Last week the governor of Louisiana told Donald Trump to stay away from the state so that resources weren’t diverted from recovery efforts from recent flooding. Trump ignored him to show up and help unload some supplies for literally less than a minute before leaving.
Now, to be fair, the media is actually being a bit unfair to Trump here. Trump actually donated an 18-wheeler full of relevant supplies:
Play-Doh, diapers, baby formula, various toys, cleaning supplies and socks can be seen in the above-displayed video. A CNN report also noted that Trump had donated blankets and school supplies.
In addition to questioning the contents of Trump’s donation, some were skeptical that the candidate had donated anything at all, claiming that Trump merely helped to unload a truck of supplies donated by another organization. However, CNN and The Creole, the latter an online news source for Ascension Parish in Louisiana, reported that Trump had “donated” an 18-wheeler full of supplies:
Trump spent approximately 20-25 minutes inside the command center and asked a lot of questions, according to [St. Amant Fire Chief James E.] LeBlanc. He also donated a 18-wheeler full of supplies and expressed concern for residents, damage to homes, how much water was in the area and if any assistance had been given by the federal government.
So he gets some leeway there, even though he ignored the governor’s request. Where he doesn’t get leeway is where Trump sent the majority of his cash in Louisiana. That went to a church run by notoriously anti-LGBT leader Tony Perkins:
disputed his claim that the Play-Doh truck was even donated by him. And after he claimed that he had made a $100,000 donation but reporters couldn’t track it down, he’s now admitting the donation went to a local anti-gay hate group.It turns out Donald Trump’s attempt at using the Louisiana flooding as a campaign photo op is getting worse for him by the minute. The original optics were bad enough when he showed up and spent less than a minute unloading some Play-Doh from a truck before leaving. Then local authorities
Trump’s six figure “donation” actually went to a group called the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, which is a local front for ‘interim pastor” Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council – a notorious anti LGBT entity disguised as a family values group and now disguised as a church. Perkins lost his home in the flood, a story which garnered significant headlines for its irony after so many anti-gay “pastors” had previously claimed that Hurricane Katrina had hit Louisiana as part of God’s wrath against gay people.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Trump’s donation went explicitly to a church run by a man with a strong right wing following. This suggests that, like unloading the Play-Doh, that Trump’s presence in Louisiana was all about him rather than the victims of flooding.
There are plenty of charitable groups committed to doing nothing but recovery work in Louisiana, but Trump chose to eschew them in favor of Tony Perkins. The lesser donation of supplies was nice, and Trump should get credit for it, but where the bulk of his investment went in Louisiana is very, very telling.