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McFeely: When Grand Forks flooded, the President's words offered aid and comfort

Former President Bill Clinton is cheered on by supporters following his speech in downtown Grand Forks at the flood obelisk. Former Grand Forks mayor Pat Owens and other city officials from the flood of 1997 in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks join Clinton on stage. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

President Donald Trump tried to make a save Wednesday, prefacing remarks in Missouri about tax cuts with words of supposed support for those in Texas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. “We are here with you today, we are here with you tomorrow, and we will be with you every single day after to restore recover and rebuild,” Trump said, before moving on to talk in vague generalities about taxes.

The timing and location of Trump’s comments on Harvey were particularly odd, given that he was actually in Texas a day before and had the opportunity then to offer aid and comfort to those stricken by the enormous rainfall in southeast Texas. Instead, as usual, Trump whiffed. Instead of being inspirational and uplifting, supportive of the efforts of emergency responders and volunteers, sympathetic to those who lost their lives or homes, the president’s words were empty and cardboard.

Most famously, Trump climbed up a stepladder inside a Corpus Christi firehouse and said, “What a crowd, what a turnout.” He then waved a Texas flag.

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