“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help,” the president tweeted. “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
He went on to say that “the military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job. Puerto Rico was totally destroyed,” doubling down on rhetoric that many believe blames Puerto Rico for their own devastation in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
In response to the president, many pointed out the apparent bigotry in Trump’s comments.
“This is one of the most horrible, racist, despicable things Trump has ever said,” journalist Shaun King wrote of Trump’s comments alluding to the laziness of the Puerto Rican people.
Others pointed out that Trump’s criticism of Puerto Ricans amid their suffering was an example of victim blaming.
Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted planned votes on Tuesday morning to advance the nominations of two Trump Cabinet nominees.
The committee was to begin voting at 10 a.m. on the nominations of Georgia Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin. Committee rules require that at least one member of each party be present for a vote to proceed. If and when the committee does vote, their confirmations would still need the approval of the full Senate.
Price has been under a cloud of controversy for weeks over questions about whether he properly disclosed stock trading of a biomedical company, which says the congressman was able to purchase with a discount, according to the Wall Street Journal.
As for Mnuchin, he faces more questions about his role in the foreclosure crisis as the head of OneWest Bank. As NPR’s Yuki Noguchi reported when Mnuchin testified before the committee earlier this month, he was grilled by Democrats “for his role as CEO of a company that took over IndyMac Bank, now known as OneWest, which failed because of its bad home loans and later pushed through many controversial foreclosures, ultimately yielding massive profits for Mnuchin.”
The Columbus Dispatch reported over the weekend that Mnuchin “flatly denied in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee that OneWest used ‘robo-signing’ on mortgage documents. But records show the bank utilized the questionable practice in Ohio.”
Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown said, “We are not going to this committee today because we want the committee to regroup, get the information, have these two nominees come back in front of the committee, clarify what they lied about — I would hope they would apologize for that — and then give us the information that we all need for our states.”