October 8, 2017 3:08 pm

Donald Trump defends throwing paper towels into crowd of Puerto Rican hurricane victims

WATCH ABOVE: U.S. President Donald Trump defends tossing paper towels to hurricane victims at a temporary disaster relief distribution centre in Puerto Rico.


U.S. President Donald Trump defended his decision to toss “beautiful, soft” paper towels into a crowd of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico last week, and lashed out at the media for making a big deal out of it.

READ MORE: Donald Trump faces leadership test after Las Vegas and Puerto Rico trip

In an interview broadcast Saturday on the new Trinity Broadcasting Network, Trump sat down for a 30-minute interview with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and talked about the Las Vegas shooting and Puerto Rico.

Trump defended himself after taking criticism for tossing paper towels while visiting hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

WATCH: Donald Trump throws paper towels into crowd at Puerto Rico relief centre

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He said the crowd was “having fun” and urged him to throw the paper towels, and the media did not cover the incident fairly.

“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” Trump said. “And I came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people. And they were screaming and they were loving everything. I was having fun, they were having fun. They said, ‘Throw ’em to me! Throw ’em to me, Mr. President!'”

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s Puerto Rico visit was all about publicity, San Juan mayor says

“So the next day they said, ‘Oh, it was so disrespectful to the people.’ It was just a made-up thing. And also when I walked in, the cheering was incredible,” he said.

After the paper-towel tossing incident, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, described Trump’s visit as “insulting” and called him “miscommunicator-in-chief.”

WATCH: White House won’t say why Trump attacked mayor of San Juan

The sight of Trump throwing paper towels to the crowd was “terrible and abominable,” Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said.

In the interview with Huckabee, Trump took a shot at the mayor, saying, “She didn’t do a really good job. In fact, she did a very poor job. She is not a capable person.”

Trump said Las Vegas shooter was ‘probably smart’

Trump and Huckabee also discussed the Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 people dead and hundreds of others injured when a shooter opened fire at a country music festival on Oct. 1.

WATCH: Trump praises ‘incredible’ efforts of doctors in Las Vegas shooting

Trump praised the work of the first responders, doctors and nurses who helped the victims in the attack. But he also said the shooter, Stephen Paddock, was “probably smart.”

“This was a sick person, but probably smart,” Trump said. “And he had cameras, but [police] got there so quickly, and they really did — and they have to be given credit.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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