COVID-stricken Trump says no to Guam statehood

Gaynor D. Daleno | The Guam Daily Post Oct 3, 2020

While waiting for his COVID-19 test result and trying to get reelected, President Trump told one of his go-to Fox News hosts he would not support statehood for Guam, Puerto Rico or other American territories.

But his reason has nothing to do with whether the political status change would be good for Americans on Guam or other territories that might pursue statehood.

He's concerned that it's a strategy by Democrats to stack more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

"They are going to add two or three new states," Trump said, speaking to Sean Hannity on Fox News on Friday Guam time. He appeared to start mentioning Saipan but stopped. He started his sentence with "Sai," but left that unfinished, and then continued with, "I heard Guam."

Allowing Guam, Puerto Rico and another U.S. territory to achieve statehood would provide the future states with two Senate seats each, and more than 20 congressional seats altogether, Trump said. He made the comment after complaining that Democrats want to stack the courts with their choices.

He's opposed to the idea of statehood for Guam or Puerto Rico, because, he said, "Republicans can't win those states, although, I’ve been better to Puerto Rico than any other president."

The president, who confirmed Friday he and his wife, Melania, have tested positive for COVID-19, also expressed concern that allowing Guam or Puerto Rico to achieve statehood would open the door to other U.S.-affiliated islands to seek the same political status.

"Depending on what they do, I guess they can probably do even more than that. I mean we have islands all over the place. Why don’t we go for Dobongan?" Trump said. A Google search for an island by that name or something similar turned up nothing.

Guam voters have yet to vote on three political status options in a plebiscite but the political status options have not been a hot-button issue – even as the island is a month away from the general election. The options for Guam in a nonbinding plebiscite are statehood, independence and as an independent state that has a pact of free association with the United States, similar to the U.S. relationships with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

With 53 states, he said, "What is the flag going to look like?"

"It's a very, very sad thing for our country – very, very sad thing," Trump said
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