White House places all blame for ‘astonishingly corrupt’ Whitefish contract on Puerto Rico

Advocacy groups are calling for the deal to be cancelled and congressional Democrats are demanding an investigation

Amid growing outrage over the “astonishingly corrupt” $300 million no-bid contract given to Whitefish Energy to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, the Trump White House on Friday denied that the federal government had “any role” in crafting the agreement and placed all responsibility for the deal on shoulders of local Puerto Rican officials—despite language in the contract saying the Federal Emergency Management Agency “reviewed and approved” the agreement.

“This is a contract that was determined by the local authorities in Puerto Rico, not something that the federal government played a role in,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a briefing on Friday. “But as we understand, there is an ongoing audit and we’ll look forward to seeing the results of that later.”

Shortly following the White House’s denial of responsibility for a deal that has already sparked congressional scrutiny, Sierra Club wrote on Twitter: “This administration cannot be trusted. A full investigation must be launched and this contract must be cancelled.”

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Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams where this was originally published. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep.

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