Biden Returns to Luxury Lake Tahoe Vacation After 6-Hour Jaunt to Devastated Maui

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August 22, 2023

President Joe Biden returned to his vacation on Lake Tahoe in Nevada Tuesday morning after a six-hour visit to Hawaii, where more than 800 people remain missing in the aftermath of devastating wildfires.

Biden spent roughly six hours on Maui, where wildfires earlier this month claimed more than 100 lives. He arrived at the devastated neighborhood of Lahaina around noon local time and left for the airport around 4 p.m., according to the president's schedule.

At least 115 have died and nearly 1,000 people remain missing—a figure that Biden's FEMA chief failed to explain this week.

After Biden's visit to Hawaii, where he spoke to survivors of the disaster, the president flew directly to Nevada to resume his vacation at billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer's $18 million lakefront mansion.

Biden is staying with his family, including his son Hunter, during his stay at the mansion. Local Nevada officials are investigating after receiving complaints that Steyer may have violated local housing ordinances by renting out the mansion. The White House said the president paid a fair market price for his weeklong stay at the home.

Biden is facing criticism for comments he made during his visit to Hawaii. He told a crowd of survivors that he "has a little sense" of what it's like "to lose a home" after a small fire broke out in his kitchen in 2004.

"I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, what it’s like to lose a home," Biden said Monday.

Biden said firefighters "ran into flames" and that he "almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette, and my cat." The Delaware fire department that responded to the 2004 blaze, however, last year said the fire was "insignificant" and "was contained in 20 minutes." They did not report running into any fire, as it was contained to the kitchen.

Biden faced criticism last week for shrugging off questions about the wildfires amid criticism over his leadership during the disaster. After he first addressed the disaster two weeks ago, Biden went four days without commenting on it again.

Published under: Hawaii , Joe Biden