High-Speed Rail

Trump slams California’s ‘fast train’ as Gavin Newsom leads 16 states suing over border wall

President Donald Trump hit back Tuesday at California’s latest lawsuit against his administration in his trademark way — through Twitter.

In two tweets early Tuesday morning, Trump criticized California and the other 15 states filing suit, calling them the “mostly ... Open Border Democrats and the Radical Left.” He said California “seems in charge” and implied state officials had no room to criticize him on wall spending due to the billions spent on the California High Speed Rail Project.

“The failed Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting, is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed Wall!” Trump said.

The lawsuit, which California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Friday, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Monday evening. Trump announced Friday that he is declaring a national emergency to divert funds from military construction projects to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border after Congress did not budget the amount he wanted.

California’s lawsuit, its 46th against the Trump administration, argues that border crossings are at historic lows and that Trump overstepped his power by trying to redirect money that Congress denied him in its most recent budget agreement.

“President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up ‘national emergency’ in order to seize power and undermine the Constitution,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “This ‘emergency’ is a national disgrace. Rather than focusing on fighting the real vulnerabilities facing Americans, the President is using the powers of America’s highest office to fan the flames of nativism and xenophobia. Our message to the White House is clear: California will not be part of this political theater. We will see you in court.”

Newsom announced in his State of the State speech last week that he will focus on finishing the high-speed rail line currently under construction that will run 171 miles through the Valley from Merced to Bakersfield, rather than the original plan to connect from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. The price of the rail has drastically increased, from an originally estimated $45 billion to $77 billion.

Trump’s early

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Kate Irby is based in Washington, D.C. and reports on issues important to McClatchy’s California newspapers, including the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee. She previously reported on breaking news in D.C., politics in Florida for the Bradenton Herald and politics in Ohio for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.