White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert addressed reporters about Hurricane Irma Monday. Irma has now been downgraded to a tropical storm and will soon be a tropical depression. With the storm weakening, the concern has turned to flooding in the southeast States. Experts predict "life-threatening" storm surges. Millions of Floridians are without power and hundreds of thousands of people remain in shelters.
At Monday's presser, Bossert praised the relief effort to yet another devastating hurricane in two weeks as "the best integrative, full-scale response effort in our nation's history."
CNN's Jim Acosta wasn't completely satisfied with the White House's response. When he was called on he wanted to know whether the administration would admit that climate change had something to do with the devastation. If so, should homeland security be placing a greater emphasis on the phenomenon, as the last administration had?
“When you see three category 4 hurricanes all on the same map at the same time, does the thought occur to you, ‘Jeez, you know, maybe there is something to this climate change thing and its connection to powerful hurricanes?’ Or do you just separate the two and say, ‘Boy, these are a lot of hurricanes coming our way’?”
Bossert did not address whether he believed climate change was the ultimate cause of the storms, but noted that scientists were "dead on" when they predicted that Irma would be an unusually strong and powerful hurricane season.
He teased "a larger trend analysis" at a later date.