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President Donald Trump holds up a chart during a rally in Palm City Beach, Florida on May 9, 2019. (Photo: AP)

'Unhinged, Insensitive, and Lying': Trump Uses Bar Graph to Spread Falsehood About Puerto Rico Hurricane Aid

"His racism knows no boundaries," said San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump spent the opening minutes of a campaign rally in Panama City Beach, Florida on Wednesday attacking hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico for not sufficiently appreciating his administration's relief efforts—which critics have decried as grossly inadequate—and attempting to use a bar graph to bolster his repeatedly debunked claim that the island has received a record amount of storm aid.

"I brought a chart. Would you like to see a chart?" Trump said, pulling a piece of paper from his jacket pocket to cheers from the audience.

"That's Puerto Rico and they don't like me," said the president, pointing to a section of the bar graph purporting to show that Puerto Rico has received $91 billion in hurricane relief funding.

As The Associated Press reported, Trump's "number is wrong, as is his assertion that the U.S. territory has set some record for federal disaster aid. Congress has so far distributed only about $11 billion for Puerto Rico, not $91 billion."

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz—who Trump has repeatedly singled out in his attacks on Puerto Rico's political leaders—slammed the president's remarks on Twitter.

"Unhinged, insensitive, and lying," Cruz wrote. "His racism knows no boundaries."

Others echoed Cruz:

As Common Dreams reported in March, over a million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico have faced large cuts to food stamps and other services in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria as a relief package—which also includes disaster aid to Florida and other states—remains stalled in Congress due to opposition from Republicans and the Trump administration.

Even in the face of the island's devastating circumstances, Trump has reportedly said that he "doesn't want another single dollar" going to Puerto Rico.

In a statement following the president's rally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats are moving ahead this week with a $17.2 billion disaster relief package that includes aid to Puerto Rico.

"Sadly, Senate Republicans have been more committed to hurting our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico than healing communities everywhere," Pelosi said. "Meanwhile, the president has doubled down on Republicans' callousness, deliberately delaying assistance payments to Puerto Rico and inflicting more needless suffering on the Americans who are still reeling from his administration's disastrous response to the hurricanes."


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Poll Shows Majority Oppose Supreme Court's Attack on Fundamental Rights

Fifty-six of respondents said they're now concerned the court will attack marriage equality and the right to obtain contraception.

Julia Conley ·


Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·


NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·

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