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Kamala Harris Sums Up Donald Trump’s Inability to Experience Empathy: “Something Is Missing”

She's not wrong.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) looks on while touring a farm.

Hurricane Dorian has been making its way towards land this week, and until very recently, it looked like the storm was going to hit Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from last year’s Category 5 Hurricane Maria. When that storm hit, Donald Trump was incredibly callous, largely ignoring the devastation, severely underestimating the death toll, and giving us the now grossly iconic image of him finally visiting the island only to literally throw rolls of paper towels at those looking for assistance as if he were tossing out t-shirts at a concert.

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Leading up to Dorian’s expected arrival, Trump has been flat-out cruel towards Puerto Ricans. He’s been insulting San Juan’s Mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, who was openly critical of Trump after Maria. He also seems to be passive-aggressively blaming Puerto Rico for … I guess for being in a hurricane’s path?

That $92 billion figure is reportedly what’s been allotted over the next 20 years, not just to help with the aftermath of Maria. But that doesn’t stop Trump from tweeting things like this:

Oh, and by the way, here’s how Trump changed his tone when Dorian’s path changed:

This is a serious question: Does Donald Trump realize that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, and that he’s also their President? I’m genuinely not sure.

Kamala Harris had some strong (but not wrong) words about Trump’s inability to act like a human being.

“We have to acknowledge that this President really lacks—I don’t know, there’s just something missing. He lacks the ability to have empathy or sympathy or concern,” she said at a recent labor event.

She continued, “Recall that when he went to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, he threw paper towels at people. And now he’s talking about—to deal with a hurricane, just nuke it. What is wrong with this person? The President of the United States should be in the position of saying ‘I will always work in the best interest of the people and their well-being and their safety,’ not ridiculing and throwing things at people and picking petty fights.”

“This is a moment, especially in a moment of crisis, for leadership,” said Harris. “And this President is lacking in the ability to lead.”

(image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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