U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to California on Monday to meet with state officials about the Western wildfires that have destroyed thousands of homes, scorched millions of acres and killed 35 people across three states.
"We have to do a lot about forest management. Obviously, forest management in California is very important."
After landing in McClellan Park, Trump blamed the deadly fires on poor forest management.
At the wildfire briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom acknowledged that his state had not done enough to manage forests, but said global warming was driving the fires, and reminded Trump that 57 percent of forests in the state were under federal management.
NEWSOM: "...the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this. And so I think there's an area of at least commonality on vegetation forest management but please respect, and I know you do, the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue on the issue of climate change."
NEWSOM: "I appreciate that."
TRUMP: "Chad, please."
After hearing from his acting Homeland Security chief, the president heard from California's secretary for natural resources, Wade Crowfoot, who urged Trump - who has referred to climate change as a "hoax' - to recognize climate change science.
CRAWFOOT: "...if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it's all about vegetation management, we're not going to succeed together protecting Californians."
TRUMP: "Okay, it'll start getting cooler. You just watch."
CROWFOOT: "I wish science agreed with you."
TRUMP: "Well, I don't think science knows, actually."
Earlier on Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called Trump a "climate arsonist" for failing to acknowledge the role of global warming in wildfires that continue to rage in California, Oregon and Washington state.
"If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?"
Biden also slammed Trump for focusing on his "law and order" theme, saying that the real threat to the future of America's suburbs was fire and floods.