The White House announced Wednesday that President Joe Biden was scheduled to visit Maui after former President Donald Trump criticized him for smiling and saying, “No comment,” when asked about the rising death toll from the wildfires there last week.
On Monday morning, a reporter asked Biden if he had a comment about the rising death toll, to which he smiled and responded, “No, no comment.”
At the time, Biden was returning to the White House after spending two days at his beach home in Rehoboth, Delaware.
"Any comment on the rising death toll in Maui?"
BIDEN: "No. No comment." pic.twitter.com/oORpRuLUpz
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 14, 2023
Trump released a video later that day criticizing Biden.
“To say no comment is oftentimes fine but to be smiling when you say it, especially against such a tragedy as this, is absolutely horrible and unacceptable,” Trump said.
“It is a disgraceful thing that Joe Biden refuses to help or comment on the tragedy in Maui, just as he refused to help or comment on the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, for a very, very long time.”
Trump, who is running for reelection in 2024, is the leading Republican primary contender.
Biden’s cold response was also criticized by conservative pundits and journalists.
The last 24 tweets from the POTUS account are pats on the back from protecting land to Bidenomics.
You have go back 25 to see anything regarding Maui. The president is at his beach house in Delaware, where he just gave a "no comment" to a reporter. asking about Maui. Stunning. https://t.co/OMhQMluaCA
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) August 14, 2023
On Thursday morning, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced in a statement, “The President and First Lady will travel to Maui on Monday, August 21, to meet with first responders, survivors, as well as federal, state, and local officials, in the wake of deadly wildfires on the island.”
So far, at least 106 people have been confirmed dead, and more than 1,300 remain unaccounted for. The Maui wildfires are the deadliest in the U.S. in over a century.
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