tv President Trump Holds Roundtable Discussion on Hurricane Laura Response in... CSPAN August 30, 2020 6:25am-6:59am EDT
president trump: thank you very much, everybody. i appreciate you being here. we love this state. it has been a great state for me and it has been a great state for everyone in this room and i can -- we are here to help. i'm here with governor greg abbott come a very special man and he's doing a very good job for the state of texas. lieutenant evan or dan patrick, another friend of mine. i watched you the other night on a very important show and you did and credibly well representing the state. state attorney general can paxton, he's a very aggressive attorney general and that is what we like. you've got some very big ones, including the mail-in ballots. unsolicited, i call them. the unsolicited mail-in ballots were people are sitting home and just get hit with mail-in ballots all over the place.
i think it is a very important case, not only here but for the whole country. i think about 18 of those cases throughout the country. pennsylvania, north carolina, we have a lot of them. you are one of the great leaders. thank you very much. a man who has really been there when we need him and he has been incredible for texas, ted cruz. thank you. we spent a lot of time and we are working and getting texas everything they need. brian, thank you very much. a really terrific guy. randy, where is randy? randy weber. and we have a couple of people who have been friends of mine. i will mention too much but they got a little shot of covid and they are going to be absolutely fine.
i want to say hello to becky ames. you are doing good? you were hit hard. >> not as hard as we could have been. we are recovering and we appreciate you being here, mr. president. president trump: thank you, becky. i hear you are doing a great job. incredible.s louisiana took a very hard hit, but even louisiana, it would have been record-setting because the power was record-setting. 175, 150 miles an hour when it hit. and it came quickly. it came very quickly. i guess you would say they were looking at it as a storm and all of the sudden the storm became a monster. went from a storm to 100 85
and 175 miles an hour. i think they say it was the strongest they have had in louisiana and texas in 150 years, but the path was a little bit lucky. introduce chad wolf, who as you know, we just took the acting away from his name. you are doing a fantastic job at homeland security and hopefully ted will be pushing that hard and we will get him through quickly because he's done a fantastic job. it, that means that's a good sign. the fema administrator who has been doing this with me for a long time and we have not had a loss yet. do it fastod and we and we get you back up and everything i think the governor, it has been signed and you are ready to go?
i will dispense with all the different numbers. you know what they are. we did it, we were in louisiana, and they have been hit hard. we went through a couple of areas, i've never seen anything quite like it. you had trees ripped out from the roots, pine trees broken in half. you just don't see that kind of power. we went through something that was pretty bad. i don't think you got anything like that. we took the emergency declaration and gave it to the governor immediately and dan called about it and i appreciate that and between the two of them, that is a great 1-2 punch. fema has delivered 400,000 liters of water and 250,000 meals already. we have worked with the private sector to restore power to 200,000 resident and they think the power is going to be restored quickly.
and all of the other things we have been doing, the infrastructure, the elements we have been working on, we are working with ted cruz and john cornyn who i hear is doing well. he is a great senator. he's doing a fantastic job. we've been working with the governor, with dan, and i think it would be good if you would tell us how we are doing and what we can do and how we can help you. >> first, i need to thank you for the way you have stepped up. onple don't know this, but midnight as the storm was crossing the shoreline, you that was 1nd then a.m. your time and we spoke again the morning after it happened. you had been there for us every step of the way, helping us. a swiftve i seen such response to a request as we have received from administrative -- administrator gaynor.
