Retired Lt. General Russel Honoré had a lot of advice and criticism for President Donald Trump on Thursday after being asked about his denial of the death toll in Puerto Rico and his response to Hurricane Florence.
As Florence approaches the East coast, Trump has been busy obsessing over the criticism directed at him over his poor handling of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 Americans due to Trump’s failure to get the island the resources and manpower it needed in the wake of the disaster.
Trump seemed to blame anyone and everyone but himself for the tragedy, including the victims, something Honoré, who led the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, couldn’t let go unanswered.
“You should never blame the survivors or the victims of a natural disaster for attributing to anything that happened to them. That’s just bad protocol,” Honoré began. “Every first responder learned that when you go get someone who should have evacuated. You hug them. You try to praise the fact that they lived and you take them to safety. But never should we ever talk about those who survive a natural disaster as if they did something to cause this to happen to themselves.”
Honoré also warned Trump to stop obsessing over the previous hurricane and focus on the hurricane that is coming fast.
“If I was his boss or standing next to him as his chief of staff, I would kick him on the ankle and say, ‘look, focus on the future damn storm. Stop looking in the rear view mirror,’” he said.
Honoré also blasted Trump for refusing to take responsibility for his failures.
“He wasn’t born a politician, but he sure as hell is acting like one, won’t admit to nothing and deflects it,” he said. “I think that’s something he needs to grow out of.”
“We have used Hurricane Katrina to measure presidents,” he continued. “Well, he had his Katrina moment. It was called Maria, and the picture everybody will remember is those paper towels going out and throwing them. And oh, by the way, giving himself an A.”
The general also advised Trump to stay away from playing golf or he will be criticized for ignoring the unfolding disaster in the Carolinas.
“Let’s see if he can focus on Florence,” he concluded. “Stay off the damn golf course and cheer these troops on, who are on ships out at sea, flying helicopters and airplanes trying to get ready to come while their families stay ashore and have to evacuate separately.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
Trump would be well-advised to listen to the experts and the people on the ground rather than make his own misguided decisions. Furthermore, he should admit he failed the people of Puerto Rico and start focusing on making sure the people in the path of the current surge are taken care of, not because it’s politically expedient, but because it’s the compassionate and right thing to do. He didn’t do that last year when Puerto Rico was struck with disaster. He better damn well do it this time and give his undivided attention to the situation instead of playing golf and whining on Twitter. If not, he may very well have a second Katrina moment.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot