President Donald Trump returned to Texas on Saturday to check in on the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort and meet with victims of the storm that ravaged southeast Texas.
It was Trump's second post-Harvey trip to the state in four days, after he visited Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday. On Saturday, the president traveled to Houston, which has been reeling from record rainfall and dangerous flooding due to the storm.
Trump's first stop in Houston was NRG stadium, which is being used as a shelter. At the stadium, Trump stopped by a children's play area, received hugs and handshakes and took pictures with people. He and First Lady Melania Trump then helped serve boxed lunches to storm victims.
Speaking with reporters as he handed out the lunches, Trump praised Texans for coming together in the aftermath of Harvey.
"As tough as this was, it’s been a wonderful thing," Trump said of the storm response. "I think even for the country to watch it and for the world to watch. It’s been beautiful."
Trump then made a stop at a church in Pearland, a Houston suburb. Addressing a crowd of volunteers and storm victims inside the church, Trump lavished praise on Gov. Greg Abbott for his role in the Harvey response and expressed confidence that Texans will recover from the storm more quickly than expected.
"It’s a long term," Trump said. "We’re talking about — they say two years, three years, but I think that because this is Texas you’ll probably do it in six months."
In addition to Abbott and the first lady, Trump was accompanied by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and a number of Cabinet officials. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who joined Trump for his visit to Texas on Tuesday, would not be there Saturday, a Cornyn spokeswoman said ahead of the trip.
Trump's swing through Houston came two days after Vice President Mike Pence visited the state to tour the damage from Harvey and meet with those affected by it. A number of other administration officials have made their own trips to the state this week, including Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Linda McMahon, administrator of the Small Business Administration.
On Sunday, U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is set to come to Texas to survey storm damage as Congress gets to work on a Harvey aid package. McCarthy, a California Republican, is expected to join members of Congress from Texas on Sunday in Corpus Christi and Monday in the Houston area.