Puerto Rico governor to Trump: Stop the 'insults' and visit the island

Puerto Rico's governor issued a statement Wednesday slamming President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE and demanding an end to "insults" aimed at Puerto Rico from the president and members of his administration.

In the lengthy statement accusing the Trump administration of withholding federal money from the island's storm recovery efforts following massive hurricanes that struck last year, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said that the president's recent comments about the island "lack empathy, are irresponsible, regrettable and, above all, [are] unjustified."

ADVERTISEMENT

His remarks come after the president reportedly said during a February meeting on Department of Housing and Urban Development grants that he didn't want "another single dollar" from the federal government to go to Puerto Rico's storm cleanup efforts.

Thousands of people died when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 and left most of its residents without power or utilities.

“I invite the President to stop listening to ignorant and completely wrong advice. Instead he should come to Puerto Rico to hear firsthand from the people on the ground. I invite him to put all of the resources at his disposal to help Americans in Puerto Rico, like he did for Texas and Alabama. No more, no less," Rosselló said Wednesday.

“Mr. President: Enough with the insults and demeaning mischaracterizations. We are not your political adversaries; we are your citizens," he added.

The island is currently facing residual damages from Maria's landfall, and also faces a separate food stamp crisis resulting from Congress's failure to reauthorize the program.

Democrats including Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Krystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE (Calif.) slammed the president's reported comments, which came to light this week in The Washington Post, calling them "cruel."

“'[Trump] doesn’t want another single dollar going to the island,' " Harris wrote. "The people that are in Puerto Rico are United States citizens. They are in dire need. Denying them assistance is cruel."