AP FACT CHECK: Trump brings Puerto Rico fiction to Florida

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump brought his enduring fiction about hurricane aid for Puerto Rico to a rally crowd in Florida on Wednesday.

Pledging unstinting support for more hurricane recovery money for Floridians, he vastly exaggerated how much Puerto Rico has received.

TRUMP: “We gave to Puerto Rico $91 billion” — and that’s more, he said, than any U.S. state or entity has received for hurricane aid.

THE FACTS: His number is false, as is his assertion that the U.S. territory has set some record for federal disaster aid. Congress has so far distributed only about $11 billion for Puerto Rico, not $91 billion.

He’s stuck to his figure for some time. The White House has said the estimate includes about $50 billion in expected future disaster disbursements that could span decades, along with $41 billion approved.

That $50 billion in additional money is speculative. It is based on Puerto Rico’s eligibility for federal emergency disaster funds for years ahead, involving calamities that haven’t happened.

That money would require future appropriations by Congress.

Even if correct, $91 billion would not be the most ever provided for hurricane rebuilding efforts. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost the U.S government more than $120 billion — the bulk of it going to Louisiana.

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures

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