President Trump, the day after his Oval Office address demanding funding from Congress for a wall, issued a threat Wednesday to pull funding for forest management. But in doing so, he spelled the word “forest” wrong.
In a since-deleted tweet, the president issued a threat towards the home state of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Billions of dollars are sent to the state of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”
Trump deleted the tweet, most likely due to the typo; he later reposted it with the word “forest” spelled correctly, although he left in the strange capitalization. But the move to delete the tweet didn’t go unnoticed, inspiring a whole lot of Forrest Gump jokes, mostly because he spelled it “Forrest,” and “Trump” rhymes with “Gump.”
But there were many other head-scratching things about the tweet, even beyond the misspelling and capitalizing. Most of the forest land in California is federally owned, not state-owned. Beyond that, as pointed out by fact checker Daniel Dale, the major wildfires in California in 2018 were not forest-based.
The 2018 wildfire season in California was one of the most destructive in history, leading to dozens of deaths and billions of dollars in damage. The fires were concentrated in two locations, the Camp Fire in Northern California and the Woolsey Fire in the southern part of the state. FEMA has been assisting in rescue efforts in different parts of the state.
The president had sent a similar tweet back in November, also blaming “forest management” for the fires, and seeming to get more upset by “wasted” money than by any of the human costs of the fires.
“His comments are reckless and insulting to the firefighters and people being affected,” Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, told CNN in November in reaction to those comments. Also, Katy Perry denounced the president’s comments as “an absolutely heartless response.”
The typo did lead to some chuckle-worthy Trump-as-Gump humor.
“Please don’t compare Forrest Gump to Trump,” user Pretefunkera wrote. “The story of Forrest Gump is a national treasure. It showed how compassion, brutal honesty, being focused, warm, & kind brings fortune & good will. Not just to him but to others that are touched by him. Trump is none of those things.”