As hurricane Harvey devastated Texas, Trump managed to get away to Camp David to relax and pundits say there was a possibility he squeezed in a round of golf or two.
The timing was awkward; going to Camp David for a mini vacation while a monster storm ravages Texas was an insensitive thing to do regardless of how he will defend himself.
His aides defended Trump’s retreat to Camp David saying there is excellent communications facilities so it made sense for him to go there and keep in touch with the rescue and emergency services via satellite phone and other means but then again, there is excellent communication facilities at the White House so that excuse is rather shambolic.
Trump went on to micro-manage and keep in touch with rescue efforts, tweeting non-stop and praising the rescue services which is fair enough.
He did not mention however that he had ordered that Border Patrol should stop, detain and deport undocumented immigrants trying to flee the storm.
In fact, a bus load of immigrants were put in harm’s way when they were sent to a deserted bus station after “processing”. The storm could have caught them at the bus station and they would all be dead. It was an insensitive time to focus on immigration rather than rescue efforts in the eye of the storm. At that point, at a time of impending disaster, all lives matter and all people should be rescued whether documented or not. It’s just a matter of human decency and it found Trump wanting.
Pundits say Trump has succeeded on his first test, doing a better job than what happened during Hurricane Katrina.
On Twitter, Trump has praised his emergency teams and he has seen his approval rating start to climb only a little. He didn’t miss an opportunity to bash what he called “experts”:
“Wow,” he tweeted on Sunday morning. “Now experts are calling #Harvey a once in 500 year flood! We have an allout effort going, and going well!” An hour earlier, he noted, “Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen. Good news is that we have great talent on the ground.”
Trump announced he will be travelling to Texas to oversee the rescue efforts and give support and morale to the troops and emergency services.