After President Donald Trump claimed he announced his pardon of racist former sheriff Joe Arpaio Friday night due to high “ratings” from Hurricane Harvey, Twitter predictably freaked out.
“In the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö. “You know, the hurricane was just starting.”
This was the third time in recent days that Trump made comments about Hurricane Harvey that appeared dismissive, and naturally, Twitter immediately went into uproar mode.
“Did Trump just use ratings and hurricane in the same sentence?” writer Tony Posnanski tweeted.
“He truly is a sociopath,” ShareBlue’s Eric Boehlert wrote. “Viewed pending destruction of America’s fourth largest city thru prism of TV ratings.”
Check out video of the president’s comments, along with Twitter’s incredulous reaction to it, below.
Who cares about people dying in a hurricane when there’s ratings? pic.twitter.com/Iq3EAeQOY5
— jordan (@JordanUhl) August 28, 2017
Trump really is the pure spirit of Television Past: cares ONLY about ratings and votes, conflates them entirely with value, dead to meaning.
— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) August 28, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Isn't anybody in GOP getting tired of being disgusted with DT? Using ratings of catastrophic tragedy to promote a racist. WTF! WTF! WTF!!!
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 28, 2017
We care more about the lives of those threatened by Hurricane Harvey than TV ratings.ADVERTISEMENT
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) August 28, 2017
POTUS admits pardoning (a racist) Arpaio during the Hurricane for ratings. RATINGS. People have died, millions are still at risk. Monster.
— Michael Urie (@michaelurie) August 28, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Trump says he chose hurricane time to pardon a sadistic sheriff who ran concentration camps because the ratings would be high
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) August 28, 2017
Did the President say he pardoned Arpaio on a Friday night because he thought that ratings would be higher during the hurricane?
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 28, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Our President has lost his mind: He literally said he pardoned Arpaio because he though he would have higher "ratings"
— pesach 'pace' lattin (@pacelattin) August 28, 2017
Trump just said he factored in notion that the "ratings would be higher" if he announced the Sheriff Joe pardon as hurricane barreled in.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 28, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
This man stains the office of the presidency every day he occupies it. People are drowning (Also Trump has tweeted about ratings 299 times). https://t.co/gyyMo5Ykrv
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 28, 2017
Oh wow. It's not even subtext. He literally talks ratings.
— A$AP CURRY (@lisa_curry) August 28, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Trump pardoned Arpaio in the middle of a hurricane to bury it. Claiming he did it to piggyback off high ratings is a disgusting lie. #craven
— Ron Asher (@rmasher2) August 28, 2017
— Bros4America (@Bros4America) August 28, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
If Trump wants ratings he should hold a press conference to resign.
Everyone will watch and have after parties!
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) August 28, 2017
I actually take Trump's "ratings" line a little differently. My guess is staff wanted the pardon buried, and Trump wanted it prominent.ADVERTISEMENT
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) August 28, 2017
At least trump got his ratings! This is one big reality shit show to him
— Kelly Hubble (@kellster51) August 28, 2017
— Dave Perkins (@DaddysGoneMad) August 28, 2017
The response to Katrina was incompetence and ignorance. Trump's response is that of a self-serving psychopath "winning" in the t.v. ratings.
— mkh4657 (@mkh4657) August 28, 2017
You know what would give you amazing ratings, Trump?
The stepping down episode. We'd talk about it for a century. https://t.co/NkIIZA22oa
— Thomm Quackenbush @ Pine Bush UFO Fair (@thommq) August 28, 2017
Trump actually focused on RATINGS when he pardoned Arpaio. RATINGS, we worried about fking RATINGS as a huge-assed hurricane headed to TX
— curtis_dutiel (@curtis_dutiel) August 28, 2017