Leaked Memo Reveals White House Strategy to Duck Blame for Puerto Rico Catastrophe

News & Politics

A memo leaked on Sunday and published by Axios.com reveals that President Donald Trump’s administration is aggressively trying to shift the blame for its dismal response to Hurricane Maria and to carry out “planned hits” against the president’s critics.

Trump’s top Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert authored the memo, which detailed the administration’s plans to “start a theme of recovery planning for the bright future that lies ahead for Puerto Rico. Planned hits, tweets, tv bookings and other work will limit the need for reactionary efforts.”

He continued by insisting that the Trump administration is not to blame for the fact that relief efforts did not begin in earnest until nearly a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

“The storm caused these problems, not our response to it. We have pushed about as much stuff and people through a tiny hole in as short a timeframe as possible,” he wrote.

The administration’s enablers at Fox News set out early Sunday to carry out its “hit” on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, calling her a “far left” radical and complaining that commentator Geraldo Rivera and his camera crew did not actually witness people dying in the streets.

Other administration officials have sought to smear Cruz by saying she has been uncooperative with FEMA and not attended its strategy sessions, but Cruz’s office said that it has sent representatives to all meetings and has been more than cooperative with the bumbling, bureaucratically hamstrung federal relief effort.

The Trump administration went into a full court press on Sunday to congratulate itself on what an excellent job it has done in Puerto Rico, but on Sunday night, the Pentagon pricked the White House’s bubble with an urgent bulletin that half the people in the U.S. territory are still without access to clean water and the situation is steadily worsening.

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