CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE wouldn’t have called his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria an “unsung success” if 3,000 people white people died in Puerto Rico instead.
Toobin suggested during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” early Wednesday that Trump boasted the day before that one of his administration's "best jobs" was the response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico last year because he didn’t really value the lives of those lost.
“Isn’t the story that these people who died – apparently thousands of them in Puerto Rico, 3,000 as you point out – they’re not white people, and they don’t count to Donald Trump as much as the deaths of white people,” Toobin said to the panel.
“You hate to say that about someone, but look at his record. Isn’t that indicative of who he is and what he stands for?” Toobin asked.
“If 3,000 white people had died in Florida or in Texas, would he be saying it was a success?”
Trump said on Tuesday that his government received "A pluses" for its work in Texas and Florida following hurricanes last year and that his response to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico turned out to be an “incredible, unsung success.”
"I think probably the hardest one we had by far was Puerto Rico because of the island nature, and I actually think it was one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about," Trump said.
"The job that FEMA, and law enforcement and everybody did working along with the governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous," the president added.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has been among the most vocal critics of the Trump administration's response to Maria, slammed Trump’s assessment of the response in a tweet.
“Success? Federal response according to Trump in Puerto Rico a success?” Cruz wrote later Tuesday. “If he thinks the death of 3,000 people [is] a success God help us all.”