WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump touched down in North Carolina Wednesday, the first part of a visit to states hit hardest by Hurricane Florence.
Leaving the White House, Trump told reporters that the trip, which will also include a stop in South Carolina, was largely focused on thanking first-responders.
“We’re really just going to say hello to all of the folks from FEMA, the military, the people that are working so hard,” Trump said. “I think it will be an incredible day.”
Shortly after arriving, Trump began the visit with a briefing in a hangar at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point.
After hearing from state and local officials, Trump promised that financial aid would arrive expeditiously.
“The money will come as fast as you need it,” Trump said.
Trump also asked one state official about the site of his North Carolina-based golf club.
“How is Lake Norman doing?” Trump asked, without directly referencing his club. “love that area. I can’t tell you why, but I love that area.”
The president then stopped at a relief station held at Temple Church in New Bern, a city that was among the most impacted by last week’s storm.
“How’s the house?” the president asked to passing motorists.
Once there, he passed out supplies and mingled for approximately 15 minutes before departing for a walking tour to survey the damage.
Last week’s hurricane, which caused massive flooding and extensive power outages, resulted in 37 deaths, including two in Virginia.
The president’s visit was previewed last week by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who said in a statement that it would occur once it was determined that his presence wouldn’t disrupt recovery efforts on-the-ground.