2018 headline: “Finland’s president denies telling Trump that his country rakes its forests”

This is an actual headline on the homepage of the Washington Post this evening. To explain the misleading: Prez Trump said that the President of Finland told him that Finland had many forests but no problem with forest fires. “He called it a forest nation,” Trump said, “and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem.” This claim brought a torrent of Twimockery from Finland, complete with a Finnish raking squad at work.

The truth seems to be that Trump told another crazy story about raking leaves in forests to Fox News on Friday, and needed to clean up that mess, so he makes up a new reason to blame the fire on “forest mismanagement.” Apparently not raking up fallen leaves in California forests is the real problem. 

“I was watching the firemen the other day, and they were raking areas. They were raking areas!” Trump told Fox News from the Oval Office on Friday — before he left for California. “They’re raking trees, little trees like this — nut trees, little bushes, that you could see are totally dry. Weeds! And they’re raking them. They’re on fire.” “That should have been all raked out,” he concluded. “You wouldn’t have the fires.”

It’s not surprising that Trump made up an idiotic story. What’s surprising is that some of his fans are beginning to rebel against the crass b.s.ing. Especially when Trump points the finger of blame at them.

While Trump was touring damaged areas, The Guardian interviewed evacuees in a Walmart parking lot in Chico, California. One man, Kirk Ellsworth, said his adult children’s homes were destroyed by the flames. Ellsworth said he had been a Trump supporter, but the president’s reaction to the fires made him reconsider. “My kids lost everything. I voted for him — and now? He can kiss my red ass. What he said was ridiculous. It hurts my heart. A lot of us voted for him and he [talks] down to us?”

Nothing personal, but yep. 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

2 thoughts on “2018 headline: “Finland’s president denies telling Trump that his country rakes its forests”

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