National Politics

Social media mocks Trump over disaster relief photo op

President Donald Trump loads boxes into a truck with donated items for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey during a visit to First Church of Pearland in Pearland, Texas, Saturday.
President Donald Trump loads boxes into a truck with donated items for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey during a visit to First Church of Pearland in Pearland, Texas, Saturday. The Associated Press

A disaster relief photo op Saturday featuring President Donald Trump has sparked social media chatter mocking – and defending – the president.

Videos and photos from the Saturday event show Trump loading a few boxes into a pickup truck distributing disaster relief supplies in Houston and other communities hit by post-hurricane flooding.

Some online posters found the photo op less than convincing. Many zeroed in on a moment when Trump hands a bucket through a window to the driver instead of placing it in the truck bed. “Donald Trump doesn’t know how a pickup truck works,” wrote one.

Others poked fun at Trump for declaring the project “good exercise.” But the president also had online defenders.

In his second visit to the area, Trump toured a Houston mega-shelter Saturday housing hundreds of displaced people and briefly walked streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions. He met the scene with positivity, congratulating officials on an emergency response still in progress and telling reporters that he’d seen “a lot of love” and “a lot of happiness” in the devastation the storm left behind.

“As tough as this was, it’s been a wonderful thing,” Trump said of the Harvey response after spending time with displaced children inside NRG Center, an emergency refuge housing about 1,800 evacuees.

Harvey slammed into Texas on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, but brought the worst flooding to Houston and other areas as a tropical storm. The rain totaled nearly 52 inches in some spots, and the storm is blamed for at least 44 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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