Trump Doubts California Drought, Promises Farmers Water

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By Rachel Leven

May 31 — Donald Trump would solve California's “ridiculous” water problem as president, the presumptive Republican nominee recently said.

Trump who cited unnamed friends that say there isn't a drought in California, said officials send “all the water out to the ocean” and nobody understands why. He said the efforts are apparently an attempt “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish,” referring to the Delta smelt.

“If I win, believe me, we're going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive, so that your job market will get better,” Trump said at a May 27 Fresno, Calif., rally with supporters waving “Farmers for Trump” signs. “We're going to get it done, and we're going to get it done quick—don't even think about it.”

Trump's comments come one day after his most detailed policy speech yet on energy, where he again emphasized his commitment to “clean air and clean water.” His comments—at least those questioning whether California is in a drought—seem to conflict with statements by some in his own party such as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) who have unequivocally stated that it is.

McCarthy, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others have been working to find a compromise and pass legislation to address the drought. They differ on how to resolve the crisis and timelines for passing legislation (102 DEN A-1, 5/26/16).

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Leven in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at