President Donald Trump met with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello at the White House on Thursday, praising the response to Hurricane Maria on the island.
Trump spoke at length about the federal response, grading it a “ten out of ten” in response to questions from reporters.
“I’d say it was probably the most difficult,” he acknowledged, calling the storm “worse than Katrina” and saying that “it was in many ways worse than anything people have ever seen.”
“Did we do a great job?” Trump asked Rossello, who replied that the administration and federal disaster agents responded “immediately” to their needs.
“I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico for your leadership, for your team’s leadership, and for having a commitment to stay with the people of Puerto Rico,” he said.
Trump gave credit to FEMA agents, first responders, and Department of Defense (DOD) officials for their response, and he praised Rossello’s own efforts on behalf of the island.
“This governor has worked as hard as anybody I’ve seen,” Trump said. “So just thank you for all your help.”
Rossello noted that there were 15,000 DOD personnel and 2,000 FEMA, HHS, and other personnel in Puerto Rico helping the island recover.
“The response is there,” he said. “Do we need to do a lot more? Of course, we do, and I think everyone over here recognizes there’s a lot of work to be done in Puerto Rico.”