7 Tone-Deaf Things Trump Said While Visiting Puerto Rico

How many disasters must Puerto Rico suffer? After Hurricane Maria tore through the Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump was extremely slow to acknowledge that the U.S. territory was in dire need of aid. When Trump finally decided it was time to visit these Americans in need, his trip was a disaster in itself.

Here are some of the shockingly insensitive, incompetent and tone-deaf things Trump said during his trip to Puerto Rico:

1. Endless Self-Promotion

Despite criticism from Puerto Rican leaders and the fact that only 32 percent of Americans approve of how he’s handled the disaster, Trump has spent much of his time on the island insisting that everything has been going terrifically!

“I think it’s now acknowledged what a great job we’ve done,” he said. “In Texas and in Florida, we get an A+, and I’ll tell you what: I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico.”

“We only heard thank yous from the people of Puerto Rico,” he told another reporter.

Here’s an idea: rather than telling people what a great job he’s done, Trump should actually just do a great job, and then the people of Puerto Rico will do the complimenting for him.

2. Depicting Puerto Ricans As Lazy

Trump played upon an old, terrible stereotype of Latino laziness when he alleged that Puerto Ricans “want everything to be done for them.” According to Trump in the same tweet, the leadership of Puerto Rico was ineffective and they couldn’t manage to get their own people to participate in the relief work.

This comment is as dog whistle-y as racist dog whistles get, which is why it’s entirely fair that internet commenters started sharing this photo en masse to remind Trump who exactly likes to have everything to be done for him:


3. Trump Is “In the Dark” About What’s Happening

While handing out flashlights to hurricane survivors, Trump couldn’t help but comment on the supposed pointlessness of the exercise. “Flashlights?” he said aloud. “You don’t need ‘em anymore. You don’t need ‘em.”

Why Trump felt the need to say that is unclear, especially since at that point 95 percent of Puerto Rico was still without electricity. Maybe Trump was being taken to places with power, but the vast majority of Puerto Ricans could really use those flashlights to, you know, see at night.

4. “Playfully” Tossing Supplies

At least he wasn’t physically throwing the flashlights at the people of Puerto Rico. During another moment, Trump began tossing paper towel rolls one at a time to the crowd.


It’s not only an inefficient manner of distributing supplies to people in need of resources, it’s a pretty degrading one. As much as Trump may fancy himself some sort of rock star, these aren’t fans attending a concert looking for free merchandise.

Technically, Trump didn’t say anything in this instance, but the disrespect spoke volumes in his actions alone.

5. Making Puerto Rico Feel Like an Imposition

The nerve of Puerto Rico to have a hurricane – don’t they know how expensive recovery efforts are? Trump made sure they were well aware at a press briefing on the island. “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you threw our budget a little out of whack,” he said.

Hahaha, what a funny joke, right? The president didn’t make residents of Texas or Florida feel like they were a waste of money, so it seems extra suspect for the president to say something like this after already treating Puerto Ricans as lesser American citizens.

6. Minimizing the Scale of the Disaster

In the face of his initial inaction, Trump has repeatedly tried to downplay the scale of Hurricane Maria. While speaking to Puerto Rican officials he said, “If you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds of people that died…” Trump said. Sorry, there’s no need to finish that sentence, did Trump just really suggest a place experiencing massive devastation was not a “real catastrophe”?

It’s true that the death count in Puerto Rico is significantly lower than that of Hurricane Katrina, but if that’s enough to make Trump “proud” (his own words) of how he’s handled this crisis, he’s completely off base.

7. Wiping Out Debt – But Not Really

In an interview on Tuesday, Trump told Fox News that to help Puerto Rico, he was going to “wipe out” their existing debt. “You can wave goodbye to that,” he said.

Honestly, it was one of the most productive ideas to come out of the Trump administration throughout the disaster… too bad it seems that Trump was babbling without having consulted with his staff who are not on board with this idea.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney backtracked on the president’s comments saying, “I wouldn’t take it word for word with that,” insisting that the White House would instead focus on providing disaster relief. Way to get Puerto Rico’s hopes up!

Photo Credit: Department of Agriculture


Joette B
Joette B4 months ago

I do not trust a paper towel tosser to have any sense beyond his own desire for attention worship .IS he allowing the fall of PUERTO RICO to buy the island for trump world golf? We are facing our HITLER HERE AND NOW!

Beryl L
Beryl Ludwig4 months ago

Last time I looked Puerto Ricans were Americans. Tweet Tweet

Marija M
Marija M4 months ago

Trump, Trump...sick and tired of him...

Amber M
Past Member 4 months ago

We should be helping our fellow Americans. They're people who deserve support and respect.

Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Danuta W
Danuta W4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Aaron F
Past Member 4 months ago

Isn't there any news that's fit for the "news"??? This is getting old...

Anne M
Anne M4 months ago

after, I meant...

Anne M
Anne M4 months ago

Wow...it´s really great to hear that you´re lazy just afrer losing everything you have. For example.

John T
John T4 months ago

Dummy Trump does not care about fauna and flora (He probably never heard of the two words) he just wants to dig up America for oil and coal. He is not a person you can trust.