Vice President Mike Pence flies to Texas Thursday to meet first-hand with victims of Hurricane Harvey and surveying some of the devastation wreaked on a Texas Gulf Coast town.
Pence heads to Corpus Christie and then on to Rockport, which sustained 130 mile-an-hour winds during the storm, and which is still suffering from streets strewn with rubble from damaged buildings.
Pence boarded Air Force Two Thursday morning, accompanied by his wife, Karen Pence. Both were sporting jeans, and Karen Pence wore loafers. The vice president wore cowboy boots.
Pence’s tour comes after President Donald Trump tweeted that he saw the ‘horror & devastation’ wreaked by the storm ‘first hand,’ when in fact the president received multiple second-hand accounts and didn’t meet with storm victims.
Vice President Mike Pence flew to Texas Thursday to meet with Hurricane Harvey victims. He is pictured here with his Panamanian counterpart Isabel de Saint Malo visit the Panama Canal’s Cocoli locks, in Panama City on August 17, 2017
Trump few to Corpos Christie along with first lady Melania Trump, then flying to Austin, where he met with his own cabinet members and state and local officials including Gov. Greg Abbott.
Trump tweeted Wednesday morning: ‘After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey,my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!’
The president tried to recast the situation during a Wednesday speech in Missouri, the president spoke in emotional terms about the suffering in Houston, providing reassurances that things would improve.
SECOND-HAND: HUD Secretary Ben Carson looks around on the tarmac as President Donald Trump directs his entourage as he arrives at the Corpus Christi International Airport on August 29, 2017
President Donald Trump began his tax reform speech Wednesday in Missouri with a message of hope for Americans stranded in Texas and Louisiana by Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters
MSNBC mocked Trump for the optics of talking about income taxes while Texas deals with as many as 50 inches of rain
On Wednesday, a day after he was criticized for visiting Texas without spending any time with rescued victims of Hurricane Harvey, the president said his government stands with them ‘every single step of the way’ as the storm continues to ‘pose a grave danger to life. … We must protect the lives of our people.’
‘To the people of Houston and across Texas and Louisiana, we are here with you today,’ Trump said. ‘We are with you tomorrow. And we will be with you every single day after to restore, recover and rebuild.’
‘Our thoughts and prayers remain firmly with the citizens and our fellow people – people! – great, great people all affected by this tragedy.’
Trump mused during a briefing at the Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday that the record flood waters in southern Texas might never recede.
Vice President Mike Pence will survey storm damage and meet with government officials
HIGH AND DRY: President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania TrumpDonald Trump visit to Texas
Trump spent most of Tuesday talking to officials tasked with relief efforts, but didn’t visit any shelters where those rescued from the flooding are staying
People line up for food as others rest at the convention center that has been set up as a shelter for evacuees escaping the floodwaters from the massive storm
Mark Ocosta and his baby Aubrey Ocosta took shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, where the evacuation center is over capacity with more than 9,000 evacuees
TRUMP’S HURRICANE REMARKS BEFORE WEDNESDAY TAX SPEECH
‘Before we begin, I’d like to take a few moments to discuss the deeply tragic situation in Texas and Louisiana. As we all know, our gulf coast was hit over the weekend with a devastating hurricane of historic proportion. Torrential rains and terrible flooding continue to pose a grave danger to life and to property. Our first responders have been doing absolutely heroic work to shepherd people out of harm’s way, and their courage and devotion has saved countless lives. They represent truly the very best of America.
‘We must be vigilant. We must protect the lives of our people. I was on the ground in Texas yesterday to meet with Governor Abbott, who is way, an incredible job. Local officials so that we could coordinate the very big and unprecedented federal response. In difficult times such as these, we see the true character of the American people, their strength, their love and their resolve. We see friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger. And together, we will endure and we will overcome.
‘To those affected by this storm, we are praying for you and we are here with you every single step of the way. And I can speak, I know, for the people in this room. Every step of the way. To those Americans who have lost loved ones, all of America is grieving with you and our hearts are joined with yours forever.
‘The citizens of Texas and the Gulf Coast need all the prayers, support and resources our communities have to offer. Recovery will be tough, but I have seen the resilience of the American spirit first-hand all over this country. To the people of Houston and across Texas and Louisiana, we are here with you today. We are with you tomorrow. And we will be with you every single day after to restore, recover and rebuild. Our thoughts and prayers remain firmly with the citizens and our fellow people – people! – great, great people all affected by this tragedy.’
‘Nobody’s ever seen this much water. The wind was pretty horrific, in particular, but the water has never been seen like this, to this extent. And it’s, maybe someday going to disappear. We keep waiting,’ Trump said in Austin.
Pence is to be met by Gov. Greg Abbott, the Dallas Morning News reported. The paper also noted that Karen Pence, who is accompanying her husband, wore jeans and loafers.
First Lady Melania Trump drew some derision online when she wore stiletto heels when she first boarded Air Force One to accompany the president on his trip. She later changed into sneakers.
Also accompanying Pence are Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the former Texas governor, and other cabinet members.