Trump’s gaffe-free Texas trip forces media to pounce on shoes, avoiding flood zone

President Trump vowed swift federal aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey during his visit Tuesday to the flood-stricken region, where he met with local officials and tried to boost spirits -- and still took a beating in the press. 

Trump seemed to reference that and other coverage Wednesday morning when he tweeted: "After reading the false reporting and even ferocious anger in some dying magazines, it makes me wonder, WHY? All I want to do is #MAGA!"

Absent any major gaffes, the first family's media critics instead took shots over everything from Melania Trump's shoes to the fact Trump did not visit the major flood zone in Houston. 

“It was a presidential trip to a deluged state where the president didn’t meet a single storm victim, see an inch of rain or get near a flooded street,” Politico wrote Tuesday of the president’s trip.

CNN reported that, “Trump ... dispensed no hugs or displays of compassion to victims of the storm, whom he did not meet—perhaps a symptom of the fact he insisted upon visiting the state in the immediate aftermath of the storm precluding him from visiting the most devastated region.” 

The White House, though, had publicly said the president did not want to disrupt local recovery efforts, which a trip to Houston could have done.

“If he had gone, they would have said he was taking away from the recovery efforts,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning. "In this situation right now with some members of the media, this president can't win, it's not fair."

Case in point: The day began with snickering from reporters and comedians on social media, about the first lady's high heels -- she wore black pumps as she walked toward Marine One with the president.

Vogue covered the first lady’s outfit, with the headline: “Melania Trump’s Hurricane Stilettos, and the White House’s Continual Failure to Understand Optics.”

“Why, oh why, can’t this administration get anything, even a pair of shoes, right?” Vogue’s article read.

When the president and first lady landed in Corpus Christi Tuesday, though, Melania Trump was wearing a new outfit -- and sneakers.

The first lady's office hit back. “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes,” the first lady’s Communications Director Stephanie Grisham told Fox News via email.

The mockery went so far that it even prompted a reality check from one of the administration's toughest critics.

“I don’t know why anyone should care what anyone wears when they’re on their way to help people,” “The Daily Show’s” Trevor Noah said Tuesday night. 

But the Daily Beast then criticized Noah, slamming the comedian for failing to mention that Trump “has been plugging his own merchandise during the natural disaster.” 


“How soon before Melania’s FLOTUS hat hits stores?” The Daily Beast wrote early Wednesday, also criticizing Trump for "praising his crowd size while also failing to acknowledge (or meet with) any of victims of said disaster." 

GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, though, indicated he supported Trump's decision to avoid Houston. 

“The place he will be going to will not be Houston, so [he] will not be getting into harm’s way or interrupting the evacuations or emergency response in the Houston area,” Abbott said on “CBS This Morning” Monday. 

Trump tweeted Wednesday in support of Texas storm victims: "After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!"


While Trump’s trip to Corpus Christi Tuesday was dedicated to meetings with local officials and emergency responders, he spoke to storm-stricken residents, vowing to help them get back on their feet, and promising a recovery effort “better than ever before.”

“We are here to take care of you,” Trump told a crowd outside a Corpus Christi fire station before lifting a large Texas state flag. “We’re going to get you back and operating immediately. We want to do it better than ever before.”