Trump Touts Puerto Rico Relief Effort as Critics Fault Washington's Response

Trump Touts Puerto Rico Relief Effort as Critics Fault Washington's Response

Trump Touts Puerto Rico Relief Effort as Critics Fault Washington's Response

"The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an incredible job".

For the students gathered Saturday, the disaster is personal - all of them have family in Puerto Rico.

A few hours after posting her message to Trump, Rihanna called for a "round of applause" for efforts to aid Puerto Rico from former presidents George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Despite his claims that aid workers on the island are doing a "fantastic job", Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, said his administration are "killing us with inefficiency". For days after the storm, Trump and his top aides were largely silent as residents on the island struggled for food and water amid widespread power outages.

Unlike a week ago, when the President spent much of his weekend tweeting about whether players in the NFL and other major sports should stand for the National Anthem, Mr. Trump's schedule for this Saturday had a series of calls related to the Maria response.

Mr. Trump said "they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".

Asked why it took so long to get the general in place, Townsend said, "My understanding from the White House is, that three-star general has been in place literally from the beginning, but he was managing sort of his role from the mainland USA and I think the sort of adjustment here has been they're going to send him down there to understand better on the ground what the requirements are".

"The ones we hear from, all we're hearing is they are starving, thirsty".

Trump's latest missive could further inflame sentiment after he had earlier weighed in on the emerging fight over how to finance the already debt-stricken territory's recovery - comments that were viewed as premature and distasteful by some.

Trump on Thursday waived the Jones Act, easing shipping restrictions on relief goods that the government and nonprofits are trying to deliver to the island.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico has been wonderful to deal with and a great representative of the people.

The president's comments caused a backlash on Twitter.

Trump told reporters on Wednesday that "we're thinking" about lifting the law, but added that a "lot of shippers" didn't want it lifted.

Rossello said the Trump administration has given his government "whatever we ask for" in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane.

Trump also says of Puerto Rico: "We have it under really great control".

Long pointed to the "Herculean effort" being made to help the island and its people recover, but conceded: "We got a long way to go".

Trump thanked federal agencies "who are working so hard against awful odds" in Puerto Rico, and touted his visit to the island next week. "I just - I don't know what to say". ". not a good news story". It is unclear if he was praising first responders again or others in the US territory.

Sanders characterized the president as "speaking from his fancy golf club, playing golf with his billionaire friends, attacking the mayor of San Juan".

He added: "We're going to have to, essentially, rebuild this island".

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