President Donald Trump and Melania Trump meet people impacted by Hurricane Harvey during a visit to the NRG Center in Houston, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. He lifted this girl into his arms to give her a kiss. It was his second trip to Texas in a week, and this time his first order of business was to meet with those affected by the record-setting rainfall and flooding. He’s also set to survey some of the damage and head to Lake Charles, Louisiana, another hard-hit area. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP)

"As tough as this was, it’s been a wonderful thing": Trump takes second trip to Texas, meets with storm victims

Trump made his second trip to Texas in which he passed out food, gave hugs, and touted his administration's efforts


Charlie May
September 2, 2017 7:02PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump embarked on their second trip to Texas on Saturday afternoon, except this time around he met with victims of the devastating storm and helped distribute meals at a relief center in Houston. But it didn't take long for the president to tout his administration's response efforts, and referred to them as "a wonderful thing."

During his first visit the president met only with local, state and federal officials in Corpus Christi and Austin, and didn't travel to any areas that were struck with major damage from the storm. Outside the firehouse in Corpus Christi he spoke to a small crowd that gathered and touted the turnout.

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On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence alongside his wife, Karen Pence, touched down in Texas and met with victims in Rockport. The small town was one of the first places that Harvey crashed into, and at the time it was still a Category 4 hurricane. Pence consoled survivors and got his hands a little dirty by helping clear some debris.

But on Saturday the president, dressed in a black jacket, got his second chance. He was immediately greeted with hugs from a little girl inside the relief center, and he picked her up and gave her a kiss.

He also posed for pictures and shook hands with victims while he passed out boxes of food, but it didn't take very long for the former real estate mogul to turn into a salesman.

"Really I think people appreciate what's been done," Trump told reporters. "We're very happy with the way everything is going."

When asked about what the families told him when he was originally greeted, he said, "they were just happy...saw a lot of happiness."

"As tough as this was, it’s been a wonderful thing," he added.

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Trump then briefly spoke at a church in Houston where he was joined by Cabinet members such as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz R-Texas were also in attendance.

The president is expected to also travel to parts of Louisiana that were impacted by the storm as well.


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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