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‘We love Pueeeeerto Rico’: Trump exaggerates Spanish accent, Twitter says ouch

Trump drew out the name in an accented fashion three times — “Pueeeeerto Rico” — telling the crowd, “We love Pueeeeerto Rico.”.

world Updated: Oct 07, 2017 13:43 IST
AP, Washington
Donald Trump,Twitter,Puerto Rico
US President Donald Trump is flanked by first lady Melania Trump as he speaks to guests gathered in the East Room to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Washington, DC.(AFP Photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday played with the pronunciation of Puerto Rico as he saluted Hispanic Heritage Month at the White House.

Trump drew out the name in an accented fashion three times — “Pueeeeerto Rico” — telling the crowd, “We love Pueeeeerto Rico.” Then he said it without any accent: “And we also love Puerto Rico.”

That got a laugh from the crowd of Hispanic leaders gathered in the East Room of the White House, and Trump’ s other statements of support for the recovering US territories drew cheers.

Many Twitter users found the accent hilarious while some pointed out that it was inappropriate for talking about a region ravaged by a hurricane.

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands were walloped last month by Hurricane Maria and are struggling to recover. Trump visited Puerto Rico this week, and vice-president Mike Pence toured St. Croix on Friday and was headed for Puerto Rico as well.

Trump has rankled Hispanics with his tough immigration policies, including building a border wall between the United States and Mexico, and he drew sharp criticism for his initial response to the toll Maria took on Puerto Rico. Critics have said the president was slow to recognize the magnitude of the hurricane’s impact early on and has overstated the effectiveness of federal recovery efforts.

Last month, Trump signed a proclamation marking September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. In the proclamation, Trump mentioned that Hispanic-owned small businesses are the fastest growing businesses in America.

He moved from behind the microphone Friday to hug a Medal of Honor recipient in the crowd, and said that 60 Latinos in the Armed Forces have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 13:43 IST