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America faces political as well as meteorological storm

Two storms are brewing in the US - Hurricane Harvey and a stormy political fallout Credit: AP

Hurricane Harvey has made its destructive landfall in Texas. We await to understand just how much damage it has done.

But there was a second storm in America overnight, one with significant political implications.

That second hurricane was centered on Camp David, the rural President retreat in Maryland where Donald Trump is spending the weekend.

For even as Harvey barrelled towards coastal communities in Texas, Trump appeared to be using it as cover for a series of extraordinary and highly controversial edicts that he was issuing.

In his most incendiary move, the President issued a pardon for a former sheriff in Arizona, Joe Arpaio, who has been accused of discriminating against Hispanics.

Joe Arpaio with Donald Trump during the US presidential campaign. Credit: AP

The idea that at this sensitive time Trump would be so provocative has shocked many people, even some former allies. Just look at what his own former ethics chief wrote on Twitter:

And then there was the White House directive Trump signed last night banning transgender recruits into the US military, igniting another firestorm of criticism.

To add to the confusion of where this White House is heading, we also have been told that Trump's controversial adviser Sebastian Gorka has been fired (or, at a minimum, told to resign).

Sebastian Gorka has become the latest presidential adviser to leave their White House post Credit: AP

That amounted to a tsunami of news for a Friday night. Critics said Trump was using the real world hurricane as camouflage for the news dump. The top Democrat in the Senator put it simply, this way:

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Oh, and North Korea has fired three missiles. But no one is talking about that on the US networks.

America is waking up to two parallel storms - meteorological and political - and we must wait to see which causes more lasting damage.