Finnish Leader: No Idea Where Trump Got His 'Raking' Idea

Finland's president says he didn't mention it during chat on forest management
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2018 2:48 AM CST

(Newser) – Finland's president isn't sure where President Trump got the idea that raking is part of his country's routine for managing its substantial forests. Trump told reporters Saturday while visiting the ruins of the northern California town where a fire killed at least 76 people that wildfires weren't a problem in Finland because crews "spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things" to clear forest floors. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview published Sunday in the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper that he spoke briefly with Trump about forest management on Nov. 11, when they both were in Paris for Armistice Day events.

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Niinisto said their conversation focused on the California wildfires and the surveillance system Finland uses to monitor forests for fires, the AP reports. He remembered telling Trump that "we take care of our forests," but couldn't recall raking coming up. Trump's comment generated amusement on social media in Finland, which manages its vast forests with scientific seriousness. Some posted pictures of themselves raking the forests and joked about "raking America great again," while others pointed out that they "don't exactly manicure" the forests that cover more than 70% of the country, the BBC reports. (Trump said seeing the devastation Saturday didn't change his mind about climate change.)

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