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Sunny Hostin Slams Trump’s False Claim Puerto Rico Received $91 Billion in Aid

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Sunny Hostin

Clearly, someone is not around to help President Donald Trump with math.

Over the last week, Trump has been all over Twitter claiming that Puerto Rico has received $91 billion in aid since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in 2017, and it has received more aid than any other place. That is not true.

Trump also called the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Cruz, “crazed and incompetent” because she has dared to stand up to him.

He tweeted on Tuesday morning:

Trump and Puerto Rico trended on Twitter all morning, and many were quick to clap back at the president with the facts, including Sunny Hostin.

Born in New York City to a Puerto Rican mother, and an African-American father, Hostin is an attorney and co-host of ABC’s “The View.” She pointed out that Puerto Rico suffered $91 billion in damages:

Hostin served as an ambassador 61st annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City last year.

Others who joined Hostin in calling out Trump include Andrew Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee. Gillum reminded the president of the United States that Puerto Rico IS IN the United States.

Trump told Republican senators for the first time on March 26 that Puerto Rico is receiving $91 billion in aid. Trump said that it’s way too much money in comparison to other states affected by natural disasters, such as Florida and Texas.

Though it’s not 100 percent clear where Trump got that number, it could be from the initial estimates of damage after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

It’s estimated that Hurricane Maria inflicted $91 billion in damage total (most of it in Puerto Rico.)

Puerto Rico asked for $94.4 billion in aid after the hurricane to help repair destroyed infrastructure and care for millions of people living in dangerous and unsanitary conditions, often without clean water or food.

Texas and Florida asked for $61 billion and $27 billion in late 2017 for the storms that struck those states. But those areas suffered far less damage than Puerto Rico.

According to reporting by the Washington Post, $5 billion was spent on debris removal, power restoration and road repairs and $10 billion have been approved for disaster relief funds. That is nowhere near $91 billion.

This is not the first time Trump has denied the facts surrounding Puerto Rico and her people (who are 100 percent American citizens.) It’s also not the first time Trump has been reluctant to send aid to the American commonwealth.

Trump has vehemently denied that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria. Trump insists that number is much higher than the reality.

Trump has also resisted giving money to the American territory since the beginning.

After Hurricane Maria hit, Trump said that the infrastructure on the island was already broken. He also said Puerto Rican politicians might abuse aid funds in the future to pay down the island’s massive deb to Wall Street.

As he has done many times before, Trump is completely ignoring the history and context of Puerto Rico. Including the fact that Puerto Rico has little to no say in how it is governed from Washington and Puerto Ricans have almost no voice in federal policies that affect them.

The federal government made laws that hindered Puerto Rico from taking control of its finances and economy, so the American government could continue its stranglehold on the occupied territory.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is also going to review whether this administration has actually interfered with hurricane relief funding approved for Puerto Rico.

Lawmakers are worried that Trump’s administration and potentially employees at HIUD have purposely tried to slow aid destined for Puerto Rico.

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