GLADE SPRING, Va.– President Donald Trump is not just a point of intrigue in Washington. Middle school students visited by Rep. Morgan Griffith here Wednesday seemed rather curious about the new president.
The Virginia Republican dropped by Glade Spring Middle School to present the students and teachers with a flag that had flown over the Capitol, and then also took questions from a few dozen sixth and seventh graders gathered in the gymnasium.
Many of the questions centered around Trump, whom Griffith told the students he’s met “on a number of occasions now.”
“President Trump is an interesting character,” Griffith said, drawing laughter from the students. “I wish he would quit tweeting some things. Even when I agree with him, I think sometimes he tweets too much.”
Griffith admitted he doesn’t always agree with what Trump says or his views on policy.
“But I will tell you this: I think even when he makes mistakes – and he’s made some and he will continue to make some … I think he has the best interest of the people of the United States at heart.”
One student asked what Griffith would do differently if he were president instead of Trump.
First Griffith mentioned trying to work with the Senate on health care issues, to get that measure over the finish line. He did not comment on whether Trump’s involvement thus far has been adequate.
Then Griffith went into a more detailed explanation of wanting to “beef up” research on carbon-based fuels so they can be used more efficiently and effectively. “The renewable science is not there yet,” he said, referring to renewable sources of energy like wind and solar.
Another student asked for Griffith’s opinion on Trump wanting to build a wall along the Southern border.
“I agree with building a wall,” Griffith said, noting that can be distinguished between “the wall.” A brick and mortar wall is “impractical in some places,” he said, noting that some parts of the border could be secured by an electronic fence with sensors that reach underground.
“We don’t need a wall that’s as big as the Great Wall of China,” he said.
Not all of the students’ queries were about Trump. Griffith fielded some question about his life as a congressman. When asked if it was a difficult job, he admitted it was but that it’s probably harder on his wife and three kids than him.
“Last week we had a very controversial vote,” he said, referring to the 217-213 vote to pass House Republicans’ measure to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “I accept the responsibility of that vote. I can explain. I’m out there talking about it. But when my wife starts getting messages on Facebook that are saying, ‘How can you live with that guy’ and a few choice words from that, that’s a little tough.”