Trump Visits Florida to Assess Hurricane Irma Damage


President Donald Trump praised the media Thursday during a visit to hurricane-ravaged Florida, a rare move from him given his rocky relationship with many in the press.

Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert said the planning for the president's trip was done in concert with Florida Gov.

"I think we're doing a good job in Florida", Mr. Trump said. "This has been a hard situation".

But as Trump's comments about Scott suggested, politics wasn't far from the surface in Florida, the largest and most pivotal state in recent presidential elections. They visited with first responders and helped hand out water and food to people who needed it.

Almost 2.7 million homes and businesses - about one in four buildings - are still without power in Florida.

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The President and the First Lady made two trips to Texas last month in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Trump will travel with Vice President Mike Pence and first lady Melania Trump. "I don't know what he's going to do". On the tarmac of the Fort Myers airport, he encouraged the state's governor, Republican Rick Scott, to challenge Florida's Democratic senator when his term expires.

Trump is traveling to Naples and Fort Myers to meet with those affected by the hurricane and learn more about relief efforts.

This is Trump's third visit in less than three weeks to a hurricane-damaged state.

"We're working on a deal, very important is the wall to me and we have to know the wall will not be obstructed", said Mr. Trump of the border security package discussions with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. He toured a Houston shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions.

That storm killed 1,800 people around New Orleans. Widespread outages led to long lines outside of the relatively few stores, gas stations and restaurants that had reopened.