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White House Defends Trump’s ‘First Hand’ Harvey Tweet

On Wednesday, the White House defended President Donald Trump’s claim he saw “first hand” the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey during his trip to Texas earlier in the week.

After his visit, Trump tweeted, “After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!”

However, many quickly noted that the president did not personally visit any areas damaged significantly by the storm:

After the backlash, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday night the president did meet with “a number of state and local officials who are eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster. … Who certainly is right in the midst of every bit of this, as well as the mayors from several of the local towns that were hit hardest.”

She continued: “And detailed briefing information throughout the day yesterday talking to a lot of the people on the ground — that certainly is a firsthand account.”

As recovery efforts continue in aftermath of Harvey, the president is expected to return for a second visit to the region Saturday.