President Trump to visit as N. Carolina governor pleads for patience

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday visited North and SC, where flood levels continue to rise in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

"Some of the hardest work is taking place right now, even though it's nice and lovely and sunny", the president said at the morning briefing at a military base.

When Trump learned that the area around the lake was fine, he neglected to mention his golf club, but responded, "I love that area". The president has a golf club on the shores of the lake.

Also during the briefing, the president asked a state official, "How is Lake Norman doing?"

The Sandersons said they raised their home in 1999 after Hurricane Floyd almost wiped it out.

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"We want to make sure everyone has adequate time to evacuate if these waters continue to rise and crest at the forecasted levels", he said.

As Florence was bearing down on the Carolinas last week, Trump reignited the controversy over his handling of Maria by disputing the official death toll of 2,975 in the USA territory, which was compiled by public health experts at George Washington University.

The military base is not far from New Bern, one of the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. Officials cautioned that the flooding is not over yet. Trump was greeted by the local pastor.

Gov. Roy Cooper told a news conference Tuesday is was hard for residents to leave home, and it's even harder for them to wait to go back.

A day earlier, the President reiterated the strength of the federal response, though imbued his statement with a sense of political grievance.

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Trump applauded Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for doing a "great job, incredible job" in responding to the hurricane. Trump's motorcade then drove through a storm-damaged neighborhood where piles of water-logged sofa cushions, mattresses and downed trees lined streets and boats lay on their sides after washing up along a grassy shore. He's already tweeted that any criticism of the government response is a "total lie". He was accused at moments of appearing overly congratulatory, even as conditions remained dire.

Mr. Trump didn't indicate he would direct the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct any further review of the situation, saying, "Well, it would seem the Federal Bureau of Investigation really doesn't do that". He later returned to the state to meet with displaced families.

While some Twitter users were perplexed by the way the president described the hurricane, others mocked it by placing it against other notable quotes from past presidents like John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Presidents have long sought to use natural disasters as a way to project executive leadership, often in a setting where politics are set aside. Add Hurricane Florence as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Hurricane Florence news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

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