Trump speaks in Austin after touring emergency command center

The president visits Texas as the flooding crisis grows in Harvey-hit areas.
10:20 | 08/29/17

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Transcript for Trump speaks in Austin after touring emergency command center
Hi everyone on an about your continuing coverage of president trumps. Trip to Texas to visit some of the areas affected by hurricane Harvey let's bring in ABC's political director. Rick Klein keeping an eye on everything from down in our Washington DC bureau. And Rick lease our colleagues they're talking about a little that we can't stress enough here this is the president president rather first. Tests in this kind of way heat out of his comfort zone. Out among people who've been immediately impacted. By this hurricane. And he's doing it again some numbers for the coming from a recent poll that these people really like the way he's handling himself as president. If that's right now I am struck by the trump Ian flourishes that we've seen throughout this is all of these superlatives about how it's the biggest and and the greatest. I pain and obviously the if the response has been. Nothing short of inspiring. I also think though you're seeing a bit different side of president trial this is him as a manager and the key is recognize the gravity of the situation the need for federal response. I am curious how this plays in the longer term. I given the enormity of these challenges this is not going to be something that cleans up as quickly as he seems to think it might Beardsley saying it might be. And how quickly he returns the politics but I think. The images that he's added to. Over the course it's day here probably added to a sense of national. Togetherness this is not been. Polarizing. We've seen so different sides in elect its is that different side it's reveal themselves. Let's bring in our colleague John Carly BC's chief White House correspondent John it's worth mentioning. Typically when we see presidents in these kinds of environments. He sees them out and about touring devastation. And giving a flyover over the affected areas shaking hands hugging people. We haven't seen that yet from president trump but do you think we might. Well. President said that he would be going back to Texas and the Louisiana on Saturday. I expect we may in that situation this is. On usual and that the president. Is visiting the disaster area as the disaster is still ongoing we still have a tropical storm. Hitting Texas and Louisiana. And the president decided to put down their obviously did not want to interfere with the rescue recovery efforts. So he went to Corpus Christi and now we saw him at Austin off far away from. The view that the center of the disaster right now to talk to was the senior officials involved in the in the recovery efforts. But he hasn't been you know in the disaster zone because the disaster is ongoing and they don't want to interfere with with rescue efforts. I want to play for you guys as a little bit of sound from earlier in the day he mentioned he was in Corpus Christi. He got a briefing there from federal state and local officials and they visited a local fire house. To speak to some folks who gathered there take a listen to a president compact to say. I cannot bring a media thing. Namely. Yeah. Right here so. Okay. Day. Vernon. Jon Karl it's a very different kind of image cut by the president there than when we usually see. When heads of state visit these kinds of disaster zones. This is classic trump this is him addressing his people and delivering that optimistic message act he usually does right. Yeah I. And there you hear him doing as we've part of don't wanted to do so many times in the past talk about the size of the crowd. Which seems you know all. Kind of an odd juxtaposition given what's going on again he he wasn't in Houston he wasn't. In the area. That'd been hit so hard by the flooding continues to be hit. Hard by the flooding it was essentially talking to supporters. Looking a bit more like a political rally. That it is it to a disaster area. And it was an upbeat trump bought talking about getting taxes back up and running immediately. I think we saw slightly different tone from him just now. Meeting. In it at the command center in Austin where he talked about how this is a long term. This is not going to be an immediate recovery effort is going to be long term. Effort. This could require. Getting. You know providing. Housing for thousands of people that have seen their homes destroyed. This will be an effort that's gonna go on for a long time. And I think that you didn't see much of a sense that from trump in the first stop a little bit of of an indication of that once he was briefed more fully briefed by officials found. The reclining it though the response on the ground and for all those affected is going to be. Very very long immediately in mr. Trump's feature in for everyone back in Washington will be whatever federal funding response they can cobble together. Based on mr. trumps a success in the pass on pushing through policies on making things happen on bringing people together. How much faith should people put in their ability to help those who can affect it. At a sobering effect on the debate I think. The big argument seems small small arguments seem petty John and I interviewed for our podcast powerhouse politics just today one of the most conservative members. Of the house the chairman of the house freedom caucus mark meadows he voted against. The hurricane sandy relief package he says he's poised to vote for. A Harvey relief package he feels like it needs to happen quickly and it's not just that he thinks that they should avoid a government shutdown despite what the president saying about quarter on the he legacy to government funded through the rest of the year so. I feel like is a bit of a different tone that's being hit right now by even some of the budget hawks that conservative members of congress that say. Look this is a national tragedies of national emergency you'll be a bad time for government shutdown would be a bad time for political. Squabbles and be a good time to show little bit at togetherness just solidarity with the people texts. And show little empathy I think too because. As the days goes on we're starting to hear more and more individual stories like this one shared earlier by the Houston police chief he was giving a press conference. Sharing some of the earlier details about how his department has been able to respond he also had to share the unfortunate news. Confirming the death of one of his own take a lesson. We won't save regularly and inordinate. I. That was of course not the Houston police chief out of president from from earlier in his briefing in Corpus Christi. But rake over to you on that that you send police chief earlier had to share. In a very heartbreaking moment. Sorted that confirming the death of one of his own police officers someone who's just shy of his 61 birthday. A 34 year veteran on the force they're going to be more and more individual. Heartbreaking tragic stories like that this be seen just over the last 24 hours the president is that the temper his messaging somewhat. He think you'll continue to do that given how long we're going to be dealing with the fallout from Harvey. The big question about how the president changes that message he'll be back tomorrow to kind of business as usual be in Missouri talking about tax reform it. We've seen so many different versions of president Koppel the last few weeks which version do we yet. From here because you're actually right this is a long term recovery effort. And in the eat the more immediate term with the with the tropical storm coming back in Texas all over again. With the floodwaters in some areas could get worse there's so much damage and devastation almost certainly additional fatalities that not been uncovered yet. These will be heartbreaking scene story very long time. And the message I think coming out of the president. Will be important message from political leaders important it is a sobering moment and that's sad time for the nation. With all of these nice. Heart warming stories that are breaking through. This is a very serious tragedy. Texas and Jon Karl before we let you god let's get your final thoughts on this because when the president goes back to Washington. He's gonna step back into a lot of the same feuds and fights that he left behind. How do we think this is going to place in sort of the totem pole of his priorities moving forward. Well I think that he will have initially strong support congress Rick mentioned the interview we did with the head of freedom caucus which would which was. Basically a group of conservatives who. Stood to fight against the funding factories shippers storms and he now saying there fully on board with wanting this relief effort. But he's going back to what may well be the most challenging month of his presidency so far something that Steve candidate referred to is in meat grinder. Getting through finding a way to get his forum here is priorities funded funny way to keep the government from shutting down displays on threats. This is going to be an incredibly challenging and divisive time in Washington I think he will the one thing he will find support for though congress. Without any question is funding this truly. Right ABC's Jon Karl and Rick Klein in Washington DC thanks to both the view. And thanks to all of you for watching as well remember you can go to Anytime for the latest on those stories and many more for now I'm on an Abbas will see you back here soon.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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