Photo: White House work

Aboard the flight to Texas, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shared updates on the President’s plans to visit the areas ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, stressing the importance of not disrupting recovery efforts being carried out by local, state, and federal agencies.

Yesterday, President Trump announced in the bilateral press conference with President of Finland that he planned on visiting Texas and the areas hit by Hurricane Harvey.

While updating the press pool, Sanders said the president’s schedule was not yet set in stone because “of the continued poor weather in Texas”. She said, unlike regular travel days, plans were more variable and subject to fluctuation than usual, again “due to the weather and all of the circumstances”.

She then stressed the importance of being the least invasive as possible during this visit, and said that “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”. She also said that there was no confirmation as to whether they’d be able to visit the “really damaged areas”.

Joining the President on this trip, along with senior members of the White House staff, include Secretary Price, Carson, Administrator Linda McMahon, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, as well as James Rivera, “who manages the SBA’s disaster assistance unit”.

Sanders then described the two stops on the itinerary for the trip: Corpus Christi and Austin. “Corpus Christi is a little bit more focused on the local response and recovery, Austin will be heavier on the state efforts,” she said.

In Corpus Christi, President Trump will be meeting with Governor Greg Abbott and his wife, as well as FEMA administrator William ‘Brock’ Long. There are plans for a big group briefing, with local officials and Senators Cruz and Cornyn also expected to join for a duration of the day.

At 11:17 AM, Air Force One arrived in a sunny Corpus Christi, parked between two military C17s, and the president deplaned, sporting a white USA baseball cap. Melania, also wearing a baseball cap, had changed out of the black heels she’d boarded the plane in and was now wearing white tennis shoes. Secretaries Price and Carson and Chief of Staff Kelly followed them.

During the flight, the weather appeared fairly clear, but the storm and its remnants were distinctly noticeable to the east, as described by the pooler as “an ominous bank of argent gray.” The President also spoke to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the flight as well.

In terms of plans and activities for the day, the first portion of the trip will involve secretaries Price, Secretary Carson and Administrator McMahon meeting with their counterparts in Cabinet. The goal of these meetings will be to ensure that federal officials are prepared to “offer federal assistance and lay the foundation for what we know is going to be a long recovery effort.”

Sanders stressed the importance of “the coordination between local, state and federal officials, that will lay the groundwork for the recovery efforts”, in reasoning the intention to meet “face-to-face, with not just the state, but also the local authorities”. President Trump will also be meeting with state representatives and mayors.

Sanders also said that there may be other events later in the day that isn’t currently on the schedule, and it’s not certain whether they would fly over Houston.

Update:
For civilians looking for ways to get involved in efforts, please consult the following websites:

disasterassistance.gov

nvoad.org

Texas – onestarfoundation.org 

Read also:  Hurricane Harvey: A Lesson In American Solidarity

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