Trump thanks Texas officials for hurricane response, reserves congratulations for when it’s ‘all finished’

Thanking local government officials and emergency response leaders in Texas for their work in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey, President Donald Trump today stopped short of offering his “congratulations” for a job well done, saying there is still work to do.

“We won’t say congratulations,” Trump said in Corpus Christi, Texas, today. “We don’t want to do that. We don’t want to congratulate. We’ll congratulate each other when it’s all finished.”

The president is visiting parts of Texas ravaged by the storm, a milestone trip that is providing him with the opportunity to demonstrate his handling of a natural disaster as commander in chief.

Trump portrayed the situation at a briefing with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long as one that he hopes sets the standard for emergency response in coming years.

“We want to be looked at in five years, in ten years from now as: this is the way to do it,” Trump said. “This was of epic proportion. Nobody’s ever seen anything like this and I just want to say that working with the governor and his entire team has been an honor for us.”

Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, the president touched down at 11:25 a.m. local time in Corpus Christi, where the hurricane made landfall Friday evening. Later, he’ll continue on to Austin for a tour of the Emergency Operations Center and participate in another hurricane briefing with state leaders.

He is expected to return to the White House tonight.

Trump was accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Small Business Administration administrator Linda McMahon.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who greeted the presidential party upon their arrival, told reporters shortly before Air Force One landed that it was important for the president to visit the state, and that Trump and his team have been…

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