From: "Rucker, Philip"
Date: September 2, 2017 at 2:11:12 PM CDT
Subject: Travel Pool Report No. 7 Trump comments at church
President Trump delivered about five minutes of remarks inside First Church of Pearland in the Houston suburb of Pearland. (Color from the visit to the church is forthcoming from Todd.)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott introduced Trump, who spoke extemporaneously to volunteers and storm victims who had gathered at the church.
Trump began by praising Abbott: “I want to congratulate the governor. I want to congratulate everybody that’s worked so hard. It’s been an incredible five days, six days. It seems like it’s been much longer than that, but actually it’s going so well that it’s going fast, in a certain sense.”
Trump highlighted National Day of Prayer tomorrow. He said, “So many of you are faith based and I want to just tell you that tomorrow we have national prayer day." Trump added, “Tomorrow’s a very big day, so go to your church and pray and enjoy the day.”
Trump then went through praising dignitaries on stage with him, starting with Sen. Ted Cruz. Trump thanked Cruz "for working so hard."
Trump said, in reference to Cruz, “We have to push that stuff through, but we will. We signed some very big authorizations last night, and we’ll get it through.”
Then Trump motioned for his FEMA director: “Brock, come here a minute, Brock. What a job you’ve done!"
Trump commented, “The water’s disappearing. We knew we have a long way to go, but the water’s disappearing. And you look at the neighborhoods and you see it’s – we just saw it through there. Two days ago, even yesterday, they had water. Today it’s all swept up and cleaned up. We’ve got a lot of hard-working people, I’ll tell you that.”
Trump praised Secretary Ben Carson and then Secretary DeVos, noting that she just had "a full-page story today in the Wall Street Journal."
Trump again commended Abbott as well as his wife, the first lady and, Trump said, “The real boss of the family."
Trump said, “They have worked so hard and the coordination between the federal and the state and the local has been terrific, and we’re going to keep it going that way. If anything, I don’t know if it gets better, but we’re going to try to make it better.”
He added, “The cameras are blazing and I have to say it, you have a great, great governor.”
Trump spoke at length about the reforms at the VA under Secretary Shulkin before returning to the subject of Harvey and again congratulating Abbott.
Trump closed by talking about the recovery: “It’s a long term. We’re talking about, they say 2 years, 3 years, but I think that because this is Texas you’ll prob do it in 6 months!" At that, the people in the church burst into loud cheers.
The Washington Post
White House Bureau Chief