White House officials discussing potential replacements for FEMA chief


FEMA Director Brock Long not only has Florence to worry about but an investigation as well.

In a statement, FEMA Director of External Affairs Jessica Nalepa referred any questions about the reported investigation to the DHS inspector general's office, and said the disaster agency cooperated with all such investigations.

Long said at a press conference Thursday morning that he will "fully cooperate" in an investigation into his alleged misuse of government resources for travel, an issue that has roiled several other former Trump Cabinet secretaries.

Long also said in a Thursday press briefing that he "would never intentionally run a program incorrectly" and meant to cooperate with the investigation.

"I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly", he said.

"Bottom line is if we made mistakes in the way the program was run then we will work with the OIG to get those corrected". Officials report that his aides went with Long to his weekend trips to Hickory and stayed at a hotel paid for by taxpayers. "We will work with the OIG [office of the inspector general]".

Houlton said in a statement that Homeland Security is "fully focused on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Florence and the storms in the Pacific".

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Long and his agency have been widely criticized for the Trump administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year, where, studies show, at least 3,000 people died as a result of the storm.

If their homes are damaged, FEMA has options beyond standard temporary trailers for housing, agency officials said.

"Having worked directly with him for over a year, I know Administrator Long to be an experienced and respected emergency manager".

"All questions about any potential investigation by the Office of the Inspector General should be directed to the IG".

As the FEMA administrator, Long serves as the head of the US disaster response.

The news of an DHS IG investigation into Long comes as the country prepares for Hurricane Florence, a Category 2 hurricane that's expected to hit the Carolina coasts hard. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt were all felled in part due to their own lavish travel scandals.