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Trump heads to Central Valley after slamming California on immigration, homelessness

Colleen Shalby, Jaclyn Cosgrove and Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- President Donald Trump's visit to California continues Wednesday with stops in the Central Valley to discuss water policy and then on to Rancho Mirage for a fundraiser hosted by Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison.

On Tuesday, Trump was in Beverly Hills, where he slammed Los Angeles officials for opposing his crackdown on illegal immigration and over the city's homelessness crisis, reiterating points he made during his last visit to California in September. This week's trip marks Trump's fourth to California as president, two weeks ahead of the state's primary.

Trump is planning to meet with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in Bakersfield on Wednesday "to speak with hard-working farmers in the Central Valley about efforts to dramatically improve the supply and delivery of water in California and other Western states," the White House said.

McCarthy welcomed Trump's visit while speaking Sunday on Fox News.

"We have a real concern in California because we send most of our water out to the ocean (instead of) sending it down to Southern California, to our farmlands in the San Joaquin Valley and others," McCarthy said. "This president has worked greatly using science -- not based on politics but on science -- to allow to have more of that water stay with the Californians and America to make sure we're secure in our food supply as we move forward."

While in Bakersfield, Trump is expected to preside over an announcement by the Interior Department that it is rolling back endangered species protections that have curbed water deliveries to Central Valley farmers and Southern California cities.


Trump has previously attacked the fish protections as a waste of water, echoing the complaints of Central Valley Republicans. In 2018, he directed federal agencies to boost irrigation deliveries to the valley, a move that particularly benefited the Westlands Water District.

The sprawling agricultural district is a former client of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was a partner in one of the nation's top-grossing lobbying and law firms before joining the Trump administration.

Later Wednesday, Trump will visit Rancho Mirage in Riverside County for a fundraising golf event hosted by Ellison. He'll then fly to Phoenix for an evening campaign rally before heading to Colorado Springs, Colo., for a rally Thursday and circling back to Las Vegas for another on Friday.

According to an invitation to the Ellison event obtained by the Desert Sun, supporters can pay $100,000 for the golf outing and photo opportunity with Trump, or $250,000 for an additional roundtable discussion. The contributions go to Trump Victory, a fundraising committee involving the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and state Republican chapters.


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