The president remained at one of his Florida golf courses for about 30 minutes following the Hawaii nuclear missile attack cell phone alert on Saturday as Americans on the islands were saying what they thought were their last goodbyes. Now, critics on Twitter are haranguing Trump for not responding to the Hawaii alert and instead golfing through a potential nuclear event.
It's unclear at what time the president was briefed on the matter, but it's generally safe to say that he would be informed of true threats immediately. The event in Hawaii was purely an accident, though, which complicates matters. The wrong button was pushed, sending a false cell phone alert out. The president might not be briefed immediately on this type of error. The state's nuclear threat system was beefed up in December following the heated rhetoric with North Korea.
Nevertheless, his critics have shown no mercy. One former congressman summed up what seems to be many's critique of the president. Former Rep. John Dingell wrote on Twitter:
As 1.5 million American citizens were told a ballistic missile was headed their way and to seek shelter immediately, @realDonaldTrump was somewhere on the back nine of his Florida golf course.
Then he added the biggest critique:
He went ahead and finished out 18.
Others suggested that the country was lucky that Trump was golfing during the mistaken warning.
"Good thing Trump was golfing. Could have been WWIII," Twitter user @DavidRitchie09 posted. @TraceyTorres retweeted his thoughts and added, "And not watching #FoxNews who would have asked him to strike back!"
Trump was also accused of not caring about Hawaii because there are no Trump golf courses there. On Saturday, according to the White House pool, he was at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach; he headed from there to Mar-a-Lago, which he also owns.
"Why would he care? My bet, No Trump Golf course in Hawaii," wrote Twitter user @Cippalina. The current Trump golf site does not list any Hawaii courses, but there is a Trump International Hotel on Waikiki.
The false alarm was issued at 1:09 ET on Saturday; Trump didn't leave in his motorcade until 1:38 ET. He has yet to acknowledge the incident on Twitter, but many others using the service are irate.
Some Pointed To The President's Rhetoric Around Nuclear Weapons
This Twitter user mentioned his "lack of diplomacy."
Former Members Of The Military Spoke Out Too
Retired Col. Morris Davis, who once served as chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions, tweeted on the matter, too, adding that Trump has spent a fair amount of public money on his vacations.
"Thank God" The President Didn't Respond
Patrick Granfield, a former official in the Obama administration State and Defense departments, seemed to think it was good Trump didn't get involved.
A Former Daytime TV Host Commented On It First
Montel Williams even tweeted before the president about the false alarm.
There's The Chance It Influences National Security
Probably best not to think about this one.
Some Called Out The GOP, Too
One user criticized the Republicans too, using the hashtag #ComplicitGOP.
What's Not A Mistake
The alert system was only seen as needed after the relations with the North boiled over.
Comparing His Tweets To Missiles
User @64by4 suggested that Trump's tweets were also destabilizing.
Trump As The Last Roman Emperor
Let's hope this comparison is overblown...
This Is Actually Not The First Time
...Still, there are many other moments from his presidency where you can make the same argument.
What Others Went Through At The Same Time
The experience for those who thought it was real was truly harrowing.
What others were up to.
Trump Could Have Used Twitter To Calm Nerves...
Given the number of his followers, he could have really helped.
...Instead It Was Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
The Hawaii representative used her Twitter to try and allay fears, long before the official state emergency management accounts reacted. Gabbard did not criticize Trump for golfing, but she did address his role in this in another tweet:
Donald Trump is taking too long. Now is not the time for posturing. He must take this threat seriously and begin direct talks with North Korea, without preconditions, to de-escalate and denuclearize the Korean peninsula. There is no time to waste.
She went on to give the president some advice, without using his name.
The people of Hawai'i should never have had to go through this. The people of America should not be faced with this threat right now. We need peace - not political bickering. We have to talk to North Korea and find a peaceful path to get rid of this nuclear threat.
In the meantime, the State of Hawaii is reviewing its policies to make sure a false alarm like this never happens again.