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Trump threatens to cut off federal aid for fighting California wildfires

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US President Donald Trump threatened once again Sunday to withhold federal aid from California after its Democratic governor criticized his environmental policies.

Over the past two weeks, fires have ravaged nearly 100,000 acres (40,000 hectares) in the sprawling western state, where fighters on Sunday were battling the Maria Fire, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

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Taking a line of attack he first used last year when fires killed 86 people in northern California, Trump blamed Governor Gavin Newsom, saying he had done “a terrible job of forest management.”

“Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing-and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor,” he said on Twitter.

In an interview with the New York Times this week, Newsom pointed to Trump’s skeptical remarks about climate change and his roll-back of environmental protections.

“We’re waging war against the most destructive fires in our state’s history, and Trump is conducting a full-on assault against the antidote,” Newsom said.

The president has on several occasions openly questioned the scientific consensus that human activity causes changes in the climate, and notably the drought that has contributed to the California fires.

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His administration decided on September 18 to revoke California’s authority to set its own standards for automobile pollution.

Newsom criticized the Republican government’s ambivalence in dealing with the disasters.

“Last night they approved seven additional emergency grants in record time,” Newsom told the Times. “But what’s so insidious, and what’s so remarkable is that he’s doing everything right to respond to these disasters and everything wrong to address what’s happening to cause them.”

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Far from the political struggles, firefighters pressed their fight on Sunday against the Maria Fire, which is 30 percent contained, and the Kincade Fire north of San Francisco, now 74 percent contained.

Other fires, including some that threatened multi-million-dollar homes and iconic institutions in the Los Angeles area, have subsided, and residents who had evacuated are beginning to return home.

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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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Trump’s big-money Florida fundraiser expected to bring in $10 million — from only 100 people

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President Donald Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago on Friday after receiving a formal summons from the U.S. Senate informing him of his impeachment trial.

The president will be attending a Friday evening campaign fundraiser.

The recipient of the money is Trump Victory, which is a joint fundraising committee set up by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.

“Tonight’s Trump Victory fundraiser is expected to raise $10 million with approximately 100 people in attendance," the campaign told the White House pool reporter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1218264289225728000

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