Thursday, July 20, 2023

the last book I ever read (The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, excerpt sixteen)

from The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021 by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser:

Trump was at home tweeting when he was supposed to be in Poland, for a commemoration of the eightieth anniversary of the beginning of World War II. He had canceled the trip, citing the need to monitor the progress of Hurricane Dorian, which was threatening Florida. Hurricanes were another longtime preoccupation of Trump’s and the new organization Axios reported that week that Trump had, numerous times during his presidency going back to 2017, asked aides whether the United States could foil the storms by bombing them with nuclear weapons—a story that, a senior administration official told Axios in a moment of candor, was inevitably going to “feed into ‘the president is crazy’ narrative.” Which, of course, it did.

Trump’s plan to deal with Hurricane Dorian thankfully did not involved atomic warfare. In fact, his monitoring of the storm looked a lot like any other weekend of his presidency in that it included hours spent watching Fox News, tweeting and retweeting nearly sixty times before noon on the last Saturday of the month, and then motorcading to a Trump-branded golf course for his 226th day on the links at one of his own properties since becoming president. That Sunday, Trump erroneously claimed in a tweet that the storm was on track to hit Alabama. Rather than acknowledge the mistake, he then spent the rest of the week feuding with the media about whether he had taken one of his trademark pens and altered a National Weather Service map to prove his point. The resulting “Sharpiegate” lasted for days, unlike the storm, which hit neither Florida nor Alabama in force.

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