Trump Tours Flood-Ravaged LA; Clinton, Obama Stay Away
State's governor hopes for more than a 'photo-op'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2016 1:55 PM CDT
Donald Trump and Mike Pence listen to flood victims during a tour of their flood damaged home Friday in Louisiana.   (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

(Newser) – As part of his most recent effort to be more presidential, Donald Trump visited Louisiana Friday with Mike Pence, the AP reports. Flooding in Louisiana has killed at least 13 people and displaced thousands more. According to Reuters, 40,000 homes were damaged. Trump's campaign manager says Trump was there "to help people on the ground who are in need." His motorcade drove through debris-strewn streets, and Trump stopped to meet with supporters and volunteers. "You're all going to be fine, you're going to be fine," Trump told one group. He also signed autographs, the Advocate reports. "We knew you would be here for us," one supporter shouted.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who says he wasn't informed of Trump's visit, welcomed the candidate as long as he wasn't just there for a "photo-op." "We hope he'll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation," a spokesperson for the governor says. Despite calls for President Obama to visit the state, Edwards says he'd prefer Obama stay away for a few weeks, as his visit would pull police and others away from where they're needed. Hillary Clinton, who has no plans to visit Louisiana, says the "relief effort can't afford any distractions." Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry disagrees, saying Trump's visit brings important media attention to the disaster. "I think it is huge," he tells the Advocate.