Trump’s First Presser In Puerto Rico Was An Unmitigated Clusterfuck

Donald Trump is in Puerto Rico for the first time since Hurricane Maria made landfall, and it will shock you to learn that his press conference on the island has not been particularly well received.

The Trump administration has been copping a lot of heat over the response to Hurricane Maria – both for the inadequacy of the response, which has been slammed by Oxfam and people such as the mayor of San Juan, as well as Trump’s repeated and weird attacks on the administration and people of Puerto Rico.

Well, his presser in Puerto Rico more or less continued that trend. He applauded the success of his administration’s efforts in the territory by indicating the death toll, which he very helpfully pointed out is lower than the death toll from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which he called “a real catastrophe”.

Sixteen people certified. Sixteen people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all of your people and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud. Everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico.

Watch the video below:

That death toll has not been updated in several days, and it is expected to rise. Puerto Rico Public Safety Secretary Héctor Pesquera admitted in an interview with the Centre for Investigative Journalism that it is likely that dozens of people have died, based on information from the territory’s morgues.

Trump also blamed the 3.5 million people who live in Puerto Rico for throwing the US budget “a little out of whack”. 

“I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack,” Trump said. “Because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico and that’s fine, we’ve saved a lot of lives.”

Much of the island is still without running water, reliable communication or electricity, with more than 50 of the roughly 65 functioning hospitals running on generators,. Despite that, Trump still gives his administration’s performance very high marks.

Speaking to reporters, he said that the response has been more or less as good as it was in Texas and Florida.

“In Texas and in Florida, we get an A+,” he said. “And I’ll tell you what, I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico.”

Well, that settles it, doesn’t it?