Trump revisits Texas as pressure to meet with survivors mounts

Updated 2017-09-03 10:30:53 Xinhua

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday paid a second visit to Texas, after he was criticized for keeping distance from flooded areas and survivors during his first visit.

Trump, along with First Lady Melania, arrived at Ellington Field, Texas before noon and joined hurricane survivors at a relief center in Houston as they lined up for lunch.

Trump stopped for hugs and posed for photos with flood survivors and offered words of encouragement for those affected by the deadly storm.

"The message is that things are working out well. Really, I think people appreciate what's been done. It's been done very efficiently," he said.

Trump also credited Texas government for relief efforts, and pledged full support from the federal government on reconstruction.

Trump also adjusted the Texas Disaster Declaration, which he originally signed on Aug. 25, by increasing the level of federal funding for debris removal from 75 percent to 90 percent.

The first couple will also travel to Louisiana later Saturday to meet with local officials and relief workers.

Trump first visited Texas on Tuesday, but stayed away from the most badly hit regions. He came under fire on Wednesday for tweeting that he "witnessed first hand the horror and devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey," which was refuted by reporters.

The White House later issued a statement saying that Trump had met with local officials that were "eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster," and it was "certainly a first hand account."

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