President Trump Proclaims National "Prayer Sunday" For Hurricane Harvey Victims

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The president announced Friday that this upcoming Sunday would be a national day of prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

"I just authorized and signed a proclamation for prayer," the president said. "And we're going to have, on Sunday, a prayer Sunday... So I think it's going to be something to see and to witness. Will be -- it's been a long time, and our country deserves it, frankly."

Transcript:

D. TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much.

The first lady and I are pleased to welcome Gail McGovern of the American Red Cross, David Hudson of the Salvation Army and Kevin Ezell of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

These people have been absolutely incredible in what they've done. We'd like to thank them and their staff and volunteers for the incredible work they're doing and -- in helping people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Sounds like a very innocent name, but it's not an innocent hurricane, that I can tell you. It's of epic proportion.

These organizations and the many other nonprofits involved represent the generosity, determination and unbreakable spirit of the American people. And Mike Pence was there yesterday and represented this country so well in the love and the care, and I had so many just great comments about your visit. So I appreciate it.

PENCE: Thank you, Mr. President.

D. TRUMP: When a disaster strikes, they work to help others in the time of need, which was over the last week, believe me. They've already provided tens of thousands of displaced gulf coast residents with meals, water, shelter, fresh blankets and clean clothing. When one American suffers -- and I say this quite a bit, and especially lately, when you see what's going on -- we all suffer.

We're one American family, brought together in times of tragedy by the unbreakable bonds of love and loyalty that we have for one another. And there is a great love and a great loyalty in this country, and I think we've all seen it, maybe more so than ever before, over the last four days. So I think we really have seen it.

Nowhere is our unity more evident than in the actions of our volunteer and charitable organizations that rally to their neighbors' aid when disaster strikes. The people of Texas and Louisiana were hit very hard by a historic flood. In their response, they have taught us all a lesson, a very, very powerful lesson. There was no outbreak in crime. There was an outbreak of compassion only. Real, beautiful, strong compassion. And they've really inspired us as a nation. To be honest, they've inspired the world, because the world is watching.

We're pleased to receive an update from Gail, David and Kevin on the work of the Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. The federal government is on the ground, bringing in significant resources to bear. And I want to assure these organizations and the others involved that we will continue to coordinate with them and bring all of the relief and the comfort and everything else that we absolutely can to the gulf coast.

And I want to also thank the governor and lieutenant governor of Texas. They have been outstanding. Just the coordination and the level of relationship has been, I think, pretty much unprecedented. So I just want to thank them. I want to thank all of the folks working on the ground for the administration. Tom Bossert's here today. Tom, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Every American heart is with the people of Texas and Louisiana. They're strong and resilient, and they have really overcome. And we're in the process of -- just about where I can say overcome this horrible devastation. Now it's going back to work.

But the Coast Guard in particular, I have to also thank. They saved probably thousands of lives, we were just talking about it, going onto seas that very few people would want to be on, in the worst of times. And they were saving a lot of people out there.

Together, we will help them all recover from this tragedy. We'll renew our hope in community, and we'll renew our hope and rebuild those homes and businesses and schools and places of worship with a strength and vigor that comes from the love within our souls.

And I just authorized and signed a proclamation for prayer. And we're going to have, on Sunday, a prayer Sunday. And Mike -- that was something that was very special, just took place. So I think it's going to be something to see and to witness. Will be -- it's been a long time, and our country deserves it, frankly.

I want to thank my wife, Melania, the first lady. She's been so involved in this and helping so much, and so I want to thank you. Would you like to say a few words to start off?

M. TRUMP: It's great to be here with some (ph) amazing people. And I want to thank all the volunteers all across the country that came to help, to Texas. And -- fantastic job. And we are going tomorrow to be with them. And I just want to tell them to be strong and everything will be OK on the end of (ph).

D. TRUMP: See, I didn't tell her I was going to do that, Steve (ph). And she did a great job.

(LAUGHTER)

But she really has -- she's been so dedicated to this. This has very much affected her, what's -- what's happened in Texas and neighboring states, frankly. So I want to thank you, First Lady. Thank you.

Salvation Army.

HUDSON: Yes, well, we're first of all very appreciative of this opportunity, appreciative of our partners in service. We are working hand in hand with groups like the Red Cross, where they provide shelter for people and we're able to provide meals.

And even though we're limited in being able to get into a lot of the impacted areas, we've already served hundreds of thousands of meals, and literally millions of meals will be served. And we can only do this as we partner together.

And as I've told my coworkers, this is a time that we're all Texans. And no matter where you're from, we're all about serving Americans in need. And I'd like to thank you, Mr. President, the Red Cross, and the Baptists and all of the other agencies that partner with us. Together, we can make a difference.

