Trump Tested By Multiple Crises

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump has faced a white nationalist rally turned violent, three major hurricanes, the deadliest mass shooting in American history and the menace of a nuclear North Korea all in the past two months.

“Imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room, making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the United States,” Hillary Clinton said in a campaign speech dubbed by Vox as her “Best case against Donald Trump.”

Trump is now in this sort of situation making key decisions for the American public. The president’s reaction to the violence surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville was widely panned by the media and lawmakers in both parties. However, his responses to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma were viewed favorably.

“There has been some rallying behind President Trump for his handling of hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, told Politico. A SurveyMonkey poll found that 56 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s response to the two storms.

Trump has faced criticism from the left for the government’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. “If anybody is out there is listening to us, we are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said in a Friday press conference that prompted attacks from Trump.

“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help,” Trump tweeted in response on Saturday. (RELATED: Fellow Puerto Rico Mayor Rips San Juan Mayor — ‘She’s Not Participating In Any Meetings’)

The president visited Puerto Rico Tuesday as he did in Texas and Florida, and compared Maria’s impact there to Hurricane Katrina.

“Sixteen versus in the thousands,” Trump said. “You can be very proud of your people and all of our people working together.” The New York Times described this comment as Trump expressing “pride that Hurricane Maria killed only 16, comparing the death toll to Katrina.”

The president also displayed his sometimes awkward speaking manner when discussing Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas. “Look, we have a tragedy. What happened is, in many ways, a miracle. The police department, they’ve done such an incredible job,” Trump said Tuesday about the shooting.

He will visit Las Vegas Wednesday to meet with first responders and the families of victims.

Surrounding all of these tragedies is the recurring threat of North Korea, which Trump suggested over the weekend would not be able to be solved diplomatically.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”