President Trump Thanks Responding Units From I-85 Collapse in Georgia…

President Trump met earlier today with the first-responders from the I-85 collapse in Georgia, along with Secretary of Transportation Chao.  President Trump wanted to thank the local emergency crews and the engineers who responded immediately.

[Transcript] 2:26 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Sit down, please.  Come on, get up here with me, everybody.

CHIEF BAKER:  Sir, I bring you greetings on behalf of our honorable mayor, Mayor Kasim Reed.  And our men and women of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department would like to present you with a token of our appreciation.

THE PRESIDENT:  That is beautiful.  I think I should leave it right here, right?  It fits so well.  Thank you.

CHIEF BAKER:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I didn’t know I was going to get such a nice — that is fantastic.  Thank you, how are you?

CHIEF BAKER:  I’m fine, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to go around and introduce ourselves, okay?  We’ll do this first.  You know, these folks back here, they’re very famous — most of them — it’s called the media.  (Laughter.)  They’re very honorable people.  But you are more honorable, I can tell you that.

CHIEF BAKER:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  So I’m honored to be here with you today and welcome you to the White House.  The heroes who responded to the terrible bridge collapse on I-85 two weeks ago in Atlanta.  That was something.  The whole world was watching that one.  Today we’re joined by members of the Georgia State Patrol, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, and the Atlanta Police Department — great people.  On that day, Georgia State police and Atlanta police took fast action to get motorists away from danger.  Then, our brave firefighters battled 40-foot flames, which was incredible.  What was the reason for those flames?  It was something underneath that just was very combustible?

CHIEF BAKER:  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, those flames were amazing.  They pulled back, by battalion chiefs, and just minutes before the bridge itself collapsed and everybody was safe.  That was an amazing thing, and everybody was watching.  Your skill and courage saved many lives and represented true strength, and the true strength of America.  Really great job, fellas.  I’m proud of you.  Great job.

To the people of Georgia who were affected by the collapse, my administration stands with you.  We’ve already made a $10 million emergency relief fund available.  And I called your governor, who I know very well — he’s a terrific guy — and I approved it literally the day that it happened.  I had a feeling you’d need a little money — (laughter) — because I look like a big money deal, right, Elaine?  But I approved it immediately, and Elaine took care of it, and we gave fast action.

What happened in Atlanta is a painful reminder of the critical importance of infrastructure.  We’re going to be doing a lot with infrastructure.  You’ll be seeing that over the coming weeks — a tremendous amount.  I’m committed to funding a massive nationwide infrastructure program to rebuild, repair, and construct the roads and bridges of the future of this country.  This is necessary as a matter of both safety and economic growth, and it’s necessary to improve our quality of life as Americans.

We will also continue to seek proper funding for law enforcement and public safety in our country.  On behalf of the entire nation, I salute you — you’re really amazing people — and I honor your service.  I pledge that you will have the support of our country — the police, the firefighters, first responders — you will always have the support of President Trump.  I think you know that very well.  And I thank you for the great job and the fast action.  Really fantastic.  A lot of bravery.

Maybe we could just go around and introduce yourselves.  And, who knows, maybe you’ll become a movie star after this.  (Laughter.)  After all this, you’ll become a movie star.  If they like the way you look or sound, you’ll become a star.

Go ahead.

CHIEF BAKER:  Well, thank you again, sir.  My name is Joel Baker, the fire chief of the city of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.

THE PRESIDENT:  And how tall are you, Joel?

CHIEF BAKER:  I’m 6’6″, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s all?  I thought it was much more than that.  I think you’re taller than that.  (Laughter.)  Okay, good.  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.

Go ahead.

MR. BURKETT:  I’m Trooper Thomas Burkett with the Georgia State Patrol.

MR. HEALD:  And I’m Sergeant Ryan Heald from the Atlanta Police Department.

MR. MCLEMORE:  I’m Battalion Chief James McLemore from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.

