Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California went after Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson for comments President Donald Trump made Thursday about the Puerto Rico crisis.
Waters repeatedly asked Carson during a committee hearing whether he agreed with Trump’s statements in a series of early morning Thursday tweets that government officials cannot remain in Puerto Rico forever.
“This morning, Trump threatened to abandon Puerto Rico recovery efforts,” Waters said. “President Trump served notice Thursday that he may pull back federal relief workers, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S territory amidst a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.”
“Do you agree with the president?” Waters asked.
Maxine and Ben. 2017. pic.twitter.com/MmqGahvfZu
— deray mckesson (@deray) October 12, 2017
“Puerto Rico is a very important territory,” Carson said. “And the people have greatly contributed to the culture of America.” Waters interrupted him, asking him to say whether he agreed that Puerto Rico should be abandoned.
“First of all, as I was saying, Puerto Rico is very important,” Carson said.
“I have no intention of abandoning Puerto Rico,” he added. “They are a very important part of who we are.”
Waters pressed him to answer whether it was okay to “shame” Puerto Rico for the disaster.
“I don’t think it is beneficial to go around shaming people in general,” he said.
Trump tweeted earlier that the infrastructure on the island and the debt crisis only served to exacerbate the issues on the island in the aftermath of the hurricane.
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