Donald Trump reacts to situation in Puerto Rico
Repeats erroneous assertion that the island received $92B in aid
SAN JUAN – U.S. President Donald Trump reacted Thursday on Twitter about the situation in Puerto Rico and said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares is under siege.
“A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again. This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined,” Trump tweeted.
However, the island has not received $92 billion in federal disaster aid after Hurricane Maria struck in 2017. Reportedly, that figure is the estimated cost of Puerto Rico’s recovery over decades. Of the $42.5 billion the U.S. Congress has allocated, the island has received about $13.6 billion.
The president’s remark was regarding the government crisis on the island after the arrests on corruption charges of one former and one current official of the administration of Rosselló, who also faces demands for his resignation due to outrage over his chat on Telegram with current and former officials, the messages of which were leaked.
“I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!” the president added.
In a statement Tuesday, White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump was right about his previous criticisms about Puerto Rican officials.
“The unfortunate events of the past week in Puerto Rico prove the President’s concerns about mismanagement, politicization, and corruption have been valid. We remain committed to Puerto Rico’s recovery and steadfast in protecting taxpayers and the Puerto Rico survivors from political corruption and financial abuse,” Deere wrote.
In his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, the president has repeatedly expressed disapproval about Puerto Rican officials and alleged acts of corruption and mismanagement.