In explosive NY Times piece, Elaine Duke claims Trump floated idea of selling Puerto Rico in wake of Hurricane Maria

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This Sunday, the New York Times released an article about their interview with Elaine Duke, the former acting secretary of Homeland Security, where she detailed her experience working with the Trump administration. In this interview, Duke recalled Trump’s comments stating that Trump raised “the possibility of ‘divesting’ or ‘selling’ the island as it struggled to recover” in the wake of Hurricane Maria. 
Duke also claimed that Homeland Security’s policy was “dominated by a president who embraces ‘hate-filled, angry and divisive’ language.” In this article, Duke recalled that, just before Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico, the President’s former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told her that she had to “stop being so emotional” and that it was not “about the people, it’s about the money.” 
In response to the New York Times article, the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party Terrie Rizzo issued the following statement: 
“Duke’s comments confirm what we have long known to be true: the Trump administration has never prioritized the needs of real Americans, and their policy is solely dictated by cruelty and financial gain. Puerto Rico is a part of the United States and its citizens deserve to be treated with respect. That’s why this November, we will say goodbye to his administration’s neglectful and hateful policy and elect a compassionate President in Joe Biden.”
7/14/20, New York Times, Elaine Duke on Leading Homeland Security Under President Trump
Key Points: 

  • “A lifelong Republican who describes herself as ‘a kid from the Cleveland, Ohio, area,’ Ms. Duke said she supported tougher enforcement of immigration laws, as long as it was tempered by a sense of humanity that she tried to exhibit when she volunteered to teach naturalization classes. But she described an administration that is often driven by ideology instead of deliberation, values politics over policy and is dominated by a president who embraces ‘hate-filled, angry and divisive’ language.”
  • “She said she was especially taken aback, during the response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico, when she heard Mr. Trump raise the possibility of ‘divesting’ or ‘selling’ the island as it struggled to recover.”
  • “She said that as Hurricane Maria approached Puerto Rico and Ms. Duke argued for an emergency declaration before its landfall, Mick Mulvaney, then the president’s budget director, resisted. ‘Quit being so emotional, Elaine, it’s not about the people, it’s about the money,’ she said Mr. Mulvaney told her.”

On Filing Day, Florida Democrats Slam Trump for Tax Scam 

On the third tax day since Trump’s tax cut law took effect, millions of Floridians are dealing with the duel health and economic crisis caused by Donald Trump’s ineffective pandemic response. President Trump’s tax cut law, which was sold as a middle class tax cut, gave billions to the richest individuals and corporations while millions of low and middle-income workers saw their taxes rise. 
“This Tax Day is a reminder that Trump’s time in office has been spent working for his Mar-a-Lago buddies, not Florida’s working families,” said Florida Democratic Party Spokesperson Frances Swanson, “Trump’s signature ‘achievement’ is blowing up America’s deficit to line the pockets of America’s richest taxpayers, while leaving everyone else behind. Trump’s tax scam will cost him with voters in Florida, who deserve more than lip service and broken promises.”

BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S TAX SCAM 

TRUMP: “I’m going to massively lower your taxes. That’s businesses and that’s middle income. That’s everybody.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Fort Meyers, FL, 9/19/16]
REALITY: In 2020, the richest 5% of Florida taxpayers will receive 61% of the state’s share of tax cuts under the Republican tax bill. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 12/16/17]
REALITYThe GOP-Trump tax bill would raise taxes on 3.6 million Florida residents, most of whom will have incomes less than $78,500. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 12/16/17]
REALITY: “…according to recently released data from the IRS, in 2018 – the first year that the TCJA was in effect – the Treasury Department collected $91 billion less than it did in 2017.” [Yahoo Finance, 5.3.19


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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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