Donald Trump is obsessed with coverage about his response to Hurricane Maria and angry over footage showing him tossing paper towels into a crowd in Puerto Rico, a new report claims.
Trump has come under increasing criticism as he insists that the estimated death toll of 3,000 people on Puerto Rico is incorrect and a lie meant to hurt him politically. That criticism has sharpened with the landfall of Hurricane Florence and allegations that Trump’s administration is not prepared to respond. As the Washington Post reported, Trump has been unable to get over the criticisms of his response, and insists that his administration responded properly to the crisis in Puerto Rico.
As Business Insider noted, Trump has been angry that what he saw as a generous gesture is being portrayed as insensitive to the destruction that the hurricane brought to Puerto Rico.
“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” Trump said after his visit to Puerto Rico, where he was criticized for light-heartedly tossing paper towels into a crowd as if they were campaign swag. “And I came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people. And they were screaming and they were loving everything. I was having fun, they were having fun. They said, ‘Throw ’em to me! Throw ’em to me Mr. President!'”
“The next day they said, ‘Oh, it was so disrespectful to the people,'” he added. “It was just a made-up thing.”
The towel-throwing incident was not the only controversial moment of the trip. As reporters noted, Donald Trump appeared indifferent to the tragedy, praising Puerto Rico’s weather and downplaying the death toll.
“Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this,” Trump said during his visit (via CNN). “What is your death count as of this moment? 17? 16 people certified, 16 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 around this table and everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico.”
I spent today reading pool reports from Oct. 3, 2017, and watching videos of Trump’s paper towel toss in San Juan. He threw 6 rolls in 20 seconds, during which he also managed to pose for a selfie with a man in front row. https://t.co/MAqJwphwcu— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) September 14, 2018
As Business Insider noted, the death toll from Hurricane Maria was estimated at 13 when Trump arrived on the island to survey relief efforts. Many people would be without power and essentials like food, water, and medicine for months after the storm, contributing to the high death toll.
But Donald Trump has continued to insist that the response to Hurricane Maria and the estimated death toll of 3,000 people in Puerto Rico was not his fault, the Washington Post noted.