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Trump throws paper towels to Puerto Rico victims like it’s basketball. Here’s how people reacted

POSTED: October 5, 2017 9:02 a.m.
Herb Scribner/

Trump said on Tuesday that officials should be “proud” that Hurricane Maria wasn’t “a real catastrophe like Katrina,” according to BBC.

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President Donald Trump's much-anticipated visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday became easy fodder for memes and internet jokes.

The memes captured the president tossing paper towels to people at a relief event like he was shooting a basketball.

Here’s a video of the moment.

Trump’s election campaign and presidency have been filled with meme-worthy moments that his campaign used to rally his base and rile opponents. Sometimes people around him — like Mitt Romney and Kellyanne Conway — suffered the brunt of internet jokes.

And the trend continued Tuesday, with Trump’s paper-towel moment winning over the internet with jokes and memes.

However, not everyone was happy with the president's first appearance in the U.S. territory after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island, leaving millions of people without electricity and depleted resources. MSNBC reporter Joy Reid tweeted that San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told her that Trump insulted Puerto Rico with the paper towel gaffe.

Cruz, who exchanged a war of words with Trump over the weekend about the federal response to help the island recover, called Trump the “miscommunicator-in-chief” when she spoke to MSNBC on Tuesday.

“This terrible and abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people, it does not embody the spirit of the American nation,” Cruz told MSNBC. “That is not the land of the free and the home of the brave, that beacon of democracy that people have learned to look up to across the world.”

Before the paper towel moment, Trump said officials should be “proud” that Hurricane Maria wasn’t “a real catastrophe like Katrina,” according to BBC.

"Every death is a horror," Trump said, "but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody's ever seen anything like this."

Trump said Puerto Rico has thrown the U.S. budget “out of whack,” but promised to help provide aid to the country. The White House later announced it would spend $29 billion on recovery efforts in Texas, Florida and, yes, Puerto Rico.

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