Donald Trump in Puerto Rico
US President Donald Trump throws a paper towel roll as he visits the Cavalry Chapel in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on October 3, 2017
  • A former chief of staff at the US Department of Homeland Security revealed a request he heard from US President Donald Trump during an MSNBC interview Wednesday.
  • "He actually said ... could we swap Puerto Rico for Greenland because, in his words, Puerto Rico was 'dirty' and 'the people were poor,'" former DHS Chief of Staff Miles Taylor told MSNBC's Hallie Jackson.
  • Taylor said Trump made the comment ahead of a 2018 trip down to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief.
  • The former official added that Trump expressed "deep animus for the Puerto Rican people behind the scenes," and that he did not believe Trump was joking.
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Former US Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Miles Taylor made a surprising revelation during an MSNBC interview Wednesday.

Taylor, who has been speaking out about his time in the Donald Trump administration in recent days, told MSNBC's Hallie Jackson that he heard the American President float a swap deal for Puerto Rico and Greenland during the summer of 2018.

According to Taylor, Trump made the comments ahead of an August 2018 trip to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief

"He actually said he wanted to see if we could sell Puerto Rico — could we swap Puerto Rico for Greenland because, in his words, Puerto Rico was 'dirty' and 'the people were poor,'" Taylor said.

"These are Americans, Hallie. We don't talk about our fellow Americans that way," Taylor said.

When Jackson asked if Trump was joking, Taylor said "I did not take it as a joke."

Taylor also noted that Trump expressed "deep animus for the Puerto Rican people behind the scenes."

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.