On Monday, shortly after news of a massive fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris spread, Donald Trump took to Twitter to suggest a particularly inventive solution to the fire.
He tweeted, “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
It’s unclear what the president meant by “flying water tankers.” Immediately following the tweet’s release into the internet, though, the president was met with swift backlash for the suggestion. Author Alexander Chee wrote, “Maybe you can go by and throw some paper towel rolls.”
Ed Krassenstein, co-founder of The Hill Reporter, replied, “And when California burns you threaten to take away federal support…”
Rob Delaney tweeted to POTUS, “Run in there with a bucket of water!”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Notre Dame Caught Fire on Monday, Amidst Ongoing Renovation Work
On Monday, news spread quickly of the Notre Dame Cathedral’s fire, which rapidly grew into a ferocious blaze. Though officials have not yet confirmed the cause of the fire, they did suggest it might have happened in connection to the ongoing renovation work of the thousand-year-old cathedral.
Since the fire started, the spire has since collapsed in the flames.
Trump’s Tweet About Notre Dame Has Drawn Comparisons to His Treatment of the California Wildfires
Trump’s tweet about “flying water tankers” came as a surprise to many people, who were confused not only by the notion of flying water tankers, but by the president’s treatment of the fire in comparison to how he acknowledged the California wildfires. Brian Krassenstein, Ed Krassenstein’s twin and the editor at The Hill Reporter, tweeted, “Trump is apparently an expert at fighting Cathedral fires overseas, but when it comes to natural fires in American forests, he wants nothing to do with them.”
The New York Times’ Maggie Habermann suggested that Trump tweeted about the fire because he was watching Fox News, writing, “From poker
@agearan w Trump in MN: ‘You will have seen the president’s tweet about the fire at Notre Dame cathedral. Fox News was airing footage of the fire for about 10 minutes before we landed.'”
Activist Charlotte Clymer wrote, “Watching Donald Trump firesplain, via tweet, to heartbroken Parisians on how to help Notre Dame is a new level of surreal that is entirely unwelcome.”
FLOTUS also had something to say about the tragedy, per NBC News: “My heart breaks for the people of Paris after seeing the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Praying for everyone’s safety.”