President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 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.
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 NielsenEx-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' 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.