Puerto Rico’s Governor Tweets at Trump: ‘I Agree With You’
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to attack Puerto Rican politicians as inept and to falsely claim that the island wants to use disaster aid to pay its debt, deploying the type of political invective that’s become routine.
But the response from the Puerto Rico governor was a bigger surprise. He appeared to agree with Trump’s derogatory assessment.
Governor Ricardo Rossello’s office didn’t respond to questions on which point he agreed with the president on: The ineptness of local politicians (maybe, himself excluded) or that they’re trying to raid disaster funds to pay their government’s debts (which they’re not).
But some in Rossello’s orbit assumed that Trump’s tweet was directed at the authors of a recent Puerto Rico fiscal plan by the federally-appointed oversight board. The board was created to help shepherd the island through bankruptcy proceedings toward a sustainable future. Its latest plan projected surprising budget surpluses, in part because of the economic impact that’s expected to result from the rebuilding effort.
But neither the federal board nor the elected island government are proposing to directly allocate disaster aid funds to pay back owners of its defaulted bonds.
Rossello opposes the board’s plan, though his grievances are very different from the ones Trump appeared to have. The elected government says the board’s efforts to impose austerity would bring more hardship to the island.
The president didn’t back up his assertions, either. But he appears to have moved on. He’s since sent four more tweets. None of them mentioned Puerto Rico.
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