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MSNBC Panel Hits Trump Over Lack of Empathy for Harvey Victims: ‘He’s Just Concerned About Optics’

This afternoon, after he spoke to some gathered victims of Hurricane Harvey and attended a storm briefing, President Donald Trump went to Austin, Texas to attend another briefing at the state’s emergency command center. At this briefing, Trump spoke about the recovery efforts while providing time for his HUD and Small Business Administrations heads to talk about loans that will be available to businesses and people in the aftermath.

Following Trump’s latest comments, MSNBC host Mike Barnicle and his panel took turns criticizing the president for showing a lack of empathy for the victims of the storm and flooding, especially as the death toll continues to rise.

“When the president was speaking, he mentioned the water, the wind,” Barnicle noted. “He mentioned four of our great congressmen in here — it’s going to be a costly proposition. They’ll come up with the right solutions. There’s never been anything like this in our experience. He thanked Ben Carson, Linda McMahon. Several others. I did not hear him speak about the victims of this flood.”

After a brief discussion over whether Trump has the ability to be empathetic, Barnicle went around the table just to get everyone’s reaction.

McClatchy’s Anita Kumar said that depending on where you stood on Trump, you’d take away what you wanted, explaining that fans of POTUS will be happy he showed up in Texas so quickly while critics can point to him not talking about the victims.

“The human element seemed to be absent outside of the self-congratulatory gestures of the press conference,” MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude said, referencing Trump mentioning “turnout” earlier today. “It seems to me, he’s just concerned about optics. And I wish they would be concerned about people.”

Meanwhile, MSNBC national security analyst Clint Watts lit into the president for using the briefing to have a discussion about “home loans” instead of rescuing people still in danger.

“Everything is not about money,” he exclaimed. “It is for Trump, but it isn’t for the rest of America.

The MSNBC panel isn’t the only one who has knocked the president for not showing enough empathy for human victims of the storm. Earlier today, CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny said he was struck by Trump’s lack of empathy or emotion.

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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