Trump knocks revised California 'fast train' plans

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE on Wednesday blasted California's revised plans for a high-speed rail line, renewing his calls for the state to return billions in federal money for the project.

"California now wants to scale back their already failed 'fast train' project by substantially shortening the distance so that it no longer goes from L.A. to San Francisco," Trump tweeted. "A different deal and record cost overruns. Send the Federal Government back the Billions of Dollars WASTED!"

The president's criticism of the infrastructure project comes a day after the Department of Transportation (DOT) sent a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority telling the agency it plans to cancel $929 million in federal grants for the rail effort.


The DOT said the project has not progressed as originally laid out in its agreement with the federal government, and also announced that it would seek to recoup $2.5 billion in funds already allocated from the "now-defunct" rail project, CNN reported.

The Trump administration's push to reclaim the government funds came after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said the state would scale back plans for a high-speed rail line. 

Voters in 2008 approved plans for a high-speed rail that would have linked Los Angeles and San Francisco, with the project scheduled to be finished in 2022. Newsom, citing the costs associated with the project, urged legislators during his State of the State address earlier this month to scale back the project to connect parts of the state's Central Valley.

Newsom has defended the state's plans against the latest round of criticism, and has accused the president of seeking "retribution" for California's role in a lawsuit against Trump's national emergency declaration to secure funding for a border wall.

The governor noted that Trump cited the rail project in a pair of tweets on Monday morning complaining about the lawsuit.

"This is clear political retribution by President Trump, and we won’t sit idly by," Newsom said in a statement. "This is California’s money, and we are going to fight for it."

The rail funding dispute marks the latest standoff between Trump and California. The president has threatened in recent months to cut off disaster aid funding for the state if it did not change its forest fire prevention efforts.