California Governor Gavin Newsom is abandoning plans to build a high-speed railroad between Los Angeles and San Francisco, saying the ambitious project that was approved by voters and championed by his predecessor is too costly.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom used one of President Donald Trump’s go-to insults against him on Wednesday night.
The bubbling feud between two men on opposite ends of the political spectrum took its latest turn on Twitter with Trump demanding California repay billions to the federal government a day after Newsom announced plans to downsize the Golden State’s grand plans for the nation’s first high-speed rail train.
“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars,” Trump tweeted. “They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!”
It took less than an hour for Newsom’s answer, beginning with two words that Trump has made famous: “Fake news.”
A 119-mile stretch of rail line, already in the works between Merced and Bakersfield in the state’s Central Valley, will be seen to its finish, Newsom has said. He emphasized his commitment to the Central Valley on Wednesday during a surprise visit to a local elementary school, where he signed his first bill since being elected governor.
“I know that some critics are going to say, ‘Well, that’s a train to nowhere.’ But I think that’s wrong and I think that’s offensive,” Newsom said. “It’s about economic transformation. It’s about unlocking the enormous potential of the Valley.”
To Trump, Newsom tweeted, “This is CA’s money, allocated by Congress for this project. We’re not giving it back,” and finished with “The train is leaving the station — better get on board! (Also, desperately searching for some wall $$??)”
In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Newsom defied Trump’s administration by ordering hundreds of National Guard troops off the state’s border with Mexico, accusing Trump of creating a “manufactured crisis” and stressing that California would not “be part of this political theater.”
Those comments came a month after Newsom spoke out against “corruption and incompetence in the White House” during his swearing-in ceremony in Sacramento.
A few days later, Trump threatened via Twitter to “send no more money” to California unless the state gets its “act together” and begins “proper Forest Management.”
While campaigning ahead of last November’s midterm elections, Trump labeled Newsom as “a clown” who wants “open borders.”
Contributing: Sheyanne N Romero, Visalia Times-Delta
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