Trump's Response To Puerto Rico Is Exactly What You Expected
By: Kayla Pasacreta
Since Friday, Trump has formed a sort of obsession with the NFL. He even tried to start the hashtag #StandforOurAnthem. As I write this post, he has tweeted about the NFL twenty times from Friday-Tuesday. While Trump's anger at NFL players was being given public attention on every media outlet, Trump failed to acknowledge Hurricane Maria. The hurricane hit and completely battered Puerto Rico last Wednesday. Puerto Rico, a United States territory, has been in desperate need of help, and analysts described the storm as having 'apocalyptic' devastation. The hurricane left the entire island without power, and Trump didn't offer any words for Puerto Rico until almost a week later. CNN Politics described Trump's responses to the NFL and Puerto Rico perfectly, describing Trump's agenda:
“To always, always, always look for where we disagree — and where those disagreements can be exploited for his own gain.”
— CHRIS CILLIZA, CNN EDITOR AT LARGE
So, Tuesday - nearly a week later - after most of his tweets have been centered on players exercising their right to freedom of speech, were you really expecting a presidential response? Instead of initially offering condolences, Trump appeared to take a jab at Puerto Rico by bringing up the fact that the island has already been in debt. Insulting a territory in the midst of a natural disaster is a feat only Donald Trump could achieve.
And, with his third and final tweet on Puerto Rico, Trump doubled down on his divisive message and offered a self- contradicting response. After saying Puerto Rico is in "deep trouble", he said the country - the one suffering from apocalyptic damage - as "doing well". Once again, the same island that is suffering from a shortage of power, water, food, and resources.
Instead of offering words of support and optimism for the people of Puerto Rico, Trump poked at the country's debt, said they are in deep trouble, and then ultimately dismissed the country again by saying they are doing well. Though this response to the suffering and hysteria Puerto Rico is going through is disappointing, it's not too surprising from a man who has been actively calling for a NFL boycott from the White House.