Biden says he’ll meet DeSantis on Florida trip, DeSantis’ spokesman suggests not

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said he will meet with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis when he visits the state on Saturday to survey damage from this week’s Hurricane Idalia.

But DeSantis’s spokesman, Jeremy Redfern, said there were no plans for the two men to meet.

Biden, a Democrat seeking a second term, has asked for billions dollars in additional emergency funding following a string of severe weather events. DeSantis, a Republican, is seeking his party’s nomination to challenge Biden in the November 2024 presidential election.

“We don’t have any plans for the Governor to meet with the President tomorrow,” Redfern said in an email. “In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.”

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for clarification.

Biden has spoken to DeSantis repeatedly on the phone this week about the storm. He said on Wednesday that he did not see politics at play in his conversations with the Florida governor.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnitcutt, Susan Heavey and Jeff Mason; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jonathan Oatis)

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