People From Finland Have No Idea What Donald Trump Is Talking About After He Suggested They Rake Forest Leaves

Trump claimed that Finland is protected from forest fires by people who rake leaves in the forest.

People From Finland Have No Idea What Donald Trump Is Talking About After He Suggested They Rake Forest Leaves
Jim Lo Scalzo / Getty Images

Trump claimed that Finland is protected from forest fires by people who rake leaves in the forest.

Donald Trump claimed this weekend that Finland doesn’t suffer forest fires because its people take the time to rake leaves in the forest, and Finnish people have responded with a resounding, “What?”

On Saturday, the president traveled to areas of California hit hard by forest fires that have destroyed thousands of structures and left at least 70 people dead. During his visit, Trump reiterated his seemingly strange claim that unraked leaves are a major contributor to the forest fires, despite experts saying that global warming is likely the biggest factor.

Trump pointed to Finland as an example, claiming that the country’s people protect against wildfires by keeping the forest floor free of dried and dead leaves.

“You look at other countries where they do it differently, and it’s a whole different story,” Trump claimed (via Buzzfeed News). “I was with the president of Finland, and he said we have a much different—we’re a forest nation, he called it a forest nation.”

“And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things,” Trump said of the Finnish people. “And they don’t have any problem.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he had no idea what Trump was talking about. As the Associated Press noted, Niinisto told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper that he and Trump spoke briefly about forest management when they were both in France last weekend for Armistice Day events, but said he never mentioned raking leaves in the forest.

As Buzzfeed News noted, others from Finland have taken to social media to express bewilderment at Donald Trump’s comments. None could ever recall trekking into the forest to rake leaves, which normally in nature stay on the ground and eventually decompose, with the nutrients helping fuel growth for the forest.

Others pointed out that it would be physically impossible for the people of Finland to attempt raking leaves in the heavily forested nation.

Others mocked Donald Trump by posting pictures of themselves raking, cleaning, or even vacuuming forests in their native Finland and tagging the president.

Donald Trump’s comparisons between California and Finland have drawn criticism amid his continued insistence that global warming is not real and not a factor in the wildfires spreading across the state. Trump had repeatedly said in the past that he believed global warming was a hoax, and reiterated this weekend that he has not changed his stance amid the destructive fires in California.