From claiming that the violence in Charlottesville included wrongs on "both sides" to throwing paper towels to Hurricane Maria victims, Trump has consistently responded to crises in ways that have drawn public ire. Often he's criticized for taking too long to address incidents or not doing so at all — but he wasted no time in jumping to the defense of one conservative commentator on Wednesday. And now Twitter users are frustratedly comparing Trump's message to Tomi Lahren to his other responses.
Lahren dined out in Minneapolis with her mother on Saturday and faced taunts from some patrons who recognized her. "F*ck that b*tch," one yelled; another tossed water at her. People across the political spectrum have rushed to Lahren's defense and argued that those were inappropriate ways of protesting her politics.
Now one of Lahren's champions is the president himself. He tweeted a message of support for her on Wednesday: "Everybody is with Tomi Lahren, a truly outstanding and respected young woman!"
Many on Twitter did not take kindly to his post. They compared Trump's eagerness to defend Lahren to his reticence to respond to a host of other issues. He tweeted about her just one day after the news about the incident went viral and mere minutes after Lahren discussed it on Fox and Friends on Wednesday.
On the other hand, it took the president 22 days to phone and thank James Shaw Jr., the 29-year-old man who saved lives in a Tennessee Waffle House last month by wrestling a semi-automatic rifle from an active shooter.
Many people blasted Trump for waiting so long to make the call and declining to make any public statements about the event. Some speculated that he would have been quick to celebrate Shaw's heroism and condemn the attack if those involved had been white. CNN's Don Lemon wondered if Trump would have spoken out if the suspect were Muslim.
Trump never tweeted about the recent incident in which two black men were arrested for allegedly loitering in a Starbucks (the coffee chain organized large-scale racial bias trainings for its employees in response). He also remained silent during recent protests in Gaza when Israeli soldiers killed dozens of demonstrators.
In the days following Hurricane Maria, when nearly all of the island was without power and people were leaving for the continental United States by the thousands, Trump said little about the disaster. For a few days, he made no public comments at all; by the time five days had passed, he'd managed to write one short tweet about Puerto Rico but 17 tweets about NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. An opinion article in The Miami Herald called Trump's response to the crisis "slow, unenthusiastic and — yes — mean."
While Trump spoke out about the ongoing water crisis in Flint during his campaign for president, saying that the Environmental Protection Agency is "really guilty of [the] horror show" there, he hasn't done so very much as president. Last month, he was criticized for not raising the issue during a rally in Michigan, where Flint is located.
Trump never said a word about the bombing of a mosque in Minneapolis last August, even as it became known in March that the perpetrators may have been inspired by Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric. One of the men responsible had previously submitted a proposal to build the president's border wall. According to The Washington Post, he told authorities that he wanted to "scare" Muslims into leaving the United States and "show them hey, you're not welcome here, get the f*ck out."
It seems like there's a new situation every week in which people lambast Trump for his response (or lack of one) to crises and tragedies. But people are quick to criticize the president when he is moved to react in situations like Lahren's.