Trump’s tweets about NFL, Puerto Rico debt draw ire as island crippled by Hurricane Maria

President Trump took a break on Monday from tweeting about the controversy over NFL player protests to talk about Puerto Rico’s financial woes, but critics say the president’s message is off-base as the island faces widespread devastation.

In his first tweets since the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last week, Trump said Puerto Rico’s “broken infrastructure & massive debt” have left it in worse straits than mainland states.

President Trump said today that he will visit the island on Tuesday, saying, “Puerto Rico is very important to me and the people there are fantastic.”

Maria was the strongest storm to make landfall in Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years. The storm killed at least 16 people and caused widespread devastation that left most of the island’s 3.4 million people without power and half without water amid large-scale electricity and communications outages.

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/Polaris
A view of Old San Juan after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Sept. 25, 2017.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told ABC News, “What’s out there is total devastation. Total annihilation. People literally gasping for air. I personally have taken people out and put them in ambulances because their generator has run out.”

SLIDESHOW: Photos: Hurricane Maria pummels Puerto Rico, Caribbean


Travelers trying to leave Puerto Rico described a chaotic scene at San Juan airport on Monday.

“It is extremely hot,” Erika Camacho told ABC News. “It’s horrible, there’s no water, no electricity and there’s only two companies working. I don’t know if I’ll come back quick, but I’ll come back. The family is here.”

“We tried to get a hotel, everything is booked, the car we had to turn it in, we had no gas,” another would-be traveler, Angelica Hernandez, told ABC News. “I just wanna go home, I really do, it’s bad. And then everything we saw from the…

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