i call them and it's like he knows in advance i'm going to be calling him and just says yes immediately. i have beentorms through, which has been a lot, i never received a swifter response from the administration, so on behalf of everybody in this room and everybody across the state of texas, we want to say thank you. i want to thank the local officials. we appreciate you and your leadership, members of congress, becky and other mayors. details i share some know you covered the details in louisiana, but real quick, i had declared ad disaster in 62 counties and the president has similarly declared a disaster in each of those counties. so on behalf of all of those 62 counties, we say thank you, mr. president for that. our areas of focus are on power, distribution,of
safe return of evacuees, and damage assessment. on power and water restoration, 350 power outages exceeded thousand locations across 35 counties. the current outages as of 9:00 100 this morning are about 20,000 locations in 23 counties, meaning emergency repair crews have quickly restored more than 200 30 that to hundred 30 of those power outage in students -- power outage incidences. 171 drinking water assessments have been completed. 84 are operational. in addition, we have 19 points of distribution set up in the impacted regions providing things like water, ice, mras while the power and water systems remain in operable. over 10,000 evacuees
in shelters throughout the state and approximately 3300 hotel rooms. of the shelter residents, that texas division of emergency management is tracking more than 2200 shelter residents from louisiana. it is very important that 10,000 of those evacuees were in non-congregant settings. hoteleans they were in rooms. that's important because we had to respond to hurricane laura while also responding to covid-19. the best setting is not in a large congregant setting but separate settings to prevent the spread of covid-19. we succeeded in getting through hurricane hannah without spreading covid-19 and i think we will get to hurricane laura without spreading covid-19. a total of 808 residents were returned on 43 buses with more missions scheduled for today and
160 state buses are ready to assist the ongoing repopulation efforts. it. is about we continue to assess damages throughout the region. we are on top of this because this swift and effective leadership but we are better capable and swifter in responding to this hurricane because of the way you and your administration so swiftly step up and help the people of texas. pres. trump: thank you very much, governor. i notice you say covid-19. many different names. at least 20 different names. you call it covid-19. that's ok with me, at least for today. [laughter] inerally i come -- generally call it something else. you are coming down and so is arizona and it has been an incredible, down to flawless
numbers, so it is really doing well. i like what you are doing with respect to keeping people separated during this problem with the hurricane. really good job. ted, please? senator cruz: we appreciate you being down in texas once again and let me say something i just told the fema administrator a few moments ago which is that the consistent report i've gotten from the governor, from local officials and state officials is the responsiveness of the administration throughout this hurricane has been extraordinary. we had a blessing with this hurricane in that it could have been much worse. there was significant damage but compared to what we have seen in the past, texas could have gotten hit much worse. we grieve that our neighbors in louisiana took the brunt of this storm and just as louisiana stepped up and helped texas, in
particular with hurricane harvey but others as well, but we are now stepping up to help our neighbors in louisiana who are really suffering. one of the things that is impressive and is -- that is impressive is the level of coordination. we havelaughing at how an inadvertent and unfortunate expertise in that texas has been through some major, major disasters and what we see consistently is a degree of interaction between the city officials, the counterfeit -- county officials, federal officials where you don't get pickering, you don't get turf jockeying, you just get everyone working together and as these disasters have come, you have reached out repeatedly, i still remember talking with you when hurricane harvey was in the gulf and i was in a factory in el paso and you said then and it was the case then and the case now, you said everything texas needs, the federal government, the resources will be there and thank you for that leadership.
it is important and it is a testament here to the strength and expertise of the texans at this table working with the federal government that we minimize the damage as much as possible with a very dangerous storm. you verymp: thank much. dan, please. >> i was in the state senate when ike hit. responserence in your personally and the response with the administration is -- they were a one and you were a 10. the fact that you call the governor at one in the morning. pres. trump: i knew he was going to be up. it an 11ed to make like spinal tap. where we werers not paid by the former administration.
you've done a fabulous job. secondly, on covid, you see the numbers, our highest point in the hospital was 10,883 in july. we are now under 4800 and covid in icu, we are down to 60%, 70% in some hospitals in the icu. the governor's leadership here and all of texas working together, we have turned that corner. >> i want to give the judge credit. the judge said we were not hit as hard as some other areas, so whatever we have other people need, and so many texas, we respect the cajun navy. the texas volunteers, i've seen on all of the newscast, thousands of texas have gone over to louisiana and that is the spirit of america coming together. >> thank you. so thank you, mr. president. you have been here so many times for us. pres. trump: i appreciate it.
can, please. >> mr. president, i did not grow up in texas, but one of the things i love about texas is we get stuff done. so thank you. you truly have accelerated the pace. thank you. this governor has been exceptional dealing with disasters like no other governor i've seen, so i want to give you credit as well. so i would just want to say thank you, thank you. pres. trump: brian? >> thank you for being here. it's an honor to have you in our district and i can't thank you and your administration enough for the rapid response. we are still cleaning up after them elda, harvey and after other storms that hit us and your administration has been absolutely on the money. i -- he's not here today, but i want to brag a little bit on the orange mayor who is not here,
larry spears. he has done a tremendous job. i'm a former mayor myself, so i appreciate mayor spears. president, your administration, we are not supposed to get political here and i realize that but it has been like night and day from what we have seen in the past and i just want to say thank you for what you are doing. say hello to the mayor. yesterday -- daddy did you grow up in orange? >> i did not. i grew up north of dallas. >> he told me that. there he is. that's right. pres. trump: you are checking
him out. [laughter] he knows more. he is doing a great job. thank you. randy? >> thank you, mr. president. i'm probably the oldest guy in the room. i grew up on the gulf coast and have probably been through more hurricanes than anyone here, starting in 61. i was going into the texas house in 2008 when ike hit and i have never, never seen this kind of response from the federal government. it's a testament to your leadership. thank you, thank you, thank you. our great state people are here, our great governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, i can run down the list and you have done everything you said you would do for texas. my district loves you and we appreciate you. pres. trump: you are doing a
great job. chief? >> thank you, mr. president. i want to thank the local officials. in texas, mayors and county judges are the only ones with the mandate to order an evacuation. for the work you did, that saved lives. the reason we have the low death account you have is you took the evacuation orders from the storm seriously. so thank you. thank you for giving us the authority and funding to go to good work. we try really hard at that. from our regional administrator to secretary wolf, thank you for the dedicated leadership. for 10en on this scene years. 17 or 18 disaster declarations and we've never had this past of a response. pres. trump: a very important state, a great state and you've got to take care of the people of texas. that's all there is to it. >> i echo everything that has
been said here. it has been unbelievable. we had humberto and shortly after ike, i went through harvey and them elda and we had 26 since 1953larations -- i was elected mayor in 2007, and i've gotten to know all the people at this table very well and the local officials are very close together. i think governor abbott and our senate and our congress have been unbelievable and i thank you for coming. it means a lot to us and it means a lot to the people who live here for the president to take the time to come and say hello to us. pres. trump: i want to thank you very much. the job you do is incredible and i can see the passion you have for it. it is really great.
>> thank you. it's fantastic. i cannot tell you how much we appreciate you coming. the governor has been here multiple times and everybody greated, we have a concern for our community and a great concern for texas and a great concern for louisiana and we are going to do what we can to help them. you had and the phone calls because there have been many all the way through covid all the way through this. i've been in office for years and this is disaster number six for me. we get good at something we don't want to be good at it but we are going to be good at it and take it -- and take care of it. lookingest thing we are at is getting our energy back up and our power back up and we had someone in the building today who is the president of ceo of entergy texas and their team is powern force getting the
restored as quickly as possible so our citizens on their way home can have power as quickly as possible. there are 70 people who do so much for texas and one of the big projects we have, we have been working and i know senator cornyn is not here but everybody was involved with the levy project. it has made huge progress in the last three weeks and the land office has helped to fund the orange county sheriff portion of it and we are able to move forward with the core and when you are working at the next legislation -- legislative session to deal with that. it is absolutely going to work. pres. trump: they are building our wall and they are doing a good job. up to 300 miles and it's going good. how is that working? the wall i know.
the wall is good. [laughter] the levy. now withe the ability ofs design, different types wall and -- that will stop the with those communities that have walls and we are going to continue to develop those walls and those are going to improve the protection of 100,000 residents in this community and the critical energy structure. starting that it -- we are starting to design right now and are looking at the projects being complete between 2025 and 2027. what makes them incorrect -- what makes them impressive is we are doing it with the local communities.
it is a partnership from top to bottom that will not only withstand it but allow the communities to take care of it. >> what do you think the cost will be? got $4t now, we've billion to move these three projects forward. also we received additional funds to study the remainder of the gulf coast. we have studies we are going to publish in the next month that .ooks at houston and galveston pres. trump: is that part of the original approval? >> that study was part of that. called me andr said can you do me a favor? it's very small. how much, governor? he said it's not much.
$10 billion. he said that could do something -- every time you have a whatcane -- phase one is we are talking about and that will take care of the houston area. directed $3.8s billion and that was with strong bipartisan support. construction, we are studying the continued expansion to complete it and a lot of families at home and energy infrastructure is all along the gulf coast. you are not going to say it sprung a leak. it will work? you have done a fantastic job. do you have anything to say? >> i appreciate you being here.