D. TRUMP: Thank you very much. Very nice.

Southern Baptist.

EZELL: We're three different organizations, but we work best as one. And the joy of this is we really do lock arms and have the capacity to feed over 400,000 people a day.

And, Mr. President, thank you for FEMA. They've been incredible through this. We've gone through many disasters, and they've done just a fantastic job of stepping to plate and being prepared and allowing us to volunteer in the way we're prepared to do.

D. TRUMP: Well, I think we should thank Brock Long and all of the people at FEMA and the people at Homeland, and I have to say, General Kelly, who's been so much involved, as you know. He just left and he's now in the White House. But his -- his spirit and everything else that's been involved over the last few weeks, getting ready, because really, this has been probably now almost two weeks since we felt it was probably going to hit that area.

But General Kelly's done a fantastic job, and Elaine Duke was -- has been terrific. So, I want to all -- thank all of our folks. Tell me, Red Cross, how are we doing?

MCGOVERN: So, first of all, our hearts go out to the people of Texas and on behalf of the entire American Red Cross. So many people have lost everything and presented in our shelters with just the clothes on their back.

I visited one of the shelters outside of Austin, and it housed about 200 people. And I had the opportunity to talk to all the families, everyone from a six-month-old baby, to six-foot-eight man, and everybody in between. And you heard stories of heartbreak and heartache. But the one thing that I have seen in the nine years that I've been with the American Red Cross is the incredible resiliency of the American people.

D. TRUMP: That's right.

MCGOVERN: They are bound and determined to build back. And there are about 40,000 people in our shelters right now across the state of Texas. And our volunteers are pouring in, giving them comfort, hope. We've served about 390,000 meals and snacks.

And the incredible thing is our partners are there. They are getting hot meals into our hands so that we can serve them. Government has just been phenomenal. When we had a hard time getting our volunteers in, the city gave us dump trucks so we can get volunteers and cots in. Department of Defense gave us high-water vehicles, twenty of them, so we could break in and bring needed supplies.

So I'm just so appreciative of the teamwork. I'm appreciative of your support. And, again, our hearts go out to the people of Texas.

D. TRUMP: Thank you very much, Gail. That's very nice, 390,000.

MCGOVERN: Meals and snacks.

D. TRUMP: And that's up until now.

MCGOVERN: Just up until -- as of last night.

D. TRUMP: You'll be doubling that. That's tremendous.

MCGOVERN: Not quite sure (inaudible).

D. TRUMP: Mike, would you like to say something?

PENCE: Just -- Mr. President, having just returned from southeast Texas yesterday, we heard the resilience, the character, the faith of the people of these communities. We heard their gratitude to you and the first lady for the administration's support, for your compassion, for -- their admiration for our first responders, from FEMA, down to local leadership.

But I also heard, Mr. President, about their gratitude for volunteer organizations that have literally been there from the very outset of this storm. And I want to thank you and the first lady for taking the opportunity to call attention to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

But anyone looking on should know that, while the federal government is going to be there at your direction, we'll be seeking resources from the Congress to make sure that disaster relief is available for individuals and businesses.

Literally, the work of meeting people's human needs each and every day will take all of us. And these volunteer organizations need resources, and they need people.

And I would just add, Mr. President, that anyone looking on can go to NVOAD.org. It's our website where all these organizations are listed. People can find out how they can be supportive of national volunteer organizations that, at this very hour and for weeks and months ahead, will be coming alongside families as they rebuild their lives.

D. TRUMP: That's great. Thank you, Mike. Thank you very much.

This is just some of the locations that, over a very short period of time, they've managed -- they and others have managed to go to. Some of these locations, as you know very well, some of the press has been there, and I will say they are devastated.

Two days ago, there was water like nobody's ever seen before. I guess in the history of our country, we've never had an amount of water like we've had, and yet you were able to occupy all of these different locations and take care of people, you and the others.

So we want to just thank you. That's really a special, special job. Thank you very much.

(CROSSTALK)

D. TRUMP: Thank you, Gail. Thank you very much. Great job. Great job. Thank you all very much. Appreciate it.

QUESTION: Mr. President, do you think DACA is illegal?

D. TRUMP: Thank you very much.

STAFF: Thank you, everyone.

D. TRUMP: We'll be releasing on DACA sometime over the weekend. Probably Sunday, Saturday. The latest will be Monday.

STAFF: Thanks, everyone.

D. TRUMP: Great feeling for DACA.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

D. TRUMP: Excuse me?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) DACA is illegal (ph). (Inaudible).

D. TRUMP: Thank you.

QUESTION: Sir, will you be making a (inaudible) request today?

D. TRUMP: We'll be making a request, absolutely.

STAFF: Thank you, everyone.

D. TRUMP: For the state of Texas, yes.

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