Trump signs Bibles during disaster tour of Alabama – POLITICO
President Donald Trump on Friday extended an unusual gesture as he sought to comfort Alabama residents devastated by a tornado outbreak last weekend — he signed Bibles.
Trump offered up his autograph to first responders and survivors at a Baptist church in the eastern part of the state, after tornadoes left a path of destruction nearly a mile wide and killed 23 people last Sunday.
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After surveying damage from above in a helicopter ride, Trump arrived in Beauregard, Alabama, a rural community hit the hardest.
Trump passed wrecked homes and fallen trees en route to the Baptist church, where he thanked volunteers and commented on the destruction.
“We saw things that you wouldn’t believe,” he told reporters.
Trump also met privately with relatives of those who were killed by the powerful storm, including a family that lost 10 people to the tornadoes. Later, the president and first lady Melania Trump visited a memorial to the victims, pausing for a moment in front of each of the 23 wooden crosses lined up in a row.
“We couldn’t get here fast enough,” Trump said to volunteers. “I wanted to come the day it happened.”
A number of local officials, including Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, joined the president in lauding first responders. Ivey thanked Trump for coming, adding softly: “We’re stronger together.”
Trump said Federal Emergency Management Agency staff will stay in Alabama as long as needed as the state recovers. He took off from Alabama to head to Mar-a-Lago, Florida, for a weekend at his private club.
Nancy Cook contributed to this report.