The Post reports on the days that Trump and his top officials wasted in the wake of Hurricane Maria:
But then for four days after that — as storm-ravaged Puerto Rico struggled for food and water amid the darkness of power outages — Trump and his top aides effectively went dark themselves.
Trump jetted to New Jersey that Thursday night to spend a long weekend at his private golf club there, save for a quick trip to Alabama for a political rally. Neither Trump nor any of his senior White House aides said a word publicly about the unfolding crisis.
Trump did hold a meeting at his golf club that Friday with half a dozen Cabinet officials — including acting Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke, who oversees disaster response — but the gathering was to discuss his new travel ban, not the hurricane [bold mine-DL]. Duke and Trump spoke briefly about Puerto Rico but did not talk again until Tuesday, an administration official said.
The White House’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico is widely perceived as being too slow and unacceptably negligent of the needs of the people suffering in the aftermath of the hurricane. This report supports that impression, and shows that the president and top administration officials were to a large extent simply ignoring the dire situation on the island. If Trump was keen not to be seen repeating Bush’s Katrina errors following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there was none of the same urgency or interest on display in the first week after Maria. Trump wasn’t just failing to address the crisis publicly, but was paying scant attention to it for days on end while he feuded with football players and instituted his ridiculous travel ban. The fact that a policy as absurd as the travel ban apparently took precedence over managing the response to a major disaster affecting millions of Americans may be the most damning detail in the entire story. Faced with one of the largest disasters in U.S. history, Trump was preoccupied with a piece of security theater instead of the security and well-being of millions of citizens in desperate straits. So much for putting Americans first. Fortunately, it seems that the sustained criticism of the White House’s lacking response has jolted them into taking the crisis more seriously, but the president and his officials still frittered away the better part of a week when they should have been intensely focused on increasing and improving the federal government’s response.
Update: Trump is now feuding with the mayor of San Juan, who recently criticized remarks by the acting Secretary of Homeland Security and expressed her frustration with what she considered an inadequate federal response. Perhaps other Puerto Rican officials should follow her example, since petty feuds with people that criticize him at least hold the president’s attention for a while.