As a tropical storm heads toward the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump lashed out against the island and its government, claiming that he was the best thing to ever happen to it in a series of tweets sent Wednesday.
“Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth,” the president said in a tweet sent at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday. “Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt. Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good!”
The president and the United States government as a whole has been widely criticized for its response to 2017 deadly Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the latter of which is estimated to have killed around 3,000 people, according to data released last year per NPR.
According to a report from CBS News published Wednesday, the president had also taken to Twitter to lash out at Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city. Cruz has been a frequent critic of the Trump administration following its response to the 2017 hurricane.
The president declared on Tuesday a state of emergency in Puerto Rico as the tropical storm approaches island, which has a population of about 3.2 million, per the PEW Research Center. As the research center notes, the island faced a sharp population decline of 3.9 percent last year following Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma. That was the largest decline the island had seen year over a year since 1950.
Following the hurricanes, the president was famously recorded throwing paper towels into a crowd at a church in San Juan in a moment some claimed “belittled” the extent of the tragedy on the island, per The Washington Post. Users on Twitter reminded the president of his 2017 paper towel moment.
No, you are definitely not the best thing that has happened to Puerto Rico pic.twitter.com/CKmfmF9bfo
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) August 28, 2019
Trump also shared on Twitter on Tuesday an inaccurate statistic that claimed that the United States government gave its territory some $92 billion in aid following the 2017 hurricanes, but per CBS News, Congress has only allocated $42.5 billion, and the island had seen just $14 billion of that aid by May of this year.
According to CBS News, Tropical Storm Dorian could bring heavy rain, landslides, and power outages to the island that is still struggling to make a complete recovery following the deadly hurricanes two years ago.
The Puerto Rican government has also faced turmoil recently over a scandal that caused its former Gov. Ricardo Rosello to resign last month following intense protests against him on this island, per CBS News.