Getting Ready for Trump’s Puerto Rico Shakedown

President Donald Trump waves before speaking about tax reform at the Farm Bureau Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Indianapolis, Ind. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump waves before speaking about tax reform at the Farm Bureau Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This is super important to watch.

In addition to being slow to react to the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Maria and inclined to blame Puerto Rico itself for a lot of the problems, there’s been something specific about his comments. He keeps talking about Puerto Rico’s public debt.

Set aside the irony of someone who has made a career and a fortune out of skipping on his own debts pressing an embattled American territory on its debt obligations. This and other comments about the Puerto Rico crisis make it look very much like Trump plans to use the disaster as a wedge to enforce a massive wave of privatization on the Island. His comments, hints and overall attitude suggest he’s looking at the crisis not as a public emergency on US territory but more like the way a rival business looks at a distressed competitor that needs a rescue, with all the maximization of pressure and advantage that entails. For now, look at the comments collected together here. We’ll be discussing this more. This is a big, big deal, in addition to the obvious and immediate humanitarian crisis which is now unfolding.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
  • |
    September 23, 2022 11:11 a.m.

    Back on March 30th, little more than a month into the Russo-Ukraine War, I published an email from TPM Reader…

  • |
    September 23, 2022 10:11 a.m.

    The congressional generic ballot continues to drift slowly in the Democrats’ direction. But there’s been some tightening in key Senate…

  • |
    September 22, 2022 7:25 p.m.

    One of the questions I’ve mentioned a few times in the DeSantis Vineyard story is that the company Florida is…

  • |
    September 22, 2022 3:40 p.m.

    A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Josh and Kate discuss Trump’s special master woes…

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: