Puerto Rico governor says Trump won't meet to discuss hurricane relief

Puerto Rico governor says Trump won't meet to discuss hurricane relief
© Getty Images

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE has refused to meet with him directly to discuss hurricane relief efforts.

Rosselló told The Associated Press that while his team has been in touch with federal officials, the White House declined his public and private requests to meet with Trump.

Rosselló said Friday he expected to meet Trump as part of the National Governors Association (NGA) conference in Washington this weekend, but that the White House had ignored prior requests for a face-to-face meeting.

ADVERTISEMENT

He told the AP that the White House did not offer a reason when it declined his requests. He said he hopes to meet with Trump when a group of governors visit the White House on Monday.

The White House did not receive a request for a meeting this weekend, according to a White House official. 

"The White House and the president have not refused to meet with the governor," the official said. "We continue to have ongoing discussions with the governor about recovery efforts."

An administration official said that, after Rossello's Jan. 17 meeting request. the White House arranged meetings between the governor, Housing Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHUD drafting rule to require carbon monoxide detectors in public housing Treasury offers new guidance on opportunity zones HUD chief Carson leaves Dem lawmaker exasperated with answer on LGBT protections MORE and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long.

After those meetings, the official added, Rosselló did not follow up with a further request for a face-to-face with Trump.

The official added that the governor will interact with Trump this weekend and Monday. 

The governor did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on Friday. 

Rosselló has sought to keep a focus on recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following devastation from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

The storm left much of the island in disarray, and Rosselló has said he believes the president was responsible for the slowness of relief.

Earlier this month, Rosselló attended Trump's State of the Union address at the invitation of Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage MORE (D-N.Y.). Schumer invited him "to highlight that Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery is far from over."

Rosselló told The Hill before Trump's speech that he was trying to get a meeting with Trump.

 

— Updated Feb. 23 at 10:00 a.m.