President Donald Trump returned to Texas to visit with the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Trump’s response to the event has earned him a lot of criticism as many feel that he has not personally done enough to help. It is likely that Saturday’s visit was, at least partially, motivated by an attempt to change that sentiment. Unfortunately for Trump, he made a few missteps that made him look less than stellar.
Probably the most head-scratching was when he called the event a “wonderful thing.” It is possible that Trump is referring to his handling of the relief response here, but even that comes off as a bit self-congratulatory. Another likely interpretation is that he meant it was wonderful to see how people come together in times of tragedy. Either way, it was a very poorly worded statement. We doubt that the people of Houston view this event as “wonderful” no matter how much it drew people together. We doubt there was any actual malice in this particular statement, but it did come across as, at best, tone-deaf.
POTUS at Houston relief center: "As tough as this was," the response "has been a wonderful thing, I think, even for the country to watch." pic.twitter.com/HsxBMeUTZK
— ABC News (@ABC) September 2, 2017
Beyond that rather strange statement, Trump and first lady Melania spent time handing out children’s toys and food. Trump managed to not say anything offensive during these two moments. Were it not for his odd decision to use the term “wonderful” about an event that killed dozens of people and left much more homeless, we would probably consider this one a success. However, we cannot help but feel that his “wonderful” comments will overshadow the rest of this event.
Beyond that, we cannot help but feel that this comes across as a photo-op. For whatever reason, Trump really does not come across as sincere during a lot of those clips. Of course, interpreting such things is subjective, so his supporters will likely think he did great.