By Jill Nolin, CNHI State Reporter
ATLANTA – President Donald Trump may come to Georgia as part of a trip to see the storm-torn areas left in Hurricane Michael’s wake.
“We do anticipate, perhaps, that the president will come and view portions of our state that were affected,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday. “We feel certain that he probably will go to Florida. We are hopeful that if he goes to Florida, he will also see fit to come to Georgia and see the effected areas here.”
Deal said he had not received confirmation of a presidential visit. Other media outlets are reporting that White House officials told reporters aboard Air Force One that visits to Florida and Georgia early next week are likely.
Deal said he talked to Trump while the president was aboard Air Force One.
“I thought that was exceptionally nice of him to go out of his way to talk to me personally, and I complimented him and I complimented him for his secretaries of his various agencies,” Deal said.
Trump declared a federal state of emergency in Georgia Thursday. He approved debris removal and other aid for 31 counties, including Thomas and Colquitt. More limited assistance was granted for dozens of other counties, including Baldwin, Tift and Lowndes. Deal had declared a state of emergency for 108 counties.
The storm may bring the president to Georgia, but it kept the vice president away – delaying his trip a second time. Vice President Mike Pence had planned to hold a fundraiser in Atlanta for Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Thursday. Hurricane Florence caused him to cancel a previous trip last month.
Kemp, a Republican, is in a close race for governor with Democrat Stacey Abrams. The election is Nov. 6.
Jill Nolin covers the Georgia Statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.