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Internet Explodes After Racist Attacks On Puerto Rico By Trump White House

MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson in real time fact-checked White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley Tuesday over President Donald Trump’s latest falsehoods and Twitter smears regarding Puerto Rico.

Trump has over the course of the last 24 hours tweeted several disparaging tweets about the federal aid to Puerto Rico since the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The president accused Puerto Rican government officials of corruption, mishandling aid, and incompetence, adding that it “only take[s] from the USA” despite the fact that Puerto Rico has been a United States territory for over a century.

Trump also falsely claimed that Puerto Rico has been given $91 billion in disaster aid since Maria’s landfall.

(In truth, “$91 billion” was the Trump administration’s maximum estimate of what recovery funds could cost, reported the Washington Post.)

When Jackson pressed Gidley over Trump’s disparaging and untrue remarks, he literally rolled his eyes and blamed Puerto Rico for the Trump administration’s gross mishandling of relief efforts, which have been widely lambasted as insufficient and inhumane.

“Does he believe they are not equal U.S. citizens?” she asked him. “Why would he say they’re taking from the U.S. when they are part of the U.S.?”

Gidley went on to incorrectly refer to Puerto Rico *twice* as “that country,” an othering remark which he later dismissed as “a slip of the tongue.”

“Do you think that’s a concern that there is that kind of slip of the tongue inside the White House?” Jackson asked.

“No,” replied Gidley. “A slip of the tongue is not on purpose, Hallie, that would by definition be a slip of the tongue.”

He also lied about the amount of aid actually given to Puerto Rico following Maria, asserting that “they have received more money than any state or territory in history,” despite Jackson pointing out that Louisiana was given more recovery funds in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (an estimated $120 billion.)

“These are things that are not true, just factually, from a factual basis,” Jackson said of Gidley’s remarks.

h/t Twitter