Senior US envoy for Iran leaves role negotiating nuclear talks with Tehran
Trump says Puerto Rico relief hampered by 'big water, ocean water'
President Trump on Friday said the disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico is complicated because it is "surrounded by water."
"This is an island, surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water," the president said during a speech in Washington on his tax plan.
The comments come as Trump has come under fire for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria.
Trump has repeatedly cited Puerto Rico's location as a hurdle toward a speedier recovery.
The storm devastated much of the island and left many of its citizens without food, water and electricity.
Critics have said the administration provided quicker and more effective disaster relief to Texas, Florida and other mainland states hit by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, a charge officials deny.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) minutes before Trump's speech said the president should put the military in charge of delivering aid in the country.
The president said the U.S. island territory's massive debt has also made the response to Maria more complex.
"Ultimately the government of Puerto Rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort ... will be funded," he said. "And what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island.
Trump added, "We will not rest, however, until the people of Puerto Rico are safe."
"These are great people. We want them to be safe and sound and secure and we will be there every day until that happens," he said.