Donald Trump is gone from Twitter. So are his claims that ‘California is going to hell’
“California is going to hell,” President Trump tweeted in October.
Since launching @realDonaldTrump in 2009, the president has tweeted “California” in at least 221 missives over the nearly 12-year life of his popular handle, according to a Times analysis.
That was until Twitter “permanently suspended” the president’s account after he incited a riotous mob of his supporters, who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, resulting in at least five deaths — including that of a police officer — and ongoing threats of violence across the nation.
The Times has been tracking the president’s tweets since 2016 and had archived 56,118 of the messages, including some deleted ones, as of 10:44 a.m. EST Friday, when his last tweet was sent just a few hours before the Twitter ban.
The analysis shows the president’s fraught relationship with California as he attacked its political leaders, criticized its policies and falsely alleged irregularities in its voting — especially as California members of the U.S. House held an investigation and hearings that led to his impeachment in 2019.
The number of times he has mentioned California is topped only by swing states such as Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, among a few others.
Of course, California is the nation’s most populous state, so receiving the president’s attention isn’t a surprise.
But it ranks near the bottom of the list of states when population is considered proportionally to its mentions. New Hampshire and Iowa — important states in presidential elections — appeared in Trump’s feeds at higher rates as a proportion of their voting populations, for example.
Statistics aside, in the messages directed at California — especially since October 2019, when the impeachment case began to gather steam — Trump offered some stinging rebukes.
The relationship was benign at first, with the first direct mention of California two years after the account was launched in 2009: “Congratulations to Alyssa Campanella, Miss California---our new MIss USA!” he tweeted June 20, 2011.
Among his first 20 “California” tweets were three plugs for his golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles.
But his mood soured around 2012, when Trump began attacking the state’s energy policies and tying them to then-President Obama.
“California gas prices going thru the roof, others to follow. An election-losing event for Obama,” he tweeted Oct. 12, 2012.
“.@PhilMickels0n_ is right—California taxes are far too high. It’s ridiculous,” he tweeted Jan. 25, 2013.
Though he directly mentions “California” 221 times, his attacks on its politicians and key state issues — like wildfires and homelessness — went beyond that. There were 424 tweets with mentions of such keywords.
Impeachment, Schiff and Pelosi
More than half of the president’s tweets about the state came in the form of attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank).
Schiff, who led the impeachment case against the president, was mentioned at least 240 times in complaints from the president.
“Set up by Schiff’s lies & leaks,” Trump vented in February.
“There is another Russia, Russia, Russia meeting today. It is headed up by corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, so I wouldn’t expect too much!” he tweeted in March.
On at least four occasions, he attacked Pelosi — the only woman to serve as speaker of the House — as “Crazy Nancy.”
Homelessness issue a target
In 2019, Trump spent Christmas Day threatening the governor: “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!” he wrote.
The crisis across the state was the subject of at least a dozen messages from Trump in the last two years, and Trump used it to attack other political figures, such as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“The Mayor of Los Angeles, @ericgarcetti, is dealing with us trying to get the Federal Government to fix the terrible problem he and the Dems have caused with the homeless, and the horrendous effects it is having on the City, which is a mess. I then watch him talk ‘trash’ on me!” Trump wrote in March.
Sometimes his tweets included a sweeping indictment of the state and its problems and leaders — at all levels.
“California leads the nation, by far, in both the number of homeless people, and the percentage increase in the homeless population — two terrible stats,” he wrote in December 2019. “Crazy Nancy should focus on that in her very down district, and helping her incompetent governor with the big homeless problem!”
Amid a historically destructive wildfire season in October, he tweeted: “Vote TRUMP California. No more blackouts, shutdowns, ridiculous forrest fires, or water ‘rationing’ (coming soon). We can win in California NOW!”
Four days later, the president added to his complaint: “Turn California around. No more shutdowns, rolling blackouts, forest fires (management), or water rationing (because millions of gallons are stupidly routed out into the Pacific Ocean). VOTE TRUMP!”
The president is now without his favored platform with less than two weeks in office as he is facing calls for his resignation and the threat of a second impeachment.
One of his final direct messages about California came Oct. 26, just one week before the election in which he’d be ousted: “New York, California, Illinois. People are FLEEING, Taxes and Crime are going through the roof. VOTE TRUMP, I will turn it around, and FAST!”
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.