their ‘raking’ practices, which the Finnish president disputed ever mentioning.[3] When has this country ever witnessed a president who, instead of being a consoler and uniter, used a tragic moment like this to condemn and to criticize?

“I applaud the efforts of our brave first responders, fire fighters, law enforcement agencies, and volunteers who have all selflessly risen to the call of duty and leadership in the complete absence of any from the White House. The thousands of Californians who have lost their loved ones, their homes, their communities, and their way of life as they once knew it, deserve better than this despicable president. If Donald Trump is not offering prayers, sympathy, and assistance to the people of California, he should keep his mouth shut.”