Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) called Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s visit to the area devastated by flooding “helpful” because it helped raised awareness. Bel Edwards had previously said in a statement that Trump was “welcome,” but not for a “photo-op.”
“We welcome him to LA but not for a photo-op. Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of the storm.”
Bel Edwards had also said that it was his desire President Obama not come tour the damage until after the response situation was more stable.
Bel Edwards appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and told guest host Dana Bash that he had not been opposed to a Trump visit. “Before he came down I said I — we welcome him here. We want him to be helpful and we hope that doesn’t turn into a mere photo op.”
When Bash asked if the visit was helpful, Bel Edwards said, “Well, I think — yes, for the reasons that I stated earlier because it helped to shine a spotlight on Louisiana and on the dire situation that we have here, that it was helpful.”
Bel Edwards also talked about the phone call he received from his fellow governor, vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (R-IN). “And I will tell you that I also appreciated the good phone call, the conversation that I had with Governor Pence, who was sincere and genuine when he called and we spoke for a long time on Friday morning about their desire to be helpful.”
Trump and Pence visited Louisiana on Friday. They helped with supplies, toured the damage, and met with responders and those affected by the flood.