Trump says other countries do better job of 'cleaning the floors' of the forest than US to reduce fires

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE on Saturday said other countries do a better job than the United States of “cleaning the floors” of the forest in efforts to reduce forest fires.

Trump made the remarks during his recent visit to California to survey wildfire recovery efforts.

"You’ve got to take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important. You look at other countries where they do it differently and it’s a whole different story,” Trump said to reporters while standing alongside California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom (D) and California Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

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“I was with the president of Finland and he said, ‘We have a much different — we're a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation, and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things,” Trump continued. “And they don't have any problem.”

“And when it is, it’s a very small problem, so I know everybody is looking at it to that end and it’s going to work out, it’s going to work out well,” the president said. 

Trump made similar remarks in an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace scheduled to air on Sunday.

“I was watching the firemen the other day and they were raking areas, they were raking areas where the fire was right over there,” Trump said in the interview. “And they’re raking trees, little trees like this that are not trees, little bushes that you could see are totally dry. Weeds. And they’re raking them, they’re on fire. That should have been all raked out. You wouldn’t have the fires.”

His remarks arrive a week after Trump drew criticism for appearing to blame devastation caused by wildfires in California on the state’s local officials.

"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests," Trump said in a tweet at the time, adding: "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"