Trump: ‘Absolute no’ on Puerto Rican statehood

News

September 25, 2018 - 10:38 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday declared himself an “absolute no” on statehood for Puerto Rico as long as critics such as San Juan’s mayor remain in office, the latest broadside in his feud with members of the U.S. territory’s leadership.
Trump lobbed fresh broadsides at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a critic of his administration’s response to hurricanes on the island last year, during a radio interview with Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera that aired Monday.
“With the mayor of San Juan as bad as she is and as incompetent as she is, Puerto Rico shouldn’t be talking about statehood until they get some people that really know what they’re doing,” Trump said in an interview with Rivera’s show on Cleveland’s WTAM radio.
Trump said that when “you have good leadership,” statehood for Puerto Rico could be “something they talk about. With people like that involved in Puerto Rico, I would be an absolute no.”
Gov. Ricardo Rossello, an advocate of statehood for the island, said Trump’s remarks had trivialized the statehood process because of political differences.
“The president said he is not in favor of statehood for the people of Puerto Rico based on a personal feud with a local mayor. This is an insensitive, disrespectful comment to over 3 million Americans who live in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico,” Rossello said.
He also questioned how the president of the United States could be at the U.N. General Assembly promoting democracy around the world while “in his own home there is the oldest and most populated colonial system in the world.”

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