President Donald Trump admitted Monday that there’s ‘something’ to climate change – ‘no question’ – but says he remains unconvinced that global warming is man-made.
At a hurricane briefing in Georgia, the president said that only he knows of only one storm in the past 50 years that was worse than Hurricane Michael, and the last one before that was in the 1890s.
‘So who knows,’ he told a journalist asking if he’d changed his mind about global warming in light of the weather.
Trump acknowledged in a 60 Minutes interview that aired on Sunday evening that he believes ‘something’s happening’ with the climate and he no longer believes that global warming is a hoax.
But he said he believes ‘it’ll change back again’ and that he doesn’t ‘want to be put at a disadvantage’ economically by pouring trillions into prevention strategies.
Following up on the answer in Georgia as he toured Hurricane Michael’s destruction, Trump again said ‘there’s something there’ but he still doesn’t know if warming is caused by humans.
‘I have a home in Palm Beach Florida and frankly for years, we had none and then, the last couple of years we had more. Hopefully we’ll go back to many years of having none,’ he said. ‘We’ve been hit by the weather, there is no doubt about it….There is something there, man-made or not.’
President Donald Trump admitted Monday that there’s ‘something’ to climate change, ‘no question,’ but said he remains unconvinced that global warming is man-made
At a hurricane briefing in Georgia, the president said that only he knows of only one storm in the past 50 years that was worse than Hurricane Michael, and the last one before that was in the 1890s
President Donald Trump meets with farmers impacted by Hurricane Michael at a farm in Macon, Georgia, on Monday
Cotton and pecan farmers were especially effected by the brutal storm that wrecked the coast of Georgia
Trump told an area farmer that he would be OK after pledging at his hurricane briefing to get area residents the federal funds that they need to rebuild and replace their lost property
President Trump was on his second storm tour of the hurricane season with first lady Melania Trump on Monday, landing in Air Force One near Macon, Georgia, late in the afternoon after spending much of the day in western Florida.
They received a briefing on the storm in Warner Robbins alongside Georgia’s governor before traveling to a local farm to see Hurricane Michael’s effect on cotton and pecan production.
The couple spent several hours viewing damage caused by Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle by helicopter and on foot. They also volunteered at a FEMA distribution center.
‘Somebody said it was like a very wide, extremely wide tornado,’ the president said of the disaster areas he saw after arriving at the Lynn Haven distribution center. ‘This was beyond any winds they’ve seen for — I guess — 50 years. Nobody has seen anything like it.’
Trump said he was shocked, having seen extensive water damage on previous trips, that ‘these massive trees are just ripped out of the earth’ by the Category 4 storm that was accompanied by violent winds and powerful tides.
‘Nobody has seen anything like this,’ he told journalists of the storm that took at least 18 lives. ‘This is really incredible.’
The president and first lady were at the aid center to distribute bottles of water – but scores of supporters lined up for selfies with the first couple.
‘We voted for you, and we’re going to vote in the midterms,’ one woman told them. Another gentleman informed the president, ‘We knew we could trust you to get this done.’
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump passed out water at a Lynn Haven, Florida, hurricane relief distribution center on Monday
The president told journalists at the center: ‘We’re doing more than has probably ever been done’
The Trumps were swarmed by supporters at the distribution center, including one woman told him that she voted for him and wouldbe voting in the midterms
SELFIE TIME: Several storm victims asked for selfies with the first couple, and they were happy to oblige
Trump told reporters he was shocked, having seen extensive water damage on previous trips, that ‘these massive trees are just ripped out of the earth’ by the Category 4 storm that was accompanied by violent winds and powerful tides
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump get the thumbs up from FEMA Administrator Brock Long (R) as they are welcomed at the distribution center in the Lynn Haven
HELP IS ON THE WAY: Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined the president and first lady in passing out bottled water at the FEMA aid center
The couples’ first stop on their daylong tour was the Florida panhandle. The president said upon arrival that the damage was expansive in some areas, but the state’s governor, Republican Rick Scott, is doing an ‘incredible job’ and first responders have been ‘amazing’ at preventing additional lives lost.
