According to a New York Times interview with Elaine Duke, who served as Homeland Security Secretary from 2017 to 2018 and worked in President Donald Trump\u0026#039;s cabinet when Hurricane Maria severely damaged the island of Puerto Rico, the president suggested selling the territory when it became clear the federal government would have to assist with a major recovery effort.Duke said in her interview, published Saturday, the president suggested \u0022divesting\u0022 or selling Puerto Rico when it was struggling to recover from the storm.\u0022The president\u0026#039;s initial ideas were more as a businessman, you know,\u0022 Duke told the Times.\u0026nbsp;\u0022Can we outsource the electricity? Can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset?\u0022Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), who was born in Puerto Rico, took to social media to condemn the president\u0026#039;s suggestion.\u0022I assure you Puerto Rico is not for sale!\u0022 Velazquez tweeted.\u0026nbsp;You may try to sell the office you hold, your personal integrity and\u0026nbsp;your soul, Mr. President — but I assure you Puerto Rico is not for sale!https://t.co/QEmu4lA0vJ— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) July 11, 2020\u0022Puerto Rico is not an\u0026nbsp;asset, it\u0026#039;s an island full of culture and beauty,\u0022 added Hector\u0026nbsp;Oseguera, a progressive who recently ran for Congress in New Jersey\u0026#039;s eighth district.\u0026nbsp;After a natural\u0026nbsp;disaster this maniac said:“Can we can we sell the island? You know,\u0026nbsp;or divest of that asset?”@realDonaldTrump, Puerto Rico is not an\u0026nbsp;asset, it’s an island full of culture \u0026amp; beauty. My boricua brothers\u0026nbsp;\u0026amp; sisters are NOT for sale.https://t.co/849ry3361F— Hector for Congress NJ08\u0026nbsp;(@Oseguera2020) July 11, 2020Duke added that former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, dismissed her as being \u0022emotional\u0022 when she suggested an emergency declaration as the hurricane approached.\u0026nbsp;\u0022It\u0026#039;s not about the people, it\u0026#039;s about the money,\u0022 Duke claimed Mulvaney told her.\u0026nbsp;Nearly 3,000 people were killed in Hurricane Maria and its aftermath, an outcome which Trump has since called\u0026nbsp;\u0022an incredible, unsung success.\u0022The president complained about having to send aid to Puerto Rico after the storm, remarking that its debts to Wall Street \u0022must be dealt with.\u0022 The island\u0026#039;s debt skyrocketed partially because of Congress ending tax incentives on the island which had drawn businesses there and due to the exploitation of existing debt by hedge funds and \u0022vulture\u0022 funds.Earlier this year following an earthquake which displaced 2,000 Puerto Ricans, Trump continued to withhold $18 million in disaster relief funds which had been appropriated after Hurricane Maria.\u0026nbsp;He also complained last year that the territory receives \u0022too much aid\u0022 as an estimated 1.3 million Puerto Ricans faced cuts to their SNAP benefits.The Times\u0026#039; report regarding Trump\u0026#039;s suggestion that the U.S. government sell Puerto Rico came a year after White House staffers told the Wall Street Journal that the president had suggested purchasing Greenland from Denmark. That report prompted ridicule from Danish officials including\u0026nbsp;Soren Espersen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People\u0026#039;s Party, who called it \u0022final proof that he has gone mad.\u0022Ritchie Torres, who is running for Congress in New York\u0026#039;s 15th district, tweeted that Trump\u0026#039;s suggestion about Puerto Rico served \u0022as a reminder that the U.S. colonization of the island is and always has been a grave injustice.\u0022Donald Trump\u0026#039;s attempt at \u0022selling\u0022 Puerto Rico\u0026nbsp;serves as a reminder that the US\u0026#039;s colonization of the island is and always has been a grave injustice. The very fact that\u0026nbsp;a president could even consider selling Puerto Rico adds insult to the injury of colonialism. https://t.co/KnHBv6OhEU— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) July 12, 2020\u0022The road to legal equality for Puerto Rico runs through statehood, which would protect the island from the colonial whims of a madman like Donald Trump,\u0022 tweeted Torres.