Donald Trump has been criticised for not meeting with victims of Hurricane Harvey and marvelling at crowd sizes during his brief trip to Texas.
While the administration is said to be working well with state authorities to deal with the crisis caused by Harvey, critics say Mr Trump failed at fulfilling his unofficial role as ‘consoler-in-chief’ when he flew to Texas to meet with state officials and disaster response coordinators.
David Axelrod, who served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, wrote in a commentary for CNN that one of the unwritten jobs of the President is to offer support and encouragement to fellow citizens on behalf of a concerned nation during times of crisis.
“Startlingly, [Mr Trump] did not utter one syllable about those who have lost their lives, their homes or businesses in the floods that are still swelling over southeast Texas, overwhelming the heroic first responders and volunteers who are straining to meet its demands,” Mr Axelrod wrote.
He added that Mr Trump “had no solace for the tens of thousands of evacuees, some of whom were separated from their families in the storm and are now warehoused in arenas, left to wonder what comes next.”
As Houston continued to be slammed by remnants of Harvey, Mr Trump on Tuesday was quick to praise the efforts of those on the ground during a visit to Corpus Christi – one of the cities near the coast that also faced the brunt of the storm. He visited Austin later in the day.
Harvey, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm over the weekend, has brought unprecedented and catastrophic flooding to the southeastern region of Texas.
The presidential entourage avoided Houston and the surrounding area, where the vast majority of the more than 17,000 people who had sought shelter were gathered. The White House was keen to stress that Mr Trump wanted to be “very cautious” to not disrupt recovery efforts.
When standing in front of a crowd outside a Corpus Christi fire…