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California fires: Newsom gives Trump briefing pack with pics, huge font

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  • President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a joint press briefing on Monday to address the state’s wildfires. 
  • Before the briefing, Newsom gave Trump a packet of information on the wildfires, using huge font, colorful graphics, and pictures of the fires. 
  • The packet showed, in part, how the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history have come at a time of increasing average temperatures.
  • Trump has so far refused to acknowledge that the wildfires were caused by climate change.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave President Donald Trump a packet of extremely simplistic facts and graphs about the wildfires ravaging his state before the two met for a live press conference on Monday. 

Fox LA reporter Elex Michaelson obtained a copy of the briefing packet, and posted pictures of it to Twitter.

Using full-sized pictures of the wildfires, colorful graphs, and huge font, the packet explains how the most destructive wildfires in state history have coincided with rising average temperatures in recent years — backing up Newsom’s assertion that climate change is causing the state’s wildfires.

Trump has long denied that climate change is real, or in any way to blame for the West Coast’s wildfire season. HE has instead blamed the wildfire on a lack of forest upkeep, including raking forest floors. 

Newsom seemed to anticipate that Trump would bring up this theory again, and included a pie chart in the packet, showing that the federal government owns the majority — 57% — of the forests in California, while the state owns just 3% (the remaining 40% are privately owned). 

Trump is long reported to favor visuals over words in his briefings. Citing ten current and former US officials, The New York Times reported in May that Trump does not read written intelligence reports, but does look at visuals such as graphs, charts, tables, and satellite images.

Though Newsom’s packet makes a case for climate change contributing to the wildfires — and Newsom has previously said that he has “no patience for climate change deniers” — the governor was much less combative on the topic with Trump in person. 

During the press conference, Newsom said that viewpoint was backed by science, but told Trump they “can agree to disagree” on the issue, according to the Associated Press.

However, Newsom’s natural-resources secretary, Wade Crowfoot, was more pointed when it was his turn to speak. 

He asked the president not to “put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management,” referring to the president’s forest-raking theory for the wildfires.

“It’ll start getting cooler, you just watch,” Trump claimed.

“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot replied.

“I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump said, then ending the conversation.

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