Donald Trump Fires Up Farmers in Fresno: ‘We’re Going to Solve Your Water Problem’

Farmers for Trump AP Chris Carlson
AP/Chris Carlson

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump held two rallies in California on Friday ahead of the June 7th primary.

In the morning, Trump fired up the crowd in Fresno when he vowed to solve their water problem. But at his afternoon rally in San Diego, it was the protesters outside that were fired up, with fights breaking out and police dressed in riot gear making several arrests

Trump received a cheerful welcome at the Selling Arena in Fresno, California Friday morning from roughly 5,000 supporters. The billionaire, who met with farmers prior to his rally, promised to help them get water for agriculture.

“There is no drought,” Trump declared. “We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea.”

“The environmentalists don’t know why,” Trump said, suggesting it’s to save a three-inch fish. “You have some people that really just want to get in the way.”

“I want clean air and clean water,” Trump said, adding his environmental standards are very simple.

WPIX, the local CBS affiliate, explained the water issue that has California farmers sparring with environmentalists:

Trump appeared to be referring to water that runs naturally from the Sacramento River to the San Francisco Bay and then to the ocean. Some farmers want more of that flow captured and diverted to them. The three-inch Delta smelt is a native California fish on the brink of extinction. The smelt has become an emblem in the state’s battles over environmental laws and water distribution.

Politically influential rural water districts and well-off corporate farmers in and around California’s Central Valley have been pushing back against longstanding federal laws protecting endangered fish and other species, saying federal efforts to make sure endangered native fish have enough water is short-changing farmers of the water they want and need for crops.

Water authorities say they can’t do it because of the water rights of those upstream of the farmers, and because of the minimum-water allowances needed by endangered species in the bay and by wildlife in general.

The farm lobby, a heavyweight player in California’s water wars, also is seeking federal and state approval for billions of dollars in new water tunnels, dams, water distribution plans, and other projects.

In Fresno, roughly a dozen protesters were escorted out of the venue after interrupting Trump’s speech; however, outside of Trump’s second rally of the day in San Diego, protesters clashed with police.

Trump spoke to thousands in San Diego later on Friday afternoon at the San Diego Convention Center Corporation.

Following Trump’s speech, police made several arrests and were dressed in riot gear as they clashed with protesters who threw bottles at them. Protesters were seen waving the Mexican flag.


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