Trump wants to distract you from the real problems he has done nothing about.
Trump spent the waning hours of his vacation attacking former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman — but he still hasn't found time to address new reports of the ballooning death toll from Hurricane Maria.
On Thursday, national news outlets reported that the Puerto Rican government has dramatically updated its official death toll from Hurricane Maria, from just 64 deaths to a shocking 1,427.
And even this new official estimate may be hopelessly rosy. One May study found that actual death toll from the disaster was at least 4,645.
Puerto Ricans are American citizens, even though nearly half of Americans don't realize that. And Trump is either so racist or so oblivious, he can't be bothered to comment on nearly 1,500 Americans dying in a horrific natural disaster.
But he can be bothered to try to make a messy dispute with a former White House employee even messier.
While promoting her new tell-all book about the Trump administration this weekend, Omarosa Manigault Newman made news by revealing that she had secretly recorded Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, firing her in the Situation Room.
"Not smart," or some variation thereof, has become Trump's insult of choice for the many black Americans he attacks in the media.
Even though Trump claimed that Manigault Newman had been "nasty to people" and negligent at work, he said he asked Kelly to try and work things out with her — since "she only said GREAT things about me."
Trump then complained that while he "would rather not be" spending time attacking Omarosa, he felt obligated because he thought "the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!"
Not surprisingly, Trump's outburst came hours after Manigault Newman released a recording of a phone conversation with Trump after her firing that belies Trump's now-harsh assessment of his former "The Apprentice" co-star.
"Goddammit, I don't love you leaving at all," Trump says in that recording, expressing possibly feigned surprise at Manigault Newman's ouster.
Trump spent nearly an hour on Monday morning going after Manigault Newman — yet he can't even find two minutes to express sorrow or resolve about the 1,427 American citizens who are now officially estimated to have died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.
Then again, Trump once bragged about the allegedly low death toll, claiming that Puerto Rico had gotten off easy in comparison to "a real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina."
And Trump himself bears at least some responsibility for these deaths.
His administration's response to the disaster was itself a disaster, with millions of dollars wasted and millions of meals and other supplies failing to reach the people who needed them. And nine months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was still experiencing massive power outages.
Considering the fact that Trump's real-time response to the suffering in Puerto Rico was to launch racist attacks at the victims, perhaps it's a good thing that he's busy causing drama with Omarosa instead.
But Americans, in Puerto Rico and everywhere else, deserve better.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.