President Donald Trump “enjoys playing the role” of a strong, in-control president and is doing his best to project that image during the response to Hurricane Harvey, an aide said to Politico on Sunday, but one Houston sports radio personality isn’t buying it.
Texas is getting pounded by what meteorologists are calling a “thousand year flood” as Hurricane Harvey downgrades to a slow-moving tropical storm and stalls out over the state, dumping dozens of feet of rain on already saturated areas.
CNN quoted one National Weather Service meteorologist who said that the impact of the storm will be “beyond anything ever experienced.”
“Trump’s friends say he has a short attention span,” noted Politico’s politics reporter Josh Dawsey, “he also tweeted about an upcoming trip to Missouri and his proposed border wall Sunday — but he sought to present himself as focused on Texas, posting online about the hurricane repeatedly. ‘Even experts have said they’ve never seen one like this!’ he tweeted at one point. ‘Major rescue operations underway!’ he wrote later Sunday.
“He enjoys playing the role even if he’s never handled anything like this,” said one adviser. “He knows what a president is supposed to look like during something like this.”
With his legislative agenda in tatters, his relationship to the roiling factions within the Republican party strained and mounting evidence Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is closing in on him, Trump knows the optics of his response to the storm are critical for people’s perception of his presidency.
Nonetheless, the president went at the weekend in his typically chaotic style and “sometimes divided attention,” Dawsey said, issuing a controversial pardon, kicking up dust in multiple directions including pushing forward guidelines for his proposed purge of transgender personnel from the U.S. military. He kicked off Sunday morning by recommending a book written by right-wing “Constitutional Sheriff” David Clarke, who was a major Trump supporter during the election.
Houston sports radio host John P. Lopez was unimpressed.
“My city is underwater. People losing everything. Unrelenting storm. Medical/1st responders on NO sleep. Thanks for book recommendation, tho,” he wrote on Twitter.
My city is underwater. People losing everything. Unrelenting storm. Medical/1st responders on NO sleep. Thanks for book recommendation, tho. https://t.co/T70sDWkRmM
— John P. Lopez (@LopezOnSports) August 27, 2017