Donald Trump offered a ridiculous excuse for his administration's inadequate and lackluster response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico: the island is located in a "very big ocean."
Donald Trump's excuse for his administration's poor response to the aftermath of the hurricane in Puerto Rico is unbelievable. He made the argument that because the island is situated in "a very big ocean," it has been difficult to send aid there.
Trump has been under a barrage of criticism as the island — which is part of the United States — experiences major blackouts and shortages of food and water since being hit by Hurricane Maria. Rather than focus on responding to the storm, Trump has spent the bulk of the past few days tweeting about shutting up black players in the NFL.
Speaking to the press Tuesday, Trump briefly pivoted to praise himself for his response to the horrific disaster.
"We're really getting good marks for what we're doing," he said, in response to the storm and while announcing plans to visit the island. He said his administration was "working very very hard on Puerto Rico."
But he blamed the sluggish response on the island's location.
"It's an island sitting in the middle of an ocean," he said. "A very big ocean."
TRUMP: We've worked very, very hard in Puerto Rico, it's very tough because it's an island. In Texas, we can ship the trucks right out there and you know we can do — we've gotten a-pluses on Texas and on Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico, but the difference is this is an island, sitting in the middle of an ocean. And it's a big ocean. It's a very big ocean.
When he did finally address the suffering of the 3.4 million Americans on the island, Trump first catalogued a series of negatives about Puerto Rico, laying the groundwork for his lackluster response to the crisis. Trump did not make the same sort of argument before approving aid to storm ravaged sections of Florida and Texas, for instance.
Trump will also not waive federal restrictions on the transportation of foreign cargo to Puerto Rico for relief efforts, as it did for hurricane relief on the mainland.
His response to the storm is hurting millions of lives, and the size of the ocean has nothing to do with it.