‘Many of these people have no — they have no homes,’ he commented. ‘Some of them have no trace of a home. You wouldn’t even know it. It just got blown right off the footing. ‘
The president took off in Marine One to see the damage for himself, covering ground over Panama City and Mexico Beach, Florida, where the coastline was damaged the most.
His helicopter touched down at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City, where he was transported to Lynn Haven to take a foot tour by motorcade.
He said that after his aerial tour that it was ‘hard to believe’ how much of the coast the storm tore up.
‘I’ve seen pictures. But it’s hard to believe,’ he observed. ‘When you’re above it, in a plane, and to see the total devastation, to see no houses left. Not even the pads are left. It’s incredible.’
The president indicated that the tour had made an impact. ‘To see this, personally, it’s very tough. Very, very tough. Total devastation,’ he said.
HERO’S WELCOME: President Trump arrived in his adopted home state to great fanfare from storm victims who were happy to see him
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (right) joined the president, first lady, FEMA administrator and Florida governor on the storm tour
A Lynn Haven resident shows the president and Gov. Scott the damage the storm wreaked on his property
President Trump visited Florida on Monday, nearly a week after Hurricane Michael slammed the southern US state, where thousands of people are struggling to survive without running water or electricity. Michael smashed into Florida’s western coast on Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 storm, packing winds of 155 miles (250 kilometers) per hour as it began a northern march through several states on the United States’ southeast coast, killing at least 17 people. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
WALKING TOUR: First lady Melania Trump wore practical shoes for the visit that took her and her husband through devastated areas
President Trump it was ‘hard to believe’ how much of the coast the storm tore up after his tour
DESTROYED: ‘To see this, personally, it’s very tough. Very, very tough. Total devastation,’ Trump said on Monday
The first lady and the president left the White House on Monday morning as a light drizzle came down on Washington. They were whisked away to Joint Base Andrews in Marine One. From there, they flew on Air Force One to Egin Air Force Base in western Florida and on to Panama City by helicopter.
Trump’s agenda was mostly unknown on Monday morning, save for his announced plans to visit Georgia after he was through in Florida.
‘Will be leaving for Florida and Georgia with the First Lady to tour the hurricane damage and visit with FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement. Maximum effort is taking place, everyone is working very hard. Worst hit in 50 years!’ he tweeted before leaving the White House residence.
Trump said en route that he was also ‘thinking about our GREAT Alabama farmers and our many friends in North and South Carolina today. We are with you!’
In Georgia, he said that he’d spoken to Alabama’s governor, Republican Kay Ivey, on the phone. ‘She’s in there fighting,’ he said. ‘We have terrific people running these states.’
President Donald Trump stands with FEMA Administrator Brock Long, (left) and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz as he talks to Florida Governor Rick Scott at Eglin Air Force Base before his storm tour
The president and first lady are seen arriving in Florida on Monday morning on the first leg of their storm tour
Melania Trump and her husband hold hands as they leave the White House to visit storm-damaged on Monday morning
Trump told reporters that ‘the governors know that I’m there for them’ in affected states, which includes North and South Carolina.
‘The deficit’s always a problem for me,’ he said of federal costs, ‘But we take care of our people most importantly.’
At the stop the president faced questions about his position on climate change, which he called a ‘hoax’ created by the Chinese prior to his election.
‘I want crystal clean water. I want the cleanest air on the planet,’ he argued. ‘I am truly an environmentalist…but that doesnt mean that we have to put every one one of our businesses out of business.’
In a pun that was unintended as such Trump said our nation’s ‘the hottest’ on the on the planet. He quickly corrected himself and explained that he meant economically, as he responded to a question about his decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.
WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAW: President Trump went on an aerial tour of the Florida Panhandle on Monday with Melania
He commented afterward that it was a like a tornado had ripped through the area. ‘Somebody said it was like a very wide, but you mean extremely wide, tornado. Because that’s really what this was’
‘This was beyond any winds that they’ve seen,’ Trump said after his storm tour. ‘Nobody has seen anything like this.’
The president took a solo trip to the Carolinas this hurricane season already to pass out hot meals and tour storm-torn neighborhoods.
Walking through one badly-damaged neighborhood he remarked that the homeowner was lucky, at least, to have inherited a yacht that washed into his yard. A storm trip last year saw him throwing out rolls of paper towels.
Melania Trump did not accompany him to North and South Carolina, with her office citing scheduling conflicts. She was all smiles as she left the White House with him on Monday, however, in combat boots and black jacket she traded in for a white three-quarter length sleeve top on the way to her destination.
The first couple held hands and posed for the cameras as a beaming Melania — who dismissed her husband’s alleged cheating in tell-all interview on Friday — listened to him compliment her to the press.
Duo: Melania, who recently returned from her first international solo trip as first lady, beamed as she and her husband departed from Washington, D.C.
Outfit change: Melania had changed her outfit by the time she stepped off Air Force One at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, wearing a white shirt and a matching baseball hat
Casual: The first lady went for sturdy combat boots paired with gray skinny jeans, which she tucked inside the boots, a black top, and a matching jacket
Practical: Melania has made headlines in the past for wearing designer high heels on her way to disaster zones but took a different approach on Monday with her combat boots
Melania, who drew scrutiny last year for wearing designer high heels on her way to disaster zones, took a different approach on Monday morning, picking out a pair of sturdy black combat boots, instead.
She paired them with gray skinny jeans, a black top, and a matching jacket. at the White House, she wore her hair in a stylish, wavy blowout. She tucker her hair into a pony while and put on a white ‘USA’ ball cap later that matched the ones her husband wears when he golfs on the weekend. He held a red one emblazoned with the number 45, a symbol of his presidency, as he left the White House.
The first lady, who recently returned from her first solo international visit as first lady after touring Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt, held hands with her husband as they departed the White House in the rain.
In high spirits: Melania beamed as she listened to her husband speaking to the press
Rainy weather: The first couple shared an umbrella as they walked across the South Lawn
On the go: The first lady boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland
Together: Melania waved while clutching her husband’s hand as both left from D.C. on Monday
Chnage of clothes: Lindsay Reynolds, Melania’s chief of staff, was seen carrying a Louis Vuitton bag as well as a garment bag to Marine One
While in Africa, Melania said during an interview that she loves her husband and has ‘much more important things to think about’ than allegations he cheated on her with a porn star, a Playboy Playmate or anyone else.
The first lady, who was interviewed by ABC two weeks ago, said people are just spreading rumors about her marriage. She insisted allegations of her husband’s infidelities with porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal are not any of her concern.
In the interview, Melania also explained why she wore a jacket that said ‘I really don’t care, do u?’ on a trip to visit migrant children who had been separated from their parents.
The first lady claimed it was a message to ‘people and the left-wing media who are criticizing me,’ echoing her husband’s take on it, even though her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham had said at the time, ‘It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message.’
Melania’s outfits have become the story at several official outings: in August 2017, she was seen heading out to visit Texas after the passage of Hurricane Harvey, wearing black slacks, a bomber jacket, and stiletto heels, which were promptly mocked and blasted as tone-def.
She switched then to tennis shoes for the tour and wore black combat boots to Florida and Georgia on Monday to review damage from the Oct. 10 storm with with 155 mph winds that was one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the continental United States since weather records have been kept.
At least 18 people in four states have died in or because of the storm and dozens remained missing as Panhandle officials continue their search and recovery efforts.
Previously: Melania was slammed on social media for wearing stiletto heels on her way to visit Texas after the passage of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017