President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, have arrived in storm-damaged Puerto Rico.
The first couple is visiting Tuesday to review the U.S. island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria, which blew ashore Sept. 20. They are meeting with local and federal officials working to restore power and deliver food and supplies to Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million people.
Trump’s visit comes after what critics have said was a too-slow response to the crisis on the island. The president said Tuesday that local “have to give us more help” in responding to the devastation. Trump on Tuesday praised the federal response, saying, “it’s now acknowledged what a great job we’ve done.”
President Donald Trump says the federal government has done a good job in Puerto Rico responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, but says local officials need to “give us more help.”
Trump says Tuesday that “in Texas and in Florida we get an A-plus, and I’ll tell you what, I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico.”
Trump says roads are cleared and communications are “starting to come back.” He says on a “local level they have to give us more help.”
The president lashed out at the mayor of San Juan after she criticized the federal response. He now says that San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz “has come back a long way.”
The White House says Cruz had been invited to participate in Tuesday’s events, but it was unclear whether she and the president would meet.
President Donald Trump is meeting Tuesday with some of the 3.4 million Puerto Ricans struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria, as criticism of the federal government’s sluggish response continues.
The president is expected to spend more than five hours on the ground, meeting with first responders, local officials and some of the residents struggling to recover from a hurricane that, in the president’s words, left the island U.S. territory “flattened.”
Trump and first lady Melania Trump are scheduled to attend briefings, visit a church, and meet with Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, as well as the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. They’ll also meet with Navy and Marine Corps personnel on the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge.