By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to Texas (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

A top Trump administration official says President Donald Trump’s “heart goes out” to the people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price tells reporters aboard Air Force One that Trump’s “passion and his love for the American people and concern about their welfare is unending.”

Trump spent much of his visit to Texas on Tuesday applauding the government’s response efforts, but notably missed opportunities to strike a sympathetic note for the multitudes who are suffering.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says, “This is all about people and making sure that we’re taking care of the people of Texas.”

She says Trump will return to the region Saturday to survey the damage and meet with some of storm’s victims.


6:15 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump says Texas, Louisiana and other parts of the country will feel Hurricane Harvey’s effects for years to come.

Mrs. Trump released a written statement Tuesday after she joined President Donald Trump for storm briefings in Corpus Christi and Austin, Texas.

She notes that 1.7 million people are under orders to leave their homes and that more will be displaced as the floodwaters in Houston continue to rise.

The first lady says she wants to offer her help and support not just through words, but also action. She did not say what specifically she will do to help.

Mrs. Trump says what she found to be most profound during the visit was the compassion and sense of community that has taken over the state of Texas.


5:25 p.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says President Donald Trump has shown compassion for people in the path of Hurricane Harvey.

He says the sometimes blunt-spoken Trump “has shown both care and compassion and direction and commitment” as the Gulf Coast storm hammered and flooded Texas.

Abbott says Trump helped “Texas get prepared (and) provided us every resource and tool that we needed.” He adds that Trump is “committed to ensuring that Texas will rebuild.”

The Republican governor spoke as Trump visited Austin, Texas, as part of a tour of the state.

Harvey is the first major natural disaster of Trump’s turbulent presidency.


4 p.m.

Residents in some of Texas’ hardest-hit areas say they appreciate President Donald Trump’s visit to the flood-ravaged state after Hurricane Harvey.

Trump was getting some blowback on social media for not getting a closer look at the storm’s devastation. But in Rockport, about 20 miles from Trump’s stop in Corpus Christi, it would have been impractical for a presidential motorcade to roll through downed power lines and debris.

Hair salon owner John Murray spray-painted “Bet They Blame Trump” across the boards protecting his downtown Rockport shop.

He says that every time he turns on the television he hears people complaining about the president.

“He could go for a walk and they’d find something to complain about,” like jaywalking, Murray says.


1:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Harvey was a storm of “epic proportion.”

Trump has arrived in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the first leg of a two-stop tour of the state to be briefed on the damage and the recovery efforts.

He was joined at a suburban fire station by first lady Melania Trump. The first lady sat beside the president as various officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, briefed Trump on efforts before and after Harvey made landfall on Friday.

Trump is dealing with his first major natural disaster.

He says he wants to handle it “better than ever before.” Trump also says he wants future presidential administrations to look back on Harvey and say the way Trump handled the storm is the way disaster management should be done.


1 p.m.

President Donald Trump arrived in Harvey-ravaged Texas wearing what appeared to be a $40 hat that can be bought on his website.

With him was his wife, Melania, wearing a baseball cap that says, “FLOTUS.” That’s an abbreviation for “first lady of the United States.”

The Trumps and several Cabinet members were visiting Texas as Harvey slid off to the east, leaving vast flooding and multiple deaths in its wake.

In Corpus Christi, Trump descended the stairs wearing a white baseball cap that says, “USA” on the front and “Trump” on the back, with a small American flag on the side, according to his website . It says the hat is the “official USA rope hat worn by 45th President-elect Donald J. Trump, himself” and is “proudly made in USA.”


12:25 p.m.

A spokeswoman says President Donald Trump wants to be “very cautious” about making sure that his activities in Texas don’t disrupt Harvey recovery efforts.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump’s stops Tuesday in Corpus Christi and Austin are intended to highlight coordination at all levels of government and lay the groundwork for what is expected to be a lengthy recovery after the storm.

Trump traveled with the Cabinet secretaries of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development, and the head of the Small Business Administration. Sanders says the secretaries will meet with their Texas counterparts.

Air Force One flew a path to Corpus Christi that avoided flying over Houston, where much of the downtown area is under water.


12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has thanked Singapore’s prime minister for his condolences and offer of assistance following Harvey.

The White House said Trump spoke by phone Tuesday with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who had offered the use of a Singaporean Air Force Chinook helicopter detachment that trains with the Texas Air National Guard.

The statement said Trump also thanked Lee for his country’s support for the USS John S. McCain search, rescue, and recovery efforts. The McCain was damaged in a collision with an oil tanker last week near Singapore. The White House said the two leaders also discussed North Korea.

Trump is traveling to Texas to tour the flooding and other damage left by Harvey, the first major natural disaster of his presidency.


11:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s 2020-re-election campaign committee is encouraging supporters to donate to disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey.

A note Tuesday to the more than 10 million email addresses the campaign has collected links to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way and local animal rescue operations. The email encourages people to “help our fellow Americans in need.”

Trump is visiting Texas later Tuesday as rains continue to pound the already flooded Houston area.

Lara Trump, an adviser to her father-in-law’s re-election campaign, says in the email that this “is a time to come together as a nation to support those in need.”


10:30 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is warning the people of southeast Texas that Harvey is still dangerous and that life-threatening flooding will continue.

Pence is urging residents to continue to listen their state and local officials. He commented during interviews Tuesday with radio stations serving Corpus Christi and San Antonio.

Houston has been paralyzed by a storm that struck on Friday and has been parked over the Gulf Coast ever since. More than 30 inches of rain has fallen in some areas and nearly 2 feet more is expected, leading authorities to fear the worst might be yet to come.

Pence says he and his wife, Karen, will visit the region later this week.

President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, were scheduled to visit Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday.


9:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he is OK leaving open some senior federal government positions.

Trump tweeted that message just after conservative commentator Laura Ingraham criticized the lack of appointees to senior jobs. She included FEMA, where there is no deputy to Administrator Brock Long, who is directing Trump’s response to Hurricane Harvey.

Ingraham said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” that from the photos of flood-ravaged Houston, “we can conclude that a federal government does need staff. We see it acutely in need of staff in a situation like this.”

Moments later, Trump used the Twitter handle for the show and Ingraham: “@foxandfriends We are not looking to fill all of those positions. Don’t need many of them - reduce size of government. @IngrahamAngle.”

Trump is visiting Texas Tuesday.


8:57 a.m.

President Donald Trump is making an all-out push to show the federal government’s responsiveness to the massive storm that has lashed the Texas coast and caused catastrophic flooding.

Trump will travel to Texas on Tuesday for briefings on the federal government’s work to help the state recover from Harvey’s devastation.

The storm marks the first time Trump has been tested by a major natural disaster at the start of his administration.

The president was scheduled to get briefings on the relief efforts in Corpus Christi, Texas, and later meet with state officials at the emergency operations center in Austin. The president will be joined by first lady Melania Trump.

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