CNN/MSNBC Push Accusation Trump Treating Puerto Rico Poorly

On Thursday, the federal government stepped up its hurricane relief effort in Puerto Rico by dispatching three-star Army general, Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan to oversee all operations. The move came as the sheer devastation from Hurricane Maria continued to cripple relief efforts and supply distribution. Instead of recognizing the unique and difficult challenge of trying to aid Puerto Rico, both CNN and MSNBC tried to paint the Trump administration as uncaring of their plight.

On CNN’s The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer was speaking with Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd when he began to grill his guest on Trump’s response. “But a lot of people are pointing out there was one standard for Texas, your state, for Florida, a different standard for Puerto Rico even though the three and a half million people who live on that U.S. territory are U.S. citizens. Do you agree with that,” Blitzer demanded to know.

Hurd didn’t seem to understand what Blitzer was insinuating and asked what he meant by “a different standard, according to what?” “A different standard of getting supplies there, food, water, power, U.S. military personnel. Having everything ready to go to save people's lives,” Blitzer sneered.

“I think FEMA's performance and their prepositioning and all their work has been the same there,” Congressman Hurd explained. “I can't disagree that the outcomes have been different, but I don't know if that can be squarely on the shoulders of FEMA.”

Blitzer began to complain to Hurd about how CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta had to help out with a morbidly obese woman at a local hospital. For the CNN host, it was an example of how terrible the Trump administration’s response was in this case. But that’s a completely ridiculous complaint because CNN was helping people when Hurricane Harvey was ravaging Houston and the coast of Texas.

The Republican congressman called Blitzer out, noting that “I think you’re seeing that has been something that you've saw in Houston and Florida as well where you have private citizens, businesses helping people out and providing that helping hand.”

Meanwhile, on MSNBC’s MTP Daily, Moderator Chuck Todd was pestering Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello about the same claims of subpar standards:

Maybe this is too early to ask you this question, but I'm curious. Do you think the response -- do you have a, a sense that the response from the federal government or maybe the response from-- would have been stronger if you'd been a state?

Governor Rossello did admit that a different standard was a concern originally, but it no longer was for him. “But that was a concern, however, I have to say that the administration, including the President—The President has been calling me on a daily basis seeing how we can move this along,” he explained.

“Every petition that I’ve asked the President he has delivered very quickly. His staff as well. FEMA Director Brock Long has been critical in this effort,” Rossello added. And soon afterward, Todd ended their interview.

It’s clear that they’re trying to create a narrative that Trump’s administration was dragging its feet and lacked empathy for the suffering U.S. territory. But the facts prove just the opposite. They’re purposely choosing not to take into account the unique and difficult challenge Puerto Rico’s predicament poses logistically.

Transcripts below:

CNN
The Situation Room
September 28, 2017
6:16:20 PM Eastern

(…)

WOLF BLITZER: But a lot of people are pointing out there was one standard for Texas, your state, for Florida, a different standard for Puerto Rico even though the three and a half million people who live on that U.S. territory are U.S. citizens. Do you agree with that?

WILL HURD: A different standard, according to what?

BLITZER: A different standard of getting supplies there, food, water, power, U.S. military personnel. Having everything ready to go to save people's lives.

HURD: I think FEMA's performance and their prepositioning and all their work has been the same there. I can't disagree that the outcomes have been different, but I don't know if that can be squarely on the shoulders of FEMA.

BLITZER: But you saw that report from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, that hospital director didn't even have a satellite phone to talk about patients who were critically ill and trying to get some assistance. At CNN, we had to help that woman get to the hospital. You just saw that.

HURD: Thank God Dr. Gupta was there to help out. I think you’re seeing that has been something that you've saw in Houston and Florida as well where you have private citizens, businesses helping people out and providing that helping hand. So I think that is one of the things that you see people responding to in these kinds of crises.

(…)

Sign Up for MRC Newsletters!

MSNBC
MTP Daily
September 28, 2017
5:29:36 PM Eastern

(…)

CHUCK TODD: Maybe this is too early to ask you this question, but I'm curious. Do you think the response -- do you have a, a sense that the response from the federal government or maybe the response from-- would have been stronger if you'd been a state?

RICARDO ROSSELLO: Well, obviously that was always a concern originally, and that also has been a concern, as you know, we're not a state but proud U.S. citizens. We're proud U.S. citizens that have served the country at the highest rates per capita in our military services, for example. And just two weeks ago we came to the aid of about 4,000 U.S. citizens that got stranded, didn't have a shelter. We gave them shelter, food and water and transported them.

But that was a concern, however, I have to say that the administration, including the President—The President has been calling me on a daily basis seeing how we can move this along. Every petion that I’ve asked the President he has delivered very quickly. His staff as well. FEMA Director Brock Long has been critical in this effort.

And I also want to thank the Senators and Representatives. They have shown their solidarity, their commitment to Puerto Rico. Some of them have asked, such as leader Schumer, have asked that if equal treatment is not given to Puerto Rico there could be given no treatment to anybody else.

(…)

 


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
NBDaily Environment Hurricanes Hurricane Maria Government Agencies Conspiracy Theories Labeling Cable Television CNN The Situation Room MSNBC MTP Daily Video Wolf Blitzer Chuck Todd Donald Trump