California governor to draw down guard troops at border

California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops from the state's southern border with Mexico in defiance of the Trump administration's request for support from border states.

Newsom spokesman Nathan Click says about 100 of the 360 troops will remain deployed under California's agreement with the federal government to focus specifically on combating transnational crime such as drug and gun smuggling. Specifically, they will be tasked with providing intelligence on transnational crime and assist with cargo dock operations and searches of commercial trucks for contraband.

Newsom's move comes on the heels of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Grisham, also a Democrat, pulling back her state's troops from the U.S.-Mexico border. The two state's former governors agreed to send troops to the border last April at the Trump administration's request along with Texas and Arizona.

Newsom will reassign roughly 110 troops to beef up California's fire preparation efforts ahead of the next wildfire season and expand the guard's counterdrug task force program. The expansion of the counterdrug task force requires approval from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The original mission, approved by former California Gov. Jerry Brown, was set to end March 31.

Dawn Kamber