Trump staged a photo-op briefing in the White House to make it look he is working ahead of Hurricane Michael.
Here was the exchange:
Trump: They are reporting that it is one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit our country, and is that actually a fact?
FEMA Director Brock Long: Well, for this area, this is the most intense hurricane that has struck this area since 1851, if I remember correctly. So, this is the — It is a big storm.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: Intense. Very intense.
Trump: And this is one that is going to be heavy rain or the winds that are the problem?
Long: Storm surge and winds. And for Georgia, they will be seeing the high inland winds and you can see the sustained two winds with gusts, so we are expecting a lot of damage inland as well. But we have leaned forward with Governor Scott and his staff and director down there, and they are leaning forward as well. Right now, no identified shortfalls when it comes to prepositioning, and so we have the teams, equipment, and personnel not only with and embedded with the state of Florida staff and some of the local county emergency managers, but we have equipment and teams staged in Maxwell to Atlanta to Orlando ready to move in once we can, and once the elements subside and push through, and then we can move in and attack.
Nielsen: And we are working closely with the private sector and 14 states, and utilities from 14 states are ready to help with any energy outages.
Trump: I like that. And people from all over the country are lined up as soon as it goes by, they will be working, and we have got food supplies and food chains and working with all of the states, and let me ask you, this started out innocently a week ago, and this is a small storm in an area that they never thought that it would be, and then it grew into a monster.
Trump asked his staff if what he was seeing on TV was true
None of stage photo-op should be reassuring because it proved that Trump doesn’t read or study any of the information that is given to him. Everything that Long and Neilsen said was already available to him in briefing form. If Trump were engaged and leading the country, the White House wouldn’t have to stage photo-ops to make it look like the president is actually working.
The reality that came through their staged presentation was that Trump is strong and in charge, but that he is uninformed and out of it.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association