President Trump toured Tennessee neighborhoods that were destroyed by tornadoes that ripped through the state Monday evening and offered words of support in addition to the federal aid the state is receiving.
Trump walked through a neighborhood with Gov. Bill Lee (R) and other local officials. He stopped in front of the gathered press where one reporter asked what his message was to the survivors of the storm. At least 25 people were killed when the tornadoes struck.
"Well I do have a message and I have a message for the families for those who lost their lives. We love them. They're special people," Trump said. "It’s an incredible place, an incredible state. Tremendous heart...They are already rebuilding. We were flying over — you see the blue roofs going up that’s all over the place. It's just great people, it’s a great state. They have great leadership in this state and that’s why it’s working out like it is. But still 25 people at least [killed], some really badly hurt. Very badly hurt."
Trump said they would be visiting people who have gathered at a local church and would be looking through other neighborhoods that were hit.
"Well, I love them. I loved them very much. That’s why I am here. Some people wouldn’t be here. There was no way I wasn’t going to stop here first and I was going to do it yesterday, but they asked me for one more day because they were looking for — they were looking for bodies, believe it or not, up until just now. Now they pretty much covered everything. And just God to be with them. We are going to be with them. We're going to be with them all the way," he added.
Members of the Tennessee Air Guard's 118th Mission Support Group and 78th Armored Cavalry Regiment's 2nd Squadron of the Tennessee National Guard have been activated in response to the destruction.
"Plain and simple, we have 12,000 Soldiers and Airmen that are citizens of this state serving in the National Guard. We will make every last one of those available to our communities on an as-needed basis," said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee's Adjutant General. "We're available, we are actively engaged, and this is why our soldiers and airmen wear the uniform."