President Trump on Saturday called on New York and California to tackle what he described as their “tremendous homeless problems” -- suggesting they should ask the White House “politely” for help if they can't sort it out by themselves.
“California and New York must do something about their TREMENDOUS Homeless problems. They are setting records!” he tweeted. "If their Governors can’t handle the situation, which they should be able to do very easily, they must call and “politely” ask for help. Would be so easy with competence!”
The Department of Housing and Urban Development this month reported a 2.7 percent national increase in the homeless population, driven primarily by a spike in California. The report found that the liberal stronghold had seen a 16.4 percent increase in its homeless population.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom responded by saying the state was doing more to combat the challenge, but called on the federal government to put “real skin in the game.”
“Federal leadership matters. Investments made during the Obama administration are proving effective and have contributed to more than a 50% drop in homelessness among veterans since 2010,” Newsom said.
According to that survey, first reported by The Associated Press, the states with the highest rates were New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington. Washington D,C, had a homelessness rate of 94 per 10,000 people, more than twice as high as New York.
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new initiative to end homelessness this month, spending an estimated $120 million in 2020 to get people off the streets in his ongoing effort to tackle homelessness.
Trump, who is from New York, has been vocal in his criticism of both states for failing to get a grip on the homeless crisis. This week he took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accusing her of having lost control of the situation in her district.
“Nancy Pelosi’s District in California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S. when it come to the homeless & crime,” he tweeted.
“It has gotten so bad, so fast - she has lost total control and, along with her equally incompetent governor, Gavin Newsom, it is a very sad sight!” he said.
On Wednesday, he warned Newsom that the feds could get involved if he can’t sort it out.
"Governor Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California. If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved!" Trump tweeted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.