President Donald Trump Monday retweeted warnings and updates on Hurricane Dorian ahead of a U.S. Labor Day holiday outing to his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, the same course he played on Saturday.
Trump hit the links over the long holiday weekend after canceling a trip to Poland to oversee the federal government's disaster response to the storm. Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Poland in Trump's place to attend a commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II.
Slow moving storm
"The latest track on Dorian has it a little more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach," said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Monday morning. "It is essentially stalled out, it's moving about one mile (1.6 kilometers) per hour, and that was predicted to happen for most of today. And then the forecasts are that it will then begin a descent north, obviously, when and how that happens is going to be critical for impacts in the state of Florida," he added. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for parts of Palm Beach and Martin counties, which include Mar-a-Lago, the president's personal resort.
On Sunday, Trump visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington. He received a briefing from senior members of his administration, along with Governor DeSantis, and Governors Brian Kemp of Georgia, Roy Cooper of North Carolina,and Henry McMaster of South Carolina on federal and state efforts to prepare for and respond to Dorian.
The storm was downgraded Monday to a Category 4 system on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity. Dorian originally was a more powerful Category 5 storm with winds of 257 kilometers per hour as it pounded the Bahamas.
Dorian is considered the strongest storm on the planet this year. Trump made headlines Sunday when he said he's not sure he "ever even heard of a Category 5" hurricane, despite three such storms prior to Hurricane Dorian having threatened the country since he took office.
"We don't even know what's coming at us. All we know is it's possibly the biggest. I have – I'm not sure that I've ever even heard of a Category 5. I knew it existed." Trump said at a briefing with officials at FEMA's headquarters. "That's the ultimate, and that's what we have unfortunately," he added.
Residents on the southern U.S. east coast have been warned to prepare for hurricane-force winds. Forecasts vary about where it may make landfall.
In addition to tweets about the storm, Trump tweeted attacks on the media and his political opponents including the Democrats, former FBI Director James Comey and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. The organized labor leader said in an interview that unions will not support the president's proposed United States/Mexico/Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) as it stands today because it is "unenforceable."