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Trump tosses paper towels into crowd of Puerto Rico hurricane survivors

Trump tosses paper towels into crowd of Puerto Rico hurricane survivors”

During his Tuesday visit to Puerto Rico Trump congratulated Puerto Rican officials on their efforts and praised his own administration's response to the disaster.

But during a short visit to the United States territory things seemed remarkably cordial, with Trump lobbing out paper towels to a crowd of around 200 and declaring there was "a lot of love in this room, a lot of love... great people".

"You know they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we're gonna have to wipe that out..."

Donald Trump has told the people of Hurricane Maria-hit Puerto Rico that the death toll on their island could not be compared with Hurricane Katrina. "Let's stop talking about the death count until this is over".

He then turned to the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosello, and asked how many people had died in the storm. "Sixteen people versus in the thousands". Harvey, Irma and now Maria have devastated parts of the country, caused thousands to evacuate and left people without homes and the basic resources of survival. "And it's a shame, because Puerto Rico is a very lovely island".

Prior to Tuesday, the number of storm-related deaths on the island stood at 16.

And, she added, Mr Trump was sometimes more "miscommunicator in chief" than commander in chief.

He was also lobbed rolls of paper towels into a crowd at a church in what was seen as a unusual and insensitive approach to hurricane relief. Thousands of homes - majority made of wood - have been destroyed, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A few days earlier Trump had lashed out at Ms Cruz on Twitter for "poor leadership". They shook hands and spoke briefly.

Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday to see relief efforts first-hand.

"So on a local level, they have to give us more help. If they're going to pick up and leave their families and come here, they're going to need help adjusting".

A week after the Category 4 storm devastated the island, more than half of its residents still have no drinking water or cellphone service, and almost all private homes and businesses have no power.

While speaking to Puerto Ricans, Trump also mentioned Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney and brought up Puerto Rico's debt.



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