- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

President Trump began a two-day, $15 million fundraising swing though California on Tuesday by hinting at bold action to deal with homeless people in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, complaining that tenants looking for prestigious city living are finding people sleeping in tents and living in “our best streets” instead.

Mr. Trump said he plans to brainstorm action with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. It’s unclear what policy solutions Mr. Trump will put forward, though he made reference to an “individual task force” to deal with homeless people who are living in tents, under highways and in the streets.

“We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening,” he told reporters aboard on Air Force One.

Mr. Trump spoke on the topic en route to a lunch in Palo Alto that was slated to pull in $3 million ahead of his 2020 reelection bid. Later, a dinner hosted by real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer at his home in Beverly Hills was expected to haul in $5 million.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump is set to raise $3 million at a Los Angeles breakfast and $4 million at a lunch in San Diego.

Mr. Trump’s tour of the Golden State will benefit his own campaign and the Republican National Committee, which is touting record-breaking hauls in an off-cycle year.

The RNC said it brought in $20 million in July, or nearly double its haul in July 2017, and says it’s amassed nearly $118 million in this election cycle compared to the Democrats’ $52 million.

“President Trump is raising funds at an unprecedented rate, including massive support from small donors, proving that people are responding to the policies that have engineered the strong and still-growing economy,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director. “Combined with equally historic fundraising at the RNC, President Trump and Republicans will enter 2020 with an enormous advantage.”

Mr. Trump headed straight to California from New Mexico, where he rallied with supporters outside Albuquerque late Monday.

He is touring California even as he battles the state’s liberal leaders on a number of fronts.

His administration is questioning the legality of California’s pact with automakers Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW to increase fuel efficiency and cut emissions. The agreement effectively ignores Mr. Trump’s efforts to role back federal regulations that were crafted to combat climate change.

The administration is poised to revoke California’s authority to set mileage standards and assert federal power over the issue on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

The president has attacked California Democrats’ over their stance on illegal immigration, particularly “sanctuary” policies, and says local leaders have failed to address rampant homelessness.

He said people come to California, even from abroad, looking for “prestige” and are willing to “pay tremendous taxes,” only to find people living in tents and people living in the entranceways of their buildings.

“And they want to leave,” Mr. Trump said. “The people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up. And we’re looking at it, and we’ll be doing something about it.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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