"I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly", he continued.
The inspector general is looking into whether taxpayers inappropriately footed the bill for Long's trips, according to the report, citing three unnamed sources. An investigation by the inspector general was triggered after Long was reportedly in an accident with one of the vehicles, a black Chevy Suburban.
FEMA did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on the investigation.
The Wall Street Journal reports that senior officials have discussed replacing Long, who was appointed to the position previous year by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSouth Carolina detention centers say it will not relocate inmates in mandatory evacuation zones Letitia James routs three Dems to win New York AG primary Trump slams Kerry for "illegal" meetings with Iran MORE, due to an investigation into the FEMA chief's potential misuse of federal resources. But using those vehicles for personal trips or other activities runs afoul of government misuse regulations.
The news comes just hours before Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the coast of the Carolinas.
Since his first days in the job, Long has used a staff driver to take him back to North Carolina on weekends.
"I'm very aware of a recent article in regards to an ongoing investigation by the OIG in regards to FEMA vehicle usage", Long said. Almost $10 million was diverted from FEMA's estimated $15 billion budget sometime this summer around the start of the hurricane season and moved to ICE's budget in order to pay for the detention of migrants who illegally cross the border.
DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton said Nielsen has confidence in FEMA's leadership in a statement. He defended the transfer of money from FEMA to ICE, saying it would not hurt response efforts.
Long, who took over a year ago shortly before Hurricane Harvey struck, said he didn't want the investigation to detract from preparations for a major storm was heading for the U.S. "It does not pay for this response, it is not coming out of the disaster relief fund, it has no impact on our efforts to be prepared for Hurricane Florence. But right now we're going to get to Florence and move forward and concentrate on lifesaving issues". "There's no story there".