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August 29, 2017

When President Trump stopped by Texas on Tuesday to survey the damage wrought by Tropical Storm Harvey, he tried very hard not to jump the gun and congratulate himself. Instead, he promised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that he'd wait to metaphorically pat them both on the back once the disastrous storm and the subsequent recovery effort was over.

"We won't say congratulations. We don't want to do that. You know, we don't want to congratulate. We'll congratulate each other when it's all finished," Trump told Abbott at meeting with local officials. "But you have been terrific."

Trump certainly tried to stay measured — but perhaps he should've tried harder, considering how much flak former President George W. Bush caught in 2005 for prematurely congratulating former FEMA Director Michael Brown's handling of Hurricane Katrina. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," Bush said during a post-hurricane tour, while thousands of survivors had no food or water. Brown resigned 10 days later.

As Trump talked about the storm that "was of epic proportion," he also took a moment to marvel at how FEMA Administrator Brock Long's fame has skyrocketed thanks to Harvey. While thanking Long, Trump referred to him as "a man who really has become very famous on television in the last couple of days."

When he stepped outside after the briefing, Trump reportedly commented: "What a crowd, what a turnout." Becca Stanek