Trump's 1st tweet on the Seattle train crash played politics

Hours after a train derailed i...

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 9:36 AM
Updated: Dec 19, 2017 9:36 AM

Hours after a train derailed in Washington state, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to sound off on it.

"The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly," tweeted Trump. "Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!"

That is a somewhat remarkable tweet from a president given the fact that emergency crews were still sorting through the rubble, several people had been killed in the accident and 77 people had been taken to a variety of local hospitals.

Trump followed that first tweet with a second, more traditionally presidential one 11 minutes later. "My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington," Trump tweeted. "Thank you to all of our wonderful First Responders who are on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House."

What do those two tweets tell us? That Trump's first instinct is always to look for an angle that benefits him or, even more ideally, proves he is right about something controversial he has said in the past.

This is hardly the first time this has occurred.

On the same day that 49 people were killed in a shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Trump tweeted this: "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!"

A day after a terrorist ran down and murdered eight people last month in New York City, Trump tweeted: "The terrorist came into our country through what is called the 'Diversity Visa Lottery Program,' a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based."

None of the above is to say that other men who have held Trump's job haven't had politically calculating thoughts in the immediate aftermath of tragedies. Of course they have. They are politicians, after all. It's what they do.

But what none before Trump did was jump into the politics right away. They held off a day or even a week until the full details of the tragedy were known and people had a chance to grieve. They sent that second Trump tweet first -- and, in most cases, didn't send the first one at all.

Nor is Trump wrong, broadly speaking, about the need to spend more on infrastructure in America -- particularly on many of our long-failing bridges, roads and tunnels. President after president has insisted how important infrastructure spending is to the country's future but has struggled to make it actually happen in any major way.

The problem here is that Trump is putting the cart way before the horse. Even while people continue to wonder whether their family members are safe, Trump is tweeting about how this just goes to show we need to spend more money on infrastructure.

It's not the wrong message. But it's definitely the wrong time for that message.

His past history suggests Trump is willing to play politics almost immediately after tragic events.

Maybe that is the new normal given the pace of news cycles and the relentless focus on partisan side-taking. But either way it's definitely new.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20901250
Hinds19953410
Harrison17551302
Rankin13358276
Jackson13141243
Madison9949211
Lee9886170
Jones8308161
Forrest7537147
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6286144
Lamar613284
Lafayette6063117
Washington5288133
Bolivar4775129
Oktibbeha457097
Panola4456103
Pearl River4433141
Warren4294118
Marshall4283101
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4061132
Union404675
Neshoba4001176
Lincoln3883109
Hancock373385
Leflore3470124
Sunflower330789
Tate325082
Pike3205105
Scott311272
Yazoo304769
Alcorn298865
Itawamba297477
Copiah293965
Coahoma290378
Simpson289486
Tippah285168
Prentiss276559
Marion266279
Leake261473
Wayne261441
Grenada256284
Covington254980
Adams246882
Newton245561
George238347
Winston226081
Tishomingo222467
Jasper219948
Attala213573
Chickasaw205257
Holmes186972
Clay183054
Stone179531
Clarke177576
Tallahatchie175940
Calhoun165231
Yalobusha159736
Smith159234
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126533
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113732
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica103025
Claiborne101330
Benton97425
Kemper95628
Humphreys94432
Franklin82723
Quitman78916
Choctaw73717
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521201

Reported Deaths: 10736
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753981490
Mobile39011799
Madison34002496
Tuscaloosa25329444
Montgomery23996567
Shelby23160239
Baldwin20674302
Lee15567165
Calhoun14330311
Morgan14152271
Etowah13677346
Marshall11988220
Houston10402278
Elmore10008200
Limestone9843147
Cullman9501189
St. Clair9449234
Lauderdale9254228
DeKalb8756181
Talladega8104171
Walker7126275
Jackson6751110
Autauga6748103
Blount6511134
Colbert6225130
Coffee5418113
Dale4771111
Russell429338
Franklin420582
Chilton4100109
Covington4059114
Tallapoosa3904146
Escambia389574
Dallas3522149
Chambers3513122
Clarke346760
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295395
Winston273072
Bibb256059
Marengo248261
Geneva245975
Pickens233059
Barbour226255
Hale218675
Butler212867
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182544
Randolph177041
Monroe172440
Washington164738
Macon155548
Clay150055
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146341
Lamar139634
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124527
Bullock121540
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91334
Choctaw58724
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