Hoyer demands Trump apologize for calling Puerto Rico response a 'success'

Hoyer demands Trump apologize for calling Puerto Rico response a 'success'
© Greg Nash

House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Dems' confidence swells with midterms fast approaching Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash MORE (D-Md.) on Tuesday demanded President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE apologize for saying that his administration’s response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico was a “success.”

In a statement, Hoyer deemed the comments “offensive” to the families of the victims of hurricanes Maria and Irma. Puerto Rican officials in recent weeks updated the official death count from Maria to nearly 3,000 people.

“President Trump’s characterization of his administration’s botched response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria as ‘incredibly successful’ and ‘one of the best jobs that’s ever been done’ is offensive to the families of the nearly 3,000 Americans who were killed and the countless more who suffered for months without power or running water,” Hoyer said in the statement.

“He ought to apologize, and Congress ought to investigate what went wrong with the Trump Administration’s response and identify steps to ensure it does not happen again,” he added.

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Earlier Tuesday, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he thought his administration’s response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico was an “unsung success.”

His comment drew immediate backlash, as the government’s response to Puerto Rico has been widely panned as inadequate.

Hoyer also said in the statement that he hopes the Trump administration is not taking “the same approach” to prepare for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall along the East Coast this week.

“With another storm now threatening our country, I pray that the President and his team are not taking the same approach they did last year in preparing to meet this challenge,” Hoyer said.

Trump said Tuesday that his administration is “sparing no expense” when it comes to preparation for the storm.

“We are totally prepared,” he said. “We are ready. We’re as ready as anybody’s ever been."