No, Trump Didn’t Botch the Puerto Rico Crisis
A Q&A with former Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix on smart preparations the White House and Pentagon made for the looming storm.by
“Send in the cavalry.”
That was the advice retired Army General Russel Honore gave President Donald Trump this week about responding to the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. And Honore’s opinion was well informed: In 2005, President George W. Bush sent him to bail out New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina’s 30-foot storm surge overran its levees. And by Honore’s judgment, Trump has fallen short: “This is a hit on White House decision making,” he told Bloomberg News.
Plenty of others piled on, including a pair of Trump’s 2016 presidential opponents:
“The logistics chain is broken and only the U.S. military can stand it up,” insisted Florida Senator Marco Rubio. “And it is truly my hope that at some point in the next few hours the generals that are down there now, someone with … two stars, or three stars on their shoulder, will be able to be the ultimate decision maker until we get basic logistics.”
So, how fair were such criticisms?
Taken literally, Clinton’s weren’t. By the time she tweeted, the Navy had long been coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several Marine amphibious ships were operating off the coast. However, it wasn’t until after her
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