Obama to meet Flint mayor about water crisis
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President Obama is expected to meet with the mayor of Flint, Mich., on Tuesday as the city faces a drinking water crisis.

Mayor Karen Weaver met with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on Tuesday during a pre-planned trip to Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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"I would expect, before the end of the day, that the president would have an opportunity to visit with Mayor Weaver as well while she's here," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during the daily briefing Tuesday.

Earnest though said that Obama will not stop in Flint during a trip to Detroit on Wednesday to discuss the economic recovery of that city. 

Thousands had signed a petition posted on documentary filmmaker Michael Moore's website over the weekend urging Obama to visit Flint. 

Obama's meeting with Flint's mayor comes after the city's water supply was contaminated from rusty lead pipes. The crisis started after the city sought to save money by switching its water source from Detroit to the nearby Flint River.

While much of the blame has fallen on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and the state, federal officials have also been criticized for their response.

The White House Tuesday tapped Dr. Nicole Lurie, Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for preparedness and response, to lead the interagency response to Flint's water crisis.

Obama on Saturday signed an emergency declaration releasing federal funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), following a request Gov. Snyder for help.

"I think the situation is anything but being ignored by the White House," Earnest said. "This is obviously a response that is and should be led by state and local officials, but the federal government is mobilizing significant resources to support that."

Earnest on Tuesday sidestepped questions about the role of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the head of the agency defended its responseReports claimed EPA employees knew about the potential for lead contamination months before elevated levels were found in children.

Earnest noted that the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the toxic tap water.

"There surely is a role" for the EPA to play "in the response effort," he added.