Thursday 26 April 2018

Some Trump supporters are claiming Obama was playing golf during Hurricane Katrina

Misinformation is being bandied about online.

Barack Obama on the golf course in May 2017 (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Barack Obama on the golf course in May 2017 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

By Taylor Heyman

Twitter users have rounded on Trump supporters who allege Barack Obama was playing golf during Hurricane Katrina.

The tweets came about in defence of US President Donald Trump’s handling of the fallout from Hurricane Harvey, with some saying Obama had failed to handle Hurricane Katrina correctly in 2005.

Hurricane Katrina originated over the Bahamas, moving over open waters and building speed before smashing into the state of Louisiana, leaving New Orleans severely flooded. The disaster killed 1,833 people and displaced thousands more.

However, these tweets are wrong on two counts. The implication is that Obama was president at the time, and responsible for the government response to the disaster. Secondly, that he didn’t turn up or help at all.

Here’s a quick timeline to clear things up.

George W Bush was in power from 2001 to 2009. Hurricane Katrina occurred in 2005 – right in the middle of his presidency. Barack Obama became president in 2009 and served two terms, until January 2017.

At the time, Obama was the newly-elected senator for Illinois and he travelled to meet Katrina evacuees in Houston, Texas. He also toured the devastated areas with Bill Clinton in the aftermath of the disaster and became an outspoken critic of Bush’s response to the crisis.

Obviously those more in the know felt the need to poke fun at the misinformation flying around. Some suspected the rumours were started by Russian Twitter bots and perpetuated by Trump supporters.

Press Association

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