BUT MULTIPLE REPORTS SAY PRESIDENT WITNESSED SOME DAMAGE ON TEXAS TRIP
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 30, 2017) — On Wednesday morning, CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller cited members of the “press pool” which reportedly accompanied President Donald Trump on his trip to Texas on Tuesday as claiming that a tweet of Trump’s in which he claimed to have seen “horror & devastation” “first hand” from Hurricane Harvey is false.
Knoller’s tweet was a response to Trump’s but was stated in the third person.
According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott prior to Trump’s arrival, the purpose of the visit was to “see and understand the enormous challenges that Texans have faced and the need for the aid he has provided.” Abbott stated that the Trump entourage would make a point to avoid visiting the most hard-hit areas such as Houston.
On Tuesday, Trump met with Abbott and other emergency responders and planners at an emergency operations center in Austin. Multiple sources also report that Trump addressed a group of Texans directly and was able to witness some storm damage.
According to the AP, Trump spoke directly to “an impromptu crowd that gathered outside a Corpus Christi fire station about 30 miles from where the storm made landfall Friday.” The AP additionally criticized Trump because he “did not mention those who died in the storm or those forced from their homes by its floodwaters.”
Trump’s address at the firehouse was also reported by Politico.
The AP also reported:
What little damage Trump saw — boarded-up windows, downed tree limbs and fences askew — was through the tinted windows of his SUV as his motorcade ferried him from the Corpus Christi airport to the firehouse in a city that’s already nearly back to normal.
Others complained that Trump did not show “compassion” toward those currently suffering.
The AP included in its report: “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Trump showed ‘genuine compassion’ on the short flight to Austin as they watched video footage of the flooding in Houston. ‘The president was heartbroken by what he saw,’ the governor said.”
On Tuesday The Los Angeles Times reported:
Although Trump was careful to remain outside the worst of the state’s flooding areas, the short ride from the airport in Corpus Christi to the firehouse along Interstate 37 gave him a glimpse of what the state is up against.
He passed broken trees, downed signs and fences that had been hurled about. Still, hundreds of residents made their way outside to greet the president, some hoisting Trump-Pence campaign signs and others protest placards.
The New York Times, hardly an unbiased source of news about the Trump administration, reported:
The Toledo Blade reported:
Starting his visit to Texas in Corpus Christi, Mr. Trump’s motorcade passed broken trees, knocked-down signs, and fences askew as it made its way to a firehouse for a briefing with local officials.
The same source reported White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as having “told reporters traveling with Mr. Trump” of Tuesday’s visit: “The President wants to be very cautious about making sure that any activity doesn’t disrupt any of the recovery efforts that are still ongoing, which is the reason for the locations we are going here today. As of right now, I don’t know that we will be able to get to some of the really damaged areas.”
A number of outlets reported that Trump wanted to visit Texas as soon as possible after Harvey made landfall. On Tuesday NPR wrote:
The president has been eager to travel to Texas since the weekend but said he waited until he could do so “without causing disruption.” Trump tweeted on Sunday: “The focus must be life and safety.”
NPR added that when Louisiana was flooded last August, Trump visited with then-vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence and handed out care packages while Barack Hussein Obama vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard.
The Post & Email responded to Knoller’s tweet with one of its own: