Does Trump Know Puerto Ricans Are Americans?

In an interviews with MSNBC host Chris Hayes and Sirius XM’s Zerlina Maxwell, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questioned whether Donald Trump is aware that Puerto Rico is part of the United States and its residents are US citizens.

“I’m not sure he knows that Puerto Ricans are American citizens,” Clinton told Sirius XM’s Zerlina Maxwell on Monday afternoon. [..]

Clinton described the president’s approach as a political calculus and being disinterest in the fate of the 3.5 million American residents living on the island.

“He doesn’t think that has any political relevance and it’s certainly not personally important,” Clinton told Chris Hayes on Monday evening. “He clearly doesn’t want to talk about Puerto Rico, more than 3.5 million American citizens, along with the U.S. Virgin Islands. Not interested, doesn’t say a word about it.”

“He has not said one word about them, about other American citizens in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Clinton said, before Trump tweeted. [..]

During the Hayes show, Trump took to twitter to chastise the island territory’s financial problems and broken infrastructure but not a peep about the humanitarian disaster that is taking place.

President Trump, facing mounting questions about his commitment to Puerto Rico’s recovery, took to Twitter on Monday night, saying the U.S. territory is “in deep trouble,” in part because of problems that predated Hurricane Maria.

Trump said Puerto Rico was already suffering from “broken infrastructure,” including an old electrical grid, which he said was “devastated” by Hurricane Maria, as well as “massive debt.”

“Food, water and medical are top priorities — and doing well,” Trump said in his series of tweets, which credited the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He noted that, by contrast, Texas and Florida, hit by earlier hurricanes, “are doing great.”

Criticism of Trump has come from Democratic politicians, celebrities and others, focusing in part on the heavy attention he has put in recent days on his opposition to football players who kneel during the national anthem. [..]

Trump’s lack of public attention to Puerto Rico has been striking in part because of the major focus he put on helping Texas and Florida recover from earlier hurricanes, a factor many analysts have cited in explaining Trump’s recent uptick in his job approval numbers.

During a briefing Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was peppered with questions about Trump’s priorities, including his focus on Puerto Rico.

It took him nearly a week to even say that much and was slammed in the press and on social media. Today they are scrambling to make Trump look better and, just maybe, getting some serious help to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.