4 Trump Obsessions Distracting From Hurricane Harvey Relief

Texas is in the middle of a natural disaster — the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a decade. Hurricane Harvey may be gone, but heavy rainfall and flash floods continue to endanger lives and destroy property, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes and leaving most of Houston underwater.

The commander-in-chief, however, isn’t so great in times of crisis, it seems. Sure, he finally made it to the state to survey some damage. But overall, President Donald Trump appears to have many other things on his mind. Here are just four of his obsessions distracting from Harvey and its fallout:

1. Crowd sizes

We’ve all known since his dismal inauguration audience that the president is a man obsessed with the size of his crowd. So it isn’t that surprising to learn that while Texans were experiencing rain measured in feet instead of inches and being rescued from their homes by boat, President Trump was fretting over the modest size of his recent rally in Arizona — and looking for someone to blame.

“[Advance man and campaign aide George] Gigicos himself knew Trump ‘wasn’t happy’ [about the size of the crowd], but was unconcerned, believing that he would work things out with his longtime boss, one source said,” reports CNN.com. “But a few days later, Gigicos got a call from the Trump campaign’s executive director Michael Glassner who informed him that Trump didn’t want him working on his rallies anymore, a source familiar with the call told CNN.”

If there was any doubt that rally still weighed heavily on the president’s mind, that should be dispelled by the president’s exclamation — “what a crowd, what a turnout” — during a hurricane stop in Texas on Tuesday.

2. Sheriff Joe

The president pardoned Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Friday news dump, but apparently he’s bothered by the fact that the announcement didn’t get nearly enough attention thanks to the hurricane’s devastation.

So President Trump reiterated his approval of Arpaio’s past actions, including violating the civil rights of prisoners and detainees.

“This is an implicit endorsement of the very conduct for which Arpaio was held in criminal contempt of court (defying a judge’s command that he remain constrained by the Constitution from violating the rights of Latino immigrants) and for which he has been roundly criticized (the serial abuse and humiliation of inmates),” notes the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent. “Incredibly, Trump also defended the pardon by recalling that the crowd at his rally in Arizona ‘went absolutely crazy’ when he spoke up for Arpaio. Trump has now essentially confirmed that he pardoned Arpaio, at least in part, because he agreed with the goals of Arpaio’s abuses and flouting of the Constitution and because his base cheered him over it.”

3. Potential staff disloyalty

There’s nothing that the president hates more than criticism, and he’s especially bothered by it when it comes from the people he considers to be his subordinates. Once again bristling at the comments of some of his closest cabinet members, President Trump is potentially considering a few more firings.

“The Washington Post reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources in regular contact with the White House, that Trump was irritated by criticism from his top economic adviser Gary Cohn and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,” Talking Points Memo reports. “Politico on Monday reported, citing an unnamed adviser, that Trump fumed over Cohn’s and Tillerson’s remarks, but is reluctant to get rid of any more staff members than have departed his administration already. ‘He feels like when you back down, people will just keep coming at you,’ the adviser told Politico. ‘Even if he knew he was wrong, I don’t think he’d back down.’”

4. Fox News

Of course, the president has, perhaps, no greater obsession than media reports about him — especially his allies at the conservative-friendly Fox News. So while he may not have been in the midst of the crisis room when it came to Harvey planning, President Trump was still monitoring what really mattered — publicly rebuking Fox News personality Laura Ingraham.

The talk show host suggested that the Hurricane Harvey response showed the president needs to fully staff his governmental agencies. As Politico reports:

‘We can all look at these horrific pictures, and we can conclude that a federal government does need staff. We see it acutely in need of staff in a situation like this,’ Ingraham said. ‘This isn’t the only crisis we’re facing. This is massive, humanitarian. We’re also facing a huge crisis with North Korea. We’re facing a crisis of confidence across the country where people wonder even with President Trump in, he said he was going to drain the swamp, can we have a government that works for the people and not just have a people enslaved to the government.’ Trump, known to be a regular ‘Fox & Friends’ viewer, responded to Ingraham on Twitter, writing that ‘we are not looking to fill all of those positions. Don’t need many of them — reduce size of government.’

Photo Credit: The National Guard/Flickr

48 comments

Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Margie F
Margie F9 months ago

Okay

SEND
Chad Anderson
Chad A9 months ago

Thank you.

SEND
David F
David F9 months ago

Rhoberta, again, try to be specific, attacking the messenger is very elderly.

SEND
William C
William C9 months ago

Thanks for the article.

SEND
Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E9 months ago

david f
Do you think YOUR name calling and trashing of almost every C2 author should go unnoticed? YOU are the worst here and there is not much point in supplying YOU with reference articles because you either ignore the obvious or continue to think YOU are always right!!! JUST like trump "A blight on civilized communication" as you name call. I guess that's YOUR idea of civility.

SEND
David F
David F9 months ago

Freya H is another blight on civilized communications, she has no specifics to contribute, so she defaults to the standard empty argument claiming all that disagree with her mindset are racist and Nazis. Should be flagged.

SEND
Freya H
Freya H9 months ago

I cannot think of a POTUS before tRump who did not at least visit the scene of a massive disaster. His indifference to the suffering in Texas will almost certainly be another nail in his coffin. Once again we see what a sick joke and clusterfreak the Trump regime is.

Magadlen B, I presume that you are being jocular. As for the trolls, I often wonder what planet they actually live on. Some people will defend the Orange Ogre, and even spread out-and-out lies about him, no matter what. I am sure the Trump Chumps that slither out from under their rocks - and we all know who they are - to smear their crap all over Care2 would come to the Cheeto's defense if he out-Hitlered Hitler.

SEND
Debbi -W-
Debbi W9 months ago

Shelley W., Trump didn't declare the area where Harvey flooded everyone a disaster area, which is necessary for insurance and financial aide to be release for the victims.

Trump did not visit a flooded out area, did not bother to speak to any victims of the flood, and was more interested is selling his butt ugly hats for $40 (where were they made? They 'may be' worth $10)! Then he brings up the size of the crowd there to see him.

He is devoid of any humanity, empathy or concern for other people. He's all about himself, and that will not change. He's an arrogant self-centered old bastard (one senior citizen to another).

SEND
Winn A
Winnie A9 months ago

tRUMPie has about as much empathy as a dead flee on a dog's behind. Just sayin . . .

SEND