Instead, Pete Gaynor continues to serve as acting FEMA Administrator in an administration increasingly full of acting titles. Gaynor joined the agency in late October 2018 after being confirmed by the Senate as a deputy administrator. Dorian is his first agency hurricane.
Trump noted that he likes cabinet secretaries and other advisers with the word "acting" in front of their titles because it gives him more "flexibility", but experts warn that it could hurt in the long run because permanent officials provide administrations with stability.
Trump warned that the storm "looks like it could be an absolute monster." He also oddly said he would hit the dead center – but it's not clear what he meant by hitting the dead center. He has multiple properties in Florida, including his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach – directly in the storm's forecast current trip.
The White House posted photos Friday of Trump acquainted with a team of advisers.
Trump selected Biard as permanent administrator in February, though it took several months before the White House officially submitted its nomination to the Senate. Since then, Bayard's nomination has disappeared on Capitol Hill for reasons that remain unclear. It was approved by the Homeland Security Committee in June but is still awaiting a full Senate vote.
The White House declined to comment on the status of FEMA's appointment.
Gaynor's resume includes more than a decade in emergency management, most notably Rhode Island, where he manages the state's emergency management agency for blizzards and tropical storms, according to his biography.
During a recent hearing, Gaynor told lawmakers that the agency's workforce was fully recruited, but noted that temporary staff – helping with disasters – were cut by more than 2,000 people.
"It was a struggle for FEMA to ensure that we had enough responsible disasters in the reserve," Gaynor testifies, adding later that FEMA "trained a thousand reservists to be ready for hurricane season" last spring.
This hearing occurred 11 days after the start of the hurricane season.
Another official who usually helps to control a president through a hurricane is the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In the Trump administration, this is also a working position.
Trump has selected Kevin McAleen as department chair after Nielsen resigned in April. McLean – who was set to resign at one point this summer because of Trump's threat to deport "millions" of undocumented immigrants – travels to El Salvador this week but returns to Washington on Friday to help the president monitor the hurricane.
McAleenan plans to be at FEMA over the weekend, according to a DHS official.
“DHS is using all its resources to prepare for Hurricane Dorian – an approach that will be implemented locally, state-run and supported by federal government. "McAleen said in a statement Friday." If you're on the road, now is the time to prepare. Please know your evacuation and shelter plan, discuss your plan with your family and friends, gather the supplies you need – including medicines and include a plan for your pets. "
The Homeland Security Advisor, who plays a key role in informing President and overseeing national disaster recovery efforts also play a diminished role. ”Rear Adm. Peter Brown, who holds the title, is not an actor, but is highly reticent, many officials told CNN. was occupied by Tom Bossert interacts and reports directly to the president, regularly informing reporters and making numerous television appearances, a former lawyer who was a deputy homeland security adviser during the Bush administration and as a homeland security advisor to Trump. as the hurricanes approach the U.S. But the Bosster was pushed last April by newly installed Homeland Security Advisor John Bolton – one of the first steps Bolton took to work.
He then lowered the position more than once, but twice – a detail that had not previously been made public.
While formerly a domestic security advisor had a heavy weight, he now ranks as a deputy national security adviser. Brown, the current advisor, reports to Bolton, not Trump.
National Security Council spokesman Gareth Marquis said the structure was "optimized for efficiency". He added that Brown had previously been responsible for disasters and emergency operations as commander of Coast Guard operations in the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, including Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
On Friday, Trump approved an emergency declaration for the state of Florida.
As Florida's east coast was stolen for Dorian's arrival on Friday, State Governor Ron Desantes gave a televised briefing on state preparation, along with state and local officials. The new governor – who defeated Andrew Guillaume in the race last fall – is also untested; Dorian will be the first major storm she faces as the country's chief executive.
DeSantis assured the Floridians that he was prepared and in touch with Trump.
"I spoke with the president Wednesday night," DeSantis said. "The administration was great and they assured that they would provide all the necessary resources. The president had to leave the country and cancel this trip because I think the administration recognizes that this is a really, really serious event."
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the location of President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.
Rene Marsh, Geneva Sands and Greg Wallace contributed to this report.