*From:* Andrew BEATTY <xxx@afp.com> *Date:* August 29, 2017 at 3:54:04 PM CDT
*Subject:* *Travel pool report 11 - ops center *

After a long and largely uneventful motorcade from the airport the motorcade pulled to a stop at we the Texas Department of Public Safety at around 15:10.

Outside the venue was a sizable anti-Trump demonstration, with signs saying "Nyet" and "Impeach little hands"

The pool was led down several flights of stairs into the belly of the departments large op center, which featured multiple LCD screens showing maps, aerial footage from the flood zone and meteorological projections.

Dozens and dozens of disaster responders were sat at row after row of terminals. Large red, yellow and green triangle shaped signs above their heads indicated their agency or unit: logistics, finance, intake, operations, military, emergency services etc.

POTUS -- still wearing the cap and raincoat -- entered the room a few moments later to polite applause.

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He praised their tremendous love and coordination.

"I will tell you, the whole county and the whole world is really seeing and gaining such respect for everybody. The job you have done is incredible, what we have done is under circumstances, I said before, the word 'epic' and 'historic', these are words used to describe this monster known as Harvey, but the job you have done is special."

"I said, 'let's fly over let's see these great people'," at the "nerve center".

"The world is watching and the world is very impressed with what you are doing."

"I just want to thank you on behalf of myself, of the First Lady."

"It's going to be long term, it's not going to be a quick one," he added.

He shook hands with a few people in the room as he made his way to the exit.

From there the pool was led into a smaller meeting room where Governor Abbott, cabinet members, the two US lawmakers and the president were already talking around a conference table.

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Abbott made a few remarks, saying that during the AF1 flight from Corpus Christi they watched "videos" of what was going on in Houston.

"The president was heartbroken about what he saw" Abbott said.

POTUS again went round the room saying thanks, saying the coordination has been great: "everybody is talking about it."

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"The sad thing is that this is long term, nobody has ever seen anything this long and nobody has ever seen this much water."

Turning to lawmakers, POTUS said "we are going to be working with Congress on helping out the state of Texas, it's going to be a costly proposition."

Mentioning Cruz, Cornyn and a handful on Congressmen, POTUS said "we'll be working with these characters over there and think we'll come through with a really, you know the right solution."

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"Probably there has never been anything so expensive in our country's history, we've never done anything so historic in terms of damage and in terms of ferocity as what we've witnessed with Harvey. It sounds like such an innocent name, Ben (Carson), right, but it's not innocent."

Other participants then took their turn to speak and the pool was led out. We are currently waiting in vans.


Public Pool is an automated feed of White House press pool reports. For live updates, follow @WHPublicPool on Twitter.