Louisiana Governor Says Flood Isn’t A Photo Op, Team Trump Uses It As A Photo Op

Louisiana Governor Says Flood Isn’t A Photo Op, Team Trump Uses It As A Photo Op

In the middle of his long-awaited PIVOT following up a major shakeup of his campaign staff, GOP nominee Donald Trump decided to use the devastating flooding in Louisiana to go ‘help’ the victims. And by help, we obviously mean cravenly staging ham-handed photo ops alongside struggling people in the middle of a disaster area while talking shit about President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

It was a given from Trump’s speech on Thursday night that he was going to make his way down to the bayou to take advantage of an opportunity to show him as ‘presidential.’ He would point out that he was there assisting and giving comfort to those impacted, all while Obama was golfing in Martha’s Vineyard. (POTUS is currently on vacation.) Now, nevermind that having a President visit an emergency zone, specifically one dealing with a large-scale natural disaster, is counter-productive as it depletes necessary personnel to ensure security. Or the fact that the same thing would occur when a presidential candidate visits.

Nope, Team Trump was a-coming, and there was nothing anyone was going to do to stop them. Not when there’s publicity to be had. Governor John Bel Edwards tried to dissuade Trump from coming through. He pointedly said that a visit shouldn’t be used as a “photo op.” Instead, it would be better if the real estate mogul issued a “sizable donation,” or even volunteered his time to helping those affected.

In the end, Trump came, and didn’t even inform Edwards he was coming. Obviously, new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had him scheduled for several photo ops, despite Edwards’ admonitions. One such instance showed Trump volunteering for an entire 49 seconds, helping ‘unload’ toys from a truck. Yep, after making a big show of getting in line, Trump handed off a few boxes before grabbing a crate and calling it a day.



Mind you, the Trump campaign said that no press would be allowed to accompany the real estate mogul as he did the real work and comforted the victims. Yet, there were reporters, making sure they captured The Donald in all his glory.

While I’m sure Trump and Co. feel this would make for a wonderful optic, but the fact that this was so transparent, so politically motivated and so lacking in actual empathy will come across to most normal folks. TPM’s Josh Marshall had the best take on this:

But I don’t think video of this transparently craven stunt will wear well. It’s like someone told Richie Rich he needed more extracurriculars on his college app.

The awkwardness. The yacht club blazer. The hat. It’s all there.

As far as donations, the Trump camp said that he donated a truckload of “stuff.” An 18-wheeler could be seen in the background of one of Trump’s photo ops. Now, first off, when dealing with a disaster like this, cash is always best. Donating goods tends to create logistical headaches. Just ask the Red Cross or any other charitable foundation.

But, there’s no telling if this was even something that Trump paid for or organized. The Washington Posts’ David Farnethold, who has been the bane of Trump’s existence as he’s furiously reported on Trump’s lack of actual charitable giving and essentially forced him to give a million buck to vets months after he pledged to do so, was on the case Friday:



It will be interesting what the real answer is regarding the trailer of stuff. One dollar that Trump paid nothing for the goods, they were donated by others but he’ll still take a tax deduction because they’re under his ‘name.’

Anyway, CNN is eating all of this up, so I guess Trump gets exactly what he wanted.

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.