It's war: California governor Newsom versus Donald Trump, president

It's a heavyweight title match pitting the two most powerful politicians in the country against each other.

Newly sworn in California governor Gavin Newsom threw down the gauntlet during his inauguration speech, saying, "People's lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe – they all hang in the balance" – remarks clearly aimed at the president.  He also doubled down on his immigration policies by saying California would give "sanctuary to all who seek it."  The federal government is suing the state over its sanctuary law.

Donald Trump is hitting back.

Yahoo News:

President Trump threatened to cut federal emergency funding for California's firefighters in the middle of a partial government shutdown.

On Wednesday morning, Trump complained that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sends billions of dollars to California to fight fires that are the result of poor forest management.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest [sic] fires that, with proper Forrest [sic] Management, would never happen.  Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.  It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" Trump tweeted.

Based on Trump's phrasing, it's unclear whether he meant that he has already ordered the funding to stop until the issue is addressed or if he would order the funding to stop if the issue isn't addressed.

When reached for comment, the FEMA news desk responded with a boilerplate email about the partial government shutdown, which is the result of an impasse over the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.  It read: "Thank you for contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency Press Office.  Due to the federal funding hiatus, we are not able to respond to general press queries."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom responded on Twitter that the people of California and the town of Paradise in particular should not be the victims of partisan bickering.  Paradise was incinerated in the Camp Fire last November, and suffered a death toll of 86 people.

"Disasters and recovery are no time for politics.  I'm already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses," Newsom said.

There's "no time for politics" unless Newsom can make political hay out of the disaster.  Hypocrisy aside, Newsom probably shouldn't be taking on a man with a million-soldier army behind him.

For at least the next two years, both men will be using each other as foils to rile their respective bases.  Both are easy political targets, and as far as drama is concerned, it should be entertaining.

But unless Newsom plans to take California out of the Union, he will be hopelessly outmatched.  Trump controls billions of dollars in aid to California for a wide variety of programs.  At least some of that aid will have to be dispensed regardless of Trump's desires.  But the president has the ability to say when the money is released and, in many cases, how much of it California gets.

My guess is, before too long, Trump will remind Newsom that he has that power and the California governor will be able to do nothing about it.

It's a heavyweight title match pitting the two most powerful politicians in the country against each other.

Newly sworn in California governor Gavin Newsom threw down the gauntlet during his inauguration speech, saying, "People's lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe – they all hang in the balance" – remarks clearly aimed at the president.  He also doubled down on his immigration policies by saying California would give "sanctuary to all who seek it."  The federal government is suing the state over its sanctuary law.

Donald Trump is hitting back.

Yahoo News:

President Trump threatened to cut federal emergency funding for California's firefighters in the middle of a partial government shutdown.

On Wednesday morning, Trump complained that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sends billions of dollars to California to fight fires that are the result of poor forest management.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest [sic] fires that, with proper Forrest [sic] Management, would never happen.  Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.  It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" Trump tweeted.

Based on Trump's phrasing, it's unclear whether he meant that he has already ordered the funding to stop until the issue is addressed or if he would order the funding to stop if the issue isn't addressed.

When reached for comment, the FEMA news desk responded with a boilerplate email about the partial government shutdown, which is the result of an impasse over the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.  It read: "Thank you for contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency Press Office.  Due to the federal funding hiatus, we are not able to respond to general press queries."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom responded on Twitter that the people of California and the town of Paradise in particular should not be the victims of partisan bickering.  Paradise was incinerated in the Camp Fire last November, and suffered a death toll of 86 people.

"Disasters and recovery are no time for politics.  I'm already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses," Newsom said.

There's "no time for politics" unless Newsom can make political hay out of the disaster.  Hypocrisy aside, Newsom probably shouldn't be taking on a man with a million-soldier army behind him.

For at least the next two years, both men will be using each other as foils to rile their respective bases.  Both are easy political targets, and as far as drama is concerned, it should be entertaining.

But unless Newsom plans to take California out of the Union, he will be hopelessly outmatched.  Trump controls billions of dollars in aid to California for a wide variety of programs.  At least some of that aid will have to be dispensed regardless of Trump's desires.  But the president has the ability to say when the money is released and, in many cases, how much of it California gets.

My guess is, before too long, Trump will remind Newsom that he has that power and the California governor will be able to do nothing about it.