White House: ‘No Reason To Not Take’ Offered Harvey Aid From Canada, Mexico

Andrew Harnik/AP

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert on Thursday said “there’s no reason to not” accept Canada’s and Mexico’s offers of aid in the ongoing Hurricane Harvey recovery effort.

“Our international neighbors of Canada and Mexico are also offering their condolences and we very much appreciate it,” Bossert said during the White House’s daily press briefing.

“Will the President be accepting any of those offers of assistance?” a reporter asked.

“The President didn’t get into the specifics and neither did the heads of state calling,” Bossert said.

He said the “primary purpose” that foreign heads of state expressed in their conversations with President Donald Trump “was to express and extend their prayers and their thoughts and their condolences to those that lost their lives.”

“What we’ll do is turn it over to FEMA, the Department of State, to accept that request for additional actual concrete or tangible assistance,” Bossert said. “If we have unmet needs that they can offer some valuable supply for, we’ll take that. But there’s no reason to not take that assistance.”

The Mexican government on Sunday offered aid to Texas “as good neighbors should always do in trying times” amid massive flooding and destruction after Harvey made landfall.

Trump on Monday did not comment on that offer of assistance, instead insisting that Mexico would “ultimately” pay for his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday thanked Mexico for the offer, which he called “very generous.”

Trump nevertheless did thank Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday, according to a White House readout of their phone conversation, for his offer of assistance.