After spending the weekend tweeting about the NFL and why its owners should force players to stand during the National Anthem, President Donald Trump has spent this week playing catchup on the still-unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
On Thursday afternoon, acting Homeland Security head Elaine Duke made that task even more complicated. Duke was asked by reporters at the White House whether she was satisfied with the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria and the devastation it has wrought.
Here’s her answer (bolding is mine):
“I am very satisfied. I know it’s a hard storm to recover from but the amount of progress that’s been made, and I really would appreciate any support that we get. I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.”
Remember the context here. Puerto Rico is dealing with mass devastation. They have no power. Food is in short supply. So is water.
Given that some of those most basic needs aren’t being met – and the fact that Trump’s administration has come under fire for not moving as aggressively to address the devastation caused by Maria as it did for hurricanes Irma and Harvey – Duke’s comment feels deeply out of touch.
Remember that just yesterday, Trump had to defend himself from criticism he was distracted from Puerto Rico by his NFL fight. “Was I preoccupied? Not at all,” Tr