One Hurricane Harvey photo perfectly encapsulates Trump's presidency

A lie, a merchandise tout and a lack of empathy.
Red Cross
Photo: Reuters

Former White House photographer Pete Souza has never been shy about using photographs from his archives to show the comparison between President Obama's actions in office (generally: warm, collegial, as in shots with Angela Merkel and the G20) and President Trump's (well, not).

 

After Souza posted a photograph of Obama comforting a woman after Hurricane Sandy, Reddit user Ozyman_Diaz went one better and posted a collage of former presidents consoling the victims of natural disasters.

 

There is a stark contrast among the shots of Presidents George W. Bush and Obama and then-Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, and the image of Trump visiting Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Houston this week.

 

 

 
Four presidents during disasters
 

[clockwise from bottom left] September 2, 2005: President George W. Bush comforts two sisters in Biloxi, MS, who lost everything after Hurricane Katrina.

Sept. 3, 1992: Bill Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate, visited with displaced children at an aid station in Florida City, FL, after Hurricane Andrew.

October 31, 2012: Barack Obama, a week before he was elected to his second term in office, consoled a woman at the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy.

August 29, 2017: Donald Trump waves to the crowd at Annaville Fire House in Corpus Christi, TX, after Hurricane Harvey.

Trump has been criticized for unempathetic, exploitative and untruthful behavior during this trip to Houston. He did not meet with victims, choosing instead to address a crowd in Corpus Christi by saying ebulliently, "What a crowd. What a turnout." He wore a hat that's for sale on his campaign website for $40. And he tweeted that he had seen the disaster aftermath "up close" and "firsthand," an assertion rebutted by a journalist who had been traveling with the president.

 

According to the "Washington Post," "the White House basically admits he didn't."

 
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