The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump in Texas: ‘I’m the builder president. Remember that.’

President Trump calls himself “the builder president” during a meeting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) about recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. (Video: The Washington Post)

DALLAS — As President Trump made his way to a high-dollar GOP fundraiser on Wednesday afternoon, he briefly met with a few local officials to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey and to strategize on how the state could better prepare for future hurricanes.

Sitting in a small conference room at a private terminal at Dallas Love Field Airport with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and others, Trump said he was open to launching major infrastructure projects in the Houston area that are aimed at reducing flooding during future storms and suggested that homeowners living in flood zones install water-resistant drywall on the first floor of their homes — an idea that he credited to his experience in the construction industry.

“I'm the builder president. Remember that,” said the president whose major legacy thus far has been deconstructing policies and programs put into place by President Barack Obama.

Trump told the officials that he wants them to present him with plans for how Houston can address flooding “on a more permanent basis,” and that he's interested in the concepts he has heard about thus far, although he needs to learn more about the costs.

In a Houston neighborhood hit by Hurricane Harvey, Trump supporters debate how much aid Puerto Rico should get

“Let's take a look at the costs and then see if it's possible to do, because that would save a lot of money into the future, and it would also put a lot of people to work,” Trump said. “So let's see what we can do.”

Trump said that had this work been done earlier, destruction from Hurricane Harvey in Houston two months ago would have been “perhaps almost nothing.”

The president also shared his idea for hurricane-proofing homes built in flood zones.

“It's called greenboard,” Trump said, explaining that it's a form of drywall that builders often use in shower stalls, bathrooms and other places that are exposed to moisture. “Water has no impact on it.”

Although greenboard drywall is moisture-resistant, it is not waterproof. Still, the president suggested that homeowners install it on the first-floor of their homes.

“Frankly, if people would do that on their first floor, that water would come in, it would come out, and they would be back in business. You wouldn't have to rip out the whole house” after a major flooding event, Trump said.

As Trump touched down in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon, he tweeted from his personal account: “The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!”

Thursday is the day designated in the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act to make public another batch of classified CIA and FBI documents related to the former president's assassination in Dallas in November 1963. Trump announced on Saturday that he plans to allow the files to be opened, “subject to the receipt of further information.” The White House later said that if other government agencies made a strong case not to release the documents, he wouldn’t.

Trump plans to release JFK assassination documents despite concerns from federal agencies

Trump was greeted at the airport by the governor and several dozen supporters who chanted, “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “USA! USA! USA!” The president spent about 10 minutes chatting with those supporters — shaking hands, air-kissing the cheeks of several women and signing autographs. One woman yelled again and again: “We love you! We love you!”

After the briefing, Trump traveled to the Belo Mansion and Pavilion for a series of events with donors to his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. He was greeted by a few dozen protesters, some of whom held signs that read: “Elect a clown, expect a circus,” “Liar Liar Liar,” “SHAME,” “Trump, that boy don't act right,” “Having Trump in charge of the economy is like having a rat in charge of the cheese” and “Immigrants built this country.” At one point, the protesters chanted, “Shame on you!”

Fundraiser organizers expect about 200 people to attend. Tickets range from $2,700 per person to $100,000 per couple, and organizers expect to raise $4 million.

President Trump met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and other state officials on Oct. 25 in Dallas to discuss recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. (Video: The Washington Post)