Puerto Rico governor issues scathing statement after Trump touts response to hurricane

Puerto Rico governor issues scathing statement after Trump touts response to hurricane
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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Tuesday issued a biting statement in response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE’s comments that his administration’s response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico was an “unsung success.”

The statement, shared by journalist Mark Knoller on Twitter, referred to Puerto Rico as "a colony" and made it clear that there is still work to be done to help Puerto Ricans recover from last year’s destruction.

“The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and unAmerican,” Rosselló said. “It is certainly not a successful relationship.”

Rosselló called on Trump to extend federal coverage to continuing work on housing restoration and clean-up that is still ongoing on the island.

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“This was the worst natural disaster in our modern history,” he said. “Our basic infrastructure was devastated, thousands of our people lost their lives and many others still struggle.”

"Now is not the time to pass judgement; it is time to channel every effort to improve the lives of over 3 million Americans in Puerto Rico," he added. 

Trump on Tuesday praised his administration’s response to Puerto Rico, calling it an “incredible, unsung success.”

“I actually think it was one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about,” he told reporters during an Oval Office briefing on the incoming Hurricane Florence. "The job that [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] FEMA, and law enforcement and everybody did working along with the governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous.”

Trump has repeatedly praised his administration's response to Hurricane Maria, despite widespread criticism. Puerto Rican officials in recent weeks updated the official death count from Hurricane Maria to nearly 3,000.