Trump Just Compared Hurricane Harvey Devastation to ‘Water Damage’ at His Properties
The images of catastrophic floods caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston and Galveston, Texas, this week moved President Donald Trump to compare the devastation to water damage he had seen in apartment buildings he has managed, according to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday.
“Water damage is the worst,” the president opined during a briefing with FEMA at his weekend retreat at Camp David, and he added, it is “tough, tough, tough.” As of Tuesday morning, some 3,500 Houston residents have been rescued by first responders, and approximately 30,000 are homeless and 17,000 are in temporary shelters: some 10,000 are currently in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, which is twice the number of cots made available to the facility. Many are sleeping on the floor of the center.
On Tuesday morning, a levee on the Brazos River south of Houston breached, flooding Brazoria County.
Also Tuesday morning, President Trump and the First Lady traveled from Camp David to Texas to view the damage. The president was tie-less and wore a windbreaker; Melania Trump wore aviator sunglasses and four-inch heels, which elicited much raised-eyebrow commentary on social media:
Melania Trump be like "When there is 30 inches rain, a lady always wears 31 inch heels" pic.twitter.com/byDmkIQm3A
— Frederick Douglass (@HITEXECUTIVE) August 29, 2017
In a moment away from the microphones, away from a teleprompter, in his meeting with FEMA officials, the president’s realtor’s eye took in the images of flooding, rooftop rescues, and the fact that many Texas and Louisiana families have lost their homes, and he revealed what he saw: dollar signs. “Water damage is the worst,” President Trump said.
The president is not a man who often understates things that can be measured, and he more often overstates and inflates matters, especially when they reflect on his belief in his own popularity and effectiveness. One can employ many different phrases and expressions – and even expletives – to sum up what is transpiring in Houston right now. The loss of life, family homes, livelihoods, entire neighborhoods and the fact that life in the Houston region will be forever changed from this week on, as life elsewhere on the Gulf Coast has been changed by previous devastating hurricanes, is worse than “water damage,” is worse than something “tough, tough, tough,” repeated three times for effect. For once, President Trump’s skill at exaggeration abandoned him, but then, none of his properties have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.
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