WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The Trump administration is closely monitoring the developments in Texas as Hurricane Harvey approaches land.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted a photo of him talking with President Donald Trump on the phone.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 24, 2017
Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said his office is in close contact with FEMA and they are prepared to assist state and local responders if needed.
This is the Trump administration’s first major natural disaster and they are heading into it without an appointed FEMA Director or Homeland Security Secretary. The previous Secretary, Gen. John Kelly, is now the president’s Chief of Staff.
“We are in great shape having General Kelly sitting next to the president throughout this process and probably no better chief of staff for the president during the hurricane season,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
But the White House is still dealing with a storm of different kind – the backlash from the president’s response to the violent Charlottesvill protests two weeks ago.
“I think there’s blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it,” President Trump said at the time.
Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, said he faced enormous pressure to quit after that response. Cohn was also at the president’s side when Mr. Trump said that some of the people marching with the white supremacists were “very fine people.”
Friday morning, Cohn told the Financial Times that the Trump administration “must do better” in condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists. He added that “citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK.”
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also criticized the president’s response telling BBC Radio that Mr. Trump “got it totally wrong.” He also said it was a “great shame” that the president was unable to make a distinction between neo-Nazis and anti-fascist protesters.