Hundreds of tweeters have accused Trump of using the life-threatening weather event, which has seen tens of thousands of people fleeing the Gulf Coast, as a “political cover” to deflect attention away from his actions.
Late Friday, Trump signed a memo which bans transgender individuals from newly enlisting in the military and pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona who was convicted after illegally targeting Latinos and has a history of racist actions, via Twitter:
I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017
Sebastian Gorka, one of the Trump’s most controversial advisers, also quit the White House.
Each of those political developments would usually lead news bulletins, and so tweeters were keen to ensure that they weren’t forgotten about because of the devastating Category 4 storm.
Here’s a sampling of the reactions so far:
So Trump pardoned racist convicted criminal Joe Arpaio and signed a transgender military ban, with a monster hurricane as cover... pic.twitter.com/RPwREqDIeW— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) August 26, 2017
Trump just pardoned Joe Arpaio during a Category 4 Hurricane. This guy is such an awful freaking human being. pic.twitter.com/9jcm1bDK8W— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) August 26, 2017
Make no mistake Trump is using category 4 hurricane Harvey as a political cover to pardon the incredibly racist Joe Arpaio #hurricaneharvey— matt (@mrm_matt) August 26, 2017
You'd think a Cat 4 hurricane would be the ideal Friday night cover for a dubious pardon -- but it actually only amplifies it. Just watch.— Jonathan Wald (@jonathanwald) August 26, 2017
A fucking hurricane is devastating half of Texas and trump is pardoning Joe Arpaio and banning trans people from the military. god damn him— ️Supership79 (@supership79) August 26, 2017
So Trump, in a rare, RARE moment of political slyness, pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio while everyone is distracted with Hurricane Harvey.— Eric Shaffer (@LordShaffy) August 26, 2017
Two distractions: NKorea fires misiles, Hurricane Harvey hits texas. Trump pardons Joe Arpaio. Coincidence?— Julia Vargas M (@JuliasNotes) August 26, 2017
Obviously Trump didn't like being outshined by Hurricane Harvey so he pardoned Joe Arpaio to bring the spotlight back on himself.— Lo Storm (@cailinroiceada) August 26, 2017
Only a scum like Trump would use the devastation of a Category 4 hurricane to slyly pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio.— Simar (@sahluwal) August 26, 2017
Trump is so proud of his pardon of Joe Arpaio he does it as a Friday night news dump in the midst of Cat4 hurricane making landfall. #coward— Ron Asher (@rmasher2) August 26, 2017
Hours before a Category 4 hurricane hits US soil, Trump signs an order barring transgender people from the military and pardons Joe Arpaio.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 26, 2017
Trump orders the Pentagon to reverse transgender policy & pardons Joe Arpaio after 6 p.m. on a Friday as a hurricane approaches the U.S.— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 26, 2017
Everyone's focused on a hurricane, so Trump...— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 26, 2017
- Banned trans people from military
- Pardoned Joe Arpaio
- Ended DACA?
I miss anything?
Trump pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio at all, let alone during a Category 4 hurricane, is the exact opposite of how to unify this country.— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) August 26, 2017
Unreal. As nation focuses on massive Texas Cat-4 hurricane, Trump pardons Joe Arpaio, convicted of criminal contempt for RACIAL PROFILING. pic.twitter.com/xh5sdlHl3d— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) August 26, 2017
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.