President Biden, Texas leaders share different stories on Hurricane Beryl aid request

Just one day a

fter Hurricane Beryl made landfall along the central Texas coast, accusations began to fly between President Biden and Texas leadership regarding the state's response to the storm.

At least 9 people were killed and more than 1.5 million people are still without power in the area.

President Joe Biden granted a federal disaster declaration covering more than 120 counties affected by Beryl after a conversation with Houston Mayor John Whitmire, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Acting Governor Dan Patrick and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell about the impacts of Hurricane Beryl, according to the White House.

In a post on X, Biden said, "Following Beryl, I know Texans are concerned about power outages and extreme heat. That's why we've moved generators into the community to help reduce impacts of power outages and are staging water, meals, and tarps to keep families healthy."

The president said Texas will receive federal aid later than needed because state leaders were slow to ask for the disaster declaration.

The White House told the Houston Chronicle that multiple attempts were made to reach Governor Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

President Biden says he did not speak with Patrick until Tuesday, more than a day after Beryl made landfall.

Patrick, who is serving as acting governor during Gov. Abbott's trip overseas, responded by saying that Biden was making Hurricane Beryl into a political issue, saying, "I am disappointed that President Biden is turning Hurricane Beryl into a political issue. We had a cordial call today that ended up with him granting my request for a major disaster declaration. But that's not good enough for him. He is falsely accusing me that I was not reachable."

The post went on to say, "He obviously did not know his own employees from FEMA were side-by-side with me for 3 days! All he had to do was call them and have them hand their phone to me. I even took a photo with them!"

Patrick said the state was working to determine their needs before making an official ask.

Governor Abbott called the report in the Chronicle "shocking" in an interview with FOX 7's Rudy Koski.

Abbott said he spoke with an administrator with FEMA, but never had a call with the president.

"President Biden has actually called me multiple times after disasters, from our calling to my same phone number every single time. Also, an aide who works under the president, the FEMA director, called me on that very same phone number. There has been no call, from Joe Biden to that phone number at all during the entirety of this entire disaster, even though his assistants talked to me about this disaster on July the 5th," said Abbott.

The lieutenant governor continued to talk about the president's comments on Wednesday, saying he spent the weekend working with FEMA employees in Austin who never said the president was trying to reach him.

"The bottom line is this: I asked for a federal disaster declaration at the proper time without delay and the president agreed. Sadly, President Biden is attacking Gov. Abbott and me, trying to score political points, for reasons that make no sense," wrote Patrick.

Governor Abbott says that he has been in conversations with Patrick on a daily basis during his trip.

Abbott says the lack of power is an issue and that he plans to have the Public Utilities Commission study why power issues happen in Houston.

"On multiple occasions, Houston has been able to not have access to power. And so I want to find out, is it a structural issue? Is it a personnel issue? What is the cause of this?" Abbott said.

The Governor plans to return to Texas this weekend.

FOX 26 Houston and FOX 7 Austin contributed to this report.