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May 21, 2013

President Obama to address tornadoes in Oklahoma

President Obama will deliver remarks at 10 a.m. today from the White House on the tornadoes and severe weather that ripped through Oklahoma Sunday night and Monday, killing dozens.

The White House says Obama continued to receive updates overnight from his team on the ongoing response. He also spoke Monday with Gov. Mary Fallin and Rep. Tom Cole "to express his concern for those who had been impacted and his deep condolences for the many who have lost loved ones as a result of the horrible tornados."

The White House says Obama "praised the brave first responders, and made clear that the country would stand behind the people of Oklahoma as they continued to respond and recover."

Obama overnight approved a disaster declaration for Oklahoma, making federal funding available to support individuals, as well as additional federal assistance to support response and recovery efforts.

This morning, Obama will receive an Oval Office briefing on the response by assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco and other senior members of his response team.

At Obama's direction, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is traveling to Oklahoma today "to ensure all federal resources are supporting our state, local, and tribal partners in life saving and safety operations including search and rescue."

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