Trump defends shift of FEMA funds, citing Dorian’s change in path

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President Trump on Wednesday defended his administration’s reallocation of money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to address the influx of migrants at the southern border, even as Hurricane Dorian approached the U.S. mainland.

The president said the shifted funds won’t be an issue in responding to Dorian, citing the storm’s change in path farther east.

{mosads}”We’re using much less here than we anticipated. … Originally this was going to be a direct hit into Miami,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office briefing on the hurricane.

“We need help at the border,” he added.

The Trump administration announced last week it would shift $271 million from within the Department of Homeland Security — including emergency relief funds — to pay for more immigration detention beds at the southern border.

Democrats slammed the decision and warned it could hinder response and recovery efforts.

The president on Wednesday expressed optimism that Florida appeared to avoid the worst of Dorian after the storm’s path tracked away from the mainland. 

He voiced confidence that the government would be prepared to provide assistance for Georgia, South Carolina and other states that may bear the brunt of the storm in the coming days.

“We can predict the path, but so far the predicting has been really tough with this particular hurricane,” Trump added.

Dorian was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane on Tuesday and began moving toward the Florida coast after coming to a standstill over the Bahamas, battering the island and killing at least five people.

The U.S. sent a disaster response team to the Bahamas after the hurricane hit the islands, reportedly resulting in the deaths of at least five people, the U.S. Agency for International Development said Tuesday. 

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