President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are on their way to Texas to survey the storm-ravaged Gulf and meet with relief providers.
They’ll make two flights, one to Corpus Christi and one to Austin, this afternoon before their return to Washington.
In both cities, they’ll receive briefings on the storm’s impact from area officials. At their second stop, in the state’s capital city, the president and first lady will tour the Texas public safety department’s emergency operations center.
The president and first lady left the White House this morning just after 8:30 am for Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, he in a windbreaker sporting the presidential seal, khaki pants and brown boots and she in all-black attire, save for an olive green windbreaker.
Unlike her husband, Melania Trump did not wear boots. The first lady went with classic black stilettos for the trip to Texas’ flood zone. She had on black aviators when she left the White House, as well.
Trump promised on Monday to ‘take care’ of Texas and Louisiana through the ‘long and difficult road’ to recovery as floods triggered by Tropical Storm Harvey wreaked havoc on the Houston area.
‘It’s the biggest ever. They are saying it is the biggest. It’s historic,’ Trump said, addressing reporters in the Oval Office.
He said at a press conference shortly after, ‘Nobody has ever seen anything like it.’
‘I’ve heard the words “epic,” I’ve heard “historic.” And that’s what it is.’
Trump said Monday that the nation will emerge ‘bigger, better, stronger than ever before’ after the storm that’s ransacking the Gulf.
‘We ask God for his wisdom and strength. We will get through this,’ Trump said. ‘The rebuilding will begin. And in the end it will be something very special.’
Trump was dealing with dueling crises, one at home and one abroad, on Tuesday morning as he departed Washington.
Early this morning North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, this time over Japan. The test terrified Japanese citizens and caused a sudden drop in financial markets.
In an official White House statement Trump lambasted North Korea a threat to the entire world and, in a return to the saber-rattling of the last flare up with Pyongyang, warned that ‘all options are on the table.’
‘The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,’ he said.
‘Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.’
Trump called Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and the two agreed that North Korea poses a grave threat, the White House said early this morning.
As he left the White House Trump was vague on his plans to handle Kim Jong Un, telling reporters, ‘We’ll see, we’ll see.’
He and first lady Melania Trump are currently in the air, on their way to Texas.
The US. president said Monday that residents of the region have shown incredible teamwork in a time of tragedy.
‘We are one American family. We hurt together, we struggle together. And believe me, we endure together,’ Trump proclaimed. ‘We are one family. To the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are 100 percent with you. ‘
Trump and wife Melania, the first lady, are due to arrive in southern Texas on Tuesday along with members of the president’s Cabinet.
The president told reporters this afternoon during his Oval Office remarks that he he hasn’t decide which towns to survey, saying only that he will be ‘traveling throughout certain parts.’
At a news conference later, Trump offered his encouragement to those in the tropical storm’s path. At least eight people have died since it made landfall.
‘We’re praying for you, we’re working closely with your leaders and officials, and I will be visiting the impact zone tomorrow to ensure that you’re receiving full support and cooperation from the federal government,’ Trump said.
Trump has been eager to show he is on top of the situation, and that he will not make the same mistakes as previous presidents in botching the federal response.
‘Things are being handled really well, the spirit is incredible of the people and the coordination between all of the different services, as you know, has been going very well,’ he said.