MR. GIUNTA:  I’m Trooper John Giunta with the Georgia State Patrol.

MR. CAMPBELL:  I’m Sergeant Anthony Campbell, Atlanta Fire Rescue Airport Division.

MR. BAKER:  I’m senior police officer Michael Baker from the Atlanta Police Department.

SECRETARY CHAO:  Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation.

MR. ADKINS:  Captain Arthur Adkins, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.

MR. TISDALE:  I’m Trooper Harold Tisdale, Jr. with the Georgia State Patrol.

MR. MCKOY:  Trooper First Class Kendell McKoy, Georgia State Patrol.

MR. BOSSERT:  I’m Tom Bossert.  I’m the President’s Homeland Security Advisor.

MR. HATCHER:  Battalion Chief Douglas Hatcher, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.

MR. KUSRA:  Sergeant First Class Thomas Kustra with Georgia State Patrol.

MR. BRYANT:  Assistant Chief of Atlanta Police Department, Rodney Bryant.

THE PRESIDENT:  Great, Rodney.  Well, thank you very much.  So who’s the bravest person in this room?  That’s what I want to know.  Raise your hands if you’re the bravest person.  Huh?  Maybe it’s — (laughter) — I thought so.  I thought so.

SECRETARY CHAO:  Do you want —


MR. CRONIN:  Sergeant First Class John Cronin, Georgia State Patrol.

MR. SEVERANCE:  Officer Ryan Severance with the Atlanta Police Department.

THE PRESIDENT:  Elaine, would you like to say something?

SECRETARY CHAO:  Mr. President, beside you and around you are true heroes of our country.  They demonstrate courage, steadfastness, commitment, and fealty to their oaths to serve our communities in need.

This fire was reported at 6:12 p.m., right in the middle of rush hour, on March 30th.  By 6:20, this team was on site addressing the issues.  Governor Nathan Deal also deserves some credit because he has, as a matter of policy, pre-positioned state troopers around I-85 to move any traffic incident right out of the way.  So that helped a great deal.  By 7:00, the bridge had collapsed.  By 8:00, these brave men, leaders of their own communities, basically had the fire under control.  The U.S. Department of Transportation was on site, and we worked hand-in-hand with these great heroes.  And as you mentioned, $10 million from your administration went out within one hour of the governor making this request.

The good story following all of this is also that the repairs and recovery of this whole scene will occur very quickly.  You will like them, because they will come in under budget and on time.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s good.  I love to hear the words “under budget” and “under schedule,” right?  (Laughter.)  We used to call it “ahead of schedule.”  Now we say “under schedule.”  But that will be great.

And I have to tell you, Governor Nathan Deal did call me immediately as this was happening, and he sort of said, could you be ready?  Because we’re going to need some emergency money fast.  And we were ready and we got him the money immediately.

And again, we want to thank everybody in the room very much.  And, Secretary, congratulations.

SECRETARY CHAO:  Not at all.  Again, I told them that you are really approachable and that you would enjoy meeting them so much.  They were a little bit apprehensive about meeting you, so they’re just so thrilled.  And Chief Baker and also Chief Bryant, these are the two leaders here, and they both said what an honor it is to be at the White House, to be with you.  And you have done the first responder community a tremendous honor by honoring them.  And they want to make sure — because they’re saying that you are sending a message to all the first responders that you value them.  So, Chief Bryant, why don’t you say that to the President?  (Laughter.)

CHIEF BRYANT:  Yes, ma’am.  I stand with her, Mr. President, that this is not only a great day for the city of Atlanta and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, but it’s a great day for all the public safety personnel throughout the country to include the department of fire, police, state patrols throughout the country, corrections department.  But all the public safety really appreciate the opportunity that you’re recognizing public safety members.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Chief, I have great respect for the people that do what you do.  It’s amazing bravery.  And the speed is incredible.  So, again, I want to thank you.  And I think what we’ll do is, when we’re finished here we’ll talk, and then, unless you don’t want to do this, but I know you do, we’ll go right across the hall to the Oval Office and we’ll have some pictures.  Is that okay?  The Oval Office.  It is — believe me, I’ve been in a lot of good offices.  (Laughter.)  It is a special office, okay?  So we’ll go over there, we’ll take some pictures, okay?

CHIEF BRYANT:  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you all very much.

Q    (Inaudible) bomb in Afghanistan?

THE PRESIDENT:  It was really another successful job.  We’re very, very proud of our military.  Just like we’re proud of the folks in this room, we’re so proud of our military.  And it was another successful event.

Q    Did you authorize this —

THE PRESIDENT:  Everybody knows exactly what happened.  And what I do is I authorize my military.  We have the greatest military in the world, and they’ve done their job as usual.  So we have given them total authorization, and that’s what they’re doing.  And, frankly, that’s why they’ve been so successful lately.  If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what’s happened over the last eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference — tremendous difference.

So we have incredible leaders in the military, and we have incredible military.  And we are very proud of them.  And this was another very, very successful mission.

Thank you very much.

Q    Does this send a message to North Korea?

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t know if this sends a message.  It doesn’t make any difference if it does or not.  North Korea is a problem.  The problem will be taken care of.  I will say this:  I think China has really been working very hard.  I have really gotten to like and respect, as you know, President Xi.  He’s a terrific person.  We spent a lot of time together in Florida.  And he’s a very special man, so we’ll see how it goes.  I think he’s going to try very hard.

Thank you.

END – 2:37 P.M. EDT

This entry was posted in media bias, President Trump, Transportation, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to President Trump Thanks Responding Units From I-85 Collapse in Georgia…

  1. duchess01 says:

    Thank You, Sundance, for the transcript – a great service to the hearing-impaired – God Bless You!

    Liked by 25 people

  2. MIKE says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This is a special man, that has taken on a herculean task, that of righting our country. How lucky we are. To honor the heroes that only a few months ago were scorned and targeted by the previous administration as “socially injust”, what a thing of beauty. God bless him and keep him safe.
    And to the kite-surfing Kenyan, wherever you are, SHAME ON YOU.

    Liked by 23 people

  3. Donna in Oregon says:

    So incredibly awesome! Every day there is something to celebrate in the Trump admin. I have to read the good stuff at least 3 times. It is part of the debriefing recommended for the Post Obama Stress Syndrome and the accompanying Stockholm Syndrome that the RINO Progressives has given many Americans. The longer the good outweighs the bad the healthier we will get.

    Liked by 14 people

  4. M33 says:

    Trump is such a natural.

    Even the great leaders who are supposed to hate him end up liking him.

    Liked by 14 people

    • M33 says:

      Makes me wonder if Trump met with the unarmed leaders of ISIS in a room if they wouldn’t come out afterward with big smiles, patting him on the back, problems solved.
      Or if he met with the Shah of Iran…
      Or if he met with the NK dictator…

      Liked by 2 people

    • His success will not come from his own efforts, not to criticize or diminish him.

      He is inspiring everyday citizens to be their best, and then standing back and let us get to work. As the old saying goes — lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way —something that the swamp doesn’t understand.

      This is the unleashing of Americans from the yoke of dependency and control.


  5. Spencer's Mom says:

    What I really like about President Trump is how kind he is towards his guests – how warm, and welcoming he is to everyone – how he sets them at ease and how special he makes the feel – how he shows his pleasure at being in their company – not the other way around. All the hallmarks of good manners and hospitality.

    I don’t care whether he is sincere or not – and I feel that he is – but he certainly deserves kudos for his treatment of the average American Joe and Jill.

    Gotta love him for it.

    Liked by 20 people

  6. quintrillion says:

    PDJT honors and reward those who’s job performance is optimal. It is really incredible that not one person was even injured. Outstanding effort should be acknowledged for example to all. Bravo.
    What sensational photos of smiling, skilled optimal men in uniform.

    Liked by 14 people

  7. G3 says:

    This was a really nice meeting with the first responders.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Timmy-the-Ute says:

    I think AJ is right here that the I-85 Bridge fire in Geogia was sabotage by terrorist.

    Liked by 2 people

    • freddiel says:

      I wash thinking that maybe a meth lab was too close to the flammable substance.

      Liked by 2 people

    • wheatietoo says:

      Have they determined yet what caused it?

      It’s hard not to suspect sabotage these days, with all that is going on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have been wondering that same thing. What (who)caused that fire? And what about the fire (today) under the RR bridge near Atlanta? Are they related, or was today’s blaze the result of a copycat arsonist? Or, were either of these blazes just plain and old “accidental” occurances?

      Liked by 1 person

    • NoeliCannoli says:

      The Georgia DOT had been storing materials under the overpass for over 10 years. The “official” story is that it was “coiled PVC conduit for a cancelled fiber-optic project, but that is a cover story, in my opinion. Judging by the height of the flames (over 40 feet), the thick black smoke, the intense heat (over 1500 degrees F) that melted concrete and steel rebar, and the fact that regular water-pumping fire trucks could not extinguish the blaze; foam pumpers from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport were called in to put it out. I believe that the materials were polyurethane, not PVC. Remember the Station nightclub fire in West Warwicke R.I. in 2003? That was polyurethane foam ignited by an incendiary. The always-incurious media is focused on the homeless crack addict who set fire to a chair under the overpass, but how could essentially a dumpster fire bring down a highway? No, there needs to be an investigation of all the materials that were left under that roadway.

      All that being said, these First Responders deserve a lot of credit and our gratitude for recognizing the danger and saving themselves and the rush-hour motorists from harm. President Trump is THE MAN to personally honor and thank them.

      The prediction is that the road will be rebuilt and open before June 1, a remarkable achievement if the project stays on schedule. Amazing how fast government can operate when it has to, especially when able to avoid environmental impact statements, a lengthy and dubious bidding process, special minority contractor set-asides etc. Winning some more. MAGA.

      Liked by 9 people

  9. leebelieu says:

    President Trump a class act. Bravo to our first responders!

    Liked by 7 people

  10. weddingcake411 says:

    Keep on honoring these wonderful heroes Mr. President!! You do us proud!

    Liked by 5 people

  11. wheatietoo says:

    Very cool.
    He honors First Responders and LEOs…and gets to talk about the importance of rebuilding our Infrastructure.

    Nicely done, Mr. President.

    Liked by 8 people

    • georgiafl says:

      Trump honors heroes and achievers.

      Obama honored thugs…and thug mamas and daddies by inviting them to the White House. He honored muslim terrorists and murderers by releasing them from prison and Gitmo.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. kittytrump84 says:

    Everyday I love President Trump more. He is truly amazing. So proud.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. wheatietoo says:

    Sundance, I love that “Knock, Knock, Who’s There” graphic.
    Hah! Perfect.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. BG2 says:

    Ok, but one of the creeping little problems with the USA is that it is now regarded as extraordinary when someone merely does his job in the public service. Same thing happened after the missile attack on the Syrian airfield.


    • hugofitch1 says:

      Sure beats the hell out of Clockboy getting an audience with the president.

      Liked by 15 people

      • BG2 says:

        Indeed. But you are either for or against participation trophies. A cynic could conclude they are designed to sap the resilience of the young.

        How far in the distant past is 8 wasted years of Obama looking right now……he’s faded from memory in 100 days.

        Liked by 1 person

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      BG2…. The recognition isn’t for “merely” doing their jobs. The recognition is for doing their jobs extraordinarily well… I don’t think we have to worry about how the USA is regarded, now that President Trump is in charge.

