Trump says administration is 'absolutely and totally prepared' for Hurricane Florence

Trump says administration is 'absolutely and totally prepared' for Hurricane Florence
© ABC News

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE said Tuesday his administration is "absolutely and totally prepared" to respond to Hurricane Florence, which is expected to cause widespread devastation on the East Coast.

"Everybody is ready," Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews after returning from a Sept. 11 memorial event in Pennsylvania.

The president is seeking to show preparation in advance of the storm after facing enormous backlash over his handling of Hurricane Maria, which left more than 3,000 people dead last year in Puerto Rico.

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Trump has scrapped two campaign rallies planned for later this week and is expected to receive a hurricane preparedness briefing later Tuesday with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump taps FEMA official to lead agency Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? MORE and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long.

Hurricane Florence has intensified in recent days, becoming a Category 4 storm as it barrels toward the Southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts. The National Hurricane Center called the storm "extremely dangerous" and more than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate those areas.

Trump on Monday issued a warning to people in the storm's path.

"My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!" he tweeted.