President Trump arrives in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

Posted at 7:10 AM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 13:09:44-04

President Donald Trump has arrived in Puerto Rico where he will tour the island, two weeks after Hurricane Maria carved a path of destruction across the island.

The president said he will meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency and military officials, first responders and the people of Puerto Rico. Additionally, he said the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands will “probably” travel to Puerto Rico to meet with him.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, whom the president accused of “poor leadership” in a barrage of tweets over the weekend, this morning said she was invited to attend a briefing with Trump and has accepted.

"I will use this opportunity to reiterate the primary message: this is about saving lives, not about politics; this is also about giving the people of Puerto Rico the respect we deserve; and recognizing the moral imperative to do both," Cruz said in a statement.

She had told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos Sunday that she would accept a meeting with the president if asked.

Trump is being accompanied on the trip by first lady Melania Trump.

The president’s trip comes amid some criticism over the federal government’s response to the island twice hit by a hurricane in the past month. The president has repeatedly defended the federal response.

“It’s been amazing what’s been done in a very short period of time on Puerto Rico,” the president said in the Oval Office Monday.



The visit comes as the island is still grappling with the damage caused by Hurricane Maria and deeply plunged in recovery efforts. Only 47 percent of the island’s water customers have access to potable water and 95 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power, according to the office of Puerto Rico's governor.