Earlier this week, Trump lauded his administration’s response to Puerto Rican citizens left hungry and displaced after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, barreled through the island nation in September 2017, calling it “an incredible, unsung success.”
“I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful,” he said. “It was one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about.”
Conservative co-host Abby Huntsman disagreed, arguing Trump is “out of touch” with the reality of the devastation because he hasn’t been on the ground in Puerto Rico since after Maria hit.
“A lot of these deaths took place after the storm because of the lack of resources,” Huntsman explained. “It reminds me of Hurricane Katrina.”
Fellow host Sunny Hostin quickly chimed in, noting that the death toll from Katrina paled in comparison to that of Maria. Earlier this month, PR’s governor officially raised the death toll from the storm from 64 to an estimated 2,975 following a study by George Washington University researchers.
“I think it’s humiliating, it’s embarrassing for our country,” Hostin began. “And I don’t think this president cares … and when you talk about Katrina, the deaths in Puerto Rico eclipsed Katrina by 1,100. So were talking about even more deaths.”
“I think what is shocking is that [Trump] is calling this a success when his administration just took millions of dollars from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and gave it to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement),” she added.
Co-host Joy Behar argued Trump likely cares more about Americans who live on the U.S. mainland than the Puerto Ricans because those folks can actually vote in the presidential elections. Huntsman brushed aside her assertion, however.
“Well, I don’t know if he doesn’t care about Puerto Ricans — ” Huntsman said.
“Oh, I don’t think he cares at all, Abby,” Hostin, who is half-Puerto Rican, interjected. “He doesn’t care about my people.”
Huntsman continued, “I do think [Trump] cares about covering his own butt and he never wants to admit defeat.”
Watch more in the clip below.