President Donald Trump kicked off his Tuesday morning with a characteristically ignorant rant about Puerto Rico, more than a year and a half after Hurricane Maria devastated the island territory on his watch.
Trump’s tweets were seemingly prompted by the Senate’s inability to pass a federal disaster aid bill on Monday evening, with Democrats opposing a Senate GOP-introduced measure over its inadequate funds for Puerto Rico, and Republicans blocking a House-approved bill over what they claim was the need for more money for flooded states like Iowa and Nebraska.
Following the legislative impasse, Trump spent his evening lashing out at Democrats and accusing San Juan mayor and frequent critic Carmen Yulín Cruz of being “crazed and incompetent.”
As the Washington Post noted last month, the president’s oft-cited figure of “91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane” is, unsurprisingly, totally bogus. Although the numbers are somewhat incomplete, it appears that Hurricane Mariah caused around $91 billion worth of damage—but has actually received far, far less in recovery funds from the federal government.
And despite Trump’s triumphant public crowing, the president has reportedly complained privately about needing to help Puerto Rico at all, having at one point told his senior staff that he didn’t want any money headed to the island whatsoever.
Truly inspiring leadership from the self-described “best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico.”