In a series of Tweets Thursday, President Donald Trump again blamed Puerto Rican infrastructure prior to two hurricanes that hit last month for their current state. He then threatened to pull FEMA, the military, and first responders from the still devastated island.
As Puerto Rico is a United States territory, their poor infrastructure at any time would reflect poorly on their federal government and it's leader. However pointing out this failure of government doesn't appear to bother President Trump.
His comments came in a series of three Tweets around 4:00am on Thursday morning. They ended with a threat to pull aid workers.
...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1507806420.0
They drew immediate backlash from many sources.
@GregShugar @realDonaldTrump Trump's first thoughts are whether victims are white. If they are, they get help. Othe… https://t.co/5xHR2YWMDl— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD) 1507895631.0
"To kick fellow citizens when they are down is shameful." Rep. Nydia Velazquez ripped Trump for shaming Puerto Ri… https://t.co/urvunTNDCG— Splinter (@Splinter) 1507896902.0
Trump might be unaware that Puerto Rico is part of the US, but Congress must move as quickly as possible to pass a disaster relief package.— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1507850634.0
The President responded to the criticism via Twitter.
The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the H's. I will always be with them!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1507896062.0
Whether his recent Tweet means he doesn't plan to pull aid workers remains to be seen. But it's clear that his policy is shaped largely by reactions on Twitter.