One of the most common lines being mentioned on Twitter in regards to the US president revolves around how he always manages to exceed expectations. "Pushing the limits", "he surprised us" and "this is the height" have often enough made an appearance in criticism of Donald Trump, and once again, he proved that he can do one better.

On 28 August, the president made it evident that he did not mind riding on the suffering of his public to further his own plans. During a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Trump said he intentionally timed the pardoning of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio with Hurricane Harvey so that his actions would garner more publicity.

"A lot of people think it was the right thing to do," he said. "Actually, in the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they were normally.

"You know, the hurricane was just starting. And I put it out that I pardoned, as we call, Sheriff Joe," he added. "I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly."

On 25 August, just as warnings were being issued about Hurricane Harvey, Trump issued a formal pardon towards pardoned Arpaio who was found guilty of criminal contempt for disregarding a court order in regards to a racial profiling case.

At the time, people criticised the president for encouraging racist behaviour but his recent comments have triggered an even worse backlash.

"As people are displaced and die in hurricane Harvey #Trumps concern is for his Sheriff Joe pardon and the ratings," one individual pointed out. "Pushing the limits of bigotry, intentionally."

"He thinks of ratings while a natural disaster takes place. Then goes on a whataboutery rant," another Twitter user posted, while another added, "I rankle at hyperbole, but Trump saying he pardoned Arpaio during Harvey for tv ratings means that #TrumpIsAProperLunatic."