Welcome home, Pastor Brunson!

On Saturday, President Donald J. Trump greeted Pastor Andrew Brunson in the Oval Office, shortly after the pastor’s release following two years of detainment in Turkey. “You have galvanized this country,” the President told him.

Watch President Trump welcome Pastor Brunson home.

President Trump surveys hurricane damage

As President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit Florida and Georgia today, thousands of first responders and volunteers have mobilized to restore the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Michael. This storm of historic proportions has been met in turn with a massive Federal response.

Here’s a look at that response, by the numbers:

  • A major on-the-ground operation: More than 16,000 Federal employees, including over 8,000 military personnel, have been deployed.
  • Search-and-rescue efforts underway: FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Guard are working alongside state responders and volunteers. As of this morning, they have completed 110 evacuations, 4,193 rescues/assists, 15,287 shelter-in-place checks, 128 animal assists, and 16,827 structural assessments.
  • Power restoration a top priority: More than 35,000 utility workers from 26 states are working to bring power back to impacted areas.
  • Food and water distribution: In Florida, FEMA has provided 715,000 meals and 1.5 million liters of water per day. FEMA has also transferred more than 350,000 meals to Georgia, and 30+ distribution sites are being supported.

Over the weekend, President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for Georgia and mobilized additional disaster assistance for Florida. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams have been knocking on doors to help families register for support. So far, more than 28,000 individuals and households have registered for assistance.

“The response to Hurricane Michael continues,” FEMA reports via Facebook. “Tens of thousands of industry workers continued restoring power and volunteers with many different organizations served hot meals and provided comfort.”

“We’ve called for maximum relief,” President Trump said as he and the First Lady spent today meeting with first responders, volunteers, and families affected by the storm. When asked about his biggest priority for today’s trip, his answer was simple: “Just making sure everyone is safe, that they’re fed.”

President Trump: Thank you to FEMA and our first responders.

For updates: See the latest on the Federal response to Hurricane Michael.

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