Trump claimed he ordered FEMA to cut off money to Californians. The agency said that isn't true.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says Trump was lying when he claimed he had issued an "order" to them to cut disaster aid to wildfire victims in California.
On January 9, Trump alleged that "billions of dollars" were being wasted in the state because fires were occurring that "would never happen" with proper management. That was a lie based on some misinformation he watched on Fox News.
But then he took it a step further.
"Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money," Trump ranted.
But he didn't.
"We never got any such directive," FEMA spokesperson Brandi Richard told Buzzfeed. "Work is still being done and we continue to support wildfire survivors across the state."
Buzzfeed also verified that the order was never made by requesting records from the Department of Homeland Security through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
"We were unable to locate or identify any responsive records," FEMA told them in a letter, noting they had made a "comprehensive search" of their internal files.
Trump is a serial liar who often makes up stories to make himself seem impressive and competent when in reality he has been regarded by most Americans as spectacularly unimpressive and wildly incompetent.
The lie about his FEMA order is much in the same tradition as his repeated exaggerations of the crowd sizes at his unhinged campaign rallies or his poorly attended inauguration.
FEMA is tasked with responding to horrific disasters like wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and the like. Trump does not understand its mission or the science and logistics behind its work.
But largely based on the distorted biases of his compulsive television viewing, Trump believes himself to be an expert on all things.
He uses his bully pulpit not to express sympathy for his fellow Americans or to praise those responding to an ongoing tragedy — unlike his predecessor — but to pretend to be a powerful man issuing orders to the government he heads.
FEMA's response shows that Trump is still pretending to be in charge like he did for so many years on television. The entire world continues to see, every day, how much of a phony he is.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.