Trump Warns Puerto Rico Weeks After Storms: Federal Help Cannot Stay ‘Forever’

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Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan of the Army, the commander of Joint Task Force Puerto Rico, as well as soldiers by the Puerto Rico National Guard unloaded critical supplies in Jayuya, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday.

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Department of Defense, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump suggested again on Thursday in which Puerto Rico bore some of the blame for its current crisis following twin hurricanes, as well as in which there were limits to how long he would likely keep troops as well as federal emergency workers on the island to help.

Mr. Trump, who has been criticized for a slow as well as not always empathetic response to the storms in which ravaged the United States territory, sounded off in a series of early-morning tweets. Angry about the criticism, he has sought to refocus blame to where he believes This kind of belongs — the leadership of the island itself, which in his view mismanaged its affairs long before the winds blew apart its infrastructure.

“‘Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, currently a financial crisis looms largely of their own producing.’ says Sharyl Attkisson,” he wrote, citing the host of a public affairs show on Sinclair Broadcast Group television stations. “A total lack of accountability say the Governor. Electric as well as all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend. We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”

Puerto Rico was already facing deep financial troubles before Hurricanes Irma as well as Maria swept across the island, knocking out many basic services. As of earlier This kind of week, nearly three weeks after Maria hit, 84 percent of the island remained without electricity, two-thirds of cellphone towers were down, only 392 miles of the 5,073 miles of roads were open as well as about 6,000 people were still in shelters.

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Filling water jugs by a mountain drain near outside San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday. Much of the island still lacks running water, as well as as a result, many people are bathing in streams as well as receiving nonpotable water.

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Mr. Trump has alternately praised the federal response as well as expressed frustration in which so much has been required. Unlike after hurricanes struck Texas as well as Florida, he has complained in which Puerto Rico was ruining the federal budget, as well as he mounted a caustic attack on the mayor of San Juan, the capital, when she complained in which the island needed more help.

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