Quote of the Day: Wall Street Can “Wave Goodbye” to Puerto Rico Debts

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From President Trump, in an interview with Geraldo Rivera that aired last night on Hannity:

They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out. You’re going to say goodbye to that, I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but whoever it is you can wave goodbye to that.

I love the reference to “your friends” on Wall Street, as if Trump himself is a Bernie-crat who loathes high finance. In reality, of course, he tried to hire Anthony Scaramucci and succeeded in hiring Steve Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Gary Cohn, and Dina Powell. Despite that, Wall Street tycoons are “your friends,” not his.

We’ll see. Trump could prove his alleged populist bona fides by truly pushing to wipe out Puerto Rico’s debt. But I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that. I’m sure we’ll soon have a “clarification” from the White House that Trump was just joking, or referring to ongoing restructuring negotiations, or only talking about debt owed to China. Or something.

Fascinating tidbit: Rivera himself clearly understands that Trump is wading into dangerous territory and cuts him off before he can cause himself more trouble. What a friend!

If you’re up for it, you can hear Trump talk about Puerto Rico’s debt starting around 3:20 in the interview below. Trigger warning: the interview starts with Trump droning on yet again about what a fabulous job he’s done in Puerto Rico and how he’s not getting enough credit for it.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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