On Thursday, Vox wrote that information was recently released revealing that President Trump tried to instruct officials to withhold disaster relief funds from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The information was revealed within a report by the Washington Post on the resignation of Pam Patenaude, deputy Housing and Urban Development Secretary.
According to the report, Trump had claimed that Puerto Rico was misusing disaster relief funds and instead using it to pay off preexisting debt, which he also tweeted in late October of 2018. Instead, Trump tried to have officials dedicate more money to relief efforts in Texas and Florida. However, it was reported despite President Trump being described as “not consolable” in meetings regarding the funds, it was reassured that “HUD had proper oversight.”
As for Puerto Rico, many died during the initial storm and many continued to suffer in the blackouts that ensued afterward. Vox wrote:
“Presidents have a range of formal and informal powers, and one of the most important informal ones is to convey to the bureaucracy and to second-tier political appointees what they think their priorities should be.Trump has never, in any way, conveyed an interest in promoting recovery in Puerto Rico.”