World

President Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency Responders

President Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency Responders

Others, including House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Puerto Rican mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, also pleaded with Trump to not abandon the island, home to 3.4 million US citizens.

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, says President Donald Trump's criticism of her hurricane-ravaged country is "unbecoming" of a commander in chief.

Trump's comments are his latest remarks on Puerto Rico to offer a mix of criticism and support - and to draw what seems to be a direct response from local politicians in the US territory. During an event last week honoring the heritage of Hispanics, for example, the president said, "We will be there all the time to help Puerto Rico recover, restore, rebuild". Reassuring the island, Kelly said the United States will "stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done".

When he visited Puerto Rico last week, Trump said, "Now I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that's fine". Hurricane Maria hit just three weeks ago.

FEMA's focus, the official said, is to "move from the response phase to recovery", adding the recovery phase often takes years. Puerto Rico and its agencies owe more than $70 billion to creditors.

As of Wednesday, 45 people died as a result of the hurricane damage, and four of those deaths were because of drinking contaminated water, authorities said.




Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as the island was already struggling with a severe financial crisis, which forced the government to file for bankruptcy in May.

On healthcare and many other structural issues, the hurricane could be the turning point "for better, or for worse", Rubio said. Residents still do not have access to clean water and more than 5,700 residents are living in shelters, according to the office of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on a bill to provide an additional $36.5 billion for hurricane disaster relief efforts, including in Puerto Rico. The financial situation is more complicated than Trump's tweets suggest. Puerto Ricans, who are US citizens, are likely to continue to flee to the mainland United States unless conditions improve, with Florida one of their top destinations. Mr. Trump said, using shorthand for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The death toll in Florida after Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on September 10, also reached 75, the Miami Herald reported, not counting the more than 38 people who died in the Caribbean.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the government needs to ensure that - in his words - "Puerto Rico can begin to stand on its own two feet".

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the discussions.

Cuomo answered, "The people who need food and water having".


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