U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr elaine duke with trump...
U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

The “life is but a photo-op” mentality of Donald Trump is pervasive throughout his entire regime and nowhere was that more apparent than when acting Department of Homeland Secretary Elaine Duke told the media yesterday that Puerto Rico was “a good news story.” It was no surprise when San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz took umbrage to that grotesque mischaracterization with the following:

“Maybe from where she’s standing, it’s a good news story. When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story,” Cruz said in an interview on CNN this morning. “I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me.”

So while Donald Trump is, per usual, disgracing himself popping off on his morning twitter rant the DHS acting secretary is walking back her own stupid comment.  ABC News:

Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary, said today that while she was “proud” of the federal response in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, the situation on the ground is still “not satisfactory.”

“I am proud of the work that’s being done,” Duke told a press conference in San Juan this afternoon upon arriving in the U.S. territory. “Clearly, the situation here in Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricane is not satisfactory.”

Duke added that the progress she’s seen so far today is “very, very strong,” with more roads cleared, power being restored, hospitals reopening and potable water becoming readily available.”

It appeared to be an attempt by Duke to clarify earlier statements that had angered the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital city, in which the homeland security chief called the relief effort on the island “a good news story” with necessary supplies being delivered and federal agencies working hard to distribute those goods.

It’s the Donald Trump Double Standard ploy, one more time, namely that any remote semblance of competence will be lauded as great achievement:

“We are using air support when we can’t get through. We are cleaning the roads regularly, we have expanded greatly, probably 90 percent of the island is accessible now,” Duke told reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on Thursday.

The bottom line is that the federal government is not running and nowhere is that more glaringly evident than in the non-response to Hurricane Maria.  John Kelly was supposed to slap a saddle on Trump and get the White House under control. Ha. Trump said that Kelly and Homeland Security were “the most productive” of cabinet secretaries and departments in his administration. He’s probably right. And that would be funny but for the people who are suffering, and no group of Americans has it any rougher now than Puerto Rico.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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