President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Tuesday to blast Puerto Rican officials, criticizing their response to 2017's Hurricane Maria and saying they "only take from [the] USA."
The remarks quickly drew ire from critics, who pointed out that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory.
"Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA," Trump tweeted.
"The best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico is President Donald J. Trump. So many wonderful people, but with such bad Island leadership and with so much money wasted. Cannot continue to hurt our Farmers and States with these massive payments, and so little appreciation!"
Trump's tweets came one day after a Republican disaster relief bill stalled in the Senate amid Democrats' concerns that the legislation wouldn't provide enough help for the storm-ravaged island.
On Monday night, Trump also tweeted that Puerto Rico's government "can't do anything right" and blasted San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a vocal Trump critic.
"The Democrats today killed a Bill that would have provided great relief to Farmers and yet more money to Puerto Rico despite the fact that Puerto Rico has already been scheduled to receive more hurricane relief funding than any “place” in history," Trump wrote Monday.
"The people of Puerto Rico GREAT, but the politicians are incompetent or corrupt. Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas & Florida combined, yet their government can’t do anything right, the place is a mess – nothing works. FEMA & the Military worked emergency miracles, but politicians like the crazed and incompetent Mayor of San Juan have done such a poor job of bringing the Island back to health. 91 Billion Dollars to Puerto Rico, and now the Dems want to give them more, taking dollars away from our Farmers and so many others. Disgraceful!"
According to The Associated Press, Trump administration officials said the contested $91 billion figure "includes about $50 billion in expected future disaster disbursements, along with $41 billion that's already been approved."
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.