Democrats know that the money being diverted from the Department of Homeland Security and from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund to boost border detention and court efforts could not be used for recovery or preparedness efforts, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said Wednesday.
"Democrats are playing politics," Gidley told Fox News' "America's Newsroom," responding to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's comments that President Donald Trump's move to divert money is "cruel," especially with Hurricane Dorian rolling in toward Puerto Rico, while it still recovers from last year's Hurricane Maria.
"Chuck Schumer knows this pot of money can't be used for hurricane recovery or preparedness. He's telling us flat-out lies," said Gidley. "If the media is reporting it and continues to do so this way, they either haven't gotten to the conclusion of the fact that this pot of money can't be used for recovery effort or they know it and they are misrepresenting it intentionally."
Further, Gidley said, Trump "has given billions of dollars to Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, anywhere that's faced one of these damaging storms. He wants the American people to be back on their feet."
It's even more "cruel" that local officials in Puerto Rico misused funds the territory had received for hurricane relief, Gidley added.
"We now know several on the ground have been indicted for misusing that money, giving it to politicians as bonuses, watching that food rot in the airports," said Gidley. "The president has done everything in his power to make sure that the people of Puerto Rico are prepared for this next storm."
Trump "moved Heaven and Earth" to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastating back-to-back storms last year, said Gidley.
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