Trump’s swipe at Puerto Rico, G-7 comments

WASHINGTON —  According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump presented a distorted picture of the auto industry, told a fanciful story about Iran duping Barack Obama and took a misinformed swipe at Puerto Rico just as its residents braced for a catastrophe that didn’t come. A look at some statements by Trump and his team during a week bookended by the Group of Seven summit and the approach of Hurricane Dorian to the U.S. mainland after it brushed past Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. TRUMP, on hurricane aid: “Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for ‘anywhere.’” — tweet Tuesday. TRUMP, on Puerto Rico: “Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten.” — tweet Wednesday. THE FACTS: His figure of $92 billion is wrong, as is his assertion that the U.S. territory has set some record for federal disaster aid. Congress has so far distributed only about $14 billion for Puerto Rico. It’s a false claim he’s made repeatedly. The White House has said the estimate includes about $50 billion in expected future disaster disbursements that could span decades, along with $42.7 billion approved. That $50 billion in additional money, however, is speculative. It is based on Puerto Rico’s eligibility for federal emergency disaster funds for years ahead, involving calamities that haven’t happened. That money would require future appropriations by Congress. Even if correct, $92 billion would not be the most ever provided for hurricane rebuilding efforts. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost the U.S government more than $120 billion — the bulk of it going to Louisiana. Trump frequently inflates and complains about the amount of disaster aid that Congress “foolishly gave” Puerto Rico after the deadly destruction from Hurricane Maria in 2017. He has talked as if he doesn’t recognize the U.S. territory as American and, in an April tweet, said Puerto Rico officials “only take from USA.” Hurricane Dorian inflicted limited damage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands before intensifying on its track toward the U.S. mainland.