CNN Anchor Tries and Fails to Get Texas Governor to Criticize Trump
Abbott says president showed 'deep concern' for victims during visit to flood-ravaged region
CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota attempted multiple times Wednesday to bait Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) into criticizing President Donald Trump over his Tuesday visit to flood-ravaged Texas, but to no avail.
Liberal pundits have blasted the president for not being “compassionate” enough during his visit to the devastated region by not meeting with victims. Camerota began her “New Day” segment with Abbott with an open-ended question, asking him to “tell us about the president’s visit to the state” on Tuesday, and to “tell us what he accomplished.”
"Well, it was very important for the president to show up and to show how much he cared about the state of Texas, about our citizens, and about his commitment to helping Texas get through this emergency process and then rebuild," Abbott said.
"But as far as the president himself is concerned," he added, "I got to visit with him at length and see both his compassion and his commitment to helping Texas get through this process."
But Camerota pressed the Texas governor further, asking, "Do you think that the president should have talked more about the victims? I mean, when you talk about his compassion, obviously there is some criticism today that he didn't talk enough about the victims, he didn't reach out to them enough."
In response, Abbott told Camerota that Trump "talked to me at length about the victims and about the devastation that he saw and about his deep concern about what people were going through."
"He and I together were watching on TV the flooding that was occurring in Houston. He didn't want to go to that location because he didn't want to interfere with it. But he expressed his sorrow and deep concern about how these people's lives have been completely inundated, and his compassion and commitment to help them to respond," he said.
"And, as I think you have reported, [Trump] will be going there soon to try to help the people in the Houston region," Abbott added. "But he also understands this is bigger than just Houston. He's concerned all the way from Corpus Christi and Port Aransas to the flooding that is now going on in the Beaumont region."
Undeterred, Camerota gave the Texas governor one more opportunity to criticize Trump, asking Abbott if he wished that Trump had "put out the word for more help" to get "more Americans involved in sort of this moment of coming together for Houston and Texas" through donations and manpower.
"What we talked about was that we have had a very collaborative and seamless connection between the federal government, the state of Texas and the local governments for a remarkable response to — as you pointed out — a record flooding," Abbott replied. "But also we talked about where we're going to go from here and what needs to be done from here to take care of the challenges that Texans are going to be facing for months and for years to come."
"And we began to talk in detail about how we will continue to work seamlessly to make sure that we address these ongoing challenges," he added.
After receiving no criticism about the president from the Texas governor, Camerota appeared to switch tactics by asking Abbott why he hasn't yet taken advantage of the U.S. military's thousands of available troops who are "waiting for the green light" from Abbott.
"Is today the right time? Are you waiting a few days or waiting to see what happens on the ground before actually deploying those folks?" Camerota asked. "And what about the assistance that's being offered from other states and from Mexico? They say that they, too, have troops ready to send to you, and they're just waiting for you to pick up the phone and give them the 'yes' sign."
In response, Abbott said that Texas is "in the process of mustering all of the appropriate National Guard that will be deployed by the federal government."
"We already have on the ground National Guard from countless states, across the United States. And let me use this opportunity to thank all these states. I can't even list them all because so many have been involved in this process," he said.
"We have an abundance of resources that have been made available to use. But we will continue to add more at all the right locations," Abbott added. "But again, as we speak, we have these conversations from the president to his cabinet to the Department of Defense — and have the right strategies in place to make sure that we have the right personnel in place."