A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson says FEMA never received an order to halt aid to Californians affected by the state's deadly wildfires despite President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE's claim in a tweet last month.
"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money," Trump tweeted in early January.
"It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" he added.
But FEMA employees told BuzzFeed News that the agency is still dispensing aid as needed to Californians displaced by the deadly fires. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the news outlet backed up the agency's statement, according to the report.
"We never got any such directive," FEMA spokeswoman Brandi Richard told BuzzFeed News. "That's evidenced by the fact that work is still being done and we continue to support wildfire survivors across the state."
A second FEMA official responded to the FOIA request stating that the agency was "unable to locate or identify any responsive records."
Trump blamed poor management of California's expansive forests and national parks for the deadly wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses last year, drawing condemnation from firefighters and others in the state working to respond to the disasters. Much of California's forests are already managed by the federal government.
In January, a FEMA employee stationed in California told BuzzFeed that the agency was taking little notice of the president's tweets.
"We're not focusing on it. We woke up to this news and we're just focusing on survivors. We're not going anywhere," the FEMA worker said.
FEMA rep Jovanna Garcia is still up in Butte County helping Paradise fire victims.She's been there since 11/17— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) January 9, 2019
She said Trump's tweet is "not phasing us right now"
"We're not focusing on it. We woke up to this news and we're just focusing on survivors. We're not going anywhere" pic.twitter.com/KkEAkRKVKI