Ricardo Rosselló, the governor of Puerto Rico, tweeted out a hashtag to remind everyone in the administration of President Donald Trump that his island territory was part of the United States.
Rosselló tweeted out on Tuesday, #PuertoRicoIsTheUSA.
— Ricardo Rosselló (@ricardorossello) April 2, 2019
The tweet seemed to be in response to the many gaffes and insulting remarks that officials within the administration of President Donald Trump have made toward the territorial island, which was hit by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. That disaster devastated the island, and officials are requesting the federal government do more to help out.
One of the statements that the tweet from Rosselló seems to be referencing came from Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, who had been interviewed on Tuesday morning by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson. Twice in that interview, Gidley referred to Puerto Rico as “that country.”
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) April 2, 2019
It wasn’t the only mistake Gidley made while speaking with Jackson. Gidley also parroted a line made by President Donald Trump earlier in the week, suggesting that Puerto Rico had already received $91 billion in aid from the government, per reporting from HuffPost.
“They have received more many than any state or territory in history for rebuild,” Gidley added.
“That’s not true,” Jackson responded, and proceeded to fact-check Gidley within the interview.
She pointed out that the $91 billion figure was the projected costs of repairing the island, not what has been granted to the island so far, and that the administration had only committed $11 billion of relief to Puerto Rico since the disaster, according to a report from Talking Points Memo.
She also corrected Gidley on the point that the U.S. had spent more money on Puerto Rico than any other disaster relief project, reminding the deputy press secretary that Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, had repair bills of around $120 billion.
Finally, Jackson reminded Gidley that labeling Puerto Rico as “that country” was a mistake — it is, in fact, part of the United States.
Gidley was forced to admit his descriptive mistakes in labeling Puerto Rico as a separate country, and stated that the gaffe was a “slip of the tongue.”
“Do you think that’s a concern, that there is that kind of slip of the tongue inside the White House?” Jackson asked.
Gidley proceeded to try and defend his mistake. “A slip of the tongue is not on purpose, Hallie, that would by definition be a slip of the tongue,” he said.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.