Steve Hayes: Trump Can’t Shrug His Shoulders and Suggest We’ll Wipe out Puerto Rico’s Debt with a Magic Wand

‘Puerto Rico will have to figure out the errors it’s made on its own finances’

EXCERPT:

[clip starts]
TRUMP: "They had a lot of problems and a lot of debt. They had 72 billion in debt before the hurricanes hit. ... We’re going to work something out. We have to look at their whole debt structure. You know, they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out. That's going to have to be — you can say goodbye to that. I don't know if it's Goldman Sachs but whoever it is, you can wave goodbye to that. We have to do something about it. Because, the -- the debt was massive on the island."
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HEMMER: "That from yesterday with Geraldo. President Trump on his way to Las Vegas as we speak. But first, in Puerto Rico yesterday promising assistance telling us that he will look into wiping out the massive debt; $70 billion in Puerto Rico. Tweeting this, 'A great day in Puerto Rico yesterday. While some of the news coverage is fake, most showed great warmth and friendship.' Steven Hayes, editor-in-chief at 'Weekly Standard', Fox News contributor as well. And Steve, good morning to you."
HAYES: "Good morning, Bill."
HEMMER: "As we hear the president talk about that debt, Mick Mulvaney budget director of the White House had this to say just last hour. Almost suggesting not so fast on CNN he offered this."
[clip starts]
MULVANEY: "I talked to the president about this at some length yesterday as we flew home on the -- on Air Force One. And what we're focusing on right now is what you and I just talked about, which is the primary focus of the federal effort is to make sure the island is safe and that we're rebuilding. ... We can help it, and we will help it. We will help Puerto Rico rebuild from the storm. Puerto Rico's going to have to figure out how to fix the errors that it's made for the last generation on its own finances."
[clip ends] 
HEMMER: "What does this all mean as you try and thread this together?"
HAYES: "Well, as the policy prescription I think what Mick Mulvaney said there makes some sense, but it contradicts what the president said last night to Geraldo. And the president of the United States said that we're going to wipe out Puerto Rico’s debt. Mick Mulvaney is saying this morning that there will be no federal bailout of Puerto Rico. I mean, this is a -- this is an issue that's built over decades. The actual total is closer to $125 billion in debt if you include some unfunded liabilities. So this is a massive problem. Puerto Rico isn’t technically allowed to go into bankruptcy, but has in May surveyed to enter into a quasi-bankruptcy and try to negotiate its way to pay back its bondholders. The bondholders weren’t happy. But people are making plans on this. The president of the United States can’t just shrug his shoulders and suggest like, you know, like somebody with a magic wand --"
HEMMER: "No."
HAYES: "-- he's going to wave it away."

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