Donald Trump and Melania Trump visit residents affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. (Getty/Mandel Ngan)

Trump to Puerto Rico: "You've thrown our budget a little out of whack"

Budgets and bombers: Trump touts expensive military planes minutes after he said Puerto Rico used up the budget


Charlie May
October 3, 2017 5:29PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump's trip to Puerto Rico — hours after implying that the residents of the island were to blame for the destruction stemming from the natural disaster that befell the American territory — was highlighted by a photo op in which he bragged about his disaster response and once again seemed to blame residents because the U.S. will have to spend money there.

"I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack because we spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that's fine," Trump said. "We have saved a lot of lives."

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The president also was obsessed with comparing Maria to Hurricane Katrina. He pointed to Katrina's death toll, which was over 1,000, to the official tally of 16, which, Puerto Rican officials admit, is out of date. 

"You can be very proud, only 16 versus thousands in Katrina," he said.

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“If you looked — every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died," he said, "And you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overbearing, nobody has seen anything like this.”

Trump was quick to point out what a great job his administration was doing, by playing up the disaster on the island in his opening remarks:

This has been the toughest one. This is a Category 5, which few people have ever heard of. It hit land, and boy did it hit land.

But the president was also focused on what politicians were saying about him. Days after Trump lashed out at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz for being "nasty to Trump," the president ignored her — save for a handshake — and instead brought up that other politicians were saying he did a good job.

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"I just want to tell you that right from the beginning this governor was not playing politics," Trump said of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló. "He was giving us the highest grades."

Minutes after complaining about the Puerto Rico-sized hole coming out of Trump's budget, the president boasted that he was ordering expensive new planes for the military.

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"Amazing job. So amazing we are ordering hundreds of millions of dollars of new airplanes for the Air Force," Trump said. Especially the F-35. You like the F-35? ... You can't see it. You literally can't see it. It's hard to fight a plane you can't see."

And then, there was how he ended the photo op:

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Fema Hurricane Maria President Donald Trump Puerto Rico Trump Administration White House

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