The only thing that really surprised me about Donald Trump’s trip to Puerto Rico is that he didn’t cancel it at the last minute. On Monday, there were rumors that Trump was considering canceling the trip in the wake of the Las Vegas Massacre, but at the end of the day, Trump decided to go. Maybe someone told him it would be “presidential.” Maybe someone told him that Puerto Ricans love him and desperately wanted to show their appreciation for him. So, that was surprised me. Nothing else about his trip surprised me, because I’ve been paying attention for the past two years. Trump is a moron, he is callous, he is racist, he has no empathy, no heart, no compassion. Inevitably, his trip to Puerto Rico included about a million major gaffes/controversies/terrible quotes/awful photo-ops. Take your pick:
Melania Trump’s heels. Melania left the White House with her husband to fly to Puerto Rico. She wore heels when she left the WH, and changed into boots on the plane. The superficiality of that should not be ignored.
The paper towels. At a small chapel that has been serving as a supply hub following the hurricane, Trump decided to literally throw rolls of paper towels to people. Instead of just, like, handing them towels and interacting with them.
Maria wasn’t as bad as Katrina. I’m not saying that, Trump is saying it. At a meeting with Puerto Rican officials, he was told that PR has only recorded 16 deaths following the hurricane. His reaction? “Every death is horrible, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this…” Trump was seemingly pleased to hear the natural disaster has claimed only 16 lives “versus in the thousands” lost during Katrina, praising the leaders, “you can be proud…You can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people working together.” Puerto Rico isn’t a “real catastrophe,” not when compared to Katrina, you know.
Trump’s budget priorities. No expense is spared when white folks are in danger, but Puerto Ricans got a lecture on Trump’s budget priorities while he was in town. He told local officials: “Now I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico. And that’s fine. We’ve saved a lot of lives.” Someone calculated that Trump’s months of weekend golf course visits have cost the taxpayers $71,556,561 so far. Yeah. Don’t talk to me about the f–king budget.
Trump only went to Puerto Rico to be praised. Even though the purpose of the trip was to highlight the horrendous conditions on the ground, Trump made everything about himself and basically demanded that all local officials pledge fealty to The Bigly Throne and personally praise him as a leader.
Trump met San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. He spent the entire weekend attacking this poor woman for daring to be mildly critical of the federal response to the disaster. They met briefly and shook hands and I’m not even sure Trump realized who he was meeting. He did remember not to single her out for praise later on his speech though, because of course. She later told CNN that Trump’s comments in Puerto Rico were hurtful. Pretty much.
Other bad moments:
"Flashlights. you don't need 'em anymore," Trump says as he hands out supplies in Puerto Rico. 95% of the island is still without power.
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) October 3, 2017
Pool: "Motorcade passed broken highway dividers and hundreds of downed trees…One woman held up a sign that read 'You are a bad hombre.'"
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 3, 2017
Here’s video of Trump throwing paper towels into the crowd like it’s a basketball in Puerto Rico. No. Just, no. pic.twitter.com/25sYm2llip
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) October 3, 2017
Trump to hurricane victim in Puerto Rico: "Have a good time" pic.twitter.com/ri3C8AdG6t
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 3, 2017
Photos courtesy of Getty.