Trump: We Cannot Help Puerto Rico ‘Forever!’

Kevin Dietsch/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

President Donald Trump continued his relentless criticism of Puerto Rico Thursday morning, suggesting the U.S. couldn’t aid in recovery and relief efforts in the U.S. territory “forever!”

Quoting former CBS News reporter Sheryl Attkisson and Puerto Rico’s governor in a tweet, Trump said the territory’s “electric and infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes” and passed the buck to Congress to “decide how much to spend.”

He then went on to propose that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the military and first responders — who he said “have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances)” — cannot stay in the U.S. territory “forever!”

The tweets Thursday morning are just the latest attacks the President has launched on the U.S. territory, which was devastated by two hurricanes last month.

Trump has been complaining about Puerto Rico’s debt and infrastructure issues since the hurricanes made landfall and has claimed the mayor of San Juan has poor leadership skills. The President was likely irked by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for repeatedly appearing on cable news to ask for more help for Puerto Rico.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pushed back shortly after Trump tweeted, asking the President why he “continue(s) to treat Puerto Ricans differently than other Americans” and saying FEMA needs to stay in the U.S. territory “until the job is done.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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