Biden ‘Looking At’ Visiting Maui While Planning Six-Day Mystery Trip To Nevada

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden is set to travel to Nevada for six days starting Friday, but he has made no plans to visit Maui, the Hawaiian island devastated by wildfires.

The president’s plans in Nevada — a battleground state — have not been made publicly available, despite being days away from his flight. Local reports indicate he will be in Lake Tahoe, but that there are no major events scheduled in the area.

The White House refused to respond to several inquiries from the Daily Caller on his itinerary.

Meanwhile, Biden has been relatively silent on Maui. The president said Sunday that his administration would be “looking into” going to Hawaii, and mouthed he had “no comment” on the nearly 100-person death toll. (RELATED: Beach-Lounging Biden Has ‘No Comment’ As Death Toll In Maui Nears 100)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced questions from NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell on whether Biden was “given any advice that he should not speak about Hawaii at this point,” as the president has only made remarks at the top of a pre-planned speech on Thursday. The president issued a disaster declaration for the island Thursday, saying the federal government is “working as quickly as possible.”

Biden has faced criticism for his lack of action, with one Hawaiian legislator blasting the president despite having campaigned for him.

“I campaigned for you,” former Hawaii legislator Kaniela Ing said Monday, before deleting the post. “Now, when I lose dozens of my friends, family, and neighbors. This?”

U.S. Treasury Department assistant secretary for public affairs under Trump said, “Biden doesn’t give AF about the suffering people of Maui. Or the suffering people of East Palestine, Ohio. Or the suffering people in border towns. Or the suffering people anywhere in America.”

“You could expect to hear from the President on this issue,” Jean-Pierre said Monday, adding that she didn’t have anything to announce “at this time.”

Biden did tweet that the administration would be issuing $700 per resident recovering from the disaster. The few hundred dollars sparked more outrage, with users pointing to how much money he allocated for Ukraine.

Vice President Kamala Harris said she and Biden would not be traveling to the island out of concern of causing a distraction.

“We don’t want to distract from the resources that need to go in to the victims of this tragedy, and of course, the needs of the first responders have to be able to focus on that issue and not worry about focusing on us [because] we’re there,” Harris said Friday.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell argued Biden is giving her “space.”

“I think right now our focus is on making sure that we are doing everything we can to account for everybody that has been unaccounted for. And the President has given me the space to make sure I’m bringing in all of the appropriate federal personnel and resources to do that. And so, we will continue to do that,” Criswell said.

Charred remains of a burned neighbourhood is seen in the aftermath of a wildfire, in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 14, 2023. 
(Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

Although not on the ground, Biden is working with officials at the site and has been in contact with Criswell, Democratic Hawaii Governor Josh Green and Democratic Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono, Jean-Pierre said.

“He dispatched the FEMA Administrator, the U.S. Fire Administrator, and other officials to work with state and local officials to assess the needs on the ground,” she continued. “They are providing regular updates to him and the White House team.”