15:59 GMT +318 July 2019
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    Trump Urges California to Give Back ‘Wasted’ Billions for 'Failed' Train Project

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – President Donald Trump escalated a feud with California on Wednesday by demanding that the US state repay $3.5 billion from a failed high-speed rail project that was to have linked Los Angeles (LA) and San Francisco.

    "California now wants to scale back their already failed "fast train" project by substantially shortening the distance so that it no longer goes from LA to San Francisco," Trump said in a statement on Twitter. "A different deal and record cost overruns. Send the Federal Government back the Billions of Dollars WASTED!"

    Trump’s demand for the $35 billion refund followed word from the Transportation Department that another $1 billion in federal funds earmarked for the project would never be sent. The department notified the state of its decision in a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority that it published on its website late on Tuesday.

    READ MORE: Coalition of 16 US States Sue Trump Administration Over Emergency Declaration

    California Governor Gavin Newsom accused the Trump administration of retaliating against the state over its lawsuit seeking to stop construction of a wall on the Mexican border.

    This came after Trump declared a national emergency on the US border after Congress refused to fund a proposed wall on the Mexican border and ordered money diverted from other projects to fund the barrier.

    The US president initially linked the border wall and California bullet train in a tweet earlier in the week, claiming the rail project was hundreds of times more expensive than "the desperately needed Wall!"

    Completing the proposed train link between Los Angeles and San Francisco would cost at least $100 billion — far more than initial estimates of $40 billion, according to published reports.

    Newsom, the newly elected California governor, has said the rail project is too expensive to link the two big cities and is suggesting the project be scaled back.


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