Trump sur­veys Irma’s wrath

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - David Jack­son and Gre­gory Korte Korte re­ported from Wash­ing­ton. Con­tributng: Frank Gluck in Fort My­ers.

Pres­i­dent Trump took a day trip to Florida on Thurs­day to sur­vey the ex­tent of Hur­ri­cane Irma’s de­struc­tion, thank pub­lic safety ser­vices and meet with vic­tims of the most pow­er­ful hur­ri­cane to hit the USA since Ka­t­rina in 2005.

As he flew over Bonita Springs on Marine One, the pres­i­dent’s he­li­copter cruised low enough for him to see de­bris strewn across sub­di­vi­sions. In the Naples Es­tates neigh­bor­hood, he wit­nessed downed trees, tarp-cov­ered roofs and to­taled mo­bile homes.

“We love th­ese peo­ple — we’re go­ing to help them,” Trump said walk­ing in Naples Es­tates, a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity nes­tled among golf cour­ses. “I want to tell you we love you and we are there for you 100%,” he said.

The trip marks the third hur­ri­cane-rav­aged state that Trump has vis­ited in three weeks, as the dou­ble-bar­reled hits of hur­ri­canes Har­vey and Irma ex­acted a toll on Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Trump plans to visit the Vir­gin Is­lands and Puerto Rico.

At a makeshift food stand in Naples, Trump wore a pres­i­den­tial wind­breaker over his dress shirt as he handed out hoa­gies.

Or rather, Trump pointed to the hoa­gies af­ter strug­gling to put on the food-ser­vice gloves. “Don’t for­get to take one!” he im­plored.

Later, re­porters asked Trump if the sever­ity of th­ese hur­ri­canes changed his views on cli­mate change. Trump, who has been skep­ti­cal on the sub­ject, sug­gested they did not: “We’ve had big­ger storms than this,” he said.

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