As Trumps tour hurricane damage, reports shine light on ag losses
October 16, 2018
As President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump traveled to Florida and Georgia today to tour damage from Hurricane Michael and meet with farmers in Georgia, news stories detailed the extent of the damage to agriculture, particularly peanuts and chicken.
At the Georgia Operations Center for the Red Cross in Macon, Ga., Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black told Trump, "We lead the nation in peanut production, pecan production, forest product production. We're leaders in vegetable. So that's production. Today we're leading in destruction, unfortunately. We will lead in rebuilding."
Trump replied, "No doubt about it."
Trump also noted that former President Jimmy Carter of Georgia is a "peanut farmer, and a nice man. He is a nice man. Met him on numerous occasions. And if you think about it, that's what he did, right? Peanuts. So it's great."
Asked whether he would ask Congress for supplementary funding to respond to the hurricanes, Trump said "Yeah. The governors know that we're there for them. I've spoken with Rick Scott in Florida. Governor, you know that. We're right with you. And we'll be helping Alabama, we'll be helping all of the — as we have been with North Carolina and South Carolina. So, we're there."
Asked if he was worried about the deficit, which treasury officials have said is the worst in recent years, Trump said, "I always worry about the deficit. But what are you going to do? You have a hurricane. I have to take care of the people. So the deficit is always a problem for me, but we take care of our people, most importantly."
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To a reporter who noted that the president recently said "there is something there" about climate change, even though he has called it a hoax in the past, Trump said, "there's something there. There's no question. There is something there — manmade or not. I mean, there's something there. And it's going to go, and it's going to go back and forth. But there is something there."
Asked whether the hurricane would affect his views on the Paris Climate Accord, Trump said "No, I want crystal clean water. I want the cleanest air on the planet — which, by the way, now we have. It's gotten better since last year — even better. And I'm very, very tough on that."