Feinstein blasts Trump's 'empty threat' to withhold FEMA funding from California

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDebate builds over making Mueller report public BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpWashington Post reporter: I didn't know if call with Trump was a joke Researchers find undisclosed missile site in North Korea Sending troops to border is legal MORE's "empty threat" to cut off Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding to assist victims of the California wildfires.

"It’s absolutely shocking for President Trump to suggest he would deny disaster assistance to the victims," Feinstein wrote on Twitter. "This empty threat is based on groundless complaints, and candidly isn’t worth the time of day."

The senator became the latest California official to slam the president over his tweet earlier Wednesday in which he said he has ordered FEMA to withhold funding from the state unless it improves its forest management to prevent wildfires.


"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money," Trump tweeted, calling it a "disgraceful situation in lives & money."

FEMA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which FEMA is a part. The Hill has also reached out to California Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) office for comment.

FEMA and DHS are currently without funding amid a partial government shutdown that has lasted 19 days and counting.

Wildfires ravaged California in 2018, with the Camp Fire in Northern California killing at least 85 people and destroying thousands of buildings. The wildfire was the deadliest in the state's history and racked up an overall damage cost of $16.5 billion, according to reinsurance firm Munich Re, making it the costliest disaster of 2018.

Trump has at least twice before threatened to withhold disaster funding from California for its wildfires, and argued that the state's forest management has worsened the natural disasters. Local officials and fire experts have criticized Trump for ignoring the impact climate change has had on the fires.