POINT MUGU, CA (FOX 11) - President Donald Trump gets a firsthand look at California's firefight. The White House invited FOX 11's Elex Michaelson to represent all local TV journalists as the pool reporter for the trip.
He spoke with the president several times today. Trump said, "As big as they look on the tube, you don't see what's going on until you come here."
The president promises expedited federal funding to Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom who both join him for the tour.
Gavin Newsom said, "There's no politics being played here. The President signed an emergency declaration immediately. I can not impress how grateful I am."
Michaelson: "You often talk about the fact that politics is a mean business."
Trump: "It can be. But its really nice when we all get together.:
Michelson: "Now, you're having an opportunity to have some face time with people you sometimes criticize publicly. Do you think your relationship with them and potentially the state of California might change because of that?"
Trump: "I think we've developed a really good relationship. I've known Jerry for a really long time but I think we got closer today than we've ever been over the last 20 years and Gavin, I just met. I've heard terrific things and I think we've developed a great relationship. We have to work together. This is a very big problem and we have to solve this problem. And I have no doubt. Come here…right? We're going to get it done!"
In a recent tweet, the president threatened to cut off federal funding to California because of what he called "gross mismanagement of forests." His administration says forests are simply too dense.
Michaelson: "A lot of people agree with what you said about land management but another big question is…is it possible that climate change is a real issue here?
Trump: "We'll be looking at everything. It is land management and its forest management, which is what you mean. We're going to get to the bottom of it."
Jerry Brown: "The shock of all this is going to heighten our focus and attention and also our cooperation."
In addition to our tour in Malibu, we rode in the presidential motorcade for miles, observing charred hillsides and destroyed properties. Earlier, the president's SoCal list began an Naval Air Station Point Mugu, where he met with first responders and local officials. Before taking off in Air Force One, the President was taking time here to meet with victims of the Borderline shooting. That meeting happening behind closed doors."
Afterwards, he told us it was emotional.
Trump said, "We hugged them and we kissed them and everybody. It was very warm, it was very warm."
Michaelsen: "What do we do about mass shootings in this country?"
Trump: "It's a very tough situation. It's been going on for a long time. It's been going on far longer than people want to talk about."