Adel – President Donald Trump hasn’t been in office for a week, and he’s already talked twice to Gov. Nathan Deal about the deadly storms that struck south Georgia over the weekend.
The governor said Wednesday he talked to Trump a second time as he was touring a trailer park in this Georgia town where seven people were killed, many side-by-side with loved ones.
It was a brief but cordial conversation with Trump, who informed him the Federal Emergency Management Agency had signed off on federal aid for an earlier round of tornadoes that struck Albany on Jan. 2.
“My team tells me we’ve approved your recommendation in record time,” Deal said Trump told him. The governor then urged him to quickly approve a second disaster request for the violent storms that struck over the weekend, killing at least 15 in Georgia.
(The 23-day span was not the fastest disaster declaration even for Trump's administration. The president late Wednesday declared the storms that struck Mississippi on Friday and Saturday were federal disasters.)
“He was very upbeat, very concerned about the loss of life. He did not know how large the number was – he thought it was eight, and I told him it was larger than that,” said Deal. “He expressed his condolences to the people here in Georgia and I am just very thankful.”
Speaking to reporters in Adel, Deal then drew a parallel with Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
“This is the second phone call I've received from the president of the United States regarding these tornadoes,” said Deal. “I can tell you, this is my seventh year as governor of this state. And we've had other tragedies in the past. This is the first time I've spoken with the president about these types of circumstances. I'm very pleased with his attention to these challenges.”