Cheeto-In-Chief Trump Threatens To Pull Puerto Rico Relief Efforts

Army personnel unload a helicopter carrying hurricane relief supplies Thursday in the town of Cidra Puerto Rico

Army personnel unload a helicopter carrying hurricane relief supplies Thursday in the town of Cidra Puerto Rico

President Donald Trump continued his relentless criticism of Puerto Rico Thursday morning, suggesting the USA couldn't aid in recovery and relief efforts in the US territory "forever!"

He continued in a third tweet: "We can not keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been unbelievable (under the most hard circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

Democratic Representative Nydia Velázquez of NY, which has a large Puerto Rican community, said the relief package was "just the start" of federal aid to the island, where large areas remain without electricity or running water three weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The recovery has moved slowly since Maria struck the United States territory on September 20, leaving most of the island without basic services such as power and running water, according to residents, relief workers and local elected officials.

"'Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making, ' says Sharyl Attkisson", Trump posted.

The tweets conflicted with Trump's past statements on Puerto Rico. The social media company's video from the island, however, took flak from tech critics as being insensitive to Puerto Rico.

Yulin Cruz and Trump have clashed throughout the recovery process, including yesterday when she was quoted by Public Radio International as saying "I don't give a s--" about Trump's comments about her.

"Puerto Ricans are Americans, and we don't abandon each other".

Addressing the president directly in a statement issued in response to the tweets, Cruz declared, "Mr. President, you seem to want to disregard the moral imperative that your administration has been unable to fulfill".

President Trump's words seem to be at odds with the message Vice President Pence delivered roughly 12 hours earlier, when he told a crowd gathered for a Hispanic Heritage Month event at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., that "the people of Puerto Rico will recover, and we will be with them every step of the way".

However Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania, who is a member of the House foreign affairs committee, told CNN's Chris Cuomo Thursday there's only "so much" the U.S. can do to help Puerto Rico. "There are the people that say that of course it's going to be a great improvement for us ... but then there's a lot of people that are very mad because they say we are selling the island to outside interests". He says Puerto Rico shouldn't expect federal help "forever". "It's regrettable and it's sad for those people but there only is physically, humanly possible so much that any nation could do in the wake of devastation".

House Speaker Paul Ryan will lead a bipartisan delegation visiting Puerto Rico on Friday, according to the speaker's office. Rep. Adam Smith, who is top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, is raising the idea with Republicans on his panel, according to congressional aides.

The legislative aid package totals $36.5 billion and sticks close to a White House request.

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