Under federal law, requests by states for disaster declarations are made by governors.

With Hurricane Dorian heading in the direction of North Carolina, President Trump appeared to inject politics into the process on Tuesday night.

“At the request of Senator Thom Tillis, I am getting the North Carolina Emergency Declaration completed and signed tonight,” Trump wrote in a tweet, adding: “Hope you won’t need it!”

Tillis is a fellow Republican up for reelection next year and faces a GOP primary challenge. Trump endorsed Tillis in June, telling his nearly 64 million Twitter followers that the first-term senator had “really stepped up to the plate.”

North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat. His office requested the federal disaster declaration Monday after issuing a state emergency declaration Friday.

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In a news release announcing the federal declaration Tuesday night, Cooper said he appreciated “the support of our federal partners.” He noted that the declaration would speed federal aid to the state, including more personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military.

Dorian is now forecast to come very close to making landfall in the Carolinas.

Trump’s tweet Tuesday night came a few minutes after Tillis tweeted that he “just spoke” with Trump about the federal declaration.

“Thank you Mr. President for your commitment to North Carolinians,” Tillis wrote.

He later thanked Trump for his tweet.

Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, “all requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State.”

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