President Trump Uses Hurricane Maria Disaster To Push His War On Free Speech In The Media [Opinion]

Donald Trump Puerto Rico

President Donald Trump has been waging war against the media since news organizations roasted him for the outrageous comments he made during the presidential election campaign. As pointed out by Cornell Law School, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right to freedom of speech. The exercise of free speech and the freedom of the press is an absolute right under the Constitution. The First Amendment also protects the rights of citizens to engage in peaceful protest.

Over the past week, it seems that Trump has shown that he isn’t a fan of the First Amendment. As recently reported by the Inquisitr, Trump has used Twitter, his weapon of choice, to attack people who are exercising their Constitutional rights. President Trump waged war on NFL players who have “taken a knee” during the national anthem. It’s true that many people see the behavior of NFL stars as disrespectful, but the U.S. Constitution affords those players the right to protest in this way.

Over the past couple of days, President Trump has returned to attacking his favorite target, the free press. Extraordinarily, Trump also chose to link the people affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico to his latest attacks on the press. Put simply, President Donald Trump brands anything that doesn’t show him in a good light as “fake news.”

Puerto Rico Donald Trump

As reported by the Huffington Post, Trump had San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz in his sights after she claimed that U.S. citizens were dying because of the Trump administration’s ineffective response to the disaster in Puerto Rico.

“We are dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles. Mayday! We are in trouble.”

No one should doubt the sincerity of Mayor Cruz’s plea but in typical fashion, President Trump used Twitter to launch an attack on Cruz and the media.

As reported by Politico, Trump branded Cruz’s plea as “fake news.” Instead of redoubling efforts to help the stricken island, Trump blasted the “poor leadership ability” of Puerto Rican officials and claimed that Puerto Ricans “want everything to be done for them.” Trump also claimed that the Puerto Rican people were failing to help themselves.

Bizarrely, President Trump also claimed that the Democrats had told Mayor Cruz “that you must be nasty to Trump.”

As reported by the BBC, over 3.4 million Puerto Ricans are without drinking water, much of the Island is without electricity, many roads are blocked and hospitals are out of commission. For Donald Trump to claim that this is fake news is almost beyond belief. Trump’s latest Twitter outburst has drawn harsh condemnation and new charges of insensitivity, especially given that the president tweeted from his luxury golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Some may wonder why Donald Trump’s golf game is seemingly more important than the lives of those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]