Jimmy Kimmel Slams Trump's Response to California Wildfires

"He could at least pretend to care about us, like he does with Donald Jr.," the Los Angeles-based host quipped during a fiery segment.
Randy Holmes/ABC

During his show Monday night, Jimmy Kimmel called President Trump "wrong" for blaming the recent California wildfires on "poor" forest management.

Quick to discuss the "hellish" week California was enduring, the Los Angeles-based late-night host took a moment to point out that no one should "expect help from the White House."

"As the fires raged, the president weighed in with this touching message of support," the host told his Jimmy Kimmel Live! audience. 

Kimmel was referencing Trump’s first tweet about the fires, posted Saturday, which read, "There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

Kimmel’s response: "He didn’t even throw us a roll of paper towels, like he did in Puerto Rico."  

He continued, "And of course, everything about this tweet was wrong." He explained that "the federal government manages most of the forest land in California, not the state," as Trump incorrectly stated. 

"He is the one who cut the funding," Kimmel added, saying California pays more money to the federal government than it gets back. "And of course he does nothing about climate change, which is why these fires happen, but why get tangled up in facts when you can take shots at people who voted for Hillary instead of you?" 

Acknowledging that the president’s tweet "did not go over well" with the public (it received criticism from stars such as Katy Perry, John Legend and Ava DuVernay), Kimmel found Trump’s follow-up tweet, which his support and sympathy for the families of victims, firefighters and evacuees, rather comical. 

Kimmel noted that though the response was “better” than Trump's original tweet, “the real Donald was back” the next day. (Trump tweeted, “With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!”)

"You go first, and then we will," Kimmel said in response. "I get that California isn’t the president’s favorite state. But he could at least pretend to care about us, like he does with Donald Jr."

Kimmel wasn't the only late-night host to attack Trump's first wildfires tweet on Monday night: On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert opened his monologue by praising the first responders. "At a time like this, it is hard to know the right thing to say," Colbert said. "But for the wrong thing to say, let's check the president's Twitter feed."

After reading the tweet, Colbert said, "I think that's called blaming the victim?" He also joked that Trump's forest-management solution would be to replace organic plants with ones made of "American-made steel," and that Trump wasn't himself a model of fire management.

"With all that hairspray, he is easily the most flammable president in U.S. history," Colbert joked.

After Southern California's Woolsey Fire sparked Thursday afternoon, the number of structures destroyed has jumped to more than 370, authorities revealed on Monday morning. The blaze is now said to be 20 percent contained. 

Mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for the cities of Malibu, Calabasas and Hidden Hills and the communities of West Hills, Monte Nido, Gated Oaks and Topanga. Repopulation began Sunday night for Agoura Hills and Westlake Village residents.