Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was expected to step down on Wednesday after almost two weeks of protests against his administration that were sparked by the publication of offensive chat messages with aides, several of whom have already quit.
Rosselló had made no announcement by early Wednesday, but major local media were reporting his resignation was imminent.
Protesters had cheered those reports late on Tuesday but warned that his departure would not end the demonstrations now entering their 12th day.
During his first television interview since the scandal broke out over leaked private chats that have resulted in near-unanimous calls for his resignation, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló struggled to come up with a single name when Fox News anchor Shepard Smith pressed him to offer up anyone who currently supports him.
With hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans taking to the streets of San Juan on Monday to demand Rosselló’s resignation after the governor said he wouldn’t step down on Sunday, Smith pointed out that “corruption is rampant” on the island before highlighting why the profanity-laced leaked chats have caused such backlash.
The 66 percent support for admitting the island as the 51st state is consistent with polling dating back to the early 1960s.
President Donald Trump, who has disparagedPuerto Rico’s leadership and faced criticism for the federal government’s slow response to deadly Hurricane Maria, has said he is an “absolute no” on Puerto Rico statehood. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said granting the island statehood and full representation in Congress would be “full-bore socialism.”
Thousands of Puerto Ricans gathered Wednesday in the commonwealth capital of San Juan to demand the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, the second mass demonstration against the embattled leader this week.
The hashtag #RickyRenuncia, Spanish for Ricky Resign, was trending on Twitter during a Monday protest that drew hundreds to the same cobblestone streets in Old San Juan. Some police officers were injured and several people were arrested.
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