- President Donald Trump and California Governor Gavin Newsom held a joint press conference Monday to address the state's wildfires.
- Prior to the briefing, Newsom gave Trump an information pack about the forest fires with huge fonts, colorful graphics and pictures of the fires.
- The package partially showed how the most devastating forest fires in the state's history came at a time of rising average temperatures.
- Trump has so far refused to acknowledge that the forest fires were caused by climate change.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
California Governor Gavin Newsom gave President Donald Trump a package of extremely simple facts and graphics about the forest fires that devastated his state before the two met for a live press conference on Monday.
Fox LA reporter Elex Michaelson received a copy of the briefing package and posted pictures of it on Twitter.
Using full-size images of the forest fires, colorful graphics, and giant fonts, the package explains how the most devastating forest fires in the state's history coincided with rising average temperatures in recent years – confirming Newsom's claim that climate change is causing the state's forest fires.
– Flex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) September 14, 2020
Trump has long denied that climate change is real or is in any way responsible for the west coast forest fire season. Instead, he attributed the wildfire to a lack of forest maintenance, including raking forest floors.
Newsom seemed to expect Trump to revisit this theory, and included a pie chart in the package showing that the federal government owns the majority – 57% – of California's forests, while the state only owns 3% (the remaining) owns 40% are privately owned).
It has long been reported that Trump prefers visuals over words in his briefings. Citing ten current and former US officials, the New York Times reported in May, Trump does not read written intelligence reports, but looks at images such as graphs, charts, tables and satellite images.
Although Newsom's package is a climate change argument contributing to the forest fires – and Newsom has previously said that he has "no patience for climate change deniers" – the governor was much less combative on this issue with Trump personally.
During the press conference, Newsom said the position was backed by science, but Trump said they "can agree, disagree," according to the Associated Press.
However, Newsom's natural resources secretary Wade Crowfoot was more explicit when it was his turn to speak.
He asked the president not to "bury our heads in the sand thinking it was all about vegetation management," referring to the president's forest rake theory of forest fires.
"It's getting cooler, you just watch," said Trump.
"I wish science would agree with you," replied Crowfoot.
"I don't think science really knows," said Trump and ended the conversation.