Grant the president this: Whatever shortcomings he might have as a national uniter, or soother of emotions, or chooser of Cabinet secretaries, he possesses a practically unerring ability to make anything about himself.
As the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico continues, Donald Trump has spent the weekend using his favorite medium, his Twitter account, not to soothe emotions or offer succor to the people of the island but to pick an increasingly acrimonious fight with the mayor of San Juan, its largest city, and to tell Puerto Ricans that the lack of water, food, and electricity they are experiencing is not reality but a fabrication by the news media. Saturday morning, my colleague James Fallows called Trump’s attacks on Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz “a new low,” but Trump has managed to dig deeper since.
It started here:
The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
...want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
Over an unusually prolific series of tweets (some of which are not duplicated here, but can be seen on his feed), he went on to attack the press:
Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to "get Trump." Not fair to FR or effort!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
In what has become distressingly commonplace, he accused the press of sedition and undermining the military:
The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R's. Shame!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
Later in the day he was at it again:
Results of recovery efforts will speak much louder than complaints by San Juan Mayor. Doing everything we can to help great people of PR!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
By Saturday morning, he was calling any critic an "ingrate":
We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico. Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates,...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
(In the midst of this, he again found time to scold NFL players who protest during the National Anthem and to demand credit for raising the numbers of his chosen candidate in the Alabama GOP Senate primary, even though the candidate lost. A participation trophy for the president, please!)