Trump: Doing great job with Puerto Rico relief despite ‘nothing to work with’

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President Trump on Thursday praised his administration’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico, telling reporters that his team is doing well despite “nothing to work with.”

Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, Trump said that his administration has done an “incredibly good job” at working to save lives in Puerto Rico, which is trying to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

“We have done an incredible job, considering there’s absolutely nothing to work with,” Trump said Thursday.

Trump added that Puerto Rico’s power grid is “gone,” presenting additional challenges to rebuilding the island’s infrastructure.

{mosads}”And a very big question is, what are we going to do with the power plant? Because the power plant is totally wiped out,” he said. “There is nothing. The power grid is gone.”

Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria’s destruction in Puerto Rico has been sharply criticized by locals, members of the media, and members of past administrations who have called the situation a “disaster.”

The White House said this week that some of the information being shared about the situation is outdated. 

Trump on Friday continued defending the administration’s response.

“So we have a lot of big decisions, and you’re talking about, the dollars that you’re talking about are really tremendous,” Trump continued.

The president said he hopes to make a bipartisan deal with Democrats to fund relief efforts to the island. Local officials have said that power may not be fully restored to the island for six months.

“I’ll be talking with the Democrats, and we’ll be talking to Congress, about what we’re going to do a little bit longer term,” Trump said.

Trump said on Tuesday that Puerto Rico’s geographic location makes relief efforts much more difficult.

“We right now have our top people from FEMA, and they have been there,” he said at a White House press conference. “We are unloading on an hourly basis, massive loads of water and food and supplies for Puerto Rico.”

“And this isn’t like Florida where we can go right up the spine or like Texas where we go right down the middle and we distribute,” Trump said. “This is a thing called the Atlantic Ocean, this is tough stuff.”

According to the Associated Press, thousands of pounds of necessary supplies are sitting unused in storage containers due to lack of manpower on the island.  

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