Trump Slams Puerto Rico For Being In Terrible Shape Before The Hurricane

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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President Donald Trump called on Congress to act on disaster relief to help Puerto Rico through recovery from Hurricane Maria Thursday, criticizing the country’s poor infrastructure and electrical grid.

Quoting Sharyl Attkisson, host of “Full Measure,” Trump said in a tweet Thursday that “Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.”

“A total lack of…accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend,” Trump said in successive tweets. “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”

During an interview with PBS in May, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló did bemoan his island’s debt situation and low employment.

Expenditures have gone rampant in Puerto Rico, lack of accountability, total lack of accountability,” Rosselló said when asked why Puerto Ricans don’t simply move to the U.S. Rosselló said there has been an exodus from the island “because we haven’t made the proper changes. We haven’t made the changes to government.”

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on a $36 billion disaster relief aid package for hurricane and wildfire recovery, which includes a $4.9 billion low-interest Treasury loan for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is around $73 billion in debt, mainly to hedge funds and mutual funds, but with some federal loans. Trump promised earlier this month that “We’re gonna have to wipe that out,” referring to Puerto Rico’s debt to “Wall Street banks” though the White House later clarified that the president doesn’t have the authority to simply forgive the debt.

“We need to do a lot more in order for us to get out of the emergency,” Rosselló said recently. “But the other thing that’s also true is that the administration has answered and has complied with our petitions in an expedited manner.”


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