Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump, is at the receiving end of criticism from the president as he faces calls to resign, Politico reported.
Writing on Twitter on Thursday, Trump said that the leadership of Puerto Rico is “corrupt,” and that “a lot of bad things are happening” amidst ongoing unrest.
Remarks made by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in private chats were leaked recently, prompting huge protests and calls for him to step down.
On Thursday, Trump referenced the $93 billion given to Puerto Rico in relief after Hurricane Maria, which he said was “squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again.”
….of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again. This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2019
Trump said the people of Puerto Rico are “great,” but clarified that he believed much of their leadership is “corrupt” and “robbing the U.S. Government blind!”
The amount of money given to Puerto Rico for disaster relief has been a point of contention between the president and Rosselló.
Puerto Rico received more than twice as much in disaster aid as Texas and Florida did.
The Center for Investigative Journalism recently published almost 900 pages from a private chat group, revealing the vindictive and unprofessional way Rosselló was running the American territory’s government.
The leaked chats show Rosselló threatening to turn over his political opponents to police and using derogatory language to describe women.
Messages also pointed to the possible manipulation of public opinion polls and even included a joke about dead bodies in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
The Puerto Rico governor is a long-time critic of the president. During a March interview on CNN, Rosselló threatened to punch “bully” Trump “in the mouth.”
Demonstrations in Puerto Rico have descended into chaos, with riot police reportedly using rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters.
One of the biggest protest groups in Puerto Rico issued an ultimatum on Thursday morning, calling for the governor to resign before the end of the week.
Rosselló’s administration has seen multiple resignations already, but the governor has refused to step down.
“I recognize the challenge before me from recent controversies, but I firmly believe that it is possible to restore confidence and that we, after this painful process, can achieve reconciliation,” he said in a statement.
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