Trump says 'Mar-a-Lago can handle itself' as Dorian bears down on Florida

President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE indicated Friday that he wasn’t worried about his Mar-a-Lago resort as Hurricane Dorian bears down on southern Florida.

“Mar-a-Lago can handle itself. It’s a very powerful place,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for Camp David.

Trump also said that he would return to Washington on Sunday afternoon before Labor Day to meet with officials at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters on federal preparedness and recovery efforts.

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“It could be a big one,” Trump told reporters. “It’s one of the biggest hurricanes this year.”

“It could be very devastating,” the president warned.

Trump’s remarks came after reports noted that his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Palm Beach, where the president often spends weekends, could be in the direct path of the storm.

Dorian is a Category 3 storm but is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 before making landfall in Florida, which is likely to be sometime late Monday or early Tuesday morning.  

Trump insisted that his administration would be prepared to respond to the storm. He has previously faced criticism for his response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017.

Trump said he spoke with Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R) earlier Friday about the efforts, and said he would be joined by “experts” and FEMA officials while at Camp David.

“We’re working very hard,” Trump said, noting FEMA officials are on the ground in Florida. 

“We have a lot of experts with us,” he said of the guests this weekend at Camp David. “We have a lot of the FEMA people.”

Trump said he would return to Washington for the meeting at FEMA headquarters on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.