President Trump's cringe-worthy paper towel throwing gesture to Puerto Ricans

Posted October 09, 2017

The price of Puerto Rico's benchmark general obligation bonds tumbled to a record low on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump suggested the island's massive debt load will have to be wiped out due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

Later, Mr Trump surveyed the damage from the air before landing on the USS Kearsarge to greet servicemen.

"He was insulting to the people of Puerto Rico", she said of Trump's comments that Puerto Rico threw the US budget "out of whack".

"If you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina (2005 in New Orleans) and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds of people that died and what happened here with a storm that was just totally overbearing".

In a television interview with Al Punto Univision, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz wore a T-shirt with the word "NASTY" emblazoned on the front.

Donald Trump got stuck into handing out aid in storm-battered Puerto Rico on Tuesday, but the way he did it has become a bit of a talking point.

Only 45 percent of people have access to drinking water on the island.

"We have to look at their whole debt structure", Mr Trump said in a Fox News interview.

Trump still stirred up controversy on the visit with numerous off-color remarks, such as blaming Puerto Rico for throwing the federal government's budget "out of whack". "And that's fine. We've saved a lot of lives". "Well, you know, they're dying".

Later, Governor Ricardo Rossello announced the death toll had more than doubled.

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday mocked President Trump for throwing rolls of paper towels at a crowd of Puerto Ricans while visiting the devastated island in the wake of Hurricane Maria. "What really is nasty is showing your back to the Puerto Rican people".

Trump added Cruz was "very complimentary only a few days ago", but "has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump". Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory.

In an interview with MSNBC, she also said chatting with White House staff and informing them of what's happening on the island proved useful. "They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".

While there, for instance, he made clear how much he loves Puerto Rico, telling locals he loves the place he only recently seems to have learned is an island, telling them their weather is "second to none, but every once in a while you get hit".