Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told reporters at a press conference that President Barack Obama could not commit to a visit to the flood-ravaged state of Louisiana.
“As I said, the president can’t be everywhere, I know he has a very busy schedule this fall and in the coming days,” Johnson said.
He guaranteed Louisiana’s residents that Obama was supervising the flooding disaster from his vacation home.
“When you are the chief executive of the entire U.S. government, you can’t be everywhere including places you would like to be,” he said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, supported Obama’s decision to not visit, telling reporters that he was receiving the federal aid the state needed.
“The president is welcome to visit whenever he wants to visit,” he said. “When he wants to visit we’re going to receive him and we’re going to do whatever’s necessary to make sure that that visit goes off without a hitch.”
Edwards says that he is in touch with Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett to discuss the situation and the security required for a president to visit would drain resources needed to assist the flood victims.
“Quite frankly, that’s not something I want to go through right now,” he said. “While the president is welcome to visit, I would just assume he give us another week or two, get back to a greater sense of normalcy and then he can visit.”