Transcript for President Trump's response to Hurricane Harvey
We are following hurricane Harvey wreaking Havoc in Texas tonight this is president trumps first natural disasters you know since taking office. And the federal response is already under way. But there's also much other news coming out of the capitol tonight and for the more we go to ABC's Gloria Riviera in Washington Gloria. Good morning juju here in Washington you know we really expected to be focusing on the federal response. This first big test for the administration in terms of a national disaster. But the president has surprised us with two more headlines we'll get to both of those a let's start with Harvey the president. Has been updating Twitter followers throughout the night just before 1 AM tweeting that his administration. Is fully engaged with open lines of communication. And to those in the storm's path telling them America is with you. Earlier the president treated he had signed a disaster proclamation that came after we see him there leaving for our. Camp David where he's been monitoring the situation with vice president ends in DC. Now he said that he would sign that declaration to unleash the full force of government help that means making federal funding available to the recovery efforts. That news came just before 10 PM east area. Letting local authorities on the ground in Texas no they're not alone. And really marking this as the first test and looking at how well the administration will handle the star how effective can it be in an emergency. Now speaking of affected this president has been multitasking. Since the storms starting. Fifteen minutes after the news that he would sign the declaration broke again over her Twitter the president announcing his granted a full pardon to controversial. Former Arizona sheriff Joseph Arpaio. Hope hire a Pio was. Facing up to six months in prison he been convicted. For criminal contempt of court for ignoring order orders to stop. Detaining suspected. Undocumented immigrants. Arpaio is an early outspoken supporter of the president. The two have been closely aligned in support of building a wall on the border with Mexico. Now there's been quick backlash to this Senator John McCain. From Arizona where he's getting treatment for cancer in a statement saying trumps pardon undermines the president's own claim to respect the rule of law. If that weren't enough there is more before the night was over the White House released a presidential memorandum. Directing the Pentagon. To band transgender people from joining the US military is as big news it instructs the Department of Defense. To stop funding transgender related treatments. And it's a bandits at the military advice surprise military leaders and it comes the same day that in his weekly address. President said every person puts on the uniform makes our country proud so much news tonight in addition to all this Harvey news and. We washing it off from Washington juju. Thanks to you Gloria you know there is clearly more damage unfolding it's going to be an enormous impact an enormous ripple effect of the storm when it comes to. Travel flights are being canceled and passengers. Aboard cruise ships are unable to return home at this hour ABC's Victor O Ken though is in Houston tonight for us with all of the cracks Victor. Thank you to the big rain event. Making its presence felt. There are some 20000 passengers on board for cruise ships in the Gulf of Mexico that are not able to get to the Galveston port because that court. Is now closed so they are going to be riding out the storm. Waiting for to pass before they returned to that port that's what's happening at seat in the air we just got word the Corpus Christi international airport. Is now close and it likely won't reopen until Monday at the earliest. Flight cancellations there were plenty of them on. Friday more than 130 on Friday alone between Houston's airports in Corpus Christi and on Saturday that number's expected to grow already had about 170. Those numbers could always change make your check with the airline before flying out something else to consider here experts say. That hardly could have a major impact on gas prices there are more than 45%. Before the 45% of US petroleum refining capacity of located along the Gulf Coast and there are dozens of offshore oil and gas rigs right in the path of the storm. We could be looking at significant increases from five cents to fifteen cents per gallon. Here in Houston YouTube we are bracing for a big heavy rain event later in the day Saturday that's and it's expected right now. The mayor saying no need to have accurate.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.