Thursday, October 12, 2017
"President Trump served notice Thursday that he may withdraw federal relief workers from Puerto Rico and blamed the island for its failing infrastructure, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of twin hurricanes.
Under withering criticism from Puerto Ricans for his administration’s flawed response to the devastation there, Trump sought to hold the territory responsible for its own plight because of chronic mismanagement — prompting an immediate backlash from Puerto Ricans and mainland lawmakers in both parties.
More than a month after Hurricane Irma swept ashore and three weeks after Hurricane Maria delivered a crushing blow, much of Puerto Rico remains without power, and many of its 3.4 million residents still are struggling to find clean water, hospitals are short on medicine, commerce is slow, and basic services are unavailable.
In a trio of Thursday morning tweets, Trump declared, “Electric and all infrastructure [in Puerto Rico] was disaster before hurricanes.” He said it would be up to Congress how much federal money to appropriate for recovery efforts there — and, in an extraordinary statement by an American president, warned that relief workers would not stay “forever.”
Trump threat to abandon Puerto Rico recovery sparks a backlash - The Washington Post