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Gov. Brown To Trump: Focus On High-Speed Rail, Not A Border Wall

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Gov. Jerry Brown presents his final California budget Jan. 10, 2018.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

(AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday invited President Donald Trump to visit the state's high-speed rail construction projects while he is in the state this week to examine prototypes of the wall he wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"You see, in California we are focusing on bridges, not walls. And that's more than just a figure of speech," Brown said in a letter sent to Trump, who is scheduled to arrive Tuesday on his first visit to California as president.

Trump's visit comes just days after his Justice Department sued to block California laws designed to protect people living in the U.S. illegally and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions followed up with a speech in Sacramento that was immediately denounced by Brown, who accused the Trump administration of being "full of liars."

Brown, a Democrat, made no mention of that dispute in his invitation letter, which noted past presidential visits to California by George W. Bush, Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson and emphasized the strength of California's economy and its job growth.

"After you've examined your wall prototypes on the border, I invite you to head north to the Central Valley — the heart of California. Here in cities like Fresno and Madera more than a dozen bridges are being built for the nation's first and only High-Speed Rail line," Brown wrote.

He said California thrives "because we welcome immigrants and innovators from across the globe."

The high-speed rail project has put 1,700 people to work, Brown wrote.

"We have a world-class train system under construction. We invite you to come aboard and truly 'Make America Great Again,'" the letter said.

The rail project was approved by voters in 2008 but has experienced repeated cost overruns and delays. Last week the High Speed Rail Authority revealed the project's price tag increased by 20 percent, to a total of $77 billion.


Gov. Brown Letter To President Donald Trump

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