As a Category 4 hurricane rapidly approached the coast of Texas on Friday night ― causing millions to run for their lives and worry for their homes, their pets, their family photos, their property and their livelihoods ― President Donald Trump escaped to Camp David, where he unleashed his own storm of controversial news, seemingly hoping no one would notice.
Trump signed a memo banning transgender individuals from newly enlisting in the military and pardoned a former sheriff with a history of racist actions. One of his most controversial advisers resigned, and his administration teased they’d end a program that could put many young undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. These controversial announcements all came as Hurricane Harvey bore down on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The barrage of news coming from the White House, with each story notable in its own right, illustrated both an administration prone to crisis and ill-equipped to handle them, whether natural or self-made.
The U.S. news was largely dominated by Hurricane Harvey throughout the day Friday, as the storm quickly escalated from Category 2 to Category 4, with winds escalating to 130 miles per hour. Millions of Texans were urged to flee their homes, with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott encouraging people to evacuate even if it wasn’t mandatory.
“It is not hyperbole to say that if the forecast verifies, Texas is about to experience one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the state,” Abbott said Friday in a written request for Trump to declare a major disaster.
Trump wished Texans “good luck” as he departed the White House on…
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