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“President Joe Biden answered Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
“President Joe Biden answered on camera for the first time during his conversation with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Saturday morning as they surveyed the hurricane Ida’s damage.
“I don’t know,” Joe Biden said in response to a shouted question as he and First Lady Jill Biden climbed into Marine One about what had happened in their meeting with the governor. “He won’t be there.”
The message Joe Biden gave to DeSantis on Saturday morning was, “We’ll take care of Florida.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell said Saturday that FEMA employees were not briefed on security concerns expressed by the governor’s office on Friday.
Criswell said on Saturday, “I have teams that have been on the ground since before my arrival, and the communities we are visiting today, we have not heard any concerns about any impacts from any actions.”
The official spoke up after DeSantis’ office announced that he would not meet with Biden and mentioned how the president’s increased security would hinder reentry efforts.
DeSantis’ press secretary Jeremy Redfern told ABC News in a statement on Friday, “There is no plan for a meeting with the governor tomorrow.” “In these rural communities, and immediately after the impact, security preparations for reentry efforts are ongoing to stop them.”
Asked Saturday morning if he agrees that the security system is not strong enough, Biden asked with a smile, “Do you?”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Saturday that the governor’s invitation is still in place.
She said, “Certainly, the President’s welcome with him today.” Both political leaders had put politics aside last year when Biden visited Florida to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Eta – but it was before DeSantis declared his bid for president in 2024.
Although DeSantis won’t be seen with Biden during the Sunshine State tour, Senator Rick Scott and Representative Kat Cammack, both Florida Republicans, will be present.
In order to meet with county officials and families who had been devastated by Hurricane Ida, Scott, who is up for reelection next year, tweeted that he and Biden would travel to Suwannee County together. Asserting that the Federal Disaster Responsibility Act will assist Floridians and Americans, Scott also said he would persuade Biden to endorse it.
To find out if Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will be accompanying Biden on the state tour, ABC News has contacted his office.