President Trump has called for Puerto Rico to have its crippling debt forgiven and said it’s tough luck for the Wall Street holders of the debt.
“They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out,” Mr. Trump told Fox News Channel’s Geraldo Rivera in an interview Tuesday.
Mr. Trump took considerable political heat for one of his earliest tweets on Hurricane Maria, noting that Puerto Rico was already suffering because of its huge debt burden, which liberals interpreted as blaming the victim.
But Mr. Trump may have meant something else — that post-hurricane rebuilding may require that debt to be eliminated.
In Tuesday’s interview with Mr. Rivera, the president warned that his own status as a billionaire real-estate mogul doesn’t affect his sympathies on the matter.
“You’re going to say goodbye to that, I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but whoever it is you can wave goodbye to that,” he said, addressing the parties that hold the island, a U.S. commonwealth, in arrears to the count of more than $70 billion.
Mr. Trump had dropped broad hints on the matter before, saying in a series of three tweets on Sept. 25 that Puerto Rico’s debt would have to be “dealt with.”