Governor Cuomo: "It is disgraceful how this country has treated Puerto Rico."
Earlier today, Governor Cuomo was a guest on WNYC with Brian Lehrer and addressed President Trump's remarks from this morning regarding federal aid to Puerto Rico.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
Governor Cuomo: President Trump did a tweet today which is a long running story for him against aid to Puerto Rico after the tragedy they suffered with Hurricane Maria. He did a tweet that said they've gotten more money than anyone. It's just untrue, it's mean. He has a political vendetta against the mayor of San Juan. He doesn't believe Puerto Rico is politically powerful. They have gotten the crumbs from the table. It is disgraceful how this country has treated Puerto Rico and New Yorkers have been the most generous and the most gracious in helping Puerto Rico and I'm proud of them. But it really is terrible what the [President] is doing to Puerto Rico and all New Yorkers should make their voice heard on that.
Brian Lehrer: I'll amplify or give people some details on that since you brought it up. Trump tweeted, "The Democrats today killed the bill that would have provided great relief to farmers and yet more money—yet more money—to Puerto Rico despite the fact that Puerto Rico has already been scheduled to receive more hurricane relief funding than any "place" in history." So he put "place" in quotes which seems to suggest that he doesn't think it's a real place.
Governor Cuomo: It's just a lie. It's a lie. I hate to be blunt, but it's just a lie. They've received the crumbs from the table. I mean, this country, to its credit, after a natural disaster, we stepped up whether it's Hurricane Sandy or the Midwestern flood. I was in the federal government. I used to do the disaster aid. We've done nothing for Puerto Rico. It's totally a lie that we've given Puerto Rico more aid than anyone. We've given them less.
Brian Lehrer: Not to linger on this too much because there are so many things in the budget that we do want to get to. But not nothing, right? The President continues on a second tweet, "Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas and Florida combined, yet their government can't do anything right." Do you want to respond to that in particular?
Governor Cuomo: Again, it's all untrue. It's just not a fact. These are numbers. It's math. You can add them up. We received after Hurricane Sandy, New York, New Jersey, we received both $60 billion. I don't know what he's talking about. They are a political enemy of his, so he's going to retaliate. It's always personal, it's always vindictive, they're not his political supporters, he doesn't like the criticism he's received from the mayor of San Juan. The Governor of Puerto Rico, Rosselló, who I've worked with. I've been to Puerto Rico many times after the disaster, as you know. He's been a total gentleman about this. Frankly, I think he's been too gracious in the way he's treated this president because the President doesn't respond to gentility. He responds only to political power and Puerto Rico has political power in this country and they should exercise it and we're going to help.