Thursday 13 December, 2018

The Latest: Trump hands out sandwiches at mobile home park

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, right and Vice President Mike Pence, left, meet and talk to people impacted by Hurricane Irma at Naples Estates, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Naples, Fla.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, right and Vice President Mike Pence, left, meet and talk to people impacted by Hurricane Irma at Naples Estates, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Naples, Fla.

The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump handed out sandwiches and Vice President Mike Pence gave out bananas to people in a Florida mobile home community torn up by Hurricane Irma.

They were joined by first lady Melania Trump at Naples Estates, a mobile home community for people 55 and older. Around them were piles of debris, including tall piles of siding, furniture and branches.

The trio handed out food and posed for photos as people approached them. Most thanked them. One man yelled, "Make America Great Again!" Another told Trump that he "married well."

Trump pledged to be "there for you 100 percent."

Trump is touring the storm damage in Florida, where many remain swamped and without electricity. Nearly 2.7 million homes and businesses, about 1 in 4 Florida customers, remain without power.

___

12:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he wants to cut taxes to help middle-class Americans, not rich ones.

He told reporters Thursday in Florida that his tax cut plans are "not to benefit the wealthy." His plans include reducing individual taxes and lowering the corporate rate to 15 percent,

Trump seems to be backpedaling on comments Wednesday, when he suggested rates could go higher for rich people. Trump said then, "if they have to go higher, they'll go higher, frankly."

He didn't say that Thursday, and he emphasized that wealthy Americans are not his priority. Trump said that "the individual rate coming down will be substantial for the middle class," adding those are the Americans he aims to "take care of."

___

11:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is making a political pitch for Republican Gov. Rick Scott while in Florida to survey hurricane damage from Irma.

The president says in Fort Myers, Florida, that he hopes Scott "runs for the Senate. I don't know what he's going to do."

Scott hasn't decided on a future Senate campaign. But the wealthy two-term governor is considered a leading contender for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson next year.

Trump says alongside Scott and other Florida officials that he knows "at a certain point it ends for you and we can't let it end. So I hope he runs for the Senate."

___

9 a.m.

President Donald Trump is praising the recovery efforts in Florida before departing for the state to survey hurricane damage from Irma.

The president tells reporters at the White House that "power is being turned on rapidly," and the state's leaders and emergency responders are doing an "amazing job" in helping the state respond to the massive storm.

Trump is traveling to Naples and Fort Myers to meet with those affected by the hurricane and learn more about relief efforts. Trump will travel with Vice President Mike Pence and first lady Melania Trump.

His trip to Florida follows two earlier outings in which Trump reviewed Harvey recovery efforts in late August.

___

4:03 a.m.

President Donald Trump is heading to Florida to survey the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The president is traveling to the hurricane-stricken state Thursday to meet with those affected by the storm and learn more about relief efforts.

He'll be stopping in Ft. Myers and Naples on the southwestern coast.

This is Trump's third visit in less than three weeks to a hurricane-damaged state. He visited Texas and Louisiana after Harvey struck. Trump tweeted Wednesday that he planned to meet "with our great Coast Guard, FEMA and many of the brave first responders & others."

The president monitored the storm over the weekend from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: