President Trump on Friday said he spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron over the phone on Friday about “the catastrophic event which took place in Beirut, Lebanon” and will join world leaders in a conference call on Sunday.
“We had a lengthy discussion this morning with President Macron of France, concerning numerous subjects, but in particular, the catastrophic event which took place in Beirut, Lebanon. Horrible, horrible event,” Trump said Friday evening at a news conference from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “On behalf of the United States, I want to extend our condolences to all of the families — a much larger number of families than anybody would have thought and than anybody at first thought, but all of those families who lost loved ones, relatives, friends in this horrible tragedy. We stand firmly with the people of Lebanon and will continue to offer our full support through this very difficult time. We have not seen anything like this in a long time.”
Trump announced that on Sunday he will join world leaders, including senior figures from Lebanon in a conference call led by France and the United Nations, to rally aid and funds to help the survivors in the aftermath of the deadly blast that rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut that killed over 150 people and injured as many as 5,000 on Tuesday.
“We’ll be having a conference call on Sunday with President Macron, leaders of Lebanon, and leaders from various parts of the world. Everyone wants to help. We spoke to a lot of people; they all want to help,” Trump said.
The White House said in a readout that Trump in his call with Lebanon President “vowed to continue United States support in providing critical emergency supplies to meet health and humanitarian needs during this difficult time.”
“I spoke with President Aoun of Lebanon to inform him that three large aircraft are on the way, and they’re fully loaded with medical supplies, food, water, and many other things, lots of emergency equipment,” Trump said. “Also, first responders, technicians, doctors, and nurses are on their way. This was an event like the world has not seen for a long time. A horrible event.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement the U.S. has pledged more than $17 million in initial disaster aid for Lebanon, which includes food assistance and medical supplies.
“We join others in the call for a thorough and transparent investigation into the cause of this explosion,” Pompeo said.