Donald Trump had what was described as a bizarre trip to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, with video showing the president throwing rolls of paper towel into a crowd gathered at a church and appearing to treat the relief trip like an extended political rally.
The president made his first visit to the island territory on Tuesday after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, which left the entire island without power and destroyed homes and infrastructure. The death toll for the storm stands at 16, but reports indicate that it is expected to grow as officials continue to assess the extent of the storm and residents still struggle with access to food, water, and critical medical supplies.
The visit did not go too smoothly for the president. During his trip, Donald Trump used what the Hill called “an unusual method of distributing supplies” while visiting a church in Puerto Rico. The event was filled with Trump supporters, some of whom had signs praising the president, and he entered the room to cheers.
Reports indicate that Trump appeared to move into rally mode, thanking and praising the crowd.
“There’s a lot of love in this room, a lot of love,” Trump said.
Trump then began to throw rolls of paper towels into the crowd as if they were basketballs. The report noted that two of the paper towel rolls were caught while a third fell to the ground.
"It's a great trip. Your weather is second to none but every once in a while you get hit." Just surreal. https://t.co/ZVZQ4aDmgB
— Paul DaSilva (@paultdasilva) October 3, 2017
Video of the incident can be seen below.
This is not the first time that Donald Trump has gotten into some unusual interaction with a crowd. At this year’s Easter Egg Roll at the White House, a boy wearing one of Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” red hats called to the president to ask if he could autograph the hat.
Trump obliged the young boy, taking the hat and signing his name on it, but then appeared to lose track of what he was doing and tossed the hat into the crowd rather than giving it back to the young boy. Trump was criticized for the moment, with NyMag noting that the president appeared to be acting “a big ol’ dummy who forgot what you were doing eight seconds ago.”
Video of that incident can be seen below.
A kid asks Trump to sign his hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll. The president signs … and then tosses the hat into the crowd. pic.twitter.com/7ExdhpO97H
— POLITICO (@politico) April 17, 2017
Donald Trump generated other controversy during his trip to Puerto Rico beyond throwing rolls of paper towel into the crowd like gifts. In previous remarks, Trump appeared to admonish Puerto Rico for “throwing our budget out of whack” and praised his own administration for doing a “great job” in response to the tragedy.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/Getty Images]