Puerto Rico gov: We are ‘requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive’

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello responded on Thursday to President Trump’s warning that federal emergency workers will not stay on the island “forever,” saying that the U.S. territory’s residents are only asking for the same assistance that other Americans would receive.

“The U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive across our Nation,” Rossello wrote on Twitter. 

The remark came after Trump tweeted Thursday that the federal government would not keep FEMA workers and troops on the island indefinitely. 

“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump wrote. 

He also tweeted that Congress would ultimately decide how much money to set aside for Puerto Rico’s recovery. 

Trump has already faced criticism for his administration’s slow-to-start response to Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 storm that devastated the island, leaving virtually all of its residents without electricity and rendering some necessities — like water and food — scarce. 

The administration stepped up its relief efforts in Puerto Rico late last month. But Trump has repeatedly defended himself against criticism, once suggesting that the island was relying too heavily on federal assistance and wasn’t doing enough to help itself. 

Some Puerto Rican officials, like San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, have pleaded for more federal help, and critics have argued that the Trump administration’s hurricane response in Puerto Rico was less aggressive than in states like Texas and Florida, which were both struck by hurricanes in recent months. 

Tags Donald Trump FEMA Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló

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