Yes, in an 11-hour period starting yesterday at 7:19 a.m. and ending at 6:46 p.m., Trump tweeted –yes, 18!– times about the dire situation in Puerto Rico following the devastation brought by Hurricane Maria.
The tone of those tweets, according to CNN: Negative, defensive and dark.
Trump’s began attacking San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. He responded to Yulin Cruz by saying,
“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump. Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.“
Had Trump just sent those three tweets hitting Yulin Cruz, it would have been a bad enough. But did he stop there…?
Nope. Trump spent the next eight(!) hours tweeting a series of attacks against the so-called “fake news” media for allegedly misrepresenting the actions of his administration in Puerto Rico.
None of that comes even close to Trump’s claim that the news networks are working to
“Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to ‘get Trump.
Not fair to FR or effort!
The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R’s. Shame!.“
“disparage our great First Responders” or that the media is “doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers.“
As CNN’s Cris Cillizza said,
Trump is trying to divide the country as a way to deflect blame for his administration’s performance.
Trump’s willingness to divide, to turn every situation in which he is questioned or criticized into an “us” vs “them” is well documented by now. The 2016 election was an 18-month master class in how to divide the country for your own political gain. Trump’s handling of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his deliberate decision to pick a fight with (mostly black) NFL players over the national anthem illustrate that same perpetual need to divide.
That default divisiveness makes Trump different than every person who has held the office before him. For the 43 previous presidents, their ultimate goal was to find ways to remind people in the country of our common humanity, to take the high road, to appeal to our better angels. Many of them missed that mark — often badly — but it was always their North Star.
18 tweets. 11 hours. And Americans suffer.
(Illustration, CNN; via CNN)