DC Daily: Trump heads to Texas to survey Harvey damage; President warns NKorea after launch

DC Daily: Trump heads to Texas to survey Harvey damage; President warns NKorea after launch
Posted at 8:52 AM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 12:29:51-04

What's happening in the political world:

Trump heads to Texas to view Harvey devastation
-- President Trump left Washington, D.C., early Tuesday morning for a trip to southern Texas, where he is expected to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and get an up-close look at the ongoing relief and rescue efforts.

Eager to demonstrate leadership amid the worst natural disaster of his tenure, Trump travels to the flood-ravaged region, even as the state grips for more catastrophic rain.

Trump hopes his stops will send the message that he's fully engaged in the disaster recovery efforts, which have consumed Texas officials and are expected to persist for months.

The president's schedule, according to the White House (times are Eastern):

  • 12:25 p.m.: President and First Lady arrive in Corpus Christi
  • 1 p.m.: President and First Lady receive briefing on Harvey relief efforts with local leaders and relief groups
  • 2:30 p.m.: President and First Lady leave Corpus Christi for Austin
  • 3:25 p.m.: President and First Lady arrive in Austin
  • 4 p.m.: President and First Lady tour Emergency Operations Center of Texas Department of Public Safety
  • 4:15 p.m.: President and First Lady receive briefing on Harvey with state leaders
  • 5:20 p.m.: President and First Lady leave Austin for Washington, D.C.

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Trump's morning tweet(s)
-- Prior to departing the White House this morning, President Trump tweeted:

President reacts to North Korea's missile launch
-- After North Korea fired a missile over Japan early Tuesday morning, President Trump said "all options are on the table" in regards to the country.

The missile was fired just before 6 a.m. in Japan, where the launch set off warnings in the northern part of the country urging people to seek shelter.

"The world has received North Korea's latest message loud and clear," Trump said in a statement. "This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also denounced Tuesday's launch, saying it represented a "most serious and grave" threat.

The unidentified missile flew over Erimomisaki, on the northern island of Hokkaido, and broke into three pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean, about 1,180 kilometers (733 miles) off the Japanese coast.

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Trump defends pardon of "Sheriff Joe"
-- President Trump came to his Monday press conference prepared to defend his controversial pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Trump cited one of President Clinton's last acts in office: the controversial pardon of wealthy financier Marc Rich. He spent years abroad evading arrest after he was accused of tax evasion and ignoring sanctions.

Trump told reporters: "If you look at, as an example, President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, who was charged with crimes going back decades."

Rich's ex-wife Denise happened to donate millions to Democratic causes around the same time, which raised suspicions that money bought Rich's pardon. Both Clinton and Denise Rich deny those claims.

Trump also listed several controversial acts of clemency under President Obama, including Puerto Rican militant Oscar López Rivera and WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning.

Trump said of Arpaio: "He's very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration. He is loved in Arizona. I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly when they came down with their big decision to go get him."

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Trump administration adding extra hurdle for green cards
-- Far more green card applicants will now be required to go through an interview, the Trump administration announced. It's a step that could add a substantial slow-down to getting permanent residency in the U.S. for immigrants.

While requiring all green card applicants to be interviewed is already provided for in the law, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the past has waived the interview for broad categories of applicants, a move designed to marshal resources for higher-risk cases.

The new directive stems from Trump's executive order known as the travel ban, which put restrictions on who could enter the U.S., titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," according to USCIS. It is also designed to combat fraud, the agency said.

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CNN and Newsy contributed to this report