Trump's FEMA administrator under investigation over use of official cars

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro North Carolina

Administrator Brock Long is under investigation for his use of official government vehicles and staff for his personal weekend travel to and from his home in North Carolina, Politico reported.

A senior administration official confirmed to CNN on Thursday that the inspector general's investigation includes, but may not be limited to, travel using government resources, and that would include Long's travel in government vehicles on the taxpayers' dime. Bottom line is, if we made mistakes in the way a program is run, we'll work with the OIG to get those corrected.

As FEMA director, Long is responsible for the response to Hurricane Florence, which is already impacting the coast of the Carolinas. "Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA, and not part of my track record and my whole entire career".

Long, who took over past year shortly before Hurricane Harvey struck, said he didn't want the investigation to detract from preparations for a major storm was heading for the U.S.

FEMA abruptly ended the question-and-answer session with reporters on Thursday after they pressed Long about the investigation. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Friday.

FEMA's James Joseph said even with all of its assets, there are limits to what it can do. "At this time, we are fully focused on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Florence and the storms in the Pacific", Houlton told ABC News. "FEMA fully cooperates with all investigations conducted by the DHS OIG".

In a statement, FEMA Director of External Affairs Jessica Nalepa referred any questions about the reported investigation to the DHS inspector general's office, and said the disaster agency cooperated with all such investigations.

He said Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen "is confident in the leadership at FEMA and their proven disaster management ability", he said.

Several current and former Trump administration officials have been investigated over their travel expenses. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt were all felled in part due to their own lavish travel scandals. US government watchdogs have also chastised Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over his spending.

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