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.
Obama played golf at Martha's Vinyard when Katrina hit. Now he tries everything to upstage current POTUS. Pathetic.
— Shawn Vermillion (@VermillionShawn) August 28, 2017
Where was Obama during hurricane Katrina? Oh wait let me awnswer for you. He was golfing and vacationing.
— Connor Buss (@ConnorBuss1) April 28, 2017
Where were you when Katrina hit? Oh that's right you were busy playing golf.
— Loyce Fredrikson (@timetoretire) August 29, 2017
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.