Once again, Trump demanded credit that he absolutely does not deserve.
Trump spent months trying to block any more disaster relief to the storm-ravaged island of Puerto Rico, lying about how much money the island already received while making racist comments suggesting Puerto Ricans aren't even Americans when they actually are.
But now that Congress finally passed a disaster relief bill that also includes additional Puerto Rico storm recovery funding, Trump is suddenly demanding credit — and insulting the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico by suggesting they should be grateful to him after all his obstruction.
"Just signed Disaster Aid Bill to help Americans who have been hit by recent catastrophic storms," Trump tweeted Thursday. "So important for our GREAT American farmers and ranchers. Help for GA, FL, IA, NE, NC, and CA. Puerto Rico should love President Trump. Without me, they would have been shut out!"
It cannot be stressed enough that Trump was the biggest impediment not only to Puerto Rico receiving disaster relief funding, but to other states hit hard by hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and tornadoes getting aid, too.
Back in April, disaster relief bill talks fell apart. Politico reported at the time that the talks faltered because of "Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that Puerto Rico shouldn’t receive any more money because its politicians have mismanaged federal funds."
Indeed, Trump sent off a series of lying tweets attacking Puerto Rico and vowing not to give them more funds.
"Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money," Trump tweeted April 2 — a complete lie given that Puerto Rico did not receive nearly that amount.
"The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA," Trump continued — implying that Puerto Ricans, who are Americans and pay taxes just like every other American, somehow were not as worthy of receiving disaster aid.
"The best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico is President Donald J. Trump," Trump added. "So many wonderful people, but with such bad Island leadership and with so much money wasted. Cannot continue to hurt our Farmers and States with these massive payments, and so little appreciation!"
Trump tanked yet another congressional attempt to pass a disaster aid package in May, when he urged House Republicans not to back a $17 billion aid package over his objections to Puerto Rico getting funding.
Ultimately, some Republican senators finally convinced Trump to give up on his opposition to giving Puerto Rico more disaster relief funding, which gave cover to GOP senators who were afraid of defying Trump. The bill finally passed the Senate just before the Memorial Day recess on a vote of 85-8.
So, Trump deserves absolutely no credit for Puerto Rico receiving more aid funds.
The thanks goes to Democrats, who stood their ground and demanded funds for the island that is still struggling from Hurricane Maria.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.