Trump's silence on Twitter around North Bay fire raises questions in California

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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California Governor Jerry Brown has called the wine country wildfires "one of the greatest tragedies" the state has faced.

WASHINGTON (KGO) -- California Governor Jerry Brown has called the wine country wildfires "one of the greatest tragedies" the state has faced.

RELATED: CalFire says 14 year old among dead in North Bay fires

He thanked President Donald Trump, who described the devastating fires as "sad," for declaring a federal emergency.

"We have a lot of people helping the government in California," Trump said Monday from Washington.

But the president has not used his most prolific method of communicating his views to the American people. He has not yet tweeted about the inferno.

Carla Marinucci, Politico's senior California writer, said residents are taking notice.

"With 41 people dead here in California, with 34,000 evacuated and billions of dollars worth of damage, including to California's wine industry, President Trump this week has been tweeting about the NFL, the stock market," she said. "He has not mentioned California on Twitter."

TAKE ACTION: How you can help victims of the North Bay fires

Republican strategist Sean Walsh has worked for the Reagan and Bush administrations. There's an expression, he said, that's common in politics: "Show the love, show the money."

The president, Walsh said, has "fulfilled his governmental obligation" through the emergency declaration but isn't wired to show compassion.

"What really matters to Californians is getting back in their homes, getting recovered, getting reimbursed for firefighters and first responders," Walsh said. "He's done that ... Has done everything he should from a communications standpoint to make people feel good? Probably not."

John Burton retired earlier this year as chairman of the California Democratic party. He says the wildfires are "a human catastrophe" and is critical of the president's lack of communication.

"As long as (President Trump) tweets about everything in the world and whether Colin Kaepernick is able to play football ... what's wrong with showing empathy and compassion?"

Both Burton and Walsh agree right now would not be best time for a presidential visit to the fire zone. They say he should wait until conditions stabilize and his presence would not divert precious resources from the firefighting and recovery efforts.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the North Bay fires.