Politics

UPDATE: President Trump Slams Puerto Rico Corruption, Says Congress 'Squandered' Billions on Relief

posted by Hannity Staff - 7.18.19

President Trump weighed-in Thursday on the escalating corruption scandal plaguing multiple officials in Puerto Rico; saying the US Congress “squandered” upwards of $92 billion on hurricane relief.

“A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again. This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!” posted the President on social media.

Original Story: July 11, 2019

The FBI arrested multiple officials in Puerto Rico Wednesday regarding a potential “payoff” scheme using American hurricane relief aid on the island following a series of natural disasters.

“The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in the administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chairman of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down,” reports the Washington Post.

“The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island,” adds the newspaper. “The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017. The aid was tied up in part because President Trump called island officials ‘incompetent or corrupt.’

“Keleher and Avila-Marrero exploited their government positions and fraudulently awarded contracts funded with federal monies,” U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Vélez said. “The charged offenses are reprehensible, more so in light of Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.”