Dem lawmaker: Trump may handle Hurricane Florence better than Puerto Rico because he has properties in NC, VA

Dem lawmaker: Trump may handle Hurricane Florence better than Puerto Rico because he has properties in NC, VA
© Greg Nash

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) took a swipe at President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE on Thursday over his administration's preparation for Hurricane Florence and his handling of last year's Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico.

Gutiérrez tweeted that he hopes the president’s response to Florence will be “better” and “more empathetic” than his response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico. The Democratic lawmaker went on to claim that two of the states in Florence's path — North Carolina and Virginia — could "get more of the President's help" because Trump owns properties in those states.

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“I pray Trump's response to current East Coast disaster will be better, more empathetic,” Gutiérrez said. “He has golf club in NC & winery in VA, so maybe Americans in those states will get more of the President’s help than my fellow Puerto Ricans did. And I pray it is more successful.”

Gutiérrez, whose parents migrated from Puerto Rico, has been one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s handling of relief efforts following last year's devastation of the island by Hurricane Maria.

His comment comes hours after Trump sent a pair of tweets that disputed the death toll in Puerto Rico from Maria and blamed Democrats, without evidence, for falsely inflating the numbers to “make [him] look as bad as possible.”

The Trump administration’s response to relief efforts for Puerto Rico was widely criticized, with many saying Trump did not offer the same support to U.S. territory as he did to Texas and Florida, which also faced damage from hurricanes.

A Washington Post–Kaiser Family Foundation poll released this week found that 80 percent of Puerto Ricans gave Trump a negative rating on his response.

As Florence approaches the Carolinas and Georgia, Trump has continued to praise his efforts in Puerto Rico as an “unsung success,” and vowed that his administration is prepared for the storm, which is expected to hammer the East Coast.