Trump rates White House's hurricane response in Puerto Rico a '10'

Trump rates White House's hurricane response in Puerto Rico a '10'

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló met with Rubio on Thursday morning to update the senator on relief efforts before a meeting with President Donald Trump later in the day.

"I give ourselves a 10" on a scale of 10, Trump told reporters before meeting with Gov. Ricardo Rossello.

Trump's comments, which came one day shy of the one-month anniversary of Maria hitting Puerto Rico, come while more than 35 percent of the island's resident still lack access to safe drinking water and less than 20 percent have electricity.

But he emphasized that repayment of federal loans and other storm-related debt owed by Puerto Rico would come before repayment of the island's existing $72 billion in debt. "I am confident that with your commitment and with your support, Mr. President, with your team's support, we will be able to come out of this in the long-haul together with Puerto Rico, give the USA citizens in Puerto Rico the adequate resources, treat us the same as citizens in Texas, in Florida and elsewhere, we will come out of this stronger, and we will make this innovative". "They apparently, according to the government of Puerto Rico, have yet to execute on a power restoration contract, to begin the power restoration work, even the immediate work".

So they dug into the numbers, cross-checking with news reports, and found that the number of casualties resulting from the hurricane was probably much closer to 450.

Rossello will meet with Trump who has been criticized for his administration's sluggish response to provide aid, compared to relief efforts in Florida and Texas.

"I'd say it was a 10", Trump said. "Florida, very far along, and Puerto Rico is a different kind of a situation because it needs so much infrastructure, but over a period of time, that will happen".

Asked by a reporter "between one and 10, how would you grade the White House response", Trump replied, "I say it was a 10".

"The facts are that every petition we've made to the president of the United States until this moment, it has been answered", he said.

Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office, Trump did not give any specifics about how much money the government will give to the cash-strapped territory, home to 3.4 million USA citizens.

Trump said he has given his blessing to Congress for a funding plan, but adds that the governor "understands that these folks can't be there forever".

"We can not keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been awesome (under the most hard circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

"We're helping a lot", Trump said.

"This is not over, not over by a long shot".



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