California attorney general on secession: State is 'economic engine' of US

California attorney general on secession: State is 'economic engine' of US
© Getty Images

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Energy: Trump moves forward with rule on California drilling | House panel advances bill that resumes participation in Paris climate fund | Perry pressed on 'environmental justice' | 2020 Dem proposes climate corps Trump administration moves forward with final rule to allow new California drilling Overnight Energy: Interior chief says climate response falls on Congress | Bernhardt insists officials will complete offshore drilling plans | Judge rules EPA must enforce Obama landfill pollution rules MORE (D) said in response to a question about secession on Sunday that California will try to do everything it can to continue to be a leader in the U.S. 

During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Becerra was asked if he would be comfortable with a ballot initiative relating to secession.

Becerra said there are people in California who are frustrated with the Trump administration "constantly taking digs and hurting California."

"California is the economic engine of the United States of America, we on our own, as a state, could be the sixth economic power in the world," he said.

"The U.S. needs California as much as I believe California needs to be part of the United States."

Becerra said California will do everything it can to be the "leading force" in the U.S., rather than "be out of it."

"I think we can continue to be the leader in it," he said.

His comments come after former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon warned California may try to secede from the U.S. in the next decade if Republicans don't attempt to reassume control of the state.

He pointed to the state's defiance of federal mandates including its protections for so-called sanctuary cities, which limit local cooperation with federal immigration agents.