- President Donald Trump claimed without evidence that Puerto
Rico was using federal funding meant to go towards Hurricane
Maria recovery to pay off debt.
- He reportedly told White House officials that he wants stop
giving Puerto Rico federal funding for hurricane recovery.
President Donald Trump wants stop giving Puerto Rico federal
funding for Hurricane Maria recovery, according to a report from
According to the report, White House officials told congressional
leadership that Trump claimed without evidence that Puerto Rico’s
government is using the disaster relief money to pay off debt.
Trump can’t take disaster funds back that he’s already given to
Puerto Rico or set aside by Congress, but he reportedly could
refuse to sign any future spending bills, according to Axios.
The report comes after a
Wall Street Journal article said Puerto Rico bond prices
had soared “after the federal oversight board that runs the US
territory’s finances released a revised fiscal plan that raises
expectations for disaster funding and economic growth.”
Trump was reportedly angry about the October article, and
developed a conspiracy theory that disaster relief funds were
paying off debt in Puerto Rico.
Last month, Trump falsely claimed in a tweet that Puerto Rico’s
politicians are trying to use the massive and
ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay
off other obligations.”
At the same time, White House officials told Congress that Trump
“doesn’t want to include additional Puerto Rico funding in
further spending bills,” a congressional leadership aide
“He was unhappy with what he believed was mismanagement of
money,” the aide said.
Other sources said Trump misinterpreted the Wall Street Journal
article and that he told top officials he wanted to stop setting
aside funds for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief.