Trump visited Maria-wrecked Puerto Rico Tuesday. There, he assisted in distributing supplies, surveyed the damage, held a press conference, and headed back to D.C. four hours early.

Here, Trump channelled his inner baseball mascot and lobbed rolls of paper towels to an eager crowd:

This one wins today’s award for most deliberately misquoted statement.

Yes, Trump says, “now I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack.” But that was followed by, “and that’s fine; we’ve saved a lot of lives.” Naturally, the last bit has been left out of just about every report. Hear for yourself:

The juvenile and indefensible spat between Trump and San Juan’s Mayor (remember Trump’s 18-tweet tirade?) is no better now than it was before the President landed on the island.

Interestingly, reporting still lambasts Trump for his less than charitable words towards San Juan’s Mayor, but make no mention of comments like this one:

Peak Trump:

Invisible airplanes. I can’t.

Lotta spin with this story, here:

Trump himself is being blamed for denying Puerto Rican food stamp recipients access to “prepared hot meals.” Not sure where this “prepared hot meals” thing came from, but what they really mean is fast food. Federal government rules prohibit redemption of food stamps at restaurants and some 40% of Puerto Rican residents are on food stamps.

Buried in a New York Times stories on the issue:

Mr. Rosselló also said the federal government had denied a request to allow hurricane victims in Puerto Rico who use food stamps to redeem them at fast-food restaurants and other places that serve prepared hot meals.

He said he was pursuing the issue with federal officials and was hoping the waiver would come soon.

With a widespread power failure having knocked out electricity to the island for the past two weeks, food stamp recipients around the island have said that they have been unable to use their benefits at supermarkets, because most stores are running on generators and do not have access to computer systems to process the cards. About 1.3 million Puerto Ricans — nearly 40 percent of the population — use food stamps. Federal rules prohibit public assistance beneficiaries from using the cards in restaurants.

Trump is being blamed for “the humanitarian crisis” in Puerto Rico, but everything, even the NYT report cited above explains that federal aid distribution is the domain of local municipalities. If there’s an inefficacy in getting supplies to Puerto Ricans, it’s not because the federal government has failed on their end. The same assistance provided to Puerto Rico was also given to Texas and Florida after storms left parts of those states ravaged. The difference can be found in the local response, both by the private citizenry and local officials.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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