Trump plugs book, celebrates 2016 election, promotes border wall amid Harvey devastation.

Trump Plugs Book, Celebrates 2016 Election, Promotes Border Wall Amid Harvey Devastation

Trump Plugs Book, Celebrates 2016 Election, Promotes Border Wall Amid Harvey Devastation

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Aug. 27 2017 12:12 PM

Trump Plugs Book, Celebrates 2016 Election, Promotes Border Wall Amid Harvey Devastation

President-Trump-Departs-White-House-For-Camp-David
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks towards the Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House prior to a departure Friday.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Houston woke up to catastrophic flooding on Sunday and emergency crews struggled to keep up with rescue operations. But the commander in chief seemed to have something else on his mind when he woke up—his buddy’s book. As rescue workers scrambled to get hundreds of people out of harm’s way, President Donald Trump plugged the book of controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. “A great book by a great guy, highly recommended!” Trump tweeted, sharing a post by Clarke.

Trump promoting his staunch supporter’s book came mere days after he pardoned racist ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Clarke, an outspoken Trump supporter known for wearing a cowboy hat and disdaining Black Lives Matter activists, may never have been convicted, but he is also a divisive figure who has been accused of mistreating prisoners. Just a few weeks ago, the family of a man who died from dehydration in a jail cell in 2016 filed a lawsuit against Clarke.

Advertisement

It seems Trump may have realized he should make it clear he was keeping an eye on the devastation in Texas and quickly pivoted to writing a few tweets about Harvey. But the president seemingly couldn’t help keeping things focused on himself and vowed that he would be “going to Texas as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption.”

Just like that, the president then switched topics yet again and appeared to remember another pending trip, noting that he’ll be going to Missouri, where, lest you forget, “I won by a lot in ’16.”

Then it was back to Harvey and Trump took on an optimistic attitude even as he noted that experts are calling it “a once in 500 year flood!” The president didn’t mention that people had already died.

And less than 20 minutes later it was back to political commentary as Trump talked up the need for a border wall and vowed that “Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other.”

Advertisement

All this talk about Mexico seems to have reminded the president about the North American Free Trade Agreement and he threatened the United States may have to exit “the worst trade deal ever made” because both Canada and Mexico are “being very difficult.”

Then he proceeded to inform his Twitter followers that he’d be going to a Cabinet meeting on Harvey before sending a four-word tweet: “Major rescue operations underway!”

Harvey is the first major domestic natural disaster of Trump's presidency.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.