Trump Demands More “Appreciation” for Relief Effort in Puerto Rico

He has a video to prove the “fake news media” wrong.

President Donald Trump continued to defend the federal government’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico on Sunday, this time sharing sharing a nearly nine-minute video to showcase all the work he’s done on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The president also complained that the recovery was being met with “so little appreciation.”

The video, which opens with a title card claiming to reveal what the “fake news media” refuses to broadcast, strings together various bits of footage showing administration officials delivering aid throughout the island. It ends with a collection of clips featuring Trump shaking residents’ hands during his visit to the island last Tuesday.

The footage does not include clips of Trump telling Puerto Ricans that they should be “proud” because the confirmed death toll at the time was far lower than in a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina. It also omitted images of Trump throwing paper towels at people at a relief center. “I was having fun, they were having fun,” Trump said on Saturday while defending his decision to throw the paper towels.

More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria first made landfall, most of the island remains without power. Last week, statistics on the lack of electricity and drinking water temporarily disappeared from FEMA’s website, but the website left up the numbers backing up Trump’s rosier descriptions of the recovery effort.  San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, an outspoken critic of Trump’s response, tweeted on Sunday that the federal government is ignoring her requests for help.

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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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