The President Donald Trump Twitter tore away from calling out NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to spread some blame on Puerto Rico for the massive destruction it is experiencing in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
In his first tweets since last Wednesday about the United States territory where nearly all of its 3.4 million residents are without power and adequate access to basic resources, Trump called out Puerto Rico’s “massive debt” and “broken infrastructure” in a series of tweets on Monday evening.
“Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble,” Trump tweeted just before 9 p.m. on Monday in a series of tweets that praised his administration’s response and called out Puerto Rico’s struggling economy.
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“Its old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with,” President Trump continued. “Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well.”
Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
...It's old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
...owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well. #FEMA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
Trump earned major criticism for seemingly snubbing Puerto Rico over the weekend during his preoccupation with professional athletes silent pregame protests.
The massive Category 4 hurricane set Puerto Rico back 20 to 30 years in terms of development, some reports estimate and most of the country’s 3.4 million residents are with power, adequate shelter or adequate access to food and water.
But even as President Trump sent some attention Puerto Rico’s way, something was conspicuously missing from his tweets: a link directing followers to ways they can contribute aid in the wake of the growing crisis — if you’re interested in helping citizens of Puerto Rico, find ways to help here.
Twitter users were quick to pounce on Trump for trying to blame U.S. territory for his lack of tact in addressing the damage facing Puerto Rico:
When people said you should talk about Puerto Rico, this is not what they meant https://t.co/ARMXHbH5sI— Daniel Larison (@DanielLarison) September 26, 2017
DONALD FUCKING TRUMP IS MAKING SNIDE COMMENTS ABOUT PUERTO RICO NOT PAYING BANK LOANS. THE FUCKING GALL pic.twitter.com/yXnQ9Vml0s— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) September 26, 2017
Master of empathy finally emerges from off his golden commode. Message: It's your fault, Puerto Rico. https://t.co/Fu2QUFM3tX— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) September 26, 2017
INSANE for the president talking about PR's debts to "Wall Street" while 60% of ppl have *no safe drinking water*!!!— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 26, 2017
?????????? Puerto Rico "doing well" ???????????? https://t.co/OPf6w44RuE— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) September 26, 2017
So help them. Detached tone is weird here. You have massive power & agency. https://t.co/CC4Wvbftv2— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 26, 2017
Jeez, “sucks to be you” wasn’t what anybody meant when they said you need to start paying attn to Puerto Rico, worst president ever. https://t.co/7057SNheJX— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 26, 2017
President Trump is means-testing Puerto Rico on Twitter in real-time. Play-by-play disaster capitalism. https://t.co/VTjhPuhJ9O— Patrick Blanchfield (@PatBlanchfield) September 26, 2017