      Liked by 3 people

      • BG2 says:

        ” I don’t think we have to worry about how the USA is regarded”

        You have a small comprehension problem. Read it again. “problem(s) with the USA is that it is now regarded as extraordinary when someone merely does his job.” Nothing to do with how the US is regarded but how the US itself regards people who merely do their jobs as extraordinary.

        No good will ever come of participation trophies.


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          No need to be impolite, sweetie. I apologize for not connecting the pronoun with its antecedent. I do think the distinction I made between doing one’s job and doing one’s job extraordinarily well still holds. Thus these aren’t participation trophies, in my opinion.

          Besides, people thrive on encouragement. Kudos to President Trump!

          Liked by 3 people

          • BG2 says:

            Another little problem that happens in the US. How can a fact be impolite? It just is.
            Never be offended by embarrassing facts, try to learn from them


            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Okay. Here’s what is impolite…. Pointing out that a person has a reading comprehension problem here, in a public forum, is not good manners. I’m not embarrassed by any facts. I’m not embarrassed that I read your sentence incorrectly. I am embarrassed for your lack of self-awareness. There. You’re impolite. I’m impolite. We’re even. Bye.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Shadrach says:

          I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you just forgot about all the recent BLM murders of police officers.

          President Trump is honoring these brave guys not just to give them a trophy. He is reminding all of us how much we need them, and humanizing them. He is reversing the damage Obama has done.

          I think you should just be quiet now.

          Liked by 2 people

          • BG2 says:

            “I think you should just be quiet now.”
            Hee. hee…. MSNBC is recruiting.

            Alas more facts, the whole content of this was the I-85 incident.
            Nothing whatever to do with BLM and police murders.
            Try again if you like.


            • Shadrach says:

              If you think police officers being murdered is something to laugh at, you are a disgusting piece of human scum.


              • BG2 says:

                Nothing like a concocted straw man lie when the facts defeat you.

                My amusement revolves around your attempt to shut up opinion you disagree with(” I think you should just be quiet now.’)…sounds familiar, we just had 8 years of it.


    • annieoakley says:

      Fighting a fire that is difficult to put out, in an unusual place deserves recognition.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BG2, you bring up a good point. However, this is a symbolic gesture. These people were honored as representing the good workers throughout the public service arena, the ordinary people just doing their jobs. This is a way of encouraging others to emulate this. It is a complete turnaround from when the previous guy was in, when the only people who got invited to the White House were in sports or entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • skeinster says:

        Exactly this.
        He can’t honor each and every FR in America personally, but he uses the Atlanta group as an example of how he regards those who are willing to risk their lives for the safety of others. In addition to recognizing them for an exemplary job on the I-85 fire.

        Heartwarming and encouraging. Kudos, Mr. President.

        Liked by 3 people

  15. we300 says:

    I love our president. I love him. I love him. I love him. How wonderful to know that we’re being led by a man who knows that the most important part of Make America Great Again is the recognition of our great Americans.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. MVW says:

    Very nice. Our men and women in public service that supports safety and security deserve the highest respect, from the top. Our president is supercharging their morale.

    Liked by 3 people

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It occurred to me that President Trump’s custom of giving credit and honor to working people, whether miners, drill press operators, military service people, first responders or whomever, is the positive effect it will have on young people looking for a career for which they are best suited.

      Liked by 8 people

  17. zephyrbreeze says:

    Can any libertarian explain to me why someone should be allowed to be homeless under a bridge smoking a dangerous substance? When there is a major catastrophe due to his behavior, he can’t pay for what he’s done. So why be allowed to create the havoc in the first place?

    President Trump clearly loves people, and admires real heroes.


  18. indiana08 says:

    Thank God for our First Responders! It could have been so much worse given how busy I-85 is. Pres. Trump acknowledging our First Responders has got to be a big boost to their morale.

