Trump: ‘I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico’
Calls island ‘of the most corrupt places’; gov says funds still needed to repair hurricane victims’ homes
SAN JUAN — President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about Puerto Rico. The president repeated his thoughts about corruption in Puerto Rico and that he is the best thing that has happened to the island, whose new governor declined to directly respond to the remarks.
“Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt. Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good!…. And by the way, I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!” Trump tweeted.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced opted Wednesday to not react to the tweets.
“What I can talk about is my experience throughout this process. I have to express that my experience with federal agencies in this process was extraordinary. The Puerto Rican people had the support of all the officials in the most difficult moments,” the governor replied to questions from the press.
Vázquez’s priority is that the federal funds granted to Puerto Rico, but put on hold by the federal government, reach the island.
“We have still pending the authorization of funds that are pending to fix the roof of many Puerto Ricans,” the governor said.
On Tuesday, the president targeted San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto. In addition, he said he had given the island $92 billion after hurricanes Irma and María struck in 2017 and that Puerto Ricans should be grateful to FEMA.
“We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico. FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job. When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You – Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!” Trump wrote.
On Tuesday, before the White House declared an emergency and ordered federal assistance, Trump gave misleading remarks.
“Puerto Rico has been given around $40 billion. And it is not that they have given us, FEMA is an insurance, people. When you pay for your house, you pay for insurance. So it’s not that FEMA isn’t helping, FEMA is doing its job, number one. Number two, of those $40 billion, around $14 billion have been received,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto told reporters in reaction to Trump’s tweet.
Resident commissioner Jenniffer González Colón confirmed that the amount mentioned by the president was incorrect.
“Unfortunately, I did see it [the tweet]. I sometimes get surprised because nobody here calls a hurricane, nobody calls for storms to come. We live in the Caribbean and therefore, storms and hurricanes will pass through here, as the tsunamis pass through the Pacific,” González Colón told reporters.
“About the $92 billion, hopefully its $92 billion, but the reality today is that approved by Congress and signed by the president of the United States, we have an allocation of $42.5 billion, of which $13 billion has arrived on the island, [$]26 [billion] are obligated; so, we have not received that, which will be the number in 10 years,” she added.
—CyberNews contributed to this report.