President Trump offered his prayers and well wishes to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the devastating flooding in Houston, saying Wednesday the nation will endure and reassuring those in Texas and Louisiana that the hearts of the American people are "joined with yours forever."
"In difficult times such as these, we see the true character of the American people," Trump said at the start of a tax reform event in Springfield, Mo. "We see friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger. We will endure and we will overcome."
The president and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas, and Austin on Tuesday to meet with federal, state and local officials and discuss the rescue and recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey, which brought record rainfall and caused intense flooding in the southeastern part of the state.
Trump didn't travel to Houston, which has been hardest hit, on Tuesday in an effort not to interrupt the ongoing efforts there. The White House said the president will return to Texas on Saturday, though it's unknown which part of the state Trump will visit.
Following his trip, the president was criticized by some for not focusing enough the victims of the flooding in Houston and instead touting the government relief efforts, but Trump devoted a large part of his remarks on Hurricane Harvey to those impacted.
"To those Americans who have lost loved ones, all of America is grieving with you, and our hearts are joined with yours forever. The citizens of Texas and the Gulf Coast need all the prayer, support and resources our communities have to offer," he said. "Recovery will be tough, but I've seen the resilience of the American spirit firsthand, all over the country.
"To the people of Houston and across Texas and Louisiana, we are here with you today. We are with you there, and we will be with you every day to restore, recover and rebuild. Our thoughts and prayers remain firmly with the citizens and our fellow people — people, great, great people — all affected by this tragedy."
Trump also praised the first responders working in southeastern Texas, who he said were "doing absolutely heroic work," and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who the president said is doing an "incredible job."