Trump's claim that many Texans went out on boats to watch Harvey strikes nerve

It starts with President Donald Trump praising the Coast Guard during a briefing on Wednesday with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The brand of the Coast Guard has been something incredible. Saved 16,000 people, many of them in Texas, for whatever reason that is. People went out in their boats to watch the hurricane. That didn’t work out too well,” the president said. “That didn’t work out too well.”

No officials directly involved in the massive storm can recall not even one instance of someone needing to be rescued because they had gone out in their own boat to watch the hurricane.

The 50 inches of rain Harvey dumped on the Bayou City had people scrambling for their lives.

We asked Taylor Fontenot with Americas Cajun Navy if he had any knowledge of anyone getting trapped in the water because they were out in their own boat watching the hurricane.

“No. Nobody I saw and nobody we were with. I don’t think anybody had an intention like that,” Fontenot said. “They were out there to help people.”

There seems to be no factual basis whatsoever for the president to imply that thousands of water rescues along the Texas coast were the result of gawkers.

Governor Greg Abbott said he had no information one way or the other about the president’s claim.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez was much more direct.

He tweeted,” the presidents lack of a basic understanding of the challenges we faced from Harvey is staggering. We are getting a taste of the frustration our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico must feel.”

Jeff Linder, meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, tweeted, “Those storm watchers were actually citizens helping bring their fellow neighbors to safety most of them would do the exact same thing again because this is what we do and what makes us Houston strong."

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