Gov. Northam meets with President Trump at White House

Posted at 9:55 AM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 17:36:17-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Gov. Ralph Northam requested the president's help with dredging the Port of Virginia during a meeting at the White House on Monday morning.

Right now, efforts are underway to make the Port deeper and wider, but Northam made it clear he needs federal help. "Mr. President, what I would like all of your help with - our Port of Virginia - we're in a position to be the best port," said Northam. President Trump responded saying, "It could be one of the best in the world if they invested not that much money."

The back and forth coming during a briefing on infrastructure. Northam previously said he would work with the president on issues where there is common ground, even though at times he was sharply critical of Trump during the campaign last year. In an ad during the primary, Northam called Trump a "narcissistic maniac."

President Trump referenced the campaign during the briefing. "Your opponent was not a Trump person and I have to be honest with you if he was he would've done much better," Trump said of Northam's opponent Ed Gillespie.

The briefing came as President Trump announced his massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. The plan is aimed at improving the nation's roads and bridges, but promises only $200 billion in federal dollars. The rest would come from state and local dollars, as well as private investment.

Old Dominion Economist Dr. Robert McNab says the Port is a big part of the Hampton Roads economy. "Improving the Port by dredging for larger container ships is very important," he said. "If we cannot accommodate those larger ships, they'll go elsewhere."