Trump visits Louisiana flood after Governor said “stay away” — risks disrupting disaster relief

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump swooped into flood-ridden Louisiana today for a photo opp after the governor of the state asked politicians to stay away for at least two weeks.

It is common knowledge that immediately after disasters you don’t want presidents — or anyone else with serious security needs — visiting, lest they disrupt the disaster response by sucking away resources for their political photo opp.

Here’s what the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, had to say this week:

He said a visit from Obama, which would require heightened security and road closures, would be a drain on resources as the state still works to respond to the flood.

“Quite frankly, that’s not something I want to go through right now,” Edwards said. “I would just as soon he wait a week or two.”

But that didn’t stop Donald Trump.

UDPATE: The Hill has more from the Governor, telling Trump to stay away:

The governor of Louisiana is telling Donald Trump to stay away from the state if he only intends to show up for a photo-op and leave.

“Donald Trump hasn’t called the governor to inform him of his visit,” Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said in a statement Friday morning. “We welcome him to LA, but not for a photo-op.”

The governor’s office added that if the Republican presidential nominee is interested in helping flood victims, he should “consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund” instead.

A further update, per CNN, Trump donated a bunch of ‘goods’ to the relief effort, which is something you should NEVER do. This is exactly what Romney did in 2012. While an amateur might think you don’t “stuff” to disaster relief, you’re supposed to donate money.

And I quote from the Red Cross Web site:

Unfortunately, due to logistical constraints the Red Cross does not accept or solicit individual donations or collections of items. Items such as collected food, used clothing and shoes must be sorted, cleaned, repackaged and transported which impedes the valuable resources of money, time, and personnel.

Like Mitt Romney in 2012, when Romney tried to take political advantage of Hurricane Sandy, and ended up impeding disaster relief, Donald Trump parachuted into Louisiana today, with his Secret Service army in tow, to get a series of photo opps at the expense of the local relief effort.

Fortunately, unlike Bush under Katrina, the Obama administration’s FEMA has acted quickly to respond to the disaster, as Louisiana’s Lt. Governor Billy Nunsgesser noted to NPR:

NUNGESSER: I tell you, I can’t be more – FEMA has been on the ground, has been flying around with us every day. Craig Fugate was down here giving answers to the governor. So the team effort for this – I’m very proud of the way the whole team’s working together. The National Guard, the sheriffs, the volunteers – neighbor helping neighbors. But FEMA has been on the ground and has really done a good job thus far through this disaster.

I can’t tell you – there’s been a whole huge change since Katrina in the response, in wanting to get people on the ground. They’re on the ground already, meeting with people at the shelters, getting the information. And as you know, after Katrina, it took a long time. So they’ve gotten a lot better. And things are really working well so far.‎

That’s how you act presidential. Not by flying in for a photo opp that disrupts disaster relief. You act presidential by actually providing relief to those affected by the disaster. And President Obama is doing just that.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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