Trump: Can’t stay for­ever

New York Post - - NEWS - Yaron Steinbuch

Pres­i­dent Trump on Thurs­day aimed his wrath at hur­ri­cane-rav­aged Puerto Rico, sug­gest­ing that fed­eral re­lief work­ers can’t stay there “for­ever” — and blam­ing the US ter­ri­tory for its fi­nan­cial plight.

“We can­not keep FEMA, the Mil­i­tary & the First Re­spon­ders, who have been amaz­ing (un­der the most dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances) in P.R. for­ever!” Trump tweeted.

“Elec­tric and all in­fra­struc­ture was dis­as­ter be­fore hur­ri­canes,” he wrote, adding that Con­gress will have to de­cide how much in fed­eral funds to al­lo­cate to the is­land in the wake of Hur­ri­cane Maria.

Trump also quoted Sharyl At­tkisson, a TV jour­nal­ist who works for con­ser­va­tive Sin­clair Broad­cast­ing, as say­ing: “Puerto Rico sur­vived the Hur­ri­canes, now a fi­nan­cial cri­sis looms largely of their own mak­ing.”

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in­sisted later that Trump’s tweet was “ex­actly ac­cu­rate” be­cause first re­spon­ders “are not go­ing to be there for­ever.”

But he also pledged, “Our coun­try will stand with those Amer­i­can ci­ti­zens in Puerto Rico un­til the job is done.”

San Juan Mayor Car­men Yulín Cruz, who has been sharply crit­i­cal of Trump in the hur­ri­cane’s af­ter­math, re­sponded by call­ing the pres­i­dent “Hater in Chief” on Twit­ter.

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