President Trump traveled to Texas on Tuesday to visit areas hit with catastrophic flooding has continuously pledged any, and all, federal aid to the state grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, but that wasn’t enough for the mainstream media.
The day began with snickering from reporters, and on social media, about First Lady Melania Trump’s choice of footwear for her visit to Texas—she wore black pumps as she walked towards Marine One with the president, drawing a stream of mockery on social media feeds, and a range of headlines from publications, seemingly distracting from the president’s efforts to direct all focus to the storm-torn state.
“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.
Even Vogue covered the first lady’s outfit—with a headline reading “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, Mrs. Trump was wearing a new outfit, and sneakers, along with a hat embroidered “FLOTUS” at the front. The mockery went so far that it even prompted a reality-check from one of Trump’s toughest critics.
“Here’s my thing: 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. “People were like, ‘Why is she wearing those heels when she’s going to help people?’ Like, who cares! Look at the Pope! You see how he dresses? All white with giant bling. He looks like he’s going to a P. Diddy party, but we don’t say, “Hey, you can’t go out helping people dressed like that!”
But the Daily Beast 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? –and praising his crowd size while also failing to acknowledge (or meet with) and of victims of said disaster,” The Daily Beast wrote early Wednesday.
The Daily Beast was one of many mainstream media outlets to hammer Trump on his lack of a visit to Houston during his trip to the Harvey-hit areas –though Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said ahead of the trip that he would not visit the city hit the hardest.
“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. “He most likely will be going closer to where the hurricane hit land.”
But Abbott’s reasoning wasn’t enough for the media.
“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.
And CNN reported that, “Trump, though, 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.”
“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 of the latest criticisms against the president. "In this situation right now, with some members of the media, this president can't win and it's not fair."
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.”