WH Cleans Up Trump Statement Saying He Saw Harvey Damage ‘First Hand’

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 29: President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, joined by members of the Cabinet, arrive at the Corpus Christi International Airport, Tuesday, August 29, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texa... HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 29: President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, joined by members of the Cabinet, arrive at the Corpus Christi International Airport, Tuesday, August 29, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to receive an onsite briefing on Hurricane Harvey storm relief and rescue efforts Tuesday, August 29, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas M MPI122 / MediaPunch/IPX MORE LESS
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August 31, 2017 10:57 a.m.

The White House on Wednesday cleaned up comments President Trump made, when he claimed he had seen the “horror and devastation” of Hurricane Harvey “first hand” when he hadn’t.

It was widely reported that the President did not visit any of the most severely flooded parts of Texas during his visit to the state this week because he said he didn’t want to pull resources from search and rescue efforts.

But he tweeted Wednesday morning, expressing greater sympathy for those impacted by the story after witnessing the damage himself.

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Local and White House pool reporters who followed the President’s stops in Corpus Christi and Austin, Texas Tuesday quickly called out Trump for his remarks, claiming he didn’t see any of the worst flooding that has occurred in cities like Houston.

On Wednesday, the White House clarified what Trump meant by his statements, saying the President met with all the officials who witnessed the damage themselves.

He met with a number of state and local officials who are eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters in a press gaggle Wednesday.

“He talked extensively with the governor, who certainly is right in the midst of every bit of this, as well as the mayors from several of the local towns that were hit hardest. And detailed briefing information throughout the day yesterday talking to a lot of the people on the ground — that certainly is a firsthand account,” she said.

White House counselor Kelly Anne Conway echoed those comments on “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning, saying Trump plans to “get closer to the affected areas” when officials say it’s “appropriate to do so.”

“So the President will go, he will ask Congress for money depending on where the needs are,” she said.

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