- REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
President Donald Trump offered the US Coast Guard another strange compliment on Sunday.
Responding to reporters’ questions on the South Lawn of the White House, the president praised the Coast Guard for rescuing people trapped by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey.
“If you talk about branding, no brand has improved more than the US Coast Guard,” Trump said.
The comments garnered some criticism, as some pointed out that the Coast Guard has broken records in recent years for offshore drug seizures and monitoring.
Sunday’s comments were the second time in recent weeks that the president has raised eyebrows while attempting to compliment the Coast Guard.
Meeting with survivors of Hurricane Harvey and members of the Coast Guard, Trump said guardsman had saved 11,000 people “by going into winds that this media would not go into… unless it’s a really good story in which case they will.”
Critics noted that many members of the media had simultaneously reported on the storm and helped with rescue efforts, and had been reporting on the ground in Houston for days.
Trump also turned a Coast Guard commencement speech earlier this year into a freewheeling attack on the media, bemoaning to graduates at the Coast Guard academy that the media treated him more unfairly than any politician “in history.”
The president’s proposed budget also suggested cutting $1 billion from the Coast Guard, canceling the production of a ship and cutting from services that focus on human and drug trafficking and monitoring Russian activity in the Arctic.