Former New York council speaker speaks out on Puerto Rico's governor

Latino Victory Project President Melissa Mark-Viverito discusses how hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are coming together to demand Governor Ricardo Rossello's resignation.
7:15 | 07/22/19

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Transcript for Former New York council speaker speaks out on Puerto Rico's governor
I'm moving on out to Puerto Rico and that. Historic really protest today hundreds of thousands of Americans turning out on the streets. Across the island demanding the resignation of governor Ricardo row sale. It could be the island's largest public demonstration in history. For sale had announced overnight that he was not stepping down what he would. Not run for reelection next year moments ago we also gave an interview to Fox News combative interview defiant staying in office. Accepting responsibility for his comments that set off these protests. And apologizing but again are refusing to step down. Want to bring in our Josh we osu ABC news editor reporter has been covering Puerto Rico for us he's joins us from New York also. Joining us on the phone Melissa mark Rivera know she's president of the Latino victory project. Former New York count C council's speaker who was the first Puerto Rican elected in New York City. Let's show with you Melissa eight governor assail just moments ago giving this extraordinary interview also issue mean. You an apology he you were one of the people. That he had attacked in this offensive. Tweets in that group and that group chat. What's your response do you think that his apology is sincere. I'm not aware that he had a should any formal apology. I think you think you know and that broke about a week ago. He has yet to gain. Making them available. After the pressing and important legal mind he. Those on Fox News station aiding in teen year. On the island meanwhile. That it over 500000 people marching today I was there it is getting. Of that rally massive protests where everybody unite it. In the demand that the governor must resign and go it is incredibly. Look historic moment for the island. His story in the fact that everyone in Galena their political differences caller again it's a little about one call enough that the ruptured an email would be abused. And that people want to turn the heat and let it be able to move forward so. Day you know he yet demonstrated through the track well his moral character is on his government. It on and unwillingness to let him. Did hall of the people put but he injury nine is definitely at a demonstration lack of leadership and in the maturity. And just the spark for these protests for folks who don't really understand why. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are turning out was this group chat which was exposed sexist homophobic offensive comments including some about the victims. Of hurricane Maria really ignited this but really. Help us understand the depth. A frustration and discontent with the governor there is here is much broader and deeper than just those messages. Yet this is a lot more than just a group text messages that were released this is an undercurrent. A feeling that there is enough transparency. And not for and another of an understanding of how government works with the people and really. The strong questions about corruption with seen the government there's bill longstanding. And a longstanding question from the people Puerto Rico their level of trust think they can give to the governor and eight months after he's took office her pain Maria came through and then the questions came about where federal funding when it's. On the net them millions of dollars that came into the island from nonprofit organizations and from the government. Where that money was going and who is handling and it true accountability and so. By the time you've got to the point of these leaked tax messages. You have a government ministers resigned. Who was picked up by the FBI corruption charges. Any ever real display of what the government to the governor or his aides and advisors. You'll about the people of Puerto Rico and you see that in a the insults to the victims. Hurricane Maria and the overall. Attempts at changing the public perception. A government that wasn't in good standing. Scott Melissa mark Rivera you're down on the island. No Porter wreaking governor has ever been impeached eight American guy state governors have over the course of history there's an impeachment effort. A foot now. What do you make of that effort do you think it could be successful and where does this go from here if he doesn't step down. Turning not the only option that the governor has at this point is. To basically allowed resign. And it not. There is a moral imperative that the legislature had. Two start impeachment proceeding that look look. Everything we're going to hear on the island it is very similar to those of us that are fighting their trump administration right about using whatever means resource to enrich your friends. About using the power of the presidency to go after opponent they'll after the press. This is the same behavior that is being exhibited. Here and nobody chat have exposed is that. Level of corruption and and it in government that it not working for the people right detonated there to serve. Friends of real. Common behavior. Eight you know pike uniting and and overlooking the real needs of the people. And it had not quite good not just about the building your administration to I think that is the real thing chat so unreal. Pushing back against. Yield generations of a behavioral people feel like they have not been the priority. Government and so this is about reclaiming government now. This is not the gray imagine that number of people. Here mobile lighting. They right to push back against the truck demonstration very similar. The battle for impeachment right putting pressure Democratic Party have a lot of pressure about whether or not start impeachment pushing receding. So in the fat cat in the competition happening here right now. Would elect George is boat that house and the senate dominated by the governor's party. So there is we our concern here and concern I mean there's an expectation that is the governor it doesn't do right. And there is going to be the push and the pressure on the legislature to do what is right by the put wreaking people. An extraordinary moment and we're seeing the images play out right now as you said Melissa mark Rivera know. President routine a victory project certainly something all Americans should pay attention to and of course Puerto Ricans. Are all Americans themselves as well thank you for that perspective on the ground and as we just mentioned the governor there the embattled governor just moments ago gave an interview. Here's a little bit of him speaking out. I am that my effort and my commitment is to follow through on some of these efforts then I. Established for the people put the recall that includes establishing again a plan that I've already. Circulated width other members within the White House. Council that we can battle this corruption so that we can. Tackle a book what government employees. Are doing what we are doing us elected officials and they collaboration with the federal government. This is a biggest recovery effort in in the United States history. And the governor they're making clear he is focused on the people focused on helping the island to continue to recover but as we've been hearing from our Josh royalist. I'm Melissa mark heard of them much. Discontent with the situation on the island our thanks to both of them.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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