This morning, in a move as callous as it was unpresidential, Trump took to Twitter to threaten to pull the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) out of Puerto Rico as the island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.
…We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
FEMA Deputy Director of Public Affairs Eileen Lainez, however, quickly took to Twitter to clarify the agency’s actual position with regard to Puerto Rico.
.@FEMA will be w/Puerto Rico, USVI, every state, territory impacted by a disaster every day, supporting throughout their response & recovery
— Eileen Lainez (@FEMAspox) October 12, 2017
Despite the President’s thinly veiled threats to abandon the U.S. territory at a time when its citizens are still mostly without power and access to potable drinking water, FEMA reaffirmed its commitment to the island and its citizens.
“FEMA, in coordination and partnership with 36 federal departments and agencies, remains focused on helping the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with life-sustaining commodities and other essential services. As more businesses open and public services are restored, quality of life will continue to improve for many residents,” the agency said in a news release.
While the agency is stretched thin on the heels of devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Trump has never insinuated that FEMA would prematurely leave any states on the contiguous United States which – it goes without saying – voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Puerto Rico, of course, has no electoral votes.
While Trump is quick to put on full display his utter lack of concern for an island of American citizens on their knees, even an agency under his own control did not hesitate to publicly rebuke the President for his shameful words.