President Donald Trump told a group of federal leaders and Texas officials on Tuesday during a visit to Corpus Christi that he will hold off on congratulating his administration and the Texas government on its response to Hurricane Harvey for “when we’re all finished.”
Trump made the comments after thanking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who had introduced him and the administration officials present. Abbott said Trump and his cabinet officials have “remained in constant contact with me and my staff, and they all had one thing to say — Texas, what do you need? how can we help?”
“Governor again, thank you very much,” Trump said. “We won’t say congratulations, we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to congratulate. We’ll congratulate each other when we’re all finished.”
Trump said it was an “honour” to be in Texas, which he described as a “very special place and a special state.” The president thanked Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas for their presence. He also praised Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long, whom Trump said “really has become very famous on television in the last couple of days.”
“You have been just outstanding, and I can tell you that my folks are telling me how great your representatives have been in working together,” Trump said. “It’s a real team.”
After noting how he would not be saying congratulations yet, Trump said “we want to do” the response to Hurricane Harvey, which has battered southeast Texas and delivered historic flooding and rainfall, “better than ever before.”
“We want to be looked at in five years, in ten years from now as, this is the way to do it,” Trump said. “This was of epic proportion. Nobody’s ever seen anything like this and i just want to say that working with the governor and his entire team has been an honour for us.”
Trump then addressed a crowd outside of the fire station where the meeting with government leaders took place, saying “we love you” and “you are special, we are here to take care of you.”
“What a crowd, what a turn out,” Trump said, later adding that the storm is “historic, it’s epic, but I can tell you it happened in Texas and Texas can handle anything.”
The storm has pummelled the Houston metro area especially hard. In some areas, rainfall could reach 50 inches by the time the storm is over.
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