President Donald Trump wasn't big on sending disaster relief to Puerto Rico after two hurricanes devastated the American island last year. While other states have been able to get anything they needed, Trump acts as if he wants to punish the Americans there for attacking his lack of response.
According to an Axios report, White House officials told congressional appropriations leadership that the officials are using aid dollars to pay off their debt. The claims come, as many of the president's declarations do, without evidence or information.
The president can't take back funds already given to the state, but he's refusing to sign any future spending bills that make funds available for Puerto Rico. Other states wrecked by natural disasters, however, are still able to have FEMA dollars sent.
"Puerto Rico bond prices soared ... after the federal oversight board that runs the U.S. territory’s finances released a revised fiscal plan that raises expectations for disaster funding and economic growth," an October Wall Street Journal report said. After reading the report, Trump flew into a rage, five sources familiar with the incident recalled.
It was then that the president developed the conspiracy theory.
"He's always been pissed off by Puerto Rico," another source added.
Democrats are likely to make funding available to any state or territory in the United States when passing a budget, which could create a showdown between Democrats and Republicans. If the showdown turns into a government shutdown, Trump could look even worse heading into his re-election season.
Meanwhile, the president is also battling with California, which will need disaster relief funds after the state ushered in another set of wildfires that set new records for the largest state fire.