    Liked by 3 people

    • NC PATRIOT says:

      Right! I-85 is THE main N/S corridor–and Atlanta at rush hour is horrendous–on a GOOD day. To halt and re-route that traffic in 30 ,minutes and begin to fight the fire before the collapse, without any fatalities was NOT “just doing their job!”
      It required extraordinary effort and coordination and skill !

      Liked by 6 people

      • Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

        The firefighters were suddenly noticing chunks of asphalt falling, and the Police and State Patrol did a heck of a good job stopping and rerouting the traffic.


  19. Minnie says:

    Beautiful! Thank you to all the first responders who prevented fatal tragedy from compounding the devastating destruction.

    We are Americans and will rebuild, it’s what we do.

    Thank you Mr. President for recognizing and honoring all the brave women and men who dealt with this situation, you truly are OUR President ❤️

    God bless you, all.

    Mr. Trump is so comfortable and at ease with everyone, from foreign heads of state to all Americans. We are indeed blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Ron says:

    Trump is so awesome, he makes a slip of the tongue… then immediately declares it not a mistake; instead… it’s the way we’re going to say it from now on. LOL LOVE THIS GUY

    “THE PRESIDENT: That’s good. I love to hear the words “under budget” and “under schedule,” right? (Laughter.) We used to call it “ahead of schedule.” Now we say “under schedule.” But that will be great.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rebnstx says:

      Ron, that’s such a good observation about President Trump making a change in his wording. It shows he is not hard on himself & also can lighten up on other people. A winner.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Fhokencougie says:

    I coined it Bridgemageddon to my wife right as it was going down just like that storm from hell we had. I know that area under the bridge well and it’s rather sketchy.


  22. “And what I do is I authorize my military.”

    Spoken like a boss!


  23. In AZ says:

    Elaine Chao said the first responders were apprehensive about meeting President Trump.
    How very sad that not enough people realize that the media lies….especially about President Trump.

    Giving recognition to people “just doing their jobs” is not giving participation trophies.

    How many years now have over paid, over indulged, over pampered, over worshipped ball players been invited to the White House after winning a stupid championship game? How many actors and singers get participation medals from the White House, just for being famous. Too many. Even “journalists” get special treatment today, especially if they kiss a politicians arse.

    Finding Tom Brady ‘ s stolen jersey was more of a priority for the FBI than anything else, which is disturbing.

    It is very important for average citizens with dangerous jobs be honored for doing their jobs well. For far too long the average person has been ignored in this country. The average person is the back bone of the country.

    On a constant basis Obama put down average people and gave us the middle finger, encouraged attacks on police, and even fire fighters. The politicians give us the middle finger also every single day.

    President Trump is doing the right thing by honoring the every day men and women who do extraordinary feats every day, by just doing their jobs. President Trump realizes how hard every day average Americans work, and that they need recognition also. The White House is the Average People’s House.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. fred5678 says:

    Years ago a huge tire fire under I-95 in Philly destroyed and closed down that major artery for months. Private tire recycler had illegally used under area for storage. When city inspectors came around, the owners “chased them away” — mob ran the city.

    NO STORAGE OF ANY POSSIBLY FLAMMABLE MATERIALS should be allowed under critical infrastructure!!


    Liked by 3 people

  25. JC says:

    So impressed by all of these photos in the Oval Office. Our President makes sure everyone with whom he meets has the wonderful opportunity to be photographed in that nearly-sacred place in our White House. He goes out of his way to emphasize that he is the Peoples’ President, putting them at ease with words and actions.

    President Trump could meet all of these groups on their home turf, but he invites them to D.C.; they have this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it spares taxpayers AF1 and Secret Service expenses.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Ploni says:

    It’s quite simple.

    President Trump is a mensch.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Whatever you might think of the site “What does it mean”, does anyone have any thoughts on this article in particular?


  28. Oh, in case you’re wondering what you’re clicking on:
    “Massive Cover-Up Of Islamic Terror I-85 Bridge Explosion In Atlanta Now Underway”


  29. MaFreeman says:


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