Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) had a major face-off with CNN’s Chris Cuomo today over whether President Donald Trump and his administration have done enough to restore hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
Cuomo started off the interview by looking at Trump’s latest tweets about the island’s debt troubles and how FEMA will not stay there forever. When asked whether the president was being insensitive to the island’s continued suffering, Perry said Trump was making a point about how pre-existing problems compounded the impact of the storm.
“The bigger picture is Puerto Rico has been in a financial crisis for quite sometime and we dealt with it with a bill a few years ago, but it’s not nearly out of the woods,” said Perry. “I think the point the president is making is that FEMA has a finite mission and a finite amount of time to be there to get people back into power and get back into some kind of civilized living condition, and at some point, it’s up to Puerto Rico to get themselves out of this situation and help their people.”
Cuomo continued to grill Perry by noting how Trump’s tweets were different from his statements about disaster relief efforts in Texas and Florida. Perry pointed out the differences in Puerto Rico’s situation, though Cuomo kept asking about why Trump insists on bringing up Puerto Rico’s debt in the middle of a humanitarian crisis.
“It seems like it’s not the time to be talking about it,” Cuomo said. “There are people starving on the island. It’s not a time to talk about their debt structure.”
The two of them launched into a heated discussion about whether the government has effectively resolved the worst of the current crisis. Perry barked that Trump’s efforts would never satisfy CNN, and the efforts so far have made Puerto Rico a “success story.” Cuomo retorted that much of the island is still in desperate condition, and that the accusation of CNN ignoring relief efforts is “demonstrably false.”
The sparring match continued with Perry accusing Cuomo of “making this stuff up,” while the anchor continued to ask whether Trump’s remarks were “insensitive and reckless” under the current circumstances.
Watch above, via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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