Trump Complains, Lies About Relief to Puerto Rico as Hurricane Barrels Towards Island: ‘Will it Ever End?’
Somewhat lost among the many headlines to emerge from the past weekend G7 summit in the South of France, was yesterday’s meeting focused on climate change that was missing one notable participant: President Donald Trump, aka, the “Leader of the Free World.”
An early Tuesday afternoon missive sent via his twitter feed, however, brought that back into national attention, as Trump lamented “another big storm heading to Puerto Rico,” which meteorologists have forecast in the coming days. He then reminded his Twitter feed that “Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars last year,” calling it “an all time record of its kind for ‘anywhere.'”
Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for “anywhere.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019
As the Washington Post’s Arron Blake tweeted, Trump didn’t exactly get his numbers correct here:
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) August 27, 2019
Further, as the fact-checking site Politifact notes, the amount is not a record.
This is false. Nowhere near this much has been allocated to PR as of yet. Even if $91-92 billion is the ultimate cost down the road, the federal government already has estimated it spent $120 billion on Hurricane Katrina, so Hurricane Maria is not a record https://t.co/W1QrProev2 https://t.co/BNZrwLq3Dq
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) August 27, 2019
It’s not clear what specific messaging the president intended with this tweet. Was it meant as a reminder of the relief aid provided to Puerto Rico? Or an odd criticism that a U.S. territory is in the pathway of many hurricanes and may very well need more relief.
Trump received sharp criticism from many Puerto Ricans for what critics saw as a slow and inefficient response which led to hundreds of thousands without electricity for an extended period of time, and a hotly debated death toll. Trump and his allies defended the government response, noting that the nature of the island territory — and lesser infrastructure — made relief efforts even more challenging than normal. Also, the
Nonetheless, the seeming tacit acknowledgment of an increased frequency of Carribean hurricanes, which many scientists tie to recent changes in global climate, raises questions as to why exactly President Trump chose to blow off the climate change meeting at the G7. And unless anyone is concerned that this notable meeting omission did not get enough media attention, well, we can thank Donald Trump for bringing it back in focus.
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