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Louisiana governor: Donald Trump’s visit ‘helpful’

Posted at 9:32 PM, Aug 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-21 21:32:33-04

WASHINGTON — The governor of Louisiana said Sunday that Donald Trump’s trip to his state was “helpful” in getting the country’s attention on the devastating flooding around Baton Rouge.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, had released a statement before the GOP nominee’s visit decrying a “photo-op,” but Edwards told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” Sunday that Trump had always been welcome if he were coming to be “helpful.”

“Because it helped to shine a spotlight on Louisiana and on the dire situation that we have here … it was helpful,” Edwards said.

He also praised Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who joined the visit.

“I also appreciated the good phone call, the conversation that I had with Gov. Pence, who was sincere and genuine when he called, and we spoke for a long time on Friday morning, about their desire to be helpful,” Edwards said.

Republicans have questioned why Democratic leaders including President Barack Obama have not been more active in supporting and highlighting Louisiana, but Edwards defended the White House.

Edwards said the White House asked about coming to Louisiana, but that his office asked them to wait until the immediate response phase was over.

Obama will visit Louisiana next week, after the scheduled end of the vacation he has been taking in Martha’s Vineyard.