President Trump is giving a big boost to the One America Appeal hurricane relief and rebuilding fundraising drive organized by the five living former presidents, promising that “we will come back stronger and better than ever before.”
In a video address to tonight’s One America Appeal concert at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, Trump said, “This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another. I also want to thank every person, including everyone here tonight, who has contributed to this vital effort.”
In the video, provided in advance to Secrets, he personally thanked former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama for their effort. And he also singled out the Points of Light foundation, started by the elder Bush, for spearheading the effort to help states and territories hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate.
Trump has donated $1 million and visited Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico where he promised federal aid. He also met with Puerto Rico’s governor this week.
“Together we will recover. We will rebuild. And we will come back stronger and better than ever before,” said Trump.
The administration’s effort in Puerto Rico has been hit by some critics, including the Democratic Mayor of San Juan. In the meeting with Gov. Ricardo Rossello, the president gave his administration’s efforts a “10,” and Rossello said that Washington “responded immediately” after Hurricane Maria crashed into the island.
The One America Appeal event is being held at the college that also hosts the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum. In addition to the rare gathering of former presidents, several bands will play, including Alabama, The Gatlin Brothers, and Lyle Lovett.
“President Trump was honored to be given an opportunity to participate in relief and recovery efforts. He encourages all Americans to be as generous as they can in helping storm survivors through this difficult time,” said a White House official.
My fellow Americans. The heartbreaking devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and Nate, along with the terrible wildfires in California, have impacted millions of our fellow Americans.
As a nation, we mourn for those who died and we pray for those who lost their homes or their livelihoods. In the aftermath of these terrible storms, the American people have done what we do best — we came together, we helped one another, and through it all we remained resilient.
We came together as one as we rushed to the aid of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Now, as we begin to rebuild, some of America’s finest public servants are spearheading the One America Appeal. Through this effort all five living former presidents are playing a tremendous role in helping our fellow citizens recover. To Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Melania and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance.
This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another. I also want to thank every person, including everyone here tonight, who has contributed to this vital effort.
There is a lot of work ahead of us and I want to thank groups like the Points of Light for making such a big difference in our disaster response efforts.
Together we will recover. We will rebuild. And we will come back stronger and better than ever before. Thank you, God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at [email protected]