President Donald Trump landed in Texas Tuesday to meet with officials and assess the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, telling those who gathered to see him in Corpus Christi, “What a crowd, what a turnout.”
Trump addressed a crowd outside the firehouse where he had just met with officials.
According to CNN, not everyone there was a Trump supporter. One person held a sign calling Trump a “liar, cheat, racist.” Another sign read “You pardoned Joe, what about Jose?” (Last week, Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, the headline-grabbing former Phoenix-area sheriff whose crackdowns on undocumented immigrants led to a criminal contempt conviction last month.)
Trump stood on a stool as he thanked everyone for showing up.
After promising to “get you back and operating immediately,” Trump mentioned the size of the crowd gathered to hear him talk — not unlike his recent rallies.
“What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump said.
Trump has been mocked for his seeming obsession with crowd sizes. On Trump’s first full day in office, newly-minted White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared that “members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting” on Inauguration Day.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period, both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said.
His claim, however, conflicted with both TV ratings and reports from D.C. officials. According to Nielsen data from Bloomberg, Trump’s inauguration drew 31 million viewers nationwide — almost 11 million short of the record set by Ronald Reagan in 1981, and 7 million short of Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
Trump’s trip to Texas marks the his first response to a disaster as president. The Category 4 hurricane made landfall along Texas’ Gulf Coast Friday night, causing severe damage along the Coast record-breaking rainfall.