Trump official trashes victims of California fire as death toll rises to 79


The Trump team has no decency.

As families worry about more than 690 missing people and mourn the death of over 80 from the raging fires in California, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke choose to disparage victims and repeat Trump administration lies about the fires in a recent interview with Breitbart News, a far-right organization with ties to white nationalists.

"Many people were, quite frankly, like deer in the headlights. When the fire came through they were unprepared," Zinke told Breitbart, referring to residents and business owners who suffered through the fires.

"I'm not sure that Paradise will return. ... They're strong people, but it's not an affluent neighborhood," he added.

And rather than offer any real plans or words of comfort, Zinke opted to take cheap shots at political adversaries.

Zinke told Breitbart "it's not the time for finger-pointing." But exactly 10 seconds later, Zinke blamed "radical environmentalists" for the deadly blazes which have killed at least 82 people so far (79 in Northern California, 3 in Southern California).

"I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years, and you know what, this is on them," Zinke went on to say, making wild accusations that have no factual support.

Zinke's politically biased lies were previously refuted by the Pasadena Firefighters Association, which said, "The fires in So. Cal are urban interface fires and have NOTHING to do with forest management."

Popular Science wrote, "the Camp Fire [in Northern California] is burning in an area thinned by fire 10 years ago. Forest management didn't cause these blazes and California is considered a leader in Forest management on private lands."

While this information was available to Zinke for weeks, he nonetheless decided to cast aspersions and lay blame.

This is not Zinke's first time exploiting a tragedy to push a political agenda. It's not even the first time he exploited a California wildfire to push his agenda. In August, Zinke also blamed "radicals" for wildfires in the state.

Of course, Zinke is partnering with his boss with his ignorant, inflammatory response.

Trump recently made the bizarre claim that deadly forest fires could be prevented by raking, an idea he said he got from Finland's president.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he never brought up raking with Trump.

Both Trump and Zinke are going out of their way to avoid discussing climate change, one of the main reasons for California's deadly wildfires.

"Every day is a fire season day" lately, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) told Shareblue Media in August. That's because the state is now entering its "third decade of significant ecological changes as a result of the climate getting hotter."

Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and he regularly ignores the advice of scientists who work for the administration.

The Trump administration's plan for dealing with the devastating impact of climate change seems to be nothing more than political blame games.

That won't solve anything.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.