Trump says Puerto Rico's debt needs to be wiped out

Trump says Puerto Rico's debt needs to be wiped out
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President Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. would have to “wipe out” Puerto Rico’s multi-billion dollar debt after Hurricane Maria.

"They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we're going to have to wipe that out," Trump said during an interview with Fox News. "You can say goodbye to that."

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“I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs but you can wave goodbye to that.”

Puerto Rico had roughly $70 billion in debt before Maria hit.

The debt had been a major obstacle for the U.S. territory as it fought for statehood. Bondholders had asked Congress and the Trump administration to hold off on granting statehood until Puerto Rico had paid off its debt.

The island had been struggling economically since former President Clinton signed a tax reform law in 1996 that closed a loophole giving tax incentives for U.S. businesses to establish subsidiaries in Puerto Rico.

Now, Puerto Rico officials are trying to recover from Hurricane Maria since it struck the island nearly two weeks ago. Less than 10 percent of the island has power.

Trump visited the island Tuesday, meeting with local officials about the recovery process and distributing supplies to residents.