Thanking local government officials and emergency response leaders in Texas Tuesday for their actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, President Donald Trump stopped short of offering his “congratulations” for a job well done, saying that there is still work left to do.
“We won’t say congratulations. We don’t want to do that. We don’t want to congratulate,” said Trump. “We’ll congratulate each other when it’s all finished.”
The president is visiting parts of Texas ravaged by the storm, a milestone trip that is providing him with the opportunity to demonstrate his handling of a natural disaster as commander in chief.
Trump portrayed the situation at a briefing with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and FEMA Director Brock Long as one which he hopes sets the standard for emergency response in coming years.
“We want to be looked at in five years, in ten years from now as: this is the way to do it,” said Trump. “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 honor for us.”
Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, the president touched down at 11:25 a.m. local time in Corpus Christi, Texas where the hurricane made landfall Friday evening. Later, he’ll continue on to Austin for a tour of the Emergency Operations Center and participate in another hurricane briefing with state leaders.
He is expected to return to the White House tonight.