President Donald Trump is facing increased criticism for his response to Puerto Rico after he dedicated the Presidents Cup trophy to hurricane victims while appearing at the golf tournament in New Jersey on Sunday
President Donald Trump is facing increased criticism for his response to Puerto Rico after he dedicated the Presidents Cup trophy to hurricane victims while appearing at the golf tournament in New Jersey on Sunday.
As he presented the trophy to U.S. team captain Steve Stricker, Trump said of the victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria: “We’re going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much that we love, a part of our great state, really a part of our great nation.”
“On behalf of all of the people of Texas, and all of the people — if you look today and see what is happening, how horrible it is, but we have it under really great control — Puerto Rico, and the people of Florida who have really suffered over this last short period of time with the hurricanes, I want to just remember them,” the president said.
According to a pool report and footage from the trophy ceremony, someone interrupted Trump to yell, “You don’t give a s–t about Puerto Rico!”
Trump’s comments come on the eve of his planned trip to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and amid heavy criticism over his response to the island territory after it was ravaged by Hurricane Maria.
The most powerful storm of its kind to hit the island since 1932, Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 and left millions without homes and electricity. The storm has so far claimed at least 16 lives in Puerto Rico, according to the Associated Press, and experts estimate that without electricity and supplies, that number could increase to the thousands.
Trump, who spent much of the weekend at his New Jersey golf club before attending the tournament, is also under fire for his tweets criticizing the “poor leadership ability” of San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, and other Puerto Rico officials.
“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” the president tweeted from his Bedminster club on Saturday morning. “10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”
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On Monday, critics on Twitter lambasted Trump for his “tone-deaf” trophy dedication.
Former Republican congressman David Jolly pointed out that it’s not even a tradition or requirement for the sitting president to present the trophy at the Presidents Cup.
Singer Cher was among those to criticize the president.
“Ppl of Puerto Rico don’t want trophy dedication,” she tweeted. “They want food, water.”