The Fox hosts on Outnumbered were repulsed and disgusted by Donald Trump’s attack on the official Puerto Rico death toll from Hurricane Maria even as Hurricane Florence bore down on North and South Carolina. But the sycophants wasted little time working to mop up at least some of the political damage for Dear Leader by engaging in a bout of bothsidesism.
In case you missed it, Trump’s first twitter thoughts this Thursday morning were about his own political fortunes, not about Americans in the Carolinas facing the catastrophe of Hurricane Florence. His first tweet touted the economy – then fear mongered that Democrats will “destroy what we have built” if they take control of Congress. Next, he denied his own government’s death toll from Hurricane Maria and claimed it was a Democratic plot “to make me look as bad as possible. … Bad politics.”
Host Melissa Francis commented after she read Trump’s tweets, “Speaking of bad politics.” Nevertheless, she described the situation as “They’re fightin’ back and forth” before calling it “incredibly distasteful” and saying, “I don’t know why the president weighed in on this one.”
“The word that came to my mind was ‘completely unseemly,’" guest Steve Hilton agreed. “I mean, what is this about?”
Hilton thought this a time to “really respect” local officials such as governors and mayors who are “doing the really hard work on the ground.” But he also suggested that the mayor of San Juan was at least partly to blame.
HILTON: Let’s be honest. This began during what happened to Puerto Rico because I remember very clearly at that time, I felt the same emotion about what was being done in terms of attacking President Trump. You saw the mayor of San Juan, for example. I mean, she was practically a cohost on MSNBC during that time … before it was even clear exactly what had happened. So the politicization has been going on for a long time.
Francis said she understood Trump’s frustration over Puerto Rico given that “the effort to help them has been Herculean.” But, she continued, “To take up on the issue of how many people are dead is so disgusting.”
Cohost Katie Pavlich was not only the most explicit bothsides-er, she bent over backwards to suggest that Trump's tweet was just mildly inapprorpriate, not shockingly disgraceful. She even lectured Puerto Rico while she was at it.
PAVLICH: The first thing I want to say is that the politics of hurricanes didn’t start with Donald Trump. It started with George Bush and Hurricane Katrina and there was a huge back and forth between what the local government didn’t do, what the federal government didn’t do. …
To argue over these numbers, I think that that’s for another time. There can be valid questions about how these things are determined, who’s more responsible, the federal government or the local government in terms of response or preparedness. The problem with right now is that’s a huge distraction from the preparedness for this current hurricane and it doesn’t allow federal and local officials to learn from the mistakes of what happened. There are always things that can be improved. Nothing ever goes 100% according to plan. That doesn’t mean that people didn’t try to prepare as much as possible, do as much as possible and get the resources on the ground ahead of time.
... There will be another hurricane [in Puerto Rico] going forward and the local government has an opportunity here to take some responsibility and build their economy so that they can sustain something like this in the future.
Funny how Pavlich didn’t say a thing about Trump’s “golden” opportunity to “take some responsibility” for the federal government’s poor response to Maria.
Even Trump-adoring cohost Harris Faulkner criticized him. “It becomes about the numbers and not about the people,” she chided. But she also took a dig at Puerto Rico, saying the U.S. territory had “quite frankly an infrastructure that didn’t support them even before the storm.” She also cast doubt on the death toll, claiming, “There’s forensic that needs to be done."
Yet Faulkner also criticized Trump for even going there. “So at this point, I don’t understand politically why anybody would wade into that, whether it’s the president or anybody else," she said. "Let’s let the science figure that out and in the mean time, let’s lead with our hearts.”
Watch the revulsion to Trump’s tweets above, from the September 13, 2018 Outnumbered.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
We watch Fox so you don't have to!