The Twitter Storm Last Week on Puerto Rico and General Kelly’s Calming Influence

Last Thursday morning, President Trump stated on Twitter that the federal government cannot be in Puerto Rico “forever”.

Trump tweeted the following: “Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend,” the president tweeted, adding: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”

Later in the day, Chief of Staff John Kelly addressed the President’s tweet and clarified what he meant by it. Kelly stated the following:  “The minute you go anywhere as a first-responder — and this would apply certainly to the military — you are trying very hard, working very hard to work yourself out of a job. There will be a period in which, we hope sooner rather than later, to where the U.S. military and FEMA generally speaking can withdraw, because then the government and the people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding. … So this country — our country will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done. But the tweet about FEMA and [the Defense Department] — read: military — is exactly accurate; they’re not going to be there forever. And the whole point is to start to work yourself out of a job and then transition to the rebuilding process.”

After the initial statement clarifying the President’s statement, Kelly reassured that the federal government will “stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done.”

On Friday, President Trump expressed his support for the people of Puerto Rico by tweeting the following: “The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the H’s. I will always be with them!”

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