Trump Has Officially Rated His Response to Puerto Rico
'I'd say it was a 10'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2017 4:54 PM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – On Thursday, President Trump gave himself perfect marks for the federal government's response to the ongoing disaster in Puerto Rico, USA Today reports. "I'd say it was a 10," Trump told reporters during a meeting with Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico. According to the Washington Post, Trump called rendering aid to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria "probably the most difficult" disaster response in history. "It was in many ways worse than anything people have ever seen," the president said, adding, "It was worse than Katrina." (Trump has previously said Hurricane Maria wasn't a "real catastrophe" like Katrina.) Trump said the response in Puerto Rico has been hampered by damaged ports and roadways, already-poor infrastructure, and "corruption on the island."

Rossello was also asked to give his assessment of the government's response to Maria—specifically by Trump, who wanted to know, "Did we do a great job?" "You responded immediately, sir," Rossello answered. The governor also tried to deflect some of the criticism away from Trump, the Guardian reports. "We didn’t have the ports open for a couple of days," Rossello said. "We didn’t have the airports open at full capacity until about a day or two ago." Recent polls show the rest of the US might not share Trump's optimistic assessment of the situation in Puerto Rico. One poll found less than a third of the country approved of his handling of relief efforts; in another poll, 36% of people said Trump hadn't done enough for Puerto Rico, where more than one-third of houses still lack running water and less than a fifth of the power grid has been restored.

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