Trump whines that American hurricane victims don't deserve help


At a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, Trump complained about how much aid Puerto Rico has received after Hurricane Maria.

Trump's irrational loathing for Puerto Rico knows no bounds, and he continues to work to stop the island from getting meaningful aid.

When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico over 18 months ago, it decimated critical infrastructure, leaving it without power or needed supplies for months.

Over 3,000 people died in the hurricane's aftermath, in no small part thanks to the fact that the Trump administration's response was abysmal.

But that hasn't stopped Trump from boasting about what a success his administration's response had been.

Today, the island is still in dire need of massive assistance, but Trump doesn't believe they deserve it.

On Tuesday, Trump had lunch with some GOP senators and, when he wasn't bragging about his supposed exoneration by Robert Mueller, he was trying to figure out how to reduce aid to the island.

During the lunch, Trump complained that Puerto Rico was getting $91 billion in aid, which dwarfs the $29 billion Texas received. A source in the room at the lunch said Trump went on to make the racist remark that someone could buy the entire island four times over with $91 billion.

Like many numbers Trump latches on to, the $91 billion figure doesn't seem grounded in actual reality. He might be referring to the amount of damage the storm actually caused, which was right around that amount.

But as far as what money Puerto Rico has actually received, while it is somewhat difficult to calculate, it looks to be much closer to $15 billion than $91 billion.

Trump's foot-dragging on providing assistance may have some consequences he didn't foresee. The inspector general for HUD just announced it is going to examine if the White House hindered aid to Puerto Rico in any way.

Here's what Trump refuses to understand: Even if it were to take more money to make Puerto Rico whole than, say, Texas, that doesn't mean the money shouldn't be spent.

Trump believes the island is somehow unworthy, be that because it isn't part of the mainland, because its residents are largely Hispanic, or because it already faced infrastructural challenges prior to Maria.

None of those are reasons to deny American citizens the aid they need to rebuild.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.