Gather Round and Listen to Donald Trump's Tale of Mythical 'Explosive' Trees

Illustration for article titled Gather Round and Listen to Donald Trump's Tale of Mythical 'Explosive' Trees
Image: Brendan Smialowski (AFP (Getty Images)

On Monday, Donald Trump finally visited California and belatedly addressed the fires that are ravaging the entire West Coast. (It’s almost like he doesn’t care about people who don’t vote for him!) Trump once again blamed the fires soley on “forest management,” a cause he’s been parroting for years that actual climate and fire scientists have pushed back on. (Tl;dr: the solutions are multi-faceted and complicated, and yes, climate change is a major factor.)


But, in a new twist, Trump also pinpointed the cause on a different culprit—explosive trees. Trees, they’re just exploding all the time!

When a reporter asked him if climate change was also to blame, Trump had this to say: “When trees fall down, after a short period of time, about 18 months, they become very dry, they become really like a matchstick. And they get up, you know, there’s no more water pouring through, and they become very very, they just explode. They can explode.”

Trump then segued into recounting a conversation he purportedly had with a “head of a major country,” likely Finland and its nation of people who in Trump’s mind spend all their free time raking the forests. Apparently it went like this: “He said, ‘We have trees that are far more explosive’—he meant explosive in terms of fire—‘but we have trees that are far more explosive than they have in California, and we don’t have any problem, because we manage our forests.’ So we have to do that in California too.”

During a roundtable discussion with some of California’s leaders, Trump also dropped this nugget of scientific wisdom:


Joe Biden, for his part, described Trump on Monday as a “climate arsonist” who’s actually destroying the suburbs of America: “If we have four more years of Trump’s climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires? How many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms?” Trump, the real “ANTIFA”?

On Sunday, Michael Caputo, the “top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus,” according to the New York Times, who has made headlines recently for running interference for Trump with the CDC, put out an interesting theory: that Donald Trump will win in November, but Joe Biden won’t concede the race. When that happens, Caputo warned, “the shooting will begin.” I think Caputo is getting Biden mixed up with his boss in this scenario, but let’s take a closer look!


In a Facebook Live video that he conducted on his personal Facebook page, Caputo, as the New York Times put it, complained “that he was under siege by the media and said that his physical health was in question and his ‘mental health has definitely failed.’” It seems Caputo is testing out a new career as a member of an emo rock band or a morose Instagram poet. “I don’t like being alone in Washington,” he said, going on to describe “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” Somewhere, Rupi Kaur is shaking!

Caputo then turned to the election, ruminating first that the killing of a Trump supporter in Portland in August by Michael Reinoehl, who was himself later killed by federal officers, was “a drill” and shared that he believed there were “hit squads being trained all over this country.” More, via the New York Times:

He then ran through a series of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede.

“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.” He added: “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”


  • Activists and organizers are very worried that Joe Biden’s campaign isn’t doing enough to reach and convince Latinx voters. [Washington Post]
  • Remember Colonel Alexander Vindman? In a new profile, he calls Donald Trump many things: a “useful idiot” for Vladimir Putin as well as, and this is my personal favorite, “free chicken” for Putin, i.e., “something you don’t have to work for—it just comes to you.” [The Atlantic]
  • Hey, did you know that Louis DeJoy gave $800,000 to Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee after the opening for the position of Postmaster General opened up? Makes you think! [Bloomberg]
  • In other news about DeJoy’s USPS, a judge has temporarily blocked the agency’s effort to send... misleading voter information to people in Colorado??? [Washington Post]
  • Rightwing troll Jacob Wohl is up to his juvenile trickery yet again! [The Daily Beast]
  • The cruelty is the point: an appeals court judge has ruled that Trump and Stephen Miller’s effort to end Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrant families can resume. This means that the Trump administration “could expel from the country people from Sudan, Nicaragua and Haiti as soon as March 2021 and from El Salvador by November 2021.” [NBC News]

Senior reporter, Jezebel



The part that really shows his flippant incompetent apathy is that much of the areas that burn in wildfires are more likely to be Republican-dominated counties. He thinks he shouldn’t care about California because he doesn’t get the votes, but he’s burning his base, literally.