As Hurricane Harvey bore down on the Texas coat Friday night, President Donald Trump ‘s news hurricane struck as well, leading to condemnation from Democrats but praise form Fox News panelists.
On Friday night, Trump announce the pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, made official his ban on transgender recruits in the military, and parted ways with aide Sebastian Gorka, whose exit was part of a general housecleaning that has been taking place since the arrival of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer expressed outrage at the timing.
“As millions of people in TX and LA are prepping for the hurricane, the President is using the cover of the storm to pardon a man who violated a court’s order to stop discriminating against Latinos and ban courageous transgender men and women from serving our nation’s Armed Forces,” he posted on Twitter. “So sad, so weak.”
On the Fox News show The Five, co-host Juan Williams pondered the “politically explosive” actions, wondering whether Trump was “trying to distract from something else.”
But host Ed Henry read a text he received from a Trump adviser.
“Who says the president doesn’t know what he’s doing? He pardons Arpaio and bans transgenders in the military in the middle of a hurricane,” Henry read.
“That sounds to me like people around this president get what they’re doing,” Henry said. “This is a news dump. There’s no other way of saying it.”
“Technically, I kinda admire it,” said Dana Perino, who was White House press secretary under former President George W. Bush.
“The president is doing this on purpose,” said co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle. “We knew he was going to do with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, he said it the other night during the rally in Arizona, so he’s gonna give his followers what he’s promised them … and you have North Korea going on, you’ve got Venezuela sanctions, you’ve got all of these things at once.”
“It’s seems to me like it was a good strategy, you know politically, to do this on a Friday night in the middle of Harvey,” she continued.
Henry chimed in to say this “has been one of the great fears” heard from Democrats that Trump knows what he’s doing as he gets “very effective at overturning Obama regulations, rules and all of the rest.”
Alex Conant, a Republican strategist and former aide to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said that it was an unorthodox move by an unorthodox president.
“It was very risky because if the hurricane is as bad as the experts were predicting then he’s opening himself up to a lot of potential criticism,” he said. “But very little that Trump does surprises me any longer. He’s proven to be very unpredictable and to not act within the norms of other politicians.”
Conant also admitted that Trump may have timed it just right.
“The president has great political instincts — he can read the temperature of the public better than almost anyone else,” he explained. “He is very well aware that his base is shrinking and in a way that explains almost everything he’s done over the last month.”
In its reporting on the blizzard of news, The Washington Post said the presence of Gen. John Kelly as Trump’s new chief of staff should be factored into the equation
“Kelly is really strong right now,” said a source described by The Post as a Republican close to the White House. “He gives his best advice but he wasn’t going to stop the Sheriff Joe thing.
“Everything else was textbook — what a really good chief of staff would do: Dump a whole bunch of stuff when there’s a hurricane coming.”
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source: Western Journalism