President Trump will touch down in Corpus Christi, Texas, at noon Tuesday to survey the flood damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey, the White House announced Monday.
Melania Trump will accompany her husband during the trip to the city, whose port was damaged when Harvey made landfall late Friday about 30 miles away as a Category 4 hurricane.
The president also will survey the damage around San Antonio, said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, according to NBC.
The first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, tweeted Monday: “@FLOTUS will travel to #Texas w @POTUS this week.”
Some expressed their displeasure with Melania Trump’s planned visit.
“Because she does what exactly? And we need to waste taxpayer $$ on her showing up in 5 inch heels & scowling her model pose at the cameras?” @lemonbirdjams posted in response to Grisham.
@curts1girl wrote, “ONLY people who should go are those who can help in the devastation. Otherwise you’re in the way. This is NOT a photo op for a former model.”
And @iheartcarnitas noted that if “this rain keeps up it’ll be more like #FLOATUS :/”
The president will not be stopping in Houston because of the dangerous situation in the city, Abbott said earlier Monday.
The Republican governor has been effusive in his praise for Trump and the federal government — describing an “A-plus” effort in responding to Harvey.
“I’ve got to tell you, I give FEMA a grade of A-plus, all the way from the president down,” Abbott said. “I’ve spoken to the president several times, to his Cabinet members, such as secretary of homeland security, such as the administrator of FEMA, such as Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence told Houston’s KTEV on Monday that “we’ve been bringing the full resources of our national government to bear on the impact of Hurricane Harvey and, of course, the flooding, the rescue that’s under way, and the recovery that will follow. We’re with you.”
Trump spent most of the weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David, where he convened his Cabinet by phone.
On Sunday, he tweeted a promise of a Texas visit “as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption.”
By traveling to the region just days after Harvey struck, the president raised questions among his critics on whether his presence would complicate efforts by emergency responders to help those still in need.
Jennifer Psaki, a former aide to President Obama, tweeted: “It is always a tricky calculation on when to go, but @realDonaldTrump going too early to Texas (tues) would divert significant resources.”
Team Trump appears intent on avoiding President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in August 2005 and left more than 1,500 dead.
The botched response of Bush’s FEMA administrator, Michael Brown, to that hurricane — as well as Bush’s infamous praise of Brown for doing a “heck of a job” — dogged Bush for the remainder of his presidency.
-New York Post-