The alleged aunt of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threw a wrench in the New York Democrat's narrative about Puerto Rico, telling a reporter recently that former President Donald Trump is, in fact, not to blame for troubles on the island.
What is the background?
After recently visiting her grandmother in Puerto Rico, Ocasio-Cortez posted a photo of her abuela's home still in disarray after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. She blamed Trump for allegedly blocking relief funds from reaching the island.
"Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill. I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID. This is her home. Hurricane María relief hasn't arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"In the aftermath of María, the Trump admin oversaw two key items: handing millions in public $ to unqualified donor pals (ex Whitefish). The other was to impose extremely difficult eligibility rules for Puerto Ricans, which allowed mass rejections of recovery fund applications," she alleged.
Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill. I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID. Th… https://t.co/CQz9O72juo— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1622656813.0
What did AOC's tía say?
A reporter from the Daily Mail recently tracked down the house belonging to Ocasio-Cortez's grandmother, and when the reporter approached the house, a person outside the house identified themselves as Ocasio-Cortez's aunt.
That same person rebuffed Ocasio-Cortez's assertion that Trump is at fault for conditions in Puerto Rico.
From the Daily Mail:
And when we politely approached the two-story flat-roofed residence, we were met by a woman who told us emphatically after viewing AOC's tweets: "I am her aunt. We don't speak for the community." The relative, who refused to give her name, added: "We are private people, we don't talk about our family." Ironically for AOC, she also refused to blame former President Donald Trump for thousands of Hurricane Maria victims being unable to get money to repair shattered homes.
In fact, Washington delivered relief aid, the aunt explained — but it never reached the people who desperately need it.
"It's a problem here in Puerto Rico with the administration and the distribution of help. It is not a problem with Washington. We had the assistance and it didn't get to the people," the aunt said.
Although Democrats tried to blame Trump for relief problems, issues with corruption and misappropriated relief aid was well-documented. For example, the head of the island's emergency management services was fired after a warehouse filled with unused disaster relief aid was discovered. Meanwhile, the FBI later raided the offices of now-former San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, the vocal politician who blamed Trump for a poor disaster response.
Conservative commentator Matt Walsh attempted to help Ocasio-Cortez's grandmother last week — raising more than $100,000 after Ocasio-Cortez's tweet — but the money was turned away by someone in Ocasio-Cortez's family.
Walsh explained, "'Someone' in AOC's abuela's family told GoFundMe that she won't take the money, even though AOC previously claimed that her grandma was in dire straits (and it was Trump's fault)."