President Donald Trump defended his administration’s response to Puerto Rico’s hurricane destruction, saying the federal government is fully engaged but he said, “nothing’s left,” and they are “starting from scratch” to rebuild. (Sept. 29) AP
WASHINGTON – President Trump, who is visiting Puerto Rico next week, said the storm-ravaged island “has been wiped out” and is “totally unable” to handle the crisis on its own.
“Therefore we’re forced to bring in truck drivers, security and many, many other personnel… We’ve never seen a situation like this,” he said in a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers.
Trump said Puerto Rico’s electrical grid and other infrastructure was “already in very, very poor shape” before Hurricane Maria hit.
“They were at their life’s end prior to the hurricane,” he said, “now, virtually everything has been wiped out.”
The government of Puerto Rico, he added, “will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort, which will end up being one of the biggest ever… will be funded and organized and what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island.”
Still, Trump vowed, “we will not rest” until the people of Puerto Rico are safe.
Trump visits Puerto Rico on Tuesday.