Fwd: Pool Report #1

Begin forwarded message:

From: George Condon >
Date: October 7, 2016 at 10:44:18 AM EDT
To: "Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Pool Report #1

Oval Office on storms and voting.

A quick hitter before having to go out to the South Lawn. The president met this morning with Craig Fugate of FEMA, Secretary Jeh Johnson and Deputy Homeland Security Adviser Amy Pope. Met with pool at end of meeting. He said he had just received an update and urged people in the storm's path not to be fooled into thinking the storm was not dangerous as it works its way north. At least three times he urged everyone to "pay attention to what your local officials are telling you." He said that just as in Superstorm Sandy, it is the storm surge that is likely to do the most damage. He expressed concern about Jacksonville on through Georgia. "I emphasize this is still a really dangerous hurricane."

He said he has been in contact with all four governors of the affected states. Fugate, wearing a FEMA blue jacket, was seated on the chair next to him. Pope was on the couch on Fugate's side; Johnson on the couch on the president's side. The president leaned forward as he spoke and vigorously jabbed his fist in the air as he made his points and issued his warnings. "Do not be a holdout here," he said. "We can always replace property. We cannot replace lives." He urged people to contact the Red Cross or go on Whitehouse.gov to find out how to help. And he expressed more concern for Haiti, "one of the poorest countries in the world."

He said he thinks FEMA has sufficient funds for this storm but looked ahead to the lame duck session when there can be discussions about figuring "out how to fund effectively" all the natural disasters, including the flooding in Louisiana. Back on the hurricane, he said, "We are still on the front end of this hurricane; we're not on the back end."

On his trip to Chicago, he said he will not be going to a precinct but will be filling out his ballot and voting early. He also said he looks forward to campaigning.

George Condon, National Journal

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