For the better part of two years at this point, journalists have been warning that Donald Trump’s cries of “fake news” could have catastrophic results when real world disaster strikes. Hurricane Harvey could be the first test of this theory.
That’s what CNN reporter and favorite Trump punching bag Jim Acosta seemed to imply on Friday afternoon when he reminded viewers that Americans in Texas and Louisiana would be relying on the media for information this weekend as that storm makes landfall. If residents are advised to evacuate by a talking head on TV, will they listen?
“Hopefully the president won't be tweeting about fake news as much,” Acosta said, “as many Americans will be relying on the news to stay safe during this storm.”
Noting that Hurricane Harvey will be Trump’s first natural disaster as president, Acosta added, “This is going to be a major test for this young administration, for a president who has not had to deal with natural disasters like this.”
White House reporter Kaitlan Collins, who recently joined CNN from right-wing website The Daily Caller, added, “These things can be presidency defining, as we saw with George W. Bush and the way he botched his response to Hurricane Katrina just 12 summers ago.”
Collins also pointed out that last August, Trump was criticizing President Obama for staying on Martha’s Vineyard as Baton Rouge was hit with massive flooding. “Tuesday’s too late,” Trump said then of Obama’s planned visit to the Bayou State’s capital a few days after the flooding began. “Hop into the plane and go down and go to Louisiana and see what’s going on, because it's a mess.”
According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president plans to stay at Camp David this weekend and visit Texas early next week.