SAN DIEGO -- During his first visit to the state since taking office, President Donald Trump lashed out Tuesday at Gov. Jerry Brown, saying the Democrat has done a "terrible" job running the state, leading to exorbitant taxes and sanctuary cities that protect criminals.
"I think Governor Brown has done a very poor job running California," Trump told reporters after touring border wall prototypes in Otay Mesa. "They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control.
"You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities and then the mayor of Oakland goes out and notifies when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is going in to pick them up," he said. "And many of them were criminals with criminal records and very dangerous people ... And no, I think the governor's doing a terrible job running the state of California."
Brown sent a letter to Trump Monday in advance of the president's visit, hailing California as "the sixth-largest economy in the world" and saying the state is "thriving," having added "almost 3 million jobs since the recovery began."
"But our prosperity is not built on isolation," Brown wrote. "Quite the opposite, California thrives because we welcome immigrants and innovators from across the globe."
After Trump's remarks, Brown took to Twitter and wrote, "Thanks for the shout-out, (Trump). But bridges are still better than walls. And California remains the sixth largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America. #Facts."
Trump made his comments in response to a question about Brown's assertion that money for a proposed border wall would be better spent on other projects.
Trump noted in his remarks that he owns property in California, and "the taxes are way, way out of whack."
"And people are gonna start to move pretty soon," he said. "And if you don't have safety, meaning if you don't have this kind of (border) wall, drugs are pouring through in California. You can't do it.
"So the governor of California -- nice guy, I think he's a nice guy, (I) knew him a long time ago -- has not done the job and the taxes are double and triple what they should be. And everybody that lives in California, they know it."