our community appreciates it. thank you for what you do and i judge andto thank the someday we did not mention, our parks and management coordinator. they've done an outstanding job and we appreciate the work they have done. i want to thank everyone in this room that has helped us in the community. thank you very much. >> one things texans have shown whether it be harvey, all of these other storms, they have been through it and it shows the resilience and perseverance texans have. we are made even stronger by the swift and found a defective support we get from our leaders in washington dc. you are the builder president. you are helping to build the spine that will help protect texas and you are helping texas
rebuild in the aftermath of this hurricane and we say thank you. president trump: do you have any questions? status in the galveston bay with the hundreds of chemical plants? if you could share an update on the economic and environmental impact? >> the commission on environmental quality continues to monitor those with regard to air quality and water quality. they have mobile units engaged to make sure they can adequately go to all the impacted areas. if there is any type of environmental situation, it will be swiftly contained. pres. trump: anybody else? this is an important trip to visit these communities. do you plan to visit kenosha, wisconsin? pres. trump: probably so. we have had tremendous success as you know.
we were able to get the go-ahead from the authorities. we were finally able to get the go-ahead from local authorities to send in the national guard and we sent in the national guard and within a few minutes of the guard, everybody cleared out and it became safe. that was three days ago and we've had absolutely no problem. we sent in 1000 national guard and that is not even a big force. we could fix portland and i would say 45 minutes. the people in portland should protest because the mayor doesn't know what he is doing -- he doesn't have a clue, he doesn't have a clue. this is been going on for years in portland and it has now been going on 94 days. if you would call, or they would ask, the governor would ask, we would have the national guard in their in a short time -- in there in a short time it would be cleaned out in a metal of minutes and they would have a safe portland. with kenosha, it has been in very good shape from the moment
they set foot in that area. the sheriff has been great, the police commissioner, the police chief has been great. we've been working with all of them. the governor let us do what we had to do and we cleaned it out and we will see what happens. we have to keep it going. but we won't have any problem. >> yesterday you did comment on the killing of jacob blake and said you did not like how it looked. i wondered if you could comment on the other shooting that took place in that community. you mentioned the national guard going in, but this was a young man, a 17-year-old facing murder charges for having shot two people. some folks have said, conservatives are holding up this young man as having done so within his rights to self protect. i'm wondering if you have read much about this case or have concerns about ordinary residents with guns in situations like this and what dangers that might present. pres. trump: that is under investigation right now and they will be reporting back to me
over the next 24 hours, 40 eight hours may be max, and we will have a comment about it. right now, we are looking at it very carefully. what we are doing -- it is a great state, wisconsin, a great state, and they should not have to put up with what they went through. the national job -- the national guard has done a fantastic job. >> why is the dni no longer going to be updating the house and senate on election security issues? pres. trump: mark? >> [indiscernible] has been giving briefings and he will ultimately give full briefings in terms of -- not oral briefings, but full intel briefings. it comes down to a simple thing, the last time they gave briefings, a few members talked to the press and disclosed information they were not supposed to disclose and he will make sure there are proper tools
for oversight and make sure they contain it in a way that does not jeopardize sources and methods for the intel we get. pres. trump: director radcliffe brought information into the committee and the information leaked. whether it was shifty shciff -- schiff or someone else. you have leakers on the committee who are doing bad things. we will look into that separately. they were leaking the information as it was brought in. you don't have that in texas, you would not allow that in texas. >> no way. pres. trump: ken will not allow the leakers to be doing that. he wanted to make sure it doesn't leak. >> one question about laura. in june of this year, noaa release a report that climate
change is in part responsible for increasing sea temperatures that is in part responsible for hurricanes like harvey. how do you balance that with climate change and storms that continue to ravage the gold coast? pres. trump: you've had tremendous storms in texas for many decades in many centuries and that way it is. we handle them as they come, all i can do is handle them as they come and nobody has done a better job of it. we love the people of texas, and governor, it is an honor to be with you. thank you very much. thank you very much, everybody. [indistinct conversations]
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] thank you, judge. >> good to see you again. [indistinct conversations] >> the office of the director of national intelligence says it will scale back its updates to members of congress on voting security and will no longer provide in person briefings. in response, house speaker nancy pelosi issued a statement saying the office of the dni has informed us that it will no longer provide briefings to members of congress, including the house and senate
intelligence committees, on foreign efforts to interfere in our upcoming election. this is a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep congress informed. she goes on to request the in person briefings resume, saying if they are unwilling to do so, we will consider the full range of tools available to compel compliance. the dni will reportedly continue to provide written briefings to members of congress. ♪ this convention will come to order. >> the republicans held their convention last week, where delegates met in charlotte to nominate president trump and vice president pence. today at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span,