Though the media excoriated President Donald Trump when he claimed during Hurricane Maria two years ago that Puerto Rican officials were corrupt bureaucrats who were misusing federal disaster relief funds, everything he’d said has since been proven true.
Thanks to recent findings, it’s now been confirmed without a shadow of a doubt that even Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is a corrupt and heartless politician who didn’t give a damn when Hurricane Maria ravaged the island state and killed thousands of people in 2017.
As a result of these findings, the Puerto Rican people themselves have begun holding mass demonstrations and even riots to demand that the governor resign.
Puerto Rico protests erupt; massive crowds clash with police as they call for the ousting of embattled Gov. Ricardo Rossello. @VictorOquendo reports. https://t.co/AGc1RM7M22 pic.twitter.com/cG82Wyu9z5
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 23, 2019
After a long day of peaceful protests, chaos erupts once again in #Sanjuan #PuertoRico. Lots of teargas and things being thrown. #RickyRenunciaYa pic.twitter.com/vXnUMPki9a
— Jeff Paul (@Jeff_Paul) July 23, 2019
HAPPENING NOW: Protest against Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in Wynwood pic.twitter.com/WUJZ7W3Qkn
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) July 23, 2019
A taste of the protest over Puerto Rico’s governor here in New London #nlct #RenunciaRicky pic.twitter.com/FhLCy9lCpo
— Greg Smith (@SmittyDay) July 22, 2019
The protests in Puerto Rico are not just in the main urban area of San Juan.
This is the much smaller city of Mayagüez, and it’s also shut down today.#RickyRenuncia the people have decided your time is up.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 22, 2019
But like most corrupt bureaucrats, Rosselló refuses to accept responsibility for his misdeeds and abide by his people’s demands and step down from office.
“I’ve seen the protests, I’ve heard the people talk, I’ve had a process of introspection, and I did — I made a decision, I’m not going to run, I’m not going to seek reelection, that way I can focus on the job at hand,” he said defensively Monday on Fox News when asked by host Shepard Smith why he won’t step down.
“You know, I’ve had the biggest recovery effort in the modern history of the United States on our hands. We’re battling corruption with certain initiatives that we’ve already started and certain new ones that we want to put out there so we can fix the problem.”
As he continued to tout his administration’s allegedly impressive “recovery effort, “Smith interrupted him to draw his attention back to the question at hand.
“But governor, my question was, there are 100,000 people on the streets, politicians of all stripes, the president of the United States all saying that you need to go, that this is enough. You’ve said no. Why not?” the host pressed.
Yet once again Rosselló tried to avoid the actual question — and in doing so, he angered the host enough that Smith (who’s known more-so for criticizing Trump, not his enemies) fired back with what may be one of the most caustic statements ever made in Fox News history.
“The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico,” the host said with exasperation. “Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt, and a 13 year recession. In the leaked nearly-900 pages of profanity laced messages, you made light of the casualties of Hurricane Maria, you casually tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, you were calling the Puerto Rican former New York City council speaker … a whore.”
“Of the oversight board that controls Puerto Rico’s finances, you said go f yourself. And when your representative to that board said he’s salivating to shoot the woman who’s the mayor of San Juan, you said he’d be doing you a grand favor. So attacks on women, attacks on gays, attacks on the dead relatives of your own residents across your own island — and after all that, who’s left to support you?”
Listen via FNC’s “Shepard Smith Reporting“:
Earlier this month online chatroom messages between Rosselló and his top officials were leaked to the media. The messages showed them mocking the victims of Hurricane Mari and speaking derogatorily about other political officials.
Reports that emerged this month also showed just how extensive the corruption in Puerto Rico — particularly in regard to Hurricane Maria relief efforts — happens to be.
Responding to these reports, the president has reiterated what he’s been saying for years — that much of the money his administration sent to Puerto Rico to assist in relief efforts was — thanks to Rosselló — “squandered away or wasted.”
A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2019
….of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again. This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2019
He repeated this sentiment while speaking to reporters Monday.
“He’s a terrible governor,” he said of Rosselló. “So the United States Congress — you won’t believe this; please close your ears because this would be — gave Puerto Rico $92 billion last year for hurricane relief. No, they haven’t gotten the money, all of it, but they’ve got a lot of it, but they’re scheduled to get. The Congress of the United States handed them $92 billion. And that $92 billion is in the hands of incompetent people and very corrupt people.”
“But the governor has done a terrible job. … And I think the government of the United States — they have to be careful.”
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