House

Dem lawmaker: Trump should help Puerto Rico instead of dividing country

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is criticizing President Trump for his attacks on National Football League (NFL) players who kneel during the anthem, saying the president should instead be supporting Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

"Mr. President, instead of dividing the country over this you could give support to the 3.4 million Americans without power in Puerto Rico," Beyer tweeted Monday.

Trump in an earlier tweet on Monday said "the issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem."

Trump hasn't addressed Puerto Rico on Twitter since last Wednesday.

Trump has tweeted or retweeted 47 times since, including 14 tweets and retweets about NFL players kneeling during the anthem.

Puerto Rico has been left devastated after the Category 4 hurricane, which passed through the Caribbean late last week. The entire island lost power and at least 10 people have died as a result of the storm.

Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, said officials are unaware of "how critical some areas are" because communication has been knocked out in 95 percent of the island territory.

Hillary Clinton called for Trump to send Navy assistance to Puerto Rico on Sunday, tweeting "These are American citizens."

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