Donald Trump visited the Texas city of Corpus Christi on Tuesday to reassure an anxious nation that his administration was capable of handling Hurricane Harvey.
There, after an uncomfortable press conference in which he boasted that FEMA administrator Brock Long “has really become very famous on television over the last couple of days,” the president got his Independence Day on, shouting into a microphone to several hundred onlookers gathered outside the briefing space.
Because he is himself, Trump offered bland words of encouragement and bumper-sticker platitudes (“Texas can handle anything!”) before pivoting to what REALLY matters during a natural disaster: Crowd size.
“What a crowd!” Trump exclaimed. “What a turnout!”
Because if there’s one thing that truly matters to the millions of people suffering in the wake of a devastating storm, it’s the amount of roadside gawkers who came to hear a guy shout into a microphone in front of some trucks.
According to pool reports, Trump’s spur-of-the-moment remarks contained no reference of the tens of thousands of Texans who have lost their homes, or the growing death toll from the catastrophic flood waters—including at least one member of the Houston police force—beyond a line where vaguely said, “I love you, you’re special, we’re here to take care of you.”
As pool reporter J. David McSwane pointedly noted, “Reporters heard no mention of the dead, dying or displaced Texans and no expression of sympathy for them. The message was services are coming and Texans will be OK.”
The day before his Texas trip, Trump reportedly punished a longtime aide who organized the president’s recent campaign rally in Phoenix due to the event’s sparse attendance.