Trump speaks out for the first time about Harvey's devastation

The president praised first responders and the rescue effort underway in Houston ahead of his scheduled arrival in the storm-ravaged area on Tuesday.
1:46 | 08/28/17

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Transcript for Trump speaks out for the first time about Harvey's devastation
Next, president trump heading here to the disaster zone tomorrow. Speaking for the first time, praising first responders and the rescue efrtds. President trump's handling of the effort, under scrutiny tonight. Here's ABC's senior white house correspondent, Jonathan Karl. Reporter: At the white house today, president trump offered this message to the victims of hurricane Harvey -- "We are 100% with you." We are one American family. We hurt together, we struggle together, and believe me, we endure together. We are one family. Reporter: The president was upbeat about recovery efforts, saying the Texas governor is doing a fantastic job, calling his FEMA administrator "Outstanding in so many ways," and predicting a swift recovery. Texas is a unique place. It's a great, great state, great people. And I think you'll be up and running very, very quickly. Really very quickly. So, yeah, I think you'll be in fantastic shape. Reporter: Trump today also defended his controversial pardon of Arizona sheriff Joe arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court for racial profiling. The pardon was announced just as hurricane Harvey started to hit the Texas coast. In the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally. The hurricane was just starting. And I put out that I pardoned, as we call sheriff Joe. He is loved in Arizona. I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly. And Jon Karl joins us now from the white house, and Jon, president trump is heading down to Texas first thing in the morning? Reporter: The president and the first lady are going down to Texas to get a first hand look at recovery efforts and Tom, they tell us the president will be going back to Texas and to Louisiana on Saturday.

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

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