Trump Just Threatened To Abandon Puerto Rico And Blamed Hurricane Victims For Their Suffering

A week after making a delayed visit to hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico, where Americans citizens have been struggling to rebuild without electricity or drinkable water, President Trump took to Twitter this morning to set the stage for abandoning the U.S. territory by blaming them for their own suffering. (Tweets below.)

After Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico last month, Trump initially declined to wave the Jones Act (which he had immediately waved after hurricanes broke ground in Texas and Florida), preventing thousands of cargo ships from delivering vital aid to the suffering residents. Trump admitted that he did so to help shipping magnates profit off the tragedy.

After Trump was forced to cave under a cascade of public pressure by waving the Jones Act for ten days, the president visited the island for a series of photo ops during which he threw paper towels to needy Puerto Ricans and fled ahead of schedule — then allowed the Jones Act to be reinstated, creating an unnecessary barrier to providing vital aid.

Now, Trump is letting out the full truth. He has no intention of helping Puerto Ricans — American citizens whom he was elected to lead, 90% of which remains without electricity and one-third without potable water. Instead, he gaslights the island, referencing a conservative commentator (without citation) to blame the island for its hardship, as if the category five hurricane were a mere footnote to longstanding financial woes.

Even if Trump were right in his preposterous suggestion that debt rather than Hurricane Maria had caused the territory’s plight, his assertion that America has the prerogative to abandon its suffering people is as absurd as it is cruel.

Puerto Rico’s dismal fiscal picture prior to the hurricane was not all that different from a state like Mississippi, which gets 42% of its state revenue from the federal government. But you won’t hear Trump complain about being in the deep red state “forever” as he does with Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans may not look or talk like Trump would like Americans to talk, but he is their president. Trump and Congress are not doing Puerto Rico a favor by providing aid, they are doing their job. 

Trump’s Twitter rant this morning is cruel but it is something more. It is an abdication of his obligation to the American people. If Trump is not interested in doing the job of president, it’s time for this Congress to replace him with someone who is.

Add your name to millions demanding that Congress take action on the President’s crimes. IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP!

Sheila Norton

SHEILA NORTON IS A WRITER WITH TEN YEARS OF CAPITOL HILL EXPERIENCE. SUBSCRIBE TO THE OD ACTION EMAIL TO GET ALL THE HOTTEST NEWS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX EVERY DAY AT www.odaction.com


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