NAPLES, FL. (CBS News) – President Trump told residents of Florida that he will return to the region and will do whatever it takes to help rebuild the state after seeing just some of the .
“I just want to tell you, we are there for you 100 percent. I’ll be back here numerous times. I mean, this is a state that I know very well, as you understand. And these are special, special people, and we love ’em,” Mr. Trump told reporters during his visit.
The president was joined by First Lady Melania Trump as they arrived in the Fort Myers area, where he thanked first responders and members of the U.S. Coast Guard for their efforts after receiving a short briefing by FEMA officials. Vice President Mike Pence and a White House delegation of cabinet officials also joined the president on the majority of the trip.
Mr. Trump noted the “incredible power of the storm” and credited the small number of lives lost during Irma to the work of rescue teams throughout the state. The president also took time to acknowledge the work of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, even going so far as to prod the governor on a possible senate run.
“I have to say, what do I know, but I hope this man runs for the Senate,” said Mr. Trump of Scott.
He told Scott, “at a certain point, it ends for you, but I don’t want it to end. I hope he runs for the Senate.”
Mr. Trump later was able to tour a neighborhood in Naples, Florida that suffered damage and speak with supporters, as he handed out sandwiches and water to displaced residents.
While the trip allowed the president to see for himself suffering and damage sustained by Floridians during the storm, much of the visit was dominated by Mr. Trump’s comments on immigration, where he expanded on earlier comments about his Wednesday night meeting with.
Upon his arrival in Florida, Mr. Trump told reporters, “We’re working on a deal, very important is the wall to me and we have to know the wall will not be obstructed,” said Mr. Trump of immigration and border security discussions with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Mr. Trump said protections for DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers,” wouldn’t offer citizenship or amnesty, but the White House wants to “do something.”
“We’re talking about taking care of people, people brought here that have done a good job. But very importantly what we want we have to have a wall, added Mr. Trump.
The president also acknowledged criticism from conservatives, saying all DACA negotiations are being done “in conjunction with Republicans” but warned he would only cut a deal if he gets an “extreme security” package, and ultimately Congress would have to pay for his southern border wall.
“If we don’t have the wall, we’re doing nothing,” he insisted, though he added funding would be addressed “either in the budget or some other vehicle.”
During questions with reporters earlier Thursday morning,with Democrats Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer Wednesday night, saying that the border wall would be built “a little bit later.”